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Final Countdown - Final Word


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#41 of 82 OFFLINE   Larry Bevil

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Posted June 28 2002 - 08:50 AM

Jeff: I have the laserdisc version of The Final Countdown. It is a good transfer, although it is pan and scan, but worth a purchase if you can find it. It is 103 minutes and in Dolby Stereo. (And definitely not for sale.) I had ordered the dvd from PFE back in December. But, a little over a month ago, I cancelled my order - although I have yet to see a refund against my credit card and I have not received a copy of the dvd from PFE. I had indicated I would re-submit my order for the dvd after release, provided it got good reports. However, based on what I am reading here and elsewhere, I won't be re-ordering the PFE dvd. I'll keep my fingers crossed in the hope that a "reputable" studio will take another crack at the title and do it right in Region 1.

#42 of 82 OFFLINE   Jeff_HR

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Posted June 28 2002 - 08:57 AM

Thanks Larry! I guess it is time to check out eBay!
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#43 of 82 OFFLINE   Tomoko Noguchi

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Posted June 28 2002 - 12:03 PM

Of course, I think you are all right about the quality of the dvd. But then, maybe some of your frustration has to do with the overall way this company dealt with the problem in the first place. My question is, is the quality of this any worse or better than say the R4 or R2 dvd?

#44 of 82 OFFLINE   Eric Huffstutler

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Posted June 28 2002 - 05:38 PM

Sorry for taking so long to get this up on the forum. But then again, at my age, a lot of things takes time "getting up" Posted Image

Below is a link to the fax I received from Donna Bridges at PFE. Judge for yourself her comments and if anyone wishes to use it for filing legal action, please go right ahead!

I never pre-ordered this one and don't have any intentions to do so now. I dug deeper at PFE for those here on the forum.

The fax is 202k so I am posting a link rather than the picture.


Fax from PFE

#45 of 82 OFFLINE   Jonathan.e

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Posted June 28 2002 - 06:53 PM

The irony about all this is it’s taken so long and been subject to endless delays and postponements and the best they can come up with after this inordinate amount of time is a direct copy of the R2 cover (call to Hollywood DVD being made Monday morning) and a direct port of the substandard UK disc. The saving grace of the R2 is that I picked up my copy, without too much trouble, for a cost of $5/£3.70 shipped (within the UK) and for that kind of outlay I think the disc is more than acceptable (I’d obviously replace with 16x9 disc when available). PFE charging 5 times the UK price for the exact same disc in NTSC is a disgrace. From the back cover of the Hollywood (and by virtue of it being copied from it) & PFE cover: "ANY UNAUTHORISED COPYING....DIFFUSION AND/OR BROADCAST OF THIS DVD, OR ANY PART THEREOF IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED" Super-ironic, No?

#46 of 82 OFFLINE   Frank Anderson

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Posted June 28 2002 - 08:06 PM

I don’t know whether to laugh or cry? If that is the attitude of Pacific Family no wonder this fiasco occurred. Maybe instead of taking advance orders to finance the copying of a VHS… I mean 35mm negative to DVD they should have used some of the money to buy themselves a clue.[quote] Preserving the content of such a masterpiece is our first priority. [quote]These people seriously got their priorities screwed up. I can’t even begin to imagine what their FIR$T priority was.

#47 of 82 OFFLINE   James St

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Posted June 28 2002 - 09:08 PM

Damn, I was looking forward to this one. Wasn't there a petition that got this movie in the works to begin with? Perhaps another one to Icon or whoever has the rights can get the ball rolling once again. At this piont I may end up buying the version from another region. Since there are two available, which is the better one?

#48 of 82 OFFLINE   David Lambert

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Posted June 28 2002 - 09:54 PM

[quote] It’s old and it should look like crap? We should be please it’s taken directly from one crappy source and copied accurately? [quote]

Amen, Frank. Hey, now I'm upset because my DVD for Citizen Kane DOESN'T look like crap!! Posted Image
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#49 of 82 OFFLINE   mark-edk

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Posted June 29 2002 - 03:19 AM

The laserdisc is Dolby Stereo, until the last reel or two, where the sound suddenly collapses to mono for the rest of the film.

#50 of 82 OFFLINE   Eric Huffstutler

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Posted June 29 2002 - 03:44 AM

Tell me about it Dave!!! I sent a "Final" fax to this Donna bitch uhhh... witch... damn it, I mean woman (I'll get it right sooner or later) and made a similar statement. Posted Image

In essence my follow-up fax cited a few of our friend here on the forum including movie marketing people and executives from major studios among others. That if she thought it was trifling to participate in getting to know what the DVD community is looking for along with the big-boys then that was her mistake.

Also sent a copy of the front AND back of the cover art to show here that it was a direct rip-off -- focusing on the back's layout, graphics, and fonts were identical which makes her statement about using the "movie poster" for the cover a joke and fraud. But on the other hand, can someone in the UK verify if there are copyright laws similar to those in the USA to protect against such lifting of art/publications?

Also, even though this movie has an "owner" of sorts, do they have copyright holdings or have they lapsed to public domain or partially due to some loop-hole?

I told her that the comment about preserving the theatrical experience was weak for there are plenty of classic movies on disc which have gone through strenuous restorations to create a new negative and/or clean up the film so that it looks like it did "new" as people remembered it in the theater. I seriously doubt people saw this disaster of a transfer in theaters!

I concluded by reminding her that PFE has not put on a very good face from the start... and people in general are quite upset over what they received after being lured with the proposed bill of goods Tim Cook and Michael Lane presented originally which was what the public went on to pre-order by (fraud) and that California has stiff laws against such things. Dosen't that constitute bait-and-switch tactics?

Never heard back from her... hmmmm... wonder why Posted Image


#51 of 82 OFFLINE   Douglas R

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Posted June 29 2002 - 03:59 AM

[quote] can someone in the UK verify if there are copyright laws similar to those in the USA to protect against such lifting of art/publications? [quote]

I don't have an informed answer but UK copyright laws are generally similar to those in the USA. More to the point, who owns the rights to Final Countdown? Have PFE obtained video rights or has the film passed into public domain?

#52 of 82 OFFLINE   Jeff Kleist

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Posted June 29 2002 - 04:32 AM

The UK is a member of the Berne Convention, as is the US, which requires their copyright to be respected in our land That's why the bootleggers in China/Malaysia etc get away with it, their countries are not signatory to the convention

#53 of 82 OFFLINE   Eric Huffstutler

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Posted June 29 2002 - 05:17 AM

What one will find if they do some digging in post archived! First, that bill of goods I posted may be a bit erroneous for it seems to have come from an "inside source" prior to the actual announcement by PFE. I did find one post dating back to August 1999 citing a petition to get Tim Cook to bring the movie to disc. This "may" be what Donna was talking about him being "talked into" doing this project? Another post dated September 9, 1999 at the DVDFile site stated that they contacted Tim Cook directly and both he and another company were interested in releasing the film to disc but both wanted the rights for free! By a September 25, 2000 post (year later), PFE now owns the rights and had given up after looking for someone to produce the DVD for them so was going to do it themselves. On December 10, 2001 those "inside scoop" specs were posted along with the proposed street date of January 15, 2002. These were obtained by SeanL (Moderator) on the DVDFile Software discussion forum. Bill Hunt at The Digital Bits also carried this information in his "My Two Cents Worth" column dating December 7, 2001 (now in archive #49) PFE announces the DVD will be bare bones by the time the original street date came and went. Only OAR, 5.1, no extras - not even a trailer. (I think I may have talked Tim Cook into adding the trailer through Michael Lane?) So... if we can find out who that inside source was then maybe something can be done but according to the time-line of posts it looks like we got what they said we would get other than "anamorphic transfer" that Dave was told would happen from PFE directly. Now, this still doesn't address the issue about poor transfer, no studio credits, no chapter stops, and cover art rip-off. Not worth the money spent. The only saving grace from all of this is that we were promised a fantastic transfer... hah! They have been working on this disc now for between 1 to 2 years and could have restored every single frame by hand within that period of time so where is the results of their time consuming efforts? On a similar note... for those who have complained about spending a lot of money on terrible transfers, I don't think you can beat spending nearly $30 for what they call a Collector's Edition of Flesh Gordon produced by some company named Hen's Tooth Video. The transfer is horrible but is the only copy of this cult classic out there. Of course Rhino's release of Sextette is absolutely dreadful and my VHS copy is 110% better. Rhino told me they were suckered into an inferior negative from the rights holder "after" they signed the dotted line. At least this is more budget line category than either one above and only geared towards those "collectors" who are serious about a subject no matter what, the subject here being Mae West.

#54 of 82 OFFLINE   Larry Bevil

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Posted June 29 2002 - 05:56 AM

I would think (and hope) that since the title has apparently been a big headache for PFE, they would gladly transfer the rights to another company such as Anchor Bay.

#55 of 82 OFFLINE   Eric Huffstutler

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Posted June 29 2002 - 06:06 AM

A ton of hate mail won't do for I am sure this will only result in a "I own it so forget you" type of attitude from Tim Cook. If we can offer suggestions and solutions along with encouragement and possible get others in the business to talk (influence/encourage) him then possibly he would lend out the rights (with some sort of kick-back I am sure) to Anchor Bay? In any event, we won't see this happening, if ever, for a looooong time! Maybe some other country will do the film justice and offer it as a Region 0. It appears Region 2 and 4 did a quick and dirty job of the transfer. I noticed on one web site a Dutch version was once available as well but no one has mentioned it? This may be one of those cases where a petition is justified either to the actual rights owner to have them release it to someone else, Anchor Bay to try and acquire the rights, or PFE to lend out their rights?

#56 of 82 OFFLINE   JulianK

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Posted June 29 2002 - 09:00 AM

No-one seems to have considered that the company releasing the disc in the US may be associated with the company in the UK, or that they may have licensed the disc and/or the artwork from the UK company. It's certainly no excuse for releasing such a shoddy product, however!

#57 of 82 OFFLINE   Jim_C

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Posted June 29 2002 - 09:20 AM

I'll never buy anything from PFE, even if they fix some of the problems. I'm going to find the laserdisc.
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#58 of 82 OFFLINE   Jonathan.e

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Posted June 29 2002 - 09:46 AM

No-one seems to have considered that the company releasing the disc in the US may be associated with the company in the UK, or that they may have licensed the disc and/or the artwork from the UK company. If that were the case Hollywood would‘ve sent the digital files they use to create the cover over to PFE so they could then combine their own logos and copyright warnings with the picture elements from the R2 packaging. It’s clear this did not happen and PFE have simply masked off the type specific to the R2 release and dropped their copy into the holes left. I’m a graphic designer and have put together many DVD covers and I’ve never seen anything like this for legitimate, licensed product.

#59 of 82 OFFLINE   David Lambert

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Posted June 29 2002 - 12:07 PM

Y'now, it's ironic how everyone's insinuating here that they've seen bootlegs put together better than this. Perhaps PFE should've hired a bootlegger to help with this. Nah...the bootlegger wouldn't take the pay cut. Joke.
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#60 of 82 OFFLINE   Jeff Kleist

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Posted June 29 2002 - 03:10 PM

Dave, harsh Posted Image

Keep it up Posted Image




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