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Discussion in 'DVD' started by Xenia Stathakopoulou, May 19, 2003.
its a good one !
And they broke the May 23rd embargo set by Warner Brothers...
Certainly nothing new. I feel your pain.
Well, that's annoying. One of the few times I get to actually review at the same time as the "big boys" only to have that happen.
Of course, print media reviews are already coming out, as I got PLAY this past weekend and it has a full two page spread on it.
r2 reviews have been up since last week btw
I respect both Ron and Jeremy, but DVD File has earned it's stripes, and its fanbase, and I really could care less about the embargoes...the Daredevil thing was a little insane, but why would Fox send it out so early anyways?
DVD File has been (IMO) the best DVD site on the net since the birth of the format. I always get perturbed when forum threads or websites get an anti-DVD File undercurrent going (and yes I know I sound like a DVD File whore). While I can see breaking embargoes could be a disservice to other DVD sites (though not as much as ad bombardment is a dissrevice to website visitors), in the end, it only benefits the customer. Dicatating that reviews should not be posted until a week before street date is fairly pointless, and I would think only hinders pre-orders.
It's a pointless system, so I'm not too upset someone is breaking it. Posting a review 2 weeks before a street date should hardly be condemnded, disservice to other DVD sites or not. I think the problem is more with Warner's policies than DVD File's ethics.
Feel free to feel perturbed. That's how I feel right now, since I could have had this review up two weeks ago instead of respecting Warner Bros. request to not post reviews until 5/23. While a good number of Matrix fans are waiting for reviews, there's a good number of anime fans that my site serves that are eager for more details than a mainstream site will post about it.
The "embargoes" are the same as street dates for titles, it's designed to provide a level playing field and also works to WB's advantage when it comes to their advertising and marketing plans. For the smaller sites that rarely get to be involved with things like this, especially my own which has maybe 1-2 releases a year that deal with a major studio, seeing things like that is very bothersome, annoying and other adjectives.
Chris, I can see how it would suck from your perspective.
I just can't stand it when other sites rip into sites they could learn a lesson or two from (HTF excluded, of course, as it doesn't really fit into the general DVD news/previews/review site category). This goes not only for DVD sites, but any kind of site. The PC hardware enthusiast sites out there (even the biggest) are always getting into this.
I stand with Jeremy on this.
The studios send out product weeks prior to
release. Most studios don't care if you post
a screener review the day you receive it.
Warner Brothers and Paramount have specific
policies on posting screener reviews to the Internet.
Every DVD review site is absolutely aware of
this policy. With this in mind, there is always
one or two that CONTINUALLY ignore the embargo
dates set by the studio and post early reviews
before they are supposed to. The reason? Simple...
they want a jump on the review.
This screws every other reviewer who is being
considerate to the rules that were set forth.
I can absolutely sympathise with Jeremy on this
problem. When I was reviewing titles I often
became greatly aggravated at the fact that the
same sites repeatedly broke the rules just to beat
everyone else out on an early review. All the
studios do is give a simple email warning to that
reviewer, and often, the process is repeated again.
Maybe some of you feel that a big deal is being
made out of nothing, but after two years of watching
the same sites breaking these rules time and time
you begin to share the frustration with other
reviewers that have been respectful to studio policy.
If the studios don't cut off review product for such sites, there is no real impetus for the sites to follow the date guidelines.
We here at the HTF have always been supportive of retailers who break street date, protecting their anonymity. Perhaps we should rat them out; after all, other retailers will have their sales hurt by the street-date breakers. If it is wrong for a review site to break 'embargo', it is wrong for a retailer to break street date.
Apparently it's not hard to get a hold of in certain circles, which I will avoid mentioning here. I've assiduously avoided them myself for a while now, but when some friends showed up at my door a week from last Friday with a bootleg of the Animatrix I had to ask myself, "What would Neo do?" Follow the White Rabbit of course!
Prior to this viewing I had serious doubts about the Animatrix. While others were raving about the episodes posted online I was less than enthused with the first two, although the third was better. I am happy to say that they saved the best for the DVD. The first two online shorts were flat out the worst shorts on the disc by *far*, and the third was probably about average, but no better. I was sitting on the fence before, but now I will, without question, purchase the Animatrix once it is released. What follows is a taste of some minor spoilers for those who can't wait:
The bootleg I got opened with "The Last Flight of Osiris", which is even mentioned in "The Matrix: Reloaded". (This is the ship that sent news of the machines' tunneling operation) Amazing animation, but basically just eye candy. (Damned FINE eye candy!) The squidies and chase footage looked identical to what we saw in Reloaded, and the human figures look as good as Neo did in the burly brawl. After watching that sword-fight/strip-tease I can't help but wonder when Squaresoft is going to start producing CG porn though... Most of the other shorts don't tie into the films released so far nearly as directly. Some explore the rise of the machines further, including a second part to the very first short released online. Another is centered around a sprinter who was possibly the first man to free himself from the Matrix and become Neo's first "predecessor". (It's a bit tough to say how the logic of this works out given what happened in Reloaded... Was there really a man who broke free on his own, or was even the very first "One" a pawn of the machines as the "Architect" wanted Neo to become? Are the liberated minds really free of the matrix, or just in another level of it?) Another short deals with the subversion of machine AI's to human control. The characters in this short reminded me of Aeon Flux, and it featured some of the trippiest visuals I've ever seen! However, it didn't really tie into anything in either of the Matrix movies released so far. Even the machines featured are new, and can apparently kick a Sentinel's arse! Perhaps it will come into play in Matrix:Revolutions... Another great short featured a malfunctioning zone of the matrix, mistaken for a "Haunted House". It isn't the ghosts and goblins kind of scary house, but rather, a place where the usual laws of physics and time seem a bit messed up. A cadre of teenage kids and a woman have fun messing around with warped reality until the malfunction is corrected.
The whole thing plays out as an episodic movie, with each episode cut quite seamlessly into the next, with nothing but titles to separate them and credits for all at the end. This worked great. It wouldn't have been nearly as good if they made you watch each Short separately, with credits. The soundtrack was simply awesome. I am strongly considering picking up the CD as well as the DVD! For reference, Reloaded's soundtrack didn't impress me nearly as much, but then again, I barely noticed the music in it.
Unfortunately what I got was just the film, bare bones, so I have no idea what kind of extras will be on the DVD. I would think that Trailers for two new Matrix movies are likely, but beyond that I haven't a clue. Perhaps DVD specs have been posted, but I haven't seen them.
While none of the online episodes live up to the phrase "best anime ever" that has been bandied about, some of the shorts in the Animatrix are incredibly creative and may be in the running. A couple of the shorts are more original than anything in Reloaded. In any case, the Animatrix is a good catch and well worth picking up. If you even marginally liked the episodes posted online you will absolutely love the Animatrix. If, like me, you didn't really like the first two episodes, you may still love it!
On a more serious note, I tend to think the artificial silence dates are meant to prevent bad reviews from interfering with the ad campaigns and hype for inferior products. Had the animatrix sucked, early bad reviews might have pooched pre-orders bigtime, which is sort of the DVD equivalent to opening night. If my review had been negative, I would have just kept my mouth shut. I can respect a studio's desire not to face bad press prior to a given date. Good press, on the other hand, shouldn't be a bad thing. I posted the above, even though others will obviously disapprove, because I want people to know that the Animatrix is good, and, in my opinion, they'd be fools to hold off on pre-ordering. If anyone can tell me why Warner would take issue with that, other than to satisfy their lawyers, please do, and I will delete this post, if a moderator hasn't already deleted it for me.
Looks like DVD File pulled their review.
Did they give it a good review?
Well, there's still one up at DVDTalk.com
there is another up r2-dvd.org