Have to disagree with you Jari K. You want to know what's to be done about it. Stop buying them. Send a clear message that the money grab stops here and now. Wasting money on multiples of anything these days is just silly...and wrong. Warner has rested far too long on their past re-re-releases. Their archive is a repository for some of the finest movies ever made by their own studio, MGM, RKO and the Goldwyn library. None of this phenomenal product is making its way into stores or through third part distribution via Twilight Time and/or Criterion or both - as it should.
To say we should all just settle for what's out there and keep feeding the kitty at WB every time they trickle out another Oz, Exorcist, JFK, et al. is ridiculous. Worse - it sends a message to the studio that there's still profit to be made off their rehashes. Badly done is badly done - period. Warner needs to spend its money correctly on pumping more product down the pipeline. They're argument has been that there's no market for classics in hi-def - except for the really big titles. But we've all seen Olive and Twilight Time and this year in particular, Fox, go crazy on releasing a ton of classic titles in hi-def - Fox doing some exceptionally fine work.
WB needs to commit to the fact that their old feasibility argument is not feasible. What it boils down to is this: the studio would rather play it safe than experiment with some of their lesser known titles. But even these titles are VERY well known. I mean, this is the studio that owns the rights to Around the World in 80 Days, Goodbye Mr. Chips (1939), The Women (1939), Random Harvest, National Velvet, Auntie Mame, The Great Ziegfeld, The Band Wagon, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Gaslight, High Society, The Brothers Karamazov, Dinner At Eight, The Student Prince, The Swan, Calamity Jane, Old Acquaintance, Dark Victory and The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex, to name but a handful of the many still MIA in hi def. The real problem herein is that Warner has been contented to do bare minimal mastering for their MOD DVD program - converting old legitimately authored DVD files to this less than perfect format.
Years ago when the WB Archive was announced I had a favorable view. After all, it made hundreds of titles available in the here and now for collectors to cherish. But the promise was always that WB would get around to mastering a goodly number of these gems in hi-def when the format came into its own. This hasn't happened and isn't likely to under the current home video regime over at WB. That's both a sham and a shame. The archive has become 'the only way to see great movies' on home video, thus turning a good concept into a very wrong idea. WB's releases of late aren't rescans of original camera negatives either, but cribbing from older digital files with marginal clean up. At least if we're getting a trickle in hi-def they ought to have the guts to do complete rescans!!!
The quick and dirty route has always appealed to studios in general and WB in particular for obvious reasons - cost-cutting to profit margin ratio widening. But its time everyone started sending a clearer message to the folks responsible that what we want is not what we're getting.