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Alliance.....is the quality of their DVD releases inferior? (1 Viewer)

Dan Rudolph

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My understanding is that the Alliance Good Will Hunting is better than the US version. Same transfer, same extras, but 1 additional deleted scene. They don't always suck.
 

CraigF

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My udnerstanding is that the Alliance Good Will Hunting is better than the US version. Same transfer, same extras, but 1 additional deleted scene. They don't always suck.
And anamorphic too!:)

They don't ALWAYS suck, but lately often enough they have some gross faux pas that Canadian aficionados are wary.
 

Tom Tsai

Supporting Actor
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It's by Lions Gate/TVA Films...not Alliance. Plus, just because Alliance has those 3 titles that are inferior to US release, doesn't mean they're the worst. They've since released a widescreen anamorphic version of The Straight Story...what's done is done. They can't really do anything about it.

At least they're improving. Other than those few titles, most of their other ones are identical to the US release...even with a few that are superior eg. eXistenZ, Good Will Hunting, Trainspotting, Far From Heaven (original cover).

I find it unfair to hold it against a company for what they did in the past. Most of those inferior titles were released a while ago. As for The Fast Runner, it was released half a year before the US release. AA is mainly a distributor and they don't have much resource as other studios...so to expect the best transfer from them is not fair. The fact that they actually spent the time and gave us some impressive extras is commendable. If Columbia had their transfer available at the time of the Alliance release, I'm quite sure AA would have tried to obtain the better transfer...but it wasn't, so I won't blame them.
 

Gary Tooze

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I find it unfair to hold it against a company for what they did in the past
The Fast Runner came out in January of this year... without the Colmbia, they would have destroyed the vast presentation of, arguably, Canada's greatest artistsic film...

Hey, I have easy access to their releases, so I would love for them to be a worthy distributor... but they are not... and I have been in their building in Toronto, it is magnificent... perhaps they should spend less money on their foyer and more money getting the proper prints of films they transfer to DVD...
 

Robert Crawford

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I have split this thread off so that some of you can continue this discussion without hijacking the original thread which was about the Canadian versus American dvd releases of "The Pianist".




Crawdaddy
 

Gary Tooze

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Thanks...Damin for those links...

the first says...
I find it unfair to hold it against a company for what they did in the past...
I don't know what we are supposed to hold them to then... things they haven't done yet? Cause one day after there releases is the past... It is the only barometer we have of there work is what they have done and how they have treated some films... shamefully I think.

Regards,

Regards,
 

Tom Tsai

Supporting Actor
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Gary, there's no excuses for Alliance's performance in the past. There's no argument about that and I value your comparisons a lot. What I am saying is that at least they're improving. That's what I believe is the most important thing. If a company continues to release subpar products, then they are to blame. However, Alliance has been consistently improving themselves.

Personally, I have no fears of buying new Alliance products because the majority of the time, it's identical to the US ones. As I stated earlier, the case with The Fast Runner is one of the rare situations where Alliance has to make their own transfer. Had Columbia Tristar not released their version later, we probably wouldn't be complaining right now...and I expected Columbia to come up with a better transfer. I would have been surprised if they didn't.

Anyways, I love your comparisons...I'm just saying that every company has a dud once in a while and Alliance is no different. The important thing is that they're improving...that's more than we can ask for in a company. I guess what they should have done is re-release those 3 movies in a superior form. They probably thought it's easy for us to buy the US version so there's no real point in doing so. I mean seriously though, out of their entire catalogue, these are the only 3 that I can find fault with. That's pretty good in my opinion.

Here are more comparisons that you requested:
Good Will Hunting - DVD Launch eXistenZ - DVD Angle
Far From Heaven:
Alliance
http://www.dvdsoon.com/servlet/image...80&quality=0.8

Universal

The contents are identical, but I applaud them for sticking with the theatrical poster.



PS. I would love to see you do a comparison of The Straight Story (widescreen version). I only trust your picture quality comparisons :D
 

Tom Tsai

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I would also like to add that the Alliance Atlantis version of The English Patient has an anamorphic transfer. The only complaint that people have is that it's a flipper and no extras (although some other reviews says there's a commentary so I don't know what to believe). But transfer wise, I heard the AA version is better....maybe you can do a comparison on this one too?
 

Gary Tooze

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Fair enough... can anyone comment on "The Songs from the 2nd Floor" by Alliance... we don't have anything to compare it to yet... but reports are bad...:
I had a sound glitch, more of a pop or 'crack' sound at about 4:34 into the DVD while viewing it off of my HTPC. I dropped into my other PC and sure enough it was there too. Then tested it on a third PC with yet another player/hardware combo....still there

I returned the DVD which I bought used at Rogers Video (but mint condition to the naked eye) and took another in exchange (excellent condition, no scratches).

You know where this is going.....same anomaly at the same place, 4:34 into the film.

Can you confirm a problem at the same spot. maybe Alliance has an encoding defect in the DVD. This would be a sour sauce on top ot the already rotten cake Alliance has been serving up to DVD fanatics.

I will say that Songs from the Second Floor is a wonderfull film. The Canadian Alliance Atlantis is an otherwise ok disk, no extras. The film looks quite soft and I cannot evaluate color fidelity without other examples of the film. The DVD would seem to merit 2 stars out of 5 on a technical basis.
Can anyone verify this... or review the Alliance disc if they have it ?

Regards,
 

Gary Tooze

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RE: The English Patient...REALLY ?

I knew there was a flipper out there... but I didn't know it had a commentary... I will look into this... thanks Tom !

Cheers,
 

Tom Tsai

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^ I am not sure about the commentary. One site says NO EXTRAS, the other says YES...so I'm thinking no....

Maybe I'll pick up the disc soon and I can tell you guys....or maybe someone here has it?
 

Tom Tsai

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here

I believe the site is WRONG. They even listed it as a snapper...which it is not. So I wouldn't get my hopes up about a commentary either. :frowning:
 

Jason Whyte

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Can anyone comment on "Songs from the Second Floor" by Alliance... we don't have anything to compare it to yet... but reports are bad...
I wouldn't say flat out intolerable, but the disc does have its major flaws:

-Transfer is taken from a PAL source, so the running time (94 min.) does not match the 35mm release here (100 min.)
-The film has this eerie, digital-video look at times because of it. There's also some bad shimmering and artifacts at times that is really noticeable.
-The subtitles are in fact english captions, and weird ones at that. Occasionaly you'll see subtitles such as [He is crying.] or [Music.]

I tried my best to ignore this, and I'm happy that it is finally available in R1, I wouldn't complain if a full restoration job was done by some Canadian or American company. :)

Jason
 

Randy A Salas

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The Alliance release of the Canadian-produced family film Virginia's Run is quite good--anamorphic widescreen and solid two-channel audio. There are no extras.

There's nothing to compare it to, because a U.S. release is probably at least a year away, although it will have extras.
 

Louis_P

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Nov 18, 2002
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Alliance has screwed up a bunch of other releases too.Shallow Grave is in pan and scan only.The Mgm release is in Widescreen.How about the packaging they used for Pulp Fiction,Jackie Brown and Beatles Hard Day's Night.The worst thing I ever seen.They used a cheap plastic to hold the disks!!
 

Mario Bartel

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I tried my best to ignore this, and I'm happy that it is finally available in R1
This actually seems to be Alliance-Atlantis' business plan; get smaller titles on dvd, and because people will be happy just to be able to see them, they don't have to worry too much about quality.

I got bit by their release of The Price of Milk, a whimsical little fable from New Zealand; the video isn't anamorphic and the DD 2.0 audio is all over the place, sometimes with the dialogue coming out in stereo from the L and R speakers, and sometimes ALL the sound, including dialogue, music and ambient, collapsed into the center speaker. I emailed AA to express my disappointment, and while they were good enough to reply, they as much as admitted that since there's no real money to be made from releasing such small films, they do what they can just to get them out there.

Oh well, I guess when it comes to AA and smaller films, it's buyer beware. So I'll just rent.

And while we're crapping on AA, why do they continue to insist on running that lame Macrovision title on their releases? That's so...1998.
 

Gary Tooze

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Alliance Atlantis:


Columbia Tri-Star:




I would like to respond fully to a posting from a person named Josh Dial located

HERE



This person says:
AA version of Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner is by far the superior version on the market.
Although I do not suggest that the Columbia Tri-star version is perfect, it obviously adheres closer to the film than the cropped and washed out Alliance version. Even with time differences still unresolved. I am willing to bet that the Montparnasse version found HERE is the most accurate version released on DVD. It unfortunately does not have English subtitles (does have French) and is in Region 2 PAL for those who do not have a Region-free machine.


*************************************

Trond Trondsen has suggested that we contact Alliance with our grievances. It is quite possible that the "higher-ups" are unaware of the general sentiment and can enact changes to ensure quality controls are tightened. It may simply be that the right hand is unaware of what the left is doing. I will contact them and point them to this thread.

I suggest that you do the same.

Regards,
 

Danny_N

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When you change the film by cropping it, manipulating the colors etc. etc. etc. you are adjusting the content often in very subtle ways, but you are still changing it. This is especially damaging to "Art" film as the intonations of personal expression are usually more exacting.
True, but how do you know what the filmmakers intended? Unless a DVD has an official stamp of approval from the creators I would not know which color/framing/etc. was the intended one when comparing two different DVD's.
 

Gary Tooze

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I would not know which color/...
I guess you also have to apply some common sense... The director would not wanted his characters skin tones too look overly red, but like the way they did when he filmed them... or in the case of Atanarjuat, the snow to have a blue tinge... snow is white... the comparison shows the Alliance DVD image to be cropped - so "no" to cropping ... the DVD would not look as good as the film on the big screen, so the image that looks best (sharpest) is going to be the most accurate in the vast majority of cases...

Regards,
 

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