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BenjiMovies sent me a solicitation. I post it & my response, requesting OAR on Benji (1 Viewer)

David Lambert

Senior HTF Member
Aug 3, 2001
Below is the text of my reply to some "spam" that I got from BenjiMovies.com last spring I bought their 6-pack deal of 3 DVD's and 3 VHS's for less than $60. I just got this unusual-sounding solicitation that simply says "I'm Seein' Robots!!!" (the original note they sent is at the bottom; I'm copy-and-pasting the whole response as-is) and checked back at their site as a result. You'll see that I respond to their spam...in my usual long-winded way (I know; it's a bad fault that I talk so much). In my response I bring up the OAR issue, since their previous DVD's were full-frame only.
Anyway, since OAR is a hot topic around here, AND since many HTF members are (or ought to be ) interested in Benji-type films, I thought I'd share this with the group.
Widescreen is Family Fun!

quote: As I'm sure you can guess , I'm usually not interested in receiving anything that resembles "spam" via e-mail (or snail mail or phone, for that matter).
However, I might have an exception here. You've piqued my curiosity. My entire family is enjoying the DVD's we ordered from you all of Benji, For the Love of Benji, & Benji's Christmas.
We are anxiously awaiting the availability of Oh Heavenly Dog! and Benji The Hunted on DVD as well. I would love to own them, and for that reason I check your web site approximately once-a-month to look for news on these two. So far, all I see is the same "Coming Soon" that's been there forever.
I don't know what you mean by "I'm Seein' Robots!!!"; nothing at your web site tells me what this is about.
The site also says "August 28, 2001: The New Benji Library! Nineteen video titles in bright new packaging, all digitally re-mastered, many titles in stereo, will be available in retail outlets throughout the United States. All in DVD and VHS!! "
I'm only aware of the 3 DVD's listed above, which I've already purchased. So what's new on DVD? The movies section that it takes me to with the "Click Here" link is the same one I mention above that still says "Coming Soon" on all the other titles.
I know that the same DVD copies I bought from you in the six-pack special for $59.77 last April/May have also been available from AMAZON.COM since then. However, I also know that Benji is available for general retail release on 9/11, and Benji's Christmas on 10/2. This info is available to the public at Link Removed This distributer lists no other new Benji titles on DVD coming around that time, nor does Amazon.
In any case, I'm not certain that I'm satisfied with the quality of the DVD's I bought from you last spring. Although the picture quality was decent, it was a Full Frame release. Benji, For the Love of Benji, Oh Heavenly Dog!, and Benji the Hunted were all theatre presentations, and therefore widescreen. I don't know what the exact Original Aspect Ratio (OAR) is for these titles, but we will soon own a widescreen TV. The entire family - even our 3-year-old! - enjoys watching films in their original theatrical presentation...not "this film has been altered to fit your screen". That doesn't describe widescreen TV...it describes the old TV's. Yes, many people still have them...including us for now...but that's the beauty of DVD! You can put both versions on the same disc! Then, when folks upgrade to widescreen, they won't have a sub-quality disc in their collection!
I'm not alone in this desire. almost 12000 people just signed a petition (http://www.petitiononline.com/mod_pe...d.cgi?wonkadvd) to convince Warner Bros. that their decision to release Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory on DVD in Fullscreen-only was a bad move. So, on Aug 28th (next Tuesday) they will go through with plans to release the Fullscreen version, but they issued a press release yesterday that they will ALSO release on Nov. 13th a widescreen edition of the same DVD!
Similar petitions are in the works for WB titles Lord of the Rings (http://www.petitiononline.com/mod_pe...ed.cgi?lotrdvd),
Cats & Dogs (http://www.petitiononline.com/mod_pe...d.cgi?catdogdv),
and indeed ALL other titles, "family" or otherwise, that WB may put out (http://www.petitiononline.com/mod_perl/signed.cgi?wdvdx).
I am a member of the Home Theatre Forum (http://www.hometheaterforum.com/), where we endorse OAR on all releases (although we don't want to prevent people who prefer Modified Aspect Ratios (MAR) from enjoying fullscreen if they wish to). The vast majority of the HTF members endorse these petitions, and are pushing other studios to support OAR as well...not just Warner.
1) Artisan is releasing Operation Petticoat (Cary Grant "pink submarine") next month in Fullframe only. A widescreen VHS already exists!
2) MGM, like Warner, releases many "family" titles in MAR format only: All Dogs go to Heaven, Secret of NIMH, Mr. Mom, etc. Why?
3) Goodtimes has just re-released Airport and others in Widescreen editions, but still have MAR-only editions of McLintock!, Gray Lady Down, etc.
I encourage and challenge the recipient of this note - rather long and preachy...I apologize! - to bring this matter to the direct attention of Joe Camp and all the other decision-makers there at BenjiMovies and Mulberry. I am hoping that the full use of DVD can be met with all future Benji releases: Fullscreen presentation for those who prefer it AND a Widescreen edition (where appropriate...it's not for made-for-TV items, I realize) for those who want the Original, Unaltered theatrical presentation. And, in the way of supplements, at the very least put the theatrical trailer on each DVD. This actually will encourage your sales: for friends who've never seen a particular movie and don't have time to watch the whole thing just then, they can be shown the trailer and be "sold" on the film, same way the trailer pre-sold people on the forthcoming movie all those years ago in the theatre! Many video stores use this to help sell DVD's, and you should help yourselves by including the trailer.
Serious DVD collectors like me (763 with more to buy later today!) will truly appreciate it.
I will share my note with my friends on the Home Theatre Forum...I hope you don't mind some publicity about your DVD's. I look forward to a reply with any answers and comments you care to give me. Thank you ever so much for listening to consumer input!
Memphis, TN
-----Original Message-----
From: Customer Service at Benjimovies [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Saturday, August 25, 2001 4:55 AM
To: The
Subject: A message from Benjimovies.com
Hello The
I'm Seein' Robots!!!
Have a happy day!
go to ]www.Benjimovies.com
[Edited last by David Lambert on August 25, 2001 at 07:10 AM]

Mark Edward Heuck

Jul 25, 2000
"Hello The / I'm Seein' Robots!!! / Have a happy day!"
This can only mean one thing:
"As I looked back over my life, I realized that I enjoyed nothing--not art, not sex--more than going to the movies." -- Gore Vidal

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