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Classic DVD's for cheap at Borders

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by DanaA, Jul 17, 2002.

  1. DanaA

    DanaA Screenwriter

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    I just stopped by Borders and found a rack of classic DVD's for just $7.99 each. I bought Fritz Lang's Metropolis and Marlene Dietrich's Blue Angel, but saw Talk of the Town, The Third Man, The 39 Steps, etc. on the rack. They weren't the Criterion editions or anything, but they were inexpensive. So, if you're a fan of the classics, you might want to check it out.
     
  2. DanaA

    DanaA Screenwriter

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    Alert: I ended up watching Blue Angel tonight and the quality of the audio/video was the worst I can remember. Even with it being made in 1929, it was far below my expectations. So, I now remove this from the classification of being a bargain. I peeked at Metropolis and it really doesn't look any better. You have to be concerned when even the warning they put at the beginning of movies against pirating is blurred.
     
  3. Matt Pelham

    Matt Pelham Screenwriter

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    Yup, I have fallen into similar traps Dana. If you find really inexpensive DVDs in a version you've never seen before, chances are they are going to be very low quality. I thought I had a bargain when I bought My Man Godfrey for cheap, but when I watched it the quality was so bad I almost didn't finish it. I immediately bought the Criterion, and it was worth every penny.
     
  4. Matt_P

    Matt_P Second Unit

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    I also fell into this trap. I picked up the cheapo "Alpha Video" version of The Third Man (or The 3rd Man, as reads on the package). It was 8 bucks..."How bad could it be?" I said to myself. Well, in a word, BAD!!! It was bar none the most horrendous DVD transfer I've ever seen. The print used was in extremely poor shape. The picture was misframed, cutting off part of the image on the left of the frame (indicated by the off-center credits). The transfer was washed out and blurry, devoid of any fine detail. Certain outdoor scenes were so overexposed that the image appeared to be a white/grayish blur. Digital artifacting was everywhere. The worst part about this disc was that it was actually missing chunks of the film! In some scenes, a few frames would be missing, causing Holly Martins to suddenly teleport to a different location on a Vienna street, or in a room, etc. Some scenes simply ended early, cutting off characters in mid-sentence. Worst of all, one of the best moments in the film, when Holly first sees Harry Lime emerge from the shadows, is missing complete shots, making the scene about 1/3 as long as it should be. We don't see the woman opening the window/turning on the light, causing Lime to be illuminated. We only see his face light up for no reason, then Holly runs off in pursuit...huh? Orson Welles' distinctive glare is nowhere to be found! The moment is ruined. This is simply a travesty, and a clear misrepresentation of one of the greatest non-auteur films ever made. In short, I sold the thing to a used CD/DVD place almost immediately. Buyer beware!!!!!

    Buy the Criterion disc and save yourself the grief.
     

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