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TEMPEST IN A TEAPOT OR TITUS

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by haineshisway, Jan 25, 2014.

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  1. bgart13

    bgart13 Well-Known Member

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    Honestly? I think holding off for six months (if possible with the contract or other business oriented issues) might not have been a bad idea - unless they've held off for a while already. THE FURY did not have multiple transfers when TT chose to release it (as far as I am aware). Who's to say TITUS won't have a new transfer in a few months from now?Also. When did I say it was wrong to market to you, someone who wants something now?
     
  2. Persianimmortal

    Persianimmortal Well-Known Member

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    There's no indication, indeed the opposite, that a new transfer is in the works. I would assume that Nick Redman, having actually worked in the industry for many years, would have a better idea than you, me, or the vast majority of Internet commentators, as to whether Titus is likely to get a new transfer soon. This is what I mean when I said that these discussions almost always head towards either the usual lack of understanding about TT's business model, or subjective statements.

    What you're basically saying, even if you don't realize it, is that you know more about the home video business than someone who has worked in it for many years, has founded an active and thriving company in the market, and has actually negotiated the license for Titus with the owners.

    This is not to say that Titus will never receive a new transfer, perhaps even 6 months from now. We can't rule anything out of the realm of possibility. But I think we can safely assume that TT obtained, to their best knowledge, the best possible transfer available right now or in the near future. If you have better information on whether this is false, it would be nice if you could share your sources (and any links) with us in the interests of a more informed discussion.
     
    ahollis likes this.
  3. Robin9

    Robin9 Well-Known Member

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    You're being too generous. The anti-Twilight Time arguments are not based on an incomplete understanding. They're based on a wilful refusal to accept Twilight Time's business model. Bruce Kimmel is quite right: some people believe they are entitled to have everything dirt cheap.
     
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  4. English Patient

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    I agree - people who criticize Twilight Time for the handling of Titus (and for the limited edition business model) don't seem to realize that this catalog title isn't The Godfather or Star Wars. Titus was a financial flop, and it garnered only a small fan base. Thus there's little financial incentive for Fox to invest in a new transfer. If it had been a guaranteed moneymaker like The Godfather, then it would be legitimate to criticize either the studio or the blu-ray distributor for being too cheap to invest in a restoration or new transfer, if the film transfer on the disc was subpar. And it would also be legitimate to criticize Twilight Time for the limited edition print run because it's pretty obvious a Godfather or Star Wars or some other genuine blockbuster would indeed sell much more than 3,000 copies. As much as I like and admire Titus, though, I seriously doubt whether it would sell more than a few hundred units... and that's probably over a several year period. So in this case, I don't think Twilight Time did anything wrong. There was no better transfer of Titus to use, and the existing transfer was serviceable. Not fantastic, but it's HD, so it's a step up from the DVD (and I own both). And TT's limited edition business model isn't problematic for this title because, like I said, I doubt it's ever going to sell out.

    I like the fact that there are labels like Twilight Time who are willing to put out niche titles that the major studios seem to have given up on entirely. The catalog side of the home video market really needs labels like this. I'm willing to live with a little higher price point and a dated transfer if it means I'll be able to get my favorite titles in high def.
     
  5. Reggie W

    Reggie W Well-Known Member

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    It's too bad there are not more people with an interest in seeing Titus. It is a visually striking film and has this wonderful atmosphere that for me at least makes it a fascinating watch. Yes, it is Shakespeare which I guess frightens some people off but I think this film is designed such that it makes it quite easy for people to get into the language.

    I watched it yesterday and I will say despite all the moaning about "could have been better" (which I suspect is coming from people that have not seen this disc) it looks good and gave me the best presentation I have seen or heard in my home.

    There is good detail in the image and the colors (there are reds, blues, and yellows here mixed with the blacks and whites) were quite vibrant and looked very solid. I would say before you complain about what this disc is WATCH IT FIRST.

    As to all this "price and business model" stuff...personally I am a big supporter of what Twilight Time is doing and I think they got the pricing correct.

    I have found it a path to failure that so many films end up dumped into the marketplace for a cost less than a single admission ticket to a movie. It makes absolutely no sense that you can own a film for less than the price of a single viewing of that film.

    I think that 3 times the admission price should be the asking price to purchase a copy of the film. If we were to average admission price cost at $10.00 then $30.00 sounds correct to me. Twilight Time is not releasing these short runs to stores and retail websites. They are distributing the discs on their own so...if you ask me...they nailed the cost to create a business model that works and makes sense. You could not do what they are doing selling these titles at less than what they are selling them for. I mean do people realize that if they sell all 3000 copies at $29.99 that works out to a little less than $90,000 gross per title? Subtract all the costs involved in to getting that into the marketplace and I don't see a huge profit here. Somebody is getting these films out this way because THEY REALLY WANT TO not as a get rich quick scheme.

    People do realize if a film is dumped into the marketplace at $5.00 to $10.00 a disc that somebody is writing these discs off as a loss...don't they? This is why there would be little interest in continuing to sell tangible media to people. If you want the product you have to allow the people getting that product to you to make a profit on it otherwise there is no incentive to get that product to the market.

    Plus as others have already pointed out they are not releasing major titles that the studios handle on their own...they are digging into a back catalog that has limited potential for sales and generally a cult or niche market that will purchase them.

    If you want these titles or want to show there is an interest in these titles you speak with your wallet by making a purchase. I think these limited 3000 runs are specifically for the "fans" of these films...the people that really want them in their collection and you are not going to find these in a $5.00 dump bin in a brick and mortar chain.

    If there are not about 3000 people willing to purchase a $30.00 disc of a film they love...well...my bet would be that there is not going to be much interest for a studio to spend any money on that property.
     
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  6. haineshisway

    haineshisway Well-Known Member

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    And they don't get 29.99 from the distributor. The latter takes a cut. And having gone back and read many of the complaining posts, yes, I would agree that the majority of the complaining is being done by people who haven't seen the thing at all and are complaining because the three or four people who had seen it and complained. Hopeless, really, complaining being done irrationally given that the presentation is certainly better than decent.
     
  7. Stephen_J_H

    Stephen_J_H All Things Film Junkie
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    Comparing The Fury to Titus is comparing apples to photocopies of apples. Fox OWNS The Fury, as they produced it in conjunction with Frank Yablans Productions. Fox distributed Titus through their Fox Searchlight arm, a distributor dedicated to acquisitions of lower budget, independently produced films, of which Titus is a prime example. Fox doesn't own, nor does it likely have access to, the OCN. There will not be another transfer, unless a video distributor in another territory ponies up the cash for a new transfer, which is unlikely since The Fury was a box office success, and Titus was not. It has a small and dedicated cult following, but it's not going to pull in Christine-like numbers for TT. It's all about managing our expectations.
     
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  8. Patrick H.

    Patrick H. Well-Known Member

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    a) Correct, and b) isn't the huge irony here that, based on my understanding, Star Wars currently exists in a "finished" state at the exact same HD resolution as this current master for Titus?! Also from on my memory, the now-ancient DVD on this title, while loaded with great supplements, was a horror of artifacting and edge enhancement. Any improvement beyond that, plus Goldenthal's isolated score, and I'll be a happy camper.
     
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  9. bgart13

    bgart13 Well-Known Member

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    As I have stated here, if a new transfer does not come along when an international release materializes, I'm fine with paying for that international release - it'll certainly cost a lot less. Managing my finances is important for me at this moment, as I stated I bought a house in October (should I also mention I'm staring down car repairs at the moment too?). If I can cut about $10-15 from the cost, that helps me in the end. There's nothing wrong with that. I would never say this should only cost $5 or $10 - that's foolishness. I initially supported the TT model, having purchase a few of the discs. However, the concept hasn't necessarily been adding up from my view point, so I no longer choose to support them -- unless there is a title that gets released that I cannot bear not having and it can fit within my budget at the time. Have fun, guys.
     
  10. Jari K

    Jari K Well-Known Member

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    "personally I am a big supporter of what Twilight Time is doing and I think they got the pricing correct."$29.95 for pretty basic BD releases is getting the pricing "correct"? No wonder digital distribution/streaming is the future for the masses. Some of us film fans/collectors are losing it.
     
  11. bluelaughaminute

    bluelaughaminute Well-Known Member

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    I'm no longer a member of Roobarb but I browse as it's useful for getting info on upcoming releases and why would I want to rejoin when it's become such an old boys network ?
    I wouldn't waste my time posting such a comment on Roobarb because all that would result would be the usual bunch of "people" recruiting their little clique to make smartarse remarks one after the other . Tiresome is a kind description of many of the membership and applies to a lot who post in the TT thread.

    I'm not against people discussing it but everything that can be said has been said on the Roobarb forum -several times over and by the same people.
    We get it - you don't want to pay TT prices. So don't - it really is that simple.
    But why not let it lie instead of posting the same old arguments repeatedly or just popping onto the thread to make snide little remarks . I think the guilty ones know who they are .
    The problem with the TT thread is that it's mainly just whinging about the TT pricing hidden behind other excuses.
    It's quite pathetic to see the small clique of members inability to hide their glee when a TT title gets released elsewhere at a lower price .
    Even worse are the wasted pages of drivel on titles like The Fury where the Arrow version is compared to TT but all it boils down to is the members wanting to be smug about paying a lower price for a supposedly superior version .
    The various threads on Roobarb do make good reading but the TT one is spoilt by a group of people who fill the thread with rubbish - some who don't even own a single TT release anyway .
    It's a shame the person who runs the forum hasn't called it a day on the whiners who make that thread tedious - Julian even bought the Sinbad discs so along with several of the whiners he's a bit of a hypocrite.

    Perhaps those who don't mind too much paying $30 for a title can remember the days when double that was the cost of a Laserdisc so a Bluray seems like a bargain even at $30.
    Those that don't want to pay $30 don't have to .
     
  12. Anthony Neilson

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    First off, I don't have a problem with TT's prices. I don't feel ripped off if I pay $30 for a movie I like and I've bought all but a handful of the blu-rays they've released. I should also add that I haven't seen TITUS.

    However, I do remember reading an interview with Nick Redman where he said that they had been offered a number of titles for potential release but that they would only be releasing the ones whose masters were up to an acceptable standard. It was an explicit promise of quality control. I remember being a bit alarmed when I read this because, frankly, there are some movies that I'd rather have in sub-par HD transfers than not at all; not to mention the fact that one man's "acceptable standard" is another man's coaster. But it seemed a principled stance and basically reassuring.

    Now, Twilight Time may be right to ignore the habitual moaners but they do have to accept two things. The first is that, relatively speaking, they are a premium-priced product, like Criterion's. Criterion's discs exude love and care, remastering many of their releases in-house, tracking down rare extras and commissioning new ones, and wrapping it all up in a (usually) tasteful package. In comparison, TT release the masters they're given, mostly bare-bones in bog-standard packaging. This is not a complaint, as such: It just means that - in the absence of "frills" - their one responsibility as a premium-priced product (as Mr Redman seemed to recognise) is to make sure that those transfers are either unimpeachable, or that there be a very good reason for them not being so.

    The second thing they must accept is that their limited edition model requires the buyer to order the disc sight unseen and unreviewed. If you'd waited for a review before ordering CHRISTINE - well: You wouldn't have CHRISTINE.

    For these two reasons - though there are obviously some who have an irrationally hostile attitude (I think the kids call them "haters") - I don't think one can so easily (and mockingly) dismiss everyone who complains about ending up with what they see as a sub-par product. It's not really enough, after the fact, to explain the circumstances behind the disc. There are plenty of bad movies which had extremely problematic shoots but I don't see anyone suggesting that audiences and critics are therefore wrong to voice their dissatisfaction with the end product. To say so would only be to invite more ridicule and hostility; and in this way, I'm not always sure haineshisway is doing anything other than inflaming the sense of ire.

    Happily, there is a very simple solution: Before Zulu came out, there was a statement made (by Redman, I believe) to the effect of "this isn't the greatest transfer ever but we love the film and the audio is an upgrade from other editions". On the basis of that - already owning the UK disc - I decided to order it. That little bit of information was helpful and fair and humanising. I know my double-dip on ZULU is an indulgence and I can hardly complain about what I get.

    A little bit of communication goes a long way; and if TT has any desire at all to avoid this kind of reaction in future, all they need to do is be a bit more transparent in advance of the pre-order date. Had they done so before releasing TITUS, there'd no doubt still have been some disapproval; but we'd be looking at a sudden, brief downpour rather than the alluded-to storm.
     
  13. bluelaughaminute

    bluelaughaminute Well-Known Member

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    That's a perfectly understandable viewpoint .
    TBH I don't recollect your name on Roobarb as being one of the whingers and if the Roobarb whiners were equally as honest and open as your post there really wouldn't be a problem .
    The issue I have with Roobarb and other forums is that people don't want to pay the TT prices but instead of admitting they can't afford it or don't think a particular title is worth $30 they will post dozens of times creating criticisms that are fantasy .

    Equally pathetic are the members who refer to the "scalpers". The scalpers are the ones who invest in multiple copies of TT titles in order to sell them for a profit once the title is deleted or perhaps pick up a bargain from any other website with the same profit making intention.
    Last time I checked the practice of buying for a certain price then selling for a higher one was called "business".
    Whether it's opportunistic is irrelevant and just as the losers don't understand the concept of not having to pay TT prices they also seem to forget that if they could be bothered they too could be a "scalper".
    But I'm sure they'll have some self righteous excuse to explain why they don't
     
  14. Jari K

    Jari K Well-Known Member

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    "We get it - you don't want to pay TT prices. So don't - it really is that simple."Look at what Criterion is giving us fans in the (roughly) same price range: It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World. You can read the reviews if you don't believe me. Hell, even the DVD is thrown into the package.It's not that "we" can't pay 30 bucks for a BD release. It's just that for that price you need a bit more than just some existing HD transfer from the studio vaults. Any decent BD company can do that. But I guess only TT has guts to charge 30$ for it.I've ordered Mad x4 World, btw.
     
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  15. bluelaughaminute

    bluelaughaminute Well-Known Member

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    As has already been pointed out .
    If you can't grasp the TT business model by now you never will.

    You answered your own complaint with your opening line. Your quote from my post remains as valid as it was before your comments.

    I could point out several other releases that include more discs , more bonus features and more versions of the main film than IAMMMMW at cheaper prices than TT charge for their basic discs but I won't as the concept of the TT series is clear to me

    You're just repeating the same argument as others have done ad infinitum.
    You need more for your $30 so you don't buy from TT. Fair enough.

    For other people , a Bluray disc of a particular title is worth paying $30 and more even if it has no bonus features.
    TT titles are mostly niche titles - so why aren't you complaining to Sony and the other studios who are licencing some titles to TT that really shouldn't be classified as niche ?
     
  16. Jeffrey Nelson

    Jeffrey Nelson Well-Known Member

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    It's not supposedly superior; it's just plain superior. My friend and I both bought the TT version, and then heard the Arrow version was from a newer transfer, and he bought the Arrow and brought it over, and it easily blows the TT disc out of the water in all respects. Not TT's fault, of course; they were stuck with the transfer they had.I like TT and own many of their fine releases; my only beef is with SAE's garbage website (incapable of handling the traffic during special promotions for hotly desired items) and their lousy customer service (publicly blaming customers for their own website glitches during the aforementioned promotions). It's a great pity TT is saddled with such a rotten e-tailer.
     
  17. bluelaughaminute

    bluelaughaminute Well-Known Member

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    Not a film I've purchased but the ongoing comparisons I've seen have comments that seem to rate the TT version as better for certain elements and the Arrow version for others . But as I said it's not one I've bought - my issue was with the Roobarb clique who's endless comments about the TT disc is just for them to feel smug about apparently getting one over on the "mugs" who support TT.
     
  18. RobHam

    RobHam Well-Known Member

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  19. Persianimmortal

    Persianimmortal Well-Known Member

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    Simple question: would Criterion release Titus on Blu-ray? Are the films Criterion usually releases at the same level of popularity, or lack thereof, as Titus? If the honest answer is probably not, and Titus is too niche or unpopular even for Criterion, then why would you expect Twilight Time to release this movie at the same price, and with the same extras, as a Criterion Collection release?

    This always comes back to a lack of understanding, and I now have to agree with Robin9, based on the recent evidence in this thread, a willful lack of understanding of the Twilight Time business model. Many of the movies TT brings us would never be released on Blu-ray by anyone, anywhere, period. A refresher from the Nick Redman interview I linked to earlier:

    He goes on to explain that:
    So basically, and for the umpteenth time: Twilight Time is taking a risk each time it releases a title, that the title will sell enough copies (roughly two-thirds of the run needs to sell) for them to break even. The big sellers like Christine fund the smaller sellers like Titus. And the limited production run is how TT affords to pay up front for licensing each title, which in turn is why the studio licenses it to them in the first place (i.e. no risk for the studio, they get their cash up-front). This is not Criterion, many of these are not Criterion-level movies, and TT is very obviously a labor of love if you look at both the presentation and the selection of movies.
     
  20. JohnMor

    JohnMor Premium
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    But you are overlooking the very simple fact that if they struck a new HD transfer, loaded the release with extras and released it for $15-$20, they would sell hundreds of thousands and be as super rich as Criterion and the all the studios and the discs would FLY off the shelves and all their losses would be covered. Simple business 101. The average consumer is waiting for each of these titles, as long as the quality is higher and the price is lower. ;)
     
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