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Discussion in 'DVD' started by Travis_W, Jul 14, 2003.
Posted at DVD File.
Let's ban them!
First the Twin Peaks Season 2 fiasco...and now full screen releases!
Worst. Studio. Ever.
Worst. Studio. Ever. >>
Don't say that just yet. Maby when the company gets sold, they'll improve their practices with new managment.
Still have high hopes for the TMNT release next year, assuming they can get off their asses and release the uncut 5 part pilot..
and let's not forget Drop Dead Fred thats released later this month, in FULL FRAME ONLY!
and maybe if Artisan improves, we'll get a Special Edition of Weekend at Bernies with commentary by the cast.
But I'm happy with Artisans LTBX Bernies for the time being.
This is not surprising for Artisan. I just want to slap them. I'm not sure about the others, but Waxwork does have a cult following and deserved better(I won't be a bit shocked if it's the snipped R-rated version). This is just an infuriating, lowdown dirty shame.
Artisan has gone beyond suck.
Jeffrey Fink is or used to be the head of the Home Video division (the webpage hasn't been updated in a LONG time)
Try him at
'Drop Dead Freddy' was one nail in the coffin, 'Fright Night II' was another, and third time's the charm for 'Waxwork/Waxwork II'. I'm boycotting their DVDs. I don't care. I remember somebody saying that boycotting their DVDs wouldn't do a thing while boycotting their big releases would. That's ridiculous and I think we can hit them harder this way. I only own a few Artisan DVDs, 'The Running Man', 'The Punisher', 'Terminator 2: Ultimate Edition' and 'Stargate: Ultimate Edition' but each is in it' original aspect ratio.
As for 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' I won't be picking it up because I'm afraid for the end product if a studio like Artisan is behind it.
At this rate we'll never get an OAR Waxwork.
A resounding BOO to Artisan, yet again.
maybe we can sticky this, like we did with Remo Williams, so we can show Artisan how many people are miffed.
You know, I was quite happy with a few of their early classic releases (Champion, for instance), and then somehow, somewhere, it seems that everything went to horseradish. I haven't seen many of their recent classic releases, but Topper/Topper Returns, which has its own thread, is certainly a disappointment: a fair copy of the latter, but oh, what transfer woes for what was probably an excellent film element of the former.
Artisan controls recent films too, of course, and they seem to be lavishing attention on some of these (Terminator 2 is the most obvious example, but also Stargate, Young Guns, etc.). They've even taken to playing around with HD on bonus discs of T2 and Standing in the Shadows of Motown. But their classic "department" just doesn't seem to care. It's like dealing with two different companies, and that's exceedingly frustrating for the consumer who enjoys films from all periods -- a stellar review for Terminator 2 doesn't have any bearing on the care we'll find, say, in Pursued (which I haven't seen).
Given that they control many truly outstanding classic titles (A Double Life is only the latest, due on July 22nd), I really hope that costumer input eventually effects a policy change in how these titles are handled -- namely, care and precision equals customer satisfaction, and customer satisfaction equals customer loyalty. Customer loyalty, as we all well know, equals revenue growth, because loyal customers not only continue to buy themselves, but also pay good lip service to potential customers. It's a simple model, one the major studios continue to embrace with greater and greater enthusiasm. It's difficult to look at the specs for WB's Yankee Doodle Dandy, and then consider the likely state of Artisan's upcoming Blood on the Sun (both Cagney pictures, though not of the same caliber, of course), and fail to conclude that something isn't right in DVD land.
I don't know much about Artisan. I know they used to be Live, but changed their name. I know they reissued a number of Republic Pictures releases after apparently buying the assets of the studio (Republic put out very good DVD editions of It's a Wonderful Life* and a couple of other pictures before Artisan took over), and at first all seemed well (again, films such as Champion), but then quality reportedly took a nose-dive. Had Republic prepared some of these early Artisan transfers themselves, but simply hadn't released them prior to the sale? This would explain why a few of the early Artisans (obviously including the first reissues) seem on a par with the Republic releases. And then everything goes south. Has anyone seen Pursued? I think Barrie Maxwell had a few unkind words for the transfer at The Digital Bits, but I'm not sure. What of Cloak and Dagger? Where is Artisan taking their classic assets in the future?
Neil mentioned an upcoming sale of Artisan itself? Is the company changing hands? I love some of these films, and I'd like to see them treated well on DVD. While I again haven't seen many of the recent Artisan classic titles, I understand from reviews by Robert Harris and others that they've now "junked" their Republic reissues with digital processing (the so-called "Special Editions" of High Noon and others), failed to improve at all on their own (I believe Artisan was the first to issue it?) reportedly horrible transfer of The Quiet Man, and ... and ... it just goes from bad to worse. I wish the studio wouldn't issue classic titles at all if they're going to mix good transfers with terrible transfers, irrespective of the condition of original elements -- it makes purchasing any of them a risky endeavor, and there is too much well-prepared classic product from Image, Kino, and major studios to throw money at careless product. I think this is most why some really resent what Artisan seems to be doing: if everything was junk, that would be one thing. But when we pass up good transfers because so many others are junk, that's extremely frustrating, and Artisan leaves the careful consumer no choice. Money doesn't grow on trees for most of us. If you love T2 or Stargate, you're probably going to quickly buy Artisan's releases and find yourself quite happy. The studio should be congratulated for their care with some of these recent titles. But if that love extends to small B films and classic titles, you're up a tree unless you can afford to simply buy everything and hope for a good transfer every now and then.
I want to praise Artisan. I want to be on their side. I want to congratulate them on a commitment to classic titles. But I can't until they begin to show some of the care they've placed in the presentation of A-list modern pictures in the presentation of their catalogue titles (both recent B films and classic pictures). I'm not speaking of restoration and extensive supplementation. I'm only speaking of a consistent commitment to creating a quality transfer from the best elements to which they have access, and always, of course, in OAR. Three-strip Technicolor should be newly transfered from the original elements, when those survive, not old analogue transfers from multiple generation prints (I'm assuming as much from reports on and screen captures for The Quiet Man, a DVD I have not seen myself in any of its releases). And information about these transfers, or at least a way of identifying a quick release from one to which great care has been paid, should be derived for inclusion on the back cover.
If I'm wrong and their recent classic titles are beginning to demonstrate such care, please let me know which titles, and I'll be sure to buy them and praise them to whatever degree they warrant. But too many reviews are lambasting the recent classic output from Artisan, and the look of Topper seems to bely such comments, and there's just no way I'm going to buy films that look like casual VHS when that same money will buy excellent, new, digitally precise classic transfers from MGM, WB, Fox, and others. Artisan needs to understand this, not because it's aesthetically important (which it is), nor because the way they show these films to the public represents a moral obligation to the film's makers (which it does), but because carelessness and disconcern, as a departmental policy, is a recipe for diminishing returns. You just don't make a success of a business by failing to treat a much loved product with care.
If Artisan has or will change hands, I trust the new management will implement such policies of care and skill with their classic product, and I will gladly support and praise such releases when they come. As I've said, the early classic releases from Artisan had a number of real gems among them, well presented. I don't know if we have Artisan or Republic to thank for that. But whatever the case, those releases can be named as a standard to which Artisan should continue to aspire, if not aspire to surpass.
*Update: for a sense of how good (and I maintain, in response to posts below this one, that it looks like a new DVD transfer, as Republic claimed at the time -- "remastered from the original negative" -- and much improved over the old fuzzy Republic laserdisc, which I also own), see the comparison on DVDBeaver between the Republic DVD and the Universal Region 2 version: It's a Wonderful Life. This is the sort of quality Artisan had at their fingertips when they took the reigns from Republic, and a quality to which I very much want to see them return, if not, as said above, improve upon.
All of this makes me pray for the time when the Republic catalog rights shift to Paramount, the owner of the films (but not the DVD rights...yet; Spelling/Republic wrote up a contract with Artisan just before Viacom bought them out)
Prediction for HTF's DVD awards next time 'round...
Worst Studio of the Year: Artisan
I just noticed that my DVD collection contains only two releases from them. It's A Wonderful Life is a laserdisc on a DVD (not bad...but a touch too much of digital mess) and Terminator 2: Ultimate Edition (ibid).
Artisan will be releasing a Laurel & Hardy DVD in August and I really hope they at least try to make it presentable. If not, I'll need everyone from here to help me "dismantle" their headquarters like L&H did in "Big Business."
New round of offers to buy Artisan fielded
7/14/2003 FROM VARIETY: Handful of initial bidders follow up with second proposals.
In more fun Artisan news, the Cuba Gooding Jr. epic Boat Trip is getting extras and an unrated version to boot. I realize that's a new release but....oh hell, why bother?
Largely because any Marvel offer would be heavily based on company stock, Allen is simultaneously mulling a cash-rich bid from a group led by film producer Stanley Jaffe and former USA Film prexy Scott Greenstein.>>>>>>
Heh, sounds like an 'Exec. get rich quick' scheme .
>>Artisan chief Amir Malin sits on a board overseeing the auction, and it's known he would prefer to keep current management intact.>>>
Of course, they all want to stick together and keep their jobs. Hopefully one of these new bidders that wants to change managment will put people who care about the product and quality of product they release, because judging from all these other notes here, the current managment dosn't...
Their new releases are generally quite good-- "The Limey," "Ghost Dog," "The Ninth Gate" and "Requiem For A Dream" are some of the best transfers around. It's their catalog product which is so problematic.