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Discussion in 'DVD' started by Chris, Dec 14, 2003.
Really solid article.
The NYT article has many mis represented facts.
Quote "Warner was, at first, a slow adapter; its early DVD's were disappointing in quantity, visual quality and bonus features."
Warner's was one of the first studio's to promotoe DVD, and has always released DVD's with high picture quality and some extras (even if just the trailer)
Quote "In February, MGM, once among the stodgiest of studios, is releasing DVD's of Ingmar Bergman's most harrowingly esoteric films"
MGM also has not been stodgy they seem to have released over a dozen films each month.
Quote "Unofficially, one executive said, they are preparing, for release in the next year or two, "Top Hat," "Meet Me in St. Louis," "Death in Venice," "The Damned" and several newly restored Chaplin films."
Both "Death in Venice" and "The Damned" have been announced for release next month.
It's sad though that (Quote) "the studios will sell 100 times more copies of a bad action film made three years ago than they'll sell of a great film that they've dug out of the archive."
Sounds like more bad or incorrect reporting from the New York Times.
Someone is remembering this far differently then I. I would almost absolutely agree with the assessment of early Warner titles.
When I received my first DVD Player, a Toshiba 3006, there were virtually -no- Warner titles. From 1997-1998, Warner titles were few, and the quality was, in general, pretty poor. Warner specialized in "flipper" discs (which I still have a trove of) that noticeably looked worse then their Laserdisc counterparts. Enough so that on this forum, in 1998, I managed to get into a bitter fight with Packy regarding whether or not the DVD format would survive because what I had seen of it was not very darn impressive, and a lot of others thought the same.
This isn't to say that other studios were releasing winners.. one of the first discs I owned was "Blade Runner" (still have) along with a few other choice titles.
But I think we are forgetting history to say that WB has been a super proponent from the beginning.
That having been said, a lot of your criticism is also valid, regarding releases. But I guess it depends upon the spectrum of film.
There are very few early DVDs I have that I don't wish they'd come out with a redone version.. (well, pardoning my first release of "Little Shop of Horrors" with the alternative ending
DVD has come a long way since the beginning, but NYT is correct, still a long way to go
Interesting, but it does sort of downplay the fact (although it does briefly make mention) that a hell of alot more work has to go in putting these older films on DVD than something that was made recently. Also sheds some light on the "Blade Runner" situation for those who don't know all about it. Sad to hear that Ridley was working on a 3-Disc edition but that it was shit-canned
Paramount holds the video rights to The African Queen with respect to R1 DVD.
Warner Bros. was one of the earliest proponents of DVD. The quality of some of those titles is debatable, but in terms of getting releases out the door, Warner Bros. led the way in terms of quantity, if not always quality.
MGM, Universal, and Columbia Tri-Star also produced titles in 1997, with Paramount, Fox, and Disney being the last studios to commit to the format. Columbia ( at that time ) probably had the consistently highest quality in terms of release to release with titles such as The Fifth Element and Starship Troopers being oft mentioned 'demo' titles. Warner Bros. was less consistent and while some of the their releases exhibited a digital 'haze' they also produced some fine titles within the first year of the format's release including Contact and L.A. Confidential.
You can debate the quality of Warner Bros.'s early releases all you want, but calling Warner Bros a 'slow adapter' is completely erroneous.
Well according to the NYTimes, the Blade Runner DVD was cancelled:
Does this section fall under the "three sources" rule? If so, then I suspect that we won't be seeing Blade Runner presently.
Wonderful to hear about the Marx Bros. and W.C. Fields comedies being worked on.
I will look through my first pickups, I do know that Contact was one of them But I'll check the receipts. I am not saying Time Warner was the slowest adopter (if I remember correctly, I would list Disney in that group)... I'll go through my flippers, but I was sure that discs like Pelican Brief, etc. were flipper discs..
Maybe history is tainting my memory That's about 6 DVD players and 4 TVs ago But, I will concede the point that the article is wrong, and my memory is in error.
But it is very telling to look back at the discs I picked up then, that year (like Long Kiss Goodnight, etc.) and compare them to the discs I can pick up now.. DVD has definitely come a long way.
Warner Bros. most definitely lead the charge in offering titles on DVD. They were the first studio to offer many of their DVDs with OAR anamorphic transfers. In fact Warner Bros. was releasing anamorphic DVDs over two years before Criterion (a company many consider the bench mark standard for quality DVDs). Many of Warner Bros. initial DVDs that were released in the spring of 1997 were anamorphic:
A Time to Kill
The Road Warrior
The Long Kiss Good Night
(and many more)
The other studios were far less enthusiastic about anamorphic video and offered very few 16x9 titles during the first couple years.
Warner Bros. also was the first studio to openly reject DIVX. (thank goodness)
While it is true that for a few years Warner Bros. seemed to have not kept up with the high profile 'Special Edition' releases like many of the other studios, but that appears to no longer be the case.
In fact it is my opinion that the highest quality DVD series available today is Warner Brother's 2-Disc Special Edition 'Book Series' DVDs
While I have never like Warner Bros' dreaded snapper cases, I would be foolish to consider for a moment that Warner Bros. has not been DVDs greatest ally and supporter and I would not want to think what my collection would be like without the influence Warner Bros. has had on the format.
Yep, you're correct. My bad. I looked back at many of my titles, which included Long Kiss, Cutthroat Island, and others and realized I'm wrong. I'm not sure who it is I'm thinking of.. I was thinking Warner because of the clapper cases, but I'm not sure at the moment.
So my copy of Duck Soup ebays for over $200.....hmmmmm....
*laugh* I know.. last summer, I almost sold my Little Shop for $200+.. it's amazing sometimes