I HATE Artisan

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by James Zos, Jan 1, 2003.

  1. James Zos

    James Zos Supporting Actor

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    I have slowly, steadily been building up my DVD connection. I don't exactly have a lot of free cash, but I buy DVDs I like when I can.
    Recently I ordered Trees Lounge and Little Odessa online. (Both are excellent films if you haven't seen them.)
    I was excited to watch them again when my DVDs arrived, so it was with great shock that I saw the words "Full Screen Version" listed under "Special Features" on both DVDS. Since when is cropping a film considered a "Special Feature?"
    Granted, I should have checked more closely before ordering the films, but for Trees Lounge, the box shown on the website (deepdiscountdvd) is for the WIDESCREEN version, so I thought that was what I was getting.
    Adding insult to injury, the Trees Lounge DVD says on the back "formatted from its original version to fit your screen," and then under that, it claims "presented in the original 1.33:1 format in which the film was shot."
    It may have been SHOT that way, but was it DISPLAYED that way? If it was, then why is there a widescreen version?

    Both of these releases are by Artisan. I had no opinion of Artisan before, but after checking this website I see they have a poor reputation. Well, count me as another Artisan hater. I will never buy under their label again.
     
  2. Damin J Toell

    Damin J Toell Producer

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  3. Travis_W

    Travis_W Supporting Actor

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    Artisan just seems unprofessional to me. They do a few good DVDs like Glengarry Glen Ross but drop the ball on the Reservoir Dogs transfer. I didn't think Artisan even made seperate full frame and widescreen DVDs.
     
  4. Damin J Toell

    Damin J Toell Producer

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  5. Jamie Cole

    Jamie Cole Stunt Coordinator

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    Also, careful with Artisan and the term "Full Frame." I know on at least one of their releases (the excellent "Stir of Echoes") it's listed on the back as "16:9 Fullscreen Version" ... which of course is widescreen but kinda confusing.

    Yeah, if anything, they're just inconsistent. The transfer on "Stir" is beautiful, and "Jacob's Ladder" is pretty excellent as well.
     
  6. David Lawson

    David Lawson Screenwriter

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    The Buena Vista Social Club cover also contains the "16:9 Fullscreen Version" misnomer.
     
  7. Seth T

    Seth T Stunt Coordinator

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    Oops. Misposted. [​IMG]
     
  8. Dave H

    Dave H Producer

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    Artisan is certainly not one of the top studios for DVD releases, but the movies I have from them keep me satisfied. I thought Basic Instinct and Total Recall special editions looked pretty good for being 10 years old (although I wonder if they could have looked even better with a different studio). I do wish they didn't add so much edge enhancement and there weren't so many artifacts on Terminator 2: UE. I know I own some other Artisan DVDs, but can't think of the titles.
     
  9. Christ Reynolds

    Christ Reynolds Producer

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    i like the T2 ultimate dvd, but the reservoir dogs one is a disappointment. i like the 5.1 music only track on the way of the gun. and who else would put out the crappy tv stephen king tv movies i love so much, like the langoliers and the stand. requiem for a dream and pi are both packed with features. overall, my artisan dvds are quite good.

    CJ
     
  10. Karl F

    Karl F Stunt Coordinator

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    I just discovered that The Hit (dir. Stephen Frears, starring Terrence Stamp, John Hurt, and an impossibly young Tim Roth) was released P&S only. I'm fairly annoyed by this, as it's a film I've been waiting for for some time.
    I get the feeling that P&S is going to be the standard for Artisan's "non-event" films from now on. I may just be paranoid; I hope so.
    Does anyone know where I can find a contact address for them? I scoured their website to no avail.
    --K
     
  11. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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    Though "hate" is a very strong word, as a
    reviewer and a fan of film, I am no fan of
    Artisan either.
    My biggest gripe is their recent re-release of
    The Quiet man, hailing it as a Special
    Edition. As I hear it, they put out yet
    another piece of shit transfer because their
    rights on the film were about to expire. In other
    words, make the money before you lose the product
    no matter what the quality of release.
    No morals towards the crap they were releasing
    nor the affect it would have on fans that put
    down their hard-earned money on a title they
    thought would be better than it was.
     
  12. Will K

    Will K Screenwriter

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    (F)artisan is still on my shitlist for their Sleepless DVD. Pan & Scam is immoral anyway, but you don't do this to Argento. This ain't 1983. Fortunately, I became multiregion capable over the holidays and expect my properly presented Region 2 disc any day now. So essentially, Artisan can shove it.
     
  13. derek

    derek Second Unit

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    Funny this thread is about Artisan as on a related note I went to open my new 'Joan of Arc' DVD last night and put the disc in my DVD player. I heard this WIERD scratching noise when the dvd tried to play. Lo and behold to my angry astonishment the SECURITY DEVICE was stickered onto the mirrored side of the DVD!!! It musta bounced around in the packaging or something cause I seriously doubt any sane mind would put it there. Fortunately I was able to remove it without damage to the disc..cleaned of the glue...and seemed to have played fine.
     
  14. Thomas T

    Thomas T Producer

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    Artisan's contempt for its catalog films is old news.
    It wasn't always this way. They were releasing wide screen editions of older catalog titles like the Sophia Loren-Richard Harris thriller The Cassandra Crossing as well as more recent stuff like Rambling Rose but now those titles are available in P&S only and the wide screen versions are out of print.
    The most abysmal example of their shlock-ism is the mutilation of Blake Edwards' That's Life with Jack Lemmon and Julie Andrews on the current Artisan DVD. Edwards carefully composed shots for the 2.35 Panavision wide screen that are butchered on the P&S version with actors' heads annoyingly bobbing in and out of the P&S frame.
     
  15. Jeffrey Gray

    Jeffrey Gray Second Unit

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    Well, all I know is, whoever has a contract with Artisan probably won't renew when the contract is up...[​IMG]
     
  16. Scott Temple

    Scott Temple Supporting Actor

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    "Ginger Snaps" is another title that Artisan botched. The US Artisan disc includes a non-anamorphic full frame print, a Dolby Digital 2.0 track, and a trailer. [​IMG] Supposedly, there isn't even a scene selection index. LAME.
    Fortuneately, there is a Canadian Collector's Edition[​IMG], (which I own), that includes a 16:9 widescreen (1.85:1) transfer, a Dolby Digital 5.1 track, and a plethora of extras including:
    -Commentary by Director John Fawcett
    -Commentary by Writer Karen Walton
    -Deleted Scenes (with optional commentary by Fawcett and Walton)
    -Featurette
    -Cast Auditions and Rehearsals
    -Creation of the Beast
    -TV Spots
    -Theatrical Trailer
    -Cast & Crew Biographies
    -Photo Gallery
    -Production Design Artwork
     
  17. Andy Olivera

    Andy Olivera Screenwriter

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  18. James Zos

    James Zos Supporting Actor

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    Glad to see some others who dislike Artisan have weighed in. Judging by the first couple of posts to my thread, I was starting to think maybe I had overreacted.

    The thing is, I love both Trees Lounge and Little Odessa as movies. And it sickens me to end up with butchered copies of what their directors originally intended. It is as if some sleazy company took a great painting and hacked the sides off of it to make it fit a conventional frame, only this is almost worse - because now there is NO other version available. Because Artisan released the films that way, that is the only way I can see them. And while it may be a strong word, I do in fact hate what Artisan has done.

    Now I find out, thanks to Karl F, that The Hit (which is another TERRIFIC movie) is another victim of this same shoddy hack'n'slash tactic. And, as Scott Temple points out, Artisan has done the same thing to Ginger Snaps. I just watched that one and was surprised to see it was chopped up, but at least I only rented it. I will never, of course, buy it.

    What is especially frustrating is that these are all more or less "art house" films, which tend to attract a more discerning audience, the kind of audience who would probably like to see them as their directors intended.

    If you want to pitch to the I-wanna-see-me-a-feel-good-kinda-full-screen-movie-with-no-dang-black-bars crowd, why pick THESE films to butcher? The no-black-bars fans won't want to watch them ANYWAY.

    It makes me wish I had called my thread "Boycott Artisan," because that is exactly what I am going to do. And the rest of you who don't like what they're doing should consider that idea as well, if only on principle. They may make their money off people who don't know any better, but I'll be damned if I'm going to let them make their money off of me.
     
  19. Damin J Toell

    Damin J Toell Producer

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  20. James Zos

    James Zos Supporting Actor

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    "I still don't get the idea of boycotting everything a company has to offer because they happen to offer some crap. If a restaurant served some of your favorite dishes, as well as some crappy dishes, would you stop eating at the restaurant entirely?"

    This analogy makes no sense to me, because if I don't like the food at one restaurant, I can always go somewhere else.

    If I want to see Trees Lounge or The Hit in widescreen, where can I go to buy them?

    Your analogy would make more sense if the restaurant had managed to completely corner the market on certain specific meals. Say you wanted to order a Spanish omelet, and the only place you could go to order a Spanish omelet was "Artisan's Restaurant." Only you find out that the brilliant chefs at Artisan thinks Spanish omelets taste better with chocolate syrup drenched all over them. Or maybe they don't think they taste better that way, but they've just decided to sell them that way. Don't want chocolate syrup poured all over your Spanish omelet? Too bad, fuck you. After all, where else are you going to go? Artisan's Restaurant has the market cornered, remember?

    If this were the case, then yes, "I would stop eating at the restaurant entirely."

    Still, I do underestand your argument about supporting whatever good releases Artisan puts out. But the idea that Artisan will stop butchering smaller, lesser known films because people are buying other, better known widescreen releases, seems like a bit of a stretch to me. Who knows though, maybe you're right.
     

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