Columbia Tristar: most opposite-of-improved studio

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Jesse Skeen, Dec 19, 2002.

  1. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    The award goes to Columbia Tristar, for releasing several catalog titles this year only in pan and scan format, when before they were so good about including both versions whenever possible. Some of these were single-side, single-layer disc, and several were also previously available in widescreen on laserdisc.
     
  2. Rain

    Rain Producer

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    And I second the nomination.
    Some time ago, I sent them a petition against their "ful frame"-only practice, containing some 3500 names. The thing was over 100 pages and cost me about $10 to ship.
    Though I specifically requested feedback, I received not so much as an acknowledgement. Not a word.
    [​IMG]
     
  3. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    Honoraable Mention goes to Disney/Mala Vista for similar reasons, including no less than THREE brand-new movies released only in pan and scan. However Columbia gets the honor because Disney wasn't as close to perfect to begin with.
     
  4. Rob Lutter

    Rob Lutter Producer

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    How about to Universal for KNOWINGLY shipping faulty merchandise to meet holiday quotas and attempting to cover it up by not sending out preview copies to reviewers?

    Sure, they are going to fix it later (which was ALWAYS the plan), but it is still a sneaky thing to do to most unsuspecting consumers (who most likely send the discs back)
     
  5. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    Universal is also a runner-up for putting out a brand-new movie (Big Fat Liar) only in pan and scan, and issuing "Balto" in pan and scan even though it was widescreen on laserdisc (probably because "they're just kids' movies anyway").
     
  6. rbirk

    rbirk Stunt Coordinator

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    How about Columbia/Tristar/Sony Classics to recently omitting English subtitles in several release. I cannot believe that until recently I thought they were a high quality studio.

    Ron
     
  7. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Producer

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  8. Andy_MT

    Andy_MT Second Unit

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    columbias' transfers are, i'm sure, getting progressively worse (spiderman, enigma, wedding singer, 28 days, ali). they're not bad, but i have a sneaking suspicion they've deliberately taken down the quality a few notches to perhaps cater for future superbit releases. and of course, an honorable mention for their pan & slice releases. who wouldn't want to own one of those puppies.

    and enigma. what the hell happened to this transfer ? were they going for the opposite of superbit ... supersh*t ? very, very poor way to treat any film.

    columbia nostar have gone from heros to zeros in a very short amount of time. i just don't trust them anymore.

    ...

    and i never gave a thought about universal not allowing previews because of the framing issues with BTTF as rob lutter suggested. the more i think about it, the more likely that sounds. if this is the case ... well, i'll just keep it to myself, but it ain't pretty ...
     
  9. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    If it weren't for their television product I probably would not have bought a C/T DVD this year.
     
  10. James L White

    James L White Supporting Actor

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    they do suck now but other than TV series I can't rrealy think of any titles they own that I want, I'm sure there are some but they've slipped my mind.
     
  11. Joshua Clinard

    Joshua Clinard Screenwriter

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    I second, or third Disney for their Pan & Scan releases! I can only think of two new movies though, those being Max Keebles Big Movie, and The Country Bears. What's the other one?

    Of course the list of catalogue films in P&S is too long to list.
     
  12. Jeffrey Gray

    Jeffrey Gray Second Unit

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    Like with WB in 2001, I don't think Universal is deserving of "worst studio of 2002" just due to a couple mistakes. IMO, the honor should go to either Disney, Columbia, or (here's one nobody mentioned) Artisan.
     
  13. Mark Cappelletty

    Mark Cappelletty Cinematographer

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    For every good Artisan release (Dog Soldiers and After Dark My Sweet) this year, there have been two or three outright atrocities, the worst being their full-frame/no extras reissues of movies like Mountains of the Moon and Trees Lounge which used to be OAR and, in the case of Trees Lounge, had plenty of extras.
     
  14. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

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    The word you're looking for is disimproved. [​IMG]
    I agree with the adding of Artisan. I agree that all four studios named are putting out fullscreen-only copies of items and scaling back on the support for widescreen (OAR)-loving people like those found on HTF. For Columbia it is even more surprising, since their parent company (Sony) is supposed to be trying to get people to buy widescreen TV's!
    I also agree that Columbia's scaling back on picture quality in their DVD releases, and some of the pictures named are good examples. Since someone brought up C/TS's TV releases, then I must also point to Mad About You. I think it is more to save money than it is to perhaps promote future SuperBit releases, but if people get that perception - true or not - then it is Columbia who has to deal with the fallout.
    Since Home Theater enthusiasts previously named Columbia as "a no-brainer" purchase as recently as last year, and now have great mistrust in the studio, then it is not a stretch to agree that they are the Most Disimproved Studio.
    I think Disney/Buena Vista and Universal tie for 2nd place. Disney may edge out, because at least Universal and parent Vivendi are undergoing the stress of Enron/Worldcom-type financial issues, which surely cloud and affect their home video release department.
    Even putting aside that trouble, and Universal's "honest mistakes" with BTTF, they still earn a booby prize for the list of fullscreen-only releases from them, the lack of review copies, the lack of information about the E.T. releases prior to shipping, and other criticisms leveled at them during the past year.
    Disney has had more trouble, though, with longer lists of fullscreen-only releases, dumping of catalog titles on the market at cheap prices with corresponding low quality (Bette Midler films, anybody?), consistant defects and player incompatibilities that tend to be - gratefully - fixed eventually but cause a lot of grief along the way, accusations that music had been replaced in some episodes on at least one of their TV seasons sets, and confusion over whether or not special editions of their film releases were or were not occurring.
    Artisan definately deserves runner-up status, with long lists of fullscreen-only releases themselves, confusing explanations on their boxes concerning the aspect ratio of the enclosed DVD, and also the general lack of information about upcoming releases (like the much-called-for Twin Peaks S2).
    A year ago we were playing kick-the-can with Warner Brothers and perhaps still MGM a bit. Those studios have made strides and made great improvements since then, whether or not it was from OUR feedback. I no longer feel outright nervous when I hear about something I want coming from those studios.
    But I now feel outright nervousness when something I desperately want is announced from Columbia/Sony, Disney/Buena Vista, Universal, or Artisan. I can't just trust that whatever I want to buy will be available in a form I'll enjoy (one emulating the exact original presentation where both video and audio are concerned), free from defects, and look and sound as great as a DVD ought to. And that's a lowdown dirty shame. [​IMG]
     
  15. Tim Ke

    Tim Ke Stunt Coordinator

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    Well said, David...
     
  16. LukeB

    LukeB Cinematographer

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  17. Randy A Salas

    Randy A Salas Screenwriter

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    I'm glad Mark and David pointed out Artisan for their pan-and-scan releases, many of them movies that were formerly widescreen on DVD. But it has gotten even more ludicrous lately--and this is why Artisan might be the worst:

    Its full-screen-only DVDs for such recent titles as The Last Seduction, Keys to Tulsa and Long Walk Home all carry the notation that the movies have been modified, formatted to fit a TV screen. No problem there with telling it like it is. But right below that is the notation that the movie is presented "in its original 1.33:1 format"!

    Talk about trying to have it both ways...
     
  18. rbirk

    rbirk Stunt Coordinator

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    Colin, two examples that don't have English subtitles are "13 Conversations About One Thing" and "Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys".

    Ron
     
  19. Joshua Clinard

    Joshua Clinard Screenwriter

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    What Universal DVD's have been Pan & Scan only, other than Big Fat Liar?

    I think Universal has done a marvelous job this year, with the wonderful E.T. set, and the Great Back to the Future Set. I had no problems with either one. The Framing issue, in my opinion, is a petty one!
     
  20. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    Universal also released Balto this year in pan and scan, which was previously available on laserdisc in widescreen. It's only one title, but still one too many. To me the most UNFORGIVABLE thing they can do is to issue a DVD only in pan and scan when the laserdisc was widescreen!
     

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