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I talked to Josh at Warner Bros. today! Cats & Dogs will be available in Widescreen!


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#1 of 28 OFFLINE   David Lambert

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Posted September 24 2001 - 09:47 AM

I got in touch with Phong during the past couple of days, and he's still been so busy that he hadn't had a chance to follow up with Josh Sabarro (sic?) at Warner Bros.

So, again, I took it upon myself to call Josh up and speak to him about the questions posed in Phong's last e-mail to him, which have gone unanswered for almost a month now.

There's some good news, some...well, judge for yourself. Here's a summary of the conversation (just about everything is paraphrased, I didn't tape it or anything, but all wording is true to the spirit of the conversation):


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Q: Did you get Phong's e-mail?
A: No, our e-mail has been sporadic here for the past 3 weeks. Sometimes we get it, sometimes we don't. Please apologize to Phong for me; I truly didn't know he'd sent one.

Q: Why isn't the Wonka Widescreen DVD available for pre-order yet at most retailers? Why don't the retailers seem to know about it yet?
A: That's a marketing dept. issue, and I work in the publicity dept., talking to the media. I just don't have an answer to those questions.

Q: Will Cats & Dogs be available in Widescreen?
A: Yes. Two versions will be available separately for that title. One in Widescreen, one in Fullscreen.


Q: What about Shiloh and Shiloh 2?
A: (Reads press releases aloud to me, same ones I've seen online). No, it just doesn't say here. Hold on while I finish another call and then check. (Puts me on hold, comes back about 10 minutes later.) I think it's going to be in Fullscreen.
Q: (long pause) So no Widescreen versions will be made available of these 2?
A: I don't know, but I don't think so. Maybe they will, and it just hasn't filtered in yet. You see, we don't actually have a policy like "all family films will be in one format or the other". We consider each title separately, based on the materials and resources available to us.
(At this point I gave him input that it takes more resources to Pan & Scan a title when the OAR is Widescreen, I mentioned the general attitude at HTF of "NO OAR = NO SALE", and politely let him know that there will be disappointment here over this. He responded, as he has in the past, that he understood but that he didn't make those decisions himself. I replied that I understood that, but, as his job is publicity, and that incorporates public relations, that I was merely providing input that he ought to pass on the decision-makers. He said that he would, and that he always does. He then thanked me - and Phong - for always having such civil discussions with him; that it was a pleasure compared to the usually irate calls he handles when he normally gets passed calls from consumers instead of his normal discussion point, which is media people.)


Q: Back to Wonka. Will anyone who bought the Wonka Fullscreen version in error be able to "upgrade" to the Widescreen edition?
A: Noone has made me aware of any such plan. Since the Widescreen title was announced before the Fullscreen one streeted, then I suspect that they won't.
Q: But retailers didn't know about the widescreen version coming; for around two weeks not anybody in any store near me seemed to have a clue about it unless I told them myself. So lots of consumers everywhere had to get the fullscreen version in error.
A: I'll pass that on, but so far I don't know what they plan to do about that. Again, it might be an issue for the marketing dept.

Q: The voice-over on the last scene of Lord of the Rings is different on the DVD compared to the VHS. Any idea whether or not the Lord of the Rings ending was changed specifically for the DVD, or whether it was taken from an alternate version of the film than the one used for the VHS release?
A: I don't know. Honestly, I've never seen the film. Noone around here has brought it up, so I just don't know either way.


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Okay, that covers the conversation. I really want to THANK Josh for taking the time to talk to me, especially since he said up front he was swamped and furthermore he knows I'm going to post it here on HTF, pretty much as-is.

I think many of you will say that the conversation makes Josh look bad. I don't agree. He was VERY NICE, and DID HIS BEST to answer questions that *just aren't in his area* of day-to-day work. That's no crime; we all do that at our own jobs every day.

I'll also point out that some of his answers are opinions or assumptions, and in no way should reflect for dead sure what WB will or won't do in the future. I'd say that the only for-sure answer we got here is "Cats & Dogs will be available in widescreen".

Note that the C&D news means that, if you've pre-ordered it anywhere, you should find out whether the SKU you pre-ordered will result in you getting a FS or a WS version of the DVD. Personally, IF I had pre-ordered it, I'd cancel my preorder and reorder it when the issue is clear. Of course, with a 10/16 release date, time is running low! So I'll just be picking it up at a B&M store like Best Buy to be sure I get the right (OAR) one.

The rest of it, we can bring up in the WB chat. Or, some other HTFer can call someone else at WB (whose job IS to have the answers to this stuff) and ask them.

Mind you, in either case we don't need to get Josh in hot water by taking the approach of "Josh said...". That's the for-certain way to preclude his help in the future, if necessary.

I hope you all find this helpful, even if it's just by way of pointing up to WB (through other avenues of input) what it is we do and don't want to see in our DVD's.

And, NO...I did NOT bring up the issue of Snappers, or any other area of concern. I didn't want to turn it into a bash session. Posted Image

Cheers,

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#2 of 28 OFFLINE   Mark McLeod

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Posted September 24 2001 - 09:55 AM

David,

Thanks for the information. I'll be sure to rent a copy of the OAR version when this comes out.

Mark


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#3 of 28 OFFLINE   Matt Wooten

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Posted September 24 2001 - 11:29 AM

dave glad to know that someone is out there with good news and it comes from someone in memphis!!! YEA!!!

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#4 of 28 OFFLINE   Scott-S

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Posted September 24 2001 - 11:04 PM

Just to let you know, I noticed the Wonka Widescreen now available for pre-order on Amazon.




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#5 of 28 OFFLINE   David Lambert

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Posted September 25 2001 - 12:17 AM

Scott - So it is!:
http://www.amazon.co....835826-7391260


Matt - You wouldn't be related to Willard Wooten, would you? He's a coworker and neighbor of mine. Always good to hear from a fellow Memphian!

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#6 of 28 OFFLINE   Joshua Clinard

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Posted September 25 2001 - 03:11 AM

I am glad to hear the Cat's and Dogs will be widescreen. Sad to hear that they are going to be seperate releases though. Also glad to find out Amazon.com finaaly was the widescreen DVD up for Preorder.

Widescreen Wonka Sales Rank - 2923

Fullscreen Wonka Sales Rank - 34

Looks like we have a long way to go!

#7 of 28 OFFLINE   Gord Lacey

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Posted September 25 2001 - 11:45 AM

David,

totally off topic, but I've been trying to reach you to get your opinion of something. It's rather hard since you don't have an email address and don't accept messages on the HTF. Would you drop me a line at bluefrog@home.com so I can contact you?

Sorry to just post in a random thread. I feel like an idiot for doing so.

Oh, and thanks for posting about Cats and Dogs.

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#8 of 28 OFFLINE   Patrick McCart

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Posted September 25 2001 - 11:49 AM

Well, that means we just need to focus on WB's ancient first-batch of DVD's with open matte transfers.

Shiloh 2 was direct-to-video and Shiloh was given a brief theatrical run. I dunno if Shiloh 1 was a direct-to-video movie-to-theaters movie, though.

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[Edited last by PatrickMcCart on September 25, 2001 at 06:51 PM]

#9 of 28 OFFLINE   David Lambert

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Posted September 25 2001 - 12:39 PM

Gord, there's a reason I don't lightly share my e-mail out there. I'm not trying to be a jerk about it, but there is a reason and I won't go into it here.

Can you tell me what the subject is first? Or give me a clue as to why you think that I would have a valid or expert opinion on whatever the subject is, since you and I are strangers?

Maybe it's something we can start a thread on in the "After Hours Lounge". I just established a thread here (I don't think that's against the rules or anything):
http://www.hometheat....ML/005236.html

Just to be sure we're on the same page, I'll say up front that I'm not interested in either buying anything or in making extra money. Posted Image

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#10 of 28 OFFLINE   Mark Pfeiffer

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Posted September 25 2001 - 02:12 PM

Shiloh 2 may have had a very short theatrical release, but it did have one. It was screened for us critics prior to playing as part of a local theater's summer children's program. I don't imagine it played in many theaters, but it was at one point intended for the big screen.

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#11 of 28 OFFLINE   Matt Wooten

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Posted September 25 2001 - 04:33 PM

Dave, no sorry no relation to Willard... come Star Wars DVD time.. im moving my happy self up to Sound Underground and buggin em to let me watch the lightsaber duel in all their great speakers. 6.1.. hahaha Posted Image

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#12 of 28 OFFLINE   Stan T

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Posted September 25 2001 - 05:56 PM

So does that mean that "Cats & Dogs" will have widescreen & fullscreen on the same disc or will they have one release for widescreen & a seperate disc release for fullscreen? The only preorder I have seen for this title is the 1 version released in October. I have it on preorder & I want to make sure that it will be anamorphic 16x9 widescreen.

#13 of 28 OFFLINE   Inspector Hammer!

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Posted September 25 2001 - 07:10 PM

Alright! I love it when a plan comes together!

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#14 of 28 OFFLINE   Stan T

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Posted September 26 2001 - 08:24 AM

Anyone know the answer to my question above. Will they have "Cats & Dogs" fullscreen & widescreen on the same disc or will they have 2 releases seperately - one for widescreen & one for fullscreen?

I have it on order at Amazon & want to make sure it has a 16x9 enhanced widescreen version on the disc.

Thanks for the reply.



#15 of 28 OFFLINE   James Nguyen

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Posted September 26 2001 - 08:42 AM

Stan,

Quote:
Q: Will Cats & Dogs be available in Widescreen?
A: Yes. Two versions will be available separately for that title. One in Widescreen, one in Fullscreen.

So to answer your question, there will be two separate releases of Cats and Dogs. I'd check your pre-order to figure out which SKU you now have on pre-order. I.e. does the existing SKU now belong to the widescreen anamorphic or for the pan and scan.

HTH

#16 of 28 OFFLINE   Stan T

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Posted September 26 2001 - 08:50 AM

James in answer to your question I haven't been able to find any online retailers with 2 versions available for preorder. Are they going to be released on the same day? Anyone know of any online retailers that have both versions available for order? Amazon only has 1 version & it doesn't say fullscreen or anamorphic.

#17 of 28 OFFLINE   James Nguyen

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Posted September 26 2001 - 08:57 AM

It's doubtful that retailers have been supplied both SKUs yet, so I'd be patient. If you really wanted to be safe, you could always cancel for now and then check in a few days, weeks, etc. to see what the status is.

I don't believe any thread I've seen has mentioned the specifics for the release date of the two versions (i.e. simultaneous or more along the lines of Willy Wonka or Charlotte's Web)..

What was the original release date again?

#18 of 28 OFFLINE   Stan T

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Posted September 26 2001 - 08:59 AM

The release date at all online retailers for "Cats & Dogs" is October 16th. That's less than 3 weeks away. It seems if there was going to be a seperate release in widescreen that it already would have been mentioned since the date is less than 3 weeks away.

#19 of 28 OFFLINE   David Lambert

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Posted September 26 2001 - 02:28 PM

James, thanks for the assist.

Stan, I'll re-print what I said above:

Quote:
Note that the C&D news means that, if you've pre-ordered it anywhere, you should find out whether the SKU you pre-ordered will result in you getting a FS or a WS version of the DVD. Personally, IF I had pre-ordered it, I'd cancel my preorder and reorder it when the issue is clear. Of course, with a 10/16 release date, time is running low! So I'll just be picking it up at a B&M store like Best Buy to be sure I get the right (OAR) one.

As I indicated before, I realize that all the online retailers only show 1 SKU right now. Josh sort of indicated that the info isn't "out there" yet about the two separate releases. He didn't say if both would be same date or not, and I apologize but I didn't think to ask.

I would assume that, unless you are certain otherwise, that any disc that gets delivered based on a 10/16 release date will be fullscreen. Like I said, I myself will wait until I can hold an OAR copy in my hands and take it up to the cash register personally! Posted Image

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Did you want us to respect your cause? You just damned your cause.
Did you want to make us fear? You just steeled our resolve.
Did you want to tear us apart? You just brought us together.

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#20 of 28 OFFLINE   Ben Silva

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Posted September 27 2001 - 01:15 AM

I hate to be the voice of dissent in all this happiness over widescreen Cats & Dogs, but I am the only one who found this movie incredibly boring and badly made?

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