Speed Racer on DVD!!! but pricey.

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Matt Krapf, Jul 17, 2002.

  1. Matt Krapf

    Matt Krapf Stunt Coordinator

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    How about these apples?!
    http://store.yahoo.com/wickedcoolstu...edracdvdc.html
    I'd buy them if the total package were $20 less per DVD.
    (read the page and you'll see the price)
    Can this mean that a full and proper US release is forthcoming?
    Jeff Kleist, you are most knowledgeable about animation and anime. Have you heard anything about Speed Racer?
     
  2. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    I got two LaserDiscs of Speed for like $5 each at a blowout sale. [​IMG] Kitchy as can be.
     
  3. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

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    This was discussed last January in this thread. Despite my note at the time that I'd "wait for the K-Mart release", I am not sure it will happen quickly.
    There is already a release called "Speed Racer The Movie" which is actually 3 episodes (2 of them a Part I and Part II of the same show), which is the only other DVD edition of Speed in R1.
    If TV-on-DVD continues to take off, I have no doubt that this will come to retail eventually. But quickly? I think that they will wait to sell off the last of their $250 Limited-Edition 1000-copy. At that price, it might take a while (it already has, hasn't it?).
    In the meantime, keep an eye on this space for listings of any new releases whatsoever for Speed Racer episodes!
     
  4. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    I agree that these will eventually hit retail. I also think it's overpriced. Any restoration has been done from 40 year old sources that are not from original negatives, and I severely doubt the effort has been put in like was done with Macross where original broadcast prints were lovingly restored over a 2 year period. That, coupled with the fact that it's cut and dubbed,AND 10 episodes are crammed on each DVD is ludicrous. I think they really overestimated how many people wanted this set at that price.

    Had they simply released subtitled versions of the exisisting excellent Mach Go Go! Japanese sets, then $250 would be quite reasonable given the Japanese SRP. As it is, I'd say that set should be no more than $99

    I do very much respect that a fan managed to get the set produced, and have to give him kudos
     
  5. Jeff Krispow

    Jeff Krispow Stunt Coordinator

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    Shortly after I learn of the existence of this Speed Racer DVD set, I discussed it with various other interested parties. As a result, I had actually arranged to provide freelance reviews of this set for some print media as well as some internet sources, including an interview. (Even though I'm "officially" retired, I still do the occasional freelance review or article.)
    I went ahead and tried to contact the creators of this DVD set to discuss the review/article opportunities, and to find out as much information as I could about the actual DVD and content. I assumed this would be easily accomplished, and something that would be of interest to these guys. So I wrote to them — several times over ~3 months — but I never received even a single response. Nada. Zip.
    Again, you would think that for a small group/company, they would be more than happy to provide something for interested parties, especially considering the added publicity they would be receiving with little expended effort on their part. Whatever, it's a bit too late now — the deadlines have all long since passed. Truthfully, I could get the reviews reassigned, but I won't do it since I assume I'll still get no response.
    I also decided not to take the chance of picking up the set myself. I was very much interested in this set, but due to the rather extreme cost, I wanted some "assurances" before forking over any money — I just couldn't see how packing 10-11 episodes per disc would provide an artifact-free image. And aside from the one guy here on the HTF who loved his set, every other mini-review I read said it was good content-wise, but of overall poor quality and having artifacts galore. Time to wait for an "official" wide DVD release.
    It's only partially the money — I have no problem handing $250 over to the folks at AnimEigo for their Macross, KOR or other sets, because I know I'll be getting a quality product — but I just can't do it for something packed together like digital sardines. I've waiting this long already (for a full home video release), so an extra couple of years is nothing. The Japanese set is really tempting, but my I've forgotten most of my Japanese over the past 20 years, so English subtitles are a must. But I'd be happy with the American versions, since that is what I grew up watching.
    Anyway, just in case you folks don't know, there is an alternative to the US boxes set — the "American" version of Speed Racer is currently being released in individual volumes down in Australia (Region 4 - PAL). Six volumes have been released to date, with two volumes being released every two months (more are coming...). They retail for AUD$29.95, which is ~US$16.00, but there are webstores that have them for less. Though it lacks the cool extras of the US set, I suspect these discs will be a bit better where it counts, in the transfer quality (4-5 episodes per disc, as opposed to 10-11). Then again, their source materials could be so poor that they make the US set look perfect by comparison. While I've heard small reports that the discs DO look fine, I've been Unfortunately, I've been unable to locate any actual reviews, so their quality is still up in the air. If anyone reading has any info, please let us know!
    Anyway, here's what I was able to uncover about these discs:
    Label:
    SIREN (Vol. 1-2)
    KALEIDOSCOPEFILM (Vol. 3-up)
    Disc Info:
    Speed Racer: Volume 1
    [​IMG]
    • Specs:
    • Catalog #SVE0067
    • 4:3 full screen
    • Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono: ENG
    • 110 min.
      Contains Episodes #1 - #4
    • "The Great Plan, Parts 1 & 2"
    • "Challenge of the Masked Racer, Parts 1 & 2"
      Extras:
    • Episode Synopsis
    Speed Racer: Volume 2
    [​IMG]
    • Specs:
    • Catalog #SVE0069
    • 4:3 full screen
    • Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono: ENG
    • 110 min.
      Contains Episodes #5 - #8
    • "The Secret Engine, Parts 1 & 2"
    • "The Race Against the Mammoth Car, Parts 1 & 2"
      Extras:
    • Episode Synopsis
    • Collectible Sticker
    Speed Racer: Volume 3
    [​IMG]
    • Specs:
    • Catalog #SVE0092
    • 4:3 full screen
    • Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono: ENG
    • 90 min.
      Contains Episodes #9 - #12
    • "The Most Dangerous Race, Parts 1, 2 & 3"
    • "Race for Revenge, Part 1"
      Extras:
    • None
    Speed Racer: Volume 4
    [​IMG]
    • Specs:
    • Catalog #SVE0093
    • 4:3 full screen
    • Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono: ENG
    • 90 min.
      Contains Episodes #13 - #16
    • "Race for Revenge, Part 2"
    • "The Desperate Desert Race, Parts 1 & 2"
    • "The Fire Race, Part 1"
      Extras:
    • Free Stickers
    Speed Racer: Volume 5
    no image yet (just released on June 25)
    • Specs:
    • Catalog #SVE0121
    • 4:3 full screen
    • Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono: ENG
    • 115 min.
      Contains Episodes #17 - #21
    • "The Fire Race, Part 2"
    • "The Girl Daredevil, Parts 1 & 2"
    • "The Fastest Car on Earth, Parts 1 & 2"
      Extras:
    • Free Stickers
    Speed Racer: Volume 6
    no image yet (just released on June 25)
    • Specs:
    • Catalog #SVE0122
    • 4:3 full screen
    • Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo: ENG
    • 115 min.
      Contains Episodes #22 - #26
    • "The Mach 5 vs. The Mach 5, Parts 1 & 2"
    • "The Royal Racer, Parts 1 & 2"
    • "The Car Hater"
      Extras:
    • Free Stickers
    Judging from these discs, there should be six more disc sets to complete the series. Also, I am not positive about the audio specs — some sites list it as mono, others as stereo. But it looks like they are all actually Dolby Digital 2.0 mono (and listed as stereo only because the mono signal is split to 2 channels).
    Well, that's it for now. If you gotta have Speed Racer right now, you have two choices. Lack of communication notwithstanding, I also have to say that I admire the fan who produced the US set without full studio support. I just wish that they paid more attention towards creation of a "quality" set, rather than trying to save production & pressing costs by compressing the hell out of everything to fit into the least amount of space/discs. I wish the price were cut in half, or that the episodes were at least spread across twice the discs, or both. But I also believe that a better set will eventually show its face here. It's just too popular a series — cult, pop status, whatever — to be released only in such a small, limited edition run.
    I suspect we'll see Rhino or a similar label do a regular release, with a (hopefully) proper restoration. Actuallym look at what Rhino is doing with Battle of the Planets — the discs have the original Japanese version, the original American release + a later US re-edited version. (Of course, the overall quality of most of those BOTP episodes leaves much to be desired, but we are at the mercy of the poor source materials.) But that's precisely the way I'd like to see Speed Racer, in its original Japanese version + the American re-edit. Well, here's hoping...!
     
  6. Chris Dugger

    Chris Dugger Supporting Actor

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    For those who want the skinny.....

    here it is again...

    SPEED RACER - SIGNATURE COLLECTIBLE EDITION - Region 1

    5 discs in keep cases housed in a flimsy cardboard hub.

    Disc 1 - Dual sided - contains 11 episodes approx. 24 minutes each. Dolby Digital (L/R) English Mono - No Subtitles - 4:3 ratio - No extras

    Disc 2 - Dual sided - contains 10 episodes approx. 24 minutes each. Dolby Digital (L/R) English Mono - No Subtitles - 4:3 ratio - Extras: VW TV Commercial / Sponge Music Video / The Mach 5 / Racer X

    Disc 3 - Dual sided - contains 11 episodes approx. 24 minutes each. Dolby Digital (L/R) English Mono - No Subtitles - 4:3 ratio - No extras

    Disc 4 - Dual sided - contains 10 episodes approx. 24 minutes each. Dolby Digital (L/R) English Mono - No Subtitles - 4:3 ratio - Extras: Interview with Peter Fernandez

    Disc 5 - Dual sided - contains 10 episodes approx. 24 minutes each. Dolby Digital (L/R) English Mono - No Subtitles - 4:3 ratio - Extras: "The Silver Phantom" Speed Racer 2001 Pilot Episode

    EXTRAS -
    VW TV Commercial - This is a commercial for a VW auto geared around SPEED and the gang. Commercial is in excellent shape yet a tad grainy (compression?).

    Sponge "SPEED RACER" music video - This is the music video that was produced for the laserdisc "SATURDAY MORNING CARTOONS GREATEST HITS" w/ Drew Barrymore. Quality is comparable to that of the laserdisc .

    The Mach 5 - Video with a breakdown of the secrets of the Mach 5 using SPEED RACER video footage.

    Racer "X" - Music video compilation of episode footage highlighting Racer "X"

    Interview w/ Peter Fernandez: This interview was conducted in 2001. Anyone that knows SPEED RACER should know that Fernandez was the one assigned to write the scripts and dialogue for the english translation of SPEED RACER. Interesting interview.

    "The Silver Phantom": SPEED RACER 2001 pilot - Although this pilot was made in 97 for a new SPEED series, it didn't make it to the USA until 2001. It is present here in it's entirety.

    VIDEO -
    Well, prints are excellent. From the couple of episodes I have seen, these must have been taken from the elements. Colors are excellent, yet the image suffers from being a tad soft. This soft presentation does NOT appear in the "pilot" episode for the new SPEED series. the pilot ep is sharp. Artifacts are present, yet were not distracting to me. This is certainly caused by the compression to get 11 - 10 episodes per dual layer disc.

    AUDIO -
    This is presented in Dolby Digital Mono (left channel / right channel). My decoder did not center the mono signal to the center. It outputs to left and right. Audio was clean and clear.

    Test was done on a Malata 996 Progressive player to a Mit 65 16x9 HDTV.
     
  7. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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