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post #181 of 458 Old 09-27-2011, 03:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CochiseGuy View Post

Unless someone really has a need/use for the DVD of the movie you're better off getting the Walmart exclusive 2 BD movie only version for $19.96.

Thanks, this is great to know. I was going to pass on this release, since I already own the dvd box set (which includes what sounds like the same SD extras/1925 feature disc), and it seemed like overkill to get the new box just for the BD.

$19.96 is not overkill...
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post #182 of 458 Old 09-27-2011, 03:18 PM
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Why are people so scared to import? UK has all three BDs discs, none of the junk, can be ordered by anyone with an Amazon account, and best of all it's cheap.
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post #183 of 458 Old 09-27-2011, 03:19 PM
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Since I paid only $20.03 for the UK 3 disc version, which is cheaper after taxes, I'm happy.
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post #184 of 458 Old 09-27-2011, 04:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Strevlac View Post

Why are people so scared to import? UK has all three BDs discs, none of the junk, can be ordered by anyone with an Amazon account, and best of all it's cheap.

I see your point, what I really don't like is the cover art with the UK logos that state PG I find annoying. I have imported for The Quick and the Dead on bluray and Harry Potter 5 on hddvd as it was a 2 disc set with all the extras in HD. The cases are thicker as well. I think I will wait 3 months to see if Warner offers a 3 disc edition sans the fluff like they did on GWTW and TWOO.

I really liked the Citizen Kane digibook though and didn't need the TV movie based on the film. The documentary was good enough. The exclusive dvd combo is sheer stupidity IMO.
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post #185 of 458 Old 09-27-2011, 05:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Strevlac View Post

Why are people so scared to import? UK has all three BDs discs, none of the junk, can be ordered by anyone with an Amazon account, and best of all it's cheap.

It's ridiculous how much money I've saved ordering from Amz.UK over the years. For TV seasons and most box sets, there's rarely a better deal to be found. My Ben Her order shipped Monday, and I can't wait to watch it.
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post #186 of 458 Old 09-27-2011, 06:28 PM
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My UK shipped out Saturday but with the Walmart release I just couldn't wait so I'll sell it for a loss once it arrives. I have no need for the third so the Walmart release is just fine for me. The wife thinks I'm nuts but I LOVE Ben Hur!!!!!!!!!

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post #187 of 458 Old 09-27-2011, 07:32 PM
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Picked up mine at Walmart also. 2 BDs of movie for $20...not bad.
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post #188 of 458 Old 09-27-2011, 07:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InspectorToschi View Post

It's ridiculous how much money I've saved ordering from Amz.UK over the years. For TV seasons and most box sets, there's rarely a better deal to be found. My Ben Her order shipped Monday, and I can't wait to watch it.

My British import cost around $26 shipped. It seems silly to me to pay $20 + tax for a 2-disc edition.
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post #189 of 458 Old 09-28-2011, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by PRO-630HD View Post

I can't say I am not disappointed we don't have a 3 disc set without the fluff. The BB exclusive dvd combo is sheer stupidity for $30 as is having a dvd version of the film anyway. The walmart $20 deal is the best going. I am hoping for a 3 disc set of The Ten Commandments without all the fluff as well. If I am not mistaken the Scarlett edition and Emerald edition were released about 3 months after the initial releases of GWTW and TWOO.

Warner seems to be taking a harder line with those who don't buy their preferred/premium version. The Emerald Edition of TWoO was available as a Target exclusive on release day and it had all 3 discs of the UCE, but they made us wait several months for the Scarlett release of GWtW. And rental version BDs continue to be more and more gimped with lack of extra features and even no extended version found on retail versions. And I've read they plan to expand their 28 day delay for rental to all rental stores, and want to extend the 28 day delay. That's fine, Warner - they more determined you become in trying to get me to buy something I don't want to buy, the more creative I get in working around you.

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Originally Posted by Tom Monahan View Post

This is what I get for pre-ordering it from Amazon UK. I'm going to pick up the Walmart release and just sell the sealed UK import when it arrives. I just can't hold out when it comes to Ben Hur.

Tom

My UK pre-order shipped last Saturday but patience is not my forte either, but my plan was to buy & watch the Walmart version and sell it and keep my UK version when it arrives. But I was surprised my local Walmart was already sold out at 10:30am. I've always had good luck getting Walmart exclusives there, it's a super center in a small town outside Tucson, so Ben Hur must be popular, and deservedly so. Well, it's $10 in gas to the next Walmart, so I'll wait for my UK version.
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post #190 of 458 Old 09-28-2011, 12:36 PM
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I can't get over how great this looks on Blu-ray. It's like seeing it for the first time--I wish every classic film could get this kind of treatment.

PETER JACKSON: The theatrical versions are the definitive versions.
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post #191 of 458 Old 09-28-2011, 01:40 PM
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Thank goodness for this site--I came on here to complain about the high price of the blu-ray package and have found an answer to my troubles.
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post #192 of 458 Old 09-28-2011, 01:49 PM
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Generally a very good effort but I do have some issues.

The most important positive thing is that it is an effort to replicate the original experience generally, not improve on it. It is the complete roadshow presentation (which has never really differed except for a cut TV version that is long forgotten).

1. COLOR: I have seen this film many times in 70mm (Eastman color prints) and even more in 35mm (dye-transfer Technicolor prints). The color balance is just not right. Many things have a gray look to them that would have been greenish, brown, or slightly blue in the original. Reds stand out against this gray very well, but the color just isn't quite right. To be fair, previous video releases have all been entirely too orange, and the Blu-ray is an improvement, but not perfect. The original 35mm prints define the ideal look of the film for me. [I should note that it has been years since I saw this film in an original IB print so my memory may be betraying me.]

2. SOUND: The original "Todd-AO" style mix has been altered to a more modern 5.1 sound. This means that the dialogue is now centered. The original 6-track 70mm mix had a wonderful 5-channel front soundstage with voices precisely located with the action. ["We should be in Jerusalem tomorrow night." should move to the right along with the action on the screen.] It is now flat.

The music playback certainly does justice to Miklos Rozsa's finest score, one of the real achievements of motion picture music.

[BTW: I have a magnetic tape recording in 4 track stereo of the film that I made in 1961 from the film sound track as a base comparison for my comments about the sound mix, so I am quite certain about the directional dialogue.]



Given that this is very likely the last time this film will be given any attention by the studios, we can certainly appreciate the many fine things about the Blu-ray, but is is unfortunate that it does not come closer to the original look and sound of the film.


I also note with some sadness that new 70mm prints have not been made. The film is expected to be shown digitally but so far, only one has surfaced, at a film festival in NYC. This film is one of the great theatrical experiences of all time. It is a shame to see it have such a weak final sendoff into its digital eternity.
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post #193 of 458 Old 09-28-2011, 02:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rlsmith View Post

Generally a very good effort but I do have some issues.

The most important positive thing is that it is an effort to replicate the original experience generally, not improve on it. It is the complete roadshow presentation (which has never really differed except for a cut TV version that is long forgotten).

1. COLOR: I have seen this film many times in 70mm (Eastman color prints) and even more in 35mm (dye-transfer Technicolor prints). The color balance is just not right. Many things have a gray look to them that would have been greenish, brown, or slightly blue in the original. Reds stand out against this gray very well, but the color just isn't quite right. To be fair, previous video releases have all been entirely too orange, and the Blu-ray is an improvement, but not perfect. The original 35mm prints define the ideal look of the film for me. [I should note that it has been years since I saw this film in an original IB print so my memory may be betraying me.]

2. SOUND: The original "Todd-AO" style mix has been altered to a more modern 5.1 sound. This means that the dialogue is now centered. The original 6-track 70mm mix had a wonderful 5-channel front soundstage with voices precisely located with the action. ["We should be in Jerusalem tomorrow night." should move to the right along with the action on the screen.] It is now flat.

The music playback certainly does justice to Miklos Rozsa's finest score, one of the real achievements of motion picture music.

[BTW: I have a magnetic tape recording in 4 track stereo of the film that I made in 1961 from the film sound track as a base comparison for my comments about the sound mix, so I am quite certain about the directional dialogue.]



Given that this is very likely the last time this film will be given any attention by the studios, we can certainly appreciate the many fine things about the Blu-ray, but is is unfortunate that it does not come closer to the original look and sound of the film.


I also note with some sadness that new 70mm prints have not been made. The film is expected to be shown digitally but so far, only one has surfaced, at a film festival in NYC. This film is one of the great theatrical experiences of all time. It is a shame to see it have such a weak final sendoff into its digital eternity.

Depressing.

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post #194 of 458 Old 09-28-2011, 02:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Art Sonneborn View Post

Depressing.

Art

Sorry, didn't mean to be too depressing.

My standards on this film are very exacting. The Blu-ray will stand as an excellent way to see and hear this movie in its digital version. It's just a bit off from what I remember but not so much as to annoy me.
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post #195 of 458 Old 09-28-2011, 03:14 PM
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Mr. Smith -

You're comments are spot on. I too immediately noticed the altered sound stage. And the grayish timing. But, as you expressed, I am thankful for this release.

As I think you know, I'll be at the New York screening on Saturday. Will post my impressions. It's always different with a large audience.

We'll have seven here on 11/5 for a screening. I now present C65 at 2.65 CIH … watched it yesterday. T'was a delight.

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post #196 of 458 Old 09-28-2011, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by hconwell View Post

Mr. Smith -

You're comments are spot on. I too immediately noticed the altered sound stage. And the grayish timing. But, as you expressed, I am thankful for this release.

As I think you know, I'll be at the New York screening on Saturday. Will post my impressions. It's always different with a large audience.

We'll have seven here on 11/5 for a screening. I now present C65 at 2.65 CIH watched it yesterday. T'was a delight.


Thanks. Yes, I knew you were going. Very anxious to hear your remarks.

The Egyptian in LA is now a film museum so there is some hope that it may play there eventually in digital projection. This was the site of the Hollywood premiere in 1959. A better venue in some ways would be the Cinerama Dome, which just added digital projection to its 70mm and Cinerama equipment.
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post #197 of 458 Old 09-28-2011, 08:03 PM
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Now see what you guys have done?
You've gone and made Art all depressed about one of his, if not his favorite film of all time.

I appreciate that you're giving you're honest impressions but aren't you maybe expecting a bit much?

I've read Robert Harris' accounts of what they had to work with in restoring Ben-Hur and to me it seems a miracle that it could be restored at all.
I was hoping for a restored HD version of the original but....

As far as the sound, in my mind there's no way a 5 channel front soundstage could be replicated with 3 channels.
If you are stating that the dialog is only coming from the center channel without any left or right panning then I will be disappointed as well.

I'm expecting such an old recording to have thin\\harsh upper frequencies for the music and a closed down sound for the dialog, plus no bottom end, but we'll see.

I'm impatiently waiting for my copy from the UK and have resisted the temptation to get the Walmart feature-only version.

There are so many things I love about Ben-Hur.
It really is unique in filmdom.

So Art, why don't you have your copy yet?
Wouldn't this merit a mid-week 1/2 day off?

 

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post #198 of 458 Old 09-28-2011, 10:53 PM
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I really would enjoy the original panning of dialog, and with these older titles, they should respect the original dialog mixing choices. Too bad on that.
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post #199 of 458 Old 09-29-2011, 01:29 AM
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On the second viewing of the Ben-hur Blu-ray, I have made considerable adjustments that make the color balance much more like my recollection of the film. Here are the adjustments on my Mitsubishi HC3800 DLP on a 10 foot screen.

Brightness +4
Color +2
Red -3
Yellow +2
Green +4
Light on High (I usually run on Low)

Using my normal adjustments, the disk has a red + gray color scheme and is very dark. As you can see, I am adding a lot of green, toning down the reds, and making it generally lighter.

Of course, the rich look of shadows in IB Technicolor is not here, but nothing matches Technicolor for that anyway.


You might try something like my adjustments if you agree with my assessment of the disk's color balance.


Bob
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post #200 of 458 Old 09-29-2011, 01:37 AM
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rlsmith: You have majorly complained that the colors on Ben Hur on your Blu-Ray disc differ from your 40-odd year memory but now you have re-calibrated the settings on your hardware it somehow resembles more closely the original showing. With respect, this would appear to be an issue you need to resolve with your Blu-Ray player/monitor and not the actual disc itself.
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post #201 of 458 Old 09-29-2011, 01:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Milt99 View Post

As far as the sound, in my mind there's no way a 5 channel front soundstage could be replicated with 3 channels.
If you are stating that the dialog is only coming from the center channel without any left or right panning then I will be disappointed as well.

The 35mm magnetic sound process was 3 front channels and 1 rear. It was certainly capable of presenting directional dialogue and sound effects. Fox and some MGM films were very effective with this. In particular, the 35mm magnetic prints of Ben-hur were 4 track magnetic and had very nice directional dialogue. As I understand the techniques in use in the 50's and 60's, the 35mm version was generally prepared by mixing channels 2 and 4 of the 70mm version into the remaining 3 channels. Sometimes, the mixes were actually different however.

The dialogue is pretty centered on the Blu-ray, whereas both the original 35mm and 70mm prints were quite directional with subtle yet effective panning of the dialogue. I am noticing reasonably directional sound effects however.

I am going to try some sound rebalancing to increase the left and right channels relative to the center channel and see if I can make any improvements.

The surround channels are not very active in the Blu-ray. This is not surprising. On 35mm and 70mm magnetic, there was only 1 surround channel. It was used sparingly in Ben-hur but was quite effective when it was done (especially in 70mm). The 35mm "4th track" (as projectionists called it) was a very narrow track on most prints and subject to a lot of noise, you had to ride gain to get a good surround effect in the presentation.

[I was a union projectionist during this timeframe, it was my college job.]
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post #202 of 458 Old 09-29-2011, 01:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stwrt22 View Post

rlsmith: You have majorly complained that the colors on Ben Hur on your Blu-Ray disc differ from your 40-odd year memory but now you have re-calibrated the settings on your hardware it somehow resembles more closely the original showing. With respect, this would appear to be an issue you need to resolve with your Blu-Ray player/monitor and not the actual disc itself.

You might suggest that the problem was with my original settings. However, I can assure you that the settings I found successful with the Ben-hur Blu-ray produce a very green looking image on normal content. If you are in the SF Bay Area, drop over and I will show you.

My first viewings were 51 years ago but I was a union projectionist at the time so I saw the film multiple times. I have also seen release prints for the 1969 release (70mm, the prints had an orange look) and the new 35mm print that was made in the late 1990's (oddly enough, that print had a pastel look more reminiscent of Deluxe color in the 50's).

It is not uncommon for films that are released many times to have different color schemes in different releases. For example, I have seen every generation of prints of Gone With the Wind since 1954; all of them are different. I understand that the original 1939 prints were not very saturated (I have not seen one). The 1954 prints are generally thought to be the best, and the Blu-ray appears timed to the 1954 as far as I can tell. The Sound of Music has varied all over the color map in its prints. Thankfully, the Blu-ray is spot-on to the original 70mm prints according to my memory.

Your mileage may certainly vary. To modern eyes accustomed to unnatural and desaturated color (e.g., LOTR, 300), the look of the Ben-hur Blu-ray may seem fine. I am simply reporting to you my own subjective experiences, for which I have (or had back then) some professional qualification.
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post #203 of 458 Old 09-29-2011, 06:30 AM
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I know people are saying that the $20 Wal-Mart 2-disc BD set is the way to go for this ($21.60 or so with tax, plus gas to drive there and back, unless you can walk or ride your bike - or do it as a grocery trip, too), and I almost ran to WM to get one, but considering that for only $25 more you get a third BD that includes a new HD feature-length documentary about Heston's making of the film, plus two apparently gorgeous and/or fascinating books, it seems to me that the $45 Amazon price is not outrageous for fans of the film, so I may opt for it. The British 3-BD version @$26 including shipping (per an earlier post) might make the books not worth $19 - plus, all 3 will be in a nice BD-size case, instead of having to make room for a big box on your movie shelf.

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
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Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
On the other hand, after reading the synopsis of the book at Wikipedia and realizing how much the movie was changed from the book, my interest in the film has somewhat diminished. I'm getting back to the frame of mind I had for a time when all I could see and think when I watched a movie was that it was simply people acting. That took me out of the suspension of belief necessary for enjoying movies that weren't documentaries. This is technically not a "spoiler" about the film - but it could "spoil" movie watching for some people.

But on the other other hand, I can enjoy the technicalities of how a film is made, so even though I know it's just acting, I can enjoy it for the achievement it was to make it - e.g., the chariot race: Even though it appears to me in parts to have been filmed at a slower-than-24fps speed in order to make the horses appear to be running faster than they really did (at least it looks that way to me), it's still exciting and the kind of thing that sadly has been replaced by CGI. QUESTION: Is there a way one can test this by pausing it and advancing it frame by frame while watching the seconds counter?
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post #204 of 458 Old 09-29-2011, 06:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Milt99 View Post

Now see what you guys have done?
You've gone and made Art all depressed about one of his, if not his favorite film of all time.

There are so many things I love about Ben-Hur.
It really is unique in filmdom.

So Art, why don't you have your copy yet?
Wouldn't this merit a mid-week 1/2 day off?

I've got it but with all the stuff including football games,helping with homework, meetings etc I have about 30 minutes each night and I've spent that in the hot tub right before bed.

Tomorrow night I'm watching it in it's entirety !

It is indeed my favorite film of all time so thanks for the thoughts.

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post #205 of 458 Old 09-29-2011, 07:32 AM
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Ever thought about putting a retractable hot tub in your theater room, Art?
Now that would make James Brown proud!

 

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post #206 of 458 Old 09-29-2011, 07:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by javanpohl View Post

Thank goodness for this site--I came on here to complain about the high price of the blu-ray package and have found an answer to my troubles.

I found my answer as well. As I didn't have time to watch the entire feature I previewed just the chariot race on my RS35 and 88" Carada screen. All I can say is WOW! CGI has its place, but the old fashion way is tough to beat when done like this.
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post #207 of 458 Old 09-29-2011, 09:47 AM
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Did anyone ordering the mega-set from Amazon get two by mistake? I ordered one (the invoice included with the package confirms this) but what I got was a large cardboard box that opened up to reveal 2 smaller but equal-sized cardboard boxes, that each contained the Ben-Hur set. I'm guessing the exterior box caused the confusion at the distribution center...
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post #208 of 458 Old 09-29-2011, 10:05 AM
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Got it yesterday at my Best Buy nearby for $39.99. Not bad. Now I can't wait to watch it, maybe tonight if I'm not too tired, or it will have to wait til the weekend. Even the big box is cool to look at!
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post #209 of 458 Old 09-29-2011, 10:46 AM
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Got it yesterday at my Best Buy nearby for $39.99. Not bad. Now I can't wait to watch it, maybe tonight if I'm not too tired, or it will have to wait til the weekend. Even the big box is cool to look at!

BB is selling the 3-disc Blu-Ray deluxe 50th anniversary edition with the 2 books in the big box for $39.99???? Are you sure that's not the DVD version?
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post #210 of 458 Old 09-29-2011, 10:57 AM
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BB is selling the 3-disc Blu-Ray deluxe 50th anniversary edition with the 2 books in the big box for $39.99???? Are you sure that's not the DVD version?

That's the price for the deluxe Blu-ray set at Best Buy in Canada. According to BB Canada, that price ends today so get it while you can.
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