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Old June 8th, 2003, 03:42 AM   #1
MPS Digital Studios
 
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Why do we keep getting new Special Edition DVDs?!

I'm sick of it: new DVDs coming out with more crap, after you bought the first (second, third, etc.) one.

And, worse of all, they sometimes DON'T include the theatrical version we saw in the theatre! Hey, Mr. Director, we understand you want your vision on it, but we're used to what we saw! Include both! (And don't do what they did on the latest T2 extreme DVD--make the theatrical version only available on a PC's DVD player running XP PRO! Argh! I use a Mac, whatever happened to DVDs running on Macs, and if I did have a PC, I wouldn't spend $200 on XP Pro!) And sometimes, the added stuff was cut because the pacing/time was bad/long. So the added footage is interesting, but pointless (like some of the stuff cut back into JAWS on AMC).

I love ALIENS and wanted to see the uncut (mostly due to pacing/time issues) ALIENS that was only available on Laserdisc. I pick up the ALIENS Legacy (heard they're doing another release for theatrical, then another on DVD--will I buy that, too?) on DVD and was happy ALIENS uncut was on it, but unhappy the widescreen theatrical cut wasn't. So I kept my ALIEN TRILOGY (pre-RESURRECTION) tape set (in "glorius" pan-and-scan) so I can continue watching the original cut.

Also, I hate when a special edition comes out (or just the DVD with some stuff on it), then another one comes out without the old stuff, but all new stuff (docs, interviews, etc.). A prime example is the second MEMENTO and third T2 DVDs. That means if you bought the original, you'll buy a new one. In my case, I never bought the second ULTIMATE T2 DVD, but just got the EXTREME T2 DVD. And guess what, a lot of the extras aren't on there. MEMENTO has a documentary; the new MEMENTO DVD has commentary and a "forward" cut. But no doc...So, I guess my girlfriend can't get my old MEMENTO DVD...

I make it a point NOT to buy any DVDs (that have come out in the last 3 years) with NOTHING on them, like TRAFFIC and BLACK HAWK DOWN. New ones are bound to come out! I got into DVDs when my girlfriend in high school (circa 1994) forced me to watch Oprah one day, and Oprah spotlighted new technology. DVDs were among them (due late 1997, and it was true); and considering I couldn't afford Laserdisc, and didn't fully like the 4 discs, DVD was it! I waited a whole year and received a cheapie ($250 s-l-o-w player) for X-mas 1998 and bought BLADE on DVD. At that time, DVDs finally expanded at Best Buy from a four foot by three foot rack into a couple of "aisles." But a lot of them didn't have special edition stuff. So, yes, I have had to re-buy DVDs.

But why do some filmmakers wait to release special editions? Why put out a nothing edition? Hmm...

Another annoyance is the LORD OF THE RINGS DVDs; they say (twice in a row now) they will put out one DVD with some crap and the theatrical cut in August, then an extended version with more crap in November. Now, will the extended version include the theatrical version AND all the original extras crap from the first disc? Probably not, makes no financial sense...No one would buy the August DVD, only the Nov. DVD.

It all makes total sense: Make more money! There is already three versions of T2 and THERE'S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY on DVD (both of which have been re-issued lately, T2 in conjunction with T3, but what's the deal with MARY?), and I just gave up.

Look, I'm pro-capitalist, but when studios keep doing this, people will get sick of it. "Can we milk it anymore, Hal?" "Well, George, I think the assistant grip wants to try a cut of the film." "Great, we'll throw it on DVD again!"

As hard as it may be, they should stick to ONE big DVD! Now, sometimes they want something out for rental if the director/producers/writers can't make the DVD with extras on it. Mark that sucker for a low price to buy (don't mention a new one may come soon) and make it more of a rental.

Lastly, I have a DVD coming out of a film, and I am doing my DARNEDEST not to do a second version. The only thing I could see happening is in five years I may get a ton of money (here's to hopin' and wishin') and FINALLY use this one Radiohead song. But, at that point, would it be hypocritical to put out the DVD again? Would I want to make it more tantilizing to my hopeful buyers by adding more extras? Hmm, is that how it happens?

Peace,

Heath McKnight
Filmmaker
www.mpsdigital.com
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Old June 8th, 2003, 06:08 AM   #2
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I feel the same way. I love the special features on some DVDs, like Ghost Ship, Darkness Falls, Rose Red- They actually had stuff that ENHANCED the story, and behind the scenes clips that shows how they made the movie.

I am anticipating the release of Daredevil, but I don't know if I should wait... I heard they were going to put out TWO DVDs, one PG13 (Theatrical Release), one R (Uncut, extra violent, bloody, sexy). Even though this may just be a rumor, I would much rather have the second version. I will not have two DVDs, just because they wanted more money.

I was unhappy with Lord of the Rings the first time I watched it. Then, they come out with a bigger, better, the way it SHOULD have been version. Well, because I was so unhappy the first time, I won't even watch the rest of them, let alone buy them. Speaking of that... anyone want to buy the Fellowship of the Ring? The first one...
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Old June 8th, 2003, 10:46 AM   #3
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I don't buy DVD's anymore, since they aren't high defenition. Whats the point of buying it now, when in 4 years we'll be replacing them with HD-DVDs.
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Old June 8th, 2003, 10:52 AM   #4
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"Whats the point of buying it now, when in 4 years we'll be replacing them with HD-DVDs."

Why? Because I'm a cheap bastard, and will watch the old stuff I have until it dies, or I die, whichever comes first. I know that I can't afford to buy HD, which is why I just bought a nice 36" RCA, to go along with the semi new Phillips DVD with a really nice surround setup.
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Old June 8th, 2003, 10:56 AM   #5
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If you really are a cheap basterd, just rent the DVDs!!! :)
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Old June 8th, 2003, 10:58 AM   #6
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I'm also lazy, and don't feel like driving to the store :) Besides, that would use gas, and do you realise how much they want for that stuff these days?

I can also buy DVDs for almost what it costs to rent them.
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Old June 8th, 2003, 01:26 PM   #7
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I split my purchases of DVDs evenly between 'classics' that I know I'll want forever and finally get a proper version of it in my library and movies that I know won't come to the Blockbuster any time soon.

For those classics, of course they will be superceded by a better version occasionally but I make it a point to go for the image quality of the print rather than for extras.

For the second hard to get, foreign, indie movies that I spend half my DVD buying budget on, you just can't see these films unless you buy them on DVD from an import house! They only come around during a film festival or appear for a week in an arthouse and are gone before you can make time to see them. You can bet that if you wait for whatever the next format is, you'll have an even longer wait for whatever distributor to get around to mastering it on HD-DVD or whatever the next format is!

Extras I can do without. There are great examples of DVDs packed with extras and some that are some director's drunken monologue. I usually view the extras once and not again. If HD comes out in the next four years it doesn't worry me that much. The jump in quality from VHS to DVD was huge; I don't think the jump in quality from DVD to HD resolution will seem as huge to make people dump their entire VHS collections as we've seen once DVDs dropped in price to their current level. The quality of the DVDs out right now is already lovelier than you might have seen in the theatres (underlighting, homies yelling on their cellphones, bad seats, etc.)

I think the worst example of DVD bloat are the eight versions of ARMY OF DARKNESS. I wonder if the marketers consider that some people are holding off buying any of those DVDs because they are confused by all the choices!

Another problem with extras and new directors versions is that they go back and fix things that don't need fixing. Like the original Star Wars movies. You know, I like the old special effects! I like the models! I don't like Greedo firing his blaster first before Han Solo shoots him! At hell, the FBI agents in E.T. had GUNS dammit, not CELLPHONES.

One explanation of why the directors cut comes out much later than the original DVD is that the studios are trying to release earlier to deal with the pirates who are themselves releasing DVDs very soon after the original theatrical release (or sometimes during!). So they have to make those dates and also release to Blockbuster as soon as they can. Unfortunately, sometimes, you can't be sure if they will ever release a directors cut for certain movies (indie, limited release) so sometimes you pretty much have to get that then or pay higher later to get it from stock.
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Old June 8th, 2003, 07:28 PM   #8
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<<<-- Originally posted by Keith Forman : "Whats the point of buying it now, when in 4 years we'll be replacing them with HD-DVDs."

Why? Because I'm a cheap bastard, and will watch the old stuff I have until it dies, or I die, whichever comes first. I know that I can't afford to buy HD, which is why I just bought a nice 36" RCA, to go along with the semi new Phillips DVD with a really nice surround setup. -->>>

Well, if ya read the back of The Simpsons Season 1 DVD, Groening says we'll buy all the Simpsons Seasons on DVD and then the new video format will come out! HA HA! Too true...Oh, and though I love all the commentaries and such on The Simpsons DVDs, it takes a year for each to come out! Yow! I can't see season 5 until 2005 or so, if this stays the same way. But, I guess it's worth it! Love those Simpsons...

heath
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