Is the LOTR Blu-Ray due sooner than we think?

Mark Hawley

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I don't see the problem with just simply wanting a release that has both versions of the film. You know, Blu Ray and DVD have the capability of having more than one cut of a film presented on the same disc. Blade Runner, Close Encounters and even Jackson's King Kong were released that way and at a fair price. I guess King Kong wasn't popular enough to give Jackson and the studio the confidence to shamelessly exploit the fanbase.

If Blade Runner or Close Encounters had not yet been released yet on Blu Ray, and it was announced that they'd be released at the end of the year, but only the theatrical versions, and the revised versions would be released in two years, most people would be understandably pissed.

There's just simply no reason - and if you can think of one, I'd love to hear it - not to release the LOTR trilogy in a similar fashion, other than that the studio is banking on fanboys buying both, and that the two year gap will make even some of the more headstrong fans buy the first release. Afterall, why not release them six months later - or a year later? Simple, more fans would just wait for the EEs if they'd only have to wait less than a year.

I don't understand, other than blind loyalty, why the LOTR fanbase are so quick to defend this and so quick to pounce on those who just simply want a release that includes both cuts? Is that so unreasonable? What was so easy for the releases of Blade Runner and Close Encounters to include all existing cuts and not charge that much that is so hard for the LOTR films to be released in the same way?

As for the Star Wars comparison I don't see the point. While it is appalling that Lucas won't release quality versions of the original OT versions, and to release only non-anamorphic laserdisc masters was a kick in the balls, I don't see the problem with including the SEs along with them. If I remember correctly, they didn't cost any more than the average release. It's funny because if Lucas just released the original versions, same laserdisc masters, and didn't include the SEs, but charged the same, few people would've criticised him for that part of it. But adding the SEs at no extra charge, he's accused at "making fans buy them again"!
 

Mark-W

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Well, reading this thread from the start, never having it read it before, certainly was a good way to entertain myself for a bit.

I hate double-dipping as much as the next person, probably more.

But, after reading the news on the Digital Bits, reading this thread,
and purchasing all the previous versions of the LOTR films on DVD, I have to
say I don't see what everyone is so upset about.

If I were PJ, I would certainly hold off releasing LOTR until there
was a calculated tie-in and cross-promotion with the theatrical release of "The Hobbit."

I also know, seeing them sitting there on my self, the bonus materials
on the DVDs for TE and EE versions are quite different, and that by
purchasing the TE and EE versions, I essentially got an uber boxed set,
with the TE and EE versions on different discs.

The only "double-dipping" that occurred with the first set, was the
"limited edition" versions that came out later that had unique bonus content.

I felt a bit chapped about that, though I LOVED the documentary on those.

A few things:
Blu-ray and DVD have different ways of treating bonus content.
One only need look at the SE boxed set of "Sin City" and then again
on Blu-ray to see the difference that his java-enhanced format can
have. I LOVE the Blu-ray of Sin City. It is freakin' awesome in 'cinexpore' mode.

If PJ and the studio wants the TE to come out now, and the EE to come out to coincide with "The Hobbit," and they are making that widely known...cause let's face it, the fan base for these films is on the net and knows this, protesting the double-dip looses some umph.

Double-dipping is horrible when it is the just same film, just content added,
and there is ignorance of a special edition coming later.
The LOTR, with the significant changes in the cuts would best be served
on separate discs anyway.
This is not like the situation we had on "Casino Royale" or "No Country for Old Men."

Also, if PJ does make the EE versions really special and do something akin to picture in picture, then doing things like attempting to put on all the commentary tracks, doing seamless branching, and piciture in picture, and have loss-less audio is not going to be possible on the EE versions.

Better off to have the TE have their own discs. And if that is the case, why not release them soon since the EE versions, which you can still tie in
with the theatrical release of "The Hobbit" can be released later.

It seems to me folks are upset because if the EE versions were released now,
I suspect some folks would by pass the TE versions altogether and by not doing so, folks with poor impulse control, myself included, will buy the TE,
because we don't want to wait, and uber Blu-ray boxed set with all cuts included would be $150+ anyway, and this way they
are separating out the box set into set one, and set two.

Seems reasonable to me, just as the TE and EE releases on DVD
(again barring the "limited edition" versions that came out with a new documentaries)
were before them.
 

Ricardo C

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You're absolutely right. It was a bad example. Now, how is this any worse, considering you actually get full-res, no-compromise releases of both cuts?
 

Lew Crippen

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No problem with simply wanting anything. But that is a far cry from some of the rhetoric in many of the posts (including yours) discussing this issue.

In the end, studios need to maximize profits--and so long as they are not misleading their customers (and in this case they are not) I see no problem with releasing different versions separately.
 

Todd smith

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I agree. Release both via seamless branching with little to no extras then release the uber set with the Hobbit which has all the extras and anything else new thrown in. This would make everyone happy. Buying just the TEs would be a waste of money for me and many others since once the EEs come out these would NEVER be watched again. The TEs are my most anticipated rental though
 

RobertR

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In addition to the added space/cost, what if some people just want the TEs or the SEs? Why should the world revolve around your particular preferences (and lack of patience)?
 

Ricardo C

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Oh, sure. NO ONE would complain about "having" or "being forced" to re-buy the films "just to get the extras". Nope, not ever...


And frankly, the seamless branching solution is dreadful. I'd rather have each film on its own disc, where possible.
 

Mark Hawley

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If they could release all the LOTR films which each film on one DVD, have both cuts available via seamless branching, and not charge any more than the average new release price for a DVD, as they did no more than a couple of years ago, then I don't see why it would be so difficult to do the same with blu ray, which has a far greater storage capicity than DVD.


I realize it may be sacreligious to speak out against the people behind your favorite movies, but simply wanting a release to include both cuts available, as has been the case with many, many movies, both on DVD and Blu Ray, is hardly due to a lack of patience, or expecting the world to revolve around me.
 

Ricardo C

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And once again, no one's said there's anything wrong with WANTING or ASKING. Hell, I'd be glad to pay a bit more and get a monster set with every possible option. But this thread, and its inbred cousin at Amazon, with their insults, accusations, and idle boycott threats, are just sad displays of fanboy entitlement.
 

Todd smith

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Of course there would still be some complaining, but not NEARLY to the point it is now since we would atleast have both versions of the film which would make everyone happy as far as the movie itself which is the most important thing.

There is no good reason NOT to do seamless branching.....what is so dreadful about it in your opinion? You will have the EXACT same experience with the TEs either way, so what is your issue with seamless branching?
 

Todd smith

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NOTHING wrong with voicing ones opinion......People have the right to speak out against business greed which is exactly what this is. Do I understand it from a business perspective, sure......does that make it ethical and right, NO. I am glad the people are not afraid to call out a company on BS like this. If we all just sat back and "accepted" this practice, there would definately be no hope of future improvement. Atleast with a strong community "voice" of disapproval there is atleast SOME chance of change in the future no matter how small that chance is.
 

cafink

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There is at least one reason not to do seamless branching, and it is the exact same reason that the presentation of the films on the original "theatrical version" DVDs is superior to that of the theatrical version on the subsequent DVDs which included both versions of the films via branching. While the theatrical version of each film can reasonably fit on a single disc in its entirety, the extended editions are generally too long for a single disc. Using branching to present both version of each film means that the theatrical versions will have to be split between two discs (or two sides of a single disc, as they were on the branching DVDs), whereas they could likely have fit on a single disc by themselves.

In my opinion, it would be worth the trade-off to have both versions of the films included, but it is nevertheless untrue to say it would be "the EXACT same experience."
 

Todd smith

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No doubt, BUT the complaints would be much less and to a much weaker degree......I assume people care the most about the film far and away to the extras. Atleast we would have both cuts of the film.....If this was just about ANY other catalog release, we would get both cuts.
 

Ricardo C

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Oh, yes. Behold the might of the fanboys, railing against injustice right before placing their order for the product they swore they'd never buy.
 

Todd smith

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Making an "ass of oneself in the process" is your opinion and I dont necessarily agree. People are making an ass out of themselves on both sides of this debate IMO.

I dont see these people as "fanboys" anymore than those who prefer the TEs. If they were ONLY releasing the EEs this year, would that make the upset TE crowd fanboys as well?

As far as these folks placing an order for the product they swore they'd never buy, I agree to a certain extent that some will do that, but MANY will not. I think more people have self control than you are giving credit for. The other thing is any smart buyer who STRONGLY prefers the EEs knows that if they buy the TEs that once the EEs do come out these TEs will simply collect dust NEVER to be viewed again......any smart buyer would not throw down the money in this situation, have self control, give the TEs a rent if they feel the need and then wait and buy the EEs when they hit.

I think the reason the EE crowd is so passionate about this issue is that we have been watching the better version (in our opinion) for YEARS now and it is a BIG step back going to the TEs. Having such a long period between releasing the TEs and the EEs just stinks of greed in light of this and people are rightfuly calling them out on it even though it will do little to no good (but again, atleast there is a chance by trying as opposed to just accepting this BS).
 

Mark-W

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Actually, that would not make me happy, and seems like a truer example of double-dipping, since one is only purchasing the extras in that case, since one would already own the TE and EE versions of the film.

If the TE is released with its own unique bonus content,
and the EE is released later with its own unique bonus content,
then there is no doubling up of the same item twice.

Your suggestion would have folks own the TE and EE versions twice
if they bought both sets.
 

Ricardo C

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But it's not a "step back". The EEs have not been cancelled or vaulted. They ARE coming. I may be misremembering things, but it was an open secret that PJ's "ultimate box" would spear-head the marketing campaign for "The Hobbit". The TEs coming out first are a happy bonus, as far as I'm concerned. And sure, it sucks to have to wait for the EEs, but they ARE coming. And they are coming to a more mature BluRay medium, which means they'll probably look even better then this year's release will.
 

Todd smith

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You are absolutely right in that there is better ways to go about this "mission" that some are on than doing what they have done to Amazon. It would be good if they took a more mature productive approach if they do feel as strongly as they do (which apparently they do).

Thank you about the fanboy comment which was my only point there.

I got into DVD early on as well and have seen this all before too. It will never change, but why should it? People should voice what they want and I am sure it has had some sort influence over the years. Glad some have the internal fortitude to express what they want even if it rubbs a few feathers. Just my opinion and I know you dont agree which is fine


I am sure you are right about people buying the TE trilogy come this holiday season, but again I think most will stick to their guns for reasons I have allready cited........in the long run, the TEs are a waste of money for the EE crowd, and renting is the no brainer option.

I disagree that it is NOT a step back and IMO it is most certainly a step back for the "strongly prefer the EE crowd" considering how long the wait will be between the TEs and The EEs. If you want to enjoy LOTR in HD for the next few years at the very least, you must take a step back and watch the inferior versions. They are testing peoples will power (atleast those that STRONGLY prefer the EEs) and they are counting on a lot of double dips which will happen to some extent. I have plenty of will power myself and will not take part in this as far as a purchase and I know a LOT of others will do the same
 

Todd smith

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I was only giving an example.....you could also just release a seamless branching version with the extras that were allready planned for the TE version, then release the uber box with more/better extras, etc in the future. The point is that we should have the option of both cuts in a faster time frame than the 2 year minimum we will have to wait, IMO of course which I know some dont agree which I respect.
 

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