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Anyone Starting to get Sick of Standard and Deluxe DVD Releases?


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#1 of 88 OFFLINE   WillG

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Posted March 30 2004 - 03:40 AM

I was looking at the announcement for Mystic River today and noticed that W.B. was putting out a Standard, what sounded like a bare bones release and a 3-disc deluxe edition with all the extras. This practice seems to be happening more and more often and is starting to bother me for a couple of reasons. For one, if you want the extras, you get gouged on the price and may have to pay something like 10 extra dollars if you want it. Also, it is problematic because it seems like a lot of times B&M stores load up on standard editions and the deluxe editions become harder to find. And it seems like more studios are getting in on this. It used to be mostly Universal, but now W.B. and even New Line is doing it (Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Not counting the LOTR:EE, which I consider a different product). Is this starting to bug anyone else?
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#2 of 88 OFFLINE   Mike.B

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Posted March 30 2004 - 03:57 AM

As long as they are putting out a quality product I don't mind it at all. Especially if they are released at the same time (i.e., you can't double dip for the deluxe version because you will probably buy it right off the bat anyway).

As for brick & mortar stores only having the standard editions: just shop online then. That's what I do - in fact I would estimate that 90% of my DVD purchases are online.

#3 of 88 OFFLINE   John Swarce

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Posted March 30 2004 - 03:59 AM

I agree, Will. It seems that sometimes the studios have a vacuum cleaner hose directly attached to my wallet.

Although I have not upgraded to the "Deluxe, Extreme, Special, Super Duper Collector's Edition" version of a few titles, I have purchased or double dipped on many. Should I have just bought the standard version and be done with it? If I never pull the DVD off the shelf again to view any supplements or listen to commentaries, then I could say yes. But they are on the shelf if I ever do want to look at them. I have shown some restraint recently on these types of purchases. The "better" edition has to be just that.

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#4 of 88 OFFLINE   Carlo Medina

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Posted March 30 2004 - 04:52 AM

If they announce the double dip FIRST (i.e. we know Mystic River will have 2 versions) then I'm not against that.

If you think the extras are not worth the money, you can vote with your wallet and buy the other one. But it's like bemoaning how a car dealership offers two trims on their cars, and say "why should I pay so much for the A/C and power everything?" Well you don't have to because the stripped down model is also readily available.

What I hate is when they release a bare bones or very limited 1-disc edition, and act like that's all you're getting. Then, unannounced and unawares, 3-6 months later a 2 disc version comes out. Then 6-12 months later a 3 disc deluxe or a "SuperBit" comes out.

At least get the info out to the consumers first so we can make an educated choice on which version to buy.

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#5 of 88 OFFLINE   Jonny P

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Posted March 30 2004 - 05:05 AM

I have become somewhat cynical about this practice over the last 6 years that I have had DVD players...

In the end, it ultimately comes down to the movie. If the film has a transfer that is significantly better (no, "superbit" doesn't qualify as that in my book) or offers deleted material put into the cut, then I might consider it...depending on the quality and how much it costs.

There are movies out there that I am just merely happy to have an OAR version of (like "Captain Ron").

Some DVD extras I will watch again. Others I won't. It all comes down to the quality of the movie and how much I enjoy it.

I would accept more "bare bones" DVDs as long as they were offered in OAR, offered multiple soundtracks, and had the best transfer possible... and (here is my caveat) retailed for around 9.95.

When people are spending ~$19.95, it makes them look at the back to see what is offered. Six years ago it was just so cool to have a DVD player that I would pay $24.95 for many things. Today, if it is $19.95, I have to give significant thought as to whether or not I would purchase that movie.

#6 of 88 OFFLINE   Dave_P.

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Posted March 30 2004 - 05:07 AM

I have no use for extras so I'm very happy just to get the one disc versions. Now if the day comes when only the Super-Limited $40 set comes with the widescreen version, then I'll be pissed.

#7 of 88 OFFLINE   PaulP

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Posted March 30 2004 - 05:25 AM

Quote:
I have no use for extras so I'm very happy just to get the one disc versions.


How can you say that? Extras are often very important to understanding and better enjoyment of the film. Things like in-depth documentaries and commentaries are some of the things I wish more DVDs had. Deleted scenes are also very interesting. That's why I don't understand SuperBit. Yes, it's all about the movie; that's why I enjoy the extras so much, because they are about the movie. Whenever given a choice of a release with more extras, I'll always opt for that, wheather as a new release or as an update.

#8 of 88 OFFLINE   WillG

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Posted March 30 2004 - 05:37 AM

On top of all this, the most arrogant thing about this is that in some cases the single disc set isn't even Disc one of the larger set. For example in New Line's T.C.M. the single disc edition even goes so far as to strip the commentaries and such that appears on Disc One of the deluxe set. From the description, it seems that this will be the same deal with "Mystic River" as well.

But for me, it isn't really so much that the studio wants to put out the Standard and Deluxe editions, but I resent having to pay a high premium price if I want extras. If I went to a B&M store and the Single disc was selling for $12.99 and the Deluxe sells for something like $18.99 then I wouldn't make such a big deal out of it. But if I have to pay upwards of $30 so I can get some special features, I take issue with that. That and like I said before, deluxe editions can be hard to find at stores. Went to Costco today and all they had was the one disc T.C.M. I don't like having to buy online when I can't find the damn thing and have to wait many days for it to be delivered.

I just am concerned that this is an emerging practice that is designed to suck more money from consumers. It's not a case of people who don't care about extras having to pay less, it a case of people who want extras now having to pay more. That is what I take issue with.
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#9 of 88 OFFLINE   Chad R

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Posted March 30 2004 - 05:44 AM

How can you say that? Extras are often very important to understanding and better enjoyment of the film. Things like in-depth documentaries and commentaries are some of the things I wish more DVDs had. Deleted scenes are also very interesting.


I too am becoming very bored with extras. I have never run into an extra that has made me better understand a film, or enjoy it more. Deleted scenes for the most part were deleted for a very good reason--and if they weren't they are typically reincorporated into the film.

Not to mention, most of the extras are redundant. Special effects these days are so computer oriented, that the innovations they come up with aren't terribly interesting. In the pre-CGI days they had to be real inventive and come up with a fresh work work-around, or find a unique camera--now, they just solve the problem in the computer. Not terribly interesting. I'm not saying that CGI effects are bad, I love them, it's just that the innovations typically involve a guy sitting at a computer reworking code rather than physically doing something. That makes for some real boring DVD extras.

The only extra I find interesting is the documentaries on older films that evoke a sense of history--newer films just don't have that.

It's not a case of people who don't care about extras having to pay less, it a case of people who want extras now having to pay more. That is what I take issue with.


But, since the extras cost the studio more to produce, why shouldn't there be a premium on them?

#10 of 88 OFFLINE   Tom Tsai

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Posted March 30 2004 - 06:13 AM

I actually commend WB for announcing both editions right at the start. I think it's great that they're giving people the choice of whether they want extras or not. While there are some people who want "some" extras, I think most of us out there either WANT or DON'T WANT extras. I sure don't expect them to create 3 different versions just to cater to people who want different "degrees" of extras included.

#11 of 88 OFFLINE   WillG

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Posted March 30 2004 - 06:14 AM

Quote:
Special effects these days are so computer oriented, that the innovations they come up with aren't terribly interesting. In the pre-CGI days they had to be real inventive and come up with a fresh work work-around, or find a unique camera--now, they just solve the problem in the computer. Not terribly interesting. I'm not saying that CGI effects are bad, I love them, it's just that the innovations typically involve a guy sitting at a computer reworking code rather than physically doing something. That makes for some real boring DVD extras.


Not everything is special effects though. For example, I recently watched the recent film "Matchstick Men" which had virtually no special effects. The DVD had an excellent behind the Scenes documentary and I think the commentary added some insight into what the film was about. The heavy CGI X-Men films had some good extras. Some were the boring, in front of the computer kind, but there was some good behind the scenes stuff as well. The American Wedding DVD had an option where you could pick up a deluxe edition (which I did have to relent to pick up) that had an excellent overview on the whole series. I think you will find many who will disagree with you on the value of some good extras, not to say that your point of view is wrong, however.

Quote:
But, since the extras cost the studio more to produce, why shouldn't there be a premium on them?

Because, to me it seems that this is a relatavely new idea that the studios are coming up with to get more money out of us and not because of the cost to produce extras. This is especially true for newer films where most of the stuff that ends up on the DVD was produced as cameras were rolling on the film itself. I could see it more for older films where extra material has to be produced from scratch. And even in those cases prices often remain low. For example, I got my Alien Quadrilogy set for around $70. Divide that out by disc and it's less that $8 per disc. And look at all the work that went into that set. Most of the 2-Disc SEs I have I got for a standard price, so why the big change all of a sudden?
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#12 of 88 OFFLINE   Shawn_KE

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Posted March 30 2004 - 06:48 AM

I don't mind as long as they tell us there will be another version. ie LOTR EE's

#13 of 88 OFFLINE   Doug_L

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Posted March 30 2004 - 07:05 AM

Because it's a market economy, and that's what the market will bear right now.

In the beginning DVD's provided the producers with a fairly low cost opportunity to add extras and create a greater sense of value. As a burgeoning product they most likely felt the need to add perks to their product while holding the price point in order to win converts; yes DVD's have a significant picture quality advantage over VHS and LD, but the extras are what many of the 2nd wave of adopters raved about (these are the people who may not, for any number of reasons, see a huge improvement in PQ).

So they hooked America and the DVD player became one of the fastest growing appliances in the history of our fine country ("Wow! You mean the picture's better, I don't have to rewind it and I get all this extra stuff? Cool!).

But DVD's are beginning to mature as a product; we've seen a much more consistent interface, packaging, terminology (with the exception of marketing) as the market norm becomes established. They don't need extras, "free" or otherwise to maintain their market dominance.

And no matter what your opinion, I think we can all agree that extras are not produced for free (film stock, editing, producers salaries, etc). Why shouldn't the studios charge more? Because they didn't in the past? We've shown them that there's a market value for these extras (we yelled and screamed for more, more, more extras), so they've finally decided that they will start charging significant premiums for them. Hell, they're giving you the extra content that you want, aren't they?

I commend those studios that will produce and simultaneously release 2 versions of a disc, and price them accordingly. Hopefully they will make money on both, more than they believe they would have made with a single version, and they will continue the practice.

I'm all about the right to choose the level of content - if I could buy bare bones discs cheaper, I would, just as I'm sure a good many of you will continue to clamor for the ultimate version with numerous extra hours of content. As long as you're paying for it and I'm not, I'm happy.

#14 of 88 OFFLINE   Carlo Medina

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Posted March 30 2004 - 07:07 AM

If you read the last few responses--the arguments over the merits of "extras"--you now should realize ***why studios put out multiple versions***. There is no consensus: extras are good for some, worthless to others.

I do not criticize the studios for releasing multiple versions as long as we the consumers are aware that they are coming. The only fault is, as I stated in my post above, when they fail to inform the public and release barebones, SE, Deluxe, etc. 3-6 months apart with no warning that the other versions are coming.

If a studio says "we've got a 1-disc, 2-disc SE, and an Extended Cut coming out" up front, then I thank them for empowering me to make a choice that is suitable for me.

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#15 of 88 OFFLINE   Frank@N

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Posted March 30 2004 - 07:09 AM

Quote:
If you think the extras are not worth the money, you can vote with your wallet and buy the other one.


Yea, but we *used* to get extras at the standard price.

Take Master & Commander, now you have to pony-up just to get what used to included by default.

Not a good trend...

#16 of 88 OFFLINE   Carlo Medina

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Posted March 30 2004 - 07:14 AM

Quote:
Yea, but we *used* to get extras at the standard price.
Not 100% true. Some studios used to give us extras on a regular priced disc (and still do). Others just released bare bones versions.

Bottom line: these studios are out to make money. It costs more money to produce and include these extras. Perhaps they threw in some freebies early in the DVD age to entice people to buy. But now DVDs are mainstream and they are now trying to price it accordingly.

I'm not saying studios are right or wrong in doing this. But just because we have had some regularly priced SEs in the past doesn't mean they established some sort of precedence. Heck, Criterion's extras-ladened LDs were in the $100s of dollars-while standard LDs cost $50 or less! (I know that's not completely analogous but just throwin' it out there for perspective)

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#17 of 88 OFFLINE   Lou Sytsma

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Posted March 30 2004 - 07:14 AM

I agree with those posts stating it's OK as long as the studio let's us know upfront.

There does seem to be a trend to marking up the price on the SEs more so than previously though.
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#18 of 88 OFFLINE   Mike Williams

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Posted March 30 2004 - 07:37 AM

i like the practice of releasing both Standard and Deluxe Editions (as long as they're either released at the same time, or announced in advance) for the very reasons stated in this thread. Some people are more than happy with just the movie sans extras. Others want to know every single detail that went into the making of the film, commentaries, documentaries, etc. So I think it's a good practice that satisfies everyone. I personally LOVE extras and commentaries, so I would probably never buy the bare-bones disc, so why would I be upset about two versions? I'm only gonna buy the one I want.

#19 of 88 OFFLINE   MarkHastings

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Posted March 30 2004 - 07:40 AM

Quote:
If they announce the double dip FIRST (i.e. we know Mystic River will have 2 versions) then I'm not against that.
Me too.

As far as the pricing of the satandard and the deluxe sets, I don't have any problems with it.
Quote:
There does seem to be a trend to marking up the price on the SEs more so than previously though.
Does anyone have any real hard facts here? I don't think the SE's are any more expensive than they used to be.

Another thing to factor would be the way the studios create their discs...

I would assume that the DVD's are priced according to the content and quality of content. I don't think it's fair to say that 2 DVD's should be priced the same just because they have the same amount of 'extras' on them.

Also, a lot of the earlier DVD's were just reworks of LD's so there was not a lot of work to be done in creating them. The newer discs have to be created from scratch, which means $$. This could be a reason for the increased price.

#20 of 88 OFFLINE   WillG

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Posted March 30 2004 - 07:43 AM

Quote:
But just because we have had some regularly priced SEs in the past doesn't mean they established some sort of precedence.


I would have to disagree with you there. We have had Many 2-disc SE at a standard price and I think it has set a precident.I don't think it is necessairly a bad thing for the studos to put out different editions as long as it has been announced upfront. But now it like "You now have to pay $30 for something you would only have had to pay $20 for before we came up with the bright idea" I know some people don't care so much about extras, but charge less for the bare bones, not more for the edition with extras.

But there is another concern I have. What if studios start doing this more, and the bare bones versions sell a lot better because there will be more on store shelves and even some enthusiasts will not want to pay the higher prices. Perhaps studios will start scaling back on extra features in the future.
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