WB Archive Collection: DVDs On Demand!

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Re: WB Archive Collection: DVDs On Demand!

Postby Ben » July 8th, 2018, 4:39 pm

The "international cut" is the actual correct version of the film. It was original distributor TriStar who cut it down further for the US market, and as such this was never an "official" version (despite being released theatrically in the US!) owned by Warner Bros. Since this version (the edited US cut) is TriStar's work, but now WB owns the film, they do not own or have access to this distributor's cut, so we'll likely never see that version again.

Warners do own the Director's Cut, which is essentially the full/international cut with most of the added scenes back in (similar to the extended cuts made for TV). However, since this was apparently only ever assembled on high-end videotape, there is no film element to scan and make a new HD master.

The best, and most authentic version of the Supergirl movie, is the version that WB is putting out. Since the Director Cut would only be SD anyway, I think it’s cool that WB have even decided to add another disc, albeit a DVD, as well as the original publicity extras. And all this on an Archive release!? The next 4 For 44 can’t come soon enough!!

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Re: WB Archive Collection: DVDs On Demand!

Postby gaastra » July 8th, 2018, 9:19 pm

I see. Guess i'll hang on to my vhs copy. Still great it's on Blu-ray. Plus extras! Will need to pick this up for my comics movies collection.

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Re: WB Archive Collection: DVDs On Demand!

Postby droosan » July 8th, 2018, 9:56 pm

I've only seen the Supergirl movie once, way back when .. and have never been particularly compelled to revisit it. :|

Jerry Goldsmith's score for the film, OTOH, is part of my regular rotation of adventure soundtracks. It's a nice companion piece to John Willams' Superman score, IMO.



My personal favorite incarnation of the character, though, is the (all-too-brief!) Super Best Friends Forever.


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Re: WB Archive Collection: DVDs On Demand!

Postby Ben » July 9th, 2018, 5:27 am

Supergirl, to me, feels more like it came from a decade earlier, with its new-agey tone and TV-movie style antics. There are some things to like and, like Superman III, when it gets a bit more serious (as in the trip through the Phantom Zone), it can start to get close to being really good, but then the hippy-dippy nature of Argo[insert joke reference here] City and the abysmally bad FX in the final showdown really pulls it apart. It’s like it came before the Reeve movies and they said "wow, if we made a Superman movie like this it could be really great!"

So it definitely takes a step backwards from what actually came before. It’s a pretty messed up film, tonally, and with a pretty seriously big budget for the time that still looks like it was shot on the cheap. And yet it still has its charms, mostly indeed down to Jerry's score, particularly the "water ballet" that Kara performs when she first arrives and has some excellent wire work. But Slater's playing of naïveté mostly comes off as inexperience, and the dopey love story (because shes's a girl, right?) is a non-starter in several ways.

I remember that poster (on the cover of the soundtrack) promised so much and the film delivered...well, not so little, but certainly underwhelming, even if there is some kind of train wreck mentality that keeps you watching and willing it to be even just slightly better than it is. I have that CD, and it’s one that does get a spin more often than not, the score being the one constant that really does pull the film together and keeps it from failing entirely.

The big question I always had, though, was not where Superman was (it’s explained in a single line on a radio that he’s off battling some space monsters or something), but that since this clearly takes place in the Reeverse (I like what I did there!), as she gazes proudly at a publicity still from Superman: The Movie at one point, then where was Kara in Superman IV...? ;)

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Re: WB Archive Collection: DVDs On Demand!

Postby droosan » July 9th, 2018, 9:58 am

Ben wrote:where was Kara in Superman IV...? ;)


Image

I'm only half-joking; this issue was published about midway between the Supergirl movie and Superman IV. She actually stayed dead in the comics, for many years. :cry:

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Re: WB Archive Collection: DVDs On Demand!

Postby EricJ » July 9th, 2018, 10:54 am

Ben wrote:Supergirl, to me, feels more like it came from a decade earlier, with its new-agey tone and TV-movie style antics.


As a diehard "Santa Claus: the Movie" defender, I'll never know WHY the Salkinds kept giving mid-80's directorial jobs to Hacks-R-Us director Jeannot Szwarc, best known for directing half the 70's TV-movies and series episodes coming out of Universal.

then where was Kara in Superman IV...? ;)

Sitting out the movie like most of the original-trilogy cast, I'm guessing.

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Re: WB Archive Collection: DVDs On Demand!

Postby gaastra » July 9th, 2018, 3:47 pm

The big question I always had, though, was not where Superman was


Funny you bring that up as superman was going to be in the film. Reeves signed up to do the cameo but could not due it due to home matters and the cameo was never filmed. Shame.
Last edited by gaastra on July 11th, 2018, 8:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: WB Archive Collection: DVDs On Demand!

Postby Ben » July 9th, 2018, 7:25 pm

Droo...that may explain things, but not in the Reeverse! ;)

Eric, Szwarc was actually a half decent director who got saddled with bad scripts or low budgets. When he got something worthwhile, he could shine as well as any other director of the time, as the vastly underrated Jaws 2 shows. Now, again, a lot of the success of that film was down to Williams' music, but he did innovate too. I also happen to think that Santa Claus is a great film for its time (though it is stuck in that time!), even if bizarrely it used to be packaged with the Super movies on home video!

And most of the original trilogy cast was back for Supes IV, barring being dead or in prison. Reeve, Hackman, Kidder and Cooper all turn up as expected: anyone else was redundant. Supergirl could have turned up, but I guess she was back in innerspace making plastic molded bugs come to life...

Gaastra, as far as I understood it, Reeve (no s) was done after Superman III and never agreed to a Supergirl cameo. The best he did was to let them use his likeness in that S:TM publicity still, and even that was after they threatened to use it anyway, since they owned it. There’s also the rumour that Supergirl was supposed to be introduced in III, but that never got past being a one-off suggestion, even if it did lead to the genesis of the Supergirl movie.

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Re: WB Archive Collection: DVDs On Demand!

Postby gaastra » July 9th, 2018, 8:37 pm

Reeves was going to have a cameo. It has been talked about before in interviews but as it never got filmed so it doesn't matter.


Edit--Looks like he bowed out early in production.


"Christopher Reeve was slated to have a cameo as Superman but bowed out early on. His non-appearance in the film is explained via a news broadcast (overheard by Selena) stating that Superman has left Earth on a "peace-seeking mission" to a distant galaxy. Director Jeannot Szwarc said in the Superman documentary You Will Believe... that Reeve's involvement in this film would have given the feature higher credibility, and he admitted he wished Reeve had made a contribution to the film's production. A publicity photo of him as Superman, however, did appear as a poster in Lucy and Linda's shared dorm room.
Marc McClure makes his fourth of five appearances in the Superman-related films; he is the only actor to appear in all four films featuring Superman and this spin-off film. Demi Moore auditioned for and was cast as character Lucy Lane but bowed out to make the film Blame It on Rio. Maureen Teefy was signed instead. "

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supergirl_(1984_film)


Sigh. That would have been a nice bonus.

So is this all the superman films on Blu-ray? (not counting the Turkish film) Is superman vs the mole men on Blu-ray? Is the serials on Blu-ray?

By the way anyone got the porky pig set? Is it worth getting? I'm thinking about it or swat kats.

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Re: WB Archive Collection: DVDs On Demand!

Postby droosan » July 9th, 2018, 9:25 pm

gaastra wrote:By the way anyone got the porky pig set? Is it worth getting? I'm thinking about it or swat kats.


If you have all six volumes of the Looney Tunes Golden Collection boxed DVD sets, then you already have about half of the cartoons on Porky 101 (even the commentaries -- for the cartoons which have them -- are the exact same as on the LTGC). All but two of the cartoons are in black & white.

But the beauty of the Porky 101 set -- aside from just being for 'completists', who'd want every Porky Pig cartoon -- is that the cartoons are presented sequentially .. so the viewer can see Porky being developed and perfected over time, as different directors and animators placed him in various situations and played him against other characters in the LT stable.

I'm really hoping Warner Archive will someday follow-up this set with similar sequential (and complete!) presentations of those other characters..!

That said, the Swat Kats set is also an excellent collection of that fun TV series .. and isn't available any other way.


addendum: For the sake of 'equal time', there are some dissenting views on Porky 101 out there, too; mostly surrounding restoration (or lack thereof) and 'historically incorrect' lead-in titles/music for some of the cartoons. Things which are not unimportant, IMO .. but which a 'casual viewer' mightn't notice nor care about, as much as some folks. :|

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Re: WB Archive Collection: DVDs On Demand!

Postby Ben » July 11th, 2018, 3:51 am

I think the bottom line with Porky was that it’s cool we get these at all.

I know some folks have to gripe, and yes it would be great to have them all restored in both content and quality (or even that black and white material is properly drained of all color-crosstalk, a basic but often overlooked click of a button), but the glory days of HD restorations are behind us, and the studios really aren’t that interested in catalog titles, especially shorts!

Now, you think in this day and age of digital content being king, and short clips being perfect for streaming/digestion in small doses, that they would be jumping all over this stuff to have the biggest and best selections, but the costs involved in going back to original title cards, or cleaning up elements digitally far outweigh the returns they make on them for all but the biggest "classic" titles. And even there the attention they get is minimal, now, compared to even just five or ten years ago when WB was putting out those gorgeous BD sets for their biggest hits.

So what’s a studio - and one like WB, who actually do seem to care at least a little about their catalog stuff - going to do? They’re going to want to get this out there, but there’s a limit on what they can spend. There’s a reason the Platinum Collections petered out, and that was due to low sales. As much as we want them, and as much as they kind of should be remastering everything to HD and making it available digitally, there is a line between "catalog" and "deep catalog", with more and more things falling into the deeper side of the line (if you think it’s cool that Criterion or Shout! are now able to license WB titles, it’s mostly because WB itself doesn’t think there’s a market for them, and have a "good luck to ‘em" mentality that puts the risk on the distributor but still gets them a cut).

So the deep catalog stuff are the kind of things in danger of not being made available at all. We are simply not going to get this stuff in pristine, restored HD glory. At this point, and especially as DVD begins to fade, their best option is to take existing video masters, run them through some kind of slight filtering process to remove the majority of noise, and put them out "as is". No, it’s not perfect. But it’s all they’re able to, or going to, do. We can either gripe, as I know people seem to have to do, or we can learn and accept the realities and just be pleased we have collections like these and people at places like the Warner Archive (whose staff have been doing these kinds of things since the earliest LaserDisc days!) that try their best and at least are making this kind of material available at all.

There are still certain titles that warrant the big digital restorations, but even take something like 2001 - that 50th anniversary release took a major filmmaker saying it was his favorite film and pushing for a new camera negative scan (true to the original or not, let’s not start that debate yet) and now has a major promo campaign by WB, who are hawking the heck out of the upcoming disc release, not because they really want to promote it, but because they’ve suck so much money into it that they’re desperate for this to be seen as a major "new" release and try and claw back some of that investment from a film that - gasp! - not a lot of people in the grand scheme of things actually cares about!

So if the likes of 2001 struggles now to make an impact, the likes of Porky are way, way down on the list of importance. Why do you think Disney is making all these live-action remakes? Because their reissue business is dead. Home video eroded the theatrical re-release windows, and now digital files (of whatever type) has destroyed any kind of "vault" aspect, meaning that those titles are no longer as special as they were, or perhaps even relevant in today's world. Sure, they’re classics. But the sad thing is that outside of film geekdom, no one cares about the classics anymore. But a new live-action take fulfills the process of a reissue, both raking in new money for a new film (and everything that brings with it) and drawing attention back to the original. I think Walt's original Jungle Book got the most attention it has in around fifteen years thanks to the Favreau feature.

The sad thing is that everything has to be shiny and new (and empty and soulless) thesedays, hence why we get a new blockbuster every week that has the biggest opening ever and is gone by the end of the month, destined to arrive in the home and eventually become a staple of cable programming filler or a little box picture to be selected on a streaming outlet.

As for everything else, well, there is some value in catalog, but it has to be the biggest, more memorable things. Even here, these kinds of films are fading away from being viewable...whenever I look on Netflix it seems anything before, say, 1960 (or even the '70s) is virtually nonexistent, just like on broadcast TV. It’s a sad, sad situation, and it’s getting worse.

So while DVD is still around...and these kinds of sets are being made available, nab 'em. In this day and age when old is hardly ever new again, we should be pleased with what we get. No, they’re not perfect. But that’s never going to be. Either gripe about it, or accept the realities and caveats (and, to me, having toons such as Porky having such changes only emphasises the journey these films have been on), and just enjoy yourself a bunch of cartoons that are still funny, and support these releases so that more can come!

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Re: WB Archive Collection: DVDs On Demand!

Postby droosan » July 11th, 2018, 9:04 am

Well said, Ben. :)

I have to admit, reading over the complaints in the linked review, I was like .. "dude -- do you even know what Warner Archive is all about..?" He even says that if the same collection had been released in the days of Laserdisc, that Porky 101 would've been lauded as a milestone 'must-have' title .. and I'm like, "yes; exactly!" :roll:

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Re: WB Archive Collection: DVDs On Demand!

Postby EricJ » July 11th, 2018, 8:04 pm

Ben wrote:So what’s a studio - and one like WB, who actually do seem to care at least a little about their catalog stuff - going to do? They’re going to want to get this out there, but there’s a limit on what they can spend. There’s a reason the Platinum Collections petered out, and that was due to low sales.


That, and Warner literally thought audiences had, quote, "forgotten" the characters since leaving Cartoon Network, which "explained" the low sales, except for the 90's cult sales on Space Jam. So guess which one gets more marketing.

There's a difference between Warner Archive and WHE, in that WHE no longer at least cares a little about their catalog stuff.
On one forum, we used to hear interviews from one or two of the Archive people who were essentially left in charge of the division since the main retail division had no interest anymore--That let them pursue pet projects and restorations, but only on the money they can get from the main studio.
In the old days, that was the obscure titles, now it's just about EVERY pre-1990 catalog title that's even been released by the studio...Except for two or three marketably symbolic classics (Oz, Casablanca), and the "Holy Trinity" of DC Comics, Harry Potter and Tolkien, the only three titles WHE believes it can sell retail anymore.

In the wake of Warner's own failure with DRM, the Archive is leading the market in rebuilding the grassroots third-party disk market again, and they've got a loyal customer base, but have to think of the two as very separate entities:
WHE would send all the Looney cartoons to the Archive, and the Archive would give them a quality presentation, budget permitting.

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Re: WB Archive Collection: DVDs On Demand!

Postby Ben » July 11th, 2018, 8:18 pm

droosan wrote:Well said, Ben. :)

I have to admit, reading over the complaints in the linked review, I was like .. "dude -- do you even know what Warner Archive is all about..?" He even says that if the same collection had been released in the days of Laserdisc, that Porky 101 would've been lauded as a milestone 'must-have' title .. and I'm like, "yes; exactly!" :roll:


Thanks Droo. :)

You know, those old LD sets were riddled with inconsistencies, inaccurate title cards, dubbing, dated composite transfers, interlace issues and cuts, but they’re still held in high regard. And so they should be...they were groundbreaking collections at the time, just as sets like Porky are. This stuff is gold dust, but we’ve passed the peak and been so spoilt rotten on the cleanest, researched, remastered and re-color-timed Blu-rays, that the reality of the actual overall quality of the Porky set probably being better than those LDs has been well and truly lost!

I also noted in those feedbacks that when the "fans" griped about the lack of two cartoons on Tom & Jerry Volume 2 and said "all or not at all" then WB cancelled the release...and then they gripe about that!


What Eric said about the Archive taking the toons doesn’t actually make sense, hence why we have griping at the Porky set, an Archive release.