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James Bond Ultimate Editions - Problems already brewing?


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#1 of 32 OFFLINE   John H Ross

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Posted June 28 2006 - 06:09 AM

Right. There's a discussion going on right now about the forthcoming Bond ultimate editions in R2 and I think it needs to be brought over to the main forum because, bugg*r me, if we don't act quickly Sony/MGM might be just about to screw up again...

It appears from early previews that Octopussy and The Living Daylights are missing their (Russian etc.) subtitles/locational captions AGAIN! You remember the debacle when they were missed off the first-run R1 DVDs and MGM had to put a replacement program in place? Well, it looks like history is gonna repeat itself.

PLUS is looks like some of the other movies may retain their original burned in subs (Live And Let Die and, bizarelly, TWINE) while others are staying with those wretched, distracting player-generated ones that take you right out of the movie (Tomorrow Never Dies, Die Another Day). So much for quality and consistency.

I'm sorry but I'm absolutely FUMING about this. For £200 (or £300 depending where you buy) I was expecting superb picture/sound AND original burned-in captions as per their theatrical presentations. Losing the original mono sound mixes was bad enough but THIS is just sloppy.

The reason I wanna raise this now is simple. If these R2 discs are indeed screwed up (and I'm sure the facts will emerge over the next few weeks) then action needs to be taken SOONER rather than later to ensure that the errors are brought to MGM's attention and fixed before the R1 versions are made.

Link to the thread:
http://www.hometheat....d.php?t=235739

John

#2 of 32 OFFLINE   Paul Arnette

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Posted June 28 2006 - 06:48 AM

Amazing! Well, I'm about all out of Sony bile today (see my previous A Fish Called Wanda and Yellowbeard posts today). I don't think I've ever been so angry at/disappointed by a studio so many times within a 24 hour period.

While I did get rid of all my non-Connery, -Lazenby Bond DVDs, thinking that if I wanted to get them again, I could always upgrade, something in the back of my mind told me to hold onto the others. Mainly because I was sure Sony wouldn't make them available for individual sale initially. I had no idea we would be, potentially, reliving the subtitle fiasco.

I think it would be wise if Cameron Yee or someone else here with a contact at Sony get them on the horn stat about this. If there is still a problem with the subtitles for the R1 release, they're fast running out of time to fix it for the all-important 4Q release.
Universal Blu-ray Discs I will not be buying while they're offered only as Blu-ray + DVD 'flipper' discs:

The Jackal
, Out of Africa, and Traffic.

#3 of 32 OFFLINE   paul_austin

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Posted June 28 2006 - 06:56 AM

making the same mistakes twice is beyond rediculous, why cant they get their shit together?
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#4 of 32 OFFLINE   Brandon Conway

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Posted June 28 2006 - 10:18 AM

I wouldn't worry about this issue, guys. The UK DVDs are their own entity.

"And now the reprimand, from an American critic. He reproaches me for using film as a sacred & lasting medium, like a painting or a book. He does not believe that filmmaking is an inferior art, but he believes, and quite rightly, that a reel goes quickly, that the public are looking above all for relaxation, that film is fragile and that it is pretentious to express the power of one's soul by such ephemeral and delicate means, that Charlie Chaplin's or Buster Keaton's first films can only be seen on very rare and badly spoiled prints. I add that the cinema is making daily progress and that eventually films that we consider marvelous today will soon be forgotten because of new dimensions & colour. This is true. But for 4 weeks this film [The Blood of a Poet] has been shown to audiences that have been so attentive, so eager & so warm, that I wonder after all there is not an anonymous public who are looking for more than relaxation in the cinema." - Jean Cocteau, 1932


#5 of 32 OFFLINE   Christian Preischl

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Posted June 28 2006 - 11:28 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brandon Conway
I wouldn't worry about this issue, guys. The UK DVDs are their own entity.
Yup, in the last couple of years there've been more and more MGM DVDs that used crappy player generated subs in R2/4, but the original burnt-in subs in the US (I think this was still the case after the Sony takeover). So I wouldn't worry just yet.

I also wouldn't be surprised if the R1s retain the original mono track in addition to the new DTS/DD 5.1 tracks, unlike the R2 releases.

#6 of 32 OFFLINE   John H Ross

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Posted June 28 2006 - 11:55 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brandon Conway
I wouldn't worry about this issue, guys. The UK DVDs are their own entity.

I sure hope you're right, but the spectre of the older R1 special edition Bonds still looms over us and, considering the amount of picture restoration work that's been carried out on these movies, if the captions are that easily removable from R2 I have to assume the mastering was done on prints that didn't contain them. Hence they've been removed. Hence player-generated captions may be forced upon us - or no captions at all!

Of the 4 Brosnan pictures only Goldeneye retained the genuine theatrical captions (which are in gold). Tomorrow Never Dies bizarrely kept just one: the "HMS Devonshire" caption (in blue). All the rest were wrecked. And Octopussy and The Living Daylights were missing altogether until the re-press.

John

#7 of 32 OFFLINE   Paul Arnette

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Posted June 28 2006 - 12:30 PM

Quote:
So I wouldn't worry just yet.

While I do appreciate the perspective, when it comes to Sony I always worry.
Universal Blu-ray Discs I will not be buying while they're offered only as Blu-ray + DVD 'flipper' discs:

The Jackal
, Out of Africa, and Traffic.

#8 of 32 OFFLINE   Beau

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Posted June 28 2006 - 02:46 PM

When can we expect the R1 announcment of the DVDs anyway? I really hope we get the slick attache case the other regions will be getting.

#9 of 32 OFFLINE   Greg Black

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Posted June 28 2006 - 02:49 PM

You would think that with all the computer trickery that Lowry can do, they would easily be able to lift off the burned in subtitles from a different print and digitally lay them on top of the restored print, and it would look perfect.

I will be very disappointed if the R1 DVDs are screwed up... player generated crap, and no original mono mixes.

#10 of 32 OFFLINE   Paul Arnette

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Posted June 28 2006 - 03:32 PM

Quote:
...and no original mono mixes.

Yes, this is what concerns me even more than the potential for screwed up subtitles, and, honestly, I think it has a higher likihood of occurring too.
Universal Blu-ray Discs I will not be buying while they're offered only as Blu-ray + DVD 'flipper' discs:

The Jackal
, Out of Africa, and Traffic.

#11 of 32 OFFLINE   Jay Pennington

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Posted June 28 2006 - 04:54 PM

Thing is, it is very doable to make the "player generated" titles look just like the burned-in ones. The player isn't actually making letters like a character generator would, it is accessing a bitmap file with an alpha channel for each title. That bitmap could be anything--pictures, symbols, or words in any font, as created in photoshop or something during authoring.

The "cheap" look results from creators letting the DVD authoring software generate the bitmaps instead, using ugly default fonts.

So it's just a lack of thoroughness here. We could have the better-looking lower-generation film elements (sans burn-in) AND have "player generated" titles that look exactly like the burned-in ones. It just takes a DVD author caring enough to do it right.
-Jay

#12 of 32 OFFLINE   David Williams

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Posted June 28 2006 - 05:59 PM

I'm confused here... I thought Fox was distributing for MGM now. What does Sony have do with it? Posted Image
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#13 of 32 OFFLINE   Brandon Conway

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Posted June 28 2006 - 08:13 PM

Fox wouldn't scrap several months work and delay such a huge undertaking. They will likely just negotiate a piece of the profits and let Sony release the set in order to keep it on schedule.

Whether it be the burned in subtitles or the original audio tracks, suffice it to say that the complaints/concerns are unwarrented.

In all honesty, there are too many millions of dollars invested in the release of these DVDs to think they have been that careless.

"And now the reprimand, from an American critic. He reproaches me for using film as a sacred & lasting medium, like a painting or a book. He does not believe that filmmaking is an inferior art, but he believes, and quite rightly, that a reel goes quickly, that the public are looking above all for relaxation, that film is fragile and that it is pretentious to express the power of one's soul by such ephemeral and delicate means, that Charlie Chaplin's or Buster Keaton's first films can only be seen on very rare and badly spoiled prints. I add that the cinema is making daily progress and that eventually films that we consider marvelous today will soon be forgotten because of new dimensions & colour. This is true. But for 4 weeks this film [The Blood of a Poet] has been shown to audiences that have been so attentive, so eager & so warm, that I wonder after all there is not an anonymous public who are looking for more than relaxation in the cinema." - Jean Cocteau, 1932


#14 of 32 OFFLINE   RichardCrowther

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Posted June 28 2006 - 08:14 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by John H Ross
Of the 4 Brosnan pictures only Goldeneye retained the genuine theatrical captions (which are in gold). John

Are you talking about the R1 release? The R4 (and presumably the R2) certainly didn't keep the original captions.

#15 of 32 OFFLINE   Paul Arnette

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Posted June 29 2006 - 12:35 AM

Quote:
I'm confused here... I thought Fox was distributing for MGM now. What does Sony have do with it? Posted Image

I've heard that the new MGM-Fox distribution deal does not include the Bond series. Whether that is true or not is probably beside the point as it is Sony that will have a hand in creating the content for the forthcoming Bond DVDs, not Fox because, as Brandon says, it is too late in the game for anything else.

Quote:
Whether it be the burned in subtitles or the original audio tracks, suffice it to say that the complaints/concerns are unwarrented.

The complaints about a product that hasn't been released yet are probably unwarranted, but the concerns are totally justifiable in my opinion given Sony's track record of late (e.g. Yellowbeard). I'll be more than happy to eat crow if these discs arrive in R1 with subtitles intact and their original mono mixes, where applicable.

Still, I don't see what's so wrong with Cameron Yee or something with a contact at Sony asking about this issue and being proactive about it, rather than reactive if it turns out the concerns were justifiable afterall.
Universal Blu-ray Discs I will not be buying while they're offered only as Blu-ray + DVD 'flipper' discs:

The Jackal
, Out of Africa, and Traffic.

#16 of 32 OFFLINE   John H Ross

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Posted June 29 2006 - 03:58 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by RichardCrowther
Are you talking about the R1 release? The R4 (and presumably the R2) certainly didn't keep the original captions.

Yes, I'm referring to the R1 edition. The R1 of Goldeneye has always had the burned-in captions going right back to the snapper edition that came out in 1997/1998.

John

#17 of 32 OFFLINE   John H Ross

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Posted June 29 2006 - 03:59 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Arnette
The complaints about a product that hasn't been released yet are probably unwarranted, but the concerns are totally justifiable in my opinion given Sony's track record of late (e.g. Yellowbeard). I'll be more than happy to eat crow if these discs arrive in R1 with subtitles intact and their original mono mixes, where applicable.

Well... the complaints, or rather my concerns, definitely ARE warranted if the R2 editions (which some people appear to have seen) are any indication of what's gonna get released in R1.

John

#18 of 32 OFFLINE   Christopher_P

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Posted June 29 2006 - 04:13 AM

Will these be box set editions only (like the current R1 Bond boxes) or will these be new seperate editions also? I currently have no Bond titles in my collection and I've been itching to pick up the Connery era Bond movies.

I can't seem to tell from amazon if the current release is anamorphic or not. If the current release is anamorphic and not of poor quality I could go for those when the new ones come out to save a little money since I don't really care about the extras.

Anyone willing to update me on the Bond DVDs? =D

#19 of 32 OFFLINE   Aaron Silverman

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Posted June 29 2006 - 10:01 AM

The current R1 releases are anamorphic and of decent quality. However, the new editions this fall supposedly feature more recently restored picture and sound.
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#20 of 32 OFFLINE   Mark B

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Posted June 29 2006 - 10:34 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Williams
I'm confused here... I thought Fox was distributing for MGM now. What does Sony have do with it? Posted Image


I was under the impression that FOX is simply the distributor. In my mind that means they have nothing to do with the actual production of the disc content, which would still be in the hands of Sony/MGM. Am I wrong?


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