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Blu-ray Reviews

HTF BLU-RAY REVIEW: The Wizard of Oz: 70th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition



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#1 of 45 OFFLINE   Ken_McAlinden

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Posted September 26 2009 - 03:59 AM


Ken McAlinden
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#2 of 45 OFFLINE   Cees Alons

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Posted September 26 2009 - 04:15 AM

Ken,

This review is nothing short of a work of art itself!  
Worthy to the stature of the film.

Thanks, and no, I seem to have no choice: have to buy this one.
Or... consider the UK version as well, perhaps (only if it's a true clone).


Cees

#3 of 45 ONLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted September 26 2009 - 04:40 AM

Rather impressive set -- not something I would totally call
what has been dubbed by many as a "box of junk" -- but
then again not giving people the option to buy a version of
this film without all the expensive extras doesn't invoke a
positive response.

That being said, I think it is fair to show you some pictures
of this boxed set that I took to support Ken's outstanding
review above.  Perhaps it will entice some of you who were
on the fence to go out and purchase this version.

Posted Image
Posted Image
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Posted Image



 

 

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#4 of 45 OFFLINE   John Hodson

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Posted September 26 2009 - 05:25 AM

There's no doubt that it's a gorgeous set (well, the watch aside - personal taste) and as much as I'd love to sneer at it (you know, 'I'm above all that tat, I just want the best possible presentation of The Film'...), the collector inside is just screaming BUY THE BLOODY THING!

It's a good job I am strong-willed. And impecunious.


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#5 of 45 OFFLINE   Southpaw

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Posted September 26 2009 - 06:11 AM

 Great review and thanks for highlighting the extras that were already released in 2005 and earlier vs. newly created ones. That will help determine what I want to watch first.

#6 of 45 OFFLINE   benbess

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Posted September 26 2009 - 06:17 AM

Excellent review!

Part of the box has a reproduction of the original budget. Would someone be willing to tell me what the original budget was for OZ in 1939 dollars?

Thanks, Ben


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Posted September 26 2009 - 06:41 AM

About $2.7 million, give or take a few thousand.

#8 of 45 OFFLINE   benbess

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Posted September 26 2009 - 06:51 AM

Thanks Eric.

Quite a deluxe budget for the time, which makes sense. It's quite a lavish film. I'm trying to think of some comparison's from that time. I think GWTW had a c. 4 million budget, although I could be wrong about that. 

I'm pretty sure that anything over $2 million was considered a very large budget in the late 30s. In fact wouldn't anything north of $1 million likely be considered at "A" picture at that time?


#9 of 45 OFFLINE   benbess

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Posted September 26 2009 - 07:03 AM

Yes, just looked up the budget for GWTW--3.9 million. That film is 224 minutes. Oz is 103, I think.

If my math is right, per minute of screen time Oz was even more expensive than Wind. The figures I got--if I didn't mess up--came out to something like this: c. $17,000+ per minute for Wind, and c.$26,000+ per minute for Oz. Maybe not the way to look at it, I realize, but it mainly goes to show that Oz was an extremely lavish A+ production--which I know all of us knew already.


#10 of 45 OFFLINE   captgoodguy

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Posted September 26 2009 - 07:16 AM

Thanks for the great review.  I'm sure I'll be buying this one.  Did anyone go to the HD presentation at the cinema last week?  I could tell a difference but I'm really looking forward to seeing this on BD.
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#11 of 45 OFFLINE   Ken_McAlinden

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Posted September 26 2009 - 07:45 AM



Originally Posted by captgoodguy 

Thanks for the great review.  I'm sure I'll be buying this one.  Did anyone go to the HD presentation at the cinema last week?  I could tell a difference but I'm really looking forward to seeing this on BD.
I am actually planning on catching it in old school HD (35mm) at Detroit's Redford Theater this November.

http://redfordtheatre.com/movie/

As for the earlier question: Per the budget sheet in the box, the film cost US$2,769,230.30 and was a little more than a million dollars over budget.

Regards,

Ken McAlinden
Livonia, MI USA

#12 of 45 OFFLINE   MatthewA

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Posted September 26 2009 - 08:42 AM



Originally Posted by Ken_McAlinden ">



I am actually planning on catching it in old school HD (35mm) at Detroit's Redford Theater this November.

http://redfordtheatre.com/movie/

As for the earlier question: Per the budget sheet in the box, the film cost US$2,769,230.30 and was a little more than a million dollars over budget.

Regards,
I entered that budget into this site:

http://www.westegg.com/inflation/

And got the following figure in 2008 dollars:

 $42494475.60

I'm sure that to make it today would probably be a bit more than that, even if they shot it in Canada.


Enough is enough, Disney. No more evasions or excuses. We DEMAND the release Song of the South on Blu-ray along with the uncut version of Bedknobs and Broomsticks on Blu-ray. I am going to boycott The Walt Disney Company until then. And while you're at it, PLEASE stop dropping DVD/laserdisc extras from Blu-ray releases of other films.


#13 of 45 OFFLINE   Jeff Whitford

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Posted September 26 2009 - 11:01 AM



Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronald Epstein 

Rather impressive set -- not something I would totally call
what has been dubbed by many as a "box of junk" -- but
then again not giving people the option to buy a version of
this film without all the expensive extras doesn't invoke a
positive response.

 
According to what i've read Walmart is selling this as a single disc for $19.99 and the Target set which is $35 in this sundays ad will be multiple disc but none of the extra"junk".

Jeff Whitford
Hometheater Guru ?

#14 of 45 OFFLINE   Jim_K

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Posted September 26 2009 - 11:24 AM

$35 sans the junk?

Still a bit pricey but tempting.

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#15 of 45 OFFLINE   Larry Sutliff

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Posted September 27 2009 - 07:16 AM

That campaign book is very enticing. I used to collect press books and memorabilia, and they sometimes cost much more than the price of this entire set! I'm looking forward to getting this.

#16 of 45 OFFLINE   Edwin-S

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Posted September 27 2009 - 07:57 AM

A very good review, but I wish reviewers would ensure that at least the MSRP is included in the data box. What is the MSRP on this set? I cannot honestly say that I'm a big fan of WWoOz, but this set set does look and sound impressive, especially in relation to all of the film and video extras that are included.

The one thing I cannot understand is the short shrift that is given to the original mono track for this film. I'm not a fan of big fat mono, but this film's track was just that. The producers of this set lavished a level of detail on everything but the OST: that they stuck in the extras menu and limited to a lossy DD track. At the least, they could have made it lossless. I don't know if it would have made any difference sonically, but it certainly would have been a show of respect for the original recording.
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Posted September 27 2009 - 08:13 AM

Well, along with the audio edit(s) mentioned in the other Oz thread, I think WB needs to fix some things on Oz.

#18 of 45 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted September 27 2009 - 08:31 AM

So I had a few minutes to sit down today and preview the
Blu-ray disc inside THE WIZARD OF OZ COLLECTOR'S
EDITION.

I noticed something that is going to seem very odd to all
of you, but bear with me for a moment.

Like all of you, I have seen THE WIZARD OF OZ dozens
upon dozens of times since childhood.  Yet, today when I
watched this film for the first time on Blu-ray, I noticed
something that I never noticed before.  

The one scene most people love is the moment Dorothy
opens the door and steps out from her sepia-toned home
into the Technicolor world of Oz.  During those first few
moments as the camera pans across Munchkinland, I
thought to myself, "Gee, all of this looks like a small
soundstage with phony plants and man-made river."

I mean, "duh" it is ---- but for me to actually take myself
out of the film and notice how unrealistic Munchkinland
looks right down to the plastic flowers tells me I am seeing
detail I never saw before.

I had to make certain I wasn't going out of my mind.  So,
I went in and grabbed the 1990 DVD of THE WIZARD OF OZ.  Mind you, this was the very first DVD release of the
film which came in a snap case.  This was the perfect
comparison to what I had been seeing all my life because
that 1990 DVD transfer was filled with dirt and scratches.  It
looked as if the studio just mindlessly threw that print on DVD.   

I went to the same Munchkinland opening scene which was
so muddy in comparison, that the scenery just blended into the
action itself.  There wasn't this 3D-like separation of foreground
and background.   

So, for the sake of believability, OZ looks so damn good on 
Blu-ray it's like you were back in 1939, had opened up the studio
stage doors and walked onto the original movie set to find that
everything around you was fabricated. 

I'd be interested to see if anyone gets a very odd feeling
watching this film on Blu-ray for the first time.  You notice
things you never gave second thought to before.


 

Ronald J Epstein
Home Theater Forum co-owner

 

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#19 of 45 OFFLINE   MatthewA

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Posted September 27 2009 - 10:01 AM



Originally Posted by Ronald Epstein 

So I had a few minutes to sit down today and preview the
Blu-ray disc inside THE WIZARD OF OZ COLLECTOR'S
EDITION.

I noticed something that is going to seem very odd to all
of you, but bear with me for a moment.

Like all of you, I have seen THE WIZARD OF OZ dozens
upon dozens of times since childhood.  Yet, today when I
watched this film for the first time on Blu-ray, I noticed
something that I never noticed before.  

The one scene most people love is the moment Dorothy
opens the door and steps out from her sepia-toned home
into the Technicolor world of Oz.  During those first few
moments as the camera pans across Munchkinland, I
thought to myself, "Gee, all of this looks like a small
soundstage with phony plants and man-made river."

I mean, "duh" it is ---- but for me to actually take myself
out of the film and notice how unrealistic Munchkinland
looks right down to the plastic flowers tells me I am seeing
detail I never saw before.

I had to make certain I wasn't going out of my mind.  So,
I went in and grabbed the 1990 DVD of THE WIZARD OFOZ.  Mind you, this was the very first DVD release of the
film which came in a snap case.  This was the perfect
comparison to what I had been seeing all my life because
that 1990 DVD transfer was filled with dirt and scratches.  It
looked as if the studio just mindlessly threw that print on DVD.   

I went to the same Munchkinland opening scene which was
so muddy in comparison, that the scenery just blended into the
action itself.  There wasn't this 3D-like separation of foreground
and background.   

So, for the sake of believability, OZ looks so damn good on 
Blu-ray it's like you were back in 1939, had opened up the studio
stage doors and walked onto the original movie set to find that
everything around you was fabricated. 

I'd be interested to see if anyone gets a very odd feeling
watching this film on Blu-ray for the first time.  You notice
things you never gave second thought to before.


In all fairness, it's not even "real" in the context of the film, for obvious reasons.

I had already pre-ordered mine from Amazon and I can't wait!

Enough is enough, Disney. No more evasions or excuses. We DEMAND the release Song of the South on Blu-ray along with the uncut version of Bedknobs and Broomsticks on Blu-ray. I am going to boycott The Walt Disney Company until then. And while you're at it, PLEASE stop dropping DVD/laserdisc extras from Blu-ray releases of other films.


#20 of 45 ONLINE   Osato

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Posted September 27 2009 - 10:24 AM

 I'll be picking up the film for sure this week! I'm going to look at possibly the exclusive Target version and compare it to the full box set before buying. 

I'm looking forward to seeing the film again. My wife and I just saw Wicked last week. I haven't seen The Wizard of Oz in several years, so it will be fun to watch an HD version of it. Thank you WB for pulling out all of the stops on this release. 

I'm very interested in the MGM When The Lion Roars documentary. Should be interesting to see how the studio went from so high to so low in 2009! 

It's nice to see WB taking such care of North By Northwest, Oz and Gone With The Wind. 
They should look into buying the James Bond films with MGM on the verge of bankruptcy!





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