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Blu-ray Review HTF BLU-RAY REVIEW: Goodfellas: 20th Anniversary Edition (1 Viewer)

Vincent_P

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I know Robert has clarified some of his early HD-DVD/Blu-ray reviews. Specifically, he pointed out that he was initially viewing these on a smaller HDTV and has since graduated to a projection system I believe, plus early on he was reacting to the improvement vs. the DVD, not necessarily whether the HD-DVD or Blu-ray was using the format to its maximum potential. He may well stand by his earlier assessment of GOODFELLAS, but it's worth noting that he did clarify some of his earlier reviews.

Vincent
 

Dave H

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Originally Posted by Brandon Conway /forum/thread/297995/htf-blu-ray-review-goodfellas-20th-anniversary-edition#post_3659705
 

Brandon Conway

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All sarcasm about cost aside....

Gangs of New York had glaring digital manipulation that was immediately lambasted upon release. GoodFellas was considered (very much in context - read the link) "presented perfectly". Mr. Harris even goes to some length to defend the release's inherent film based artifacts against some detractors, including the infamous black line in a couple shots that has stood out since the 2004 DVD.

Full Metal Jacket got a new release because the initial DVD wasn't a true 1080p transfer and (more importantly) there were four other Kubrick films right there to sell alongside it - and all five releases sold below expectations. I'm sure that was not exactly encouraging to the people who green lit a redo of FMJ. If anything this experience has decreased the likelihood of a new GF transfer in the immediate future (and of the other upscaled titles much more deserving, such as The Fugitive or Enter the Dragon).

While it's true that Mr. Harris may revise his statement, I would be utterly shocked if his opinion changed in 3.5 years to the point where he would be expecting it to be given a new transfer so soon.

My ultimate point, however, is what Cameron rightfully states as "diminishing returns". Look, I love GoodFellas. I recognize this recent repackaging as a marketing cash grab, and if Warner had not done it (or instead had at least let it slip more under the radar like a typical such repackaging) they wouldn't have brought a 3-year-old disc under this much revisited scrutiny. But it can be just as easily ignored as the dozens of other repackaged cash grabs out there. Cameron has reviewed it accordingly (and very helpfully recommended simply picking up the regular single-disc release for much less).

It just seems to me to defeat the purpose of the collector to expect everything to be re-released as timely as the technical ceiling allows - which is now moving higher seemingly faster than ever. What about the thousands of films out there that have no 1080p transfer? I'd much, much rather have a GoodFellas disc with a "perfect presentation" in 2006 lingo alongside dozens-to-hundreds of other titles on my shelf than a 2010 GoodFellas with a more perfect presentation in 2010 lingo alongside just a handful of other titles on my shelf.

Diminishing returns may be reality, but there's a point where one just has to live a little and enjoy what's available. If this hobby has proven anything to me over the past 15 years, it's this. I've owned GoodFellas on VHS, DVD and now Blu-ray. When I buy the Blu-ray of M in May it'll be my fourth time owning that film (VHS, DVD twice, BD). I could have saved some money over the last 15 years by not buying all those versions, but then I wouldn't have watched the film as many times as I did. It's a trade off for sure, but that's the way it goes.

There's only so much room in the production schedule and in the budget, and if something isn't truly broke (again, Gangs of New York was never a "perfect presentation" in its own time - now THAT'S broke), then to me the sensible use of energy is to invest it in other endeavors.

Evolved opinions are fine. I think it's great that the technology is advancing so fast (my amazement at the impressions of the video quality in just 3.5 years is genuine, and truly a good thing for home theater). But the faster it moves, the faster that release from the more recent past becomes less adequate. The system of recycling catalog releases simply isn't up to that speed to satisfy those demands.
 

cafink

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I totally agree with Brandon. Comparing the Goodfellas Blu-ray release to that of Gangs of New York or Gladiator is insane.
 

Dave H

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Just to clarify; I didn't mean to imply Goodfellas looked as bad as Gangs or Gladiator. I was merely responding to the comment of, "I'm sure Warner would love your several hundred thousand dollar donation to make a new transfer possible so that maybe 100 people can stop stressing about a disc that by 2006 standards was "presented perfectly". Based on this reasoning, the same could be said for Gladiator, for example. Yet, we are going to be seeing a new transfer for it - despite Gladiator getting some good reviews from other sites. Gladiator has also sold very well. I am saying that Warner should have gone "all out" for this film as a 20th ann. edition and at minimal just did a new encode; use the same transfer but encode better for compression. This disc exhibits compression problems and that is my biggest issue with it actually. Compressioning and authoring techniques have improved since the very first VC1 releases of 2006. Maybe they'll do something for the inevitable triple dip or "Ultimate Edition" of the 25th ann.
 
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It's the same exact disc as the original release. This along with Christmas Vacation, A Christmas Story and other titles where Warner Brothers didn't even bother to update the actual disc is lazy and bad business on their part.
Whomever were in charge of this release including The NeverEnding Story, Poltergeist, Beetlejuice and among other titles which supposedly is an "Anniversary" Edition which puports various extras should be fired.
I've been very disappointed in Warners catalog titles lately.
 

Brandon Conway

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It's not lazy, and it's very GOOD business. These projects need budgets and financing if they redo them from scratch.

Firing the people in the marketing department isn't gonna solve the main issue of not selling enough discs. The reason these discs get repackaged is because they are re-branding them in order to make back the investment they didn't meet the first time around. Why would they put a more significant amount of money into a project still in the red?
 
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Originally Posted by Brandon Conway

It's not lazy, and it's very GOOD business. These projects need budgets and financing if they redo them from scratch.

Firing the people in the marketing department isn't gonna solve the main issue of not selling enough discs. The reason these discs get repackaged is because they are re-branding them in order to make back the investment they didn't meet the first time around. Why would they put a more significant amount of money into a project still in the red?
Doesn't matter, if Warner Brothers are going to be idiots in false advertising this release as having high def sound when thwy never bothered to re-encode the feature onto a dual layered Blu-ray and given it TruHD, they're not getting my money for this release. No thanks, I'll buy the first release thank you.
Maybe with the 25th Anniversary they'll get it right this time instead of wanting to clear out already pressed inventory. Boy was I glad Universal was in charge of CASINO and actually didn't get lazy with the release of the film onto Blu-ray.
 

Brandon Conway

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Originally Posted by CynthiaF200


Doesn't matter, if Warner Brothers are going to be idiots in false advertising this release as having high def sound when thwy never bothered to re-encode the feature onto a dual layered Blu-ray and given it TruHD, they're not getting my money for this release. No thanks, I'll buy the first release thank you.
I do agree that the "Hi Def Sound" tag on the cover is irresponsible. (Same issue was brought up when One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest digibook was released).

And it's fine to pass on purchasing it. No one's holding a gun to anyone's head and forcing them to buy it. But from the studio's perspective, it's simply not financially feasible to revisit the title this soon.

As for Warner being "lazy" - they are releasing more catalog film on Blu-ray than any other studio. They often release more catalog films every month than Disney, Paramount, Fox and Universal combined.
 
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Originally Posted by Brandon Conway




I do agree that the "Hi Def Sound" tag on the cover is irresponsible. (Same issue was brought up when One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest digibook was released).

And it's fine to pass on purchasing it. No one's holding a gun to anyone's head and forcing them to buy it. But from the studio's perspective, it's simply not financially feasible to revisit the title this soon.

As for Warner being "lazy" - they are releasing more catalog film on Blu-ray than any other studio. They often release more catalog films every month than Disney, Paramount, Fox and Universal combined.
Actually it's false advertising if it says so on the front of the case and doesn't actually physically have lossless audio on the disc.
Anyone know where I can print up my own custom stickies to fit over the Digital Copy thing for my copies of BATMAN and some other releases? They're Digibooks and I already have the soundtrack where that poorly thought out digital media should be.
Good thing I have a disc shredder!
I can't find the thread for it but I'm very disappointed that The NeverEnding Story received a Special Edition release. Maybe the person who worked on Beetlejuice, Poltergeist and some other piss-poor releases was working on the same one? I meant fire that person.
At least Paramount doesn't have a glut of John Wayne titles on Blu-ray yet and is actually releasing The African Queen! Oh happy day!
 

TonyD

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Originally Posted by Brandon Conway

It's not lazy, and it's very GOOD business. These projects need budgets and financing if they redo them from scratch.

Firing the people in the marketing department isn't gonna solve the main issue of not selling enough discs. The reason these discs get repackaged is because they are re-branding them in order to make back the investment they didn't meet the first time around. Why would they put a more significant amount of money into a project still in the red?
Brandon I'm not sure why you're defending the studio on this issue, why would it matter to you or me or any buyer of blus what they have to do to get a proper release onto shelves.
You haven't taken a job from Warners have you?
 

Brandon Conway

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Warner isn't a charitable organization. Releases need to be profitable. People can complain about no new transfer on a re-release of GoodFellas all they want, but the fact of the matter is it would be financially irresponsible for Warner to revisit it so soon if there's not a glaring QC issue (and there isn't one here) and if they are overstocked on the January 2007 discs. It would be BAD BUSINESS to do so.

On DVD Warner has been re-purposing discs left and right because they have way too much overstock. They destroyed hundreds of thousands of unsold DVDs within the past year because they had over saturated the market with unsold movies. Give one good reason why Warner would be so desirous to go down that route again. It would make no sense whatsoever.

I know people want to demonize big business and fight for the little guy, but common sense should prevail here. Warner just can't put everything else on hold and redo all their Blu-ray releases from 2006-2007 for higher bitrates and lossless audio. That would be idiotic.
 

Brent M

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Originally Posted by Brandon Conway



I know people want to demonize big business and fight for the little guy, but common sense should prevail here. Warner just can't put everything else on hold and redo all their Blu-ray releases from 2006-2007 for higher bitrates and lossless audio. That would be idiotic.
It's also idiotic for them to put out the exact same disc with a booklet and a meaningless bonus disc, call it a 20th Anniversary Edition and expect people to buy it. Stunts like this along with them holding new releases from Netflix and Redbox for a month have quickly made WB my least favorite studio by a country mile.
 

TravisR

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Originally Posted by Brent M

It's also idiotic for them to put out the exact same disc with a booklet and a meaningless bonus disc, call it a 20th Anniversary Edition and expect people to buy it.
I don't think they expect anyone to buy it who has the first release. I think they just want to get people who don't know that there is a much cheaper version of the same basic thing out there to buy this one.

Having said that, I basically agree with Brandon. I understand that it's a business decision but I do think it's lame on Warners' part.
 

Brandon Conway

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Originally Posted by TravisR


I don't think they expect anyone to buy it who has the first release. I think they just want to get people who don't know that there is a much cheaper version of the same basic thing out there to buy this one.
Exactly. It's to get a spot on the limited shelf space at Target and Wal-Mart and to get sold to the people who just got their Blu-ray players this Christmas and who only buy what they see in those limited aisles.
 

Brent M

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It just chaps my ass that a classic film like this(one of my top 5 favorite movies of all-time) is treated so poorly. For its' 20th Anniversary the film deserved a legitimate Special Edition with a remastered picture, lossless sound and a batch of extras worth actually watching.
 

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