E.T. DVD Information

Matt Wallace

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One of the manager's that works for me was shopping at a mall in Dallas recently and was selected for a group marketing study there. Some of the things they showed her were the new SpiderMan trailer, a few food products, and a couple of household gadgets. Afterwards, they filled out a survey and the people left the room. When they came back, they thanked everyone and allowed them to leave. The people running the survey did ask a few people to stay after, if they had time. She wasn't in a hurry, so she remained and when the marketers came back, they had the E.T. DVD's in hand! Kiinzi, my employee, was floored! She is a HUGE DVD fan and knows that I am, too. Apparently there is going to be two versions - a 2 Disc Special Edition and a 3 Disc Ultimate Edition. She said that the 3 Disc set had a holographic/lenticular type cover and contained both the original version and the 2002 version. The 2 Disc set did not have the original, unedited version. That's about all the information she could get out of them other than they will be available "soon". They asked her all sorts of questions about her opinion of the packaging, layout,etc, and moved the DVD's on to the next group. One interesting note - the DVD's were actually inside the cases.

Thought you all would be interested. I know that I was.

Matt
 

Dave H

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Marketing wise, that would be make sense for Universal to issue a Special Edition and an Ultimate Edition that included the original version of the film. (Just wondering if Universal will use the traditional terminology of "Collector's" and "Ultimate Edition.")

I'm looking forward to getting the Ultimate Edition, if this is how they are going to do it. According to the last rumor I heard, E.T. was expected to be released in August.
 

DanR

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Well, if this is the plan, let's hope they release both versions simultaneously, or at least announce the Ultimate Edition. This multiple version stuff is really getting out of control though.

BTW, Dave, I too heard the August rumor, but more recently I've also been hearing October. If it's August, I think we'll be hearing something in the next 2-3 weeks.

Regards,

Dan
 

Matt Wallace

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Collector and Ultimate were the actual banners on the disc, from what I undertand. August would be what I heard, as well. It would make sense, considering it would have tons of competition in Sept. and Oct.

Matt
 

Dave H

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If this is what Universal goes with, let's just hope we don't get the same type of terrible packaging we got with Ultimate Editions of American Pie, Patch Adams, etc.
 

Greg_S_H

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Looks like I'll be watching the special edition after all, since they're thoughtfully packing it as a bonus with the original.
 

Dave H

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It's Spielberg, OAR won't be an issue. Trust me...
Yes, it will definitely be in OAR. However, I'm sure Pan and Scan releases of the Collector's Edition will be released, as well. But, I just care to have it in OAR and I do hope the original version looks as good as the special edition does. Would anyone happen to know if they restored the original version too? I just wonder how they do this. For some reason, I think the special edition is going to look better.
 

Greg_S_H

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For some reason, I think the special edition is going to look better.
I hope that's not the case. The big question is whether it's really the original version at all. I wouldn't be surprised if they reused the LD version, with the terrorist line gone and some of the other changes in place.
 

Skoobooz

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The only reason I question the use of pan and scan on this title is because of Universal's issuing of The Grinch Interactive Playset in pan and scan only. And I'm almost positive that the Collector's Edition will be available in both OAR and pan and scan. I'm just hoping that Universal doesn't make some crazy decision to issue the Ultimate Edition in pan and scan only. But I'm sure you guys are right.
 

DanR

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So I checked into this thread again, and had some more thoughts since my earlier post that I wanted to share...

First thought, after re-reading the original information, I guess my feeling is that the "3rd disc" in the Ultimate Edition is just going to be the original version of ET (since it looks like that can't do both version via seamless branching) thrown in to make it "Ultimate". So, my feeling is that discs 1 & 2 on the Ultimate Edition will be "equal" to buying the 2-disc "Collector's Edition" (which will be the 20th Anniversary version of ET).

Second, given my thought above, I was wondering how many people are going to be pissed when the 3rd disc, which contains the "original" version of ET, is nothing more than an old laserdisc transfer with Dolby Surround (i.e. no anamorphic and no 5.1 sound). That sounds just like something Universal would do, especially after all the complaints about Jaws' lack of original soundtrack and all that. Do we really think Universal is going to present a brand spanking new anamorphic transfer of the original ET, with a new 5.1 soundtrack (both Dolby and DTS)? I'm not familiar with the re-release of ET, but I'd be willing to bet disc one contains the brand spanking new anamorphic transfer and a 5.1 digital soundtrack for the 20th anniversary version of ET.

This release is sure to generate a lot of discussion for sure, either way. We're going to have 1982 version vs 2002 version, P&S vs Widescreen, Original Soundstrack vs. 5.1 remix, plus probably some packaging complaining and quality control issues. But then again, I've been told I'm cynical...

Regards,

Dan
 

Dave H

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I wonder how much input Spielberg has on all of this - I mean did he restore the original version? If I'm not mistaken, his Close Encounters of the Third Kind was from the same master as the laser disc. However, I thought it looked good on DVD.
 

Patrick McCart

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Obviously, he had to restore/remaster the 1982 version to make his new cut. The quality in the theater was stunning, so I assume the same elements would be used.

I'll probably get the Ultimate Edition so I can have both versions of the film. I actually prefer the new cut over the older one due to several technical fixes (you can see the dolly pushing E.T. at the beginning)
 

Dave H

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Obviously, he had to restore/remaster the 1982 version to make his new cut.
But, didn't other "special edition" movies simply turn the restored, original cut into the new one? I thought this happened with Apocalypse Now and Star Wars. In other words, there are no restored original cuts of those films.
 

DanR

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Patrick, I'm not so sure that if they restored the film that it means they did a new telecine transfer of the old version. My gut feeling is that they restored it, tinkered with the restored version of the original to make the 20th Anniversary version, and that the new version will obviously go through the telecine process. That said, I know nothing of the process and the steps in which they would have created this new version.

Does a restoration necessarily mean that they will create a new telecine transfer for the original? This is Universal we're talking about here. My bet is they slap an old laserdisc transfer with Dolby Surround and say, "Hey, here's for you purists out there." I hope I'm wrong, but it wouldn't surprise me in the least if Universal cuts corners, especially since this re-release didn't go as well as planned.

Regards,

Dan
 

greg_t

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DanR,

I don't know if you've ever seen the box set CAV laserdisc release, but it is has an excellent transfer for both audio and video. Definitely one of the best laser discs I've ever seen. A new anamaphoric transer would be better, but the laser ain't bad.
 

Dave H

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Greg,

Was that laser disc version from a high definition transfer? If so, we may be in good shape.
 

Rain

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Actually, I'm a bit more optimistic about this. Although I'm not terribly pleased that I'm going to be forced to buy the bastardized version in order to get the original.

However, I think that if it wasn't for the backlash, we wouldn't be getting the original at all. I therefore suspect they will do it properly because they know that the backlash is going to be worse if they don't.

If I get the damn thing home and find that it is not the original version (with terrorist line intact), I shall be returning it on the basis that what is inside is not what the packaging claims.
 

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