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JIGOKU (Criterion) Defective DVD Replacement Info


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#1 of 34 OFFLINE   Jeff Krispow

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Posted December 11 2006 - 03:11 PM

Hi folks,

Those of you who have copies of The Criterion Collection edition of Jigoku may wish to know that replacement copies are now available.


The Defect:

Due to an authoring error on the first printing of Criterion’s Jigoku, 2m08s of footage is missing from the film where the layer change occurs.

Immediately following the layer change at 65:45 (the beginning of Ch. 16) is a very noticeable jump cut where two characters suddenly "pop" into existence onscreen.

For viewers unfamiliar with the film, this jump cut will likely appear to have been done on purpose (as an inexpensive special effect method), especially within the context of the film and the specific setting of this sequence.

In actuality, there is no jump cut during this section of the film -- the beginning of this sequence is missing from the film, after which the two aforementioned characters slowly fade up into existence onscreen. But because of the authoring error, those characters instead appear instantly onscreen.


The Scene Details (SPOILER WARNING):

The missing footage shows three ghostly children within a nightmarish, barren landscape, digging in the dirt -- this is accompanied by a mournful song on the soundtrack. Once the children disappear, the characters of Yukiko (Utako Mitsuya) and Shiro (Shigeru Amachi) slowly fade up into existence onscreen.
The Technical Authoring Error Details:

If one examines the actual VOB file, you'll discover that this entire sequence IS included on the disc -- however it cannot be accessed or viewed on your standard DVD player. What happened was this:

The DVD's layer change was set to occur at a point at the very beginning of the sequence in question -- a perfect spot, because there was no movement in the film for several seconds. However, the timeline in-point to the second layer was programmed incorrectly -- instead of the timeline continuing from 0:00, it was set to begin at 2:08 in the file, thereby skipping over a couple minutes of footage. And because the DVD timeline sees that point as the "absolute beginning" of the second layer file (i.e., 2:08 = 0:00, not 2:08), you cannot skip or scan backwards to see the footage, since the player cannot access a negative or non-existent timecode. So although the footage exists within the file, it does not "exist" within in the timeline and thus cannot be accessed.

Or -- in the most basic of terms -- 2m08s of footage is missing from the film following the layer change

(I hope that all made sense -- it's just a little hard to explain in quick precise terms, and is far simpler than it sounds. Hmmm… I almost make this seem like theoretical physics or somesuch rather than a simple editing timeline.)


Replacing Your Disc:

After having received my copy of Jigoku, I immediately noticed the footage discrepancy and thoroughly checked out the disc and the files. Following that, I contacted Criterion to report the authoring error. Although they had just discovered the problem themselves, I was able to give them additional details from my own findings.

Thankfully, the always-reliable folks at Criterion stick by their products, and wish to provide consumers with top-quality DVD releases. I spoke with my contact at Criterion today regarding Jigoku, and he informed me that the title had been completely reauthored and repressed -- he promised that the film was absolutely 100% intact now! Even better, the corrected discs were received earlier today (and my own copy is already on its way to me). Just as an FYI, the rest of the disc is exactly the same as before…

As the corrected discs have only just been received, Criterion has not yet "officially" acknowledged this issue on the Known Problems section of their website, nor was it mentioned in their newsletter that was sent out via email today.

I also was not informed about how they will be handling the disc replacements -- although I'm sure this will be some sort of exchange program where you will be required to send in the original disc first.

In the meantime, should you wish to obtain the corrected pressing of Jigoku, I recommend contacting Criterion via their Support & Feedback section, report the problem, and request a replacement. I'm sure they'll know how to handle it from there…

Lastly, please note that it is only the disc itself that will be replaced, not the DVD case or booklet, so be sure to hang onto those.

I hope this information proves useful to those of you with copies of the DVD!

Good luck!
Jeff Krispow
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#2 of 34 OFFLINE   John Stell

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Posted December 12 2006 - 04:33 AM

Thank you for that information Jeff. I just sent an email to Criterion.
"...you would not understand...You do not...have...daughters."

#3 of 34 OFFLINE   Joe Fisher

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Posted December 12 2006 - 11:58 AM

Thanks also Jeff. E-mail sent.

#4 of 34 OFFLINE   Douglas Bailey

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Posted December 13 2006 - 05:35 AM

Thanks very much for the information, Jeff; as someone who hasn't ever seen the film, I wouldn't have known it was a problem. And I'm now going to hold off watching it until I can get the corrected edition, so that my first experience isn't affected by this glitch. Much appreciated.
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#5 of 34 OFFLINE   Douglas Bailey

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Posted December 13 2006 - 05:37 AM

Sorry, double post.
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#6 of 34 OFFLINE   Mark_Wilson

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Posted December 14 2006 - 12:47 AM

Anyone get a response? I emailed them last month regarding Jigoku and M and again a couple weeks ago and haven't received a reply.

#7 of 34 OFFLINE   John Stell

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Posted December 14 2006 - 01:38 AM

It's been about 48 hours since my email and I also have not heard back.
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#8 of 34 OFFLINE   Douglas Bailey

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Posted December 14 2006 - 06:05 PM

Not to take us too far off-topic, but... what's wrong with the Criterion M disc? I haven't heard of any issues with that title.
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#9 of 34 OFFLINE   Jeff Krispow

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Posted December 20 2006 - 09:04 PM

Merriest Felicitations Everyone,

Just a very quick update…

I received my Jigoku replacement late last week, and am happy to confirm that it absolutely has been corrected, and reinstates the previously-missing 2m08s of footage… not that I ever doubted Criterion's word, mind you; it's just that wonderful feeling you get when you are able to confirm such things with your own eyes.

F.Y.I., here is a comparison of the film's length between the two pressings:
  • First Printing:. . . .98:32...(or ..98:47 w/opening Criterion logos)
  • Second Printing:..100:40...(or 100:54 w/opening Criterion logos)
On the corrected Second Printing, the reinstated footage appears at the end of Chapter 15 @ 65:45 - 67:53. Also, the layer change no longer appears at the beginning of Chapter 16, and I haven't the slightest clue where its been moved to (although I only did a quick check around the same area; I'm sure it'll turned up when I watch the entire film all the way through later this weekend).

Lastly, I'm sure some of you are wondering if there's an easy method of identifying/determining the Jigoku disc printing without having to pop it into a player. Yes, there is… and Criterion's made it very easy. All you need to do is look at the silkscreened disc art:


Has anyone else actually received a response, or their replacement disc, from Criterion yet? I certainly hope so…

Regards
Jeff Krispow
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#10 of 34 OFFLINE   John Stell

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Posted December 21 2006 - 02:30 AM

I still haven't received a response. I will have to email them again.
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#11 of 34 OFFLINE   Mark_Wilson

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Posted December 21 2006 - 02:57 AM

I haven't either.

#12 of 34 OFFLINE   JeffMc

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Posted December 21 2006 - 02:47 PM

I think it's great that you informed us of this situation - thanks! But Criterion's lack of communication and public acknowledgment of this error definitely could use some improvement. Great, they fixed it, but when are they going to communicate with the hundreds of people or more who bought the defective version? They could at least have sent some sort of response to those who heard about it and sent in an e-mail (I'm sure it wasn't THAT many). I expect Criterion to confront the replacement issue eventually, but I have definitely lost some respect for this company. Any company that sells a faulty product at a premium price and then doesn't have the time to at least send a polite response to those who bought it and inquired about it, could definitely use some customer relations help.

#13 of 34 OFFLINE   Jeff Krispow

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Posted December 21 2006 - 05:14 PM

Hmmm… this definitely is a bit peculiar. Criterion has always been very forthcoming in acknowledging problematic discs, including correcting and replacing such discs as quickly as possible. And their customer service has always been among the best in the industry. Unlike some other companies I could mention… (such as a specific anime company who has owed me a couple replacement discs and a missing insert since Sep. 2005. Don't get me started…).

As you all know, the replacement Jigoku discs definitely exist, so there obviously must be something else going on right now. The most likely explanation for the delay probably has to do with the holidays. Most companies — home video and otherwise — essentially go into a "dormant phase" during this holiday period, meaning nothing gets done until after New Year's Day had passed. Most of the staff has left on vacation, and there usually only a limited few remaining behind on "office duty" (usually those folks with no vacation time left and/or no seniority).

As I stated in my original post, I spoke with my contact on the same day the replacement discs were received. At that time, only the discs were available for replacement — not the packaging — and he apologized profusely for not being able to send me replacement packaging. This was no big deal to me at the time since I still had my original case, and I didn't think twice about it.

However, reflecting back on that discussion, I just remembered something. When a disc gets repressed due to an error, Criterion also reprints the packaging to properly reflect the new pressing, This way, consumers & retailers (not to mention their own personnel) will be able to differentiate between the two editions. Anyway, it was quite obvious that the new packaging had not yet been received.

As I also originally stated, I was not informed about how they will be handling the disc replacements — but I'm sure it will be their usual exchange program. In that regard, it makes complete sense to me that Criterion would never begin an official replacement program until ALL the items (discs + packaging) were on hand and available.

Anywhooo… those are my thoughts on the additional delay — "reprinted packaging not having arrived" combined with "it's the absolute worst time of the year to deal with home video customer service".

I wish I had something more to tell you other than "be patient." I'll see if I can get ahold of my contact and find out additional news, but I'm fairly sure he's already left on vacation. However, I'm certain Criterion will get this resolved once the horrific holidays are over and done with, and everyone is back at work and the company comes out of hibernation.

Ack!
Jeff Krispow
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#14 of 34 OFFLINE   Joe Fisher

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Posted December 22 2006 - 08:59 AM

Thanks for keeping us posted Jeff. What you said makes sense. I'll give them a bit more time. Hopefully we'll hear something in the way of exchange procedure after the holidays.

#15 of 34 OFFLINE   JeffMc

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Posted January 09 2007 - 02:36 PM

OK - Vacations are over. Everyone should be back to work at this point. Heck - I run my own business and worked ALL the way through the holidays - even Christmas Day fer' *****sakes! (blasphemy removed). Boo-hoo-hoo for me, yes, I know. I agree, everyone on the planet should have at least two weeks off at the end of the year for this big old holiday. Even total corporations should shut down completely. Heck, even my local McDonald's was closed. That has to mean something! Can't get a Big Mac on 12-25!!! But now it's January 10th. Eveyone should be back to work, even those slacker McDonald's employees. So when is Criterion going to publicly step up and acknowledge this JIGOKU screw-up and deal with it? Once again, all they had to do was send a polite e-mail response to at least those people that inquired about it that they are working on the problem and will issue a statement shortly. But still absolutely nothing - not even a courtesy response. That's simply poor customer relations and poor business, any way you slice it.

#16 of 34 OFFLINE   Mark_Wilson

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Posted January 10 2007 - 09:18 AM

I finally received an email from them this week.

#17 of 34 OFFLINE   Anthony Neilson

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Posted January 10 2007 - 11:06 AM

That's nice for you. Would you care to share what it said?
I've been going to bed early . . .

#18 of 34 OFFLINE   JeffMc

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Posted February 10 2007 - 07:24 AM

Well, another month has gone by with still no peep from Criterion. I re-sent an email inquiry and they ignored it as usual. It looks like they are just sweeping this one under the rug. Color me UNIMPRESSED with Criterion's business practices.

#19 of 34 OFFLINE   Mark_Wilson

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Posted February 10 2007 - 08:12 AM

I finally received an email from them on 1/6/07 with instructions on where to send M and Jigoku. Received new copies last week. Did include a nice hand written note. Anyone know if there is a quick way to tell if they are corrected copies (eg: markings on the disc)?

#20 of 34 OFFLINE   Mark_Wilson

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Posted February 10 2007 - 08:15 AM

Here it is: Hi Mark, Please send the faulty discs only to the below address with shipping info for the replacements. Thanks for supporting Criterion. Best regards, Angie Bucknell Production Manager The Criterion Collection 215 Park Avenue South, 5th floor New York, NY 10003 attn: Jon Mulvaney




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