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The straight story on Sony's upcoming Godzilla DVD's

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Joseph Goodman, Jul 7, 2002.

  1. Joseph Goodman

    Joseph Goodman Well-Known Member

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    As those here interested know, the upcoming Godzilla DVD's Sony is distributing will be pan&scan, except for "Godzilla, King Of The Monsters" and "Rodan", which were not widescreen films to begin with. Information has come to light that these DVD's are not actually Sony product, but products of Classic Media LLC. Here, Keith Aiken, an artist who has worked with Sony on shows such as the animated US Godzilla series, explains the situation (taken from a Godzilla message board):

    "I was curious why a group of films were announced as coming from both Classic Media and Sony. I did a little asking around and here's what I found out..."

    "1 Sony is not involved in the manufacture or content of the discs. A company called Classic Media is making the dvds."

    "2 Classic Media took over Henry Saperstein's company UPA last year. Saperstein was involved in producing several of Toho's films from 1964-75 and holds the US right to 5 Godzilla movies, WAR OF THE GARGANTUAS, FRANKENSTEIN CONQUERS THE WORLD, and RODAN."

    "3 Simitar was not some small company . It was affiliated with Paramount, who had previously distributed UPA's films to home video. Simitar simply packaged material provided by UPA, including the beautiful widescreen prints and the edited TERROR OF MG. Since Classic Media owns/is UPA they already have the exact same materials and could use them again. Classic Media wouldn't have to get widescreen prints from Toho. If the new dvds are pan&scan/mono, that's CM's choice."

    "4 Since Simitar is gone, Sony is handling the distribution of the dvds for Classic Media. They got involved because of their involvement with Toho. For some strange reason, CM and Toho consider Sony's huge distribution capabilities an asset for Godzilla. If you don't like the new dvds, talk to Classic Media. Pointing the finger at Sony is like blaming the postman because you hated a letter you received."

    "Just to make it really clear, here's each company's involvement :"

    "TOHO: Renewed agreement with former license holder UPA (now Classic Media)."

    "CLASSIC MEDIA: Making the dvds. Has all the material (including widescreen prints) from UPA."

    "SONY: Distributing discs made by a smaller company. Not making the dvds."


    So since Classic Media are to blame for the pan&scan decision, here's how to contact them:

    Classic Media
    435 Hudson Street
    New York, NY 10014
    (212) 741-7009

    Sadly, they do not seem to have any web presence.


    Thanks to all the other Godzilla fans who dug this info up so I could copy&paste it here!
     
  2. David Lambert

    David Lambert Well-Known Member

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  3. Joseph Goodman

    Joseph Goodman Well-Known Member

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    The thing about Simitar having to pull their Godzilla DVD's is apparently not true in the least, while it is seemingly true that UPA had lost the rights to Godzilla products years before (about 1994-ish). Toho was *very* upset with the releases, but more for the reason that they feared the reverse importation (Japanese fans snapped up the Simitar discs in large numbers) would hurt sales of future DVD releases of Toho's own. From what I've read, Toho and Simitar reached an agreement where the discs could remain for sale, but Simitar couldn't release any of the other UPA-Toho titles ("War Of The Gargantuas", "Rodan", "Frankenstein Conquers The World").


    The Sony/Toho remake deal was made around 1993, and has very little to do with this mess.

    "Godzilla 2000" was picked up by Sony along with the anime "Metropolis" as a wholly seperate deal from the remake.
     
  4. Jeffrey Gray

    Jeffrey Gray Well-Known Member

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    Why doesn't Columbia just take the R2 DVDs, add an English subtitle track to the film and all bonus features, and convert them to R1? Why is it that only the UPA ones have been given official video releases in recent years, and that only the dubbed, P&S prints have been released (for the most part)?
     
  5. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Well-Known Member

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  6. Joseph Goodman

    Joseph Goodman Well-Known Member

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    Tell me more about this DVD Subber thingamajig... I'd love to be able to watch the R2 discs with English subs without giving money to bootleggers.
     
  7. William-V

    William-V Well-Known Member

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    I was looking at the Godzilla: King of the Monsters DVD from Sony last week and I'm thinking of picking it up. I just wonder if it is much better than my Simitar version. Can anyone who has it tell me if there is much of an improvement for this release in picture quality or if there are any extras?
     
  8. William-V

    William-V Well-Known Member

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    anybody?
     

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