A Star Wars LD question.

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Scott Strang, Oct 18, 2001.

  1. Scott Strang

    Scott Strang Screenwriter

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    I recently got a Laserdisc player (also plays CD's) and was looking for something to play on it. I already ordered a couple from Ken Cranes but what I'm really wanting is a Star Wars LD.
    On Ebay there seems to be no shortage of them. One that caught my eye was one of the "buy it now" postings and they only wanted $10 for it. It doesn't say LBX or P&S.
    Surely something must be wrong with the disc to be selling it so cheap.
    What do I need to look out for when buying used LD's?
    thanks
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  2. alan halvorson

    alan halvorson Cinematographer

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    There is the THX Definitive Collection, a 9-disc all-CAV box set with some extras and a book. This is pre-modifications also. The video and sound are the same as the single-release THX versions mentioned above.
    Do not get the full-screen or "original" widescreen release - you will be majorly disappointed.
    Cheap doesn't necessarily coincide with poor quality or condition on Ebay. If you're considering bidding on a Star Wars LD auction but aren't certain what you're bidding on, feel free to e-mail me and I will give you my opinion.
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  3. Andrew 'Ange Hamm' Hamm

    Andrew 'Ange Hamm' Hamm Supporting Actor

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    Do not get the Star Wars SEs if the movies you actually want to see are Star Wars. They may have superior picture and 5.1 surround, but they are not George Lucas's original movies.
    The THX CLV discs are very likely what you will find, and they are very nice. Picture is good, and the matrixed DPL surround is one of the best DPL mixes around.
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  4. PeteD

    PeteD Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey!
    The THX LD versions are great! Because the soundtrack is PCM, the pro-logic mix totally holds together. -Unlike crap vision VHS.
    I bought all three from EAVLaser.com about 6 months ago for $10 a piece.. Even shipped to Canada with no problem!
    Buy these if for no other reason than to archive the last great versions of these films.
    You'll never see these versions in better quality.
    Good luck,
    Pete.
     
  5. Glen C

    Glen C Stunt Coordinator

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    Yup... read what's posted above.
    I have them all on LD but definately would get the THX-originals ASAP. It's unlikely the original mixes will EVER be relesed again and the LDs look pretty good (and sound great)... glen
     
  6. James Q Jenkins

    James Q Jenkins Stunt Coordinator

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    You definitely want to make sure that they are the THX versions. The previous widescreen release is dreadful both in audio and video.
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  7. Aaron Reynolds

    Aaron Reynolds Screenwriter

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    I'll also put in my vote for the THX CLV discs. I paid close to $70 Canadian each for them when they were originally released, and found them to be worth every penny, particularly Star Wars, which looks stunning compared to any other release of it (except maybe the SEs, but the SEs are colour balanced rather differently than the THX CLV discs -- personally, I think that the SW:SE disc has been pushed a little too far green to compensate for the magenta that crept in due to negative deterioration, but then again it could be that the THX CLV disc is too magenta and my TV is a little green or even that I just like it better a little more magenta).
    And the sound...oh, the sound! On my old pro-logic receiver (a middle of the line Pioneer from the mid-90s), I always thought that Star Wars sounded a little muddy compared to the other two, but since picking up an Ashly FET-500 I've come to recognize just how truly great it sounds.
    Anyhow, when they were $10 US each from Ken Cranes, I got me a backup set, just in case. How can you lose for $10 each?
    By the way, when I spent that $210 for the three of them, I waited in the store for the delivery to come in, that's how excited I was. And they gave me an unopened six foot tall Darth Vader head standup since it was near my birthday! Not that they didn't already have my undying loyalty for just being a rockin' store, but that totally sealed it...I don't even live in the same city anymore, but I still make trips out there to pick up stuff (and I send friends and family in there to get stuff for me if they're in the neighborhood).
     
  8. Gregg Loewen

    Gregg Loewen Video Standards Instructor, THX Ltd.
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    Ken Cranes still has epi 4 in THX. They are selling them for $5 a pop. They are sold out of ep 5 and 6. While calling make sure you also get Beatles Anthology which is a HELL OF A DEAL at 29.99.
    Gregg
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  9. mark_d

    mark_d Second Unit

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    Nope, Star Wars IV is sold out, too. Damn. I keep on missing out on these things.
    Anyone else got a source by any chance?
    Mark
     
  10. Aaron Reynolds

    Aaron Reynolds Screenwriter

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    Yeah, I picked up Anthology as well. [​IMG]
    SW is down to $5?? Sheesh, they must have pressed like a bazillion of them...though I suppose that after the disc is made it gets progressively cheaper to make more and more discs.
    Five bucks for a brand new sealed copy...man, what's stopping you? Get on the phone now and order one of them puppies! I'd be giving copies to all my LD-capable friends for Christmas if they didn't all already have copies.
    edit: Just saw the above post. Did you call them, or are you going by the listing on the web? They tend to still have things that they are 'sold out' of, if you call (like Anthology, which was no longer on the site listing, but when we called and asked the person on the other end said they had a pile of them still).
    [Edited last by Aaron Reynolds on October 19, 2001 at 10:53 AM]
    [Edited last by Aaron Reynolds on October 19, 2001 at 11:01 AM]
     
  11. John P Grosskopf

    John P Grosskopf Second Unit

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    Actually, the first widescreen laserdiscs of the SW trilogy are not that bad picture and soundwise. They are definitely watchable, and sound pretty darn good (unless the discs have rotted).
    At this point, since all SW discs are out-of-print, beggars can't be choosers. So if the original widescreen lasers are all you can find (and they'll probably be cheap too), you can't really go wrong picking them up if nothing else is available.
    Ironically, the original widescreen release of Empire has more surround activity (check out the asteroid chase) than the newer Definitive CAV and THX CLV releases, though not near as much low end (you'll have to up the bass quite a bit to get it to proper hometheater levels).
    I have every LD incarnation of all the movies, including the pan & san CLV & CAV versions (yeck), analogue sound (yeck & 1/2), etc. I've been collecting them for years (got them all cheap btw) and have noted the difference in soundtracks, including slightly different dialogue and slightly different sound effects between the pan & Scan & widescreen releases. The pan & scan LDs are duped from the same masters as the VHS releases.
    From what I've noticed, either the same video masters or same film prints were used for the original widescreen releases and the THX versions (though I suspect video master). The same blemishes, scratches, and other anomolies plague all the widescreen releases up until the SEs. I'm not sure whether they just cleaned up the first video masters, or re-did them with the same prints. But the real difference is in the soundtracks. The Defiinitve Edition explains that the best of all exisiting soundtracks (including the 70mm and mono mixes) were examined and used to create the THX versions. This is ironic, since the THX versions of Star Wars still drop a couple of lines of dialogue that are present in the 70mm prints (i.e. "a power loss at one of the terminals will allow the ship to leave." and the infamous "close the blast doors" which were both re-incorporated into the SE.
    From my understanding, the original Dolby Stereo mix was rushed, and never completed to Lucas' satisfaction. They took a lot more time to get the 70mm prints right, and fixed things here and there. To make matters worse after that, when Star Wars became such a hit, more prints were needed, and mono mixes were sent out to theaters without Dolby representing a mix different from the other 2 versions.
    Mono theaters required a third mix with different emphasis on dialogue and sound effects to maximize presentation.
    Since different people worked on the different mixes, slightly variations have shown up on video over time.
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    [Edited last by John P Grosskopf on October 19, 2001 at 03:53 PM]
     
  12. Tom Brennan

    Tom Brennan Screenwriter

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    Well, I have been buying Star Wars on LD since 1989. I own every incarnation on Laserdisc.
    Since the 1995 THX releases have been so cheap, I bought two copies of each title. Just in case anything happens to one of them. You won't see the original cuts released ever again, so you need to charish the LDs.
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