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So I Rang in 2008 by Buying...A LASERDISC!!!


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35 replies to this topic

#1 of 36 Travis Brashear

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Posted January 04 2008 - 12:04 AM

What was my first state-of-the-art home video purchase of the new year? My first HD-DVD? My first Blu-Ray? No, I bought the Criterion Collection LaserDisc (factory sealed, it still blows my mind) of Spike Lee's SHE'S GOTTA HAVE IT: Director's Cut for $45 shipped off of eBay since the DVD that is finally forthcoming in a couple of weeks is only the theatrical edit and has no extras of note. I'm wondering what I was thinking because I have plans to finally invest in my first Hi-Def TV set with my tax return in February (55" Sony), and LDs sure as hell ain't anamorphically encoded, but I just couldn't settle for less in terms of the movie. Anyone else find themselves still buying the occasional LaserDisc these days (for real money, mind you, not just a throwaway buck or two in some resellers bargain bins), so long after the death knell of the format was sounded?
Ernest Hemingway once wrote, "The world is a fine place and worth fighting for." I agree with the second part...
--Det. William Somerset, SE7EN

http://www.dvdanthol...-movielist.html), http://LDDb.com/coll....user=Filmmaker

#2 of 36 greg_t

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Posted January 04 2008 - 12:42 AM

I'm thinking about picking up the Criterion version of Citizen Kane.

#3 of 36 Matt Hough

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Posted January 04 2008 - 01:07 AM

I bought the Criterion laserdisc of SINGIN' IN THE RAIN a few months ago off Ebay just to get the late Ron Haver's superb audio commentary not available anywhere else.

#4 of 36 Chuck Pennington

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Posted January 04 2008 - 02:27 AM

I got Criterion's 1988 THE WIZARD OF OZ Laserdisc for the same reason. And the transfer still looks very good, if terribly soft compared to later video editions. It is far better than what MGM issued in 1989, though not up to the 1994 "Ultimate Oz" THX release.

#5 of 36 Jon Martin

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Posted January 04 2008 - 03:07 AM

I'm surprised it cost you $45 for it. Is there still a market for lasers on Ebay?

I sold most of my collection off there a few years ago. At the end, I was bundling them up and literally couldn't give them away. I think I sold the Criterion SHE'S GOT TO HAVE IT, the Criterion TRAINSPOTTING, and a bunch of other indie films for only $10 for the lot. All in perfect condition.

#6 of 36 Travis Brashear

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Posted January 04 2008 - 03:24 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Martin
I'm surprised it cost you $45 for it. Is there still a market for lasers on Ebay?

I may have been a sucker and paid way more for it than I should/could have, but I had no clue when I might ever come across a mint copy again (I, too, have been out of the LD purchasing market for some time), so I just went for it. $45 hurt a little, but that pain will fade in time and I'll still have the movie.
Ernest Hemingway once wrote, "The world is a fine place and worth fighting for." I agree with the second part...
--Det. William Somerset, SE7EN

http://www.dvdanthol...-movielist.html), http://LDDb.com/coll....user=Filmmaker

#7 of 36 RickER

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Posted January 04 2008 - 04:09 AM

Hope you enjoy it Travis, thats all that matters. I have about 10 of my 150 LDs left. The last 10 were titles not on DVD, or had things the DVD didnt have. I cant bring myself to toss them. Especially the over $200 Star Wars Ultimate Box set. The only ones i have left still NOT on DVD are Robot Carnival (anime), and Night of the Creeps (i hear that may be coming soon). I was able to sell most of my LDs 10 years ago when i saw that DVD was going to kill my LDs. But i sold most stuff for pennies on the dollar. Still, i got 20 years of pleasure from my LDs!

#8 of 36 Richard M S

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Posted January 04 2008 - 05:12 AM

Only last month on EBAY I sold some MGM titles that have not yet hit DVD, to my surprise.

#9 of 36 Jeff_HR

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Posted January 04 2008 - 04:44 PM

"not available anywhere else" is the operative word for still owning a LD Player. I still have mine as I still a some LDs not available on DVD & some withn extras I love not on their DVD counterpart.
Cogito, Ergo Sum
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#10 of 36 Travis Brashear

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Posted January 05 2008 - 01:21 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff_HR
"not available anywhere else" is the operative word for still owning a LD Player. I still have mine as I still a some LDs not available on DVD & some withn extras I love not on their DVD counterpart.

Yes, I have the same philosophy when it comes to retaining certain LDs from my former collection size of 235. With this purchase of SHE'S GOTTA HAVE IT, I'm now down to 44 LDs. I've collected them with no small measure of pride up until now, since they were loosely comparable to DVDs, but often featured exclusive titles or extras. But now in the days of Hi-Def, the non-anamorphic quality of LDs are truly showing their obsolecence--that's why I'm still (partially) questioning my recent purchase. A superior cut and very superior bonus features vs. watching it all in a little window in the center of a much larger hi-def set. Hmm...

For whatever it's worth to anyone, here's my remaining LD collection (with mint discs and mint-to-near mint packaging of CRIMSON TIDE, DUEL, FLASH GORDON [1980], HEARTS OF DARKNESS: A FILMMAKER'S APOCALYPSE, PRINCE AND THE NEW POWER GENERATION: DIAMONDS AND PEARLS, THE ANIMATED ADVENTURES OF GENE RODDENBERRY'S STAR TREK [boxed set], STING: TEN SUMMONER'S TALES, TWIN PEAKS Pilot [European Version], TWIN PEAKS, Vol. 2, TWIN PEAKS, Vol. 3 and TWIN PEAKS, Vol. 4 [the latter three making up the entire second season of the show] up for sale/trade if there are any interested parties):

LaserDisc Database - Collection > All >
Ernest Hemingway once wrote, "The world is a fine place and worth fighting for." I agree with the second part...
--Det. William Somerset, SE7EN

http://www.dvdanthol...-movielist.html), http://LDDb.com/coll....user=Filmmaker

#11 of 36 David_B_K

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Posted January 05 2008 - 04:46 AM

I hang onto the ones that are unique or unavailable. Criterion's version of Welles' Othello, with its commentary and supplements (and original music score) is far superior to the DVD with its re-recorded score. Also, Welles' Magnificent Ambersons, with its commentary and supplements. I have two versions of Criterion's Citizen Kane. The redo version had more supplements and digital sound. I kept the original Criterion LD just because it was one of their first two releases (the other was King Kong), and just looking at the silver box reminds me of how thrilling it was to give that disc a spin back in 1985. The DVD looks a bit better, but you do get to see the rain sheeting in Bernstein's office on the LD!

The Shadow, letterboxed and with DTS sound is one I watch occasionally. I've kept several for the uncompressed DTS sound (The Rock, The Long Kiss Goodnight, etc). Mainly just things unavailable-Abel Gance's Napoleon, The Lighthorsemen , etc.

I usually throw away the discs that become available on DVD in equal or superior versions.

#12 of 36 conedude13

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Posted January 05 2008 - 06:50 AM

I think i might have a laser disc sitting in the basement. only one though. Posted Image

#13 of 36 Travis Brashear

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Posted January 05 2008 - 08:09 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by David_B_K
I usually throw away the discs that become available on DVD in equal or superior versions.

On a genetic level somewhere, I just know I could never do that. Never. Sell one for $1--painful, but yes, I would--but never throw away in the trash.
Ernest Hemingway once wrote, "The world is a fine place and worth fighting for." I agree with the second part...
--Det. William Somerset, SE7EN

http://www.dvdanthol...-movielist.html), http://LDDb.com/coll....user=Filmmaker

#14 of 36 TravisR

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Posted January 05 2008 - 09:49 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Travis Brashear
On a genetic level somewhere, I just know I could never do that. Never. Sell one for $1--painful, but yes, I would--but never throw away in the trash.
I couldn't toss my LDs either.

Not counting the extras, I'm down to one laserdisc (Lost Highway) that doesn't have a DVD counterpart yet. And on Marhc 25, I'll be down to zero when Lost Highway hits DVD. Posted Image

#15 of 36 Shawn Cornwell

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Posted January 07 2008 - 07:59 PM

I held on to one Laser Disc (Hud) because I liked the cover's artwork. The other thirty or so I donated to a local library a few years ago, and I have no idea what became of them.
Favorite Classics Not on DVD: One Hour With You, She Done Him Wrong, These Three, A Women's Face, The Magnificent Ambersons, The Hard Way ('43), The Human Comedy, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Cluny Brown, Margie, The Search, Beyond the Forest, Flamingo Road, Intruder in the Dust, The African...

#16 of 36 Kevin EK

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Posted January 08 2008 - 09:03 AM

I still have about 35 laserdiscs, 90% of which are items I can't get on DVD, or have supplements that never ported over, or just are sentimental for me.

Such as:

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (Disney Archive Edition)
Close Encounters (Criterion CAV - with extras that never ported over)
Dead Ringers (Criterion CAV w/ commentary and Crimes of the Future)
Deanna Durbin set (includes 1 movie not included in the Durbin DVDs)
The Fisher King (Criterion)
Ghostbusters (Criterion)
Halloween (Criterion - and I know the commentary was ported over, but...)
The Idolmaker (only letterbox home release, and only one with commentary)
Intolerance
It's A Wonderful Life (Criterion)
Last Temptation of Christ (Criterion)
Magnificent Ambersons (Criterion)
Midnight Cowboy (Criterion, w/ commentary that never ported over)
Mississippi Burning (w/ commentary)
The Player (Criterion)
Raging Bull (Criterion)
Robocop (Criterion)
Rocky Horror Picture Show
Secret Honor (Criterion)
Sid & Nancy (Criterion)
Silence of the Lambs (Criterion)
Silverado (Criterion)
Taxi Driver (Criterion)
Tootsie (Criterion)

I actually picked up the Tootsie Criterion only five years ago or so, as it has a commentary I couldn't find anywhere else.

I still have my Pioneer Laserdisc/DVD player plugged into the HDTV with an S-Video connection, so I occasionally spin up one of the lasers. It would break my heart to let go of them.

(Of course, a year ago, I sold many lasers to Second Spin, but they were all items that were completely duplicative of what I already had on DVD. Still, I miss the glorious ALIEN & ALIENS box sets. Those were quite beautiful. A friend of mine said that going through a good laserdisc collection was like going through a great collection of record albums...)

#17 of 36 Don May Jr

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Posted January 08 2008 - 09:42 AM

Gads!

I have THOUSANDS of LDs in my basement still. I have no idea what to do with them. I wish I could sell them on Ebay but listing all that stuff just seems useless with all the fees I'd pay. Here's a pic of a partial view of my LDs in my overloaded basement of crap. See anything you like?? LOL! Make me an offer!

Posted Image
Kindest Regards,

Don May, Jr. - President, Synapse Films
http://www.synapse-films.com

#18 of 36 Stephen_J_H

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Posted January 08 2008 - 10:13 AM

Don, if the picture was better resolution and I could make out some of the titles, AND if I owned an LD player, I'd make you an offer. Unfortunately, LD never really took off around here, so you're stuck as far as me making an offer.
"My opinion is that (a) anyone who actually works in a video store and does not understand letterboxing has given up on life, and (b) any customer who prefers to have the sides of a movie hacked off should not be licensed to operate a video player."-- Roger Ebert

#19 of 36 Don May Jr

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Posted January 08 2008 - 10:20 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen_J_H
Don, if the picture was better resolution and I could make out some of the titles, AND if I owned an LD player, I'd make you an offer. Unfortunately, LD never really took off around here, so you're stuck as far as me making an offer.


Hehe! When I moved about 5 years ago, a friend who was helping me decided she'd do me a favor an alphabetize my LD collection on those shelves. She gave up after about 30 minutes. None of those are in any order whatsoever. I know I have a rare copy of the 1983 horror/comedy classic WACKO in there somewhere (which has never been released on DVD legitimately in North America). I should probably break out my DVD-R Recorder, with hard drive, and convert it over.

There are definitely some gems in my collection... I just need to copy some of them to DVD-R or something and sell them off.
Kindest Regards,

Don May, Jr. - President, Synapse Films
http://www.synapse-films.com

#20 of 36 DeanR

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Posted January 08 2008 - 03:31 PM

The problem with playing my LaserDiscs now is they look like crap on my new Mits 73 widescreen TV even when I upconvert them to 1080P through my Denon receiver. Of course, my 919 Pioneer is only a middle of the road player so that doesn't help.


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