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Press Release Warner Archive Press Release: V: The Original Miniseries (Blu-ray)

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Ronald Epstein, Jul 16, 2019.

  1. Sam Favate

    Sam Favate Lead Actor

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    Right, but we're talking about studios catering to people watching on their phones, where black bars on the sides make the screen seem even smaller.

    I agree with you: Original aspect ratios all the way. But the general public is largely ignorant about such things. Many years ago when widescreen TVs were first being introduced, a friend of mine bought one. He and his wife had two young kids and the family loved to watch movies. I was looking around at their DVDs one day, and I asked the wife, "You have a widescreen TV, so why have you bought nothing but full screen DVDs?" She replied, "Because I want it to FILL THE SCREEN, duh."

    I knew then that there was no hope for humanity.
     
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  2. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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  3. Message #23 of 61 Jul 24, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2019
    The Drifter

    The Drifter Supporting Actor

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    Excellent news - the original V TV mini-series was excellent; I remember watching this as a kid over several nights in both Spring 1983 & Spring 1984. Very disturbing, with great effects. I think I re-watched this on VHS tape back in the '80's (possibly taped from TV, and not an official release) - and, I don't think I've seen this since then.

    I remember watching the later regular short-lived series (1984-1985) and it being very obvious that the series had a much more limited budget; the echo-voice of the Visitors (from the mini-series) was absent in the regular series; and, the other special effects also looked much cheaper & less convincing, etc.
     
  4. ScottRE

    ScottRE Supporting Actor

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    Oh the voice effects were very much absent. To the point where a visitor pretended to be a human for two episodes and the voice aspect never came up. Only one new shot of a visitor skyfighter was seen in the series and it may have been unused footage from either mini-series. Otherwise, it was all reused shots, some re-composited with different backgrounds, but the air combat shots were all recycled. Even the lizard baby from The Final Battle was hauled out for one segment.

    Where the series excelled were in performances of most of the main cast, the "anyone can die" feel as they thinned out the ranks of the leads, and the amazing music by Dennis McCarthy. Oh, the fist fights were incredibly good. Marc Singer had a background in dance and he really had fantastic moves. Even Jeff Yagher had a vigorous fighting style. Sadly, the series couldn't decide what it wanted to be and changed format over the course of 19 episodes. It latched onto every popular format of the time, stealing car chases and the van from The A-Team and the soapy cat fighting from Dynasty. Neither fit the concept well. I generally liked the Resistance oriented plots. The Visitors were just overly silly. The open city with the bar was a nice Casablanca format that worked for me, but it was such an open secret that it was Resistance HQ, it had to be destroyed eventually.

    Compared to the original min, it was subpar. But as a teenager in 1984-85, I loved it.
     
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  5. Brian Himes

    Brian Himes Screenwriter

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    I tried, oh how I tried, to like the series but it just got dumber and dumber as it went along. For me personally, it ranks right up there with Galactica 1980. It had a downward spiral that had to be seen to be believed.

    The show was supposed to go to series right after the mini series but NBC changed their minds. So, it was decided to do an ending mini series (The Final Battle). Well, that was such a rating hit that NBC back peddled and decided to go to series after all. So, now they had to come up with some plot device to go from an ending to a new beginning. While the first two episodes of the series were decent (I still laugh at that whole Elizabeth cocoon thing), it just didn't have the same feel as the two mini series did. The series became mostly about what is Diana going to eat this week. Then there was Diana's ridiculous frizzy hair. That black lizard skin thing she wore episode to episode. So, the reptilian Visitor's go in for fashions made from their own species skins? Just silly. Somewhere after Elias got killed I stopped watching. I did tune in to see the season finale but had no hopes that it was coming back for a second season. I pretty much new it was a goner. When it came to DVD I managed to sit through the entire thing, but time had not been good to it. It just...no...it just did not work.
     
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  6. Message #26 of 61 Jul 25, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2019
    Lord Dalek

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    1.33:1 may be the original broadcast ratio but just by looking at it you can tell it is not the CORRECT ratio. From an aesthetic standpoint it should be widescreen
     
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  7. Message #27 of 61 Jul 25, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2019
    The Drifter

    The Drifter Supporting Actor

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    Agreed. While the two V mini-series were excellent, the regular '84-'85 series was utter garbage. Being a dedicated V fan back in the day, however - I watched a handful of episodes when it first aired, and later did sit through every episode on some old VHS tapes (taped off of TV) back in the '90's. However, the series stunk.

    Shifting gears slightly, any other old-timers like me remember the V comic book series from DC comics? I got a couple of issues back in the day, but never collected the whole series. This only lasted 18 issues, and apparently took place chronologically before the '84-'85 series. I remember it being a decent series, and it didn't have the cheap budget that the show had; the writers/artists were only limited by their imagination. If DC ever produced a reprint volume with all of these issues, I'd definitely get this. Maybe the Blu release will generate re-interest in the franchise, but this comic series ever getting reprinted will still be a long-shot:

    https://dc.fandom.com/wiki/V_Vol_1

    https://comicvine.gamespot.com/v/4050-3468/
     
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  8. ScottRE

    ScottRE Supporting Actor

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    Hey, don't wish those of us who did like the series to never get a blu-ray release. Come on, The Master got one and it's no better. :thumbs-up-smiley:

    While it's nowhere near the quality of Ken Johnson's original (neither is The Final Battle to be honest), I found the weekly to be a lot of fun. I watched it every week. NBC just had no f'n idea what to do with it.
     
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  9. ScottRE

    ScottRE Supporting Actor

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    Yup, I have the whole run. It takes place during the weekly series, as Nathan Bates, Kyle and Elizabeth are characters. They struggled to keep up with the rapid cast changes and addressed Elias' death - even bringing his father back. The min storyline ended with a depiction of the first minutes of the final episode. The last two issues were a step back chronologically, taking place before Elias was killed as it was about him.

    The book was okay, but the art by Carmine Infantino was weird.

    People remember the series, which I was generally surprised to learn when the remake premiered. Mostly people remember Diana eating a rat and the baby from The Final Battle.
     
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  10. Message #30 of 61 Jul 25, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2019
    ScottRE

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    It looks totally fine to me. The shots all look properly framed and no tops of heads are missing. If anything, Johnson shot it so it would be good for theatrical release but look just fine for TV. If they never released it in widescreen, I seriously doubt anyone would have said it looked strange or crowded. Did anyone feel that way before?
     
  11. Message #31 of 61 Jul 25, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2019
    The Drifter

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    Point taken - I have gone back and modified my post. However, I will argue that The Master (which I do have on Blu) was far superior to the V '84-'85 series.
     
  12. Worth

    Worth Producer

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    You should also zoom it in about 10% to see what it would have looked like overscanned on a typical TV in 1984.
     
  13. Message #33 of 61 Jul 25, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2019
    Lord Dalek

    Lord Dalek Producer

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    FULL VHS FROM THAT CLIP:

    upload_2019-7-25_18-17-54.

    ROUGH APPROXIMATION:

    upload_2019-7-25_18-18-40.

    FOR THE HELL OF IT HERE:S THE DVD:

    upload_2019-7-25_18-17-8.

    Kenneth Johnson's point of focus was intended to be the skull and the ship. In widescreen both take up the entire frame. In the open matte version, they seem to be competing with the rest of the rocks above the skull and the blue sky. Also as pointed out already, the DVD shows more on the far right and a sliver more on the left.

    But yeah you'd have to seriously zoom in on the image and thus lose a lot of quality to make it work in 4:3 on a modern day tv. Six in one, 1/2 dozen in the other.
     
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  14. ScottRE

    ScottRE Supporting Actor

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    I'm not saying the widescreen doesn't work or looks bad. I'm just saying the orginal broadcast doesn't look "wrong" or "out of place." It never did.

    Either way, you're losing image space, either on the top or the sides. If this is all we're gonna get and he actually shot it like this, fine, but the sound mix is still an issue with me. Unless they remixed it (and they could have), the sound effects are still too loud in comparison with the dialog. Also, any releases of The Final Battle need to be back to their original broadcast ratio, at the very least as an option. They did not shoot that in w/s and the lopped tops of heads are obvious.
     
  15. ScottRE

    ScottRE Supporting Actor

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    That'll always be a matter of taste, but The Master was - while great fun - equally mindless and absurd. It was 80's action cheese with skinny young stunt guys stepping in and doing ridiculous flips for the infirm and potbellied Lee Van Cleef. However, I did find him charming and thought his chemistry with Van Patten to be endearing. I was sorry to get to the end of it, but it's obvious why it failed.
     
  16. Lord Dalek

    Lord Dalek Producer

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    If I have learned anything, its that the visual deficiencies of open matte (and yes V is open matte, it is not MAR) transfers become more blatantly obvious the more educated you are on the subject.

    Otherwise yeah the mono should be on there even if it does suck a lot of the life out of Harnell's score and Final Battle clearly wasn't supposed to be 1.78:1.
     
  17. ScottRE

    ScottRE Supporting Actor

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    Yeah, admittedly, my education on "open matte" is pretty non-existent. My interest is hobby level and am generally a sickler for having shows of that vintage presented as broadcast. But, it is what is is...
     
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  18. albert_m2

    albert_m2 Second Unit

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    The regular series isn't that good, but it's not terrible. It's entertaining enough for an extended fix of V beyond the Final Battle, albeit, flawed and lower budget. I too liked the Casablanca style set up with the bar etc. I didn't care for the Charles and Diana drama though.
     
  19. ScottRE

    ScottRE Supporting Actor

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    I gotta say, I popped in my official DVD of V with the widescreen and i really couldn't get comfortable with it. I put in my DVD-R of the VHS version in the original aspect ration and really felt more natural to me. More image on top and bottom, with full heads and all... I'd just rather have that. So, yeah, sorry, this is a non purchase for me.
     
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  20. Jack P

    Jack P Producer

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    The series was just awful (though June Chadwick was quite a looker). And when they decided to jettison half the cast halfway through they got rid of arguably one of the most compelling in Michael Ironside (not killed, just sent away) while keeping the utterly annoying Kyle Bates and when I went through the series again once on DVD all kinds of bad memories came back to me about how much I *hated* his character!

    It was really amusing when the DVDs came out to discover how they shot an episode and didn't air it and went back and basically did a "do-over" in terms of how the Kyle character got introduced as I recall.
     
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