Does anyone hate late DVD reviews?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Augustin Rodriguez, Apr 23, 2004.

  1. Augustin Rodriguez

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    I was just wondering if anyone else hates it when a website reviews DVDs weeks or even months after it came out. I don't know about you, but I want to know about the DVD before or the day it's released. What is the benefit of someone reviewing a DVD in April when the DVD came out in March? Anyone?

    That's what I love about the forum. I can always count on a review before I buy something. Especially if I've never seen it. God bless the Home Theater Forum!!!

    Opinions anyone?
     
  2. TonyD

    TonyD Who do we think I am?
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    well if the site never got around to reviewing it at it s intial release, then a late review is fine with me.
     
  3. Casey Trowbridg

    Casey Trowbridg Lead Actor

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    I've got plenty of sites bookmarked and so I'm bound to find at least 1 prerelease review of a title I'm interested in. I don't now, sometimes I like to read new reviews of stuff that has been out for awhile, but I might just be weird that way.
     
  4. Adam Tyner

    Adam Tyner Screenwriter

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    Sometimes DVDs wind up arriving late from the studios or so close to the release date that it's not always feasible to have a review written in time.

    As far as "the benefit of someone reviewing a DVD in April when the DVD came out in March" goes, not everyone buys a title on the Tuesday of its release. DVD reviews are typically archived for future reference, so if someone's just curious about a title, sees a price drop impending, etc., it'll be there for them to find, regardless of when it was originally written.
     
  5. Augustin Rodriguez

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    Good points everyone. I guess I'm in the minority here. I buy my DVDs on the release date for big movies or a few days after for catalog titles.
     
  6. ChrisBEA

    ChrisBEA Screenwriter

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    Late reveiws don't bother me much, A lot of titles I want I can't find reviews of anyway, lucky enough to know the release date.
     
  7. Joel C

    Joel C Screenwriter

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    The purpose of a site having a big review catalogue is that the review will pop up when someone does a search on Google even years later. Many millions of people don't even own DVD players, let alone know 15 DVD sites to visit.

    And if you only buy new movies on Tuesday... are you saying you own every single movie you want? What if you see something on cable and want to pick up the DVD? Do a search for a review. If people didn't read them after the release date, sites wouldn't waste the bandwith saving them.

    Frequently the most read reviews on Digitally Obsessed are deep, obscure catalogue titles.
     
  8. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Producer

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    There are many benefits. For one, a lot of titles don't get a big release date push. Was anyone here lined up to buy Genesis "Live at Wembley Stadium" when it first hit the shelves? Does it matter if that review went up a week pre-street or a month after? No.

    Really, pre-street reviews are most important for the biggest titles. Those are the ones that people will be most impatient to buy right away, especially given cheaper prices from sales. Less popular titles have no particularly important reason to be up early, although there's always someone who wants to know about something.

    And as already explained, a lot of time it's out of our control. If we don't get it early, we can't review it early. I got a screener of Helter Skelter yesterday, two days post-street. No way I can post pre with delivery times like that.

    Anyway you look at it, more information is always good. We can't always get up reviews pre-street, though I love it when we can...
     
  9. Shane_M

    Shane_M Stunt Coordinator

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    Yes and no.

    I don't hate when sites review titles late. Sometimes, like some have said, it depends when they receive the DVDs. I'm just glad to see them there eventually.

    What bothers me about it is that I can't always get my reviews done in time for the same reasons. Of course there are a few studios I don't get titles from and obviously those will be late if I pick them up after the fact.

    You win some... you lose some.
     
  10. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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    As a former reviewer and co-owner of this
    forum let me say a few words about this topic....

    Late reviews happen mostly for two reasons....

    Most of the time, as it has been already stated,
    the situation is out of our control. We can only
    post early reviews if the studio in question ships
    that title early.

    Another reason is simply a matter of having the
    time to review everything that is being received.
    Sometimes you have to submit late reviews in order
    to give priority to other titles.

    Though this forum has been praised by the thread's
    author as being prompt -- we aren't always. I give
    much credit to our reviewing staff for getting
    these reviews up as soon as possible, but there
    are always circumstances that delay us from getting
    reviews up as fast as people want.

    One of the biggest problems concerns Sony pictures.
    Michael Osadciw, who does all the Columbia reviews
    is situated in Canada. Sony's Canadian branch is
    a lot slower in getting product out than the USA
    office. Herb Kane, our Warner reviewer, also lives
    in Canada and had the same problem until Warner
    worked with us on the problem.

    Another problem is Universal. We are very fortunate
    to be on their screener list. Other websites are not.
    I know that THE DIGITAL BITS for instance has been
    having problems for years getting Universal product
    sent to them and they are one of the most renowned
    DVD news sites on the Internet.

    The point I am making is that we shouldn't be too
    harsh on any website that gets reviews up later
    than their readers wish. There are always
    circumstances that prevent the reviewing process
    from being a perfect one. I think all the websites
    are doing the best job that they can.
     
  11. JustinCleveland

    JustinCleveland Cinematographer

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    I'm with Ron. I used to feel bad getting reviews up late, but that was until I found out that the MAJORITY of hits came more than a week after a title was out. Now our system at DVDTown is more condusive to searching for old titles than HTF just because of the structure, it's not that bad.

    But I know I make trips to the Town, the File, and HTF looking for details on catalogue or old titles that I'm thinking about picking up, to see if the A/V is worth it. Remember, the MAJORITY of people don't pick up titles as religiously as we do, on release day or week.
     
  12. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    I would agree with my fellow reviewers as to the cause of late reviews, most of which are time of delivery issues. If we get something only a few days before street, it may or may not make it on time depending on how in depth the review needs to be, how much material there is to review, and how many other titles we are also dealing with. Unless you are only glossing over a couple of episodes (which many sites do out of necessity), doing huge TV series, or mega special editions take time to review properly, and most of us can't alot 26 straight hours to watch a series or sit through three commentary tracks and two discs of extras. Most of us have more than a few titles on the go, so we also need to budget time to cover everything, and if a title comes in late or near deadline, it may be put aside to cover material that is early. I agree it is frustrating when you are looking for early word on a title, but most of the time it can't be helped.
     
  13. TonyD

    TonyD Who do we think I am?
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    that is my only want.
    i dont care if a review comes out after release
    but i would like the the reviews to be
    in alphabeticle order on the archive
    section for easier finding.
     
  14. Jeff Jacobson

    Jeff Jacobson Cinematographer

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    I have seen early reviews where it seems that the reviewer has only seen the movie in theaters and not the actual DVD. Those are much worse than quality reviews that are "late".
     
  15. Josh Simpson

    Josh Simpson Supporting Actor

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    For me, if it's a well written review, better late than never, I say. I'm on a budget, so I usually know what I'm going to buy before I read a review. I am thankful for the reviews though, as it has saved me from a rush-job disc, and it has also kept me from double dipping.
     
  16. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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    Initially, when I was doing reviews for
    this forum I had a dedicated page where
    everything was in alpabetical order

    Click Here

    When I decided to stop doing reviews and
    we brought aboard 7 reviewers, we knew that
    it would be too much work to create a dedicated
    page to keep the reviews in alphabetical order.
    You have to realize that all those reviews would
    have to be converted to HTML coding. Parker and
    I just don't have the time to keep up with 7
    reviewers pumping out reviews daily. The best
    we could do was create an archive area
    which is what you see here.

    Getting back to the life of a reviewer topic....

    Many of you might think it's cool to get free
    DVDs to review. Truth of the matter is that
    being a dedicated DVD reviewer is a rather
    stressful job. You not only have to sit and
    watch a handful of titles per week, but you
    need to give a thorough report on the
    supplemental material as well. You may have
    an entire week's worth of titles on your plate
    only to find that Warner has just sent you
    a really hot title and suddenly everything goes
    on the back burner.

    Anyway, I'm babbling here. Just wanted to
    stick up for Internet reviewers because I have
    been in their shoes and understand the road
    they walk.
     
  17. TonyD

    TonyD Who do we think I am?
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    fair enough.
     
  18. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Producer

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    Agreed - they're totally pointless, really. In addition, there's a website I won't name that provides reviews that almost always discuss little more than the movie itself. They toss out one or two sentences about the DVDs themselves and that's it. In the site's defense, the movie reviews are usually quite good, but I still think they're bad DVD reviews - they tell us nothing of use about the product, so they're badly unbalanced.
     
  19. Burke Strickland

    Burke Strickland Second Unit

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    What ticks me off far more than a late review of a DVD is a late pre-ordered DVD. If a vendor has confirmed the order and promises delivery by street date, then I don't want a bunch of excuses about "too many orders" or “internal operational problems” a week after the release date when it still hasn't arrived and I could have bought it cheaper locally off the shelf by then. In fact, that sort of thing happening too often is why I almost exclusively buy new titles at local B&M's these days. Typically the online vendors get my business only when I can't find a lesser known title locally.

    Meanwhile, back on subject, with a really big hit title, I usually know whether I am going to buy it or not when it comes out on DVD without having read a DVD review. Since most new releases are handled at least acceptably well by the studios these days, even if the DVD of a favorite title isn't system demo quality, it is still probably going to be at least acceptable for my viewing of the movie. So a review -- early or late -- may be entertaining to read, but in the case of the new release big titles, the review usually won't make or break my purchase decision.

    Also, I do not buy DVDs solely for the "extras". The movie itself is the only justification for buying the DVD. While a lot of special features make nice "icing on the cake", if the movie is a stinker, I don't care to hear how it was made. Even if the movie is one of my favorites, the extras don't usually justify paying extra for a loaded special edition if the same rendition of movie is also available without the extras.

    For example, I bought the one disc edition of "Master and Commander" this past week. If the two disc edition had been the only release and priced at the one disc's level, it would have been nice to have the additional material. But not for double the money. (I'm not studying the film in a class.) So a review that elaborates the good and bad points of the "extras" is good reference, but not critical to my purchase decision.

    OTOH, having a review to warn of the rare really bad transfer or other disc production problems is helpful if it shows up in time. But usually if a specific title has really bad technical problems and should be avoided, the news spreads like wildfire on the various sites in the normal posting areas in time to warn me off. (I rarely stand in line waiting for the stores to open on "release day".) :>)

    I do appreciate having a big library of DVD reviews to assist with the decision process on "catch up" and catalog titles. As others have noted, if those aren't posted day and date with the DVD's initial release, no big deal. Keep ‘em coming, whenever! :>)
     
  20. Matt Goddard

    Matt Goddard Stunt Coordinator

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    I probably buy half my movies on their release date and the other half months later, if not years later. Each year I buy several dozen movies when a major rental chain runs buy 2 get 1 free promotions. By the time a movie is marked down to $10, ie I get three movies for $20, the movie may have been out for two or three months. I read those reviews months later.

    Like others have mentioned, a movie I might pass on when it comes out because of a steep price might be marked down a year or two later. Again, those reviews don't have to be timely to be useful.
     

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