Forthcoming: the Magnificent Ambersons

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matrixschmatrix
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Re: Citizen Kane

#101 Post by matrixschmatrix » Wed Sep 14, 2011 12:43 am

Yeah, my worry is that Ambersons is going to disappear again after a month, and get relegated to the Archive. I don't want to waste extra money on the big stupid box, but I don't want to miss a chance for a halfway decent Ambersons release either.

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Re: Citizen Kane

#102 Post by Noiradelic » Wed Sep 14, 2011 2:53 am

Hopefully, when they release the pared-down Kane Blu, they'll at least start offering Ambersons through the TCM site again for a bit.

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Re: Citizen Kane

#103 Post by atcolomb » Wed Sep 14, 2011 7:53 am

Next year is Amberson's 70th anniversary so i do hope for a blu-ray release but you never know. If this box set sells well enough maybe Warner Bros. will release Ambersons on it's own but i am only guessing.

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Drucker
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Re: Citizen Kane

#104 Post by Drucker » Wed Sep 14, 2011 9:09 am

In a weird way, this film has faced the same hurdles since 1942. A company doubts its potential commercial value, so it gets short-changed.
I bought the Amazon exclusive. I'm really not concerned about having an ugly box/misleading documentaries...the image quality looks great. This looks like it will be the sharpest non LD-copy of Ambersons. Worth it as far as I'm concerned.

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Re: Citizen Kane

#105 Post by atcolomb » Wed Sep 14, 2011 12:52 pm

..and the rich history of the making & reediting of the film would make a great extra or a commentary that is on the Criterion laserdisc...if there is another release of Ambersons i hope they do put thoses extras on it.

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Max von Mayerling
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Re: Citizen Kane

#106 Post by Max von Mayerling » Wed Sep 14, 2011 3:00 pm

At worst, I'm sure that Ambersons will at least end up on the Archive. They won't pass up a chance to get some more sales. However, given their recent practice of dropping former releases onto the Archive, it seems like there's a good chance they'll skip any other kind of retail release. Maybe the 70th anniversary will give them an excuse. As I think Matt noted before, it seems highly unlikely they'll put it out on blu.

All that said, I can't stand to support their marketing strategy, and like Jeff, I do not want a friggin' brick of nonsense. So I'm just going to wait for the eventual bare-bones blu of Kane & will take whatever stand-alone Ambersons they deem economically justifiable, even if that means the Archive.

Pleased they seem to have done justice on the Kane blu itself. I'll give them credit for that.

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Re: Citizen Kane

#107 Post by swo17 » Wed Sep 14, 2011 3:17 pm

They've already manufactured a standalone DVD release that they're currently tacking onto CK, obviously to get people to buy the combo that might not otherwise have been inclined to opt for the initial fluffy and expensive BD edition. I would be very surprised if this doesn't eventually become available on its own, right around the same time that they make the less stacked CK available as more than just a Best Buy exclusive. I'd give it a year, if you can wait.

The nice thing about a company like Criterion is that their releases are high enough quality on their own that they don't have to trick you into buying them.

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Re: Citizen Kane

#108 Post by swo17 » Wed Sep 14, 2011 5:53 pm

Be watching out on ebay for people selling off their Ambersons from the combo deal. I just got one for $10. \:D/

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Re: Citizen Kane

#109 Post by Peacock » Wed Sep 14, 2011 6:55 pm

Anyone care to post caps from Ambersons? Extra brownie points if it's compared side by side with the UK disk...

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Re: Citizen Kane

#110 Post by atcolomb » Wed Sep 14, 2011 7:20 pm

Just did a comparison to the Ambersons dvd, Criterion laserdisc, and a TCM broadcast where i froze a scene on all three at the same time and with my receiver looked at each one and the TCM broadcast was the worst with a muddy dark picture and both the laserdisc and the dvd kinda look the same but the dvd is sharper and brighter with better contrast and you can see more of the interior of the Amberson manson. But to my eyes a big disappointment on the dvd...for a movie from 1942 it could have looked better and sharper but instead it looks weak. The sound does have a little more hiss on the dvd than the laserdisc but both over all sounds good and clear. I was expecting a better picture on Ambersons with this new dvd release but after seeing parts of it ...maybe this was the best print they can find?

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Re: The Magnificent Ambersons

#111 Post by atcolomb » Wed Sep 14, 2011 7:29 pm

Just did a comparison to the Ambersons dvd, Criterion laserdisc, and a TCM broadcast where i froze a scene on all three at the same time and with my receiver looked at each one and the TCM broadcast was the worst with a muddy dark picture and both the laserdisc and the dvd kinda look the same but the dvd is sharper and brighter with better contrast and you can see more of the interior of the Amberson manson. But to my eyes a big disappointment on the dvd...for a movie from 1942 it could have looked better and sharper but instead it looks weak. The sound does have a little more hiss on the dvd than the laserdisc but both over all sounds good and clear. I was expecting a better picture on Ambersons with this new dvd release but after seeing parts of it ...maybe this was the best print they can find?

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Re: The Magnificent Ambersons

#112 Post by Roger Ryan » Wed Sep 14, 2011 7:52 pm

I feel pretty certain now that WHV never found the "better elements" they were searching for. The image quality is better than what had been showing on TCM, but this is definitely not a HD scan. The print shows damage throughout in the form of dirt and scratches, but nothing too detrimental. More troubling is that it appears to be overly-cropped with framing that is often too tight. Also, two or three times the bottom half of the frame shifts to the left for a split second which betrays a faulty video conversion.

Apart from a Spanish language track, there are no extras whatsoever - not even chapter headings. Including the film's trailer would have been nice as it contains snippets of scenes that were cut from the film. The good news is that the packaging corrects the spelling of Joseph Cotten's name along with Booth Tarkington's! Ironically, the two main production stills that appear on the front and back of the DVD case are from scenes no longer in the movie. The group shot shown on top "Photoshops" Tim Holt into a group still, persumably so all the major characters would be represented (hell, why not sneak in Erskine Sanford peeking over Agnes Moorehead's shoulder - that way, all of the credited cast would be on the cover!).

I dare say this may be the end of the road for AMBERSONS - they're not going to create a Blu-ray using this transfer. Anyway, I'm glad the film is finally available on a Region 1 DVD; it's been a very long wait.
Last edited by Roger Ryan on Thu Sep 15, 2011 10:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Magnificent Ambersons

#113 Post by atcolomb » Wed Sep 14, 2011 8:34 pm

I agree that's it's nice to have Ambersons finally on dvd and Kane on blu-ray...and what about Journey into Fear?

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Re: Citizen Kane

#114 Post by Oedipax » Wed Sep 14, 2011 8:36 pm

Peacock wrote:Anyone care to post caps from Ambersons? Extra brownie points if it's compared side by side with the UK disk...
Check my post upthread.

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Drucker
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Re: The Magnificent Ambersons

#115 Post by Drucker » Wed Sep 14, 2011 9:58 pm

I'm kind of amazed if these reports are true, that no better elements exist. That a copy of Citizen Kane could presumably look so good and Ambersons, which was a wide-release film at least, doesn't...is crazy to me.
Not trying to be too cynical here...but is there any evidence they really did a comprehensive search?

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Re: The Magnificent Ambersons

#116 Post by knives » Wed Sep 14, 2011 10:02 pm

Well you have to also consider how the film has been treated since it's initial release. It's been hidden away for the most part with little care to the upkeep, while Kane has for most of it's existence been treated fairly well. I'm sure the issue of existing negatives also plays into things.

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Re: The Magnificent Ambersons

#117 Post by Joe Buck » Wed Sep 14, 2011 10:48 pm

This is BULLCRAP! They dangle the Ambersons carrot for a decade and then give us the shaft! I'm grateful for finally owning it on legitimate DVD, but c'mon! Now even the damn trailer? This is an insult...this is an outrage! WB, what happened?

As for Journey Into Fear, I'll be surprised as heck if it's released as anything other than a burn-on-demand job at this point. Maybe next year Ambersons can be released on Blu-Ray and Journey Into Fear can be an exclusive Amazon bonus....DVD, of course.

At least lease Ambersons to Criterion. I'd give my left...no, BOTH of my nuts to see Ambersons get the treatment it deserves, which is something along the lines of super-duper-my-head-exploded-with-excitement Blu-Ray box set.

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Fred Holywell
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Re: The Magnificent Ambersons

#118 Post by Fred Holywell » Thu Sep 15, 2011 4:55 am

Other than reissuing old faithfuls like "Kane", "Oz", Casablanca", "GWTW", "Singin' in the Rain", and a few others, the powers-that-be at WHV just aren't interested in spending money on their classic titles nowadays. Or am I jumping too quickly to conclusions? I'd like to think so, but 'faulty video conversion', no chapter headings or trailer, scratches, dirt, an overly-cropped image, no commentary, no making-of-doc, don't persuade me otherwise.

Couldn't they have even ported over some of the extras on the Criterion laser? No one at Warners, including George Feltenstein, could pull the right strings? Very disappointing. You'd think they'd have put together some supplements three or four years ago (when the market was healthier) that they could include now. Hard to fathom when you consider how long they've been talking about issuing this on disc. Or are they planning on a 'deluxe edition' sometime in the future? Not holding my breath for that one.

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Re: The Magnificent Ambersons

#119 Post by connor » Thu Sep 15, 2011 11:12 am

Robert Harris--writing over at hometheaterforum.com--thinks there'll be a better release. He seems to be a fairly 'in-the-know' kind of guy:
Robert Harris wrote:I presume we'll be seeing a proper Blu-ray of it in the future, as I believe the OCN survives

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Re: The Magnificent Ambersons

#120 Post by atcolomb » Thu Sep 15, 2011 12:18 pm

Also the sales of DVDs are slowing down and streaming is more popular way to see a movie now days so the studios looks at this and say is it worth it to mass produce a dvd unless they know it's going to be a big seller like Harry Potter or Star Wars. I do wish Criterion will step in and do a nice release of Ambersons like they did with the laserdisc.

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Re: The Magnificent Ambersons

#121 Post by Drucker » Thu Sep 15, 2011 12:58 pm

atcolomb wrote:Also the sales of DVDs are slowing down and streaming is more popular way to see a movie now days so the studios looks at this and say is it worth it to mass produce a dvd unless they know it's going to be a big seller like Harry Potter or Star Wars. I do wish Criterion will step in and do a nice release of Ambersons like they did with the laserdisc.
I still find this (personally) to be a bit ...not far-fetched, but not quite the truth. People have been barking up this tree since 2005 (at least!) that physical media is dead. And certainly, there are less people with physical media...

But that doesn't mean there is no market. There is still a significant market for this stuff. And at the very least there will always be a strong niche market for it. And I really believe that streaming might not always be first choice for people. With net neutrality/the way itunes owns whatever you download, etc (I've not been a downloader of anything for years, and when I was it was mostly oop music on soulseek)...I think people will find owning stuff is actually more convenient.

And even if that ends up being wrong, if there WERE special features/extras...that stuff tends to only be available via the physical disc, right? If they can mass-produce blu rays for Steven Segal movies and other 5.99 bin fodder...do they really expect a ROI on that? It's not like everything released is a big deal, exactly.

So I don't think the "nobody buys media anymore therefore we can only release profitable stuff" angle is as accurate as some think.

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Re: The Magnificent Ambersons

#122 Post by Roger Ryan » Thu Sep 15, 2011 1:33 pm

connor wrote:Robert Harris--writing over at hometheaterforum.com--thinks there'll be a better release. He seems to be a fairly 'in-the-know' kind of guy:
Robert Harris wrote:I presume we'll be seeing a proper Blu-ray of it in the future, as I believe the OCN survives
I like to believe this is true (and I thought the original camera negative survived as well, unlike KANE's), but why wouldn't the OCN be used for this release? Why spend the money to do two transfers knowing that the first one will be inferior? The only possible reason I can see is that WHV would want the Blu-ray of AMBERSONS to look a lot better than the DVD, but they could easily improve the marketability of a Blu-ray by adding bonus features...maybe even include JOURNEY INTO FEAR in the same way that KILLER'S KISS appears on Criterion's THE KILLING.

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Re: The Magnificent Ambersons

#123 Post by atcolomb » Thu Sep 15, 2011 7:09 pm

Drucker wrote:
atcolomb wrote:Also the sales of DVDs are slowing down and streaming is more popular way to see a movie now days so the studios looks at this and say is it worth it to mass produce a dvd unless they know it's going to be a big seller like Harry Potter or Star Wars. I do wish Criterion will step in and do a nice release of Ambersons like they did with the laserdisc.
I still find this (personally) to be a bit ...not far-fetched, but not quite the truth. People have been barking up this tree since 2005 (at least!) that physical media is dead. And certainly, there are less people with physical media...

But that doesn't mean there is no market. There is still a significant market for this stuff. And at the very least there will always be a strong niche market for it. And I really believe that streaming might not always be first choice for people. With net neutrality/the way itunes owns whatever you download, etc (I've not been a downloader of anything for years, and when I was it was mostly oop music on soulseek)...I think people will find owning stuff is actually more convenient.

And even if that ends up being wrong, if there WERE special features/extras...that stuff tends to only be available via the physical disc, right? If they can mass-produce blu rays for Steven Segal movies and other 5.99 bin fodder...do they really expect a ROI on that? It's not like everything released is a big deal, exactly.

So I don't think the "nobody buys media anymore therefore we can only release profitable stuff" angle is as accurate as some think.
Some articles and websites have even mentioned the demise of the dvd so that is why i brought it up and i do hope that the major studios, Criterion, Kino, and others will continue to release titles on dvd and blu-ray and i do want the physical item on my shelf with the art work and the extras and commentary. With a lot of video stores out of business and Best Buy and others cutting back on the space for movies you do wonder but the good news is that Blu-ray sales are picking up so that is a good sign.

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Re: The Magnificent Ambersons

#124 Post by dx23 » Thu Sep 15, 2011 9:42 pm

There has to be a better release. For all the time and money invested in finding lost footage (or so they said in their HTF chats), Warner has to do a better release. I know they certainly have gone from a company that was always at the top with Criterion when it came to great DVD releases to a company that has lost its luster in the home media business, but I don't think they are that dumb of just tagging Ambersons with Citizen Kane in this barebones release. Either they are going to license it to Criterion again or they'll do a better release to at least recoup some of the investment. Still, one has to wonder if the decision makers at Warner are now people who don't see the value on catalog titles that aren't part of the AFI lists. They still haven't released Greed (other than the shorter version on iTunes), which is another film, much like Ambersons, that has been promised for more than five years now.

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Re: The Magnificent Ambersons

#125 Post by manicsounds » Thu Sep 15, 2011 11:04 pm

dvdbeaver compares

It looks like the US release is far better than the UK or French. For people who really want this version, it's the only way to go.

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