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Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by DeWilson, Mar 13, 2013.
DAMN IT!!! Well, I love The Lone Ranger so I'll still pick it up but I'm upset!!
Edited? How *bleep* Pathetic that is - I'm sick of how THE LONE RANGER has been mishandled since Wrather sold it!
A true American Icon pissed on by current owners.
Along with others, upset that this is possibly edited syndication versions, you would think with the effort and price point that this was marketed at that it would have been the original episodes as originally intended. The fact that Classic Media has these properties but there best releases have been thru Shout should say something.
And as others have mentioned in this thread, would defiantly love to see a release of Sargent Preston of the Yukon, but considering that from the start, it was shot on film and in eye-popping color, would love to see it get an HD release!
And if the little series with the dawg makes it for a release, it damn well better not be cut.
Sgt Preston was released on DVD twice. First all three seasons by Critics Choice , and than the first two seasons by Infinity. Season 3 had some badly damaged episoes in the Critics Choice release. Great show though, which desreves wider distribution .
It's worth noting that from the TVSHOWONDVD article, it was about 23 minutes long on the sample disks they were sent. It may be tha at least some of the shows are full length. I'm going to wait for the reviews, but I will eventually buy this anyway because I doubt we'll ever see a better release.
My Collectors' Edition set arrived a bit ago from Amazon.
At first glance, the book is indeed the size of a coffee table book and won't fit on a bookshelf/media shelf. It has a nice slipcase with a glue-tabbed label on one side advertising all of the contents (it also mentions "Over 92 hours of Original Lone Ranger" and 221 episodes/30 DVDs plus the 2 movies). The thing is quite heavy to boot.
More to come later this evening after I've had a chance to go through the book, the collectibles and a few of the episodes (and the movies).
OK, I've had a chance to look at some of the discs, their running times, and the other contents of the set, and here's how it breaks down:
The Discs Themselves: Each season's discs are color-coded with new disc artwork, and these have new menus compared to the 75th anniversary set. With that set, you had to wait for a portion of the intro to play before getting to the menu, and you couldn't skip it to go straight to the menu. Here, the menu loads immediately as the intro plays in a portion of the screen. I consider this to be a small, but pleasant, improvement.
Seasons 1 & 2: These have the same episode counts on each disc and same run times on each discs as the 75th anniversary set (varying from 24 minutes and change up to 25 minutes and change). Prints look the same. Aside from the menu change, these discs seem identical to the earlier set.
Season 3: I can't recall from syndication if these episodes still featured the Clayton Moore intro, or if they had a new intro with John Hart, but here on these discs, it's the same Clayton Moore intro as Seasons 1 and 2. Run times vary from 22:40 to 23 minutes and change, with a stray episode here and there running around 24 minutes it seems. These appear to be of similar video and audio quality to the Season 1 & 2 shows, but obviously shorter syndicated prints than on those seasons. The shorter run times allow them to fit more shows on each disc compared to Seasons 1 & 2. These were also clearly authored from videotape transfers. 9 episodes to a disc this time, 6 discs for the season (7 episodes on the last disc).
Season 4: Same as season 3--we get episodes ranging from 22:40 to over 23 minutes and almost 24 in a few instances. Same audio/video quality, videotape transfers. 9 episodes to a disc once again, 6 discs for the season (7 episodes on the last disc).
Season 5: 4 discs, with 10 episodes on the first 3 and 9 on the last disc. Same audio/video quality as the other seasons (except of course they are now in color, and appear to be videotape transfers). Run times are around 22:30 each and a few run close to 23 minutes. I compared these prints to Rhino's Season 5 set, and while those also had the same run times as these (~22:30-23:00), the Rhino episodes look better simply due to much less compression (that set had about 5 episodes to a disc, compared to the 10 on these). The Rhino episodes also had several chapter breaks in each episode, whereas this set has no chapter breaks on any episodes.
With regards to the season 3-5 episodes, I did not detect any time compression or speed-up in the audio or the video, same as with the earlier seasons.
Bonus Disc 1: This appears to be the same bunch of extras as the 75th anniversary set (same Lassie episode-"Peace Patrol", same Lone Ranger animated episodes from 1966, and the same radio broadcast). I believe the menu is even the same, so I think this is the exact same disc with new disc art.
Bonus Disc 2: Features the 2 movies, "The Lone Ranger" (1956, color) and "The Lone Ranger and the Lost City of Gold" (1958, color). Run time on the first movie is 1:26 and the second movie is 1:21. Prints are not remastered in any way, but generally good quality, same as the episodes themselves, perhaps slightly better due to less compression. These also seem to be from videotape transfers.
The Collectibles: The same contents in the sleeve pouch as the 75th anniversary set, EXCEPT no trading cards (at least not in mine). The pages of the coffee table book hold 2 discs to a page (top and bottom right side), and the discs are easy to remove without having to pinch the edge of the page (by comparison, the James Bond 50 set discs were much harder to get out of those sleeves which were also contained in the pages of a book). The artwork on the pages is similar to the artwork on the pages of the 75th set's collectible booklet. HOWEVER, the 75 set's booklet had a TON of text material, which I found very informative, and this set has NONE of that text material contained in the pages of this book. Both feature the same timeline (with the new set having an updated timeline for 2007 and 2013). The lack of all that wonderfully written historical information giving detailed background on the history of the character and the series is SORELY MISSED in this book--I don't understand why it wasn't included here. You do get a Life Magazine-sized episode guide to each season's shows by disc, but no other written content.
Interestingly, my 75th set had a certificate for "Weber's Lone Ranger Safety Club" and a number, 90240. The same certificate and number is included in the pages of this set as well.
Overall, if you already own the 75th anniversary set and the Rhino set, you do not need to purchase this set unless you simply want the missing episodes (I'm sure some enterprising individual will probably be selling the Season 3-5 discs on ebay before too long). The Season 3-5 shows are also heavily edited down, unlike the earlier episodes. Additionally, the wonderfully detailed text from the book is not included, nor are the trading cards, and the prints on the Rhino set are a little nicer looking with chapter breaks, unlike these. HOWEVER--you do get the 2 theatrical features, and I'm not sure if these are/were sold separately on DVD at some point.
I'm a huge Lone Ranger fan who never missed an episode in syndication as a kid, week after week, year after year, so having a complete run of the shows was worth the double-dip for me ($150 on Amazon currently), even though the size of this set is cumbersome. I am disappointed that not as much TLC went into this set as went into the 75th anniversary set, but ultimately, I'm happy to have them and share them with my young 'uns!
Hopefully this info helps some of you make an informed decision on whether or not to purchase. Hi-Yo Silver, awaaay!
Fantastic review, Jeff. Thanks so much for the TLC and detail you put into your review. Great job that will help me make my decision on whether or not to pursue this set.
Gary "it is a bummer that such a great show didn't get the highest of treatment it deserved - although it still sounds good" O.
Gary, thanks for the compliments--much appreciated my friend. I know you love these old Westerns that were often filmed in the great outdoors and not on a studio backlot in many instances, so I'm sure you will enjoy this set immensely simply for the satisfaction of owning each episode. However, I would probably wait a while for the price to come down to a more reasonable level (i.e. $75-$80 maybe, or even less possibly) within the next few years (especially if the new movie flops as I suspect it may). If you have the other sets, you can continue to enjoy those in the meantime, and perhaps sell them later on when you bite the bullet on this one, although you may wish to hold on to the Rhino set if you own it (for the improved A/V quality and chapter breaks), and it may be hard to part with that wonderfully detailed booklet from the 75th set as well.
Great, informative review, Jeff. Even though this set was not on my Want List, I definitely was interested to hear in detail about what it did and did not include. Unfortunately it sounds like it was pretty much tossed together to cash in on the new movie and that the studio had little regard for its inherent worth as a much desired show from their vaults. Without fostering more attention and affection on this set it's hard to know who exactly they are marketing it to, unless they really think Johnny Depp fans and younger patrons of the new film will want to explore the roots of the character. Unlikely given the price tag of this, so if pretty much solely aimed at veteran fans who revere the show, why not invest more care in the release rather than doing it in such slipshod fashion? Because the DVD market is down and because studios now are more likely to just throw something out there as a dubious tie in or some other brainstorm marketing ploy instead of caring enough to produce a quality package they can take pride in.
Fantastic review, Jeff! It really makes my decision much easier. At this point I'll hang on to my 75th Anniversary set and hope seasons 3-5 get separate relases before too long. I, too, grew up on this and watched it all the time. While I'd love to own it I just can't justify the double-dip considering the lack of extras coupled with the inflated price and other issues you mentioned.
The movies got released in July 2012 by Classic Media so I'll be picking that up (it's currently $5.99 at Amazon). As both films are on a single disk I'd be willing to bet it's the same disk that's in the new set.
Outstanding review. I'll probably get the set in a few months. I have the ealier 75th Anniv. set but I'd like to have the remaining "Moore" seasons.
Can't keep the Lone Ranger down
"A fiery horse with the speed of light, a cloud of dust and a hearty 'Hi-yo Silver'"
This thing sounds like a disappointing dog, a half-hearted effort which most of us had something much better in mind.
When someone is serious about going into the "vaults" and securing the original high-grade and intact masters meeting the expectations of discerning classic television series collectors then we'll be ready to invest in something much more worthwhile.
If it every happens.
It's a little confusing with Amazon's stupid review system, but apparently VCI released both movies letterboxed and with extras. One appears to be a double disc set with more extras, which is very high priced as it's OOP, and then there look to be two separate releases of each film by VCI that include only the original theatrical trailers as extras. I would be interested in the latter two, but can't find out if they are 16x9 enhanced nor if each title includes the trailers or just the first one. Can anyone help?
For those still interested, Costco has this for $99.xx. It is, as Jeff said, truly coffee table size and bigger than I expected. And, Jeff, thanks for saving me $99 because based on your excellent review, I see no reason to buy this. If episodes were timesped I might hold my nose and get it but with up to 4 minutes missng in some episodes and videotape masters, I'll pass.
Glen, on the back of the packaging, in large letters, is a banner touting that the Ranger is now the subject of a new major motion picture so your analysis of marketing to the Depp crowd is spot on. (Nothing against Depp, I'm a fan of his.)
This is indeed a wasted opportunity in my opinion. Had Classic Media gone back and struck fresh transfers from the original film elements and packaged this in normal packaging without the frills this could have been a "release of the year" contender. I loved this show as a kid and while I haven't seen much of it in recent years it has held up the times I have.
A couple more things I've noted while watching some of the Season 3-5 episodes:
[*]These shows, as I noted, are shorter in length than the Season 1 & 2 shows, and were clearly modern syndication prints as they have extra commercial breaks (the fade-outs to black), which annoy me, right in the middle of scenes on occasion.
[*]It goes with out saying that both the "Return with us now to the thrilling days of yesteryear" and "Join us next week..." segments at the beginning and end, respectively, are both missing from these shows.
[*]The reason I'm pretty confident there is no time compression occurring on the ones I've watched or scanned through is I've seen them time compressed on local TV stations in recent years, with the overture sped up and the horses running in fast motion, along with other sped-up action scenes. They then slow back down during dialogue scenes so they don't sound like they've been sucking helium. VERY annoying, along with the extra breaks, which is why I refuse to watch them on TV anymore. I did notice that the looped intro playing on the DVD menus does seem sped up, but not on the episodes themselves fortunately.
[*]I think Classic Media ported over the movies disc in this set from their earlier movie release that somebody mentioned, as it had different company logos at the beginning versus the episode discs.
Again, I'm disappointed they didn't put more care and effort into this release for us hardcore LR fans and classic TV collectors that are double-dipping, but I suppose for more casual fans of the show that have not purchased the earlier 75th anniversary release (which is still in print), it will be a treasure trove of wonders (although a pretty expensive one for a casual fan). I'm not sure who they were marketing this set to, in retrospect.
HTF did not receive the complete Collector's Edition Set for review, however, we received 4 check discs to sample, consisting of the last 3 discs from season 2 and the first disc of season 3. The review by Jeff*H in post #67 is excellent and accurate as to these discs. The run times for all of the episodes are, on average, slightly shorter than 23 minutes in length.
Thanks Jeff. I appreciate the info and the time it took you tor review the set.
Well, one question has been asked and still hasn't been answered, "Are the 2 movies in this collection ANAMORPHIC or not?"
According to reviews, all the various Classic Media releases of the two LR movies are full screen.
I don't think the original movies were wide-screen. When VCI had the VHS/DVD rights to the two movies they restored the films themselves and did the "fake" widescreen versions for the VCI editions. VCI probably still owns the restored and wide-screen versions they created, even though they don't have the rights to manufacture them anymore.