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Johnny Eager (1942) DVD from Warner Archive


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#1 of 34 OFFLINE   DaveK

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Posted August 20 2012 - 04:02 PM

I purchased the DVD when it was released and unfortunately it appears they used an old video transfer. The version shown on TCM looks way better.

Here's a title screenshot from the DVD:
Posted Image


Here's a title screenshot from the version aired on TCM last week
Posted Image


I contacted Warner Archive last year about this and they believe they're working with the BEST materials. Is there anyway to open their eyes to fix this mistake?

#2 of 34 OFFLINE   bgart13

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Posted August 20 2012 - 05:22 PM

I don't see what the problem is.

#3 of 34 OFFLINE   Randy Korstick

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Posted August 21 2012 - 11:00 AM

I don't see the problem either but the 1st one looks good to me and the TCM one in the picture has more of a VHS look to it.
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#4 of 34 OFFLINE   DaveK

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Posted August 21 2012 - 05:53 PM

The DVD version looks like it was taken from an old video master, because it's so dark and grainy, whereas the TCM version appears to be remastered.

#5 of 34 OFFLINE   marcco00

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Posted August 21 2012 - 06:41 PM

i too bought this dvd after seeing the quality of the print on TCM----- i too was highly disappointed

#6 of 34 OFFLINE   jdee28

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Posted August 22 2012 - 09:06 AM

Wow, a case where a new remastering of a WB-controlled film appears on television first and not the Archives, allowing the TCM recording to be far superior to the Archive disc! No question that the WB should release the new remastering to the Archive and replace the inferior, VHS-derived version of Johnny Eager they currently offer!

#7 of 34 OFFLINE   JoHud

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Posted August 22 2012 - 09:22 AM

I believe Johnny Eager was on the WAC's very first wave in early 2009. My guess is that the remastering was done afterwards and will eventually replace the current WAC like they've done with a few other early efforts.

#8 of 34 OFFLINE   jdee28

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Posted August 22 2012 - 09:36 AM

I believe Johnny Eager was on the WAC's very first wave in early 2009. My guess is that the remastering was done afterwards and will eventually replace the current WAC like they've done with a few other early efforts.
Perhaps the only way to make it a certainty is to bug them. Folks should definitely post on their Facebook page about it.

#9 of 34 OFFLINE   JohnPM

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Posted August 22 2012 - 09:47 AM

Does anyone know what Warner Archive titles have so far been upgraded, other than I Love Melvin?

#10 of 34 OFFLINE   DaveK

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Posted August 22 2012 - 10:48 AM

I believe Johnny Eager was on the WAC's very first wave in early 2009. My guess is that the remastering was done afterwards and will eventually replace the current WAC like they've done with a few other early efforts.
No, the remastered version has been on TCM 2 years prior to it being released on DVD, that's why I purchased it back in 2009...boy was I dissappointed. As for the Warner Archive page on FB, I can't seem to post anything on it. Could someone else post this issue on the page, and see if they get an answer? Thanks

#11 of 34 OFFLINE   JoHud

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Posted August 22 2012 - 11:45 AM

No, the remastered version has been on TCM 2 years prior to it being released on DVD, that's why I purchased it back in 2009...boy was I dissappointed. As for the Warner Archive page on FB, I can't seem to post anything on it. Could someone else post this issue on the page, and see if they get an answer? Thanks
In that case, it was probably a careless off-the-shelf transfer used that somehow overlooked the superior TCM print. As for the Warner Archive Facebook page, I think it needs to be "liked" before posts are accepted. There should be a textbox on the upper-left corner of the new timeline interface that allows posts to be made
Does anyone know what Warner Archive titles have so far been upgraded, other than I Love Melvin?
Four Daughters, Give A Girl A Break, and Don't Be Afraid of the Dark also got remastered re-releases w/ the latter getting a new commentary

#12 of 34 OFFLINE   DaveK

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Posted August 22 2012 - 07:07 PM

I "liked" it, but I'm still blocked from posting

#13 of 34 OFFLINE   Nick*Z

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Posted August 24 2012 - 04:51 AM

Johnny Eager wasn't given the badly needed upgrade it deserves. The DVD-R from the archive is riddled with age related artifacts and some nasty video noise throughout. Personally, I am of the opinion that it's high time Warner began reassessing films already available on the archive for complete remasters in 1080p on blu-ray. Too many good to great titles have found their way to the archive in less than stellar editions. And too many minted DVDs have since been downgraded to DVD-R status - like Gaslight, The Unsinkable Molly Brown and Good News. While we need to champion WB for giving us hard to find classics on a digital format, we also need to press them on the fact that some movies from the golden age need to be given more consideration. I have been a proponent of WB looking into third party distribution for their classics, perhaps through a company like Twilight Time, as Fox and Sony have already embraced with limited edition Blu-ray releases of titles like Desiree, The Big Heat, Those Magnificent Men and Their Flying Machines, The Egyptian and The Wayward Bus. Movies I'd like to see go from the Warner Archive to Blu-ray include Johnny Eager, The Women, The Valley of Decision, The Swan, Mrs. Parkington, Holiday in Mexico, The Student Prince, May Time, Weekend at the Waldorf, Idiot's Delight, Honky Tonk, The White Cliffs of Dover and When Ladies Meet. There are more to this list but I won't bore anyone with them herein. We should also be pressing WB for those titles still missing in action that have long been promised from WB but have yet to surface. Three for immediate consideration - The Merry Widow (Chevalier/MacDonald), Red Dust and A Guy Named Joe. The archive was and is a great intermediary - bridging the gap between what's out there and what needs to be given more delicate consideration for future restoration, preservation and remastering in 1080p. But WB has been remarkably absent from vintage releases this past year. Those few and far between titles that have surfaced, like Coma - didn't get re-scanned but were merely regurgitated from existing elements on Blu-ray. That's a shame. But back to Johnny Eager - truly one of the great noir-ish thriller/romances that deserves much better care than it received. I think it's time someone at WB put their house in order on the archive and re-evaluate titles that are merely present and accounted for, and those deserving of more consideration, time and effort. No kidding, it is an exhaustive task. WB has one of the largest (if not 'the' largest) archives of film history under their control. And also - no kidding - you need money to make all of this proposed restoration and remastering happen. But I think if WB takes a more concerted look, they'll discover that the 1080p marketplace is becoming more and more feasible and friendly towards vintage titles. It's just a matter of picking the right ones to restore and remaster. I don't think the old 'box set' mentality that WB used for their DVD releases (you know, putting one or two truly iconic titles in a set with three or four forgettable ones) will work for collectors on Blu. What needs to happen is a total revision of the concept of marketing these titles in hi-def. I've thought about this for a while and would like to propose an 'anthology' series. I think WB ought to do something like an "MGM in the 40s" box set, to include 20 to 40 titles from the studio's library packaged together. For example: volume one might include films like Mrs. Miniver, Mrs. Parkington, Holiday in Mexico, Anchors Aweigh, Good News, The White Cliffs of Dover, Weekend At the Waldorf, Johnny Eager, Honky Tonk, When Ladies Meet, The Shop Around the Corner, The Philadelphia Story, Pride and Prejudice, New Moon, I Love You Again, Strike Up The Band, Ziegfeld Girl, The Chocolate Soldier, Babes on Broadway, Whistling in the Dark. Volume Two could have Woman of the Year, Rio Rita, Strange Cargo, Journey for Margaret, Keeper of the Flame, The Human Comedy, Cabin in the Sky, Du Barry Was A Lady, National Velvet, Thousands Cheer, Lassie Come Home, Best Foot Forward, A Guy Named Joe, Bathing Beauty, Kismet, Yolanda and the Thief, Two Sisters from Boston, Till The Clouds Roll By, The Sea of Grass and A Date With Judy. Warner could do the same thing for each decade, and also with its own studio library. These titles would come out as a collection first and then as individuals later in the same year. Thoughts?

#14 of 34 OFFLINE   Bob Cashill

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Posted August 24 2012 - 05:52 AM

"But I think if WB takes a more concerted look, they'll discover that the 1080p marketplace is becoming more and more feasible and friendly towards vintage titles." A debatable point, but a problem other than wavering interest beyond buffs is that there's nowhere to sell them anymore except through Amazon. (The ailing Best Buys, etc., have little interest.) WB has found a model that works for it and I can't say I blame the studio for sticking to it.

#15 of 34 OFFLINE   Nick*Z

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Posted August 24 2012 - 03:22 PM

I'm not a fan of Best Buy, Wal-Mart and Amazon.com exclusives for classic titles on Blu-ray. You've just taken a niche market audience and shrunk it down even further by restricting the distribution to only one or two third party distributors. Best Buy has been notorious in NOT having 'Best Buy' exclusive classics on their shelves. Wal-Mart stores in Michigan have a policy of not stocking titles like The Poseidon Adventure unless you prepay and then they'll order the title for you and you can get it in a couple of days. Dumb! Really dumb! I am a Canadian living near the Detroit border so to buy this Irwin Allen classic I had to drive across the border twice, pay toll to cross the border twice, order the title in person (because they won't take orders from Canadians over the phone - thanks!) and then drive back to pick it up later in the week. Nobody but a die hard fan would do this. So, if sales are down for classics in 1080p my advice is, you aren't marketing your titles properly. The reason new releases don't suffer the same fate is because they get a big build up in advertising and a mass distribution. You can find them anywhere. More market saturation means more public awareness which equates to better sales. It's not rocket science. A lot of classics have found their way in the European market and have done quite well. Olive Films has done a fair business with older Republic and Paramount titles. Sony and Fox have found a better way to market vintage titles in hi-def in the U.S. and Canada, by releasing limited editions of 3000 through Twilight Time. These transfers look phenomenal and are bringing hard to find titles like Desiree, The Egyptian and The Big Heat in near pristine 1080p transfers to the consumer. They've also brought such main stream titles as As Good As It Gets and Steel Magnolias out. So, it isn't that there is NO market for these releases. It's just that they've become harder to find and as a result, most casual purchasers who might buy them if they were readily available on shelves at their local retailer, have either given up on looking for them or don't even know that they're coming out on home video. I can't understand WB's sudden lack of interest in doing right by their classics. They used to have a very progressive attitude - arguably the very best in the business. But lately I'd rate their overall commitment somewhere between so-so and poor. Worse, they have a very closed door policy toward third party intervention. They would prefer to do things themselves. I used to think that this was a highly commendable attitude; especially when WB was pumping out box sets of golden oldies on DVD virtually every month. But since that pipeline has dried up WB has been content simply to focus on the archive and practically nothing else. Burned DVD-R's do not have the same shelf life as DVDs. Nor does their low bit rate rank the same sort of attention to detail in preservation and restoration. Warner Archive titles sell for as much as what their properly minted DVDs used to, yet archive titles rarely get a proper restoration before coming to disc. They also come with NONE of the extras WB spoiled us with on their DVDs: audio commentaries, radio shows, deleted scenes/numbers, short subjects, trailers, et al. As a collector I would still be willing to forego all of the extras if WB was committed to restoring the films they're putting out on DVD-R. But take a look at titles like The Enchanted Cottage, The Student Prince, Dream Wife, Honky Tonk, Idiot's Delight, Come Live With Me, When Ladies Meet, Small Town Girl. The quality is well below par. The transfers are often hazy, with muddy colors, softly focused and lacking in any sort of attention to color balancing. B&W transfers frequently suffer from video noise, edge enhancement. All have a ton of age related artifacts. Put it all together and more than a goodly sum of these DVD-R films are a shade up from VHS quality and nowhere near what they ought to look like on ANY digital format. And my list is by no means inclusive. No, the archive was a great way to make 'everything' available for the antsy consumer who just wanted to have the movie right now and in whatever condition it currently exists. The problem is, that person is not who classics are usually marketed to. Nor is that person indicative of the average consumer of classics mindset, and furthermore, it isn't the way most collectors want to view their cherished film memories on home video. So, where does that leave us? Not sure. But the archive isn't really satisfying - especially for collectors. Not all the titles are bad. In fact, some are quite good. But the DVD-R format, coupled with the high purchase price and lack of extras are all conspiring to make short shrift of consumer expectations. It also doesn't help sales when a big outfit like WB won't sell their archive releases directly to country's outside the U.S. Again, being a Canadian, I have found certain secondary online retailers who don't have a problem selling to we Canucks. So I can still get my fix. But making the average consumer jump through these hoops is bad PR, bad marketing and just plain doesn't make sense - especially when the studio continues to gripe about sales figures not being where they ought to be. Note to studios - make your product more visible and readily available. Think Field of Dreams - if you market it properly, they will buy! Regrets.

#16 of 34 OFFLINE   Robert Crawford

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Posted August 24 2012 - 06:04 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick*Z /t/323142/johnny-eager-1942-dvd-from-warner-archive#post_3966243 I'm not a fan of Best Buy, Wal-Mart and Amazon.com exclusives for classic titles on Blu-ray. You've just taken a niche market audience and shrunk it down even further by restricting the distribution to only one or two third party distributors. Best Buy has been notorious in NOT having 'Best Buy' exclusive classics on their shelves. Wal-Mart stores in Michigan have a policy of not stocking titles like The Poseidon Adventure unless you prepay and then they'll order the title for you and you can get it in a couple of days. Dumb! Really dumb! I am a Canadian living near the Detroit border so to buy this Irwin Allen classic I had to drive across the border twice, pay toll to cross the border twice, order the title in person (because they won't take orders from Canadians over the phone - thanks!) and then drive back to pick it up later in the week. Nobody but a die hard fan would do this. So, if sales are down for classics in 1080p my advice is, you aren't marketing your titles properly. The reason new releases don't suffer the same fate is because they get a big build up in advertising and a mass distribution. You can find them anywhere. More market saturation means more public awareness which equates to better sales. It's not rocket science. A lot of classics have found their way in the European market and have done quite well. Olive Films has done a fair business with older Republic and Paramount titles. Sony and Fox have found a better way to market vintage titles in hi-def in the U.S. and Canada, by releasing limited editions of 3000 through Twilight Time. These transfers look phenomenal and are bringing hard to find titles like Desiree, The Egyptian and The Big Heat in near pristine 1080p transfers to the consumer. They've also brought such main stream titles as As Good As It Gets and Steel Magnolias out. So, it isn't that there is NO market for these releases. It's just that they've become harder to find and as a result, most casual purchasers who might buy them if they were readily available on shelves at their local retailer, have either given up on looking for them or don't even know that they're coming out on home video. I can't understand WB's sudden lack of interest in doing right by their classics. They used to have a very progressive attitude - arguably the very best in the business. But lately I'd rate their overall commitment somewhere between so-so and poor. Worse, they have a very closed door policy toward third party intervention. They would prefer to do things themselves. I used to think that this was a highly commendable attitude; especially when WB was pumping out box sets of golden oldies on DVD virtually every month. But since that pipeline has dried up WB has been content simply to focus on the archive and practically nothing else. Burned DVD-R's do not have the same shelf life as DVDs. Nor does their low bit rate rank the same sort of attention to detail in preservation and restoration. Warner Archive titles sell for as much as what their properly minted DVDs used to, yet archive titles rarely get a proper restoration before coming to disc. They also come with NONE of the extras WB spoiled us with on their DVDs: audio commentaries, radio shows, deleted scenes/numbers, short subjects, trailers, et al. As a collector I would still be willing to forego all of the extras if WB was committed to restoring the films they're putting out on DVD-R. But take a look at titles like The Enchanted Cottage, The Student Prince, Dream Wife, Honky Tonk, Idiot's Delight, Come Live With Me, When Ladies Meet, Small Town Girl. The quality is well below par. The transfers are often hazy, with muddy colors, softly focused and lacking in any sort of attention to color balancing. B&W transfers frequently suffer from video noise, edge enhancement. All have a ton of age related artifacts. Put it all together and more than a goodly sum of these DVD-R films are a shade up from VHS quality and nowhere near what they ought to look like on ANY digital format. And my list is by no means inclusive. No, the archive was a great way to make 'everything' available for the antsy consumer who just wanted to have the movie right now and in whatever condition it currently exists. The problem is, that person is not who classics are usually marketed to. Nor is that person indicative of the average consumer of classics mindset, and furthermore, it isn't the way most collectors want to view their cherished film memories on home video. So, where does that leave us? Not sure. But the archive isn't really satisfying - especially for collectors. Not all the titles are bad. In fact, some are quite good. But the DVD-R format, coupled with the high purchase price and lack of extras are all conspiring to make short shrift of consumer expectations. It also doesn't help sales when a big outfit like WB won't sell their archive releases directly to country's outside the U.S. Again, being a Canadian, I have found certain secondary online retailers who don't have a problem selling to we Canucks. So I can still get my fix. But making the average consumer jump through these hoops is bad PR, bad marketing and just plain doesn't make sense - especially when the studio continues to gripe about sales figures not being where they ought to be. Note to studios - make your product more visible and readily available. Think Field of Dreams - if you market it properly, they will buy! Regrets.
I don't understand why it's so difficult to understand, but the number of retailers willing to invest store space for video product has diminished greatly over the last ten years.  Consumers have spoken with their reduced discretionary spending since the mid-2000s that the physical media market has been shrinking while retailers like Circuit City and possibly Best Buy have bought the farm.  There's just not enough classic film collector dollars to support Warner's business model of 2002 nor enough spent dollars for the retailers to allow valued floor space for video software.  Furthermore, it's not just Warner, but all of the studios that have their own version of the current retail market.  Now, we can fault Warner for not having better access for international customers to their products, but I'm not verse enough in right's or distribution issues outside of the US to get into a deep discussion there, but I feel those international customers pain.            Crawdaddy

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#17 of 34 OFFLINE   Bob Cashill

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Posted August 24 2012 - 07:29 PM

"It also doesn't help sales when a big outfit like WB won't sell their archive releases directly to country's outside the U.S."--So often it comes down to that. Warner says it's working on it, and I hope they find a way. The rest, while well-stated and accentuating the positive (and there is good news out there), has been refuted or at least argued many times before (particularly the dated info on DVD-Rs). We live in fragmented, sometimes frustrating times for DVD/BD purchases, and I don't see that changing before everything moves online and we're all posting in the "Home Streaming Forum." :) One thing, though: "No, the archive was a great way to make 'everything' available for the antsy consumer who just wanted to have the movie right now and in whatever condition it currently exists. The problem is, that person is not who classics are usually marketed to. Nor is that person indicative of the average consumer of classics mindset, and furthermore, it isn't the way most collectors want to view their cherished film memories on home video." We "antsy consumers" have been waiting for some of these movies for decades; I doubt some of those Warner pre-codes, pressed or MOD, have been available since they were produced, or aired on rabbit-ear TV. (VHS is long past in our rearview mirror now, too.) "Classics mindset" is difficult to define, too; your DREAM WIFE is my GREEN SLIME. And however you define "classic" I'd say we're the ones keeping the whole kit and kaboodle afloat now for catalog titles; the "average consumer of classic mindset" is content with his or her WIZARD OF OZ DVD or (maybe) BD and isn't digging much deeper, certainly not to WHEN LADIES MEET. Remember: The "good times" weren't all that great for catalog titles on DVD (Warner and other studios have said so), but there was greater brick-and-mortar infrastructure and a healhier economy to support its indulgence. Could it be better? Sure--but I'm glad to have access to many titles that were "cherished film memories" for those who recall seeing them and not for those of us who couldn't until recently.

#18 of 34 OFFLINE   Nick*Z

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Posted August 25 2012 - 06:26 AM

In think you've misunderstood what I've been trying to say. The archive was a good starting point for the resurrection of hard to find titles. But lets see some more proactive third party sharing on the harder to find stuff on Blu-ray. I've already written to Twilight Time/Screen Archives on this matter and have on several occasions while ordering Sony/Fox blu-rays through them spoken to individuals there who would LOVE to get their hands on the Warner classic library for their limited edition Blu-ray discs. But they all say the same thing - Warner doesn't want to share. That's a pity. I'm not slamming the studio for its closed door policy. But I don't really respect them for it either. WB has a magnificent film library at its disposal. But most of it is in moth balls these days and that's a shame if not a travesty. Let's look at it this way. Sony has chosen to market Cover Girl through a limited minting via Twilight Time, presumably because they don't feel the title will sell on a more mass produced minting. The bad news is, there are only 3000 copies available. The good news is, there are 3000 copies available. Consumers get a quality hi-def transfer of a title largely - and sadly - forgotten by all but a handful of appreciative collectors. Wouldn't any of you kill to have a hi-def copy of MGM's Marie Antoinette, The Prisoner of Zenda, Little Women, Romeo & Juliet, Broadway Melody of 1936/38, Grand Hotel, Weekend At the Waldorf, etc.? It can happen. But for it to happen WB needs to relax its policy on allowing other distributors to take over where they have arguably failed. That's not a bad thing, and it could definitely be a very good thing for the company as well as consumers. At the very least, the prospect ought to be considered by WB instead of flat out rejected. That's my point. And no, Robert - it's not hard to understand!

#19 of 34 OFFLINE   Robert Crawford

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Posted August 25 2012 - 06:37 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick*Z /t/323142/johnny-eager-1942-dvd-from-warner-archive#post_3966402 In think you've misunderstood what I've been trying to say. The archive was a good starting point for the resurrection of hard to find titles. But lets see some more proactive third party sharing on the harder to find stuff on Blu-ray. I've already written to Twilight Time/Screen Archives on this matter and have on several occasions while ordering Sony/Fox blu-rays through them spoken to individuals there who would LOVE to get their hands on the Warner classic library for their limited edition Blu-ray discs. But they all say the same thing - Warner doesn't want to share. That's a pity. I'm not slamming the studio for its closed door policy. But I don't really respect them for it either. WB has a magnificent film library at its disposal. But most of it is in moth balls these days and that's a shame if not a travesty. Let's look at it this way. Sony has chosen to market Cover Girl through a limited minting via Twilight Time, presumably because they don't feel the title will sell on a more mass produced minting. The bad news is, there are only 3000 copies available. The good news is, there are 3000 copies available. Consumers get a quality hi-def transfer of a title largely - and sadly - forgotten by all but a handful of appreciative collectors. Wouldn't any of you kill to have a hi-def copy of MGM's Marie Antoinette, The Prisoner of Zenda, Little Women, Romeo & Juliet, Broadway Melody of 1936/38, Grand Hotel, Weekend At the Waldorf, etc.? It can happen. But for it to happen WB needs to relax its policy on allowing other distributors to take over where they have arguably failed. That's not a bad thing, and it could definitely be a very good thing for the company as well as consumers. At the very least, the prospect ought to be considered by WB instead of flat out rejected. That's my point. And no, Robert - it's not hard to understand!
I understand, but Warner isn't doing it.  They believe in keeping their assets in-house and they don't want to farm out their titles to such third party entities.  As consumers we can criticiize them for taking that position, but it's their property to do as they please with their property. 

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#20 of 34 OFFLINE   Robert Crawford

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Posted August 25 2012 - 08:54 AM

A good read about the future of physical media in the home video marketplace.


 


http://www.usatoday....ming/57256000/1

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