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B5 Movies Box Set opinions?


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#1 of 61 OFFLINE   KyleC

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Posted August 17 2004 - 12:28 PM

If anyone has gotten the box set please post your impressions. I'm especially interested in the Audio/Video quality. I sold my older copy of ITB/TG in hopes the quality of this transfer is better.

#2 of 61 OFFLINE   Max Leung

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Posted August 17 2004 - 12:53 PM

Gah, I'd help you, but stupid FutureShop and A&B Sound did NOT get their shipment. Blah. Isn't it great to be Canadian?

If they don't have it by tomorrow afternoon, I'm going to HMV and pick them up for $58, instead of the tardy Futureshop's $52.

(Maybe HMV paid the suppliers to give them all the copies of B5 and Ghost in the Shell Stand Alone Complex Limited Edition boxsets, in a blatant ploy to steal sales from FutureShlop and A&B Sound.)
Mahatma Gandhi, as you know, walked barefoot most of the time, which produced an impressive set of calluses on his feet. He also ate very little, which made him rather frail and with his odd diet, he suffered from bad breath. This made him...a super-callused fragile mystic hexed by halitosis.

Gamesh....

#3 of 61 OFFLINE   Rob T

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Posted August 17 2004 - 01:06 PM

It came in today from amazon.ca, but I gotta go pick it up at the post office. I'll have it by saturday at the latest.

#4 of 61 OFFLINE   Ric Easton

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Posted August 17 2004 - 01:19 PM

So far, I have only watched "ItB" saw the intro to it and listened to half the commentary. I don't remember how good the first transfer was, but I doubt this is much better. There is still some "softness" on special effects shots on my widescreen tv. This is kind of surprising since this film was shot and broadcast in widescreen from the beginning.

Anyway, the package is similar and there is a nice heartfelt dedication to Richard Biggs from JMS in the booklet's intro.

Ric

#5 of 61 OFFLINE   Michael Sliger

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Posted August 17 2004 - 01:39 PM

I don't have my old Gathering/ITB disk anymore (sold it as well), so I can't make any direct comparisons. I can say that The Gathering looks reasonably good with only a smattering of blemishes. It is a bit soft in places, but that is more of a source material issue AFAIK. The disk is only a DVD-5 (4.24 GB used), so there certainly isn't much of a bitrate increase if it is a new transfer. The commentary track is pretty good though. John Iacovelli does ramble on about some mildly interesting topics at the start, but he and JMS get a bit silly near the end. A new challenge is put forth to SF fans in this audio track, so start being observant as you watch the entire series again (and other series/movies).

I have only seen the first 10 or so minutes of In The Beginning, but it has the same framing flaws as the old disk and SciFi broadcast masters (non-CGI sequences at the beginning are cropped if they dovetail into a CGI sequence via a fade). Only one speck of dirt has been seen by my eyes so far.

My only real complaint is with the disk artwork. Someone was extremely lazy, reusing the Season 5 disk layout (with chronological Season 5 photos). Only a new color tint (blue-teal instead of orange) and the movie name can be considered "new". If there was time to add a short tribute to Richard Biggs in the booklet, one would think that the photos in that booklet could have been silkscreened onto the DVDs. Oh yeah, and I had two floaters again in the normal places. Luckily there is minimal damage to the disks this time. Since my Circuit City only had one set 10 minutes after opening, I can't make an exchange.

#6 of 61 OFFLINE   Gord Lacey

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Posted August 17 2004 - 01:43 PM

Max, Warner Canada actually delayed the release of the set in Canada for a week, which explains why FutureShop didn't have any. HMV shouldn't be selling them either.

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#7 of 61 OFFLINE   KyleC

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Posted August 17 2004 - 01:49 PM

So basically it's the same transfer as the ITB/TG set from before, with only commentary added?

#8 of 61 OFFLINE   Michael Sliger

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Posted August 17 2004 - 02:04 PM

The audio is remixed to DD 5.1, so there is something new for the normal episode viewing. AFAIK, there was no promise to enhance the video transfer. The image quality is on par with the regular episodes, which is all we can really hope from Warner at this point. ITB sounds pretty good on my system, though I have only seen a smattering of space battles so far.

#9 of 61 OFFLINE   Joseph J.D

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Posted August 17 2004 - 02:28 PM

Quote:
Warner Canada actually delayed the release of the set in Canada for a week, which explains why FutureShop didn't have any.


When I was at Futureshop earlier this evening, one of the sales associates said that Warner recalled their shipment because of faulty discs......somehow I doubt that assumption. Oh well, I guess I can wait one week...I have plenty to watch until then.
Recently watched- Lethal Weapon, Home Alone 2: Lost In New York, Home Alone, An American Christmas Carol, It's A Spongebob Christmas!, Four Christmases, Love & Other Drugs, Assault On Precinct 13(1976), Lovejoy Christmas Specials, Die Hard 2: Die Harder, Die Hard, Up 3D, The Grandmaster, Edge Of Tomorrow 3D, The Comedy Of Terrors, The Raven(1963)

Currently watching- Planet Earth, True Blood: Season 2, Gatchaman: The Complete Series, The Equalizer: Season 2, Tales From The Crypt: Season 2, WKRP In Cincinnati: Season 1, Arrow: Season 2, Star Trek: Season 1
 
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#10 of 61 OFFLINE   Kevin Grey

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Posted August 17 2004 - 02:32 PM

have only seen the first 10 or so minutes of In The Beginning, but it has the same framing flaws as the old disk and SciFi broadcast masters (non-CGI sequences at the beginning are cropped if they dovetail into a CGI sequence via a fade). Only one speck of dirt has been seen by my eyes so far.


They aren't "flaws" per se and this won't change unless the CGI is completely redone. Its a necessary side effect of the resolution (and aspect ratio) the CGI was created in. This will likely remain on all future B5 releases into the future unless Warner ever sees fit to pony up the dough to recreate the models and redo the effects for the entire series (very unlikely).

#11 of 61 OFFLINE   Jason_V

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Posted August 17 2004 - 02:36 PM

Total sidenote: is there any real reason to go out and buy this set this week? I've got the first four years already, have seen S5 many times and the movies at least once. I can only honestly say I want to see ITB and ACtA again. The Gathering feels...stagnant and Thirdspace and RoS are just bad.

I wanna have a reason but I also want to save my pennies for the inevitable boom this fall (actually, starting on 8/31).

#12 of 61 OFFLINE   Ric Easton

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Posted August 17 2004 - 03:33 PM

Quote:
They aren't "flaws" per se and this won't change unless the CGI is completely redone. Its a necessary side effect of the resolution (and aspect ratio) the CGI was created in.


Yes, but wasn't ItB shown as a widescreen movie from the very beginning? One would have thought that at least the B5 movies wouldn't have had these same problems.

#13 of 61 OFFLINE   Joseph DeMartino

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Posted August 17 2004 - 03:58 PM

Quote:
Total sidenote: is there any real reason to go out and buy this set this week? I've got the first four years already, have seen S5 many times and the movies at least once.

Maybe not "this week", but probably soon. If for no other reason than the tendency I've notice for the price on a lot of these sets to go up after they've been out for awhile. That's why catching up on some shows is more expensive than buying as they come out. As for the movies you don't like - when you say The Gathering feels "stagnant" - are you talking about the original version or the 1998 re-edit? By all accounts the re-edit (the only version I've ever seen) is a lot better. While still not up to the series, I think it is a decent enough pilot and it is fun watching the seeds of future greatness planted. And with the commentary it must be that much better.

Thirdspace I found to be fun, an odd Lovecraftian side story within the larger epic. River of Souls was had an interesting premise, but ultimately wasn't successful in realizing it. The worst thing in it, from my perspective, was Martin Sheen's performance. He's a fine actor in more-or-less contemporary roles, but stick him a genuine "costumed drama" (SF or historical) and he's out of his depth - and it shows. (He was equally bad as Robert E. Lee in Gettysburg.) Sometimes JMS tried something too ambitious and experimental and it didn't quite work. I still respect the effort, and usually find the result interesting and watchable, even as I note the flaws. Also, River of Souls has Tracy Scoggins in a pink teddy, and no film that includes such a thing can be all bad. Posted Image

I'd also imagine the commentaries are fun. I just finished listening to the cast commentary from "Movements of Fire and Shadow" in S5 and thoroughly enjoyed it. It really is like sitting in a roomful of friends and eavesdropping while they talk about the old days and their times together. They clearly had a ball getting together and recording the stuff, and their affection for the show and each other comes through. (The comments about Rick Biggs, of course, take on an added poignance now.)

Quote:
This is kind of surprising since this film was shot and broadcast in widescreen from the beginning.


Nope, it was shot just like the episodes. (In fact, it was filmed in the gap between the end of S4 and the renewal deal for S5. They shot "Sleeping in Light", then Thirdspace, then ItB.) The live action was shot Super35, the CGI was composed and rendered at 4:3. The film originally aired at 4:3, was shown in that aspect ratio exclusively on TNT and was first released on home video in both the U.K. and the U.S. (VHS in the former, VHS and LD in the latter) at 4:3. It wasn't remastered at 16:9 until the rest of the series and the post-TG TV movies were, when The Sci-Fi Channel picked up the rights to the movies and the reruns.

None of the local stores I checked seem to have copies of the set, but I'm not complaining. It seems the worst "problem" I will have to contend with as a result of hurricane Charley is truck routes and distribution schedules being thrown off, and considering what the west coast looks like, I'm delighted to be "inconvenienced". I spent time in Homestead in the weeks following Andrew all those years ago and have a very good notion of what the folks out there are facing. My prayers go out to them and I'll just happily wait for my B5 movies.

Regards,

Joe

#14 of 61 OFFLINE   Ric Easton

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Posted August 17 2004 - 04:11 PM

Thanks, Joe! I stand corrected! Don't know why I thought I remembered it first being broadcast in widescreen! I'll blame it on early senility.

Ric

#15 of 61 OFFLINE   KyleC

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Posted August 17 2004 - 06:21 PM

Ric any plans to add in the movies collection to your covers?

#16 of 61 OFFLINE   Ric Easton

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Posted August 18 2004 - 12:15 AM

Give me a week or two...

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#17 of 61 OFFLINE   Chris Roberts

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Posted August 18 2004 - 02:08 AM

I must be the only person sticking with the Gathering/ItB DVD from before. ItB was the only movie I'd say I liked and even that had its flaws. I do wish the original unedited Gathering was available though (damn you Lucas...I mean JMS!). If for no other reason than,
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#18 of 61 OFFLINE   Max Leung

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Posted August 18 2004 - 03:29 AM

Hmm. Recall for faulty discs in Canada? I dunno...if they were made in the same factory as the US release they should be ok, based on the reviews here.

I'll probably pick it up at HMV today then. My gf really wants to see them. Posted Image
Mahatma Gandhi, as you know, walked barefoot most of the time, which produced an impressive set of calluses on his feet. He also ate very little, which made him rather frail and with his odd diet, he suffered from bad breath. This made him...a super-callused fragile mystic hexed by halitosis.

Gamesh....

#19 of 61 OFFLINE   MarkHarrison

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Posted August 18 2004 - 05:29 AM

Quote:
My only real complaint is with the disk artwork. Someone was extremely lazy, reusing the Season 5 disk layout (with chronological Season 5 photos).


I noticed the same thing. While it's not a huge deal, it really stood out to me. But I find it to be just another example of how Warner's almost giving these sets the right treatment. They're great and I'm thrilled to have them, but the little mistakes here and there does come across as quite lazy.

I've not started on them yet, but I'm very much looking forward to doing so. As Joe points out, the set is almost worth it alone for the Tracy Scoggins scene. Posted Image

I also agree with the ratings. The Gathering is fairly bad, but does get things going. River of Souls and Thirdspace are pretty bad in my opinion. But they're B5, so I'll watch them. In the Beginning is really good in my opinion and really feels a lot like the series. A Call to Arms is decent. Not great, but a better story than most of the others. And I really like Galen.

I've heard the arguements about why Legend of the Rangers wasn't included, but I still don't buy it. It wasn't produced during the B5 run and has a mostly different cast, but it's still a movie from the B5 universe. Plus the box can hold six discs and it just doesn't look right missing one. It would have fit in so nicely here.

#20 of 61 OFFLINE   Joseph DeMartino

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Posted August 18 2004 - 05:45 AM

Chris:

Everybody treats the fact that Kosh thinks (not says) that as a major spoiler. But the fact is most people seeing the series for the first time would treat that as unintelligable alien gibberish and totally forget it by the time either of those words was encountered again in the series. (Certainly the name. Even the use of the name would merely sound like Kosh was uttering some kind of Minbari blessing. What's the big deal. Ditto the "spoilers" in In the Beginning, most of which a new viewer will have completely forgotten by the time the events roll around and are viewed in context of the series.)

I've never seen the original cut, but I do know that JMS always had serious reservations about it, but as a new producer didn't trust his own instincts in the editing. He thought the original version with its nine act structure (mandated by PTEN, which wanted more commercial breaks) was too choppy and rushed-feeling to begin with and that the director's fondness for dumping character moments in favor of fancy camera angles just made things worse. In this matter I can only defer to his opinion, and his preference for making sure that his producer's cut, which is closer to the script he actually wrote, become the permanent version. (Although I still wish they'd included the original cut, if only because I'm curious about it. If WB is smart they'll try to get JMS to let them include it as an extra on the upcoming Rangers pilot disc, which otherwise will probably sell pretty poorly in comparison to the other B5 releases.)

Ric:

Quote:
I'll blame it on early senility.

Or the fact that it aired so many times in widescreen on Sci-Fi? Posted Image Just trying to find you an out, here. BTW, here in south Florida we call this sort of thing, "Having a senior moment" Posted Image

Regards,

Joe


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