Ebert chimes in on WS & Blockbuster!!!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Eric Peterson, Dec 16, 2002.

  1. Eric Peterson

    Eric Peterson Cinematographer

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  2. Dave Kalloch

    Dave Kalloch Stunt Coordinator

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    You can put me on that list. I have never even walked in to a Blockbuster. Thankfully, so far, they have'nt made it into my town.
     
  3. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

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    I am willing to follow that man straight into the bowels of hell and damnation if need be! [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Ebert's like the Gandalf of the film critic world!
     
  4. Chuck L

    Chuck L Screenwriter

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    Most of the time I find him as worthless as the stale popcorn that is served at the theater, but when he does something good, I am behind him.
     
  5. Jesse Blacklow

    Jesse Blacklow Cinematographer

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  6. Brian Kidd

    Brian Kidd Screenwriter
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    The problem comes about when there ARE no other options. In a lot of places, (where I live, for example) Bloatbuster has moved in and shut down any non-corporate video stores. If you want to rent movies, you have to go to BB. Really frustrating.
     
  7. Nate Anderson

    Nate Anderson Screenwriter

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    Sadly I used to work at Blockbuster. But I only did it for the free rentals and discounted DVDs. (Yes, there was a time when they stocked Widescreen DVDs.)
     
  8. Peter Apruzzese

    Peter Apruzzese Producer

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    The Boston Globe article quoted above is in error.

    While I'll never defend Blockbuster (I patronize a local store when I need to rent), they do *not* edit their own films. "Y Tu Mama Tambien" is available from MGM in both NC-17 and R-rated versions; obviously many Blockbuster stores only carry the R-rated version.
     
  9. Dave Mack

    Dave Mack Producer

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    The blockbuster in my neighborhood actually stocks SOME unrated DVD's believe it or not. And my store does have WS and FS because alot od DVD savvy people complained. I think ALOT depends on the store.
    [​IMG] D
     
  10. Colin-H

    Colin-H Second Unit

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    I don't have any problems with my Blockbuster (except the new layout where they mix new release VHS and DVD on the same racks, but that's beside the point). They rarely carry P&S versions of dual releases, and they definitely carry unrated versions. (I've rented both Van Wilder and Road Trip unrated. My Bb strategy is "rent only movies not worth buying". I wander around Bb asking myself, "is this worthless enough?")

    From this I'm assuming Bb corporate's guidelines are not strict at all.

    The problem is studios are producing these censored versions of foreign films because of the repercussions if the majority of Bbs and Walmarts decided not to carry a certain title. (Notice it says sanitized for Bb, not sanitized by Bb.) Yes, the studios are the ones producing the DVDs, but I doubt they would make the effort (and front the dinero) to produce the R-rated editions if Bb and Walmart were out of the equation.
     
  11. Peter Apruzzese

    Peter Apruzzese Producer

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    Colin, your point is correct, i.e. if there wasn't a demand for the R-rated version, the studios probably wouldn't make them. I just wanted to make sure people didn't think that BB did the editing themselves. There are a number of internet urban legends about BB censoring their own movies which are completely untrue.
     
  12. EricCr

    EricCr Stunt Coordinator

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    If you have a corporate owned BB you will be more likely to get the rated versions and pan and scan. The franchise stores have more ability to pick and choose what they get.
     
  13. Eujin

    Eujin Supporting Actor

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    Edited to reflect combining of threads.

    I think Ebert is 100% right about avoiding Blockbuster if they continue with these tactics that alter the final outcome of a film makers's vision. However, I'm less sure about leaving the issue up to the "intelligence" of the average consumer. In following the battles over preserving OAR on home video formats, it's been patently obvious that the average consumer has been unable to discern the difference between a larger, reformatted picture that loses up to 40% of the original content, and a smaller picture, preserved in its original format, that retains 100% of the original content. You can call them "civilians", J6P or the Average Consumer--it doesn't change the fact that this very large goup of people still haven't figured out how to use the Zoom feature on their DVD players to get rid of those nasty black bars on OAR DVDs. And they're having a real impact on the business decisions made by studio execs who are reponsible for bringing DVD product to the market.

    Leaving aside any biases brought to the table by the religious/moral underpinnings of Blockbuster ownership, the proliferation of P&S DVDs at their rental outlets still boils down to demand. Maybe I'm being overly cynical here, but I feel that OAR on DVD is not here to stay--at least not until widescreen displays become the standard in the vast majority of American households. Even then, I half expect studios to start cropping everything to a "standardized" 1.85:1 aspect ratio and mutilating 2.35:1 movies in the process (no, I don't think any progress will be made on the discovery of the Zoom button.)EDITED:
     
  14. Kajs

    Kajs Second Unit

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    Zoom button? Not every player has one.
     
  15. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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    Forget the zoom button, as it matters not to we enlightened souls.
    Then again, maybe it's me who needs to take a second look and realize that things ain't the same as they used to be. The HTF is now home to a much broader contingent of the home video viewing public and their views are being reflected here, as well as in the DVD market as a whole.
    Mike Knapp started a very prescient thread some three (four?) years ago that basically said "The mainstreaming of DVD: be careful what you wish for". Now that DVD is the mainstream, we special interest, niche market, early adopter folks no longer call the shots.
    I think the ultimate indication of this just might be the vote for "HTF studio of the year". It's very possible that Disney will take this honor, appealing as they do to the mainstream, despite being at the bottom of the shitlist for we "special interest" types and very often in direct contradiction of the "Mission Statement" of this forum. I remember when any studio that would dare release a non-OAR transfer, or even a non-anamorphic transfer, much less redub and re-edit classic/cult films for the mainstream market, would come under whithering, blistering attack. Now, they may well be considered best of the best.
    The times, they do'a change, a'don't they? [​IMG]
     
  16. Rob Willey

    Rob Willey Screenwriter

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    As of a couple of months ago, I only have access to Blockbuster in my neighborhood and so far I have no complaints. I rented the unrated version of Y Tu Mama Tambien and have had no trouble finding WS versions of every movie I've wanted to rent.

    Perhaps my experience isn't representative, but I'm happy.

    Rob
     
  17. SteveK

    SteveK Supporting Actor

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    I feel very fortunate, in that my local Blockbuster (a franchise operation) always stocks exclusively widescreen when a choice is offered. I've complimented them several times for doing so. They do seem to get their share of complaints about widescreen, but so far the owner stocks all widescreen. I think it's time to thank them again for carrying widescreen, just to get the point across that some people actually like it.
    I was also surprised by my most recent visit to the local Movie Gallery, in that they actuallly had widescreen-only versions of several recent releases, including Star Wars II, Ya-Ya Sisterhood, Spiderman, etc. They had previously carried only fullframe. But I complained about it one day and asked them to offer widescreen as well. The store manager said that the regional manager also preferred widescreen, so perhaps my complaint/request helped to change their inventory practices. I'm sure I wasn't the only one that complained, but every voice counts.
    I just hope my local Blockbuster never caves in to the "I want my screen filled" crowd.
    Steve K.
     
  18. Eric T

    Eric T Second Unit

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    At least not until they all have widescreen TVs!
     
  19. Dave H

    Dave H Producer

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    For my BB, it depends on the title. All Austin Powers 3 are WS, all Insomnia are P&S.
     
  20. Steve Kuester

    Steve Kuester Second Unit

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    Try Netflix. I've used them for years now with no complaints at all. I've never had trouble renting OAR from them.
     

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