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MGM all set for a Heaven's Gate SE. And then...


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#1 of 13 OFFLINE   John Hodson

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Posted February 23 2005 - 11:27 PM

Some very sad news for Heaven's Gate fans over at thedvdforums.com here.

Looks like John Kirk and the restoration team at MGM were all set for an SE of Cimino's epic, but it looks dead in the water now.
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#2 of 13 OFFLINE   Kyle McKnight

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Posted February 23 2005 - 11:45 PM

Damn.

Quote:
Aw nuts! And I quote:
Now Heaven's Gate is facing a drubbing all over again. Bingham Ray, the studio executive who commissioned the restoration, was ousted from MGM/UA not long after he gave the green light to Kirk. The original idea was that the newly minted Heaven's Gate would be released in tandem with Epstein's documentary and that both would be issued on a special edition DVD. Post-Ray, MGM's enthusiasm for the project rapidly cooled and Kirk's budget shrank. When MGM re-released the film in the US it was with the minimum of fanfare. Predictably, it did minimal business.

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#3 of 13 OFFLINE   ChristopherBlig

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Posted February 24 2005 - 09:09 AM

and I just reviewed it expressing my interest in a newer SE. With the push that Entertainment Weekly reviewer Owen Gleiberman gave it a few weeks ago citing it in the Ask The Critic blurb http://www.ew.com/ew....0|0_0_,00.html) as a film that got a drubbing then but deserves another look today, MGM should think twice about this matter and open it back up as it deserves it. It's not too late for the 25th anniversary being that it (a version of it) was released in 1981 and nominated for Art Direction. Especially when a big time magazine notes it and could've said any other movie. Everything to gain, nothing to lose.
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#4 of 13 OFFLINE   ChristopherBlig

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Posted February 24 2005 - 03:25 PM

I also would like to add that if MGM won't do anything, how about the players that be negotiate a deal with Criterion, for it sounds like a promising set along the lines of Visconti's The Leopard:

Both cuts of the film, I can imagine the teaser poster as the cover with the Criterion Collection, with Michael Epstein's superb documentary amongst that set.

I seriously believe that if a deal is made between the two, I know a lot of frequent DVD buyers would love to have that title despite any price differentiation.

Criterion, make the deal and make this possible. You would be doing a great service for a very good film!!!

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#5 of 13 OFFLINE   ArthurMy

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Posted February 24 2005 - 04:50 PM

I've given it another look, which is all the looks it's getting. It deserved the drubbing then and, IMO, it deserves it now.

#6 of 13 OFFLINE   Roger Rollins

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Posted February 24 2005 - 11:12 PM

MGM is generally perceived a lame duck at this point, and it will likely be at the discretion of those catalog mavens at Sony to decide the fate a a HEAVEN'S GATE DVD.

A Criterion deal is unlikely.

Both Sony and MGM (as well as most studios) were burned by Criterion in the past (they are hardly 'studio-friendly') and I doubt you'll see execs from either camp embrace making a deal with them.

#7 of 13 OFFLINE   Sean Richardson

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Posted February 25 2005 - 02:23 AM

Quote:
It's not too late for the 20th anniversary being that it (a version of it) was released in 1981


Ummmmm .... I'm going with "You meant 25th", right? This year *is* the 25th anniversary, since it (the longer cut, which is on DVD now and would be the re-release as well) was released in 1980. But they could cheat it as late as next year and still claim it was the 25th, for the reason you say.


Quote:
Both Sony and MGM (as well as most studios) were burned by Criterion in the past


Got any details? It's not that I don't believe you, I'm just curious what Criterion did.

#8 of 13 OFFLINE   ChristopherBlig

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Posted February 25 2005 - 02:50 PM

I'm curious too, but the past is the past and this is the time for renegotiation. I believe a solution can be made and that it will be made so. It was one of my highlighted big screen experiences seeing it the first night along with the documentary at the Film Forum in New York City and the plans should be reopened for discussion. There is an audience and there are detractors and they can choose to not buy it, but an audience is an audience and if it can be there for this film, it deserves the SE treatment. I have seen worse films get better treatment so even in others eyes, this should be no different.
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#9 of 13 OFFLINE   Rosscoe M

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Posted February 25 2005 - 05:09 PM

I saw this in Vancouver in December and was quite awed by it's scope and breathtaking images- probably the last of it's kind in a way. A new SE may not sell in abundance but there is enough of a niche audience that would pay between $30-40 for a fully loaded package (a la Criterion's Brazil) which would include the doc....here's hoping...

#10 of 13 OFFLINE   Derek Estes

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Posted February 25 2005 - 08:12 PM

Quote:
Both Sony and MGM (as well as most studios) were burned by Criterion in the past (they are hardly 'studio-friendly') and I doubt you'll see execs from either camp embrace making a deal with them.

How were they burned? I hadn't heard that before.
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#11 of 13 OFFLINE   Dick

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Posted February 26 2005 - 04:04 AM

My guess is this refers to Criterion's refusal to sell or lease back the supplementary materials it has amassed for numerous films, including commentaries, etc, to studios hoping to release their own special editions. This is why getting DVD commentary tracks for films like GREAT ESCAPE and BAD DAY AT BLACK ROCK (with actual John Sturges commentaries) and JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS (with Harryhausen commentary) and many more is unlikely. It also makes the major studios less amenable to licensing their films to Criterion (Fox and Universal are about it at the moment), so it's like a Mexican standoff between two stubborn children - Criterion and Studios. Sort of like the childish bullshit going on with BLADE RUNNER. The ultimate losers: we film aficionados.

#12 of 13 OFFLINE   Mark Cappelletty

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Posted February 26 2005 - 10:52 AM

Yeah, but didn't MGM's recent RAGING BULL SE contain the Scorsese commentary track from the Criterion LD?

#13 of 13 OFFLINE   GregoryMesh

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Posted February 26 2005 - 01:02 PM

And Columbia's Monty Python and the Holy Grail included a commentary from Criterion laserdisc as well...


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