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Discussion in 'DVD' started by Jeffrey, Oct 25, 2003.
I picked up a copy on Tuesday but haven't opened it yet. I don't know wether to return it or try it. It sounds like I should return it.
And Image's transfer of Buck Privates is the old inferior one. The one Universal released is a newer and superior transfer. I don't know were you saw reports of faulty transfers. I have searched the web and there are very few reviews of these disks and nothing I've seen mentions faulty transfers. Can you provide a link? They probably used the VHS/Laserdisc masters for most of these films and those transfers were very good and miles ahead of any Madacy disk. This just sounds like an opportunity to bash a studio you don't like more than a legitimate complaint especially considering the fact that you haven't even seen the disks yet. Also you don't need to watch all 8 movies to see if you have a bad disk. The problems are going to occur at the layer changes and most of those have been identified in this thread already.
I was going to buy this because of the value but I'm really now having second thoughts.I probably still will get volume 1 as it contains most of A and C's better efforts. I recall The Time of Their Lives quite fondly too as it was it a little out of the ordinary for A and C so I've not discounted buying vol 2 too. I must agree with you Eric about Universal's bargain basement mentality and general apparent contempt for the real classics of cinema. I mean who in their right mind would argue for releases of mediocre B-movie stuff like Francis the Talking Mule and Ma and Pa Kettle ahead of Paramount As (all owned by Universal) like the Marx Brothers, Gary Cooper, Dietrich, Fields, Film Noir, Lubitsch, Sturges etc ? I mentioned this before and was told these wouldn't sell because nobody knew who the majority of these people were anymore !? That may well be true but lack of visibility today doesn't seem to have stopped Warner releasing loads of As from the Thirties and Forties including some like Grand Hotel and The Great Ziegfeld likely to be of interest mostly to film buffs. Even more daring and welcome in my book was the wonderful Lon Chaney set. Meanwhile Universal ignores almost all the Paramounts it owns and releases mostly B movies to make a quick buck. Universal in the US owns more classics than all the other studios apart from Warner but its now the studio which has released the fewest of its classics. The re-releases of the Monster titles are welcome and the Abbott and Costellos although one wonders if some of these titles would really stand on their own as a single release. It now looks as though reading whats here that even on the generally minor films Universal is releasing they are making a mess of things. I want to be able to watch all eight films on these sets without my player ceasing up. Are there any reviews of these discs to see if this is something happening with all of them or just an odd one ? As for the Marx Brothers films the discs won't be double sided. We aren't despite the extras which are really only numerous for Opera or Races getting seven films on just two discs ! Universal has a long way to go to catch up with Warner concerning handling of the classics. At the moment as far as Universal is concerned it seems that its quantity and not quality that matters.
I understand all the concerns. But once again, as in many other such threads on this wonderful forum, most of the complaining is being done by people who don't have or haven't even seen the DVD under discussion. I'm not trying to quash debate or discussion, but my observation seems to be an odd fact of life here. If you love A&C so much, is it really going to kill you to spend the time to buy ($20!) and watch the set? You could then sell your out-of-print DVD of Buck Privates (it's selling used on Half.com for $30 and up) and come out ahead--and your new copy of Buck Privates will be of better quality, and you'll have seven other A&C movies to enjoy, to boot.
Has anyone watched all 8 movies on the A&C DVD? If you have, please report if you have experienced any technical difficulties. I would love to "enjoy" the other A&C movies if they will not freeze up. I'm not complaining about the transfers. I'm complaining that the DVD doesn't work properly!
Randy Korstick surely it makes a difference when discs are double sided. They are more likely to be scratched etc. Also almost everytime Universal release something these days there seems to be something wrong with it. As Eric quite rightly says why risk your cash on something which might not play properly. Not all of us are in a position (living abroad etc) where we can return it easily without hassle. Its nothing to do with artifacts or transfers as William says it appears a few copies simply won't play properly. Basically Universal appear to have very poor quality control. No explanations concerning the problems associated with double sided dual layer discs are really adequate. Warner seem to have better quality control. I'm sure they've released DVDs with loads of material and extras on one disc without problems before. I certainly don't recall any complaints here about their quality classics freezing up or anything. In fact in the last couple of years its mostly been gushing praise for Warner and generally I agree with it. I'm sure the Marx Brothers set will maintain their reputation for quality product.
Derek Your complaints on not being able to easily return DVD's from abroad are certainly legitimate. My artifacts and transfers statement was in response to the cramming concerns not about dual layered disks which is the only real issue here. Every studio has problem with dual layered disks as evidenced in many threads in this forum over the past years. Usually it ends up being player campatiblity problems but sometimes it is also poor quality control. We do not know which it is here yet. It is working for some people and not working for others. I have had disk freeze up problems before that some people experienced and others didn't. I have not had a problem with a Universal disk yet nor have I seen many reports of "every Universal disk being messed up". So your best bet is probably to wait for more reports on this to see if it is wide spread or not. I'll report back when my copy arrives but my Ma and Pa Kettle set did not have any problems.
I got the set on Saturday and have watched Who Done It? and Ride 'Em Cowboy so far. There was a lockup on Ride 'Em Cowboy for about two seconds, but when I went back and watched that part again it didn't lock up. Who Done It? played fine. I am going to be watching Hold That Ghost, Pardon My Sarong, and A Night in the Tropics this weekend and I will report back if there are any errors. I won't be watching Buck Privates, Keep 'Em Flying, or In The Navy because I am not a fan of their war-time comedies. A friend of mine recieved a defective copy with a manufacturing scratch which freezes on Hold That Ghost and doesn't play Ride 'Em Cowboy. Overall, I am very pleased with this set but I hope my copy doesn't have any defects like many of you are reporting. I enjoyed Ride Em' Cowboy, being a fan of Westerns, but I didn't care for the musical numbers. Who Done It? is one of their best films, with some good jokes here and there. For my money, Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein is their best film.
I've went through the first four films without any problems. I paid $90 for the three Image releases back in 1999 so this set is certainly better in that reguard. I'm rather shocked at how well the transfers are and I hope this continues with upcoming collections.
Good news Michael. Will a complete review of this wonderful set be forthcoming?
To update my situation and have completed disc 1 with "Buck Privates" being the only problem. Locks up right at the start and skips to chapter 2. One thing I might do is if disc 2 is ok I'll call Universal in the morning and explain the problem and see if they will exchange the disc. Would be easier to exchange 1 disc and hope for a good one then having to watch 8 movies each time to finally get a good set. If disc 2 is a bummer, then set goes back to store for refund and I'll call it a day on A&C. Oh...biffle diffle. See you made me say a bad word Universal.
I've watched the first two films without any problem. The transfer of BUCK PRIVATES is the new one with the original Universal opening title, but it's got a Realart credit over the end title. I've never seen that one before! It's a shame, because it kind of takes away from the final gag in the film. The transfer of IN THE NAVY seems to be the old video/laser disc transfer, with the window-boxed title. That's why it's a little soft compared to the films around it.
I've also watched the first two films with no problems. As for returns, I've never had a problem exchanging ONE disc of a multi disc set at any of the big retailers such as BB, CC and Target. Tonight's show: In The Navy
No problems so far, and I've seen 5 films. I didn't have any trouble removing the discs from the packaging, either. Bring on Set 2!
I also have just finished "One Night In The Tropics" and "Buck Privates" no problem on either one. Picture looks good on both and I can't wait to do all 8 this weekend. I must be lucky for I have not experienced the pain of having a DVD freeze up on me yet, but I can understand what a pain it must be to have a DVD freeze up on you. I have been very happy with my little DVD player the Panny RV-31, sure its not the fanciest but it chugs along
I was shocked how great the audio is on Buck Privates. No problems playing my set.