Robert Harris on The Bits - 3/24/05 column - OFFICIAL THREAD

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Bill Hunt, Mar 24, 2005.

  1. Bill Hunt

    Bill Hunt Insider
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    Afternoon everyone! The Digital Bits is very pleased to present you with Robert Harris' first new Yellow Layer Failure column of 2005! In this edition, Robert talks about the growing trend of studios to re-release the same films again and again on DVD, he takes a look at what's happening with the format as a whole in this first quarter of 2005, he addresses box set pricing "madness", he offers a few words on the restoration efforts of Roger Mayer, he conducts a follow-up interview with Columbia Picture's Grover Crisp and more. As always, his column is well worth a read, so we hope you enjoy it. Here's the link:

    Robert Harris' latest Yellow Layer Failure column

    Click on the link to read Robert's comments and then come on back here to this official thread at the HTF to discuss, give feedback, ask questions of Robert and sound off as you will. Best!
     
  2. AlexCosmo

    AlexCosmo Stunt Coordinator

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    This Major Dundee restoration is really fascinating to me. I wonder if the narration has been removed or reduced? I think I read that it too was added after Peckinpah was fired, as a band-aid to explain the holes that had been created by the cutting.
     
  3. Steve...O

    Steve...O Producer

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    Great, great article. Thank you.

    I was especially glad to get some confirmation about the "Thin Man Collection"; especially the bonus disc. Hopefully this set will be a success so that Warners can justify digging into their vaults and releasing some of the other great series films of the 30s and 40s.

    Steve
     
  4. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Robert,
    There is no controversy, but consumers like myself, who make a lot of dvd purchases need to remain cognizant of Warner's marketing strategy. My days of buying just about all of Warner's catalogue titles without regard are now over because I want to remain an astute consumer and will therefore make my future dvd purchases in a sensible economical manner with a constant eye towards possible future Warner boxset releases. This is not a complaint, but simply a statement of fact regarding my future dvd purchasing activity.

    In closing, I'm very excited about the fine work Warner and some of the other studios are doing with their film catalogues. Like you, I am also a little perturb about dvd releases that are not properly released with anamorphic presentations. It's 2005, not 1997!





    Crawdaddy
     
  5. Stephen_J_H

    Stephen_J_H All Things Film Junkie

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    I want to thank you for addressing the 'Major Dundee' rescoring issue with Sony's Grover Crisp. It's nice to know that I can count on you to deliver an unbiased and thoughtful exploration of the issues surrounding such a change, and is one of many reasons why I will continue to read your column. As a student of film music and law, I feel you touched on all the important points. Thanks again.
     
  6. Peter Apruzzese

    Peter Apruzzese Producer

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    An excellent piece - curious, though, why THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY was not given a recommendation? I thought it looked wonderful.
     
  7. Jeff Willis

    Jeff Willis Producer

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    Ditto. Steve [​IMG] I've e-mailed Barrie M (at the "Bits") about some of the Warner 30's/40's films that aren't yet out on DVD. I'm waiting for a few, for sure. Although I did buy the 1st Thin Man DVD I'll be getting that Thin Man set for sure [​IMG] I just have to find someone that wants the 1st Thin Man DVD for a present [​IMG]

    Great article as always at "the Bits" by Robert Harris. Being a relative newcomer to the 'net at home (having had it for many years at work for business use only), I'm in "Heaven" with these incredible DVD sites such as the "Bits" and Gord/Dave L's site TSoD. They steered me to HTF and....well....it's a blast participating on this forum [​IMG] I'm mainly a TV/DVD collector so most of my posts are on that forum. I don't get too many movies on DVD these days because most of what I'd buy isn't (yet?) available. btw, Robert Harris, I'm a big "NY, NY" fan myself. I haven't viewed it yet; just arrived in the mail. I read your info on the 1.66:1 notes. Oh well, since I've been waiting for that one on DVD for a long time I'm happy to add it to my collection :b

    Ditto on the "anniversary re-releases" topic. I don't usually buy these since I already have the original releases of the ones that I'd have bought anyway. One that I did preorder this week is the "Apollo 13" re-release since I hadn't bought it in DVD format previously (I had it in the Laserdisc format years ago.)

    Thanks, Bill H and the rest of the gang at "The Bits" for a super [​IMG] DVD site!
     
  8. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    Amen. Considering that the story of the travesty of what happened with this film gets mentioned almost anytime it's brought up anymore, the work the Columbia folks are doing to minimize the damage and get the best possible version that we can get is utterly incredible. It may very well be one of the great stories of film restoration this year.

    EDIT: Fixed brain fart from resolution to restoration.
     
  9. Simon Howson

    Simon Howson Screenwriter

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    I totally agree with this. It seems to me that efforts like this are what high quality consumer video formats should be for. Recovering a film, and re-presenting it for new viewers, while at the same time protecting the film element for generations to come.

    Although I am a Peckinpah fan, I have never seen Major Dundee. The effort Columbia have gone to for this title is enough to make me blind buy this one just to support the effort (and financial commitment) they have made to correct the wrong decisions made in the past.
     
  10. oscar_merkx

    oscar_merkx Lead Actor

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    I am so thrilled about Major Dundee and its history.

    A fascinating interview as well

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Reagan

    Reagan Supporting Actor

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    Another great column. The explanation of Bromide Drag explains a lot. Thanks, Robert.

    If you haven't seen the new release of the original Twilight Zone series, the work that Image did on it is impressive (to me, at least). DvdBeaver did a comparison and the differences between the previous releases (which look like a TV show) and the new (which look like a B&W film at the theater) are substantial.

    -Reagan
     
  12. Adam_S

    Adam_S Producer

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    I was at the Nuart last night and caught the trailer for the Major Dundee extended version, the film looks beautiful, a bit cheesy, but I definitely will try to catch it.

    Adam
     
  13. Brian PB

    Brian PB Supporting Actor

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    Excellent column, as usual. There appears to be an error on Page 2:

    According to Warner's Press Release, Lady of the Lake is not included in this set, and Point Blank is to be released only as a stand-alone.
     
  14. Chris Cheese

    Chris Cheese Stunt Coordinator

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    I was wondering about this as well. Is there something we haven't heard yet, or is this just a mistake? Also it probably would have been worth noting that Point Blank is a standalone release, and isn't part of the film noir box set.
     
  15. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Also, I can't find any alternate ending to "Laura" on the dvd.





    Crawdaddy
     
  16. Chris Cheese

    Chris Cheese Stunt Coordinator

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    I wonder if he got Laura and the Letter confused, as the latter does have an alternate ending sequence.
     
  17. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Several points may have become confused in this column, as it had to be modified a number of times as new information became available and other info became "stale."

    A couple of point offered by Mr. Crisp re: Major Dundee...

    There is this persistent belief that the 'narration' in Dundee by the bugler Ryan is something that was added to make up for the shorter cut release version. *Many people think it should be removed. *However, the narration was always part of the film - it is in the shooting script and was always meant to be the storyline facilitator. *In fact, there is a little more narration in the extended version. *(Actually, since Ryan is seen throughout the film writing in his diary, I can't imagine why people think this idea was added later!)

    There was no attempt to create a 'modern' music score. *The whole idea was to create one that would have been authentic not only to the genre and Peckinpah, but also to the period in which the film was made. *No electronics, but a full 35 piece orchestra, and we even recorded it in a traditional LCR stereo fromat, which was common to the time. *So, when we did the 5.1 remix, it was like taking a stereo soundtrack from the '60s and creating the 5.1 and being somewhat modest in approach out of respect for the period. *I didn't want it to sound like a 2005 mix. *

    Since some people live here in LA and are thinking of coming to the Nuart, please let them know about the premiere event, which is now confirmed with Leonard Maltin hosting. *It is a good cause. *A link to that is here:

    http://www.amianet.org/events/screening.html
     
  18. Bill Hunt

    Bill Hunt Insider
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    Very kind you to say, Jeff. We surely do appreciate having such great readers as yourself. Makes it all worthwhile.

    Best to all of you and have a great holiday weekend!
     
  19. RafaelPires

    RafaelPires Second Unit

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    Since it was said in the column that Dancing Lady is being restored, possibly fo a Gable box set, I can assume there will be no Crawford/Gable signature collection, that I've been waiting for.
    So anyone has any clue about the titles that would be part of this Gable collection? I want so many of his movies on dvd that is hard for me to think of a list that would fit only one box set: Red Dust, Manhattan Melodrama, Chained, Forsaking all others, China Seas, Love on the Run, San Francisco, Test Pilot, Idiot's Delight, Strange Cargo, Boom Town, Comrade X, Honky Tonk, Somewhere I'll Find You, Adventure, Command Decision, the Hucksters, Mogambo...and of course, the already mentioned Dancing Lady.
     
  20. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Please keep in mind, that although it appears that the market is being inundated with classic boxed sets, we are merely hitting the tip of the iceberg.

    For each classic film, and where they exist, the studio must return to the Oneg, create a new fine grain master via wet gate, do whatever fixes are necessary, and only then move forward to a transfer. The creation of all the necessary elements plus transfer can easily hit a six figure number per title. It is not technically possible to achieve a huge release of Gable (or other) titles in a single set. If half a dozen of the films make it through restoration and transfer in an annual period, that would be major. In regard to the above list, I would bet that whenever Mogambo or Red Dust appears, it would share a disc with the other, as one of the short list of re-makes with at least one production person (in this case, Mr. Gable) involved in both.

    RAH
     

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