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Blu-ray titles without features on the SD-DVD versions

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Mark Walker, May 2, 2009.

  1. Mark Walker

    Mark Walker Premium
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    This thread is in response to Adam Jahnke's excellent "Blu Thunder" article over at The Digital Bits that, amongst other things, criticized the studios for dropping special features that had been included on the standard definition DVDs.

    The Bottom Shelf by Adam Jahnke

    I am actually surprised to not see that there is a thread
    already here about this topic (Jahnke's article has been up for several weeks.),
    since, personally, I find it very frustrating and, in many cases,
    it prevents me from purchasing Blu-rays of some films.


    While I know some special features can get dated
    (How many of us REALLY want to watch yet-another documentary on
    how the CGI effects were created?),
    but why would Fox, for example,
    not included the two commentary tracks, at the very least,
    on "The Usual Suspects" Blu-ray that were on the SE SD-DVD?

    The SE SD-DVD bonus content included:
    -Deleted Scenes with John Ottman introduction
    -"Perusing the Suspects" featurette
    -"Keyser Soze - Legend or Lie" featurette
    -"Doing Time with The Suspects" featurette
    -"Heisting Cannes..." featurette
    -Gag Reel with introduction by Bryan Singer
    -Audio Commentary with Bryan Singer and Christopher McQuarrie
    -Audio Commentary with John Ottman
    -Easter Eggs, Trailers, and TV spots

    The Blu-ray bonus content?
    -Original Theatrical Trailer

    But Fox isn't alone. One would think Sony, wanting to push the Blu-ray format,
    wouldn't diminish demand for their Spiderman films, but
    the Blu-rays for "Spiderman" and "Spiderman 2" are missing almost all
    of the bonus content from the SD-DVD releases. Only "Spiderman 3"
    has all the bonus materials one would expect on the Blu-ray.
    (Weakest film in series = need to include bonus content?)

    I have to believe one of many things is happening:

    -Studios want us to double-dip and repurchase later SE versions
    of previous released "bonus content MIA" Blu-ray releases.
    -Costs associated with porting over bonus materials that might
    require more data storage on Blu-ray
    -Concerns of audio/video quality suffering because of space needs
    of bonus materials
    -Legal reasons: commentary tracks/bonus features where contracted
    to be used for DVD release only; possible additional fees and/or expenses
    to "talent" involved in their bonus content should it be included
    on any subsequent home video format, or, in the case of Criterion, bonus content
    (i.e. Jodie Foster's "Silence of the Lambs" commentary)
    is property of an entity not releasing the Blu-ray.

    For naysayers, yes, I do understand it is "about the movie," ultimately.

    Personally, I really love commentary tracks, especially when done well.
    I watch "Alien" (the original DVD release) as often with Ridley Scott's commentary track on as not.
    (I also know more than a few people who have held on to that
    original DVD release because of the isolated musical score, only available on it.)

    I want to upgrade to Blu-ray, but in many cases, I do not.
    Barring reports of sub par audio or video on the Blu-ray release,
    the absence of pre-existing bonus materials,
    available on the DVDs but not the Blu-rays, is usually the reason why.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Well-Known Member

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    While I don't have time these days to go through bonus material the way I used to, I would still prefer the BR edition have everything the best SD version has on it.
     
  3. TravisR

    TravisR Well-Known Member

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    I think that all the material from the DVD should be on the Blu-ray (assuming there isn't some weird legal reason that it can not be included).

    That being said, if I love the movie, not porting over the features isn't a deal breaker for me. On the other hand, there's been times where I was on the fence about a title and the lack of the special features from the DVD made me decide to wait for the inevitable re-release. Predator comes to mind since it's not hard to imagine that Fox is just waiting to re-release it at some point.
     
  4. RickER

    RickER Well-Known Member

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    I hate to say, but i am less and less thrilled by the extras on DVD. They sure are not as good as what we got on SE LDs like Alien. Of course, Blade Runner being the example of doing it right on DVD and Blu-ray, if not even more!
    I own a few bare bones Blu-rays, Usual Suspects, for example, and if an SE came out on Blu, i wouldnt care. I am mostly done, buying movies again, just for extras. Ask me if i bought the new Blu-ray SE of Casino Royal? Nope, the first Blu-ray release was good enough!
    Sometimes i take the extras disc from my DVD, and put it with the Blu-ray, in a 2 disc Blu-ray case. Now i have a 2 disc Blu-ray SE. Half the time a Blu-rays extras are in standard definition, anyway.
    Sometimes i even hang on to the old DVD, but not to often.
    It seems to me, many studios are catching on that a DVDs extras DO need to be on the Blu-ray. Paramount, Universal, and of course Warner, take good care of us.
     
  5. TravisR

    TravisR Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I bought the first release of No Country For Old Men and while I'd like to see the extras on the re-release, there's no chance that I'm spending $25 again to do it.
     
  6. Jeff_HR

    Jeff_HR Well-Known Member

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    Likewise! [​IMG]

    Personally I'd love it if EVERY title released in ANY format had extras. More realistically, the inclusion of extras will be the tipping point for whether or not I buy a title of borderline interest. [​IMG]
     
  7. Mark Walker

    Mark Walker Premium
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    Fortunately for me, I was not into Blu-ray yet when Casino Royale was
    first released...then earlier this week, on a trip to Wal-Mart to pick up some
    things for my gran, there was the two disc, SE Blu-ray of Casino Royale for $15,
    which made that one a no-brainer to pick up.

    So, reading all your comments, it seems like some studios are better
    than others, or more dependable as far as making the initial BD release
    contain all the SE-DVD's features. Good to know.

    Like some of you, too, I will hold on to disc 2 of a DVD set
    (Peter Jackson's King Kong comes to mind.), but, sadly that doesn't help
    when the DVD has a commentary track and the BD doesn't.


    Thanks again for your comments! Most helpful as I turn Blu. [​IMG]
     
  8. Tim-H.

    Tim-H. Well-Known Member

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    Count me as a Blu-ray (nee HD-DVD) supporter who sometimes feels frustrated. Blu-ray can deliver deliver quality AND quantity, but with some releases there is only one...and occasionally neither! I don't envy the studios - especially in this economy - trying to make money with this format.

    But pushing out inferior releases - or having better editions not long after the first release - are not ways to make Blu-ray thrive. I'm buying fewer titles now (even fewer than I can afford!) with the feeling that I might want to wait a while, or perhaps just rent.

    If priority #1 is film presentation, let's have a director's or extended cut AND the theatrical cut. Let's have the best-looking (and complete, Magnolia) subtitles. Let's have a transfer that represents the film. Let's have that awesome HD sound mix AND the original track.

    Then - because you can - how about including special features?
    Commentaries, solid (if not lengthy) featurettes, and production galleries can all fit on one disc. I'm delighted with Bond on Blu, and am happily replacing my UE DVDs, every one.

    Then go big on supplements for special editions of Casablanca, Blade Runner or even Sin City and Iron Man.

    Must say I agree with Jahnke. "Better than DVD" is just not enough - it should be "As good as Blu-ray gets!"
     
  9. Jesse Blacklow

    Jesse Blacklow Well-Known Member

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    Well, your original article was dealing with releases from 2006 and 2007, which is pretty outdated when it comes to home video. It's a rare release now that doesn't have all or almost all of the extras (including commentaries) from the DVD, and when it does drop one, it's almost always due to a rights issue.
     
  10. David Deeb

    David Deeb Well-Known Member

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    Studios can count on me buying one BD. I won't buy a special edition later.


    I have the new X-Men Trilogy on BD. (By the way - It has excellent picture & audio. It's an excellent value and loaded with special features. [​IMG])

    Many of the special features of the first film are SD. (haven't checked out the other 2 films yet).

    But it's unexcusable that they are SD 4x3 letterboxed. I realize it costs a little more to create an anamorphic source, but it's not that much - for a company like FOX, it should be easy.

    We should be beyond have SD 4x3 letterboxed material on a BD. 4x3 SD is ok if that's the OAR, but no reason to put letterboxed material on any BD.
     
  11. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Well-Known Member

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    Something I've noticed of late regarding releases of new titles is an almost total lack of extras on the dvd version while the BD version is loaded with goodies. It's almost as if the dvd versions are now relegated to vhs status.
     
  12. Brian Borst

    Brian Borst Well-Known Member

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    I would alter that to 'as good as the film can look'. There are people who think every film should look razor sharp and everything. But films like 28 Days Later will never look like that. So does that mean that film has a bad transfer? No, because it looks how it's supposed to look.
    As for supplements, the quality of the feature should be the most important thing. Extras come after that, and should never compromise the main feature, I think.
     
  13. ATimson

    ATimson Well-Known Member

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    If this were brand-new material, I'd agree. If this is material ported from the older DVDs, though, it's quite possible that either 4x3 is the OAR (due to credits or other captions outside the 16x9 area), or that the 16x9 material was shot on NTSC video and matted (so it wouldn't benefit from being converted to anamorphic anyways).
     
  14. Guest

    I only ever watch a special feature once, and mostly none-ce, and sometimes I watch the movie like twenty times, so I wonder which is more important...
     
  15. RDarrylR

    RDarrylR Well-Known Member

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    I agree the studios should at least port over old extras - there isn't much excuse not too unless they're adding new extras which are better.

    That being said I personally care very, very little about extras. I just want the movie in all it's glory with great AQ and PQ. I would much rather spend the extra time watching another Blu-ray from my big collection or spending time with my family. And if I do watch extras I much prefer to watch those in HD. I'm an HD snob now and really can't handle SD even in small doses.
     
  16. Mark Walker

    Mark Walker Premium
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    If this were brand-new material, I'd agree. If this is material ported from the older DVDs, though, it's quite possible that either 4x3 is the OAR (due to credits or other captions outside the 16x9 area), or that the 16x9 material was shot on NTSC video and matted (so it wouldn't benefit from being converted to anamorphic anyways).
    I agree with ATimson, and would take it further: While I want all the extras from the SD-DVDs, I don't want them to compromise the quality of the main feature, the film. They should be whatever their OAR was and look as good at least as good they did on DVD. I do tend to revisit "making of" features and I can imagine it would be a storage eater to port over some in HD without putting them on a separate disc, which would then up the costs-per-unit to manufacture, making them have a higher price point.
     
  17. mgdvd0

    mgdvd0 Well-Known Member

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    Sometimes it has to do with "rights" issues (like "Superman the Movie) and other and most likely they do it so they can re issue and double dip the movie several times as special - collector & ultimate editions JUST the way they did with SDVD
     
  18. Dick

    Dick Well-Known Member

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    I've been doing something lately that many more of you probably also do: I remove the bonus features disc from DVD's and add them to the Blu-ray cases of the associated movies, and give away the DVD feature disc. Many extras ported from DVD to Blu are included only in 780p anyway, so I don't figure I'm losing much. That way, I can turn PREDATOR, MASTER AND COMMANDER, THE PATRIOT and a bunch of others into special editions all over again, with the main feature in high def.
     

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