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Hell in the Pacific: MGM give Boorman the shaft again?


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32 replies to this topic

#1 of 33 OFFLINE   Jeff Ulmer

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Posted February 16 2004 - 03:15 AM

From the looks of things, MGM's forthcoming reissue of Hell in the Pacific looks to be the same crappy transfer we got on the previous Anchor Bay release if the initial specs at Amazon are to be believed.

Boorman fans are getting the shaft again. Posted Image

#2 of 33 OFFLINE   soop.spoon

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Posted February 16 2004 - 04:42 AM

You have no idea how much this pisses me off... but don't blame MGM. This falls squarely on Disney.

Disney is supplying MGM with the same piece-o-crap transfer that they supplied Anchor Bay with. In fact, so far ALL lf the Anchor Bay/ABC titles have just been rehashed, with the next bunch finding the same fate (Junior Bonner, Shalako, Spacecamp, Last Valley, etc)

What a huge lost opportunity to revisit some excellent films.

Shame on Disney!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

#3 of 33 OFFLINE   John Hodson

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Posted February 16 2004 - 05:07 AM

It's a disgrace and the only way I can give Disney the message is not hand over my dollars for these insults; I love these films, but really, it's time to take a stand.

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#4 of 33 OFFLINE   Randy A Salas

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Posted February 16 2004 - 05:46 AM

It's not clear if the upcoming MGM DVD will have the original ending that was included on the Anchor Bay disc as a separately viewed extra. MGM's press material says nothing about it, so I've asked for clarification (although I'm not hopeful). The listed running time of the MGM DVD is one minute longer than the Anchor Bay version, so I hope the MGM DVD contains the original ending as part of the film, the European cut. We'll see...
Randy A. Salas
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#5 of 33 OFFLINE   Bob Cashill

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Posted February 16 2004 - 06:03 AM

Not to hijack this thread, but Boorman's fine autobiography, ADVENTURES OF A SUBURBAN BOY, is now available. I picked it up from Amazon for $10.

#6 of 33 OFFLINE   Jeff Ulmer

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Posted February 16 2004 - 06:17 AM

Thanks for the heads up on the book, Bob.

If this is really Disney's fault, I wish MGM would have the guts to demand a proper transfer, after all, once everyone discovers these are the same as the old discs, how many of them are they really going to sell?

There are a number of former Anchor Bay titles slated for this year, including some of Disney's own productions, which better not be rehashes. I'm assuming the Ring of Bright Water reissue is just a repack as well then.

We were chatting with MGM before the release of (nonanamorphic) Hope and Glory, at which time I asked if Boorman was involved, and they indicated they hadn't even thought of asking for his participation. The case may be different with MGM, but Boorman didn't seem to have an issue dealing with Fox on the Zardoz disc once I made him aware that it was coming, despite being in South America at the time. I hope Warner has the sense to get him involved when they get around to releasing their titles.

#7 of 33 OFFLINE   BryanV

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Posted February 17 2004 - 06:07 AM

Wow Disney disapoints me twice in one month.

(first was the non ws version of "Follow Me Boys")

#8 of 33 OFFLINE   Ted Todorov

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Posted February 17 2004 - 08:38 AM

What's the deal with Point Blank? Any hope for a DVD in our lifetimes?

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#9 of 33 OFFLINE   John Hodson

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Posted February 17 2004 - 08:54 AM

What's the deal with Point Blank? Any hope for a DVD in our lifetimes?


In their last chat, Warners didn't hold out any hope (quite the reverse). However, Sunday's Acadamy Fellowship award to Boorman at the BAFTAs, may sway a decision by someone, somewhere. We can only hope.

I loved Boorman's story of drunkenly driving round LA with a comatose Lee Marvin clinging to the roof. Inevitably they were pulled over by a cop, and Boorman feared the worst. However the blue knight took one look at Marvin, said 'hi'...and waved them on into the night...

---
So many films, so little time..
So many films, so little time...
Film Journal Blog
Lt. Col. Thursday: Beaufort; no preliminary nonsense with him, no ceremonial phrasing. Straight from the shoulder as I tell you, do you hear me? They're recalcitrant swine and they must feel it...


#10 of 33 OFFLINE   Randy A Salas

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Posted February 19 2004 - 12:15 AM

Well, I heard back from MGM. Sigh.

MGM, on whether the upcoming release of Hell in the Pacific will include the alternate ending that was on the Anchor Bay DVD:
Quote:
It is a title that we picked up from Disney, and they kept all materials except for the ones that we specifically used for the DVD, so we have nothing to reference it against. There is not an alternate ending on the disc. Our legal and production teams are watching all of the elements and contacting Disney to see what we can find. Basically, there is no easy answer, or any complete answer, yet.

Two glimmers of hope here: 1) Perhaps my inquiry will lead to something being added to the disc that wasn't originally planned, since it has not actually been manufactured yet. The wording makes it seem as if MGM is at least rechecking its material after I asked. 2) Perhaps the slightly longer running time means that MGM was given the European print with Boorman's original ending. We'll have to wait and see.

Anyone reposting this info elsewhere must credit the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
Randy A. Salas
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#11 of 33 OFFLINE   Anthony Neilson

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Posted February 19 2004 - 12:27 AM

It really puzzles me that POINT BLANK's been so neglected. It's a much admired film and a fairly popular one ; and yet it's never been available (in the UK, anyway) in its OAR on any format. In fact, I can't remember it having been released full stop. I've only ever seen it on TV, in a 1:85 crop.

Anyone know what Warner's problem is ?
I've been going to bed early . . .

#12 of 33 OFFLINE   John Hodson

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Posted February 19 2004 - 12:31 AM

Well Zardoz proved that Boorman's up for a commentary; but the lad's not getting any younger...are you listening you Warner Brothers!

---
So many films, so little time...
So many films, so little time...
Film Journal Blog
Lt. Col. Thursday: Beaufort; no preliminary nonsense with him, no ceremonial phrasing. Straight from the shoulder as I tell you, do you hear me? They're recalcitrant swine and they must feel it...


#13 of 33 OFFLINE   Jeff Ulmer

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Posted February 19 2004 - 03:44 AM

Whether the new disc has the alternate ending is irrelevant unless there is a fresh anamorphic transfer that warrants a repurchase. That's what I would have asked about.
Quote:
Well Zardoz proved that Boorman's up for a commentary

Yes, but that happened only as a result of tracking Boorman down (he was in Panama at the time, shooting Tailor of Panama) and encouraging him to be involved, then making sure the right people at Fox could get in contact with him.

Warner has already worked with Boorman once, so doing so again isn't impossible. Point Blank is long overdue.

#14 of 33 OFFLINE   Randy A Salas

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Posted February 19 2004 - 04:47 AM

Quote:
Whether the new disc has the alternate ending is irrelevant unless there is a fresh anamorphic transfer that warrants a repurchase. That's what I would have asked about.


You're certainly free to ask MGM whatever you'd like. We already know that the DVD does not have an anamorphic transfer, which MGM has stated, so my asking a question about known information is pointless.

The discrepancy in MGM's information was over the ending. And it's not irrelevant if this release includes the original ending as part of the film, instead of as a separately viewed extra. Even with the same transfer--which MGM has little control over since it apparently can work only with what Disney gives it--having the film in its European cut, even if nonanamorphic, would merit a repurchase to me.
Randy A. Salas
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Minneapolis Star Tribune daily newspaper

#15 of 33 OFFLINE   Tom De Rosa

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Posted February 19 2004 - 09:05 AM

Since we're talking Boorman, how about a remastered OAR anamorphic Hope And Glory ?

A personal favorite and excellent double feature with Empire Of The Sun .

#16 of 33 OFFLINE   Mattias_ka

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Posted February 21 2004 - 12:25 AM

Quote:
It really puzzles me that POINT BLANK's been so neglected. It's a much admired film and a fairly popular one ; and yet it's never been available (in the UK, anyway) in its OAR on any format. In fact, I can't remember it having been released full stop. I've only ever seen it on TV, in a 1:85 crop.


There is a 2.35:1 widescreen lasedisc on this superb movie.
I saw it on Swedish TV last year in 2.35:1.

#17 of 33 OFFLINE   Randy A Salas

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Posted February 24 2004 - 06:21 AM

Not sure if anyone cares, based on replies in this thread, but for lurkers ...

MGM now says that the upcoming Hell in the Pacific DVD will indeed have the alternate (original) ending, but as a separately viewed extra--just as on the Anchor Bay DVD. So, the same transfer and the same sole extra (presented the same way) offer no reason at all to buy the MGM release if you already have the Anchor Bay version. It's basically the same disc (lacking only the additional full-screen presentation).
Randy A. Salas
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Minneapolis Star Tribune daily newspaper

#18 of 33 OFFLINE   Jeff Ulmer

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Posted February 24 2004 - 07:40 AM

Quote:
how about a remastered OAR anamorphic Hope And Glory ?

Until MGM is bought out by someone who takes their library seriously, this and hundreds of other films will either remain unreleased, or only be available in old transfers on DVD. That's not saying MGM doesn't do a good job now and then, but the ratio of good transfers to bad is heavily weighted on the bad side.

#19 of 33 OFFLINE   Bob Cashill

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Posted February 24 2004 - 07:54 AM

This is a topic so old it has whiskers on it, but there's no other studio dipping more deeply and more concertedly into its vaults than MGM. There are hundreds more films waiting, forlornly, for a Paramount or Columbia to get to them. Which is not to excuse MGM for its failures but you can't say the volume of their output has been lackluster. It would be good of them to revisit their missed opportunities but I like that they continually offer us new choices, rather than recycling the same three hits over and over again in new packages (the Bonds notwithstanding).

Ok, then--back on track: Boorman's excellent new bio, ADVENTURES OF A SUBURBAN BOY, has riveting chapters on HELL IN THE PACIFIC, HOPE AND GLORY, ZARDOZ, and EXORCIST II: THE HERETIC, among others. His fans should pick it up.

#20 of 33 OFFLINE   Jeff Ulmer

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Posted February 24 2004 - 11:46 AM

Bob, while I can understand your enthusiam for the quantity of releases from MGM, however, I would prefer they issue quality instead, as there is no point my spending money on a crappy, 10 year old transfer when there are so many other quality releases coming out these days from studios making an effort. Madacy released a whole ton of discs, but I wouldn't consider buying one of them.

I'm looking forward to reading Adventures of a Suburban Boy.

We still have an opportunity for a decent version of Point Blank from Warner. Hopefully they'll do it sooner than later. Beyond Rangoon is still MIA from Paramount.

Hell in the Pacific is now a lost cause, at least in region 1. Posted Image


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