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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2009 1:17 pm 
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Yup, the issue I have is that most of the films listed I have quality rips from TCM and other sources.

So as much as I want The Beast of the City, Trail of '98, and The Red Mill in officially released DVD form, if they are just going to put out DVD-R's, what's the point of paying $20 US to upgrade from the DVD-R's I already have?

Oh, and I live in Canada, so apparently my business isn't wanted anyway.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2009 1:22 pm 
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domino harvey wrote:
I guess this means we'll never see that elusive Gottfried Reinhardt box. In all seriousness though, this smells of the end of star-based boxed sets to me. A lot of these titles have heavy hitters and would normally have shown up as the "b-titles" in their boxes.

Yes, although, with BEAST OF THE CITY as the only Jean Harlow title listed, I'm guessing that the Harlow box set will soon see the light of day - probably too long in planning as such to do otherwise - along with another Spencer Tracy, same story, including NORTHWEST PASSAGE. I also think that BEYOND THE FOREST might find its way into yet another Bette Davis box (unless there are legal issues delaying this title) and hopefully, now that the Garbo catalogue is almost complete, TWO-FACED WOMAN as an individual release with both versions/edits represented.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2009 7:18 pm 
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Quote:
"Rasputin and the Empress" (1932), which features three Barrymore siblings, including modern "Charlie's Angels" actress Drew Barrymore's grandfather, John.

As he is best known


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2009 11:48 pm 
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As a "Barbarian Outsider" or whatever non-US resident I had a look at their download protocol FAQ. Lo and behold memories came flooding back of Fox and New Corp's abortive first attempt at an Oz download service a couple of years back which nobody ever bought. First, the only codec available is WMV, then they jam the little fucker with a desturcto-blockout DRM so you can only play it on your Computer with its own IP. And for this - less than 1 gig of course - you pay 14.95.

Does anyone wonder why so many of us now do more than two thirds of our acquisitions on P2P?

Everyone knows I think downlaoding is going to be the future (and is the present for some) but this sort of lawyer dictated technically restrictive marketing is just bullshit.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 8:47 am 
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English subtitles? español?
I'm a Joan Crawford and Borzage's fan. by the way, I miss the WB Dieterle's biopics.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 1:52 pm 
Dot Com Dom
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In case anyone needs final confirmation:

Quote:
Q: What makes an on-demand DVD Different than a Commercial DVD?

A: DVD’s produced on-demand are similar to, but not quite same as, DVD’s you’d buy at the local video store. DVD movies you buy at the local video outlet are manufactured from a mold via a stamping process whereas on-demand DVDs are "burned". Each carries information read by the DVD player, but the physical properties of the two are different.

Most DVD players are compatible with both commercial DVD-Video and one or more of the “recordable DVD formats. Our on-demand DVD’s are manufactured using the most widely accepted format, DVD-R.
The owner's manual of the DVD player usually lists which DVD recording formats it can play. Almost all DVD players can play DVD-R (except for some older models made before 2000)


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 4:39 pm 
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If I could credit the WB bubbleheads who wrote that with any imagination whatsoever, I could allow myself to give them props for a very subtle but sharp jokey-jab at the prevalence of backchannel p2p burning of DVDs onto dvd-r's, which is gnawing at their unit sales and that they're pretty much resigned now to having to go along with, since there's no Napster-type corporate-legal assault on this shit-- like there was in the 90's-- anywhere on the horizon. Like, "Well uh HEY! This MUST be the format you prefer because you won't buy movies in standard pressed DVDs half the time anymore, so we've put them in the format you OBVIOUSLY prefer most: dvd-r. You're welcome."

Thanks to the good lad who pointed out that The Big House is lurking around in there..


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 4:46 pm 
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To all are will not be able to connect to the [Official 2009 Warner Chat and Discussion] chat tonight, this thread will be posting each question and answer.

To anyone who will be attending and who will be able to ask a question, please ask about the relationship between Criterion and Warner, specifically in regards to Zabriskie Point.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 5:18 pm 

Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2009 4:26 pm
Aargh...as a Canadian I am not impressed by WB's lock-out:

so, who are the Re-sellers in the US I can order from? Like the TCM discs? Will they let us order these via eg. Amazon.us, or are they just going to ignore us altogether?

There are some fine movies on the lists I've seen, and if this is how WB (probably to be followed by the rest of the pack, if successful) are going to release their "deep catalogue titles", there's gotta be a way for us Canadians to get our meathooks in 'em: our winters are long, cold and dark, we do NEED this stuff....


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 5:44 pm 
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justeleblanc wrote:
To all are will not be able to connect to the [Official 2009 Warner Chat and Discussion] chat tonight, this thread will be posting each question and answer.

To anyone who will be attending and who will be able to ask a question, please ask about the relationship between Criterion and Warner, specifically in regards to Zabriskie Point.

Also, please ask if the burn-to-order program will be opened up to Canadian or international customers.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 8:08 pm 
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These titles will be available worldwide in the near future. So they say on the Warner chat. =D>


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 8:10 pm 
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Tell them to let The Devils go free!


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 11:08 pm 
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I appreciate the effort to get these films out, but like others on the board, I don't see how the price matches the value of the package. These seem to really be worth half the price, given their bargain-bin appearance. Hopefully the picture and sound quality is good.

Warner touts that you get a professionally printed, shrinkwrapped package, but seeing that each package design consists of a haphazardly slapped still under the film's title with a generic blue background, I would just as soon pay less for a disc in a sleeve and make my own cover.

Also, they could definitely improve the user interface significantly, including director and cast information in the rollovers (otherwise take them away, along with the really big, annoying ones on the navigation bar) and the ability to sort chronological. But oh well, at least the films are available...

RobertAltman wrote:
These titles will be available worldwide in the near future. So they say on the Warner chat.

Here's what they said about that:

Quote:
<warnerbros> 1). There will be a availability of product WORLDWIDE shortly through the Warner Archive Collection. SHORTLY. We just don't have a date yet...it could be only a few days away.... bear with us...This would be only applicable to the films where we hold worldwide rights, which is MOST of them. 2). The discs are of the highest quality. They are manufactured via propriatary MOD process which is very different from home-used DVDRs on one's computer....we guarantee the quality of these discs and will stand by them. 3) This DOES NOT replace our retail initiatives. THEY REMAIN FULL SPEED AHEAD...

And on Criterion:

Quote:
<Tor_Hestad> Any truth to the rumours regarding a licensing deal with Criterion? If true, could you elaborate, and are they/you releasing SEs of Zabriskie Point and/or Badlands? Thanks for making the WBArchive titles available worldwide!

<warnerbros> Since it was 'leaked' through the internet, we have had discussion with Criterion regarding a limited group of titles at the behest of their respective directors. ZABRISKIE POINT is being released by WHV as part of our Director's Showcase at the end of May. It's a gorgeous new anamorphic transfer.

Full transcript here.

(For the record, I didn't participate—just saw the transcript.)


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 12:11 am 
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ClassicFlix says the Strawberry Blonde and Thousands Cheer are coming to the archive

Slow news day: Warner Archives makes the front page of Yahoo


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 2:12 pm 
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I came to the realization last night that, despite all the great classics and obscure gems missing from DVD, we have been living in a golden era. For the last decade, studios have tripped over themselves (some more than others) to make their catalogs available on DVD, often in affordable box sets with commentaries, shorts, documentaries, and other features included. Everyone wanted to be Criterion at a lower price point. And now with the recession, the drop in DVD sales, and the cheaper alternative of on-demand movies (in which you are lucky if the movie you want to see is in its OAR in a decent transfer), that era has come to a close. We may be on the verge of something different, yet not better: the instant availability of almost every movie ever made that still survives, but with no frills, no image cleanup, and no contextualization, but it's not here yet. I think the next few years are going to be a relative dark ages in the area of film and DVD distribution: DVDs are going to start dropping out of print, replaced by less (Warner Archive DVD-Rs, iTunes downloads) for more ($15-$20 a pop).

Criterion will soldier on, but they've got to find a better delivery platform than The Auteurs (and one that will allow them to continue to deliver their trademark special features) if they don't want to see themselves slip back into the same tiny niche videophile market they occupied in the laserdisc era.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 2:22 pm 
Dot Com Dom
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It's been a small but wonderful window of releases, one that can be traced back to the "surprise" success of the Thin Man box and the first Gangsters and Noir sets-- Warners tested the waters and were shocked to discover that, yes, fans of older films will buy value-added boxed releases. But lately Warners got if not greedy then extremely over-confident that stacking one wanted film in a pile of crap warranted a box, only to be shocked at the low sales. Sometimes they didn't even give the film fans one film (think the Cagney box or the third Gangsters set). Now many the good films they held on to for future releases seem to be in Archive limbo, which is a shame-- Hopefully we at least get one more Musicals set so Warners can finally release Yolanda and the Thief and Lili.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 2:42 pm 
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domino harvey wrote:
But lately Warners got if not greedy then extremely over-confident that stacking one wanted film in a pile of crap warranted a box, only to be shocked at the low sales. Sometimes they didn't even give the film fans one film (think the Cagney box or the third Gangsters set).

Perfect example of this is the WB "Katherine Hepburn 100th Anniversary Collection", released to commemorate the event of her 100th b'day. Six films, all but two are totally lacklustre films (the two "noncrap" films were Morning Glory & Sylvia Scarlett), and one of them was a TV Movie from 1979!)... and to top it all off there's not even the most cursory extra dedicated to her life / bio. Just some crap films & a few cartoons.

I hate when they use box sets to dump crap that's otherwise unsellable. Aside from completists who rejoice in the opportunity to grab hole-pluggers at a low avg price-point per-film, those who blind-buy wind up getting swindled. What reads on the ad-copy as a "collection of classics and masterpieces" turn into a sad glut of career-by-the-fingernails titles that the star themselves would probably cringe to see exhumed.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 3:05 pm 
Dot Com Dom
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Instead of the Archives, Warners should take a page from Universal's star boxes: Package five films on three discs and sell them for half the price of a normal box. They'll move units and "minor" films can be unleashed on the world.

Telling Warner Bros to be more like Universal, that's one of the signs of the apocalypse isn't it


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 3:48 pm 
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HerrSchreck wrote:
domino harvey wrote:
But lately Warners got if not greedy then extremely over-confident that stacking one wanted film in a pile of crap warranted a box, only to be shocked at the low sales. Sometimes they didn't even give the film fans one film (think the Cagney box or the third Gangsters set).

Perfect example of this is the WB "Katherine Hepburn 100th Anniversary Collection", released to commemorate the event of her 100th b'day. Six films, all but two are totally lacklustre films (the two "noncrap" films were Morning Glory & Sylvia Scarlett), and one of them was a TV Movie from 1979!)... and to top it all off there's not even the most cursory extra dedicated to her life / bio. Just some crap films & a few cartoons.

Not the thread for it, but I don't see anything crap about Undercurrent. Not my favorite Minnelli, but it has its definite strengths (including Hepburn's performance, a good smaller role for Mitchum, and Freund's photography) and was more than worthy of release. Without Love was an important and enjoyable enough Tracy-Hepburn romantic comedy adapted from the play by Barry (Holiday, Philadelphia Story etc.) and I don't see that anything went awry with it -- and I'm pretty lukewarm about most of the Tracy-Hepburn films, compared to many. Even the Corn is Green I thought was in no way inferior to the original with Bette. For me, the only real stinker in the box was Dragon Seed. Nevertheless, I was really dissatisfied with the choice of titles because they didn't make any sense together and I knew it meant we'd never get DVDs of any more of the remaining '30s RKO films.

I agree about the choice of extras being irrelevant, but I was thrilled to get more Tex Avery.

domino harvey wrote:
Instead of the Archives, Warners should take a page from Universal's star boxes: Package five films on three discs and sell them for half the price of a normal box. They'll move units and "minor" films can be unleashed on the world.

That's a good idea, but sales may still be slow. The good thing about the Warner sets with titles packaged in individual amarays is that one can sell off whatever one doesn't want to keep. I even recently got someone on Amazon to order my DVD of Sinatra's None But the Brave! How much money these get varies a lot, of course, but it's often quite good.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 4:56 pm 
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Gregory wrote:
Even the Corn is Green I thought was in no way inferior...

I'm going to treat you to a gratis application of stethescopes, thermometers, monitoring patches, slow runs thru CAT scans, flashlighting into the ears, parting of the jaws with invasive analysis... you have obviously been assaulted and invaded by an alien entity and are not the gregory I've come to fondly regard from a safe distance. Don't go anywhere-- the White Coat Gang are rushing over!

Seriously... The Corn Is Green, greg? You tryinna make muck with my brain?


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 6:19 pm 
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Matt wrote:
I came to the realization last night that, despite all the great classics and obscure gems missing from DVD, we have been living in a golden era. For the last decade, studios have tripped over themselves (some more than others) to make their catalogs available on DVD, often in affordable box sets with commentaries, shorts, documentaries, and other features included. Everyone wanted to be Criterion at a lower price point. And now with the recession, the drop in DVD sales, and the cheaper alternative of on-demand movies (in which you are lucky if the movie you want to see is in its OAR in a decent transfer), that era has come to a close. We may be on the verge of something different, yet not better: the instant availability of almost every movie ever made that still survives, but with no frills, no image cleanup, and no contextualization, but it's not here yet. I think the next few years are going to be a relative dark ages in the area of film and DVD distribution: DVDs are going to start dropping out of print, replaced by less (Warner Archive DVD-Rs, iTunes downloads) for more ($15-$20 a pop).

Criterion will soldier on, but they've got to find a better delivery platform than The Auteurs (and one that will allow them to continue to deliver their trademark special features) if they don't want to see themselves slip back into the same tiny niche videophile market they occupied in the laserdisc era.

It's an interesting theory, but I think it must be stressed that the Warner Archive program is actually doing the reserve of what it's intending to do. Where in the past, a boxset of noirs or gangster flicks would've been purchased by overseas or Canadian customers, by making Warner Archive available to US customers only, it further ghettoizes these "obscure" titles and the classics catalog once again becomes a relic in the WB warehouse. Moreover, the biggest problem with online distribution methods is that tangled web of copyright issues will only make availability more problematic which will in turn (and rather ironically) only exacerbate pirating. One of the best things about the DVD-era is that with region-free players and online shopping, cinematic history was available to anyone who wanted it. Online distribution methods will only horribly reverse that, a future of tangled copy protection, copyright headaches and yet another round re-negotiating licenses for the online era will only push early cinema back into dusty closets.

However, I don't see a problem of Criterion continuing to be a niche player as long as they continue operating with the same general principles. Just like in the laserdisc and DVD era, they set the standard for the online distribution model rather than trying to follow it. The Auteurs is a wobbly first step, but it still feels like Criterion testing the waters more than committing to any delivery method just yet. Hopefully they have a game plan on how to do it right. The first step I think will be offering full HD (1080p) streams of all content. That alone will raise the bar significantly.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 6:28 pm 
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I meant that as somewhat faint praise. The question is not whether it's a great or outstanding film; it really isn't, at least not any normal senses of those terms. The question is whether it's a terrible film, which I do not think it is and I've yet to see any reason why it is. Another good question is whether it was good for what it was: a 1970s TV period film, a late Hepburn, etc. If one likes other films from these categories but didn't like this one for some reason, then that's interesting. I'd certainly rather watch this than Rooster Cogburn or On Golden Pond (I won't mention another film of hers from around the same time, which I can't help initializing as OOOF). But the music is cheesy and it's probably a pretty easy target in some respects.
My interest in The Corn is Green comes out of an interest in Hepburn's entire career and the generally iconoclastic quality of her roles and related questions of gender politics in film (alongside the careers of others such as Garbo, Davis, and Crawford). It's also interesting from the standpoint of looking at ideological issues in Cukor's career (I specify that just because there's not much interesting visually going on in the film).

Anyway, if I were going to give an example of a Warner set with one or two good films packed in with lots of dross, it would probably be the Humphrey Bogart Signature Collection Vol.2 and a number of others I never bought.
Schreck wrote:
not the gregory I've come to fondly regard from a safe distance

Thanks, friend. :wink:


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 6:38 pm 
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Antoine Doinel wrote:
the Warner Archive program is actually doing the reserve of what it's intending to do. Where in the past, a boxset of noirs or gangster flicks would've been purchased by overseas or Canadian customers, by making Warner Archive available to US customers only, it further ghettoizes these "obscure" titles and the classics catalog once again becomes a relic in the WB warehouse.

They plan to make the discs available worldwide, they just haven't ironed out the kinks yet:
Warner Bros. wrote:
There will be a availability of product WORLDWIDE shortly through the Warner Archive Collection. SHORTLY. We just don't have a date yet...it could be only a few days away.... bear with us... This would be only applicable to the films where we hold worldwide rights, which is MOST of them.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 6:47 pm 
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Well, color me very cautiously optimistic.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 6:58 pm 
~_~
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I would hate to think they're giving up the SE dvd. Can't be. Maybe a Kazan boxset with America, America wouldn't sell but I know I would buy one. And if I'm relegated to the ghetto of getting it on DVD-R from them, fine. But I don't see all special editions going away.

If anything, I truly believe now is the best time to create a home library. Discs couldn't be cheaper. You no longer have to wait for those DDD 20% off sales. Almost every other day, if you look, you'll find a bargain to be had for about six dollars average. The studios seem to believe, or at least want, people to rebuy their stuff on blu-ray. And since those don't sell unless they're roughly the same cost as full MSRP dvds, I think now we're in an incredible buying era. Unless you need it the first day it's out, you can buy many dvds for so much less.

Hell, the types of players today are ridiculous, too. I never ever knew until yesterday that they have dvd players that can play movie files from a usb (fat32) connection. Never. I mean, hello!? And I'm talking Yamaha here, not some crazy unknown brand like they had back in the day. To me, that's insane. The thought of slapping the entire Frasier series onto some hard drive and have it play endlessly on loop in the kitchen is amazing.

But nothing beats a clean image. A great, newly-restored picture, plus a slew of bonus features, and we're in heaven. That's why I think DVDBeaver is still around - people want to know, so when they buy it they know they're getting the best. My two cents anyway...


Last edited by exte on Tue Mar 24, 2009 7:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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