Alliance Atlantis - a query

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Richard Michael Clark, Aug 22, 2003.

  1. Richard Michael Clark

    Richard Michael Clark Second Unit

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    Can anyone answer a query I have about Alliance Atlantis releases.

    I am in the UK and get most of my R1 discs from etailers that source their product from Canadian suppliers.
    Many New Line, Universal & Dimension US releases (and others I'm sure!) seem to be released in Canada by Alliance Atlantis.

    I've read various complaints leveled at this company over the quality of their releases (the subtitle problem on "Bowling for Columbine" being the latest) and just wondered if I have anything to worry about when buying "major" titles?

    Basically, is the quality of the CONTENT the same as the domestic US release? I am not so much bothered by bilingual packaging but rather more concered with the video & audio quality - eg. Can I be sure that the video quality of "Lord of the Rings" or "Final Destination 2" is the same on the Alliance disc as the New Line disc? (baring in mind that both releases also carry the New Line name). I do notice that some disc features are different in these releases (audio tracks etc).

    Recent titles I have from Alliance Atlantis include:
    - both releases of "LOTR: fellowship" (2 disc and 4 disc boxset with bookends). French 2.0 audio track replaces English 2.0.
    - "Below" - trailer included on Dimension release removed.
    - "Far from heaven" - seems to be the same as Universal release?
    - "Final Destination 2" - billed as Newline Infinifilm (French 2.0 replaces English 2.0 & no English subtitles)
    etc...

    I always buy discs based on reviews and I've always assumed that these Canadian releases are simple ports of the US releases and would have the same picture & audio quality. But, am I wrong?

    Cheers
    Rich
     
  2. Magnus T

    Magnus T Supporting Actor

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    99% of the time, it's the same disc as the US one, however, there are exceptions. It seems that whenever AA takes matters into their own hands that problems come up. Also, AA seems to have no interest in listening to their costumers, which is why I've started my AA boycott. That's right, no more AA products for me. The billingual covers issue is the most irritating for me since AA could've easily release 2 versions, an english only one, and a billingual one.

    Alliance Atlantis can burn in hell for all I care.[​IMG]
     
  3. Richard Michael Clark

    Richard Michael Clark Second Unit

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    So, when does AA "take matetrs into their own hands"?
    LOTR & FD2 would appear to be the same as the US release but with alterations to the audio tracks and therefore the menus too. Is it AA who makes these changes or are they part of the files prepared by New Line for the DVD mastering that AA just distribute in their territory or do they organise their own disc pressing?
     
  4. Ian Garton

    Ian Garton Extra

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    Alliance Atlantis = [​IMG]

    I've completely avoided Alliance Atlantis ever since their original, horribly subpar release of Memento.

    A friend of mine has the 2-disc Alliance Atlantis version of Fellowship of the Ring. He reports that, when listening to the English audio track, the French subtitles display automatically beneath the English subtitles whenever the characters speak Elfish.

    They also provide crappy packaging that includes bilingual covers, dull paper instead of glossy paper (The Others and Chicago), and flimsier cardboard than the US releases (Pulp Fiction).

    Basically, I avoid Alliance Atlantis so that I always get the same quality that's reported in online reviews. I'll refuse to support Alliance Atlantis until they stop consistently producing inferior products.
     
  5. Stephen_J_H

    Stephen_J_H All Things Film Junkie

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    I must be the exception to the rule. I have never had a problem with any of my Alliance Atlantis titles, and I find that in most cases, the DVDs are simply repackaged US versions, which in some cases have been silk-screened in-house with the AA graphics (read: Miramax and Dimension releases). I've never had any trouble with my 2-disc TFOTR, and I can list many other titles that have been problem free (Goldmember, Possession, The Importance of Being Earnest, Jonah: A Veggie Tales Movie). I am concerned about the superimposition of electronic titles over the burned-in ones in Bowling For Columbine though, since I do use subtitles quite a bit. I'll have to rent first and see.
    On another note, I like the way that AA has handled the bilingual cover issue: one side of the insert has French; the other English, with smaller type of the opposite language title under the original title. I guess most of us Canadians have already gotten used to the bilingual thing.
     
  6. Greg Madsen

    Greg Madsen Second Unit

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    I live in Canada and I avoid Alliance Atlantis like the plague because of the Bilingual covers. I pay more to order them from the US. Also because they release featureless discs of Y Tu Mama Tambien and The Kid Stays in the Picture when the US released versions with many extra features.
     
  7. Joseph J.D

    Joseph J.D Cinematographer

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  8. Tom Tsai

    Tom Tsai Supporting Actor

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    I'm with Stephen. Most of Alliance's dvds are identical and I have no problem with importing the few exceptions. I don't really mind the bilingual covers and I don't think they should be singled out on this since Universal and sometimes Paramount also do this too.

    Richard, I don't think you have anything to worry about. If there is fault with certain Alliance titles, you'll for sure be hearing about it on this board anyways.
     
  9. RossH

    RossH Stunt Coordinator

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    I watched the Canadian Bowling For Columbine disc Friday night, and didn't have the subtitle problems...however the disc did skip or pause for a split-second about 3 times throughout. Brand new disc.
     
  10. James Reader

    James Reader Screenwriter

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    The subtitle problems on most discs (not sure about AA specifically) are normally caused by player set-up issues.

    Make sure the default subtitle option is off on your player's set-up screen and see if the subtitle problems persist.
     

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