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TEMPEST IN A TEAPOT OR TITUS

Twilight Time

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#1 of 191 ONLINE   haineshisway

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Posted January 25 2014 - 01:12 PM

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I don't know - after the call for tar and feathers, and people saying Twilight Time was the most despicable company for releasing the horrid and grotesque transfer that Fox provided them for Titus, I was, and call me crazy, expecting a travesty of the highest order.  The fact that it was a HD transfer from over a decade ago, they said, resulted in a thing that wasn't better than the DVD - that it had faded color - that it had no detail at all.  They accused Twilight Time of removing every negative post that was made about the transfer on their Facebook page.  Never mind that that was total malarky and that they'd only removed ONE post - one of those "You suck, everything you do sucks" kinds of posts that any normal company would remove instantly, since it's made by a rude, obnoxious individual.

 

So, it's been sitting here for a couple of weeks, but my time has been really crazy, but I could wait to see this travesty, this abomination no longer.  I put it on.  But I was immediately confused because I wasn't seeing a travesty or an abomination, I wasn't seeing faded colors - I was seeing some detail and a reasonable image, that's what I was seeing.  Yes, an older HD transfer made a year or so after the film's release.  So, let's just throw a little cold reality here:

 

It is not possible for a transfer made a year after a film's release, especially in the year 2000, for colors to have faded ONE IOTA.  Not a whit.  Not a jot.  Oops.

 

Miss Taymor herself, and it's impossible to get away from her on this disc, says she color timed the film and designed it to pretty much be devoid of color.  Oops.  Which leads one to believe these people calling for tar and feathers never actually saw the film in the cinema and probably saw it on cable, where it became, wait for it, their favorite film of all time.  O-kay.  That said, there is plenty of accurate color in the transfer.

 

These same people calling for tar and feathers and for everyone to return their discs for a full refund said nothing about the Sexy Beast transfer - not a word, not a peep.  Guess what?  That transfer was made not that long after the Titus transfer - in other words, an older master.  Oops.

 

These people's hatred of this company is unprecedented in all of home video.  I've never seen anything like it and it is offensive and childish and ignorant and most of it boils down to the cost.  But then one reads in a thread about Olive Films that they're balking at paying twenty dollars for a bare-bones disc.  They'd pay ten, though.  Sure they would.  Not.   It's a no-win situation with these people - always has been, always will be.  They live to complain, at least with this company they do.

 

They will, I have no doubt, reprint this post in its entirety and be entirely derisive about it and me.  Let them.  It's fun to read.  

 

Would Titus look better with a fresh, new scan off the camera negative.  Of course.  But since Fox doesn't have those elements and doesn't even own the film (they released it), and since the film was - and I know it's hard to hear about the best movie of all time - was a complete and utter box-office bomb, it seems unlikely that anyone would want to foot the minimal cost of a transfer of a film of that recent a vintage.  Is it a travesty, a horrorshow, a debacle?  Of course not.  It's much better than the DVD, despite what they say.  And it's what there is so if someone loves the film or finds it interesting, then they have a - wait for it - choice as to whether to purchase or not to purchase.

 

Has the bellyaching and complaining caused the return of hundreds of copies of Titus.  No.  I happen to know how many and it would make everyone laugh.  Do the people who constantly complain about Twilight Time, call them to task at every opportunity, and who hate and loathe them for any and all insurrections, boycott Twilight Time by not purchasing their titles. Not only do they not, they brag about how many Twilight Time titles they own, they brag how they buy EXTRA copies to unload on eBay should a title be lucky enough to sell out.  One particular place brags that they are the most popular site on all the Internet and that they have the power on their board to influence sales, i.e. to hurt sales.  The short answer to that:  No, they don't, not a whit.  Not a jot.  Oops.

 

Bottom line: While Titus is indeed an older HD master, it is not a travesty or an abomination.  It could look better, sure, but what's there is perfectly acceptable.  

 

And for those who occasionally have trouble with my posts - this is - my OPINION. :)

 

 


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#2 of 191 OFFLINE   McCrutchy

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Posted January 25 2014 - 02:27 PM

I get it, Taymor...Tempest...



#3 of 191 OFFLINE   JoeDoakes

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Posted January 25 2014 - 03:18 PM

 

Bottom line: While Titus is indeed an older HD master, it is not a travesty or an abomination.  It could look better, sure, but what's there is perfectly acceptable.  

 

And for those who occasionally have trouble with my posts - this is - my OPINION. :)

Given how old the transfer is, (I'm not sure if my language is right here) what level of resolution do you think it was scanned at?  Thanks!



#4 of 191 OFFLINE   ahollis

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Posted January 25 2014 - 03:47 PM

Titus is not my kind of film, however after purchasing Twilight Time releases since the beginning (I have over 25 titles) I know that they would not release an inferior product. I have never been disappointed with any titles I purchased and don't expect to in the future. This is one blind buy company I trust.

I just don't understand the arrogance people have against this company. Ok if they think the cost is high then don't buy it. There are 3000 people that will. They are also an outlet for titles that might not see the light of day (think Stagecoach). The business plan for Twilight works for them or they would not expand the program. Twilight has been in business over 3 years, it's time to move on for the complainers.
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#5 of 191 OFFLINE   RobHam

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Posted January 25 2014 - 04:05 PM

Y'know, I removed myself from this board voluntarily because a small faction here (apparently) didn't understand or want opinions contrary to their own and had them removed.

 

That hasn't changed, and I still do not wish to be a regular part of this site while a small faction can hold the majority to ransom under the guise of political correctness. 

 

However, the issue of the love/hate affair with Bruce and Nick does interest me enough to come back.

 

I have no interest in Titus other than that it was a misfire in content theatrically, and now apparently in transfer to BD.

 

What does interest me is financial modelling for the home theatre format - the following is opinion only:

 

Blu ray is a dying format although there appear to be many different causes besides the advances in technology - storage space seems to have become one of the biggest protagonists of late. As we roll on the years, my hunch is that the TT model will become the norm with catalogue titles from the major studios sub-contracted to a limited edition run on optical media. For this, we will pay a premium price. 

 

That is not the current situation.

 

As it stands in the present, we've all become used to discounted Blu-Rays within a matter of weeks after release, and Twilight Time are an expensive anomaly.

 

In this present market, the premium price is still for a premium product. 

 

Titus, given all the poor reviews and adverse publicity, is not regarded as a premium product in the current market, and therefore cannot justify a premium price.

 

Like it or not Bruce, we live in the present.

 

I don't know what TT can do with Titus other than stock dump at cost+ a $ bit, or hang on and absorb the costs allowing a drip feed into the market over several years. 

 

Short memories.

 

I recall reading that TT were shocked at the poor market response to Demetrius and the Gladiators and said they had learned the lessons about closely examining the offered HD masters from the major studios first before agreeing to launch a run of 3000 copies.

 

Maybe lessons weren't really learned after all?   



#6 of 191 OFFLINE   ahollis

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Posted January 25 2014 - 04:22 PM

I recall reading that TT were shocked at the poor market response to Demetrius and the Gladiators and said they had learned the lessons about closely examining the offered HD masters from the major studios first before agreeing to launch a run of 3000 copies.

Maybe lessons weren't really learned after all?


I did not see that they were "shocked" at the response of DEMETRIUS AND THE GLADIATORS. I have the Blu-ray and very happy with it. I do recall a push back on THE EGYPTIAN, but that has now sold out.
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#7 of 191 ONLINE   haineshisway

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Posted January 25 2014 - 04:57 PM

Y'know, I removed myself from this board voluntarily because a small faction here (apparently) didn't understand or want opinions contrary to their own and had them removed.

 

That hasn't changed, and I still do not wish to be a regular part of this site while a small faction can hold the majority to ransom under the guise of political correctness. 

 

However, the issue of the love/hate affair with Bruce and Nick does interest me enough to come back.

 

I have no interest in Titus other than that it was a misfire in content theatrically, and now apparently in transfer to BD.

 

What does interest me is financial modelling for the home theatre format - the following is opinion only:

 

Blu ray is a dying format although there appear to be many different causes besides the advances in technology - storage space seems to have become one of the biggest protagonists of late. As we roll on the years, my hunch is that the TT model will become the norm with catalogue titles from the major studios sub-contracted to a limited edition run on optical media. For this, we will pay a premium price. 

 

That is not the current situation.

 

As it stands in the present, we've all become used to discounted Blu-Rays within a matter of weeks after release, and Twilight Time are an expensive anomaly.

 

In this present market, the premium price is still for a premium product. 

 

Titus, given all the poor reviews and adverse publicity, is not regarded as a premium product in the current market, and therefore cannot justify a premium price.

 

Like it or not Bruce, we live in the present.

 

I don't know what TT can do with Titus other than stock dump at cost+ a $ bit, or hang on and absorb the costs allowing a drip feed into the market over several years. 

 

Short memories.

 

I recall reading that TT were shocked at the poor market response to Demetrius and the Gladiators and said they had learned the lessons about closely examining the offered HD masters from the major studios first before agreeing to launch a run of 3000 copies.

 

Maybe lessons weren't really learned after all?   

Nice to see you back.  You're making an assumption you really shouldn't make, i.e. that Titus is selling poorly.  No one has said that anywhere.   I don't think I'd use the terminology "premium product" because I don't think of it that way.  I'd certainly use "product" - a product that people can purchase or not - that is the ultimate arbiter here - the power to say no or yes.  They're not going to stock dump anything and it makes people furious.  They want their little ten dollar or five dollar discs - it's more about that than the movie.  That's what's wrong with the Blu-ray market and why studios really don't care to do this themselves because it's a losing proposition for them, given the way they have to do things.  The Twilight Time model is working - that's the bottom line here.  For all the same people who go on and on and on about how they hate the company and everything about them, for all the personal attacks and the brickbats, they're BUYING THE DISCS :)  That's what's hilarious.  There's no mystery about what Twilight Time does - it's there for all to see, and enough people are purchasing the discs that it's clearly working.  What's NOT working is these ten people who are the ones who post ad nauseum, thinking that they're actually having some effect on the sales, which they are not.  Oh, well.  It's certainly not about a love/hate relationship with me - I have nothing to do with Twilight Time other than Nick is one of my best friends and I get to see stuff early.  He has known from the beginning that I will call it as I see it, yay or nay, and I have.  The premium price is for a product people want or don't want.  That's the bottom line.  All the rest is just what it is, and it's truly some of the most nauseating, vomit-inducing stuff I have ever seen on the Internet.  

 

They were going on and on about me and how I was banned from a certain site - with glee they were saying this.  Now, I could have gone on and posted to show them otherwise, but I just don't want to sully myself in their negativity.  

 

To Joe Doakes - it was scanned in hi-def - obviously not 2K or 4K - but the transfer back then was approved by Miss Taymor and it is the ONLY transfer there is - no one, and I mean no one, is going to do a new one.  



#8 of 191 OFFLINE   bgart13

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Posted January 25 2014 - 05:28 PM

If it isn't even 2k, all the extras in the world do not justify a $30 price tag. Btw, I saw it theatrically, drove about 45-60 mins to the only theater that still had when it was released in the Chicago area. I loved it, still do, but I will not pay $30 for something based on a master that isn't up to modern HD standards. What's the point? In theory, they released something that is streaming-level quality if it's not based on a 2k scan, so a premium price of $30 really can't be justified, not even porting over the extras or including a soundtrack option on the disc. A true shame.

#9 of 191 OFFLINE   Persianimmortal

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Posted January 25 2014 - 05:28 PM


I just don't understand the arrogance people have against this company. Ok if they think the cost is high then don't buy it.

 

Unfortunately with Blu-ray, as with many other things in life, people have developed champagne tastes on a beer budget, and expect - indeed demand - that these tastes be serviced by any and every company, regardless of the cost of production. And cut-throat competition means that there is a race to the bottom by companies in a bid to pander to this lowest common denominator. The biggest losers in this race are quality and diversity. You can see it in every market, not just for Blu-ray movies. I recently went shopping for a Blu-ray player, and all of the mainstream players available from companies like Sony and Panasonic are rubbish. Plastic toy build quality, stripped of useful features that the previous models had, instead crammed with the latest throwaway "smart" features to titillate the ignorant, and in some cases now coming with built-in advertising in the player menus (Pana BDT230 and BDT330), just to achieve a low enough price point in a flashy enough package so that Joe Sixpack might consider buying one. The top-end players in the Sony and Panasonic range aren't even being sold in the Australian market, because they know it's pointless to try to sell a premium-priced product in a small market.

 

 


They want their little ten dollar or five dollar discs - it's more about that than the movie.  That's what's wrong with the Blu-ray market and why studios really don't care to do this themselves because it's a losing proposition for them, given the way they have to do things.

 

Precisely. If anyone wonders why streaming and digital download have become the preferred choice of studios, it's because of the cheapskates who won't pay to make producing higher quality content viable. Watch as it all comes to a head in the 4K format, where the lessons the studios learned about releasing catalog titles on Blu-ray will be implemented: namely, don't bother. Who wants to spend a million bucks restoring a classic, when the horde over at Blu-ray.com will sit and wait for the disc to hit $5 a copy before they deem it worthy of purchase. And of course it better be crammed with dozens of "extras", nice cover artwork and a fancy case, or no deal! The movie itself comes last in the list of priorities some of these people seem to have.

 

It seems that many lack the comprehension abilities to understand that Twilight Time's model of limited production, no discounting, and a higher price, are all needed to make the release of certain movies on BD viable. And that not every release will look like it was filmed yesterday. No-one is holding a gun to anyone's head to force them to buy TT titles; wait for reviews, or buy the DVD if you think the Blu-ray is "overpriced". But stop believing that the market needs to bend to your insatiable desire to "collect movies" at the lowest possible price. Sometimes, just sometimes, things cost more for a variety of reasons, and if you're truly a fan of a movie, you can absorb that whopping $30 hit to the wallet to enjoy it in its best possible presentation.


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#10 of 191 OFFLINE   JackJohn

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Posted January 25 2014 - 05:47 PM

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I really appreciate the content also, but all those cheapsters ruin the quality. I would rather watch one good Blueray for $30 than two bad for $15 each

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#11 of 191 OFFLINE   JohnMor

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Posted January 25 2014 - 07:25 PM

If it isn't even 2k, all the extras in the world do not justify a $30 price tag.

 

That simply isn't true for me.  It is a noticeable step above the old dvd, so I am quite happy to have it.  The other option was not to have it on blu at all.  Anyone who thinks the $30 price is too high is free not to buy it.  But they are not free to speak for all of us.

 

Do I wish it was a new 4K scan from the camera negative?  Of course.  But given that there has only been one scan ever, that seems unlikely.  If TT had released this scan when a newer one existed (and was available to them), I could understand some unhappiness.  But to release the ONLY GAME IN TOWN as far as this film goes, the obvious responses would be either, "No thanks, I'll pass" or "Thank you, I'd like to have this one on blu."



#12 of 191 ONLINE   haineshisway

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Posted January 25 2014 - 07:34 PM

If it isn't even 2k, all the extras in the world do not justify a $30 price tag. Btw, I saw it theatrically, drove about 45-60 mins to the only theater that still had when it was released in the Chicago area. I loved it, still do, but I will not pay $30 for something based on a master that isn't up to modern HD standards. What's the point? In theory, they released something that is streaming-level quality if it's not based on a 2k scan, so a premium price of $30 really can't be justified, not even porting over the extras or including a soundtrack option on the disc. A true shame.

Not every film has or needs a 2K scan - these are just options - some get it some don't.  4K scans are done for preservation reasons and not always for the Blu-ray itself.  I had a choice to do a 2K scan or a hi-def beautifully done scan and I chose the latter because the former was, at the time, too pricey for me and after discussing it with a certain Mr. Harris we figured for the Blu itself that a great FotoKem hi-def scan was the way to go and it was - it looked great.  I am about to do a 2K scan, and maybe even a 4K scan of the film because I want to save it before the negative is no longer usable - in other words, to PRESERVE.  Whether a new master from a 2K scan would best what we did before is not known to me, but my feeling is it would expose the low-budget nature of the film in ways that were never exposed in the theatrical prints.  



#13 of 191 OFFLINE   JoHud

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Posted January 25 2014 - 07:57 PM

Not sure why price keeps being brought up.  Unlike most companies, TT actually dropped the list price of these...twice!  $30 is a good sweet spot.  I'd like it lower too, but I can live with $30.

 

With this Titus news of a a mediocre transfer, it really doesn't surprise me much.  Sized up next to the average Sony transfer, Fox transfers continue to be more variable for a variety of reasons.  Obviously, Fox hasn't bothered to remaster this after they made their initial HD video transfer.  What's more shocking is that two MGM blu-rays managed to upstage the Fox title.  Really, Fox can have their ups and downs, but to be upstaged by MGM?  That's gotta be shameful.  They don't even have a "best surviving elements" on this one.

 

Personally, I'm not one to condemn a blu-ray release if it isn't perfect.  As long as it is a solid upgrade over the DVD, I'm happy and double so if the title never even got a DVD release to begin with (i.e. Man in the Dark).  I don't have interest in Titus myself, but if I did I still might have ended up buying it and having a look myself anyway.  I've rarely come across one that was all that bad, though reviews have come in handy when I'm on the fence which most likely screened out some of those that were.

 

It still seems that TT topics get people to the brink of foaming at the mouth (both for and against).  I'd say in the end, these arguments and discussions do more to aware public awareness of the existence of TT.  It seems like every year there are more people talking about the company and more topics about it.


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#14 of 191 OFFLINE   McCrutchy

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Posted January 25 2014 - 08:51 PM

I have thought about this for a while, and I think I can relate to where most people are coming from. Titus is an excellent illustration for it.

 

I know there are Twilight Time fans, people buy every release and will buy many more, and I thank these people, because they do their part to keep Blu-ray releases going.

 

I am not one of these people. Try as I might, I cannot get away from this perception:

 

When a film goes to Twilight Time, it is being put out to pasture. It can no longer compete with the best and brightest for people's attention, and so must be relegated to true premium-priced "Limited Edition" status.

 

Now, when a film goes to Twilight Time and does very well, gets great reviews and makes people happy, then I breathe a sigh of relief. I feel that the film perhaps has a future on another, better format down the road. A physical one, of course.

 

On the other hand, if the Twilight Time release of a film does badly in some way (irrespective of how it sells) I feel like it is a death knell for that film. My concern is that this is the last we will ever see of Titus, a wonderfully visual film, which came out on premium edition Blu-ray looking only "fine". It did not impress, and when the Limited Edition sold out, it was never heard from again.

 

Obviously, that may be an exaggeration, but I think that is where most of the negativity comes from: Twilight Time releases do well, then the business model continues, and some people are frustrated, but most are content (unless they miss a sellout, which is a whole 'nother ball of wax). Twilight Time releases do badly, then many people are frustrated with Twilight Time, and the studio is vindicated in its belief that the film is somehow not good enough anymore.

 

I don't think that fans of Titus want this Twilight Time Blu-ray to be the final word on the film, and I think there is a lot of anxiety that that will most definitely be the case, even if people do not say so. I know for me, because of this anxiety, I want to buy the disc. I want to show, to whomever controls these things, that Titus deserves attention, that it is worthy entertainment that should not be forgotten about.

 

I'm not sure if I'll end up buying Titus or not. Something tells me I will, even though the release is not what I wanted it to be. I am considerably angry that the film's owners never saw fit to remaster it, because, if the master were new(er), I doubt any of this would be an issue. 

 

And for the record, I was somewhat disappointed with Sexy Beast, which I bought and which is a fantastic film, and one that deserves to look and sound great, as all films do. I was really hoping that Film4 would see enough profit in it to re-master it for Blu-ray. I am sure, however, that this will probably never happen. I will probably never see a new 4K scan of Sexy Beast, even though the film elements and the possibility exist, and that, frankly, makes me sad.



#15 of 191 OFFLINE   McCrutchy

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Posted January 25 2014 - 09:01 PM

With this Titus news of a a mediocre transfer, it really doesn't surprise me much.  Sized up next to the average Sony transfer, Fox transfers continue to be more variable for a variety of reasons.  Obviously, Fox hasn't bothered to remaster this after they made their initial HD video transfer.  What's more shocking is that two MGM blu-rays managed to upstage the Fox title.  Really, Fox can have their ups and downs, but to be upstaged by MGM?  That's gotta be shameful.  They don't even have a "best surviving elements" on this one.

 

This release has almost nothing to do with Fox. They do not own the film, they just distribute it. Titus was produced by a number of small companies.

 

It is starting to bother me that their is a perception that Fox = wary and Sony = quality. Fox have done some great, great work, but most of it goes out on their own label. Sony has a number of titles that would make Twilight Time fans wary, but they end up with Image or Mill Creek.

 

The Blue Max is a new scan from Fox, and it should look and sound fantastic on Twilight Time Blu-ray.

 

Sony is probably in the best position vis-a-vie Blu-ray masters because of their connection to the format, so it doesn't surprise me that they can cherry pick a great number of excellent scans for themselves and for Twilight Time.



#16 of 191 ONLINE   haineshisway

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Posted January 25 2014 - 10:12 PM

This release has almost nothing to do with Fox. They do not own the film, they just distribute it. Titus was produced by a number of small companies.

 

It is starting to bother me that their is a perception that Fox = wary and Sony = quality. Fox have done some great, great work, but most of it goes out on their own label. Sony has a number of titles that would make Twilight Time fans wary, but they end up with Image or Mill Creek.

 

The Blue Max is a new scan from Fox, and it should look and sound fantastic on Twilight Time Blu-ray.

 

Sony is probably in the best position vis-a-vie Blu-ray masters because of their connection to the format, so it doesn't surprise me that they can cherry pick a great number of excellent scans for themselves and for Twilight Time.

As I've said elsewhere - The Blue Max is STUNNING, both looking and sounding.



#17 of 191 ONLINE   haineshisway

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Posted January 25 2014 - 10:13 PM

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And one other thing that was just pointed out to me - the only audio available with this HD transfer was a stereo 2.0 track. Clearly that wasn't acceptable for this release. A set of DA-88s with the original 5.1 mix was found and transferred and conformed specifically for this release. TT did not take the easy way out with this title.


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#18 of 191 OFFLINE   ROclockCK

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Posted January 25 2014 - 11:21 PM

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Try as I might, I cannot get away from this perception:

 

When a film goes to Twilight Time, it is being put out to pasture. It can no longer compete with the best and brightest for people's attention, and so must be relegated to true premium-priced "Limited Edition" status.

 

Now, when a film goes to Twilight Time and does very well, gets great reviews and makes people happy, then I breathe a sigh of relief. I feel that the film perhaps has a future on another, better format down the road. A physical one, of course.

 

On the other hand, if the Twilight Time release of a film does badly in some way (irrespective of how it sells) I feel like it is a death knell for that film. My concern is that this is the last we will ever see of Titus, a wonderfully visual film, which came out on premium edition Blu-ray looking only "fine". It did not impress, and when the Limited Edition sold out, it was never heard from again.

 

Maybe. Maybe not. I'm sure that will vary greatly by title...especially over time.

 

In several of TT's early Interviews/FAQs they mentioned the "petri dish" aspect of their relationship with the home studios for [at least some of] these titles. As an example, even after the 'brisker' and 'briskest' sellouts of Fright Night and Christine, Sony *might* still not want to mass release either of these titles on Blu-ray once TT's 3 year window of exclusivity expires. Instead, they *could* be considering continued life for these titles as 'carrots' for 4k migration (like most TT titles from Sony, both were scanned at 4k). We simply don't know what any of these licensors will do after a title returns to the fold, but the nature of this limited model leaves many possibilities for re-release and re-monetization down the line...just might not be another Blu-ray. 

 

However, once a title has gone to...say...Mill Creek for release on a double bill with zero features at a $5 to $7 day one list price, then yes, I think it's safe to say that title has truly been "put out to pasture". The home studio (in this case also Sony) will never be able to re-monetize that title except perhaps via download and/or streaming. In terms of hard media, it has indeed found its final best resting place.

 

I don't think that fans of Titus want this Twilight Time Blu-ray to be the final word on the film, and I think there is a lot of anxiety that that will most definitely be the case, even if people do not say so. I know for me, because of this anxiety, I want to buy the disc. I want to show, to whomever controls these things, that Titus deserves attention, that it is worthy entertainment that should not be forgotten about.

 

Would they have preferred that the original circa-2000 DVD become the final word on this film instead?

 

I mean, hey, we're now 8 years into the HD era. If Fox or any other label had truly felt strongly enough about remastering and releasing Titus in high(er) definition, don't you think we would have heard rumblings by now...or seen multiple 'wish list' threads continually pleading for a Blu-ray release?

 

What's saddest here also happens to be bitterly ironic: Given the chronic commercial indifference and neglect of this title post-DVD, we have this lone boutique video label, Twilight Time, who nevertheless saw enough value in Titus as a film (including its wonderful Elliot Goldenthal score, which they could feature in lossless isolated form), and was willing to commit cash on the barrelhead to make a Blu-ray release happen. So with literally hundreds of other equally worthy niche and neglected Fox, Sony, and MGM titles to choose from each month, TT felt passionate enough about this particular one to afford it the best possible showcase under the circumstances.

 

I'm not sure if I'll end up buying Titus or not. Something tells me I will, even though the release is not what I wanted it to be. I am considerably angry that the film's owners never saw fit to remaster it, because, if the master were new(er), I doubt any of this would be an issue

 

Well, that's just the way it goes with this weird beast called "film"...it has to live as both art and commerce...or only in memory.

 

Titus is not the first flop studio pick-up - nor will it be the last - to nevertheless be treasured by a small yet enthusiastic following who hope to one day see its legacy DVD get remastered in HD. Although some of these older, long since played-out titles (and yes, in studio years, 2000 is now considered old) will eventually get rediscovered and given a new lease on life via Blu-ray and/or 4k, many, many others won't be that lucky. In such cases, those legacy turn-of-the-millennium 'HD-lite' transfers for DVD might very well be it...at least in hard media form.

 

And for the record, I was somewhat disappointed with Sexy Beast, which I bought and which is a fantastic film, and one that deserves to look and sound great, as all films do. I was really hoping that Film4 would see enough profit in it to re-master it for Blu-ray. I am sure, however, that this will probably never happen. I will probably never see a new 4K scan of Sexy Beast, even though the film elements and the possibility exist, and that, frankly, makes me sad.

 

I agree Sean, but given what I've seen happen with many other personal favourites from my own film youth, I was just grateful that TT recognized the value in Sexy Beast, were willing to pony up the scratch to do it, and treated it with more respect than anyone else had in the Blu-ray format (presentation in 2 aspect ratios with commentary, plus isolated score). I thought TT did a wonderful job with that one...I have no idea what anyone would find objectionable about it???


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#19 of 191 OFFLINE   McCrutchy

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Posted January 26 2014 - 12:20 AM

Maybe. Maybe not. I'm sure that will vary greatly by title...over time.

 

In several of TT's early Interviews/FAQs they mentioned the "petri dish" aspect of their relationship with the home studio for [at least some of] these titles. As an example, even after the 'brisker' and 'briskest' sellouts of Fright Night and Christine, Sony *might* still not want to mass release either of these titles on Blu-ray after TT's 3 year window of exclusivity expires, but they *could* be considering their viability as 'carrots' for 4k migration (like most TT titles from Sony, both were scanned at 4k). We simply don't know what any of these licensors will do once a title returns to the fold, but the nature of this limited model leaves many possibilities for re-release and re-monetization down the line...just might not be another Blu-ray. 

 

However, once a title has gone to Mill Creek for release on a double bill with zero features at a $5 to $7 day one list price, then yes, it is safe to say that title has truly been "put out to pasture". The home studio (in this case also Sony) will never be able to re-monetize that title except maybe via download and/or streaming. In terms of hard media, it has indeed found its final best resting place.

 

 

Would they have preferred that the original circa-2000 DVD become the final word on this film instead?

 

I mean, hey, we're now 8 years into the HD era...if the Fox or any other label had truly felt passionate enough about remastering and releasing Titus in high(er) definition, don't you think we would have heard rumblings by now...or seen multiple 'wish list' threads continually pleading for a Blu-ray?

 

What's saddest here also happens to be bitterly ironic: Given the chronic commercial indifference and neglect towards this title post-DVD release, we have this one boutique video label, Twilight Time, who nevertheless saw enough value in Titus as a film (including its wonderful Elliot Goldenthal score, which they could feature in lossless isolated form), who was willing to commit cash on the barrelhead to make a Blu-ray release happen. So here is this small, privately funded label who have literally hundreds of other equally worthy niche and neglected Fox, Sony, and MGM titles to choose from each month, and yet they felt passionate enough about this particular one to afford it the best possible showcase under the circumstances.

 

 

Well, that's just the way it goes with this weird beast called "film"...it has to live as both art and commerce...or only in memory.

 

Titus is not the first studio pick-up and flop - nor will it be the last - to be treasured by a small yet enthusiastic following hoping to one day see its legacy DVD get remastered in HD. Although some of these older, long since played-out titles (and yes, in studio years, 2000 is now considered old) will indeed get rediscovered and given a new lease on life via Blu-ray and 4k, many, many others won't be that lucky. Those legacy turn-of-the-millennium 'HD-lite' transfers for DVD might very well be it...at least in hard media form.

 

 

I agree Sean, but given what I've seen happen with many other personal favourites from my own film youth, I was just grateful that TT recognized the value in Sexy Beast, were willing to pony up the scratch to do it, and treated it with more respect than anyone else had in the Blu-ray format (presentation in 2 aspect ratios with commentary, plus isolated score). I thought TT did a wonderful job with that...I have no idea what anyone would find objectionable about it???

 

It's worth noting, however, that some of those Twilight Time titles could have easily ended up at Mill Creek and vice versa, Let's face it, Mill Creek gets a lot of the driftwood, but like most licensing deals, there are a few golden nuggets in there. And you neglect to mention Image, whom I bet has some titles that Twilight Time is envious of--and which Sony has released on Blu-ray outside of the United States. I don't see how a Twilight Time release signals much better prospects than an Image release or even a Mill Creek release--everything depends upon the marketability of the film. As you say, film is art and commerce both.

 

That's why it's a shame we did not get Sexy Beast from Fox last year. Kingsley is well-remembered for his performance in that film (he probably should have won the Oscar), and he was red hot with Iron Man 3 last summer. I just wished that we could have had the film looking great and well-preserved with a 4K (or even 2K) scan, that's all. Fox could have slapped all kinds of hyperbole on the cover and maybe done a new interview with Kingsley and Winstone. Sell it through normal channels, and I bet they'd have moved more than the TT release has so far. Throw in the international market (maybe even get Film4 to chip in) with a simultaneous new UK BD, and I have a hard time not seeing it being viable. 

 

As for the dual AR, Glazer needs to come out in favor of one or the other--this isn't the 50s, one and done, please (I always watch it in the 2.35:1 cinema ratio, because I figure movies are meant for cinemas, not TV screens).

 

As to Titus, I'm not sure how the DVD came into play, as all DVDs are basically coasters now, and have been ever since Blu-ray arrived. I laud TTs efforts on the sound (explicitly noting what Mr. Kimmel mentioned above) but would have preferred they held off on release until something could be done about the picture. Unfortunately, as it stands right now, I can literally only imagine what richness lies within the celluloid negative.

 

And watch what you say about 2000 being old. I was alive in 2000, thank you. If I was alive, it can't be that long ago. I only started binge drinking to forget a mere decade ago.

 

Sigh, and Paramount has stopped making film prints. For my money, we should keep using film until 4K scans have filtered down to Mill Creek titles. When even the bottom of the barrel has been preserved, then we can say goodbye. Just don't come crying to me when someone develops giant magnet warfare and wipes out our entirely digital 21st century cinema.

 

Actually, that might be an idea. With no more digital cinema, we'd have to go back to film. Kodak stock would fly through the roof. 



#20 of 191 OFFLINE   Dick

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Posted January 26 2014 - 03:41 AM

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If it isn't even 2k, all the extras in the world do not justify a $30 price tag. Btw, I saw it theatrically, drove about 45-60 mins to the only theater that still had when it was released in the Chicago area. I loved it, still do, but I will not pay $30 for something based on a master that isn't up to modern HD standards. What's the point? In theory, they released something that is streaming-level quality if it's not based on a 2k scan, so a premium price of $30 really can't be justified, not even porting over the extras or including a soundtrack option on the disc. A true shame.

Hmm. I dislike throwing myself into this sort of fray, but I will point out one last time how I view this price point business:

 

Remember when DVD's first arrived? For a year or more they retailed for thirty bucks pretty much across the board, and some (Fox titles) were even more. We very willingly paid these prices because it was a superior format. In 1999, we began relacing our laser discs (which had been similarly priced, and which which we happily bought because they were in turn so much better than VHS, which itself had started off costing us $50.00 or more per cassette....etc.). Now we have an exponentially superior format called Blu-ray, and they also started life at $30.00 or more retail, which which we happily bought because....see above.

 

Your 45-60 minute trip to Chicago to see this film, including gas and probably a meal somewhere, can't have cost you a whole lot less than the price of this disc.

 

I don't buy what I don't want. Like most collectors, I whined a bit when most Blu-rays began to be heavily discounted a short time after release while a few companies never cut their prices. But I understand the business model now. I pay attention to what people such as Nick Redman and George Feltenstein say on these forums. I also understand that, were we to be suddenly able to purchase titles like those offered through TT at $15-20, the company could not stay afloat, and we would not be seeing scores of rare titles emerging on our favorite format. No way am I going to bite the hands that feed my love of classic films, hands belonging to Criterion, Olive, Cohen, Flicker Alley, Shout! and Twilight Time. These are the new providers. What major studio on the planet would have given us THE HELLSTROM CHRONICLE or BITE THE BULLET or THE PUPPETOON MOVIE or a smilebox edition of CINERAMA HOLIDAY on Blu-ray? We can't count on mass pressings of many catalog titles from major studios anymore. But catalog sales are nonetheless alive and well, just not mass-produced for Wal*Mart consumption...or prices. We're just going back to 2006 prices for more limited or specialized runs which, when you figure inflation into the mix, still makes them cheaper than the earliest Blu-ray releases.

 

Blu-rays are not a necessity. They are a commodity. We can live without them (and some of us should!). We choose to purchase them using (hopefully) disposable income. We can wait a while and hope some of the more expensive releases wind up on eBay at prices we are more comfortable with, or we can purchase Day One, as we tend to when the movie in question has special meaning for us. In such cases, money is not so much an object. But when it is an object, then it is also a choice. I envy people who can boast of having every single Criterion release and have them all lined up on their shelves by spine numbers. But I don't buy even a quarter of the Criterion releases. I haven't interest in a lot of them, and haven't the budget for others. Same goes for Twilight Time titles. A very small number of them go out of print fairly fast, but I have never missed out on one of them I really wanted. One needs to be vigilant, is all.

 

In direct response to your saying "A premium price of $30.00 can't be justified," what is apparently true is that you personally cannot justify spending $30.00 for a certain title. That's fine. No one is going to argue that everyone will think TITUS, for example, (which, by the way, has ported over all of the DVD extras, as are more and more TT releases now) is worth the price. But more broadly, and what you seem to be saying is that $30. for TITUS can't be justified, period. Not so. If TT is successful at selling its product for $30, the price is justified for TT, as it is for those of us who choose to buy it for $30. If you had to spend thirty bucks on this movie because a gun was being held at your head, I could understand your argument. Regarding the PQ of the Blu-ray: I do not always agree with Bruce about stuff, but I'll always give him a big pass (as I do with Robert Harris) when it comes to reviewing the quality of a given release. He's been in the film business, for God's sake. Have you? I haven't!

 

As an aside, I think the worst-looking Blu-ray transfer from a reputable company looks many times better than any streaming I've seen on a big screen.

 

I certainly don't mean to sound condescending, and I've certainly had my share of illogical or ignorant postings here, but this Twilight Time price point argument has grown very, very old (and look, I've just added to it!) But TT isn't going to change, so make your choices, which simply are not (necessarily) going to be those of other members of this forum. :)


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