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Universal Vault Series - Amazon.com exclusive DVD-Rs

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Marcel H., Jan 12, 2010.

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  1. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    To each his own, when it comes to film appreciation and how a person spends their discretionary monies. I understand that my spectrum of film appreciation might be much broader than certain posters in this thread. Furthermore, it's been my motto never to tell another person on how they should spend their money because it's none of my business. However, with that said, I just want to clarify that there is a lot of pre-1980 films on Blu-ray discs. The number is nowhere near what I think it should be, but I think it's greater than some of us realize at this juncture.

    In my personal film library, I have over 100 films on Blu-ray/HD DVD disc that were made over 30 years ago or earlier. Some of us might question whether certain movies are classic films or not, but we're in the fourth decade since these movies were filmed which in my book is a long time ago.

    Before I list these films, let me preface my list by saying right off the bat that I might have missed some films that have been released 30 or more years ago that are on BRD so the following listing is not a complete one, but instead just a snap shot of what's available to film collectors on the high definition formats that's currently in my personal film collection.

    Gone with the Wind
    The General
    It's a Wonderful Life
    A Christmas Carol
    Easy Rider
    North by Northwest
    Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
    The Wizard of Oz
    Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs
    Billy Jack
    Godzilla (1954)
    M*A*S*H
    The Towering Inferno
    The Deep
    The Wage of Fear
    Vanishing Point
    Dr. Strangelove
    In Cold Blood
    The Searchers
    The Graduate
    The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)
    3 Days of the Condor
    The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
    Saturday Night Fever
    Gigi
    An American in Paris
    The Pink Panther (1963)
    Thunderball
    Dr. No
    Goldfinger
    From Russia with Love
    You Only Live Twice
    Diamonds are ForeverThe 400 BlowsThe RobeQuo VadisSouth PacificPinocchioThe OmenBattle of BritainA Bridge too FarThe ProfessionalsThe Longest DayThe Sand PebblesPattonDirty HarryThe EnforcerThe GauntletButch Cassidy and the Sundance KidBonnie & ClydeA Clockwork Orange2001: A Space Odyssey
    The Omega ManClose Encounters of the Third KindThe Wild BunchThe ShiningThe WarriorsRio BravoThe CowboysThe Green Berets
    The Dirty Dozen
    Rocky
    Rocky IIThe Deer HunterThe StingThe French ConnectionThe French Connection IICasablanca
    Young FrankensteinBlazing SaddlesBecketGreat Expectations (1946)
    Zulu
    Planet of the Apes (1968)
    Beneath the Planet of the ApesIt Came from Beneath the SeaEarth vs. the Flying Saucers20,000 Miles to EarthThe 7th Voyage of SinbadSleeping BeautyThe GodfatherThe Godfather IIHow the West Was WonCool Hand LukeThe Adventures of Robin HoodOne Flew Over the Cuckoo's NestCapricorn OneThe Eagle has LandedBlack NarcissusThe Seventh SealBattle of the BulgeDog Day AfternoonThe GetawayBullitt81/2
    That's Entertainment (HD DVD)
    That's Entertainment II (HD DVD)
    Viva Las Vegas (HD DVD)
    Jailhouse Rock (HD DVD)
    Grand Prix (HD DVD)
    Spartacus (HD DVD)
    Forbidden Planet (HD DVD)
    Mutiny on the Bounty (HD DVD)

    Release Date in next few months:
    Lady Killers (1955)
    Fantasia
    The African Queen
    Yojimbo
    Sanjuro
    Doctor Zhivago

    Coming Soon with No Release Date:A Star is BornBen HurThe Bridge on the River KwaiThe ExorcistThe Guns of Naverone
    Lawrence of Arabia
    The Maltese Falcon

    In closing, I agree we need more classic films on Blu-ray disc to entice more classic film buffs into adopting this format. However, the cupboard isn't as barren as some might believe when it comes to older films on BRD.

    Also, unlike SD DVD, most BRDs released in other regions are region free except for Fox and I think Disney which is why my collection has titles released in other regions outside of the one here in the states. There is no NTSC versus PAL issues with Blu-ray.








    Crawdaddy
     
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  2. Jeff Willis

    Jeff Willis Producer

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    Crawdaddy,

    This is an impressive list! I learned something here about what's available on "pre-current" BR.

    Since I'm mainly a pre-90's TV/DVD collector, BR hasn't as yet expanded much into that genre but I do see a few BR movie titles in your list that tempt me to enter the BR mkt.

    I've been trying to get info on the "region-free" aspect of BR with some apparent conflicting articles on the 'net. I do know that BR had 3 regions:

    A: North & South America, southeast Asia, Japan, South Korea
    B: Europe, Greenland, Africa, Middle East, and Australia
    C: Asian continent except the southeast area.

    What I've been reading is that the BR region-free issue is mainly an issue with one's HD display: ie, Is the display capable of 24fps viewing? I admit that I'm still trying to understand the BR R-free tech stuff. My Panny 50" Plasma has 24fps capacity.

    For me, I'm fortunate that the Std PAL 4% "speed-up" parameter doesn't bother me when I watch converted PAL to NTSC DVD's but I do know that it is a problem for some.

    If I'm understanding you right, there is no requirement to internally (via a built-in PAL/NTSC Converter in the DVD player) convert BR PAL DVD's to NTSC to view on most HD display sets? Did I get that part right? For this post, I'm assuming that we're talking about HDMI in/out connections.

    For me, there are some pre-90's movie titles that are available in BR that tempt me ("The Deep") where a particular movie hasn't seen a re-issued (std) anamorphic release but just me, there's not yet enough titles out there for me to enter the mkt. That said, I am happy for fellow DVD collectors that the BR mkt is releasing titles for their purchases.
     
  3. wesaussie

    wesaussie Agent

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    Hey, Is this thread about the Universal Vault Series or about what is in BR and regions for BR. Let's get back on the thread subject shall we. As a moderator Crawdaddy you seem to have broken your own rules
     
  4. ChuckWL

    ChuckWL Stunt Coordinator

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    I am wondering how often (monthly) will universal be releasing titles? We we get on a regular basis like Warners?
     
  5. GlennH

    GlennH Cinematographer

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  6. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/wiki/terms-of-service
    Crawdaddy
     
  7. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    I've been wondering the same thing, as I just ordered "Tell Them Willie Boy is Here" and "The List of Adrian Messenger" from them. I hope to have the latter by Monday to view while the former hasn't shipped yet. Crawdaddy
     
  8. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Jeff,
    There is no PAL/NTSC conversion for BRD as long as the material is in high definition. However, certain studios do enforce the region requirement by making their BRDs non-region free. Those studios are Fox and Disney. Studios such as Warner, Universal, Paramount and Sony release their BRDs as region free for the most part.
    Also, do checkout the link Glenn provided as it is very informative on pre-1990 titles on BRD.
    Crawdaddy
     
  9. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Director
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    Crawdaddy,
    Your list is impressive and thanks for providing it. I noticed just a couple of others right off the top of my head:
    The Diary of Anne Frank (1959)
    All three That's Entertainment! films are available on Blu-ray (I reviewed the set for this site.)
    The Music Man arrives the first week of February.
     
  10. mdnitoil

    mdnitoil Supporting Actor

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    Is it really news that the latest hollywood offerings as well as the various AFI Top 100-type entries are getting put out on Blu? You want to impress me? Show me something that's not been given an SD release. Otherwise we're just re-plowing the same old turf and actually losing ground in the process.

    Yes, I know the format isn't mature enough to be at that point yet. My point is, with every user who jumps into Blu swearing that they'll not make the same mistake they did with SD and actually be more discerning about their purchases, this whole thing is sort of doomed to confine itself to only the biggest sellers, from a catalog perspective.
     
  11. Jeff Willis

    Jeff Willis Producer

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    Crawdaddy,
    Thanks for the info. My apologies for the OT R-free posts.
    I'll check out that BR link.
    Matt, that's interesting about "The Diary Of Anne Frank" ('59). That one's one of my all-timers. I recenty bought the WS std edition and enjoyed a re-view.
     
  12. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Matt,
    As I stated, I knew I forgot some titles in my haste to compile the listing like "That's Entertainment III" and "The Music Man". All of the titles in my listing are titles in my actual Blu-ray collection except for the titles not released yet. I haven't bought "The Diary of Anne Frank" yet as I'm patiently waiting to get a good deal on that title. Therefore, there are more pre-1980 titles out on Blu-ray not mentioned in my list.
    Crawdaddy
     
  13. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Director
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    If I hadn't reviewed them (TE and Anne Frank), I probably wouldn't have remembered them myself.
     
  14. Douglas Monce

    Douglas Monce Producer

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    How about The African Queen. Yes probably a Top 100 AFI kind of film, but no SD DVD release. As to Non-AFI top 100 type classic films, what exactly are you looking for in terms of classic films?
    Doug
     
  15. JeffMc

    JeffMc Supporting Actor

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    I can't answer for Scott (mdnitoil), but I think what he was getting at is that the majority of BR releases of any older catalog films have already been out on SD, so starting to release these same titles all over again on a new format just slows down (once again) the release of the hundreds of films (actually thousands) that have never made it even to SD yet, and sometimes not even to VHS. I agree, in this economy, these titles may still have never come out, but starting all over again at point 'A' with rereleases of WIZARD OF OZ and IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE, et al, is just so boring for the 1,000th time. Some of us want titles that haven't been out before and that's why the DVD-R programs are our only option at this stage.
    I have nothing against BR. Out of Crawdaddy's list of catalog BR films above, I do think that most of them are the AFI type top films that have been reissued many times over the years and none of them have ever been rare or OOP from VHS on. There are no obscurities there. I own about 40 of the titles on that BR list, but mine are all on SD. Would I switch them all for the BR versions instead if I could blink and make it all happen? Sure! But I don't care about it that much and would rather spend my time and money on films never released before. My favorite film has still not even seen a SD release and is rotting away in MGM's vaults. I would die for a DVD-R of that and would probably pay $100 for it. But I'm not interested in repurchasing any of the top 100 AFI films anymore. I already own all the ones I want and they look great. Not as good as BR, of course, but SD is totally fine for what I get from these films. It would just be nice to get some never released films instead of the same stuff over and over and over and over again.
    Warner Archives is releasing seriously obscure tv-movies, silents, classics, cult films, and so forth, many of them have never been on homevideo before. MGM and now Universal are following to a degree and I'm thrilled. I hated the idea of DVD-R at first, but I've come to the conclusion that I'd rather pay the exorbitant $20 for a barebones DVD-R of a very rare film instead of paying $10-$15 for another reissue of THE GRADUATE, but this time it's on BR. But I know we're all different and are looking for different things to spend our money on. So BR can flourish with the usual big titles and the rest of us can live in the DVD-R world. Some may live in both. It's all good.
    To get back on topic, I am also eagerly awaiting whatever Universal titles may get announced next. There are quite a few rarities that made it to VHS, but not DVD, that I would die for.
     
  16. Hank E

    Hank E Stunt Coordinator

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    I thought I'd weigh-in with my opinion on "Resurrection". When it dipped to $14.95 I decided to go ahead and go for it. I'm glad I did, it looks really good for an MOD release. It's obviously been remastered at some point, I hardly noticed any dirt and debris. It is anamorphic, as someone else said. It's not a perfect transfer, but it's in the ballpark and I'm thrilled to death to finally have this film.

    It came shrinkwrapped with artwork that mimics Universal DVDs. The odd thing is there's no menu. You pop the disc in, there's the FBI warning, and then the film starts. And it plays in a loop, once the end credits are over it just starts again. Not complaining, just stating the facts. :)

    My question is: is there any kind of schedule for Universal's releases like with WB? When is the next round of titles due to be announced, and is there a good site to follow that has complete details?
     
  17. Douglas Monce

    Douglas Monce Producer

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    Well I think the main reason for that, is that in a niche market (classic films) those are the ones that sell well enough to make it worth while to release. That is why I like the Vault or Archive programs. They release films, tv movies and some TV shows that would other wise never see the light of day.
    Doug
     
  18. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    I live in both worlds and life is very good to me.

    I can't wait until my two Universal titles get to me so I can judge these DVD-R releases against what Warner Archive is doing.

    Also, it would be nice to know what else is coming from Universal as they have many of their own titles plus a tremendous amount of old Paramount titles they can release on DVD-R.






    Crawdaddy
     
  19. Bob Cashill

    Bob Cashill Producer

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    They compare very favorably. Universal definitely has the edge in packaging and fulfillment via Amazon...but it, and MGM's program via Amazon, are in serious need of marketing savvy. If a DVD-R falls in the forest, and no one's there to hear it...seriously, without online forums who would ever have known these were in place? (I trust we'll keep each other informed on new developments.)
     
  20. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    I just bought two more Universal titles for 14.24 each. I hope to have them next week to view and will post my comments about them.





    Crawdaddy
     

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