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TWILIGHT RELEASES LACK OF INTEREST

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Ernest, Mar 21, 2014.

  1. Nick*Z

    Nick*Z Well-Known Member

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    Can we just agree that at this late stage in the Blu-ray catalogue mastering game it's just plain ridiculous for Blu-rays to be 'region locked'!!! I realize I am deviating from the conversation slightly, but TT titles are always region free and that alone ought to improve their sales - provided people around the world are aware they exist. I've seen far too many titles I would kill to own in hi-def that have only been released in the UK. or Australia or France that are region B locked. What's the point?!?! Especially since this discussion thread seems to be focusing on the fact that North American releases continue to dip to an all time low.

    Just a few other points to consider: while both TT and Criterion have - for the most part - endeavored to give us pristine quality of catalogue titles in hi-def, Olive has been the real junk dealer of the 'boutique' labels. I wouldn't give you two pennies for the quality of most of their releases. Even the ones that get advertised as 'restorations' like High Noon or The Big Combo have severe quality issues; riddled in age-related artifacts, bad audio, waaaay too much DNR, etc. Quantity ought never be confused with quality and quality is decidedly NOT what we're getting from Olive!!!

    While there have been one or two titles released via Criterion and TT that have had suspect quality issues (Ministry of Fear and Titus respectively) by far and large both companies understand that their bread and butter is in the 'niche' market of high-quality releases. We need to say please and thank you to these companies and not continue to bash their price points. We also need to help them along by raiding their back log on Screen Archives and buying out whatever is left of their inventories to show our support for the exceptional work that they do. Personally, I own one copy of EVERY TT release. While not everyone can afford to, we can most certainly do our very best to promote the company to friends, family and co-workers who we know would like a particular title that TT currently owns and is marketing in hi-def.

    Word of mouth will keep the niche alive when nothing else seems to. But I too agree that 'collecting' just isn't as fun as it used to be. Reason? Well, for starters, let's consider the absence of so many great movies still MIA in hi-def from Warner Home Video; a company that LOVES to repackage 10 to 20 titles already remastered and keep releasing them again and again while a ton of great movies in their repository molder with the past. Warner's archive is so vast it's an embarrassment of riches. If we can't find Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, The Band Wagon, The Big Sleep, The Sea Hawk, etc. in hi-def, where is the hope for 'minor' titles? Warner used to be savvy in DVD about releasing high profile titles like the aforementioned with lesser known titles to raise the public's awareness that these titles actually existed.

    Having dropped that ball, Warner now seems content to concentrate on their WB Archive instead and Fox has followed suit with their abysmal burn on demand discs. But Fox has also stepped up its game in Blu-ray considerably in the last year and a half. Who would have ever thought we'd have The Agony and the Ecstasy on Blu looking as magnificent as it does...or The Inn of the Sixth Happiness for that matter. Could Anastasia (1956) and Two For the Road be far off.

    The last holdout is, of course, Disney who refuse to look into their live-action catalogue as yet and mine it for its potential. But now I really have moved away from the purpose of discussion in this TT thread. Bottom line: support TT and Criterion in what they do and they'll continue to do it - WELL!!!
     
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  2. Richard M S

    Richard M S Well-Known Member

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    Oh without a doubt buying laser discs for me years ago was very exciting - the amount of "from the vault" material added to the musicals was especially astonishing, but those days are gone........that being said, I feel like I am reading versions of this thread everywhere these days.

    Substitute the word "opera" or "classical music" and this could be posted on Parterre.com.

    Substitute "bar' or "club" and this could be a thread about the declining interests in going out to drink/dance.

    Even substitute "automobile" and find articles and comment sections loaded with similar stories about how people are satisfied with public transportation and have no interest in buying a new, or even used car.

    It all comes down to the lack of income (note I don't say disposable income) - I mean income, period.

    Until that improves, nothing will change.
     
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  3. jcroy

    jcroy Well-Known Member

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    How much of this thinking (whether real or perceived) is largely due to age?

    (ie. The "good old days" type of mentality).
     
  4. Richard M S

    Richard M S Well-Known Member

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    Since much of what people have posted is very numbers based (sales figures, units sold, profits earned, physical stores, etc.) , age is probably less a factor than you would think.
     
  5. Ed Lachmann

    Ed Lachmann Well-Known Member

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    Sadly, the "good old days", in the case of streaming, is ever owning a real palpable piece of real estate like a blu-ray disc EVER again, that is unless the studios allow those who "buy" a downloaded movie to burn it onto a BD-R. I, for one, am totally uninterested in the process if this can't be made a part of it. Seems silly in that I doubt that any of those "young whippersnappers" who are so devoted to streaming would ever even think of ordering something like SOLOMON AND SHEBA even for a single viewing. Talk about "slow sales"! It would be nice, however, if companies like Amazon, Warners or iTunes would hire a nice high school student who needed a summer job to burn BD-Rs of ALREADY HD mastered movies sans anything but the disc and a snap case for a price of say $30 to placate the remaining neanderthal relics who would love to own a piece of their misspent youth before wandering off into the big dirt sleep. Of course, old hippies love conspiracy theories and mine is that turning the world into a pay/watch once digital movie theater is exactly the studios' vision of the future. Owning a movie one loves is a relatively new phenomenon, still amazing to me, and it's sad to see it die so young. Still, I now OWN a BD of my beloved 300 SPARTANS and "they can't take that away from me" and will have to "pry it out of my cold dead hands" to get it back!
     
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  6. ROclockCK

    ROclockCK Premium
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    What I miss most in this brave new world of home video, is the lifelong passion of fans like Ed for a fave movie like 300 Spartans, which I'm sure he's seen and owned in multiple home video formats. For me, the equivalent would be Mysterious Island, which, thanks to some superb work by Grover Crisp and his Sony asset team is now closest to - and even exceeds - my original matinee memories from 50 years ago. Ditto for the recent release of The Blue Max...again, they might as well have tied a big red bow on top of each case, because that movie will never look or sound better than it does via TT's release. Even if the technology permits further diminishing returns enhancements, what studio marketing team, realistically, will fund another go at it?

    To me this is a very 'Dickensian' time in the history of home video - it's the best, because studios are still responding to the residual niche demand for catalogue by gradually restoring and remastering at least some of their legacy libraries in high def - but also it's the worst, because of all the great movie memories that have not yet been given (and might never be given) such definitive home video treatment. And of course, coupled with that is the realization that this remastering effort is more about the Studios' future streaming and download plans, rather than current Blu-ray disc delivery, which is merely a transitional, sidebar, niche outlet. At some point though with all of this vintage stuff (and I think we've reached it), the Studio will consider the title done, and do no more with it. Fin de Siècle.

    So I'm just grateful it's getting done, and generally getting done very well, and there are labels like TT willing to front the dough necessary to release as much of it as their means permit. After all that I've spent over the years on some of these 'touchstone' titles from my youth, TT's $30 price point for their routinely best-that-exists level of presentation is almost ridiculously low. You only have to look at some of the actual selling prices for Mysterious Island on eBay to hammer home the point that some of these movies are not just ephemeral 'product'...to at least a few thousand of us, they're long-treasured movie dreams worth much, much more.

    Regardless how niche, that's still a market worth serving...somehow...by someone. Unfortunately, the masses never have understood - and never will understand - how a "mere movie" on Blu-ray could be worth a C-note more to someone than that same title on DVD for $5 bucks. Heck, even $30 is too much.

    They simply do not share that same passion.
     
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  7. Ed Lachmann

    Ed Lachmann Well-Known Member

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    Thank you, Steve! I'm sure that the folks at TT must be frustrated at having to walk such a thin line between the old time classic movie lovers and those who want horror and late 70's to present titles. Although I'd love to buy many more from them to "help the cause", I don't need USED CARS, WILD AT HEART, FEVER PITCH, MINDWARP or CHRISTINE in my collection simply because I'd never watch them. Conversely, there are plenty who would shun DESIREE, although that's just the sort of thing I rush to buy. Of course, I did pick up four copies of THE EGYPTIAN, four of DEMETRIUS and a couple KHARTOUMs, so I guess I've been doing my part.
     
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  8. Bob Cashill

    Bob Cashill Well-Known Member

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    Discussions like this are based on a false premise, that there were good old days to begin with. Catalog titles have rarely been huge sellers to a mass audience, and I doubt streams are renting or selling in droves, either. Mindful of the uphill battle to market these things to anyone beyond the folks participating in this thread, some of whom have said their catalog needs have already been met, I'm grateful to those distributors still feeding our habit. And I'm happy to see that The Birdcage, which as a new release was among the first DVDs released, is making the leap to Blu as a catalog title.
     
  9. MatthewA

    MatthewA Well-Known Member

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    Many young people (anyone under 35) aren't buying these titles because:

    —They don't know they exist.
    —They don't feel like spending $35 on a single film they've never heard of when they can rent a movie in HD from a streaming service for the same amount as a VHS rental used to cost at Blockbuster in the 1990s, and buy it for $15.
    —They can't afford to buy all these movies at once.

    Would they if they knew they existed? I don't know. "Old" movies aren't shown on mainstream TV like they used to be, they're all in niche channels.
     
  10. JoeDoakes

    JoeDoakes Premium
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    Why?
     
  11. Ed Lachmann

    Ed Lachmann Well-Known Member

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    Two of the first two (personal grails) are mine, one of each stored away "just in case", the others as birthday and Christmas gifts to fellow codgers who like those titles almost as much as I do. Bob, the "good old days" were when you could buy a VHS or Laserdisc of GREED, THE STUDENT PRINCE, FOUR HORSEMEN OF THE APOCALYPSE, THE WIND and THE CROWD among others. It wasn't such a crushing financial burden for the studios to do that sort of thing back then.
     
  12. Keith Cobby

    Keith Cobby Well-Known Member

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    I have posted before that I am buying about 10% of titles I bought on DVD as blu-rays. The reasons for this are twofold. Firstly many of the films have not yet been released on blu-ray but the second, and most important reason, is that the DVD format provided the opportunity for many films to be seen for the first time. A majority of these films I won't watch again and therefore wouldn't upgrade to blu-ray even if they became available. Through streaming/downloading you can satisfy your curiosity without buying a disc.Therefore sales will continue to diminish as the collector base grows older.
     
  13. ROclockCK

    ROclockCK Premium
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    Well, that's another factor Keith. I've seen folks on other sites saying they watched some of these movies on YouTube to guage interest...as if that medium could remotely do any film justice. Seems rather a perverse practice to me actually, but it does address that passion thing again. I mean, I would never allow my first encounter with any previously unseen work to be via such debased A/V specs.

    *sigh* just that infernal 'good enough' culture we live in...and with now. Just a movie. Just product. More media sausage...
     
  14. MichaelEl

    MichaelEl Well-Known Member

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    Whether or a not an older film will benefit from Blu-Ray depends entirely on the print used for the transfer. I have a number of Blu-Rays of older films where the upgrade from the DVD actually isn't all that noticeable. While there might be isolated scenes on these Blu-Rays where the image pops a little, the overall experience is about the same as the DVD. My guess is that a film print that is several generations removed from the original negative probably has an effective resolution no better than 480p.

    Remember also that a lot of DVDs were transferred way back in the late 90s/early 2000s, so that the big upgrade you see with some Blu-Rays might simply be due to the poor compression of the DVD. A newly-mastered dual-layer DVD would also look much better than the original release.

    Given these factors, it makes sense for people to check reviews before they upgrade a DVD to Blu-Ray, and this is especially true at TT prices.
     
  15. EddieLarkin

    EddieLarkin Well-Known Member

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    I too hold the opinion that one cannot truly gauge their enjoyment of a film if they're watching it under compromised circumstances. Barring a few ultra rare titles that are almost certainly only going to remain available on DVD (or even worse, Criterion's Hulu channel), I watch everything via Blu-ray on my 50 inch plasma (which will hopefully be a projector in a couple more years).

    I watch about 500 films every year, (of which about 0.1% are at the cinema). Expensive hobby. But I cannot abide compromised viewing experiences, especially if it's the first time I'm watching a film. So I shell out for the Blu-ray, every time. If I don't like it, I can put it on ebay (funnily enough, this has yet to happen). £1,000 on TT product so far, and I don't regret a penny, despite being "only" 25 years old with little income. I like to think it's passion that drives me.
     
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  16. revgen

    revgen Well-Known Member

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    My interest is mostly in 3D, Film Noir, and Pre-Code era films.

    All of which TT typically lacks.

    Otherwise, I'd just buy them for gifts.

    If TT made A Hatful of Rain (1957) available on Blu from Fox, I'd buy it instantly. So far, it's only available in P&S from Fox MOD.
     
  17. JohnMor

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    True, but that is not what I was talking about. I'm talking the widely held belief that older films and black and white films don't "belong" on Blu-ray at all. That they cannot benefit from hi-def, regardless of the quality of the print and/or transfer.
     
  18. JohnMor

    JohnMor Premium
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    And let's not overlook that when all three 30-something'ish contestants on "Jeopardy" have never heard of "I Love Lucy," what hope does something like Solomon and Sheba have in the future? (That happened about 2 months ago: Alex Trebek ended up saying, "A bit before your time, I guess..." to them after none of them had buzzed in on the question.) This is a different time now. In some ways, I think we're all a little bit like Norma Desmond, not wanting to admit the world is passing us by. We look at these old classics and we see quality, like an Isotta Fraschini, but most people today just wonder why we want to keep those old jalopies when we can stream newer, "better" movies and watch them on our iPads.
     
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  19. ROclockCK

    ROclockCK Premium
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    The irony John is I see a lot of very recent titles lying around unsold in bins within mere weeks and months of release. So how much of this stuff blowing through the plexes these days will even be remembered in 2 years, much less 20?

    Again, where's the passion? Just product. Modern moviegoers merely consume, and move on to the next tidbit from the same recipe. Where's that elusive creative quality which still draws you back after 20, 30, 40, or 50 years?
     
  20. Cinescott

    Cinescott Well-Known Member

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