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VOTE 2012: Worst Studio

HTF Awards 2012

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#1 of 23 Ronald Epstein

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Posted January 19 2013 - 11:33 PM





During the entire month of January and February Home Theater Forum will be asking our membership to nominate and then vote upon the BEST and WORST Blu-ray releases of 2012. What makes our awards so important is that they aren't voted from within the industry by committees or journalists. The selection of these awards begin and end with the HTF membership -- those individuals that know Blu-ray better than anyone else!
 
 
VOTE FOR THE TOP NOMINATED TITLES: January 20-March 2nd
 
Winners Will be announced March 3rd
 
 
PLEASE READ THESE RULES VERY CAREFULLY
 
You may only vote once per category
Discussion is allowed in these threads
 


    




WORST STUDIO/DISTRIBUTOR 2012
 
What Studio/Distributor consistently released product that did not rise to the highest standards of the format?
 
 
 

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#2 of 23 JohnS

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Posted January 20 2013 - 02:37 PM

I voted for Universal. Even though I think they did an excellent job on the Monster set. But they botched Alfred Hitchcock set and a lot of their catalog titles. And my nomination and vote even came from my experience at Universal from the HTF meet. As it came across that they don't seem to have the same love and care for their catalog titles like Warner Brothers does.

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#3 of 23 rsmithjr

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Posted January 20 2013 - 03:24 PM

I voted for Universal. Even though I think they did an excellent job on the Monster set. But they botched Alfred Hitchcock set and a lot of their catalog titles. And my nomination and vote even came from my experience at Universal from the HTF meet. As it came across that they don't seem to have the same love and care for their catalog titles like Warner Brothers does.

The love for the movies is a big part of it, isn't it? I was really impressed this year with the quality of work done with the 3-panel Cinerama movies. Poor source, very little money, but lots of love. I think that Universal has some love for their monsters, and it shows in the monster set. The Hitchcock titles, well, they just don't care.

#4 of 23 Steve Tannehill

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Posted January 21 2013 - 01:40 PM

I voted for Paramount, mainly because they did not release Hondo in 3D.

#5 of 23 Ed Lachmann

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Posted January 22 2013 - 05:33 AM

I voted for Paramount, too, and only because they WON'T release their 4K restoration of SAMSON AND DELILAH in any other format than standard DVD. Why not just put it out in a special VHS only edition and REALLY go retro? It could and should be the BEST BD OF THE YEAR, but not to give the people a choice make it the WORST! I loved them after WINGS, but this bone-headed move put them at the bottom of the barrel for me.

#6 of 23 rsmithjr

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Posted January 22 2013 - 09:32 AM

I voted for Paramount, too, and only because they WON'T release their 4K restoration of SAMSON AND DELILAH in any other format than standard DVD. Why not just put it out in a special VHS only edition and REALLY go retro? It could and should be the BEST BD OF THE YEAR, but not to give the people a choice make it the WORST! I loved them after WINGS, but this bone-headed move put them at the bottom of the barrel for me.

At least if and when we do see Samson and Delilah on Blu-ray, it will be a quality job because of the effort they have put into it. The sad thing about Universal's work on the Hitchcock collection is that they may never bother to improve upon what they have released.

#7 of 23 Sam Favate

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Posted January 27 2013 - 06:22 AM

No more double-sided discs!



#8 of 23 Terry Hickey

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Posted January 28 2013 - 12:02 AM

Fox, because they could've released the Flint blurays themselves instead of farming them off.


 

#9 of 23 Billy Batson

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Posted January 28 2013 - 12:34 AM

Fox, because they could've released the Flint blurays themselves instead of farming them off.

I'd have to agree with that.

#10 of 23 Nick*Z

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Posted January 28 2013 - 05:04 AM

I vote for Fox, because they still have their hand on the chicken switch when it comes to Blu, releasing hit or miss transfers. We had a superb dual layer of How Green Was My Valley, but only a single layer of Gentleman's Agreement. Hannah and her Sisters looked awful. So did their reissue of Jean Negulesco's Titanic. Yuck! Fox really is foundering. Two years ago they ruined West Side Story for me and for which I was promised but never sent a replacement disc as part of their program. But even the replacement, which I viewed via a friend who was more fortunate to get one, looked like the same old junk with just a slap-dash fade out correction in the main titles. Never mind the excessive edge effects and the terrible color manipulation in the credits. I would agree that Universal had its flaws, but overall they gave it the ol' Joe College try and, the Hitchcock box set not withstanding (I was pretty miffed about that one!) they gave us some gorgeous releases for their 100th Anniversary. Paramount quite simply didn't do enough. What's with the sudden trickle of classic Blu and then total sell off to Warner? Is there no interest on the mountain to do right by its already fragmented heritage?!?!? Finally, there was Warner, who kept up appearances but also had their minor flubs along the way: the reissue of Dead Ringer looking not much better than my DVD and reissued discs 2 and 3 as DVDs on their Jazz Singer Blu-ray. Poo-poo. Bottom line: everyone could have and should have done better. But Fox still hit the low point for me more often than any other studio in the mix. That's why I have decided to give them my golden turkey award. Cluck! Cluck! Cluck!

#11 of 23 Timothy E

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Posted February 12 2013 - 09:06 AM

Warner Brothers for their shoddy treatment of the cartoon shorts in their library (Looney Tunes, Tom & Jerry).  They own the best series of cartoon shorts ever created and they continue to package and market them poorly.


They keep repackaging the same old Looney Tunes shorts in every new format(VHS, Beta, laserdisc, DVD, Blu-ray) making fans double dip for one or 2 new shorts while failing to release many great Looney Tunes in any format.  Robert Harris has posted on our forum that it is about time that the studio just released all of them.  I could not agree more.  Meanwhile, the studio keeps packaging the shorts in odd formats and then sees them sell poorly.  The Looney Tunes Platinum collection volume 2 sold poorly, and why wouldn't it when fans already have most or all of the shorts already?  The Mouse Chronicles Blu-ray collection was a nice idea, but who actually thought that a complete collection of Sniffles the mouse would sell like hotcakes?  I am informed that one sold poorly as well.  Meanwhile, there are some great Bugs Bunny cartoons that have never seen the light of day since the 1940s and 1950s.


The Tom & Jerry Golden Collection on Blu-ray started promisingly with Volume 1 including all of the early shorts in chronological order with no more edits and censorship.  It appeared that the studio had learned from its folly with the Tom & Jerry Spotlight Collections which excluded several shorts and contained censored versions of the cartoons, forcing the studio to recall certain discs for correction.  Now we have seen the studio announce Volume 2 of the Tom & Jerry Golden Collection, which continues the chronological collection, and which the studio trumpets as "complete and uncensored" all while leaving out 2 shorts, Mouse Cleaning and Casanova Cat, even after they were lambasted for leaving those shorts out of the Spotlight Collections.  People are going to boycott Volume 2, and it will not sell as well as Volume 1, and the studio will then conclude (wrongly) that there is no market for these cartoons, when in fact the fault lies in the manner in which they are packaged and marketed.



#12 of 23 JoeDoakes

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Posted February 13 2013 - 03:16 PM

I voted for Paramount. Universal really doesn't deserve to win this category given how much they have done well.

#13 of 23 Ray H

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Posted February 13 2013 - 03:50 PM

I voted for Paramount. For a studio celebrating its 100th anniversary, they released what, like 5 catalog titles last year? While each one was solid, their output was miserable. Are they on the verge of bankruptcy? The best thing they did all year was sign over their catalog to Warner. Universal has always been a mixed bag. I was disappointed with some of the transfers on their catalog titles last year but I admit they improved greatly, especially as the year progressed. And they actually released a lot of catalog titles!
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#14 of 23 Ray H

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Posted February 13 2013 - 03:55 PM

I vote for Fox, because they still have their hand on the chicken switch when it comes to Blu, releasing hit or miss transfers. We had a superb dual layer of How Green Was My Valley, but only a single layer of Gentleman's Agreement. Hannah and her Sisters looked awful. So did their reissue of Jean Negulesco's Titanic. Yuck! Fox really is foundering. Two years ago they ruined West Side Story for me and for which I was promised but never sent a replacement disc as part of their program. But even the replacement, which I viewed via a friend who was more fortunate to get one, looked like the same old junk with just a slap-dash fade out correction in the main titles. Never mind the excessive edge effects and the terrible color manipulation in the credits.

None of your complaints with Fox were released in 2012. ;)
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#15 of 23 Nick*Z

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Posted February 14 2013 - 01:03 AM

Dear Ray: Here's at least one from 2012 that positively stank - Von Ryan's Express. What was the point of doing a hi-def scan when color correction was never even an afterthought? Purplish blacks, jaundice granite and pumpkin orange flesh tones don't work for me, nor should they for anyone else. When I voted for Fox it wasn't with one movie in mind. Still, Von Ryan's Express is a pretty good example of the sort of slap dash, hit or miss way Fox seems to be handling their library. Fox suffers from an overall lack of consistency - and a blatant misrepresentation of hi-def - and a continued and renewed spottiness in their overall output. I could provide you with a list: starting with their regurgitation of old digital files bumped to a 1080p signal on The Greatest Story Ever Told, Mystic Pizza, Much Ado About Nothing: to name but three. In the case of The Greatest Story Ever Told they didn't even try - dipping all the way back into MGM's ultra-flawed elements from 1999 and simply using them for a 720 signal bumped up to 1080p. I contacted Fox back then about this title on Blu and was told that they could not confirm a new scan had been performed. That's just double talk - a way of admitting that it hasn't without actually saying that it hasn't. I could also point to the fiasco that remains West Side Story. A fiftieth anniversary should look like that on Blu?!?! Or how about their disregard for remastering the rest of the Bonds for their 50th anniversary Bond box set?!? Goldeneye, anyone?!?! Fox likes to slap "we have brought this title to home video using the best possible surviving elements" before some of their older titles. But let's be honest, when they want to do better they have proven that they can. Check out their Laura blu-ray and you'll see just how much a title can improve over its DVD incarnation with just a little time, effort and yes - money - being spent. Fox doesn't seem willing to apply the same quality control on every title. They release three or four at a time, but give maybe one the consideration it deserves. That's unacceptable. If its worth being brought to Blu in the first place, then it's worth being done right. No exceptions to the rule! If the market for a particular title isn't there just yet, the title shouldn't get released or should, but through a third party distribution like Twilight Time - a limited run to cash in as best as they can. But every movie coming to hi-def deserves utmost consideration. You cannot mask flaws in hi-def. So long as the consumer was kept ignorant of just how good movies could look on home video (a la the bad ol' VHS/Beta/laserdisc days) we were willing to accept an old movie looking...well...old. But advancements in restoration, preservation and remastering have shown us the promised land. The studios can't go back and pretend the hi-def revolution didn't happen where catalogue titles are concerned. Because Fox/MGM repeatedly has chosen to 'pretend' with the consumer, while still advertising each and every Blu-ray they put out as "the ultimate hi-def experience" is another reason why I think they deserve closer scrutiny and a complete fail as the year's worst. RE: Paramount - I'll agree they were scant to nil on the catalogue home front. But everything they put out - which wasn't much, I'll grant you - was perfection. I can't really fault Paramount for not doing more when what they did represented some of the finest work done on home video 1080p. We could all poo-poo and say more should have been done, as it undoubtedly should have fora 100th anniversary. But I actually respect the fact that Paramount didn't just go the route of just slapping any old junk on a hi-def disc without the proper restoration so that they could gloat about how many titles they had on sale for their anniversary. Quantity will never trump quality. NEVER!

#16 of 23 Billy Batson

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Posted February 14 2013 - 12:04 PM

Dear Ray: Here's at least one from 2012 that positively stank - Von Ryan's Express. What was the point of doing a hi-def scan when color correction was never even an afterthought? Purplish blacks, jaundice granite and pumpkin orange flesh tones don't work for me, nor should they for anyone else. When I voted for Fox it wasn't with one movie in mind. Still, Von Ryan's Express is a pretty good example of the sort of slap dash, hit or miss way Fox seems to be handling their library.

In the UK, Channel Four (incl. Film Four) show a lot of Fox catalogue titles in HD, so I was able to see what a mess this was. Also, the caps over at caps-a-holic proved to be spot-on, as they were with Cleopatra.

#17 of 23 Peter Neski

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Posted February 15 2013 - 01:29 PM

Universal has to be on top with these insane Cheap dvd cases,I got one of these for the first time when I got House season six,The dvds are in some crazy double plastic trays which are impossible to remove a dvd from,When you finally get one removed the second dvd is lose in the case, INSANE!! and cheap looking

#18 of 23 JoeDoakes

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Posted February 15 2013 - 07:14 PM

RE: Paramount - I'll agree they were scant to nil on the catalogue home front. But everything they put out - which wasn't much, I'll grant you - was perfection. I can't really fault Paramount for not doing more when what they did represented some of the finest work done on home video 1080p. We could all poo-poo and say more should have been done, as it undoubtedly should have fora 100th anniversary. But I actually respect the fact that Paramount didn't just go the route of just slapping any old junk on a hi-def disc without the proper restoration so that they could gloat about how many titles they had on sale for their anniversary. Quantity will never trump quality. NEVER!

Most of what Paramount was pushing were old transfers: many from the 2009 Centenial Collection series. Sometimes they were very good: Sunset Boulevard. Sometimes merely ok: Chinatown. Wings seemed to be the only new transfer of a classic title they did for the year. They seemed to have largely given up on their library. That's why I voted for them.

#19 of 23 Robert Crawford

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Posted February 15 2013 - 10:54 PM

Originally Posted by JoeDoakes 


Most of what Paramount was pushing were old transfers: many from the 2009 Centenial Collection series. Sometimes they were very good: Sunset Boulevard. Sometimes merely ok: Chinatown. Wings seemed to be the only new transfer of a classic title they did for the year. They seemed to have largely given up on their library. That's why I voted for them.

Not based on what the HTF Meet observed back in October when we visited Paramount.  There was plenty of tape activity going on there with their library.


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#20 of 23 Ronald Epstein

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Posted March 02 2013 - 12:53 AM

Universal is leading by a wide margin.  Last days to cast your vote.  Winners will be posted Monday.


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