Network DVD

Milestone, Flicker Alley, Oscilloscope, Cinema Guild...they're all here.
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Lino
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#1 Post by Lino » Fri Oct 19, 2007 10:05 am

British DVD distribution company Network DVD is going to release one of my favorite horror movies ever, The Shout, by Jerzy Skolimowsky. DVDTimes already has a review.

Their catalogue is pretty great in itself, containing lots of classics and is really worth your time exploring it. You might even find yourself gasping at such finds as Madame Sin, a Bette Davis oddity from the 70's. Yes, Matt - I'm thinking of you.

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tryavna
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#2 Post by tryavna » Fri Oct 19, 2007 11:01 am

I could have sworn that a thread already existed for this company, but I guess not. I suppose we've just talked about individual releases (like Things to Come) here and there.

At any rate, if anyone's a fan of classic British films, Network's catalogue is well worth your while, with several outstanding releases like League of Gentlemen, the aforementioned Things to Come (despite weak audio), and the cultish Hell Drivers (a wonderful companion-piece to Wages of Fear). A word of warning, however: the A/V quality on some of their earliest releases (like Vice Versa and Elephant Boy) is adequate but nothing to write home about. They've gotten considerably better in the past year or so.

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colinr0380
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#3 Post by colinr0380 » Fri Oct 19, 2007 1:56 pm

Hell Drivers is a great film. I think I forgot to put it in my 50s choices for the list project but it deserves recognition.

I remember liking The Medusa Touch when I saw it on television as a kid. I've a feeling it will look a bit cheesy now with the model aircraft crashing into a towerblock and polystyrene blocks of concrete dropping onto the congregation as Westminster Abbey crumbles, but I've got a soft spot for Lee Remick and the DVD looks worth picking up just for the Kim Newman, Stephen Jones and director commentary. (I notice The Shout also features a commentary from them so it seems even more incentive to upgrade my video of the film recorded from television years ago)

I've picked up the first volume of the Dennis Potter at LWT, along with the BBC set but haven't sat down with either of them yet. The Network site doesn't mention it, but a second volume has been released with three earlier LWT screened Dennis Potter films from 1968, 69 and 1970 and a couple of extracts from interviews with him.

Since I have (shockingly!) never seen it before I took the plunge and decided to order The Prisoner set, which should hopefully arrive soon, along with Nigel Kneale's Beasts series. I'll try and give you my impressions of these when I get my hands on them (though I might have to save The Prisoner for my Christmas holiday viewing!)

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tryavna
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#4 Post by tryavna » Fri Oct 19, 2007 3:57 pm

colinr0380 wrote:Hell Drivers is a great film. I think I forgot to put it in my 50s choices for the list project but it deserves recognition.

Since I have (shockingly!) never seen it before I took the plunge and decided to order The Prisoner set, which should hopefully arrive soon, along with Nigel Kneale's Beasts series. I'll try and give you my impressions of these when I get my hands on them (though I might have to save The Prisoner for my Christmas holiday viewing!)
After you've worked your way through The Prisoner, you'll need to revisit Hell Drivers, where you can savor hearing Patrick McGoohan
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MichaelB
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#5 Post by MichaelB » Fri Oct 19, 2007 5:21 pm

Network is the exact equivalent of Optimum, only it represents the Granada library instead of Studio Canal's - but since Granada currently represents such major British studios as Rank, Gainsborough, London Films and many others, as well as the ITV television library, that's a huge pool of resources to draw on.

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#6 Post by mario gauci » Sat Oct 20, 2007 3:10 am

I too am surprised that Network didn't have its own thread over here until now.

Anyway, THE SHOUT (1978) could well have become my very last VHS purchase but I figured it would eventually come out on DVD. When it did, it was literally barebones so, again, I balked at acquiring it and only did so last year when I heard it was going OOP. The news that it has been re-issued by Network took me completely by surprise and I only learned of it through that DVD Times review. Needless to say, I upgraded instantly and my copy is already on my way to me as we speak. You can view my opinion of the film itself on the IMDB so I don't really need to repost it here.

Another notable horror film which is being released by Network next Monday is Waris Hussein's THE POSSESSION OF JOEL DELANEY (1971) with Shirley MacLaine and Perry King. I've never seen it but am interested in acquring it (given that it too is backed by an Audio Commentary) but decided to hold out a little longer for the proverbial review and drop in price at Play or elsewhere.

As for Network, I have the following discs of theirs:

The TV series BEASTS (1976; 2-Disc Set), BLACK NARCISSUS (1947; upgraded from the Criterion DVD), THE DAY THE EARTH CAUGHT FIRE (1961; upgraded from the Anchor Bay DVD), THE DEAD (1987), THE GHOST TRAIN (1941), HANDS OF THE RIPPER (1971), HELL DRIVERS (1957; 2-Disc Set), THE IPCRESS FILE (1965; 3-Disc Set), THE LEAGUE OF GENTLEMEN (1960), THE MEDUSA TOUCH (1978), THE OLD DARK HOUSE (1932; I also have the Kino DVD - this being my all-time favorite film!), THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY (1957), SEANCE ON A WET AFTERNOON (1964) and THINGS TO COME (1936; 2-Disc Set).

There are several titles in their catalogue I'd be interested in, especially THE CARD (1952), the THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL (1934)/THE RETURN OF THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL (1937) double-feature, the two Crazy Gang classics - THE FROZEN LIMITS (1939) and GASBAGS (1940), the three Somerset Maugham portmanteaux - QUARTET (1948), TRIO (1950) and ENCORE (1951), etc.

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Tommaso
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#7 Post by Tommaso » Sat Oct 20, 2007 5:19 am

If any Nettwork release deserves unqualified praise, it's certainly "Black Narcissus", which blows away the Criterion disc in a probably unprecedented manner. Incredibly clear and eye-popping image. I really wonder why CC don't upgrade their older Powell&Pressburger discs in general, though.

BTW: does anyone have any info on Nettwork's apparently forthcoming "Vampyr"? I have a bad feeling about this, as it might delay the much-desired MoC disc.

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colinr0380
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#8 Post by colinr0380 » Sat Oct 20, 2007 12:14 pm

mario gauci wrote:Another notable horror film which is being released by Network next Monday is Waris Hussein's THE POSSESSION OF JOEL DELANEY (1971) with Shirley MacLaine and Perry King.
That is quite a powerful little film. I remember finding that climactic beach house scene especially disturbing.

I have fond memories of catching Hell Drivers a few times when it played on television and despite remembering having seen it previously and only intending to watch the first couple of minutes, being drawn into watching the entire film! It must have happened at least three times, and I think that is one of the ways I would try to define a great film.

I see they also have a disc of Death Line out - that certainly is a film every horror fan should see, if they haven't already. Especially good is the 360° three or four minute shot (silent but for the sound of dripping water) around 'The Man's' lair - especially unnerving as it comes after a comic relief scene between Christopher Lee and Donald Pleasance and also for being in almost complete darkness!
Last edited by colinr0380 on Sat Jan 26, 2008 11:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Cabiria21
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#9 Post by Cabiria21 » Thu Jan 24, 2008 9:31 pm

Anybody have any information on last month's release of Tomas Guiterrez Alea's "Death of a Bureaucrat"?

No one seems to carry it save for Network's own website (12.99 pounds) and I can't find any reviews.

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MichaelB
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#10 Post by MichaelB » Fri Jan 25, 2008 3:00 am

If it's anything like their other Cuban releases (I recently reviewed four), it'll be an adequate but basic non-anamorphic transfer with decent removable subtitles and no extras.

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#11 Post by Stefan Andersson » Fri Jan 25, 2008 12:05 pm

Michaelb: where can I read your reviews of the Cuban films? DVD Times? And do you know if we will get LUCIA on dvd (it was CECILIA that Network released, not LUCIA, right?)
I´ve seen Cuban dvds of LUCIA and some other titles advertised on eBay.
With Eng subs.

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MichaelB
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#12 Post by MichaelB » Fri Jan 25, 2008 12:20 pm

Stefan Andersson wrote:Michaelb: where can I read your reviews of the Cuban films? DVD Times?
The next Sight & Sound, I'm afraid - out in a couple of weeks or so. And I had just 500 words to cover four discs, so it's not exactly in-depth. But the presentation was broadly similar across the board.
And do you know if we will get LUCIA on dvd (it was CECILIA that Network released, not LUCIA, right?)
No idea, and yes.

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#13 Post by mario gauci » Fri Jan 25, 2008 6:53 pm

Re: THE DEATH OF A BUREAUCRAT (1966), I've recently acquired this one via the R2 Network DVD and my spoiler-ish review of it can be found here.

I'm not much of a technical person but I'd say that the disc has as acceptable a quality - in terms of video and audio - as can reasonably be expected; as for supplements, there are none to be found but, again, this is hardly surprising.

I'd be interested in reading Michael Brooke's "Sight & Sound" pieces on Cuban cinema - especially since I've just subscribed last December and gotten OSSESSIONE (1942) and THE INNOCENTS (1961) for free into the bargain!

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Cabiria21
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#14 Post by Cabiria21 » Fri Jan 25, 2008 7:12 pm

mario gauci wrote:Re: THE DEATH OF A BUREAUCRAT (1966), I've recently acquired this one via the R2 Network DVD and my spoiler-ish review of it can be found here.
heh, small world. Your review on imdb is what made me post here. I would have never known about this release seeing as how almost nobody carries it!

I think I'm leaning towards a buy now, considering the only alternative is a terrible VHS edition at my local rental store.

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#15 Post by mario gauci » Fri Jan 25, 2008 7:36 pm

Cabiria21 wrote:heh, small world. Your review on imdb is what made me post here. I would have never known about this release seeing as how almost nobody carries it!

I think I'm leaning towards a buy now, considering the only alternative is a terrible VHS edition at my local rental store.
Well...fancy that!

For the record, I got my copy from Network themselves - at a discounted price of GBP9.70 - along with a handful of other titles from their impressive catalogue: THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL (1934)/THE RETURN OF THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL (1937), THE FROZEN LIMITS (1939; a hilarious comic gem), GASBAGS (1941) and a few more I haven't watched yet - QUARTET (1948), TRIO (1950), ENCORE (1951), THE CARD (1952) and THE POSSESSION OF JOEL DELANEY (1971).
Last edited by mario gauci on Sat Jan 26, 2008 3:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

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#16 Post by starmanof51 » Fri Jan 25, 2008 7:54 pm

mario gauci wrote:THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL (1934)/THE RETURN OF THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL (1937)
Mario, I've been contemplating this one (for the Howard film) myself as I'm aware of only upleasant public domain prints in R1. I'd appreciate knowing what you think of the condition of it.

videozor
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#17 Post by videozor » Sat Jan 26, 2008 11:38 am

Since Network has its own topic now I want to submit a question: could anybody post am=n opinion on their SE of IPCRESS FILE?

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Person
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#18 Post by Person » Sun Jan 27, 2008 12:33 pm

videozor wrote:Since Network has its own topic now I want to submit a question: could anybody post am=n opinion on their SE of IPCRESS FILE?
It's excellent. The documentary on Caine revisiting his home town is wonderful. Good transfer, but some say that the Anchor R1 image is better to some degree.

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#19 Post by John Hodson » Sun Jan 27, 2008 1:22 pm

Person wrote:
videozor wrote:Since Network has its own topic now I want to submit a question: could anybody post am=n opinion on their SE of IPCRESS FILE?
It's excellent. The documentary on Caine revisiting his home town is wonderful. Good transfer, but some say that the Anchor R1 image is better to some degree.
I owned the AB version, and I've no doubt at all that the Network transfer is superior with truer colours.

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#20 Post by zone_resident » Sat Sep 13, 2008 7:57 am

DVD Times on Flight of the Red Balloon

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Person
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Re:

#21 Post by Person » Mon Nov 03, 2008 9:44 pm

John Hodson wrote:
Person wrote:
videozor wrote:Since Network has its own topic now I want to submit a question: could anybody post am=n opinion on their SE of IPCRESS FILE?
It's excellent. The documentary on Caine revisiting his home town is wonderful. Good transfer, but some say that the Anchor R1 image is better to some degree.
I owned the AB version, and I've no doubt at all that the Network transfer is superior with truer colours.
I'll have the Blu-Ray next week, hopefully and I am eager to see if there is an improvement over the SD DVD.

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Person
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Re: Network DVD

#22 Post by Person » Sun Nov 16, 2008 9:09 pm

I see that Network have a remastered SE of Room at the Top on the way. The specs list "1.66:1 Letterbox", but hopefully it is anamorphic.

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htdm
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Re: Re:

#23 Post by htdm » Sun Nov 16, 2008 10:24 pm

Person wrote:I'll have the Blu-Ray next week, hopefully and I am eager to see if there is an improvement over the SD DVD.
I'd be interested in hearing your opinions about the Ipcress File Blu-Ray.

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Person
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Re: Network DVD

#24 Post by Person » Mon Nov 17, 2008 11:37 am

I have the Blu-Ray of The Ipcress File playing right now. Aside from the photo gallery and trailer, this one is bare bones, so I'll be holding onto the 2-disc SE. The Blu-Ray has a DD 5.1 and subtitles, though. The video transfer is excellent - the colours are far more natural, yet more vibrant, too and the detail is stronger as the copyright on the opening titles shows. The notoriously grainy and 'waxy' looking supermarket scene is now clear yet more detailed, so no DVNR seems to have been applied. Detail on the gorgeous 60s Herringbone suits is great, too. Otto Heller's cinematography in this film is often underlit (he was a pionner of this method, before Gordon Willis, Owen Roizman, etc) though never underexposed and this new transfer seems to have a better balance of contrast, brightness and radiance; fans should be delighted with the image, though not with the dropping of extras. Perhaps the rights did not carry over from Network to ITV? But porting over of extras from SD to BD seems to be given scant consideration at times.

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htdm
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Re: Network DVD

#25 Post by htdm » Mon Nov 17, 2008 9:59 pm

Thanks, Person. This is exactly what I needed to know.

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