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DVD Review I Love Lucy Colorized Collection DVD Review

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Matt Hough, Aug 7, 2019.

  1. Message #1 of 72 Aug 7, 2019
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 13, 2019
    Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Director
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  2. Gary Seven

    Gary Seven Grand Poo Pah

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    The problem with colorized films is the colors picked are basically arbitrary, and still quite, what the word?... fake. In black and white films, the color of clothing picked are chosen as to how they will look in black and white. For example, Superman's costume in the black and white episodes is brown, not blue. When it went to color, they obviously had to change.

    I know some people who absolutely refuse to watch anything in black and white. And I would assume the younger generations generally feel the same way. I would guess they are the target audience. Perhaps I would extend the recommendation to them, but to anyone else, the question simply becomes, why?
     
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  3. bmasters9

    bmasters9 Producer

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    That's a great question-- several of my favorites are B/W (including at least two Westerns)!
     
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  4. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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    Really surprised they didn't make this a Blu-ray releas.
     
  5. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    I think their complete season sets for I Love Lucy sold so poorly that they've just abandoned that format for this show -- unfortunately.
     
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  6. AcesHighStudios

    AcesHighStudios Stunt Coordinator

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    I seriously doubt that any people of younger generations who refuse to watch B&W "I Love Lucy" are enticed to watch it when it's been colorized.
     
  7. AcesHighStudios

    AcesHighStudios Stunt Coordinator

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    That's such a shame, cause the first two season of "I Love Lucy" on Blu-ray are really fantastic sets. Same with the first season of "The Andy Griffith Show," which must have done even worse, since they didn't even bother with a second season.
     
  8. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    Both ILL and TAGS did horribly. But CBS had already done the digital work for ILL Season 2 by the time Season 1 came out, so they figured it was better to release it and at least get back pennies on the dollar, vs putting it on a shelf and getting absolutely nothing for it. That's the only reason we have that second season on Blu-ray.

    They are phenomenal sets, but CBS badly misread the market. At the time they started releasing them to Blu-ray, TV on disc was on life support with streaming having supplanted discs as the average consumer's preferred way to watch a TV show. CBS further compounded this weak market by releasing a single season set rather than a complete series set. Then, to make it worse, they set the retail price for the single season at about $120, which translated to about $80 on street date. $80 for one season of a 60 year old show just wasn't a good value in the then-current market (2014ish). At the same time that CBS was asking $80 for just one season of ILL on Blu-ray, you could buy the complete series on DVD for under $50. All of this meant that ILL on Blu-ray was dead on arrival. I think it would have been a different story if CBS had put out a complete series set in the $100 price range - that would have been twice what the DVD was but would have been a more reasonable price, and more importantly for the average consumer, offered them the entire product in one shot. I'm not sure if it would have been a best seller, but it probably would have been less of a disaster.
     
  9. AcesHighStudios

    AcesHighStudios Stunt Coordinator

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    Yes, I do remember now the price was ridiculous, but I don't think, after all the extensive work that went into both of those series, that a $100 complete set price tag would have been profitable at all for the studio.
     
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  10. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    Presumably "The Twilight Zone" was profitable for Image at that price.

    But regardless... releasing sets that don't sell isn't profitable either.

    There's a sweet spot to be found, but they were nowhere close to it.

    The honest answer these days is probably that you can't rely on one single source of revenue to make a project like that financially viable. You need the combination of multiple revenue streams, of which physical media sales can be part of it. Selling the new HD masters for cable or broadcast syndication is another piece of the puzzle, and licensing them to streaming services is another potential piece. But the days of using a disc release to finance the entire project are probably long gone.
     
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  11. EricSchulz

    EricSchulz Producer

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    I remember one of the last colorizing "fads" was in the early 80's. It was done for the same reason: younger people won't watch B&W because it's perceived as old. The The Police released the beautiful B&W video for "Every Breath You Take" and shot that idea to hell! And Anton Corbin's videos. And Herb Ritts...
     
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  12. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Director
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    The bonus documentary on the second disc explains how many of the colors were chosen based in many cases on careful research. They also explain why in certain instances they veer away from the original colors to something else. Lucie Arnaz went to the Fathom event a couple of nights ago where five of the shows and the documentary were presented in movie theaters, and she praised the documentary greatly in its explanation of the research that goes into one of these colorization projects.
     
  13. MartinP.

    MartinP. Supporting Actor

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    Colorization has always been around. They were hand colorizing silent movies in the 1920's. Computerized colorization has been around since the 1970's. There are people who say they don't like to watch anything in b&w, but there are also people who say they don't like to watch old movies and they don't just mean b&w ones. Those that have a problem with it seem to have an attitude that anyone who does like it is wrong and so won't stop proclaiming their opinions, while those of us who don't mind it enjoy the fruits of their labors, especially since the process is better than it first was.
     
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  14. TJPC

    TJPC Producer

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    I don’t usually buy tv shows on DVD, but a complete series set is very attractive to me on Blu ray. I could not resist the Star Trek sets, and bought “The Twilight Zone” and “Dick Van Dyke”.

    I would buy “I Love Lucy” on Blu in a minute if it were a complete set. I am not about to buy it season by season just because it might peter out as it has.
     
  15. BobO'Link

    BobO'Link Producer

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    I'm not a fan of colorization. In spite of that I looked up the youtube video CBS put up about the series. Well... it's a series of stills - one BW that fades into the same still colorized, going through 11 stills in under 30 seconds. I paused each one and gave it a good look. I was surprised at how natural flesh tones are and that they got the insides of mouths colorized. So... even with misgivings... I've pre-ordered a copy as it's a fairly inexpensive $20 for 16 colorized episodes. It's also my oldest grandson's all-time-favorite TV show and I'm curious to see how he responds to seeing them in color. His oldest sister is one of those kids who, when asked if she wants to watch an old(er) TV show, will ask "Is it in color?" and if I say "No, BW." she'll often say "No...".

    I did some frame grabs off that promo:

    upload_2019-8-8_8-16-20.

    upload_2019-8-8_8-19-5.

    upload_2019-8-8_8-19-33.

    upload_2019-8-8_8-20-3.

    upload_2019-8-8_8-20-57.

    upload_2019-8-8_8-21-29.

    upload_2019-8-8_8-22-4.

    upload_2019-8-8_8-22-25.

    upload_2019-8-8_8-22-53.

    upload_2019-8-8_8-23-15.

    upload_2019-8-8_8-23-34.

    Those look uniformly good - borderline excellent. If the rest of the episodes are up to that quality and standard I'm OK. Colors are appropriate for the era and, at least in the stills, the normal "tells" appear to be missing. Of course we won't know for sure until they've been seen in action as it's easy to pull stills that show off the product. I'm actually a bit excited to see these, and that's something I thought I'd never say about a colorized product.
     

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  16. AcesHighStudios

    AcesHighStudios Stunt Coordinator

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    I bought all of those (Star Trek I bought season by season, along with ST:TNG and Enterprise) and also bought "The Rockford Files, "Batman ('66)," and LOTS of other entire series on Blu-ray. I've also bought "Stranger Things" and "Westworld" on 4K Blu-ray.
     
  17. AcesHighStudios

    AcesHighStudios Stunt Coordinator

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    The only thing I ever bought that was colorized was the Blu-ray of "Plan 9 from Outer Space," but the only reason I bought it is because the restored B&W film came with it.
     
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  18. BobO'Link

    BobO'Link Producer

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    I've purchased many colorized versions of classic SF/Horror titles for that one reason. Most I've watched once and will likely never watch them again. And most came from Legend, who, on those titles, did some of the best colorization work I've ever seen, especially the 3 Harryhausen movies. But none look as good as those frames from the colorized ILL episodes. That's why I'm taking a chance on this one.
     
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  19. dstrong

    dstrong Auditioning

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    I wouldn't purchase anything colorized just because I prefer the original format and appearance of old TV shows. Black and white gives me more of a nostalgic feeling and I know that's how the original TV audience saw them.
     
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  20. warnerbro

    warnerbro Supporting Actor

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    Why no blu ray release? The first two seasons of I Love Lucy on blu ray were amazing. But they originally came out at 100 bucks a pop. Now they're selling on Amazon for 20 bucks.
     
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