OliverK

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Dear OliverK:

Respectfully disagree with you on this point, but let me explain. If we are talking merely quantity - then Fox's parceling off its movies to Criterion, Twilight Time, Kino Lorber, to say nothing of their own failed attempt at an archive, plus legit Fox Blu releases via Fox Home Video, considerably outnumber the Warner 'older catalog' releases. Universal, of late, has taken its cue from Fox to dump its deeper catalog to Kino also, while occasionally releasing bare bones editions of deeper catalog on their own lackluster Blu's. The death of TT earlier this year means one less venue for the majors to consider as their dumping ground.

But I have to say, in the same breath, neither Fox or Uni's business model is one I would consider worth emulating. Crummy old transfers bumped to a 1080p signal, or worse, given an atrocious teal-leaning transfer or 3-strip movies with so much misalignment they give one a headache when viewing on larger monitors or in projection, is hardly the way to make ANY back catalog available for mass consumption. The shortsightedness here is staggering, indeed, and very much NOT appreciated!!!

Now, if we are talking sheer quality - then Warner Archive and Warner Home Video proper win the race hands down. While there have been a few minor flubs - especially in the early days - what WAC has achieved since its debut is - bar none - top of the heap and should be considered the very cream of the crop. But WAC's output is also a trickle compared to the aforementioned outpouring from Fox and Uni. Personally, I prefer the WAC method. Slow and steady, with quality to spare.

Yep, I'm more than willing to wait for that. I just wish WAC would get a little more aggressive with their thirties/forties output. But I am VERY satisfied with what they've been giving us since the middle of this year onward. While WAC was toggling for a while between the B and C grade sci-fi fluff like From Hell It Came or The Green Slime, and downright abysmal flops like Ice Pirates (which currently rates a 9% approval on Rotten Tomatoes), only to occasionally offer us a Summer Stock or Silk Stockings, the balance of power seems to have begun to shift in favor of more 'big' titles coming down the pike.

Personal favorites aside (aside: I would practically kill for a pristine copy of Marie Antoinette, Romeo and Juliet, San Francisco, 1939's Goodbye, Mr. Chips, 1937's The Prisoner of Zenda, The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex, National Velvet, Holiday in Mexico, and Show Boat - for kick starters) I sincerely say 'thank you' and a big 'YES - bring it on!' to WAC for 2020. Cannot wait to see what goodies they'll chalk up next.
Thanks Nick, great post. I think that when it comes to what they released themselves Warner is still in the lead but percentage wise Fox probably would have them beat. That is with their own releeases, not sure what the tally will come to if we take into account all the titles that Fox has farmed out to other labels.
 
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ahollis

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Thanks Nick, great post. I think that when it comes to what they released themselves Warner is still in the lead but percentage wise Fox probably would have them beat. That is with their own releeases, not sure what the tally will come to if we take into account all the titles that Fox has farmed out to other labels.
Agreed, but Warner releases are just about perfect because they spend time on the transfer. Fox just puts out what they think is the best. It’s a quality verses quantity thing.
 
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OliverK

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Agreed, but Warner releases are just about perfect because they spend time on the transfer. Fox just puts out what they think is the best. It’s a quality verses quantity thing.
I agree completely with regard to quality, for me Warner and Sony are still the best when it comes to quality work with Sony having a bit of a lead there but much fewer releases than Warner.

However only Fox and of course Warner imo have a combination of quality and quantity that I would consider at least satisfactory. All the other big studios have too few releases and/or the average release quality is significantly lower. As far as quality goes I think that we have a lot more issue with what has been released from the titles held by MGM than with those released by Fox. With Fox it is more of a matter of having controversial color timing in more releases than any other studio than with releasing big numbers of dated masters.
 
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PMF

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Short of one sole title, I have nothing to ask of WAC.
I would rather wait on them, in exchange for the excellence that they continue to provide.
These days, sitting back and being surprised is akin to having Christmas arrive once a month;
for more often than not, something is bound to be a wish-list item.

As for the wait, one must remember that these restorations can take far longer than it took to make the actual film;
with a cost that sometimes exceeds the budgets of the original production.
When factoring in that we're dealing with a century's worth of output, one must take pause;
as the meticulous work being performed by WAC is altogether extraordinary.
 
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Robert Crawford

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Of course they read them, we on here are their target market. I don't know anyone who buys deep catalogue. My circle, even those in their 40s/50s, are buying comic book releases (and streaming). They might have heard of Hitchcock, but Fritz Lang!

Agree with previous posters, it would be nice to have some 3 -strip Technicolor films, and RKO noirs.
 
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Nick*Z

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Would love for Warner to find a new venue or release themselves the remaining Val Lewton classics - especially I Walked With A Zombie (which desperately needs a video upgrade) and The Seventh Victim. I don't know what happened to Shout!'s Isle of the Dead, which vanished from pre-order purgatory in July.
 

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The WBshop no longer seems to have a separate section for the Warner Archive titles. All blu rays are shown together. A little harder to see the latest Archive releases when sorting by newest.
 
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OLDTIMER

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Since we are unlikely to get more than a small proportion of those great, vintage movies on Blu-ray, I recently re-visited some of the original Warner DVD releases. SAN FRANCISCO and MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY are stunning prints - probably as good as DVD can ever be. I spot-checked a few other of those late 1930s movies on my Panasonic 4K OLED and was amazed at how good many of them were. I guess we can be thankful that Warners did such a (mainly) good job in the first place.
 
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Worth

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Since we are unlikely to get more than a small proportion of those great, vintage movies on Blu-ray, I recently re-visited some of the original Warner DVD releases. SAN FRANCISCO and MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY are stunning prints - probably as good as DVD can ever be. I spot-checked a few other of those late 1930s movies on my Panasonic 4K OLED and was amazed at how good many of them were. I guess we can be thankful that Warners did such a (mainly) good job in the first place.
Are you referring to the Gable Mutiny? That one is on blu-ray. For that matter, so are the Brando and Mel Gibson versions.
 
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OLDTIMER

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Are you referring to the Gable Mutiny? That one is on blu-ray.
It was the Gable. I must have missed that it had been released on Blu. The main point was that so many of those Warner DVD releases were damned good print quality.
 
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Robin9

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It was the Gable. I must have missed that it had been released on Blu. The main point was that so many of those Warner DVD releases were damned good print quality.
You're right. I had a look at the DVD of The Bad And The Beautiful last week (because the Blu-ray has been so well received) and the picture quality was amazingly good.
 

OliverK

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You're right. I had a look at the DVD of The Bad And The Beautiful last week (because the Blu-ray has been so well received) and the picture quality was amazingly good.
Academy ratio black and white films do look comparatively good on DVD as the few pixels that DVD has are concentrated on a smaller part of the screen and also because the weak chroma resolution of DVD (only 360 by 240 pixels) is not an issue for these titles.

Another black and white academy ratio title with a very good DVD release is Out of The Past, shows how good these type of titles can look on DVD:
https://caps-a-holic.com/c.php?a=1&x=448&y=354&d1=4596&d2=4601&s1=42762&s2=42803&l=0&i=0&go=1
 

Robin9

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Academy ratio black and white films do look comparatively good on DVD as the few pixels that DVD has are concentrated on a smaller part of the screen and also because the weak chroma resolution of DVD (only 360 by 240 pixels) is not an issue for these titles.

Another black and white academy ratio title with a very good DVD release is Out of The Past, shows how good these type of titles can look on DVD:
https://caps-a-holic.com/c.php?a=1&x=448&y=354&d1=4596&d2=4601&s1=42762&s2=42803&l=0&i=0&go=1
I thought the DVD of Out Of The Past was superb because it presented the film so much better than the old prints I had watched in re-run theaters. Then I bought the Blu-ray disc and I was surprised it was such a big upgrade.
 

OliverK

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I thought the DVD of Out Of The Past was superb because it presented the film so much better than the old prints I had watched in re-run theaters. Then I bought the Blu-ray disc and I was surprised it was such a big upgrade.
I agree completely . The DVD looks really good but the Blu-ray is still a substantial upgrade - I wish we could always upgrade like this!
 

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