Title: Warner Archive Collection
Eric Cotenas - March 21, 2009 05:30 PM (GMT)
Warner Bros is making available on DVD some of their "archive" titles direct from the WB shop to US addresses only. Among their small selection of horror titles is Hammer's CRESCENDO in 16:9:
Another interesting title is BRAINSTORM which I saw on television years ago.
They list the Greta Garbo film THE KISS in the horror section but that's because they mixed up their listing with the eighties Canadian film (so they credit Garbo alongside Joanna Pacula and Meredith Salenger).CRESCENDO.
Miles Wood - March 21, 2009 05:56 PM (GMT)
|QUOTE (Eric Cotenas @ Mar 21 2009, 11:30 AM)|
| Warner Bros is making available on DVD some of their "archive" titles direct from the WB shop to US addresses only. Among their small selection of horror titles is Hammer's CRESCENDO in 16:9 |
What's the thinking behind this strategy? Just putting money in the pockets of eBay sellers.
Eric Cotenas - March 21, 2009 06:13 PM (GMT)
Rights issues probably. Though I'm sure they'll pop up on eBay at inflated prices.
Jeff McKay - March 21, 2009 06:44 PM (GMT)
Over at HTF, it's been clarified that Warners is doing it this way to avoid mass-replication of very niche or classic titles that wouldn't sell in huge numbers. By doing it "on demand", they replicate only what they sell and keep manufacturing costs way down that way. Therefore, they also aren't sitting on thousands of unsold product. It sucks about foreign customers being locked out (and maybe they will rectify that eventually), but this does sound like a feasible smart plan. They may not sell the same amount as going through all the retailers and usual distribution, but they also seriously cut down on manufacturing costs, plus every dollar of these sales goes directly to them. This could be the wave of the future for smaller library titles that otherwise would never get released at all.
Only worry right now is the DVD-R or DVD issue. The site indicates these will be 16x9 and all that, but can they actually make a real pressed DVD individually to order like this - or are they going to be DVD-R's?
Eric Cotenas - March 21, 2009 07:04 PM (GMT)
well, is it literally on demand or perhaps in smaller batches. i'm sure a studio like warner could strike a deal for pressing of smaller quantities.
Bob Cashill - March 21, 2009 07:47 PM (GMT)
This from the HTF's Ron Epstein (who adds that the news waa supposed to break on Monday, but that's out the window):
"For years Warner has resisted releasing small catalog titles in
fear that they would not sell. There are too many obscure titles
in studio libraries that never see the light of day simply because it
costs too much to replicate them on a large scale only to see a small
percentage of purchases.
All that is about to change in a huge way.
Warner is going to roll out a "made to order" program where they
will be offering very rare and obscure catalog titles to the public
that can be ordered online and will be replicated according to demand.
Let me explain further....
Every few months Warner will release a "wave" of new titles for this
program. They will range from silent films, forgotten classics and
even small films from the 70s-90s. They will not be mass replicated
to be sold in stores. Instead, anyone that wants a title will go to
Warner's website, order it, and have it sent to their mailbox within
three days. The titles will only be replicated according to the amount
of orders received.
The titles will arrive in regular packaging with artwork and a printed
label on the DVD.
The quality of these DVDs (and I forgot to mention these are only DVDs)
are as good as anything you would expect the studio to release. They
will be in their proper aspect ratio, 16x9, and with the necessary audio
codecs. Nothing will suffer when it comes to presentation quality.
The DVDs will cost $19.95 each
What this program will allow the studio to do is to release films it
never was able to make previously available to the public."
Titles of interest include DOC SAVAGE, MAN OF BRONZE, CAPTAIN SINDBAD, John Frankenheimer's ALL FALL DOWN, Rod Steiger in AL CAPONE and THE SERGEANT...
Lots of good stuff. And I'd love to see the other studios follow suit if successful. But I wonder if this spells the end of WB's great box sets, with all the attendant bells and whistles.
Wade Sowers - March 21, 2009 09:29 PM (GMT)
. . .I ordered a few as I have been waiting for some of these titles to appear on the scene - if you can believe the little bits of film available for preview, these look pretty good; I wish them all the luck with this idea as I suspect this is the only way we will ever get a hard copy . . . thanks heaps to Eric for the posting . . .
Doran Gaston - March 21, 2009 09:59 PM (GMT)
I like this idea even though I don't think that I've ever seen a single movie that's a part of this Warner collection. I think that if other studios released movies in this way, and that allowed them to release niche titles that might not get any release otherwise without a big financial risk, that would be great.
Kenneth Warner - March 21, 2009 10:14 PM (GMT)
It sounds like a video version of what Warner has been doing with their "RHINO HANDMADE" series for music recordings for a number of years.
Terry Barhorst, Jr. - March 21, 2009 10:22 PM (GMT)
What's the window of opportunity for each 'wave' of films? Is each set of films going to be replaced by the next set or will they accumulate? There's definitely some interesting films in there, but at $20.00 a pop, plus shipping, forget impulse buying.
Bob Cashill - March 22, 2009 01:06 AM (GMT)
takes you to all 150 titles in the first wave, which includes Coppola's RAIN PEOPLE, Altman's COUNTDOWN, EL CONDOR, George C. Scott's RAGE...
Marty McKee - March 22, 2009 02:17 AM (GMT)
They surely are doing an awful job of selling these titles. The cover art is the pits (wouldn't they be better off putting Burt Reynolds' name and face on ANGEL BABY, for instance), and could they have chosen duller clips to showcase? The 30 seconds they use of EL CONDOR is of Elisha Cook Jr. with barely a Jim Brown, Lee Van Cleef, or even a gunshot in sight.
Michael Blanton - March 22, 2009 05:23 AM (GMT)
I bought BRAINSTORM and EL CONDOR.
Oddly, I was charged taxes - I live in WA state - but shipping was free. The order indicated that shipping was supposed to be $5.95, but then when I checked out I received a message that there would be free shipping to my address once. A little confusing, but I think it means your first order will be shipped free, you'll be charged shipping for all future orders.
Lang Thompson - March 22, 2009 01:10 PM (GMT)
I've heard there's a discount code XB392 that will give 25% off on up to five discs but haven't tried it.
I hope these are actually pressed discs and turn up on Netflix because even the ones I want to see I don't want to see $20 worth. And yes the whole point is to not spend much money on the series due to the limited appeal but Marty's right these could be marketed better. At least sit an intern down for an afternoon and put years and a tiny plot summary on the site.
Bob Cashill - March 22, 2009 02:06 PM (GMT)
Admittedly, a lot of these are the kinds of titles that you come across on TCM and say, "I should record that," but then say, "Ah, next time." Again and again... :)
And it would be nice if there were such a thing as a rent-to-buy option.
But if it catches on it may be the next big thing in catalog DVDs. Maybe the only thing; that side of the market seems at low ebb, as the majors flog the hits on DVD.
Miles Wood - March 22, 2009 02:26 PM (GMT)
|QUOTE (Marty McKee @ Mar 21 2009, 08:17 PM)|
|They surely are doing an awful job of selling these titles. The cover art is the pits |
But as these aren't going to be found in stores the cover art is surely fairly insignificant, no? At least a couple of these titles, CAPTAIN SINBAD and COUNTDOWN, have long been on my wants list but surely the former is something that would sell better if someone could happen across it browsing in a shop. I have a soft spot for CRESCENDO (pricier than the 4 film Icons of Horror set!) and I'll probably look to upgrade from my DOC SAVAGE LD - that's if I can find a way to buy them - but a lot of these seem like things one wouldn't make a special effort to order (it's not like adding it to a Deep Discount order during the sale) and I wonder if a lot of casual buyers will even be aware of their existence.
Wade Sowers - March 22, 2009 02:47 PM (GMT)
|QUOTE (Miles Wood @ Mar 22 2009, 08:26 AM)|
| I wonder if a lot of casual buyers will even be aware of their existence. |
. . . I suppose that is the point here in that it seems geared more toward people who probably are not "casual buyers" and can they make money marketing to them in this fashion - I hope so as the idea of having a copy of the first film by Richard Brooks, THE RAIN PEOPLE, a couple of movies by Borzage, pre M*A*S*H. Altman, the last film by Walsh, Harlow "incredibly sexy as a gang moll" in THE BEAST OF THE CITY - well, it does appeal to me; there is a lot of good stuff here and I hope it works for them . . . I do think it would help if they could take the price per DVD down a bit . . .
Andrew Fitzpatrick - March 22, 2009 02:48 PM (GMT)
It does seem to be somewhat of a self-defeating method of selling discs. $19.95 is what I'd expect to pay for a Blu-Ray catalog release, not 45 year-old Jeff Hunter movies. Once you add a couple of titles in that cart (and don't you just love the way it rockets you back up to the top of the page after you "add to cart"?) that price really adds up.
Even at $5 cheaper, people like me would be willing to take a chance on a goofy Hammer title like Crescendo, or something like The Little Drummer Girl, that I remember always seeing on the shelf at Video Vault and thinking..."maybe next week"
Marty McKee - March 22, 2009 04:09 PM (GMT)
|QUOTE (Miles Wood @ Mar 22 2009, 09:26 AM)|
| But as these aren't going to be found in stores the cover art is surely fairly insignificant, no? |
I think packaging is always significant, but I suppose that's the marketing copywriter in me talking. True, the target audience for these discs is not your average Best Buy browser. But packaging is more than just catching one's eye on the shelf. It's about branding and making a statement and convincing the customer that he's buying something with worth, and Warners' statement seems to be, "We don't really care."
Even in the way these discs are presented to us. See the clip from DOC SAVAGE. It's completely random. It picks up during the titles and cuts off right in the middle of the opening narration. The whole venture sends a message to me that the studio is just going through the motions. And I think for $26.00 per disc (including shipping), I need more.
Mike Mariano - March 22, 2009 04:20 PM (GMT)
They are also offering THE GEORGE RAFT STORY w/Ray Danton and Jayne Mansfield (and Julie London) and William Conrad's psycho-thriller MY BLOOD RUNS COLD w/Troy Donahue and Joey Heatherton. First time on home video for both, I think.
Erik Nelson - March 23, 2009 02:14 AM (GMT)
Standout titles for me are:
MR. LUCKY - A favorite Cary Grant movie of mine, with a WWII background and Laraine Day. This was an RKO release, and there are all sorts of major RKO films(THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS, WAGONMASTER, and LETTER FROM AN UNKNOWN WOMAN) and favorite films (NIGHTFALL, FIVE CAME BACK, and many more) that I would hope would eventually see the light of day.
DUSTY AND SWEETS MCGEE - Written and directed by Floyd Mutrux and cinematography by William Fraker. I haven't seen this in a couple of decades and I don't think it has ever come out on home video. I believe the soundtrack was compiled by Rick Nelson, and the songs were used in an innovative way, a couple of years before AMERICAN GRAFFITTI and MEAN STREETS.
HEART BEAT - A good evocation of the Beat era, with fine performances by Nick Nolte, John Heard, Sissy Spacek, and Ann Dusenberry and Ray Sharkey. Written and directed by John Byrum from Carolyn Cassady's autobiography. Memorable cinematography by Laszlo Kovacs, fine score by Jack Nitzsche, and one of my favorite songs "I Love Her Too" sung by Aaron Neville.
Along with Lang, I hope these turn up on Netflix, as there are a lot of them I would like to see, but not buy blind - CAPTAIN SINBAD, THE D.I., EL CONDOR, or in the case of RAIN PEOPLE, hazy memories.
Any other recommendations?
Kenneth Warner - March 23, 2009 03:16 AM (GMT)
|QUOTE (Bob Cashill @ Mar 22 2009, 09:06 AM)|
|Maybe the only thing; that side of the market seems at low ebb, as the majors flog the hits on DVD.|
If retail stores won't carry anything else, not much they can do, really.
The video business is just having to face what the music business faced for the last few years: the shrinking floor space and stores insisting on stocking only new releases & greatest hits.
The next thing you know, the video business will follow the music industry in releasing most product in the form of "eco-friendly" (read: cost-saving) packaging that reduces it to a disc in a cheap cardboard sleeve, further rendering the physical product less attractive compared to other methods of acquiring said product - both legal and not.
Patrick Lefcourt - March 23, 2009 03:28 AM (GMT)
|QUOTE (Erik Nelson @ Mar 23 2009, 02:14 AM)|
| DUSTY AND SWEETS MCGEE - Written and directed by Floyd Mutrux and cinematography by William Fraker. I haven't seen this in a couple of decades and I don't think it has ever come out on home video. I believe the soundtrack was compiled by Rick Nelson, and the songs were used in an innovative way, a couple of years before AMERICAN GRAFFITTI and MEAN STREETS. |
YESSSSS!!!!! I can finally retire the blurry boot I got at a Chiller con a dozen years ago. Great, great, great movie.
This and ALL FALL DOWN are my picks.
Bill Picard - March 23, 2009 03:33 AM (GMT)
I can't remember the last time I spent $20 on a single movie, and there are few here I'd put that much down for right now, especially since many of them appear on TCM every year or so, as Bob noted. The 3 Borzages have all been on in the past 6 months, but HEARTS DIVIDED, another WB, rarely appears and isn't on the release list. I would like to see WICHITA, though.
John Black - March 23, 2009 05:57 AM (GMT)
I think my first order will be for BRAINSTORM and HEART BEAT.
The website itself isn't perfect. I clicked on BRAINSTORM and got a description of the later film of the same name with Chris Walken and Louise Fletcher. The film clip was of Anne Francis, however. Then, I clicked on HEART BEAT. This time, the description was accurate, but the film clip was some family looking B&W flick. There seem to be bugs in the website, judging from the above two attempts. Hopefully, the discs will indeed be good quality, and anamorphic.
Maybe this will be the wave of the future. Maybe we even get Paramount and Universal to cough up some vintage titles!
This thing almost sounds too good to be true. But, I'll take the plunge and order those two titles.
Many other titles intrigued me, including MY BLOOD RUNS COLD, CRESCENDO, and ANGEL BABY. This is only the first package of titles. More will be released later, I assume, unless there's no consumer response to this first batch.
Miles Wood - March 23, 2009 06:16 AM (GMT)
If you've seen HEART BEAT and like it, go for it, but I wouldn't recommend buying it sight unseen. It's a film that, for a variety of reasons, I thought would be really "cool" but actually isn't all that interesting. ANGEL BABY would probably be a better choice, being genuinely offbeat, though I'm not sure it's something I need to own on DVD.
Now I'm kinda interested in seeing DUSTY & SWEETS McGEE, not to mention Mutrux's later films THE HOLLYWOOD KNIGHTS (in which I notice the lead character is called Newbomb Turk, so I guess a certain garage punk band liked it) and THERE GOES MY BABY, which are both available for a much cheaper price.
Miles Wood - March 23, 2009 07:03 AM (GMT)
It seems these may only be DVD-R's after all with Robert Harris being quoted as saying:
"The discs themselves are burned, not pressed. None that I've seen have had any problems, and press vs. burn should not be a controversy."
On the contrary, I think it will be a controversy, particularly at $20 a pop. It seems downloads will be available for $5 less...wonder if these will be restricted to US residents?
Marc Edward Heuck - March 23, 2009 09:27 AM (GMT)
|QUOTE (Miles Wood @ Mar 23 2009, 12:16 AM)|
| Now I'm kinda interested in seeing DUSTY & SWEETS McGEE, not to mention Mutrux's later films THE HOLLYWOOD KNIGHTS (in which I notice the lead character is called Newbomb Turk, so I guess a certain garage punk band liked it) and THERE GOES MY BABY, which are both available for a much cheaper price. |
I was in college with Eric Davidson, one of the members of the late great Columbus band the New Bomb Turks, who I suspect you're referring to. :D
Hal Horn - March 23, 2009 02:42 PM (GMT)
This has to be the first time on home video in any form for the rarely screened Steve McQueen vehicle AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE, the only McQueen film I haven't seen.
Also, I guess I can cross ONE ON ONE off the review list for the blog...:)
Terry Barhorst, Jr. - March 23, 2009 02:54 PM (GMT)
I read over at avmaniacs that $5 downloads may be coming. Still a little stiff for a file (that you may not be able to play on your tv and who knows what kind of straitjacket, restrictive drm it would have), but it seems pretty good compared to $20 for a dv-r'd movie, but maybe that's the point. Still, ImaginAsian, did something similar with anime/dv-r's a couple of years ago (for only $10 a disc), and those discs are still fine.
The website that looks and works like it was thrown together in a couple of days doesn't inspire confidence either.
Brian Camp - March 23, 2009 03:08 PM (GMT)
Is there any reason why Netflix can't simply order copies of everything WB is offering and then include the titles in their catalog?
Terry Barhorst, Jr. - March 23, 2009 03:13 PM (GMT)
Do'h, that's downloads for $5 less, so 14.99 for the privilege of owning a file with who knows what kind of format/codec/drm.
Marty McKee - March 23, 2009 05:01 PM (GMT)
I'm encouraged by this news:Likely upcoming TV additions to the MOD service, said Feltenstein, include "Maverick," "77 Sunset Strip," "Bourbon Street Beat," "Bronco," "Lawman" and "Hawaiian Eye."
I can't figure out why Warners hates making money so much that they have so far refused to release MAVERICK on DVD.Variety article
Doran Gaston - March 23, 2009 10:19 PM (GMT)
At CartoonBrew.com, Jerry Beck writes that the people at Warner Bros in charge of this thing are considering releasing some animation:http://www.cartoonbrew.com/classic/the-war...collection.html
I consider that welcome news, but hearing that these discs are DVD-Rs and not actual pressed DVDs puts me off of the idea of spending $20 on them.
Miles Wood - March 24, 2009 01:48 AM (GMT)
Is it just me, or does the fact that these are seemingly DVD-R's rather than actual DVD's make it feel a little like buying from some bootlegger (on eBay), something I've always resisted because I prefer the money going to the right hands and I've always wanted proper DVD's rather than DVD-R's.
Am I right in thinking they can't put copy protection on DVD-R's, so actually folks will very easily be able to make a copies that will be of equal quality/worth to the original? Maybe Warner are taking such matters into consideration when doing their pricing?
I wonder if this is signals the beginning of the end for DVD? Unless some Warner Exec in somewhere like the UK or Japan has high regard for such and such a title, this surely means none of these titles will ever be released on DVD, and if they're not considered high profile enough for DVD they surely won't be released on Bluray. Odd when some of them actually made it onto laserdisc.
Terry Barhorst, Jr. - March 24, 2009 02:21 AM (GMT)
|QUOTE (Miles Wood @ Mar 23 2009, 07:48 PM)|
| Am I right in thinking they can't put copy protection on DVD-R's, so actually folks will very easily be able to make a copies that will be of equal quality/worth to the original? Maybe Warner are taking such matters into consideration when doing their pricing? |
Actually, they can put copy protection on DVD-Rs (see the ImaginAsian discs). It won't stop anyone with enough technical know-how from ripping them, though. Just like it's been for the last 10 years or so.
If they were taking such matters into consideration, they'd price it attractively enough that no one would go through the hassle of making a copy.
Dave Garrett - March 24, 2009 03:32 AM (GMT)
|QUOTE (Terry Barhorst @ Jr.,Mar 23 2009, 08:21 PM)|
|Actually, they can put copy protection on DVD-Rs (see the ImaginAsian discs). It won't stop anyone with enough technical know-how from ripping them, though. Just like it's been for the last 10 years or so.|
Yep. The FAQ
at the Warner Archive site indicates that they'll be using CSS encryption on these discs. Guess that means an extra step for those who'd like to burn backups as insurance against failure.
Transcript from tonight's Home Theater Forum chat with Warner Home Video is now up here
, with more info on both the Archive series as well as regular DVD/BD releases to come.
Marty McKee - March 24, 2009 03:45 AM (GMT)
As usual, there's a bunch of "maybes," "sometime in the near futures," and "we'll sees" in the chat. Not a lot of hard info. I look forward to seeing the Monogram Charlie Chans and the Bowery Boys (I'll believe it when I see them). And hopefully the later Tarzans (seems to me it's impossible to not make money with these). Nobody asked about SHARKY'S MACHINE (I think that's still Warners)? He did say there's no discussion of re-releasing previous full-frame discs in widescreen, so I guess that answers the SHARKY'S question. Again, how can a studio not make money with SHARKY'S MACHINE?
And still...no GREEN SLIME! Boooooooo.
Miles Wood - March 24, 2009 03:49 AM (GMT)
|QUOTE (Terry Barhorst, Jr. @ Mar 23 2009, 08:21 PM)|
| Actually, they can put copy protection on DVD-Rs (see the ImaginAsian discs). It won't stop anyone with enough technical know-how from ripping them, though. Just like it's been for the last 10 years or so.|
If they were taking such matters into consideration, they'd price it attractively enough that no one would go through the hassle of making a copy.
That's the thing with Copy Protection; it's not going to stop the pro-bootlegger who one would think would be the main target. And yes, the price for these DVD-R's really should be $9.99 not $19.99.
Interesting that on the HTF chat they say they will be available worldwide; whether that means they will set up individual bases of operation for shipping out the discs in various parts of the world or they will simply change from the current US only addresses, who knows?
Terry Barhorst, Jr. - March 24, 2009 04:05 AM (GMT)
|QUOTE (Miles Wood @ Mar 23 2009, 09:49 PM)|
| That's the thing with Copy Protection; it's not going to stop the pro-bootlegger who one would think would be the main target. And yes, the price for these DVD-R's really should be $9.99 not $19.99. |
Copy protection/drm only inconveniences the people who buy the dvd.