Digiview $1.00 Dvd's At Wal-mart

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Dick, Mar 20, 2005.

  1. Dick

    Dick Producer
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    There is a big display at the front of our local Wal*Mart featuring bunch of DVD's in slim cases from DigiView. I decided to take a chance on five of the cartoon packages for a buck apiece, seeing as how the content in each was otherwise unavailable on DVD and might remain so for a long time. Discs are each about one hour long. The results were mixed:

    CARTOON CRAZE VOL 5: POPEYE MEETS SINBAD THE SAILOR
    These are all King Brothers/Paramount titles. Very mixed bag. The 16-minute title cartoon, one of three specials directed by Dave Fleischer in the 30's, is sort of acceptable. The color is pretty good, and it isn't so unsharp as to be actually blurry. The cropping isn't great -the top of the image is cut off. But it's not unwatchable.
    "Aladdin and His Wonderful Lamop," also 16 minutes, does not fare as well. Image is extremely soft, color faded and contrast way too high. The three shorts (7 min each) are "Ancient Fistory," "Assault and Flattery" and "Big Bad Sinbad." These are pretty acceptable. Until the people who own the King Bros. cartoons get off their collective fannies and allow these to be released on legitimate DVD's, this collection is a fair temporary substitute.

    CARTOON CRAZE VOL 7: FELIX THE CAT AND FRIENDS
    The early black and white titles here look okay, actually. The color cartoons not as good. Again, color fade and too-high contrast. I was really hoping "Neptune Nonsense" would look decent, as (though it's not a great cartoon by any stretch, I saw this a zillion times on t.v. when I was a kid and was enthralled). Alas, it's way soft and color-faded.

    CARTOON CRAZE VOL 10: GABBY AND HIS FRIENDS
    Gabby is that sort of insufferable town crier from the 1939 GULLIVER'S TRAVELS, brough back for a number of shorts in the early forties. The first of them, "All's Well," looks very good for a disc like this. The next few aren't as good, either in terms of animation and story quality or in terms of DVD image. There are a couple of Parrotville cartoons later in the program that look ok, but not great.

    CARTOON CRAZE VOL 15: DAFFY DUCK AND THE DINOSAUR
    This and "To Duck Or Not To Duck" have not yet been released on DVD by Warner Bros, and the title cartoon is one of my favorites (an imitation Jack Benny as a caveman). It is very sharp on this disc, but looks like my old super 8mm print: colors are faded badly and contrast is too high, which leaves lighter areas washed out and darker areas almost pitch black. It's viewable, though. Other cartoons on the set are okay, but in the same shape: "Yankee Doodle Daffy," "The Mite Makes Right," "Foney Fables," and a few titles that Warner Bros DID release on DVD. Note: in some cases, initial logos are cut off. Most begin the the "aap" screen and then segue into the Warner Bros concentric circles. Sound is often muddled.

    CARTOON CRAZE VOL 18: MIGHT MOUSE/HECKLE AND JECKLE
    The Mighty Mouae cartoon, "Wolf Wolf" (color) is rather good, looking like a typically unrestored cartoon from the 50's but otherwise watchable. "The Talking Magpies" were not actually Heckle and Jeckle yet (I don't think) but rather a prototype. This color Paul Terry cartoon features two magpies who speak with American accents. There's even an appearance by Farmer Alfalfa! Sound sucks. Image is way oversatured and contrast too high. It's sharp, though. Next are a bunch of MELO-TUNES, which I'd never heard of, and are adaptations of literary classics like TREASURE ISLAND and THE TROJAN HORSE. Pretty godawful, but image quality is okay.

    So, on each disc you get at least one decent-looking cartoon, and for a buck, what the hey.

    I'd be interested in seeing reviews from buyers of the other discs in this cartoon series, as well as the live-action stuff and t.v. series programs.
     
  2. Rob T

    Rob T Screenwriter

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    I think I've seen those at zellers
     
  3. Mark Philp

    Mark Philp Second Unit

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    I've bought a number of these, but they were features, not cartoons. The only cartoon I picked up was the 1955 animated feature of George Orwell's "Animal Farm". I always wanted to see it,but never had a chance.I was just delighted. The picture quality was far better then I would have ever expected from a DVD that sells for a dollar. Anyone looking for that title can't go wrong. As far as features go, so far the best of the bunch is Bob Hope in "My Favorite Brunette". Looks like it came from an original print and is very clean of scratches and spots. I gotten far worse for far more than I payed for this one.

    One caution. I picked up one called "The Three Musketeers" with John Wayne with a listed running time of 114 minutes. I had never heard of any of his early films being that long and it turned out to be the first three episodes of a serial. Next time I went back I looked around to see if there were any others with more chapters, but didn't see any. Oh well, the quality was pretty good and for a buck I'm not going to complain.

    I don't know how much it cost to manufacture and market these, but I'm amazed that anyone can make money off of them, except maybe Wal-Mart.
     
  4. Dick

    Dick Producer
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    These are obviously public domain titles, but even so, a few of them are (almost by accident) in pretty good shape. Wish I could say the same for ONE-EYED JACKS, which Paramount has so far neglected to release on its own.
     
  5. john mcfadden

    john mcfadden Stunt Coordinator

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    Actually walmart sells these for 88 cents each .
     
  6. Jon Martin

    Jon Martin Cinematographer

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    I've picked up a lot of these, dollar stores have a lot of other titles.

    One thing you have to be careful about though, a lot of the films that would have been PG or R are almost always the edited TV versions of the films.

    For cartoons and old TV shows, they aren't too bad. And, there are a lot of really obscure TV movies you'll find in these lots.
     
  7. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    Does anyone have a list of movies that are edited TV versions to watch out for, and if they're available elsewhere in uncut form? I've gotten burned a couple times- on "The Van" from Gemstone Entertainment I think has the naughty words muted and nudity cut, not to mention an extremely dark transfer and a phony 5.1 mix with sound sent to all channels (I think the Rhino disc is uncut but haven't been able to find it), and "Getting Wasted" on a Brentwood 10-movie set which also has words muted and probably some stuff cut as well. The same set includes an uncut version of "The Harrad Experiment", which I've heard has some cut versions out there.
    It seems they should be required to indicate on the cover if they're selling an edited version.
     
  8. Ed St. Clair

    Ed St. Clair Producer

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    Yikes!!!
    I don't even think VHS tapes (prerecorded or blank) ever got down too a buck, did they?
    DVD's are FANtastic.
    HD disc, REALLY, have there work cut out for them, in the general public's eye (pun, intended).
    I've picked up TV shows, not at all pleased. However, will have too try some more, thanks too you guys.
     
  9. Keith Paynter

    Keith Paynter Screenwriter

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    Wow, talk about getting around fast - these just turned up at our local Superstores, and I picked up a real guilty pleasure - Evel Knievel, starring the permanantly tanned George Hamilton. Titles were 2 for $3.00 or 1.99 each CDN.

    These titles are generally not 'remastered' in the true sense. EK looks to come from a 1" master tape or even a VHS source (some 'wrinkle lines' come up from time to time) transferred directly to PC. Looks pretty poor on my 16x9 Panasonic, but hey, even my DV-ported LD's can't hold up to a real DVD on such a TV although they look fine on standard CRT TV's, so I didn't hold my breath for quality expectations for a $2 disc.

    It was better than a cheap rental, anyway. It was fun to see it again after almost 25 years.
     
  10. Jon Martin

    Jon Martin Cinematographer

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    It all depends on the version, as most of these companies are essentially no name companies.

    For example, I got one of the 50 movie packs, with 12 double sided DVDs of various films. One of the films was a Jack Palance film from the 70's THE FOUR DEUCES. It was the edited TV print of it.

    But, then I found the same title in a dollar store, from a no name company, and it was an uncut print of it.

    The edited print was a much better transfer, but the other one was unedited.
     
  11. John Sparks

    John Sparks Screenwriter

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    I picked up a T.V Guide edition of some of the "Cisco Kid" episodes and they were edited when compared to the Vol.1 MPI compilation. Both had crappy prints. MPI tried to say that the condition of the source was the problem...reason for not getting Vol.2 from MPI!!!
     
  12. Rob Lutter

    Rob Lutter Producer

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    My roommate has some of the $1 Walmart Superman cartoon discs and the quality is staggeringly good for some reason... I don't get it [​IMG]
     
  13. John Sparks

    John Sparks Screenwriter

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    Those Superman cartoons are garbage if you compare them to the Diamond Anniversary Edition.

    Remember, you get what you pay for and not a penny more!
     

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