2001: A Space Odyssey 2-disc SE?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Heinz W, Mar 27, 2004.

  1. Heinz W

    Heinz W Second Unit

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    I keep wondering why a film of this stature has been so mistreated on DVD in it's short 7 year lifespan. First the non-anamorphic releases (MGM and Warners), then finally a 16:9 release from Warners with a great, great transfer BUT some authoring issues (bad halos in certain scenes). All of these releases feature virtually no extras or docs. Why?

    I know there is some material available so why no SE? Does it have to do with the wishes of Kubrick or his estate? Is it because it won't be a mega-seller and the returns don't justify the expense of producing it? Warners just hasn't got around to it yet? All, or none, of the above?

    No-one even asked about this at the Warners chat a few weeks ago. I couldn't believe it. The greatest SF film ever, nay, one of the greatest films ever of any genre and it's treated like a red-headed stepchild. Will we ever see a proper set for this landmark movie?
     
  2. Steve Christou

    Steve Christou Long Member

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    There's no reason on earth why one of the greatest movies of all time doesn't have a richly deserved 2-disc special edition set, a superbit version of the film on disc one, and an extras packed 2nd disc, they could include a 60min channel four documentary on the making of 2001 shown a couple of years ago, excerpts from Stanley Kubrick A Life in Pictures, or create an epic documentary specially for the set. Author Arthur C.Clarke is still around and 87 years old! I hope something is being planned.
    Jack Briggs can provide the commentary.[​IMG]
     
  3. MarcoBiscotti

    MarcoBiscotti Producer

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    The Kubrick boxset is top quality in my opinion, I dont really see the need to revisit any of his films for 2-disc special editions w/out raising an already steep cost and I would imagine that there isnt much existing supplementals that could be included to warrant an entire extra disc for any of his films. The Life In Pictures bonus documentary covers a lot of ground and gives insight into each of his productions, I'm personally more than contempt with what we have now. Warners have already re-issued his films countless times in various formats on DVD (initial release, limited collectors box, re-release, boxset, etc). The current collection is easily one of my favorite purchases on DVD and I'm really not too anxious to have it replaced anytime soon, but that's just my opinion.
     
  4. Dave H

    Dave H Producer

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    The remastered version of 2001 looks excellent (except for some EE). I really don't think it could look much better.
     
  5. MarcoBiscotti

    MarcoBiscotti Producer

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    ^ Exactly.

    What more is there to cover?

    There's way too many other projects in need of focus, I think we should acknowledge when we have a good thing. I'm more than satisfied with what exists, maybe an upgrade when HDVD comes around, but for now I really dont think we should have to revisit any of these titles.
     
  6. Charlie O.

    Charlie O. Supporting Actor

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    They could include the original 5 billion hour cut of the film... or at least a bunch of deleted scenes.
     
  7. Felix Martinez

    Felix Martinez Screenwriter

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    The current 16:9-enhanced DVD is the best this film has looked on video *ever*. Some folks have complained of some "strange artifacts" in the sky during the Dawn of Man sequence, but what we are seeing is in fact the texture of the 3M front projection screens.

    I do *not* feel that this title, in its current form on DVD, is mistreated at all, nor do I see any authoring issues. The next copy I will buy is HD!

    Cheers,
     
  8. Anthony Neilson

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    It's funny you should say this because there's an article in today's GUARDIAN newspaper about Kubrick's archive. A journalist was allowed exclusive access to it.

    Now, this is pretty thin but here's a quote from the piece :

    "There may be no more Kubrick movies to make, but there are DVDs to remaster and reissue in special editions. There are box sets and retrospective books to oversee. There is paperwork. "

    Of course, this may be pure speculation ; but it may also be based on things that Tony Frewin - Kubrick's assistant - told the journalist as he showed him around.

    The article also re-confirms the upcoming book about Kubrick's aborted NAPOLEON project and states that much of Kubrick's archive material has recently been shipped to Germany, where a major exhibition of memorabilia will be launched as the first step on a European tour.

    The overall implication is that his Estate is going to be a good deal more accommodating about letting some of this material out than we might have expected. I think they genuinely appreciate how fascinated people were by the late
    director. For this reason, I think there's a good chance we may see some TRULY special Kubrick editions at some point in the future. Any one of his films could stand much better releases - believe me, there's a LOT of material out there.
    Here's hoping.
     
  9. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    It's a matter of showing due respect, as Heinz says in the first post. We are talking about one of the five or six greatest films ever made, and one would expect it to be given one of the most distinguished DVD presentations/packages ever produced — at least something along the lines of Warner's masterful edition of Citizen Kane.

    The current transfer is fine, indeed. But a landmark film like this deserves a plethora of extras and packaging that's a bit more respectful and distinguished than the current snapper. I mean, this isn't just any ol' film.
     
  10. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    No. No...I don't suppose it is.
     
  11. Heinz W

    Heinz W Second Unit

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    What Jack said! [​IMG]
     
  12. Steve Christou

    Steve Christou Long Member

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    Exactly! [​IMG]
     
  13. Felix Martinez

    Felix Martinez Screenwriter

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    Superbit is a Columbia TriStar Home Video DVD product line. It also has nothing to do with a film transfer. All the Columbia TriStar Superbits I believe use the same film transfers as their non-Superbit counterparts. Less high-frequency filtering in the MPEG-2 authoring process and more bitrate headroom on the disc (i.e. no extras) account for the image improvement in the Superbit line. My observation is that Warner Home Video has some of the best looking DVDs in the business - might be due to the encoder they use, who knows...

    Halos - usually due to EE - may or may not be removed, and depends if the EE was added in the transfer (pre-MPEG-2 authoring).

    Extras on a second disc would be nice!

    Cheers,
     
  14. Steve Christou

    Steve Christou Long Member

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    I mean come on they've bent over backwards giving us 2-disc packed-to-the-gills special editions of Meet Me in St.Louis, My Fair Lady, Treasure of Sierra Madre etc etc but nothing for 2001 except a decent copy of the film on a bare bones disc, static menus and a muffled scratchy trailer!!!
     
  15. JeffMc

    JeffMc Supporting Actor

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    And WB even bumped off the Arthur Clarke extra and the alternate (and better) trailer that were on the original MGM DVD. What's with that?

    And I'm still amazed that WB didn't see fit to rerelease this theatrically in 2001 in the US. What a lost opportunity that was.
     
  16. Heinz W

    Heinz W Second Unit

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    Absolutely. I haven't seen the film on the big screen since 1975!
     
  17. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    So, Steve....exactly how much is Jack paying you to carry his water on this subject?!?! [​IMG]
     
  18. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Producer

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    The only extra I would want on any future edition would be the excellent 60s behind-the-scenes that I caught on TV by chance years ago. It's great. Lots of interesting footage.

    I thought that the documentary introduced by James Cameron was pretty mediocre.

    Trumbull's commentary on Silent Running is great, so he'd be great for 2001 and Dullea is engaging on Black Christmas so it may be worth recording a commentary in the future.

    But I doubt we will be seeing SEs of any Kubrick films for at least 2-3 years.

    I'll be buying that Napoleon book, for sure - I'm a big Kubrick enthusiast and a big Napoleon buff, so it's a must-buy for me. Pity that it never got made, I'm sure it would have been great. Aside from Gance's silent marvel, there has never been a Bonaparte biopic that has fully satisfied me. The box office failure of Bondarchuk's, Waterloo - which I quite like - frightened Warner and the script gathered dust. A.I. made it to the screen eventually and it would be great if Kubrick's script was green-lit someday with the right director at the helm (Ridley Scott? Peter Jackson? Me? [​IMG] ) but it is a BIG script and would probably cost around $200m to produce. Hmmm.
     
  19. Steve Christou

    Steve Christou Long Member

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    Just my usual weekly fee for continuing to display a 2001 frame capture in my sig box Mike! [​IMG]
     
  20. Michael Harris

    Michael Harris Screenwriter

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    I really found it odd that Warner didn't market the heck out of 2001 in 2001. I still watch my Criterion LD CAV until I get a new TV to take advantage of better pq.
     

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