MACKENNA'S GOLD and Sony

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Mark B, Mar 7, 2006.

  1. Mark B

    Mark B Supporting Actor

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    I recently picked up MACKENNA'S GOLD at WalMart for 4.88. The package stated full and widescreen edition. Upon getting it home, I discovered that it was full screen only. (After the letterboxed credits it popped to pan and scan) I wrote to Sony and this is their response:
    ------------------------------------------
    Dear Valued Consumer:

    Thank you for your patience as we researched your query. We appreciate your interest in Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (SPHE) products.

    SPHE has recently been made aware that older artwork for "Mackenna's Gold"
    may still be in store which incorrectly states that both a Widescreen and Fullscreen Version of this Title are included in the package. SPHE recently changed the DVD to include only the Fullscreen version of the Title in order to make it more accessible and affordable for consumers.

    SPHE does not currently have any plans to manufacture a Widescreen version of "Mackenna's Gold" at this time. The Artwork issue has been addressed and corrections have been made. Unfortunately, you may have received older product with the incorrect version of the artwork.

    SPHE strives to bring our consumers the highest quality entertainment product available and we sincerely apologize for this error. SPHE would like to offer you a complimentary copy of "The Missing (Special Edition, Widescreen, 2 Discs) - DVD. This Title is directed by Ron Howard and stars Tommy Lee Jones, Cate Blanchett, Evan Rachel Wood, Jenna Boyd, Eric Schweig and Aaron Eckhart. If you would like to take advantage of this offer, please respond to this email with your mailing address so that we may ship the "The Missing (Special Edition)" DVD to you.

    Thank you for your continued patronage and for taking the time to contact us.

    Regards,

    Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
    Consumer Relations
    ------------------------------------

    WHAT?

    My response to Sony:

    "SPHE strives to bring our consumers the highest quality entertainment product available"


    If that was true you would not be releasing a Panavision film in full screen pan and scan. Forget it. If I wanted THE MISSING I wouldn’t have bought MACKENNA’S GOLD.
     
  2. Jeff Swindoll

    Jeff Swindoll Supporting Actor

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    Hmmmmmmm, how exactly does removing the widescreen version more accessible and affordable. This dunderheaded move makes this movie and others in the dump bin less accessible and not worth the money to ME [​IMG]
     
  3. Simon Howson

    Simon Howson Screenwriter

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    When I first purchased a DVD player I bought a disc that said it was widescreen (1.85:1), but in fact the DVD was pan and scan. I simply exchanged the DVD by arguing that it was defective - the labelling promised a certain 'feature' that the disc didn't actually include.
     
  4. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    Pardon my French, but that's complete bullshit. And how the fuck does dropping the widescreen version make it "more accessible and affordable?" The most "accessible" would be to keep BOTH versions on the same disc, but they're arbitrarily dropping the 16x9 transfers on many titles, while others curiously have had the "full screen" versions removed.

    I had the same thing happen with "The Bear" last year, I mailed the disc back with receipt to the address on the back, at first it was returned-to-sender since I didn't put anyone's name on it, so I sent it back again attention to Benjamin Feingold, the company's president and a man who should truly be ashamed of himself (if this forum were not moderated I would have a few more choice words for him and the people running that company). They then sent me the correct version of the DVD plus a free copy of "Grey Owl", but I was still out the return shipping. I wrote them back thanking them for the free movie but that if they were going to deliberately downgrade their products this way, I would have no choice but to avoid them in the future and I also would not be buying any more Sony electronics since they seem to feel pan and scan movies are good enough to be shown on them. I never received a reply to that.

    What's sad is Sony was doing a pretty good job with DVD in the beginning, but now they've just been crapping all over it. What the hell happened??? (And don't tell me it's because they want everyone to switch to Blu-Ray; if and when I do I won't be buying a Sony player, and I'll still be wary of their releases on that format.)
     
  5. Brian Sharp

    Brian Sharp Second Unit

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    Out of interest did the dvd of Mackenna's Gold have stereo sound or, was this another sacrifice to improve standards?
     
  6. Mark B

    Mark B Supporting Actor

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    It was downgraded to mono and black and white, to cater to those who haven't been able to afford the new Admiral color TV sets.

    Seriously, this is the same type of BS Fox threw at us in regards to OKLAHOMA! I guess they assume that their techno-babble is supposed to be convincing to the ingnorant folk who purchase home video product. Guess they'd be disappointed to find out that not only can I read and write, but I've never been intimate with my sister.
     
  7. TonyD

    TonyD Who do we think I am?
    Supporter

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    i guess i should open mine that i bought about 6 months ago.

    i still see this on shelves at borders listed as widescreen.

    well the label says said a is wide and b is full.

    only has 1 side.
    artwork on 1 side.

    you guess the rest.
     
  8. Jason_V

    Jason_V Producer

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    Ya know, I've got just got to laugh over something like this. It's not a funny situation, but these customer service people just don't understand the amount of information available on the 'net makes these kind of BS answers totally unacceptable.
     
  9. Randy B A

    Randy B A Supporting Actor

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    I bought one a couple of months ago from borders that listed it as WS/FS. But it only had full screen. Borders refunded my money without a problem.

    Yesterday at wall mart I saw one in the dump bin that also listed WS/FS but I did not want to risk it. Fool me once...
     
  10. Doug_B

    Doug_B Screenwriter

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    There is one (or more) threads a while back discussing Sony's plans to head in this direction for many of their (less popular) titles. But don't look for a rational explanation in such thread.

    Fortunately, I purchased Mackenna's Gold a few years ago. One of my childhood favorites that holds up reasonably well (and quite a cast).

    It seems as if one must go online to multiple resources to confirm DVD specs, find out if any issues exist, etc., before a purchase these days.

    I suggest returning it for a refund, per previous comments. Hopefully it won't be an issue, given the inaccurate labeling, and it will take a nibble out of Sony's profits in the process.

    Doug
     
  11. Thomas T

    Thomas T Cinematographer

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    I suppose if anyone is remotely interested in a wide screen Sony title ..... don't wait, get it now. I kept putting off purchasing Mortal Thoughts for so long that I can no longer find the wide screen version, just the full screen.
     
  12. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    **cough**ANNIE***cough***MATILDA***cough [​IMG]
     
  13. Bradley-E

    Bradley-E Screenwriter

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    What a lame response from SONY. They are the worst Studio in Hollywood.
     
  14. Ken Koc

    Ken Koc Screenwriter

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    and now those previous MGM/United Artist titles are now under Sonys banner[​IMG] Very very sad and troubling.
     
  15. Mark_TS

    Mark_TS Screenwriter

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    to add insult to injury:

    Ive read that SONY have remastered this title within just the last few months-looking much better;
    its insane that a widescreen version couldnt have been put on the other side;

    I also suspect this is the trimmed version, cutting out the section where Telly Savalas kills his own troops-which was on the laserdisc, and is apparantly in the UK DVD-they both, R1 and R2 have the same rt of 123 mins. (which would make the R1 version about 130
    mins in length.)

    Finally, this movie was going to have been a 'big bang roadshow event'-but it was the end of that era, in the late 1960's, and ive read that Columbia decided to chop it down by 45 mins(?) at least.

    Too bad we couldnt get a fully restored edition,
    It has some great scenery.

    As a side note, a young George Lucas was on the set shooting the making of the film as a student project while in film school.
    ----
    Luckily SONY didnt get their hands on BEN HUR-or no doubt we would see a 1:33 version of that, -to make it 'more accessible' Can you imagine?
     
  16. Randy Korstick

    Randy Korstick Producer

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    I glad I got the earlier Widescreen version when it 1st came out about 5 years ago. Sony is just driving up e-bay prices with this move.
     
  17. Ted Todorov

    Ted Todorov Cinematographer

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    I distinctly remember that scene -- are you sure it's missing from the old R1 Widescreen edition? I have it obviously, but I have to much on the unwatched pile to see this one again...

    Ted
     
  18. Brent Avery

    Brent Avery Supporting Actor

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    That shooting scene was in the original release, I seem to recall watching it - but will check it tonight to be sure. I think that is were all those involved from the town etc. are ambushed - by indians I think - but then again there was the part where they found the gold and he shot one or two of his men. I need to rewatch it but I know it's there.
     
  19. Mark_TS

    Mark_TS Screenwriter

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    Omar Sherrif decides to let Camilla Sparve ride off to join the Calvary Patrol-which had been Savalas and 4 men-he considered her extra baggage. Savalas sends 2 of this men away (back to the fort?), then as Ms Sparve arrives, he kills his 2 remaining men-and re-joins the main group.

    Its on my R2 edition-which reads in display: 2:02:55 Total running time in PAL.

    Ive owned all 3 editions VHS>LD>DVD so I could be mistaken on my media
    but I know ONE-either LD, or R1 DVD didnt have it-which I no longer have to compare.
     
  20. Dan M

    Dan M Second Unit

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    Yep I too was caught off guard by the missleading packaging. But fortunately I was able to return mine and I was able to buy the widesreen version from another website that specialized in used cd/dvd's.

    The swimming scene with Julie Newmar is worth the price alone *sigh*

    try here
     

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