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HTF REVIEW: Alfred Hitchcock: The Masterpiece Collection



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#1 of 306 OFFLINE   Steve Tannehill

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Posted October 04 2005 - 05:04 PM



#2 of 306 OFFLINE   Steve Tannehill

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Posted October 04 2005 - 05:25 PM

(By the way, it's too soon to attach an official rating or recommendation without any meat to the review. But I'll tell you right now that, despite my dislike of the packaging, this is looking to be the set of the year.) - Steve

#3 of 306 OFFLINE   DavePattern

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Posted October 04 2005 - 06:25 PM

Hi Steve It's not just the "AFI Salute" that's been chopped down - the "Masters of Cinema" was originally broadcast by CBS as "Camera Three: The Illustrated Hitchcock" and apparently had a running time of 55 minutes.

#4 of 306 OFFLINE   David D H

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Posted October 04 2005 - 07:20 PM

Steve, in your first picture of the set, there are two boxes, a large one, and a small one. The small one is clearly the actual disc box, so what's the large one?

#5 of 306 OFFLINE   oscar_merkx

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Posted October 04 2005 - 08:57 PM

I will be looking at this review with great delight as I have none of the movies on dvd so far.

Cheers

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#6 of 306 OFFLINE   Deepak Shenoy

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Posted October 04 2005 - 11:11 PM

Warehouse stores like Sam's Club and Costco sell DVDs in these larger boxes. I have no idea why they do that. I have never bought one of these but I am assuming it is just a flimsy outer box containing the proper smaller box inside and that the outer box is meant to be discarded right away (seems like an awful waste of cardboard). -D

#7 of 306 OFFLINE   Deepak Shenoy

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Posted October 04 2005 - 11:16 PM

Thanks Steve for doing this review in an incremental fashion instead of waiting until you have all the write-ups done. The packaging shots are the most detailed ones I have seen. I have this box on the way, but I am still looking forward to seeing your reviews for all the discs fleshed out. -D

#8 of 306 OFFLINE   Dale MA

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Posted October 04 2005 - 11:48 PM

Thanks Steve, looking forward to your updates Posted Image

Looking at those pictures, the packaging looks awesome to me, maybe I'll change my mind when I see for myself though.

Edit: Also, you have to give props to Universal for including original poster art on the covers, sure there is four posters to one cover but it proves that they have been listening.

IMO, Universal has improved ten fold this past year.

#9 of 306 OFFLINE   Jason Hughes

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Posted October 04 2005 - 11:55 PM

The real question is are they going to make the new 16x9 Psycho and Vertigo seperatly? I already have everthing in this set...
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#10 of 306 OFFLINE   Steve Tannehill

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Posted October 05 2005 - 02:06 AM

So far, region 2 has a separate 16x9 Psycho on the way. There is no word on a new Vertigo in any region (although before they do that, they really should consult with Robert Harris...). Look at it this way, though... if Psycho and Vertigo are released for $20 each, and you can get this box set for just twice that, is it worth getting the box for several improved transfers? As for the wholesale club packaging, all DVD's at Costco and Sams are in longbox packaging (although some larger sets are in hard shell plastic packaging). This is presumably to prevent shrinkage. The Hitchcock set is packed to be consistent with the other longbox packages, although they had the actual boxes down beneath the display tables, in a form-fitting outer-box. Off to the day-job. Tonight, I'm going to pop in Vertigo and Psycho for more than just the few minutes I did last night. Vertigo looked amazing. - Steve

#11 of 306 OFFLINE   Kevin M

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Posted October 05 2005 - 02:41 AM

I was apprehensive about the overlapping disc holders but from the photo you posted I don't think they look all that bad, certainly manageable.
Thinpak's (I assume you mean the type used in the 3 disc Hellboy SE) would have been more efficient, I agree, but they also seem to have a certain element of cheapness to them for a major release, IMO anyway. Perhaps the style of Digipak that is used in Criterion's Complete Monterey Pop Festival would have been more appropriate.
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#12 of 306 OFFLINE   Chris Bardon

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Posted October 05 2005 - 03:15 AM

It seems really odd that the case fits 15 thinpacks so well, expecially given that there's apparently plastic inside holding the paper cases in place. Perhaps this was a last minute change away from an original thinpack design? Packaging aside, I'm looking forward to checking this out. Haven't seen most of these movies before, so it's a no-brainer to buy the set at this price!
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#13 of 306 OFFLINE   Ken_McAlinden

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Posted October 05 2005 - 03:21 AM

The key sequence for Saboteur has to be the Statue of Liberty confrontation. I seem to remember Universal Studios still incorporating that into their tour/exhibits 15 years ago or so.

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#14 of 306 OFFLINE   John Hodson

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Posted October 05 2005 - 03:26 AM

That scene, on the current R2 DVD, has always bothered me. It looked to me as if it had been badly edited in some way inasmuch as when Kane goes to confront Fry, he's carrying a gun. The we have a somewhat choppy sequence as they dance around the top of Lady Liberty...then Fry is shown clutching his arm as if he's been winged. Was a shot cut from the final film, or am I waaay off base.
So many films, so little time...
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#15 of 306 OFFLINE   Robert Crawford

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Posted October 05 2005 - 04:16 AM

What's strange to me is the Universal packaging promoting Turner Classic Movies on it. Anyhow, I'm trying to decide which dvd I'm going to watch first. It will probably be either "Psycho" or "Vertigo". Crawdaddy

#16 of 306 ONLINE   Patrick McCart

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Posted October 05 2005 - 04:21 AM

I think TCM ads were placed in the W.C. Fields and Marx Bros. sets, too. The cross-promotion is a wise idea since TCM has the broadcast rights to nearly all Alfred Hitchcock films (British and American). Also, Universal moved most of their classic film packages to TCM... the monster films, Marx Bros., Fields, Hope and Crosby, Preston Sturges, etc. And TCM is really nice about promoting classic DVD releases from other studios both in bumpers between films and on their website.

#17 of 306 OFFLINE   Robert Crawford

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Posted October 05 2005 - 04:26 AM

I never noticed it before so that might be true. In regard to TCM, my tivo and dvd recorder get a constant workout from that channel's programming. Crawdaddy

#18 of 306 OFFLINE   John Hodson

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Posted October 05 2005 - 04:30 AM

'Abbot & Costello Collection 4' came in a digipac with a flap for, well, something useful...and it was just a TCM flyer. Sorry to go OT, but do TCM always show movies anamorphically in the correct ratio with no ad breaks over in the US? Because it irritates me that it isn't true of their UK counterpart (and the standard of many prints is awful).
So many films, so little time...
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#19 of 306 OFFLINE   Robert Crawford

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Posted October 05 2005 - 04:33 AM

John, At times, when they license certain titles, they're not able to get it in the proper aspect ratio. However, there are no ad breaks during a movie.

#20 of 306 OFFLINE   Ken_McAlinden

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Posted October 05 2005 - 04:35 AM

I don't think TCM in the US has a hi-def or any kind of 16:9 channel. They show most, but not all, movies in their appropriate aspect ratio, presumably whenever they have a broadcast master available to do so. Regards,
Ken McAlinden
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