Laserdisc titles vs. dvd titles

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Karl_Luph, May 28, 2003.

  1. Karl_Luph

    Karl_Luph Supporting Actor

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    It seems like everytime I read about an older movie coming out on dvd, it's already been out for years on laserdisc. I was under the impression laserdisc production had ended years ago, so why does it take so long for the studios to release these older movies to dvd? Just curious because it seems like there are tons of titles on laserdisc and people always bring it up when they compare the new release dvds to the older release and how sometimes the new releases have some changes made in the music or editing etc...
     
  2. Jeff_HR

    Jeff_HR Producer

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    That is a question that a lot LD owners ask. I don't think I've ever read a completely candid explanation from any Studio person.
     
  3. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Producer

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    Are there any great Laser titles that are not on DVD that stick out? What I mean is, there are many films not on DVD, but of those, is there a superb, big-selling Laser? Yet the studio that put ou the Laser and still owns the home-video right seems to have forgotten about it?

    Star Wars IV-V-VI being the most obvious example! [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Just curious. [​IMG]


    Gordy
     
  4. Damin J Toell

    Damin J Toell Producer

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    It's impossible for a studio to instantaneously release every single title they have in their catalog on DVD, especially if they want to give each film the proper treatment that many consumers demand. Simply rehashing the work that was done for laserdisc won't cut it with most of those who post here, so just because a LD release happened years ago, it doesn't mean much for DVD production.

    LD had over 20 years on the marketplace, and, in less than 1/3 of that time, DVD has already surpassed LD in the total number of titles released. Given that, I think the studios are generally doing a pretty decent job of putting titles out on DVD.

    DJ
     
  5. TerryW

    TerryW Stunt Coordinator

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    It's mostly the remastering to dvd standards the slows things up plus wanting to add newer materials.

    A recent release that bugs me is Glengarry Glen Ross. I believe the laserdisc had an audio commentary with Jack Lemmon while the dvd has one with the director only. Especially in light of Mr. Lemmon's passing they should've found a way to port it over.
     
  6. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    A lot of DVDs require more work.

    You could get away with a lot of stuff on LD. First, the transfers were usually not nearly as high res or refined as modern DVD transfers. No menus, and also more simplified issues.

    We have DVDs now that feature frame-by-frame touched up transfers, elaborate 5.1 remixes, and lots of newly produced supplements.
     
  7. Jason Kleeberg

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    I know the Star Wars trilogy is on LD and not on DVD.
     
  8. TonyDale

    TonyDale Second Unit

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  9. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Producer

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  10. greg_t

    greg_t Screenwriter

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    That is one of the great things about LD. You put it in, press play, and the movie starts. I have gotten to where I hate all these dvd animated menus. Takes 5 minutes to navigate through menu's to select the DTS track.
     
  11. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Producer

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    Cheers, Tony; the MGM musicals are great example of what I'm talking about! There is a big market for al those much-loved musicals.

    All in good time, folks - all in good time! [​IMG] [​IMG]


    Gordy
     
  12. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Producer

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    I too am not a fan of certain OTT fancy-schmancy, never-seems-to-end menus that take their time showing off while all I want to do is get the movie started. It's bad enough that you often have to wait for all the FBI guff to pass by, without OTT menus. Sure, they look good, but... so what? After the first viewing of them, they become annoying. Am I too highly strung?! [​IMG]


    Gordy
     
  13. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    I'd like to see a filmmaker request that the DVD of their movie have NO menu! At least not having one come up before starting the movie!
     
  14. TonyDale

    TonyDale Second Unit

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  15. Karl_Luph

    Karl_Luph Supporting Actor

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    Thanks for all the posts folks! I had no idea that laserdiscs were produced and sold for 20 years.For some reason I was thinking they had come out in the late 80's. Some of ya'll have mentioned that you preferred the LD releases of a certain movie over a recent dvd release of it(due to a bunch of editing that wasn't in the original film) and this is what I was getting at. Even alot of the old less popular movie titles somehow ended up on LD. I recently purchased Battle of Britain on dvd and the audio was in mono. Would there have been anyway for the studio to have released the dvd in simulated stereo?
     
  16. Bill Burns

    Bill Burns Supporting Actor

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    Terry wrote:

    Quote:



    A recent release that bugs me is Glengarry Glen Ross. I believe the laserdisc had an audio commentary with Jack Lemmon while the dvd has one with the director only. Especially in light of Mr. Lemmon's passing they should've found a way to port it over.





    I haven't seen the Glengarry Glen Ross DVD, but as a heads up Mr. Lemmon does have an intermittent commentary on the DVD of Mister Roberts.

    Gordon wrote:

    Quote:



    My point is that there are surely great Laserdisc editions of great films that were big sellers in the 90s, but have strangely not yet found their way to DVD - possibly due to legal reasons. As I was never a LD collector, I have no real knowledge of the history of the format, so that's why I asked.





    I was stunned by the quality of Criterion's laserdisc of Supercop; Dimension's DVD doesn't hold a candle to it, either for picture quality or supplements (I only rented the Criterion laserdisc back in the day, I never owned it, but I seem to recall deleted scenes from the Hong Kong cut and other such goodies). My most precious holdings at the moment include a full scope presentation of Fierce Creatures from Universal (only available P&S, at least in Region 1, on DVD), matted 1.85:1 presentations of Babe and Balto, also from Universal, a 1.85:1 matted presentation of Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (all of these are, again, P&S or open matte only on DVD), a matted 1.85:1 laser of Disney's live action George of the Jungle, and a slew of classic films, including the Buster Keaton MGM Talkies boxed set, The Joan Crawford Collection, an Edward G. Robinson two film collection (Bullets or Ballots and Brother Orchid), a two film Bob Hope collection from Pioneer (The Princess and the Pirate, generally looking a bit better than the now OOP DVD from HBO, though that DVD is what I usually watch, as it's still quite good and more convenient, and They Got Me Covered, which, with my player's luminance video noise reduction engaged, looks stunningly good, on par with Citizen Kane on DVD, and which I therefore never upgraded to the OOP HBO edition ... in general I find B&W films very pleasing on laserdisc once analog noise is removed, particularly major studio and Pioneer releases), MGM's collection of short subjects called Cavalcade of MGM Shorts, The Gene Kelley Collection (which has It's Always Fair Weather in a nice transfer, Brigadoon looking alright, and On the Town, which I think may look a touch better than WB's DVD, but I haven't A/B'd them; the collection also includes alternate audio tracks with variant musical sessions, deleted scenes for Brigadoon and It's Always Fair Weather, and quality liner notes -- I'd love to a see a set like this on DVD; there was a similar set devoted to Judy Garland films, but I never bought it), Criterion's Forbidden Planet, which has a number of nice supplements and a pleasing transfer (when a proper special edition comes along on DVD I'll gladly upgrade, though), and a few lasers out there now in quality DVD editions, but which I just haven't forced myself to upgrade yet, including Pioneer's excellent two platter The Day the Earth Stood Still. Just this week I replaced my laserdisc set of the extended cut of Dances With Wolves, and later this year I'm sure I'll be replacing the five volumes of The Golden Age of Looney Tunes, along with the three volumes of Tom and Jerry shorts (I hate to think how much those cost me ... the DVDs will be a nice, convenient upgrade to all of that disc swapping!) ... the list goes on and on. I'm down to a few dozen titles now, a collection that steadily diminishes as their DVD counterparts sufficiently impress. Disney's laserdisc boxed set for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was too elegant to part with, so it's still packed away, and soon The Lion King will follow ... many, many wonderful discs.

    The primary call is for classic films on DVD. A call made by many, but it can never be bellowed too often. Roan Group's laser of Night Train to Munich is also a prized possession, speaking of such, and goodness only knows how long it will take them or anyone to revisit it on DVD ....

    Tony wrote:

    Quote:



    Well, off the top of my head, I can say that a great percentage of the MGM musicals made it to laserdisc with very fine pirnts: YOLANDA AND THE THIEF, ZEIGFELD FOLLIES, THE BANDWAGON, SUMMER HOLIDAY, IT'S ALWAYS FAIR WEATHER, THE PIRATE, SUMMER STOCK, JUPITER'S DARLING, etc.
    James Whale's production of SHOW BOAT is on laser.





    I would adore seeing all of these on DVD, particularly The Pirate, Yolanda and the Thief (of which I've only seen clips), and The Bandwagon (yet again, only pieces, but oh, what pieces!). I'm sure the latter isn't too far off, but how long it'll take to get around to the first two, or Summer Stock, or It's Always Fair Weather ... hopefully soon, and with the sort of care WB is putting into all of their classic film properties of late (Lowry can't tackle everything that would benefit from their touch, but proper photochemical film restoration -- and indeed simple "research" restoration, finding and uniting the best existing elements -- and then preservation, aside from anything digital, can do marvels for neglected materials).

    While the DVD of Oklahoma! is essentially a port of the very good Todd-AO version laserdisc, it is high time this and Carousel, in particular, were revisited by Fox with remastered anamorphic transfers (and I'll naturally call for the use of CinemaScope 55 materials for Carousel, even though it was printed to 35mm CinemaScope, and of course both 70mm Todd-AO and 35mm CinemaScope sources for the two distinct versions of Oklahoma!, which is my single favorite musical; while they're not high priorities for me, The King and I, South Pacific, and State Fair should also once again have their day in the DVD spotlight with new transfers and supplements -- a Shirley Jones commentary on both Carousel and Oklahoma! is something Fox should be getting in the can now, as an invaluable investment in the future (bring the talent that is still with us together before it's too late ... what treasures of film history insight might all of those Billy Wilder comedies have to offer were they available with comments not only from him, but Lemmon, Matthau, all now gone, and Shirley MacLaine, who's still with us and should be approached for commentaries on future reissues of The Apartment and Irma La Douce ... but back to Fox: they addressed their musical properties in one of their chats, saying they weren't seeing the right numbers on the current editions to bring out new ones, or thoughts to that effect, but I hope their excellent Studio Classics line finds sufficient popularity to convince the studio that presenting a classic film right, in a solid transfer with meaningful extras, draws a significant audience and makes the extra effort worthwhile -- I'm sure we haven't heard the last of Fox musicals on the format).

    Incidentally, speaking of commentaries – am I the only one who’d go batty for a Kim Novak commentary? On anything? It doesn’t even matter if she’s in the picture – though that’d be a plus. Just a thought. She made a number of delightful films, few of them currently on DVD, and her voice as a guide through their worlds would be worth its weight in gold, sharing memories of the shoot, discussing the actors and the crew, her own thoughts on the film today … and then there’s any future edition of a little film called Vertigo, of course, but if she feels she covered her thoughts on that in the accompanying documentary, then I’d suggest commentaries for her more frivolous fare.

    Major studio silents are also long neglected, but WB has upcoming plans for a silents line, and Fox is testing the waters beautifully with Sunrise, which I trust proves a harbinger of great things to come. Universal is also issuing a number of early sound films in double and triple feature releases which I loudly applaud -- price to value, Universal is satiating my love of early films admirably. I hope they keep it up (these are primarily -- exclusively? -- Paramount features now in their possession, of course). Columbia has something of an on again off again record with early film releases, but when they're hot, they're hot, brother -- Pennies From Heaven looks marvelous, and their early releases such as Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and Only Angels Have Wings, are generally very pleasing (Reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeta! [​IMG] Sorry -- Peter Lorre was playing tricks on me again). I'd love to see Harlow in Platinum Blonde and a few of the early Barbara Stanwyck pictures, by the way, if Columbia's out there; and while they've only issued one silent picture to the best of my knowledge, The Matinee Idol, it is a lovely sight to behold (Bessie Love has something to do with that), and a disc every classics fan should own. I trust Columbia will return to their silent properties in the near future, and with similar care in presentation (perhaps not full restorations, as that would be an unrealistic expectation, but at least a careful representation of the best surviving elements for each picture, with appropriate supplements).

    I could go on and on (as if I haven't already); laserdisc was a treasure trove of great classic films (and quality widescreen modern pictures; another that comes to mind is Timecop in scope, but I honestly only care about it because of Mia Sara [​IMG]), and while DVD has given us an astonishingly affordable, convenient, often pristine classic film library (I'm particularly impressed with the breadth and scope -- pardon the puns -- of silent pictures on the format, primarily through companies such as Image and Kino, and also early sound films), there is so much work yet to do ... Jean Harlow, Myrna Loy, Clark Gable, Joan Blondell, Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, Dick Powell, James Cagney ... just to name a few. So many films not yet available on DVD.

    Tony wrote:

    Quote:



    now, if Columbia would only release their Pioneer Special Edition of LOST HORIZON. . .





    I'm sad to say I missed this. I have the beautiful Columbia DVD, which I cherish -- what am I missing from the laserdisc? Pioneer was a name forged in solid gold for great classic film presentations on laser.
     
  17. TonyDale

    TonyDale Second Unit

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    The Pioneer Special Edition of LOST HORIZON was of the musical film (Burt Bacharach score), not the Frank Capra production. . .

     
  18. Bill Burns

    Bill Burns Supporting Actor

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    Ah. My mistake. I've heard of, but never seen, the musical version.
     
  19. Grant B

    Grant B Producer

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    I know this sounds silly, but I miss the 4th side Turtle!!!
    (Please turn over)
     
  20. Joe Caps

    Joe Caps Cinematographer

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    There are so many oldies that are NOT making their way to dvd. All of Garlands films were available. Almost all of doris Days musicals - Warneres says that Calamity Jane and Pajama Game didn't sell well enough and there are NO Doris Day films now planned for DVD. We should at least get Tea for Two, Jumbo, and Love Me or Leave Me.
     

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