MGM are doing a new Special Edition of Joe Dante's THE HOWLING!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Anthony Thorne, Jan 8, 2002.

  1. Anthony Thorne

    Anthony Thorne Supporting Actor

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    MGM really seem to be setting out to please horror and cult movie fans with their current schedule of Special Edition DVD's. First LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT was delayed so that it could be reconfigured as a fully blown S.E, now Joe Dante says a new S.E DVD of THE HOWLING will be released by MGM sometime in 2002. This has been rumoured for a while, but there was some debate about what extras would end up on the eventual DVD. Dante was originally quite pessimistic that the supplements from the earlier, popular Image LD (which featured an excellent commentary and deleted scenes, amongst other stuff) would end up on the MGM re-release, as it appeared an agreement couldn't be reached to license those particular extras. Dante himself now has some good news about the disc - he posted a letter to film critic Bill Warren earlier this week, and Warren reprinted an excerpt from it over at another web-board. Dante's tidbit on the forthcoming HOWLING S.E is as follows:

    "At this point it will definitely include a new documentary from Automat Pictures and, I'm told, the same commentary and extras as the Image laserdisc (supposedly MGM finally opted to buy the rights to this stuff), plus maybe a few new deleted scenes. I supervised a new transfer but was too late to prevent a prior, inferior one being released on the current 'no frills' disc. Although the film looks better in 1:66, MGM has a strictly 1:85 policy for their 16x9 'enhanced' widescreen discs, so it's in 1:85. The stereo remix sounds fine (I suggested they carry the original mono track as well, but don't hold your breath). I also gave them a box of trims and outs and stuff I found in the garage, but I don't know if they're planning on using any of it".

    Folks who bought the earlier bare-bones HOWLING disc might be a little miffed, but this release sounds like a good one, and increases my appreciation for the current (mostly) high standard of titles, especially genre releases, from MGM.
     
  2. AndrewR

    AndrewR Stunt Coordinator

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    Whew! I never bought the "budget" version because of the Special Edition rumor.

    I'm glad I waited.

    Andrew
     
  3. JohnS

    JohnS Producer

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    I bought the bare-bones sight unseen, and sadly(being a Joe Dante fan) I didn't like the movie.
    I might give it a second viewing, to see if it warrents me to buy the SE
     
  4. Doug D

    Doug D Stunt Coordinator

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    Over at MHVF, they're reporting that it's being released in 1.85:1, even though Dante prefers 1.66:1, because that's MGM's policy on 16x9 releases.

    What a load of malarkey!
     
  5. Bjorn Olav Nyberg

    Bjorn Olav Nyberg Supporting Actor

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  6. Colin O'H

    Colin O'H Auditioning

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    YES YES YES! I am so excited. I haven't bought any of the bare bones versions waiting for this. Finally broke down and picked up the bare Scanners disc. The Howling is right up there with American Werewolf.Can't wait![​IMG]
     
  7. Brian Kidd

    Brian Kidd Screenwriter
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    Pardon my ignorance on the subject, but wouldn't a 1.66:1 anamorphic release cause some picture material to be lost when viewing on a 16:9 television? I guess it all comes down to whether we want the added resolution of an anamorphic transfer or the opportunity to watch the film in it's director-preferred ratio of 1.66:1. Interesting quandary. Me, I feel that unless the new framing severely compromises the composition of the original film, I won't bitch too much. At least it's not full-frame!
     
  8. Bjorn Olav Nyberg

    Bjorn Olav Nyberg Supporting Actor

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    Depends on the transfer Brian. If they crop the 1.66:1 frame to fit the TV, then you certainly would lose some picture information. But if the 1.66:1 frame is letterboxed in a 16:9 frame, by adding black bars on the sides, no picture information would be lost. And most people would not even see the black bars due to overscan.

    Of course the overscan argument can be used as to why not to crop it also, but since the cropping would be in addition to the overscan, it means even more picture information is lost in total.
     
  9. Brian Lawrence

    Brian Lawrence Producer

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    The term 1.85 gets thrown around a lot, But I will be surprised if this transfer is anything but 1.78.
     

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