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The Last Emperor - why not released?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Eric Huffstutler, Jan 17, 2006.

  1. Eric Huffstutler

    Eric Huffstutler Screenwriter

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    I know, there was an inferior quality issue by Artisan which is now OOP and fetching big bucks. But since Lion's Gate now owns the company, why haven't they re-released a decent transfer of this Academy Award winner?
     
  2. Michael Osadciw

    Michael Osadciw Screenwriter

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    I think Lion's Gate will sell many on Blu-Ray...this should be one of their first titles out the door on that format!

    Mike
     
  3. Joel Vardy

    Joel Vardy Supporting Actor

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    Though a Blu-Ray version would be welcome I too am puzzled that this great film is still not available in a decent transfer for R1. Will every request for an acceptable DVD releases be replied with a 'wait for the HD release' reply for now on? I hope not. I'm sure it would be a decent seller, even with the standard definition, now that the old version is OOP...

    I don't believe the vast majority of us are itching to go get a $1200 player just to be a able to brag that we were early adopters of an incremental new technology. Before anyone 'flames me' I consider the move from VHS/LD to DVD a much more significant step change than the DVD to BR or HD moves. Unlike the DVD upgrade I for one will be waiting for second generation sub $1000 players to be available before considering the 'plunge'.

    Joel
     
  4. Eric Huffstutler

    Eric Huffstutler Screenwriter

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    I'm with you Joel. I am not going to chuck in the trash over 1,000 DVDs I've invested in just to replace them with HD ones and not going to buy (like you said) early players just to be the first on the block to have one. I'll wait for the technology to progress and when players come down to the $100 range, then I may purchase one but until they street, catch on, and become the norm... MANY people will still purchase the standard DVDs as I will and why wait years to release a HD movie when a standard one will do just fine. Also, I doubt studios will paint themselves into a corner early in the game with ONLY offering a title in HD when there are plenty of John Doe's who have regular players like myself that may not have the money to buy the latest player but would still like to buy the movie!
     
  5. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    Eric,

    when you say "Standard one will do just fine" do you mean for the masses or for you personally?

    Trust me...when we're talking scope 2.35:1 titles with cinematography like The Last Emperor, Standard-def isn't "just fine" when a 1080P version could have been purchased instead!

    I'm totally cool with folks waiting to spend $$ on a Blu-ray player...but if someone chooses to wait...they should also consider slowing down their SD-DVD purchasing so they invest wisely in "movies that really won't look much better in HD anyway" so they don't end up double dipping or worse...trying to tolerate the standard-def version years later on their new HD gear because they want to maximize the investment and they'd feel guilty buying again.

    Of course, there is always ebay and used sales at amazon...and since like you say "standard dvd is just fine" (for most folks) there should always be a market to siphon off your old SD-DVDs when you want to upgrade to new HD titles and spend as little cash out-right to do it.

    p.s. I have the 16x9 Korean DVD (legal copy) of this film. It's tinted somewhat yellow and has a pretty soft picture, but it's LIGHT YEARS better than the horrid (I mean horrid) 4x3 lbx R1 DVD that was released several years back. The Korean set also contains 2 versions of the film...theatrical and extended.
     
  6. walter o

    walter o Supporting Actor

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    This title derseves a Criterion touch, instead of whatever Lions Gate got planned.

    By the way, did many of you prefered the theatrical cut over the longer directors cut? I liked the longer cut, but many of my friends considered the longer cut too "lethargic" and prefered the theatrical cut.
     
  7. Eric Huffstutler

    Eric Huffstutler Screenwriter

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    DaVID...

    I believe what I was saying about being "just fine" is that for us who don't have high-end equipment but a $30 player on a 20" TV buying DVDs on sale - that a non HD release would be just fine with us [​IMG]

    And I think it will take years to phase in HD players as the market is saturated with non HD discs for almost the past 10 years, it won't happen overnight. And with any new technology, will take some time to catch on and lower the price point to a level where average Wal-Mart shoppers will buy a Blu-ray player. I'm not arguing the advantages of it, only the fact that most DVDs are bought by casual interest buyers and not aficionados and that is where the equipment vendors need to focus on. In the mean time, why make those casual buyers wait on titles, especially ones that have been previously released?

    Eric
     
  8. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    Eric,

    all makes sense. I just usually think of "those of us with $30 DVD players and 20" TVs" as "them" out there and "those of us who are excited about upgrading to HD, even if we can't afford to go the whole nine yards right now" as "us" at HTF. Yes I know that some HTF memebers have 20" 4x3 TVs...but I would assume that just like when I had a 20" TV myself...that they are excited about the possibility to upgrade as soon as they can afford (unlike the happy masses which may be quite content with their 20" set forever and ever).

    I'm totally with you that a DVD should be out right now. My only point is that for any HT-conscious consumer (like HTF members), a film like this really will benefit them greatly in HD...if and when it is finally made available.
     
  9. Joel Vardy

    Joel Vardy Supporting Actor

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    Eric, David,

    My 'rant' about the obsession to immediately change all our buying behavior to dive into the Blue-Ray bandwagon is not intended to represent the $30 player 20" set crowd. I'm a relatively early adopter with several DVD players, including the legendary Sony 7000, which was a stellar high end option in its day. When I made the DVD plunge I included the award-winning 36" Sony XBR (around year 2000). Since then I've upgraded to a 55" Mits Widescreen HDTV and progressive scan player, a couple of portable high-end units and my current Sony multi-disc and region free (bought at bargain basement price but tricked into being able to play non R1 discs) players. I now can burn my own DVD's including being able to back them up. Since my early days of HI-FI equipment in the early 70's I'm surely not the Wal-Mart target. I've been receiving High Def for several years and have replaced my original Mits HD Directv receiver with the Hughes 250 DVR, capable of recording Hi Def programs form Directv broadcasts and transferring them to lower def S-VHS, at this time. My original argument was that each of these upgrades was a 'significant one' in terms of PQ and sometimes AQ (currently running over a Denon hi-end receiver driving a couple of subwoofers [12" and 10"] and hi-end 5.1 speakers).

    My concern is that Blue-Ray is being 'rushed to market', prompted by the HD-DVD/BLUE-RAY controversy and I'm not going to pay the price of admission (at least in the beginning). Even though I'm well past a 1800 disc collection I'm not trying to only protect my collection but continue to build on it since old non-anamorphic discs still have a market and can be handled on ebay, amazon or as gifts to other family members/friends. I'm particularly eager to replace 3 titles that are less than stellar in their current incarnation for R1:

    1) The Last Emperor
    2) Double Indemnity
    3) The African Queen (currently available as a marginal R2 version)

    Since I have plenty to occupy me in the meantime, I would be, non-the-less, very pleased to see these 3 titles get their much deserved dues without waiting for the messianic Blue Ray version to eventually come to pass (don't hold your breath for the next couple of years). A good standard definition 520 version of these 3 award-winning films will be well worth the investment, IMHO.

    Joel
     
  10. Anthony Thorne

    Anthony Thorne Supporting Actor

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    There was word 3 or 4 years back that once of the folks involved in some of David Lynch's DVD's - Mark Rance? (can't remember) - had been hired to work on an SE of THE LAST EMPEROR. The Dugpa site had an interview where he mentioned it as an upcoming project. That was a long while ago and I've heard nothing since. I'd like to see a good 16x9 of the extended cut get a release as I'm not going to bother with HD-DVD or Blu-Ray for at least another 4 years or so until large screen LCD's drop in price down here in Australia, (or I move into a larger place where a projection system becomes viable). I'll likely be Blu-Ray equipped (via a Playstation 3) long before I get the chance to play HD at home, so regular 16x9 will suit me fine for now.
     
  11. James Luckard

    James Luckard Stunt Coordinator

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    The British DVD is an SE. It has both the theatrical and director's cuts. (Though the image quality on the director's cut is as bad as the hideous Artisan disc.)

    It also has a Bertolucci commentary on the theatrical cut, which is my preferred version, the longer version adds almost no narrative, only endless vistas which slow down every scene. As it's the version for which he chose to record the commentary, and it's the version which won so many Oscars, including Picture and Editing, I think it's the best.

    In addition, there is the hour long episode of The South Bank show from 1987 about the film's production, which functions as a making-of piece. Finally, there is a piece, about twenty minutes long, showing Bertolucci's home videos from his location scouting trip to China, with optional commentary. Highly recommended.
     

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