Nostalgia for the heroic years of DVD

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Juan C, Jun 3, 2005.

  1. Juan C

    Juan C Second Unit

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    I think the release of the Star Wars original trilogy (flawed as it was) marked the end of a shaky but charming time for many DVD enthusiasts and movie lovers.

    For a time, it really seemed a lot ot titles were never being released. I remember reading about all the problems, legal and otherwise, blocking the release of titles such as Back to the Future, Saturday Night Fever, Koyaanisqatsi, ET, Once upon a Time in America, the Indiana Jones trilogy, Northern Exposure, Red Dwarf, Millennium... The list is endless. Indeed, many of them were often labeled as 'not gonna happen.'

    I remember frantically checking myriad DVD sites daily for announcements and rumours.

    Now, it's settled into a more 'normal' stage. Yes, there are still titles missing (such as Branagh's Hamlet or Blade Runner theatrical cut), as well as new titles, and rereleases (I was pleasantly surprised by the Rumble Fish SE) but the thrill is more or less gone.

    What now? Do it all over again with hi-def DVD? Insanely expand my collection? Or just watch some movies?
     
  2. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    How about watching (and enjoying) the DVDs you already have while waiting patiently for whatever it is that presents itself in the high-def format (whether HD DVD, Blu-ray, or a combination of those two)?
     
  3. Amy Mormino

    Amy Mormino Supporting Actor

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    I must agree that DVD collecting is somewhat less fun and exciting than it used to be. It used to be that every year would top the previous one in highly anticipated titles. But this year will probably be a let-down from the highs of 2004.

    I am even a little nostalgic for the heated battles over issues like DIVX and aspect ratios that used to rage. Oh, there are still a few pan and scan-related controversies, but the battle is (thankfully) largely won.

    But there are still some great DVDs coming out, especially if you love classic movies and TV series. And I imagine HD-DVD will provide the needed excitement pretty soon.
     
  4. John Stell

    John Stell Supporting Actor

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    If you're a classic film lover I think 2005 is looking to top 2004. So far released/announced:

    Warner's Gangsters Collection
    Fox Film Noir Series begins
    Joan Crawford, John Wayne, and Doris Day box sets
    2 New Bette Davis releases (The Star and Mr. Skeffington)
    Warner's From Broadway to Hollywood Musical Collection
    Warner's Classic Comedies Collection
    Erroll Flynn Collection
    Thin Man Collection
    Warner's Film Noir Vol 2
    Astaire & Rogers Vol 1
    Greta Garbo Signature Collection
    East of Eden & Rebel Without A Cause 2-disc sets
    Gary Cooper Collection
    Controversial Classics Collection
    Heaven Can Wait (1943)
    Unfaithfully Yours (1948)
    Fox Westerns (In Old Arizona, Broken Lance, etc.)

    Coming

    King Kong (1933)
    Bela Lugosi Collection from Universal featuring 4 pairings with Boris Karloff
    Val Lewton Collection
    Looney Tunes Vol 3
    The Nun's Story (per Warners chat)

    I'm sure I've forgotten a few. And this doesn't even get into television shows (Miami Vice, Moonlighting, Remington Steele, Murder She Wrote, Kolchak: The Night Stalker, Rocky & Bullwinkle Season 3).

    DVD still has it as far as I'm concerned.
     
  5. Alistair_M

    Alistair_M Second Unit

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    I must admit a fair chunk of the fun has gone out of collecting dvds.

    For me personnally this comes down to:

    1. Not that many must-haves to buy now
    2. After you've seen as many making ofs as we have..you've basically heard it all before. So it takes a lot to really enjoy the latest docs on dvds.
    3. Most deleted scenes were in fact deleted for a very good purpose..they were'nt very good!
    4. Little innovation in dvd presentation.
    5. All the nonsense that comes with dvds eg copyright logos, forced trailers, meandering menus that bore
    6. Cut backs in packaging - no nice inserts anymore.
    7. I really miss Warners 2 disk digipacks - they looked fantatic and stylish.
    8. Too many modern movies have only ok transfers - I'm beginning to think they are trying to release so-so transfers on purpose so that high def will look better.
    9. Although I a look for the best special features - I only actually see some of them. I've only heard maybe 10% of the commentaries of the dvds I own (over 400).

    Still there are a few dvds that I AM looking forward to: Titanic 4 disk, Gladiator 3 disk.... and thats about it.

    I'm buying much much less that I used to. I used to buy 8-10 a month.. now its 2-3 a month.
     
  6. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    Why would I long for the days when movies I wanted weren't available on DVD? The more titles available, the better. I guess some of the 'excitement' of waiting for big catalogue titles is gone but it's replaced with the abaility to actually watch those titles.
     
  7. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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    Yeah, I actually think things are improving for fans of classic titles. Just this week I was able to pick up the WB James Dean and Steve McQueen releases along with Universal's Gary Cooper Franchise Collection, next week brings more Fox noirs and a set of Peter Sellers releases from MGM, the week after that brings Joan Crawford and Bette Davis Collections along with a Criterion Lubitsch...

    Regards,
     
  8. JohnMor

    JohnMor Producer

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    Yeah, that's how I feel right now. So far, 2005 is my top DVD year by a WIDE margin. I've never looked forward to so many "must haves" before. And the announcements just seem to keep on coming.
     
  9. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    Star Wars may have been the most anticipated release on DVD, but the fact remains...

    There's still a lot of very popular, very important, and very anticipated films not on DVD yet. King Kong, Double Indemnity, The Jazz Singer, Wuthering Heights, and The African Queen are the last five AFI 100 films to be released. Wings (1927), Cimmaron (1931), and Cavalcade (1933) are the only three Best Picture winners not on DVD (plus Sunrise [1927] which is OOP and wasn't even for sale except as a promo item).

    And there's quite a lot of AFI 100 and Best Picture winners with mediocre DVD's. Just for starters, there's All Quiet on the Western Front, The Sting, The Apartment, Midnight Cowboy, Annie Hall, The Deer Hunter, The Last Emperor, The Graduate, The Wild Bunch, Stagecoach, and A Streetcar Named Desire.

    And there's the silents owned by Warner Bros. and Paramount. Warner owns The Big Parade (coming soon), The Crowd, Greed, The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1921), The Wind, He Who Gets Slapped, and plenty of Lon Chaney films (most notably, The Unholy Three [1925 and 1930], Tell It to the Marines, and He Who Gets Slapped). Paramount owns Wings, Docks of New York (von Sternberg), The Last Command (von Sternberg), The Covered Wagon (James Cruze), The Wedding March (von Stroheim), Underworld (von Sternberg), Running Wild (W.C. Fields), and The Ten Commandments (1923, DeMille). Fox also has Seventh Heaven (1927, starring Janet Gaynor) and possibly The Iron Horse (1924, John Ford).

    There's plenty of foreign silents unavailible like Napoleon (1927, Abel Gance), Pandora's Box (1928, Pabst), and quality editions of Eisenstein films.

    At least we're finally getting Harold Lloyd, a trio of Greta Garbo silents, and Ben-Hur (1925) by the end of the year. Next year, we'll probably get more Lon Chaney and The Big Parade from Warner Bros.
     
  10. Paul_Scott

    Paul_Scott Lead Actor

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    that's what i fully expect too Amy.
    i'm still going thru (GREAT)product i picked up in '04 and haven't watched yet- and , despite some nice releases this year, my buying habits have gone way down.
    it's been 1/3 conscious effort to try to save money
    1/3 less material i'm interested in released,
    and 1/3 increased rentals,
    so this is probably the least amount of movies i bought in the last 5 yrs...maybe even since i got into dvd. and what's more, i'm finding i can do just fine without all the compulsive collecting- though God help me if DDD has a summer sale.

    no doubt about it, '04 filled in some major holes in my collection.
    the future is just going to be spackling cracks in comparision.
     
  11. Lars Vermundsberget

    Lars Vermundsberget Supporting Actor

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    "Star Wars" this or that doesn't really make much difference to me, though I understand it does to others. I'm a classics guy myself and the way I see it there are lots of interesting releases available that I have not yet bought and there seems to be more to come, so I don't complain.
     
  12. Nathan Phillips

    Nathan Phillips Stunt Coordinator

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    Get Smart, Lifeboat, the early obscure Hitchcocks not out yet, The Chocolate War, the Peanuts movies, The Crowd, Modern Romance, High Anxiety, The Wind, The Phantom Tollbooth, The Compleat Beatles, Soderbergh's King of the Hill, Tuck Everlasting ('80), and rereleases of The Paradine Case, Help!, and Double Indemnity are all a hell of a lot more important to me than Star Wars. But that's just me. I'm still eager for new announcements and I'm sure I will continue to be.
     
  13. Russell G

    Russell G Fake Shemp

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    I agree, that most of the popular must haves have apeared in excellent editions on DVD, but this year is looking to be the best!

    With all the mainstream favorites out of the way, Studios are staring to dig deep into there catalogs and are mining nothin but gold. Honestly, the amount of "current" releases on my must have list are dwindling with all of the classic releases that Warners and Fox are putting out, and with worhtwhile re-releases like "The Fly SE" and "Gladiator 3 disc", it just keeps getting better.

    I'm sure I'm in the minority here, but I just can't seem to get too excited about Hi-Def. With the majority of the DVDs representing a film like image, and many already haveing extensive special features, I don't see the point of re-purchasing 90% of my collection, particullarly on the classic titles.
     
  14. Thomas T

    Thomas T Producer

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    Are you kidding? I'm with John Stell and Lars! I suppose if you're of the mainstream blockbuster mentality (Stars Wars, Indiana Jones, Lord Of The Rings, Back To The Future etc.), DVD is pretty much over for you guys until you can buy them all over again on HD. For we classic movie lovers, however, we are drooling at each new announcement for some Golden Age gem or the newest Criterion announcement.
     
  15. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    As far as I'm concerned, Star Wars still isn't out.
     
  16. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Producer

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    I suppose that if one's main interest lay in mainstream, prestigious American movies, then there might not be that many 'top grade' films to look forward to. Fortunately, I am not in that position, as my interest lies in Cinema, in general from the pioneering silent days, through German Expressionism, early American sound, Film Noir, Neo-Realism, Avant Garde shorts, French New Wave, New German Cinema, Czech Cinema, Latin American filmmaking, obscure documentaries, and on and on, right up to today's mainstream and fringe Cinema from all over this feverishly creative World!
     
  17. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    Double Indemnity has been on a DVD for a couple of years now.

    I much prefer availability of whatever I want to the "excitement" of waiting for stuff.

    I have many movies purchased from those "exciting days" that I haven't watched them once since the initial screening.

    Not happening with HD/Blu-Ray. I will get one or two demo discs, and that's it. The rest will be movies I actually want to own.

    --
    H
     
  18. Todd Robertson

    Todd Robertson Second Unit

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    I'm so happy you don't speak for me! You make it sound so depressing. Then I look at my list of dvds needed....and I already own 2,000 titles...and I still see a few hundred films that I prefer more than Star Wars...that are still below the radar and not yet scheduled for release. The best, for me, is yet to come.
     
  19. Nathan Phillips

    Nathan Phillips Stunt Coordinator

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    Yes, but try finding it.
     
  20. Juan C

    Juan C Second Unit

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    I admit there was a little hyperbole in my original post. But only a little.

    Maybe I wasn't clear enough. Personally, as a collector, the release of Star Wars wasn't more important than, say, that of Preminger's Laura (hell, I don't even own SW if only for purist reasons). But for the collector scene it was a milestone.

    Gordon, I like non-mainstream cinema too. And I'll be happy when/if I get Ace in the Hole and O Lucky Man! . By the way you can still buy Sunrise, as a part of the "Best Picture Collection".

    I partly agree with Holadem. I watch about 2 movies a week. Usually one of them is part of my collection, and the other is a rental. So, for example, even if I love Rumble Fish, I haven't even had the chance to rewatch it since I bought it in December 2003. Time to do a double-dip? Maybe not.
     

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