I'm dumbfounded by the regional differences found on some DVDs.....

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Daniel Becker, Jan 10, 2003.

  1. Daniel Becker

    Daniel Becker Second Unit

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    I'm relatively new to the home theater world. Recently i've begun to see more and more information about DVD's that are completely different when released in different parts of the world. For some reasons these companies will make changes and remove/add extras to particular releases depending upon what region it's being released.


    Here is what I want to know: Wouldn't it make SO MUCH MORE SENSE to released the best possible product in every region? Why would these companies feel it necessary to invest the time and money to change and alter things for particular regions? I am dumbfounded just thinking about such things. Does anyone have a logical explanation for this type of activity?



    Dan.b
     
  2. Page

    Page Stunt Coordinator

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    I think a lot of it might have to do with a "rights" issue. Films released in this country by a certain company/DVD autoring house are sometimes released by a different company/DVD authoring house in other countries because the rights to distribute a film were negoatiated that way. This would include extras, commentary tracks, etc. Also, some countries have censorship laws which cause companies to alter their products. (For example, England seems to object to violent material while the USA has a problem with sexual material. The "Straw Dogs" controversy...the "Eyes Wide Shut" controversy...)
     
  3. oscar_merkx

    oscar_merkx Lead Actor

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    the other popular thing at the moment is to release a SE in r2 and 6 months later you will have an updated SE, example Terminator 1
    [​IMG]
     
  4. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    On the positive side, multiple attempts to get it right increase the odds that someone, somewhere, will come up with a good edition. If it were just a single issue, then one issue (probably the US one for Hollywood films) would dominate. And the US version, even in region 1, isn't always the best: see, e.g., Ginger Snaps. But to take advantage of this, every film fan should have a multiregion player and either a multiformat TV or a player that converts NTSC and PAL as needed.
     
  5. Chad R

    Chad R Cinematographer

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    Terminator was a special case where the overseas rights became MGM's many months before the U.S., so in the interim extra features were prepared because they had the extra time (and MGM needed the cash from the overseas release).
     
  6. Tim Ke

    Tim Ke Stunt Coordinator

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    About A Boy is getting an R2/4 release with a 20-minute featurette on Badly Drawn Boy, while the R1 has the English-to-English featurette instead. Darn rights/legal issues...
     
  7. andrew markworthy

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    Wouldn't it make SO MUCH MORE SENSE to released the best possible product in every region?
     
  8. Clint B

    Clint B Second Unit

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    Andrew, for the LOTR disc are you talking about the parody on Disc 1 with Jack Black and Sarah Michelle Gellar?
    It's on the R1 DVD as an easter egg.
     
  9. Simon Basso

    Simon Basso Stunt Coordinator

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    Clint, no, the cuts were to the extras. Specifically 1m 16s of Elijah Wood, Billy Boyd and Dominic Monaghan swearing. Even though bleeped, it was so obvious what they were saying that the BBFC had no choice but to offer the distributors a 12 rating uncut, or a PG cut. EiV chose to cut and maximise sales. I'm not sure that the rating of a video/dvd ever kept a film out of anyone's hands, but the distributors probably know different.
     
  10. oscar_merkx

    oscar_merkx Lead Actor

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    also what is interesting about the regional differences has to do with all of Paul Verhoeven's Dutch Films with the exception of Floris, a B&W TV production from the 1960s where we do get a documentary. Otherwise it is R1 to purchse them with all of the commentaries, whereas far as I know, his Dutch dvds are featureless.

    I am sure that either Hendrik or Mark know more about this than I do, but still crazy I think.
     
  11. andrew markworthy

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    Daniel, if you're still reading this thread, and you're newish to the world of DVDs, have you tried this site?
    http://www.dvdcompare.org.uk/
    This has direct comparisons of different regional releases.
     
  12. ChuckDeLa

    ChuckDeLa Cinematographer

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  13. Bjorn Olav Nyberg

    Bjorn Olav Nyberg Supporting Actor

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    If by full-frame you mean filmed open matte, then that is what happens, yes. Not to placate Nigel 6-pack, but because that is how you recreate the theatrical framing for a open matte movie.
    As for movies intended to be 1.33:1 I think it is very rare. I know of a scandinavian exception, a movie called Flåklypa grand prix (Pinchcliffe grand prix in the U.S.) which was indeed cropped to a 1.75:1 ratio for anamorphic enhancement. I have seen none of the usual uproar about that, so I guess it is accepted.
    Also, at least Gosford park and U-571 that I know of was opened up to 1.75:1 when it was supposed to be 2.35:1
    While there are not enough examples of releases to call it a trend, you are definitively right though. A lot of people want their screened filled, even those with 16:9 screens.
     
  14. Qui-Gon John

    Qui-Gon John Producer

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    More than dumbfounded, pissed of is how I feel. There are many movies that I want and would buy the DVD, but the R1 are non-anamorphioc despite the fact that other regions the same titles are Anamorphic. CRIMSON TIDE and MRS. DOUBTFIRE are just two examples of movies that I have heard are ANAMORPHIC in other regions but not here. WTF is the problem with the studios and their screwing us over here in the US!
     

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