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"Ultimate Dallas" Site Reports That The First "Dallas" DVD Set Is Due In Sept. 2


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#41 of 85 OFFLINE   Paul_Scott

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Posted August 24 2004 - 02:53 PM

finally saw a commercial for it on VH1.

as far as timeline for future seasons, i'd bet that David is right and the S3 set will come out end of Jan.
as anxious as i am for those episodes, the wait will be just fine with all the other great stuff coming out between now and then.
by that time, i'll need something early in the new year to look forward to.

#42 of 85 OFFLINE   Haden

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Posted August 24 2004 - 03:26 PM

Hmm.... well I'd prefer a 4 month gap between seasons. Anything less than 3 seasons per year is just going to make getting this series on DVD as long and frustrating as Simpsons.

#43 of 85 OFFLINE   Mark Lx

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Posted August 25 2004 - 03:51 AM

Paul, now the guy says hopefully today. The good news is it's only 39.99 CDN.

#44 of 85 OFFLINE   Paul_Scott

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Posted August 25 2004 - 04:12 AM

wow.

i had to pick my jaw up off the floor when i popped this set in...and i don't mean that in a good way.
i was shocked at how weak these episodes look on this set.
in fact, i'm at a loss to understand it.
the image here looks like it was derived from old analog masters- they are blurry, lacking in any kind of fine detail or definition, there is color fringing apparent(?!), dirt , ringing, edginess, lackluster contrast and black levels.
the material is watchable, but just barely.

i'm really surprised to see something like this coming from Warner.
i will still be up for the 3rd and probably 4th seasons, even if they unfortunately look like this, because the content of the show is just so damn much fun, but the image on display is a remarkable disappointment- especially given that the show will be selling pretty well given its age.

to put it in perspective, Night Gallery which has been getting slammed all over the message boards and Amazon for not being remastered since the early 90s, looks considerably better than this set- even with its less than perfect source issues.

#45 of 85 OFFLINE   John KB

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Posted August 25 2004 - 04:40 AM

Any other comments? How are the commentaries?

#46 of 85 OFFLINE   Frank@N

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Posted August 25 2004 - 10:03 AM

Quote:
material is watchable, but just barely


Picked this up on impulse since the B&M price was near $30 (about a buck an episode).

But I haven't opened it yet.

If the A/V sucks, I'm taking it back...

#47 of 85 OFFLINE   Greg_S_H

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Posted August 25 2004 - 10:52 AM

Quote:
Any other comments? How are the commentaries?


The Dallas Morning News gave such a fluff review that they never even mentioned picture quality, but even they said the commentaries were pretty insubstantial. It is said that Hagman mainly talks about how the cast members look now versus how they looked then. "Look at Patrick with black hair! It's gray now. You might even call it white." And the like.

#48 of 85 OFFLINE   ScottR

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Posted August 25 2004 - 11:39 AM

It looks and sounds fine.....this is how I remember Dallas, except they took out the next on previews and the Lorimar logo...other than that I am happy.

#49 of 85 OFFLINE   Chris:L

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Posted August 25 2004 - 12:07 PM

Can't wait for Season 3 through 14. I mean it.

And by the way... calling the mini a first season is just another way of making money. Ewing style.

#50 of 85 OFFLINE   MatthewA

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Posted August 25 2004 - 12:24 PM

I've had the set in hand since this afternoon, and they look about what they should look like; grainy, not brightly lit, not especially colorful (too bad, because I felt the show could have benefitted from a brighter palette considering its locale), as it was photographed, and as it aired in 1978 and 1979.

I compared the earliest parts of episode 1 to the tape I recorded off of SoapNet, and there isn't that much difference (other than the extra resolution of DVD). Obviously these episodes haven't been restored, but they're obviously never going to be "eye-popping."

The Lorimar logo was not on the SoapNet tapes either until fall 1986, when the company becomes Lorimar-Telepictures. Curiously, all of the "Knots Landing" episodes on the same channel have some form of Lorimar logo. But the discs have the opening teasers, which SN does not. The people running WB today obviously assumed that because it says "A Lorimar Production" under the title that that was all the company info there was (same with "The Waltons"). The Worldvision logo on some episodes suggests that they got non-US copies of them. When I watched an episode in Israel in 1998, the WV logo was there as well.

And the first episode commentary is not that great either. The Reunion special is OK but is mostly fluff. Considering that they were airing it before the episode in which J.R. is shot, they give away much of it for people who didn't watch the original run and are seeing it now for the first time. Between the dozens and dozens of surviving cast and crew and the long run there must be a number of more interesting anecdotes to tell, but why use the best stuff for the first set?

Considering how long the show ran and considering no extensive restoration is being done, Warner could theoretically release the entire show in about 3 1/2 years by releasing 4 sets a year. And then the prequel film and two reunions. Just be glad Columbia isn't doing it.

Enough is enough, Disney. No more evasions or excuses. We DEMAND the release Song of the South on Blu-ray along with the uncut version of Bedknobs and Broomsticks on Blu-ray. I am going to boycott The Walt Disney Company until then.


#51 of 85 OFFLINE   Paul_Scott

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Posted August 25 2004 - 12:34 PM

Quote:
the material is watchable, but just barely.


i should have qualified that by saying "watchable...on a large screen".
i'm using a front projector and a screen size of about 65" diagonal.
its definitely one of the weakest looking productions i've seen. part of it due no doubt to the way it was filmed, but i was expecting it to be much crisper, much more detailed- at least.

i made the comment in the Night Gallery thread, that while Dallas looks much worse than NG, and will outsell that show by a good margin, i doubt the fans are going to be going after Warner with pitchforks the way the fans of NG are slamming Universal.

#52 of 85 OFFLINE   David Von Pein

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Posted August 25 2004 - 12:45 PM

Quote:
I was shocked at how weak these episodes look on this set. ... The material is watchable, but just barely.

I disagree with this PQ evaluation for the most part (although some heavy graininess is indeed present on some episodes, particularly the opening credits, and the closing credits too). But, overall, I'm pretty satisfied (after scanning, thus far, through several of the eps. on Discs 1, 2, and 3). Take a look at Bobby Ewing's bright red Mercedes convertible -- looks nice and vivid, color-wise. Posted Image

I just saw an ad for this DVD set (twice in one hour) on "TV-Land". Posted Image

In case anyone gives a hoot, following are my more-complete thoughts on
this boxed set. ..............


DALLAS: THE COMPLETE FIRST AND SECOND SEASONS:


Posted Image


This stylish Warner Brothers' five-disc set contains the inaugural 29 "Dallas" episodes (out of a total of 357 aired during the show's CBS-TV network run of 13-plus years), with every wheeling-dealing moment and bickering family feud Digitally realized via this great format known as DVD. This set combines the so-called 5-episode "Mini-Series" with the first FULL season (1978-1979). So we're getting two seasons (sort of) in one collection here.

The series began on April 2, 1978, with "Digger's Daughter", which has Bobby Ewing (Patrick Duffy) coming home to Dallas with new bride, Pam (Victoria Principal), in tow. And seeing as how Pamela is "Digger's Daughter", we know we're not going to be experiencing a comfy-cozy day at the beach from the get-go of this ultra-popular prime-time soap opera. Because, you see, "Digger" is not exactly thought too highly of around Ewing territory. A great debut episode!

Video and audio quality rate pretty good marks here (IMHO). Picture quality is kind of hit-&-miss in places, with some portions looking better than others. The opening credits are speckled with artifacts and grain galore (which seems to be common among a lot of TV-on-DVD products being produced; evidently many DVD companies don't go to the added expense to "clean up" the repetitive opening and closing credit sequences on many TV series).

Colors aren't super-bright on this set, but they aren't extremely dull either. For the most part, I'd say the shows look and sound fairly good on these Digital Discs. Certainly not perfect in every respect, but far from the worst video quality in the world either.

The original Full-Screen television ratio (1.33:1) is used for these twenty-nine episodes; while audio comes from highly-adequate Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono tracks (English only). (The Audio Commentary tracks are in DD 2.0.) The distinctive opening theme music comes across very nicely here, via the 1-channel Dolby Digital audio. The booming "Dallas" theme is one of the best ever written for a TV series, in my opinion.

Upon initially noticing that each episode has been re-produced in just ONE-channel Mono for the DVDs, I was somewhat dubious about the sound. But after listening to the theme song and some of the dialogue in a few of the episodes, my audio fears evaporated. The 1.0 DD does very well here I think. Others might disagree, but on my stereo system, the music and dialogue sound fine and NOT "too thin" across the frontal soundstage. (Gee, that last sentence came darn close to sounding like somebody who actually knows what that means. Posted Image Posted Image) Anyway, to put it more simply, J.R. and Sue Ellen's perpetual bickering and sniping sound good. Posted Image

These "Dallas" programs are definitely presented here in their original full and UNCUT form, with a run time of approximately 48 minutes per episode. (With some of the shows running a little over 49 minutes. Kudos! Posted Image ) This running time does include the "trailer" clips at the beginning of each show, just as they were originally broadcast on CBS-TV in 1978 and 1979. However, the "Next Week On Dallas..." trailers (with clips of the next episode in the series) are not included on these DVDs.


Special Features:

>> "Dallas Reunion" Special (42 minutes), which serves up new interviews (circa 2003) from the TV talk show "Soap Talk", with members of the "Dallas" cast (Larry Hagman, Patrick Duffy, Linda Gray, and Charlene Tilton). Pretty good.

>> Audio Commentaries for selected episodes. Participating in the commentary tracks are Larry Hagman, Charlene Tilton, and series' creator David Jacobs.

>> Subtitles can be accessed in English and French, as well as Spanish.

>> A "Play All Episodes" option is included on all discs.

That's it as far as special bonus items are concerned for this DVD set. I haven't spotted any Easter Eggs as yet. Don't know if there are any hidden J.R. gems to dig up or not. Time will tell. Posted Image

Hopefully, some of the many outtakes and behind-the-camera footage that exist will find their way onto future "Dallas" seasonal boxed sets. This outtake material has been broadcast on TV in the past -- on shows like "Entertainment Tonight", et al. I'm hoping it hasn't been lost since those airings.


Packaging:

Warner Home Video gives us these 29 "Dallas" episodes in an attractive fold-out "Digipak" type of box, with some nice artwork adorning it. The inner case slides out very easily from its outer slipcover -- therefore not requiring the use of a crowbar or sandblasting equipment that's needed for some DVD packages of this ilk. Posted Image The multi-paneled innards of the case securely hold the five double-sided discs. When all 5 discs are removed from their individual tray holders, a grandiose picture of the skyline of downtown Dallas, Texas, emerges, with large letters (in the familiar font associated with this TV series) spelling out "DALLAS" laid over the top of the skyline image. Quite impressive indeed.

No booklet (or enclosure of any kind) is included with this DVD set, which kind of disappoints me. But it's not a huge deal and probably shouldn't make any Dallas fan want to immediately jump off the nearest bridge. Posted Image Instead, episode information (with original CBS air dates) is shown on the various flaps of the inner disc-housing part of the package. However, a multi-page booklet of some kind, featuring pictures and a backstory of the series, would have been kind of nice to see here.


Menus:

The Menus are all static, with no lengthy animations of any kind. For some odd and unbeknownst reason, the Menus appear (to my eyes) to be anamorphic in nature, which is strange since none of the actual video material on these 5 discs is anamorphic. Why do companies do this? -- Put the menu screens in anamorphic when the movie/TV show isn't enhanced for 16x9 TVs, or even (in this case) Widescreen at all? Oh, well...no biggie I suppose; just strange.

From the Main Menu, you can access Sub-Menus of: "Episodes", "Languages", and "Special Features" (on applicable discs). Discs 1 through 4 each contain three episodes per side. Disc 5 has three programs on Side A, and 2 shows (plus bonus material) on Side B. Each time you return to a disc's Main Menu, the rousing "Dallas" theme song plays all the way through (just like on the opening credits for every episode). The theme music repeats if the Main Menu remains on-screen.

Chapter breaks are included on all episodes, including the much-appreciated chapter stop immediately after the opening titles.


Watching these top-notch episodes again on DVD makes a "Dallas" fan yearn for the next installment in the series on Digital Disc, which will include the most famous "cliffhanger" in TV history -- when J.R. Ewing (Larry Hagman) is shot in episode 54, "A House Divided".


Posted Image


"Lucy's gone! Took my car! Went to go see that tramp mother of hers!" -- John Ross Ewing Jr. Posted Image (Ya gotta love it!)

#53 of 85 OFFLINE   Paul Stanley

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Posted August 25 2004 - 03:48 PM

Mark, that's awesome. Checked HMV again today, still nothing. Called Best Buy, and the DVD lady said that it should be on the truck that came today. Will pop by tomorrow during lunch, and hopefully spending the best $39.99 ever. Can't wait much longer... Its like 1983 and Return of the Jedi all over again.

#54 of 85 OFFLINE   Chris:L

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Posted August 25 2004 - 04:07 PM

"jump off the nearest bridge" That's comedy, people... comedy.

#55 of 85 OFFLINE   John KB

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Posted August 25 2004 - 05:26 PM

Well if Best Buy does put them on the shelf, they're breaking the new Canadian Street date....but I'm all for that!!!

We just got our shipment in at the video dis. today. The packaging state August 31st release.

#56 of 85 OFFLINE   John KB

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Posted August 26 2004 - 04:59 PM

Well I found one here in Winnipeg so I'm happy!! Posted Image

#57 of 85 OFFLINE   John KB

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Posted August 26 2004 - 05:10 PM

Ouch, I must say that some of my video tapes have prints that are in better shape. But I've only taken a quick look.

#58 of 85 OFFLINE   Chris:L

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Posted August 26 2004 - 05:17 PM

I'm halfway done on the second season (first season really) and I already can't wait for the next one... and the one after that... and the one after... did I mention the one after that? Posted Image

I'll buy every season that's released. I can't imagine this not selling well.

#59 of 85 OFFLINE   ScottR

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Posted August 26 2004 - 05:26 PM

The only thing bad I have noticed are some rolling lines around edges.....what is this?

#60 of 85 OFFLINE   Paul_Scott

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Posted August 27 2004 - 01:05 AM

i had to take my reciever in to get serviced, so for the next couple of weeks i'm stuck with only a 19" tv to watch anything on.
i watched a few more eps of Dallas last night on the 19" and the picture on that size dislplay looks just fine.
but i still maintain this set has weak-mediocre PQ, because it just doesn't hold up when being projected large-unlike some other recent tv sets (the Universal series generally look great, as does WBs Wonder Woman, MASH, and especially Here's Lucy which is every bit as lucious looking as the first season of Mary Tyler Moore.

the quality of the image improved a little in the second episode and the third & fourth seemed more consistent with that one.

on the 19" tv i had absolutely no issues with the image.
it looked better than any broadcast of it i've seen, but this is still one set that is best watched on a smaller display.


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