Originally Posted by Boogie7910
I just got around to watching this. The added scenes looked magnificent, while the rest of the movie looked noticeably worse. It is such a tragedy that a major release like this doesn't get the best treatment possible by the studio. Was it just pure laziness that they didn't give the rest of the movie the same care as the additional scenes?
The extended scenes were mastered much more recently. Though, that they look better may be more blind luck than anything. The rest of the film was mastered in the late 90's when DVD was the principle focus. Though the master would still have been 1080p, the equipment used back then was insufficient for a 1080p format. Mastering practices were often skewed for the limitations of DVD and the typical displays available at the time as well. But, yes: Paramount was extremely negligent in verifying that the quality of Gladiator's initial release was up to modern standards; sadly, such oversight plagues the catalogue Blu-ray market. Apparently even premium packages aren't immune.
It took about 2 weeks to get my replacement disc back from Paramount; that's shipping coast to coast. I've had bad experiences with Paramount in the past losing my rebate requests and didn't trust the same wouldn't happen with the BD, since they're handling the exchange in such an unprofessional manner, not even providing RMA numbers to help insure they don't lose the discs.
To provide some piece of mind, I put the bad disc in a cd sleeve and wrote my return address and other info on the sleeve, sandwiched it between two pieces of cardboard and printed a USPS label online. I've shipped discs without cases like this before and never had a problem. The benefit of shipping online is cheaper rates and 19 cent delivery confirmation. 1st class mail with delivery confirmation/tracking was about $1.50 for a 2 oz package. I also took pictures of everything before I shipped it, just in case Paramount did lose it.
You can ship the disc for less with a stamped envelope, but at the post office tracking will cost over 70 cent and the USPS doesn't offer tracking for envelopes without upgrading to priority mail $4.95. So for piece of mind, printing your label online is by far the cheapest route.