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PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2014 2:02 pm 
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It'd be nice if the deleted scenes didn't have someone speaking over all 'em this time


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2014 3:42 pm 
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Gregory wrote:
I guess they'll probably drop some special features from the 2-disc DVD edition, which had the 162-minute reconstructed cut, commentary, and over 3 hours of extras.

Why would you think that? Warner almost always carries over all existing bonus content as long as they have the rights to them still. The 3+ hrs of extra were all standard def and likely to stay that way, so disc space shouldn't be an issue.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2014 3:50 pm 
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I just couldn't recall Warners putting that many hours of content onto one disc before, even if a lot of it is standard-def, but you're probably right.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2014 4:31 pm 
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Yeah, see the menu navigation nightmare that is the Blade II blu-ray sometime....


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2014 11:01 pm 
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According to The Digital Bits The Big Red One will be the theatrical cut with the 169-minute Reconstruction version in SD as a special feature.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2014 11:03 pm 
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Well, saves me the trouble of "upgrading"


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2014 11:12 pm 
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I saw the listed runtime of 114 minutes at Amazon earlier but didn't believe it. Could Warners really be that stupid? Why do they think "Cannes Classics" is on the front cover? I mean, the Bits say it's "official." Didn't they mean 162, not 169 minutes, though?


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2014 12:11 am 
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Looks like the Extended Cut was finished in SD only 10 years ago, per WAC Facebook:

"WAC and WHV are separate divisions. While we occasionally will impart information regarding WHV's activities if it relates to a question asked of WAC, this has nothing to do with us, so we regret that we can't give an official answer to your question. We do know that the 'extended' cut of that film was prepared for DVD release on tape in SD only in order to keep costs down by a 3rd party producer who was not looking toward the future."

Same thing happened with the Director's Edition of Star Trek: The Motion Picture.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2014 2:13 pm 
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captveg wrote:
Looks like the Extended Cut was finished in SD only 10 years ago, per WAC Facebook:

"WAC and WHV are separate divisions. While we occasionally will impart information regarding WHV's activities if it relates to a question asked of WAC, this has nothing to do with us, so we regret that we can't give an official answer to your question. We do know that the 'extended' cut of that film was prepared for DVD release on tape in SD only in order to keep costs down by a 3rd party producer who was not looking toward the future."

Same thing happened with the Director's Edition of Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
Then they should create a new scan of the restoration that Richard Schickel and Bryan McKenzie produced in collaboration with Warner Bros. using missing film footage which premiered at Cannes. The restoration is now the main version of the film, as acknowledged by the "Cannes Classics 2004" on the cover; it's not like some kind of bonus feature. I can't believe how cheap WHV is.


Last edited by Gregory on Sun Jan 12, 2014 2:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2014 2:17 pm 
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Someone in the field can correct me if I'm wrong, but to make these alternate cuts available in HD would require doing the whole process over again which probably would cost a lot of money.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2014 8:40 pm 
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So Warner can make multiple HD versions of "The Exorcist", "Blade Runner", "Superman" available, why not "The Big Red One"? Granted it's not as popular as those other movies, but if Warner is planning to put it out on blu-ray, then they must think there is an audience for it.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2014 8:50 pm 
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knives wrote:
Someone in the field can correct me if I'm wrong, but to make these alternate cuts available in HD would require doing the whole process over again which probably would cost a lot of money.

Basically, yes


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2014 10:37 pm 
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Alternate cuts? The reconstruction is by a huge margin the closest anyone will ever see to a director's cut of this long-butchered film. The shorter cut should now be mainly watched out of scholarly interest, an example of what happens when a studio doesn't let a director work and fails to back a film because it happened to be out of fashion at the time.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2014 10:39 pm 
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My phrasing was to include the Star Trek and other like examples.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 2:45 am 
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knives wrote:
Someone in the field can correct me if I'm wrong, but to make these alternate cuts available in HD would require doing the whole process over again which probably would cost a lot of money.

They could try to use all the sequences available in HD and plug into this the missing sequences in SD, but that would be wildly inconsistent in PQ.

Point is, they probably have lots of money to do the job all over again, and should indeed do it if they think there's an audience for it.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 5:54 am 
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Why do they have an HD transfer of the old theatrical cut if they don't have one of the more recent and far higher-profile reconstruction?
There's no question about there being an audience for it, to the extent that there's an audience for The Big Red One in any form: Anyone who cares about this film and what Fuller intended will be interested in the reconstruction. It makes no sense for Warner to spend so much on the reconstruction a decade ago and now act like it didn't really matter.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 6:41 am 
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Agreed, no reconstruction cut in HD no sale. Glad I didn't sell my DVD. Hopefully Warner will reconsider.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 4:25 pm 
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Gregory wrote:
Why do they have an HD transfer of the old theatrical cut if they don't have one of the more recent and far higher-profile reconstruction?


I'd imagine that scanning film elements for the theatrical cut is rather straightforward and a cost that can be easily anticipated. If the Extended Cut was indeed finished on tape 10 years ago they'd have to completely reconstruct the film, scanning the raw elements before editing them together, which is an entirely different process, and FAR more expensive. As we've seen, the studios (and the media empires that own them) may have a lot of money, but what they give specific projects on a budget is usually relatively little, and is not forward-thinking.

So, in 2003 or so Warner saved money in the moment and compiled the Extended Cut in SD. And now apparently they don't care to budget doing it all over again - which from a cold business person perspective one can understand as the film will most assuredly sell less than 5000 copies, and an immediate return on that investment is not going to occur.

This particular film is suffering for the era in which it had the budget given to it to be reconstructed into its Extended Cut. It's not alone in this. Hell, if Paramount wasn't willing to put the money up again for the cash cow that is Star Trek, is it really that much of a surprise that Warner would pass on throwing more money at The Big Red One? (And you have all the right to say the same for the final product they are marketing).


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 5:21 pm 
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I never had the chance to see how Warner was distributing the reconstruction in 2004–2005, but seeing this news now I had a hard time believing it was shown in SD at Cannes, NYFF, etc. when a 35mm print would have been the standard back then, especially for a project of this caliber, and so much painstaking cleanup work was done on the rediscovered elements. Today it wouldn't surprise me at all to see a major studio decide not to bother distributing decent-looking prints, but ten years ago?


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 5:33 pm 
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Probably was on film but sourced from the better-than-SD-but-not-good-enough-for-HD tape.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 6:05 pm 
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Another reason I'm in a state of partial disbelief is that HD formats had already emerged by 2004, even though Blu-ray and HD-DVD players weren't quite on the market yet. If this happened in the '90s it'd be more understandable, but not to have seen the HD writing on the wall in 2004 is just idiotic, and now to go ahead with this ill-conceived Blu-ray release anyway is doubly so.
Oh well, the 2-DVD special edition will continue to do me just fine. I bought my remaindered copy for $3 at a Big Lots store, likely from among the couple million Warner DVDs that were supposed to be destroyed but instead were allegedly sold to third parties for resale, resulting in a theft lawsuit about five years ago. I remember seeing a bunch of copies of the great, great Forty Guns on clearance in their stores too. Poor Sam never gets his due.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2014 4:13 am 
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captveg wrote:
Probably was on film but sourced from the better-than-SD-but-not-good-enough-for-HD tape.


The 2004 semi-restoration of The Devils was definitely tape-only - to this day, it only exists on SD Digibeta.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2014 6:38 pm 
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Gregory wrote:
I never had the chance to see how Warner was distributing the reconstruction in 2004–2005, but seeing this news now I had a hard time believing it was shown in SD at Cannes, NYFF, etc. when a 35mm print would have been the standard back then, especially for a project of this caliber, and so much painstaking cleanup work was done on the rediscovered elements. Today it wouldn't surprise me at all to see a major studio decide not to bother distributing decent-looking prints, but ten years ago?

THE BIG RED ONE reconstruction was distributed, in part, on 35mm. Very few were struck (something like 25, if memory serves). I know because I have one in my collection. I'm doing some outreach to determine why WHV is going the SD route, though if the workflow on the reconstruction project was never HD to begin with, a print is not going to be helpful in this situation. Sadly.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2014 8:57 pm 
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Thanks for the information. Does the 35mm look like SD or is it better? (If the latter, can I just come over to your place to watch it in 35mm? Who needs blu-ray?)


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2014 9:42 pm 
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Gregory wrote:
Thanks for the information. Does the 35mm look like SD or is it better? (If the latter, can I just come over to your place to watch it in 35mm? Who needs blu-ray?)

I haven't viewed it since the initial release. I remember thinking that some, but NOT all, of the added footage looked somewhat compressed; I may have even seen video "jaggies". But it wasn't a horror story, and I'll be re-watching it very soon and can report.


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