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Twilight Time thread - Page 2

post #31 of 513
Quote:
Originally Posted by wuther View Post

So four more announced:

Journey to the Center of the Earth
The Big Heat
As Good as It Gets
The Wayward Bus

I really want Journey but will wait to see if it's more like Bigger Then Life or like Demetrius PQ wise.


Journey had a beautiful restoration done a couple of years ago - the new 35mm print I ran was virtually perfect with a thunderous Dolby Stereo track. I expect the Blu will be a new scan sourced from that restoration (I know the lab that did the initial work and the new scan).
post #32 of 513
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Monahan View Post

Demetrius sure doesn't look like it worth the price after seeing bluray.com's pq review. I sure hope Grapes of Wrath looks better than this.

Just watched Demetrius. Horrible picture quality. On top of the other problems (as noted in review) ...image appears very "blurry." Huge disappointment. Not much better than my DVD. In fact I should compare them. The DVD may be actually better I was happy w/ the quality of The Egyptian. Hoping Journey looks as good as Mysterious.
post #33 of 513
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Ballentine View Post

Just watched Demetrius. Horrible picture quality. On top of the other problems (as noted in review) ...image appears very "blurry." Huge disappointment. Not much better than my DVD. In fact I should compare them. The DVD may be actually better I was happy w/ the quality of The Egyptian. Hoping Journey looks as good as Mysterious.

I didn't find it horrible at all. There are many horrible transfers that are truly horrible - this one is not perfect and yes spending hundreds of thousands of dollars could make it look better - parts of the image are indeed "blurry" - most of that are the opticals (and you cannot count the opening of the film, as the entire section of The Robe is a many generations away dupe) - it's a bit too dark, and the color is a bit too brown, but there have been MUCH worse transfers foisted on buyers from any number of companies. This is absolutely better than the DVD and while obviously not up to the standard of The Robe (which had a 1.5 million dollar restoration not paid for by Fox) and The Egyptian (which did not have that kind of restoration and looks better than The Robe, IMO) - but Twilight Time must use what they are given, and frankly given what they are reading on these boards, there probably won't be any more transfers like this done - which means a bunch of films are not going to see Blu-ray release now. Whether that's a good thing or not is up to each individual's tolerance level. The choice here was simple - do they release this or do they not. They chose to because people really seemed to want it. After this reaction, there's no upside for them to take this kind of chance again, even though there are viewers for whom this transfer of Demetrius is perfectly acceptable. Those viewers are the ones who will now lose out.
post #34 of 513
Quote:
Originally Posted by haineshisway View Post

... but Twilight Time must use what they are given, and frankly given what they are reading on these boards, there probably won't be any more transfers like this done - which means a bunch of films are not going to see Blu-ray release now ...

And the chickens are coming home to roost.

What we are seeing is the only logical byproduct of this style of extremely limited marketing. Ray Charles could have seen this coming from a thousand miles away.

Twilight Time is only known to a small number of internet film geeks (like me). We are those film geeks who hang around these forums...these very same forums where we learned about Twilight Time...and share opinions on an almost hourly basis. Film geeks are critical. We don't forgive much and we point out things that bug us EVEN if the things that bug us would be thought of as inconsequential by a larger buying public.

Unfortunately, if you are Twilight Time, you don't deal with the larger buying public. You deal with us geeks.

Live by the sword. Die by the sword.

Sell only to film geeks. Suffer the criticism of film geeks.

Twilight Time, Sony and Fox can't have it both ways. You can't sell premium product at premium price to a select few of the internet cognescenti and then expect us to look the other way about picture quality like we just bought a disc from the Walmart bargain bin.
post #35 of 513
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dex Robinson View Post

And the chickens are coming home to roost.

What we are seeing is the only logical byproduct of this style of extremely limited marketing. Ray Charles could have seen this coming from a thousand miles away.

Twilight Time is only known to a small number of internet film geeks (like me). We are those film geeks who hang around these forums...these very same forums where we learned about Twilight Time...and share opinions on an almost hourly basis. Film geeks are critical. We don't forgive much and we point out things that bug us EVEN if the things that bug us would be thought of as inconsequential by a larger buying public.

Unfortunately, if you are Twilight Time, you don't deal with the larger buying public. You deal with us geeks.

Live by the sword. Die by the sword.

Sell only to film geeks. Suffer the criticism of film geeks.

Twilight Time, Sony and Fox can't have it both ways. You can't sell premium product at premium price to a select few of the internet cognescenti and then expect us to look the other way about picture quality like we just bought a disc from the Walmart bargain bin.

This is a really awesome and truthful post. When people criticized for Fright Night selling out, it was somehow the people's fault for not "understanding Twilight Time's business model"... but then if they produce a sub-par release that is critically panned, that somehow too is the customer's fault.

We were told that these movies are worth $30 because they are good movies, high quality transfers, and limited collectibles... We should be willing to pay what they are worth instead of "expecting" them in the bargain bin... but then a release comes out where it isn't a high quality release, and we are told that we shouldn't expect a high quality release because Twilight Time isn't a big company.

That dog isn't going to hunt. (to use another colloquialism)
post #36 of 513
Quote:
Originally Posted by HDMe2 View Post

We were told that these movies are worth $30 because they are good movies, high quality transfers, and limited collectibles... We should be willing to pay what they are worth instead of "expecting" them in the bargain bin... but then a release comes out where it isn't a high quality release, and we are told that we shouldn't expect a high quality release because Twilight Time isn't a big company.

That dog isn't going to hunt. (to use another colloquialism)

Apologists always make the claim that if we do not buy or praise even the worst slop put out there will be no more BD catalog titles which of course is nonesense. Calling crap the crap it is the only way we will get films with the pq they deserve. Demetrius is just a very old DVD master, a new scan without even touching it up would of looked better.
post #37 of 513
I will never understand why Sony didn't want "Fright Night" and "As Good As It Gets" for themselves.

I don't mind as I'll gladly overpay for something when there is no other option, but I still have no idea why Sony thought "Awakenings" deserved a wider release than the above mentioned titles.
post #38 of 513
Quote:
Originally Posted by haineshisway View Post

I didn't find it horrible at all. There are many horrible transfers that are truly horrible - this one is not perfect and yes spending hundreds of thousands of dollars could make it look better - parts of the image are indeed "blurry" - most of that are the opticals (and you cannot count the opening of the film, as the entire section of The Robe is a many generations away dupe) - it's a bit too dark, and the color is a bit too brown, but there have been MUCH worse transfers foisted on buyers from any number of companies. This is absolutely better than the DVD and while obviously not up to the standard of The Robe (which had a 1.5 million dollar restoration not paid for by Fox) and The Egyptian (which did not have that kind of restoration and looks better than The Robe, IMO) - but Twilight Time must use what they are given, and frankly given what they are reading on these boards, there probably won't be any more transfers like this done - which means a bunch of films are not going to see Blu-ray release now. Whether that's a good thing or not is up to each individual's tolerance level. The choice here was simple - do they release this or do they not. They chose to because people really seemed to want it. After this reaction, there's no upside for them to take this kind of chance again, even though there are viewers for whom this transfer of Demetrius is perfectly acceptable. Those viewers are the ones who will now lose out.

I agree; DEMETRIUS at least looks like film, warts and all. I'm happy to have it on BD.
post #39 of 513
Quote:
Originally Posted by HDMe2 View Post

This is a really awesome and truthful post. When people criticized for Fright Night selling out, it was somehow the people's fault for not "understanding Twilight Time's business model"... but then if they produce a sub-par release that is critically panned, that somehow too is the customer's fault.

We were told that these movies are worth $30 because they are good movies, high quality transfers, and limited collectibles... We should be willing to pay what they are worth instead of "expecting" them in the bargain bin... but then a release comes out where it isn't a high quality release, and we are told that we shouldn't expect a high quality release because Twilight Time isn't a big company.

That dog isn't going to hunt. (to use another colloquialism)

The reality of the situation is that you can either have the movie or not have the movie. Fox doesn't want to release the movie themselves at all, because they don't feel there's any money in it. They're certainly not going to shell out for an expensive restoration, only to sell a couple thousand copies (if they're lucky). Fox would not recoup enough money to make that a worthwhile investment. However, they are willing to foist off the unrestored master they already have in hand to Twilight Time.

You can either take that or leave it. If you're not happy with the situation (and I perfectly understand why you wouldn't be), don't buy the disc. But, at this time, there is essentially zero chance of a full and proper restoration for this title.
post #40 of 513
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post

The reality of the situation is that you can either have the movie or not have the movie. Fox doesn't want to release the movie themselves at all, because they don't feel there's any money in it. They're certainly not going to shell out for an expensive restoration, only to sell a couple thousand copies (if they're lucky). Fox would not recoup enough money to make that a worthwhile investment. However, they are willing to foist off the unrestored master they already have in hand to Twilight Time.

You can either take that or leave it. If you're not happy with the situation (and I perfectly understand why you wouldn't be), don't buy the disc. But, at this time, there is essentially zero chance of a full and proper restoration for this title.



The problem is, Twilight Time is charging essentially a premium price for the "product" which should lead a customer to believe the product has a certain level of quality. It's very much like the situation Hammer/Studio Canal in the UK are currently facing, where they are putting out Hammer's horror films to basically a small niche market at a fairly high cost but seem genuinely baffled by the criticism they are getting due to the abysmal quality of one of their first releases (Dracula Prince Of Darkness) that they claim to have done significant work to "restore."

The bottom line is, the more focused on a small niche, discerning customer base these relatively small outfits try to target for their releases, the more likely they'll get harsh, direct criticism and loss of sales and eventual failure of their business model when they fail to meet customer expectations, right or wrong, especially when they're charging premium prices for their releases. In a nutshell, Twilight Time needs to build and protect their reputation not just by releasing titles that have some sort of legitimate appeal but more importantly to have the foresight and guts to pass on licensed titles from other studios that are sub-par quality that they can't invest the cost to improve.

It's why a company like Criterion still thrives while many others struggle and eventually fall.
post #41 of 513
Quote:
Originally Posted by Partyslammer View Post

The problem is, Twilight Time is charging essentially a premium price for the "product" which should lead a customer to believe the product has a certain level of quality. It's very much like the situation Hammer/Studio Canal in the UK are currently facing, where they are putting out Hammer's horror films to basically a small niche market at a fairly high cost but seem genuinely baffled by the criticism they are getting due to the abysmal quality of one of their first releases (Dracula Prince Of Darkness) that they claim to have done significant work to "restore."

The bottom line is, the more focused on a small niche, discerning customer base these relatively small outfits try to target for their releases, the more likely they'll get harsh, direct criticism and loss of sales and eventual failure of their business model when they fail to meet customer expectations, right or wrong, especially when they're charging premium prices for their releases. In a nutshell, Twilight Time needs to build and protect their reputation not just by releasing titles that have some sort of legitimate appeal but more importantly to have the foresight and guts to pass on licensed titles from other studios that are sub-par quality that they can't invest the cost to improve.

It's why a company like Criterion still thrives while many others struggle and eventually fall.

Funny because I have several Criterion Blu-rays that don't please me at all, quality-wise - but they get a pass, always.
post #42 of 513
I've been a steady Criterion customer since buying King Kong on Laserdisc in 1984. When I buy a Criterion release I'm rarely disappointed. But they are not perfect and have had a few flubs over the years.

However - I will still buy and always support small companies like Twilight Time even when they fall down once in a while. Even if I had read the negative review before purchasing - I would still have bought Diemetrius.
post #43 of 513
Quote:
Originally Posted by haineshisway View Post

Funny because I have several Criterion Blu-rays that don't please me at all, quality-wise - but they get a pass, always.

Which ones?
post #44 of 513
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Ballentine View Post

Which ones?

The last time I did A/B testing with a DVD was of the Criterion Stagecoach BR with the Warner DVD. I got a lot of grief in the Criterion thread for saying the improvement was "modest" (by which I meant negligible). But no one else had done the comparison. I think it's true some people don't like to see Criterion criticized, especially with comparisons to existing DVDs.

But I should look again. I "see" more all the time, and perhaps I would evaluate it differently now.

For some titles like Island of Lost Souls I didn't have the DVD to compare, but it's hard to believe the BR was much of an upgrade.

-Bill
post #45 of 513
Quote:
Originally Posted by wmcclain View Post

The last time I did A/B testing with a DVD was of the Criterion Stagecoach BR with the Warner DVD. I got a lot of grief in the Criterion thread for saying the improvement was "modest" (by which I meant negligible). But no one else had done the comparison. I think it's true some people don't like to see Criterion criticized, especially with comparisons to existing DVDs.

Bill, you were criticized about Stagecoach because you made those comments while also admitting that you were watching (at the time) on a small screen. You'd also made similar comments about other discs that demonstrated a clear improvement over DVD.

I'm not trying to call you out or anything here. I'm just trying to put that debate into perspective.
post #46 of 513
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post

Bill, you were criticized about Stagecoach because you made those comments while also admitting that you were watching (at the time) on a small screen. You'd also made similar comments about other discs that demonstrated a clear improvement over DVD.

I'm not trying to call you out or anything here. I'm just trying to put that debate into perspective.

You remember it better than I do!

I shouldn't make image quality statements.

-Bill
post #47 of 513
Quote:
Originally Posted by haineshisway View Post

Funny because I have several Criterion Blu-rays that don't please me at all, quality-wise - but they get a pass, always.

No they don't, as a cursory look in the relevant threads will prove. But you cannot argue that for a company that basically releases other studio's movies, they have set the standard that every other similar company from Blue Underground to Twilight Time aspires to.
post #48 of 513
Quote:
Originally Posted by wmcclain View Post

You remember it better than I do!

I shouldn't make image quality statements.

-Bill

The problem with both Stagecoach and Island of Lost Souls is that the original film elements don't exist and haven't for many years. What does exist for both movies is not that great. The Criterions, while no great shakes, are about as good as these movies will get unless someone is willing to pour huge amounts of money into them (and even then any improvements might be hard to achieve). Sometimes you have to face the fact that some great movies will never look great in any medium.
post #49 of 513
Quote:
Originally Posted by JazzGuyy View Post

The problem with both Stagecoach and Island of Lost Souls is that the original film elements don't exist and haven't for many years. What does exist for both movies is not that great. The Criterions, while no great shakes, are about as good as these movies will get unless someone is willing to pour huge amounts of money into them (and even then any improvements might be hard to achieve). Sometimes you have to face the fact that some great movies will never look great in any medium.

Right, understood. But (in my mind, if no where else) we were talking about examples of improvement or lack thereof of Blu-ray over earlier available formats. Or simultaneously, in the last of Island of Lost Souls.

Sorry to go off-topic. I have Bite the Bullet and it looks fine to me, but I still need to get thumbnails and write a review. Soon.

-Bill
post #50 of 513
I don't think the argument was about whether or not a better transfer could be made... but rather...

The previous argument in favor of Twilight Time was that they were producing "high quality collectibles" that we should be willing to pay more for... so I think it is a fair argument to question the "quality" part of that when you are paying for a "collectible" premium product.

IF Twilight Time were charging $10 and releasing to the masses, then it would be unfair to criticize their quality of transfer... but when you charge $30 and claim "limited edition" and imply you are looking to enhance "future value" by producing collectibles for movie collectors... then you darn well better be giving top notch product or you're going to get taken to task by the folk that like to skewer poor transfers.
post #51 of 513
Make no mistake - I like many of Criterion's Blu-rays and buy most. Their The Third Man was not up to snuff, IMO, and there were all sorts of excuses for it at the time. It was very noisy and overtly grainy. And there are others - not a huge number, but again, sometimes Criterion, like Twilight Time, can only use what they are given.
post #52 of 513
I don't think Twilight Time is portraying themselves as a "quality release/restoration" seller. They are essentially selling bargain-bin titles, but trying to ensure it doesn't end up in the $5 wal-mart bin.

Looking at it logically, however, there is not a lot of money to be made. You have 3000 copies that you sell at $30. That's $90K. But now you have to subtract all of your costs. I'm sure Amazon and other stores get a decent chunk from that $30. There's also production costs, and employees. It wouldn't surprise me if they only made a 10-20K profit per movie (assuming they sell out). And perhaps that's being generous.

So when you look at it this way, the best thing they can do is take the master, encode it at high bit-rate, and be done. I'm sure most of the money goes into creating the artwork, advertising, and production costs.

There isn't a lot of money to be made, so in the end, there's not going to be a lot of effort put towards these films. It's unfortunate, but that's how it goes.

I like to keep my frustration directed towards Universal because even with big releases where there's a LOT of money to be made, they cheap out.
post #53 of 513
So I compared the DVD of Demetrius to the Twilight BD last night on my 10' wide 2:40 screen. No doubt the Twilight BD is an improvement in several areas; most noticeably resolution. The DVD is all but unwatchable at this screen size (at a seated distance of 1.5 screen width's). So I'm somewhat happy now knowing at least the BD is a definite improvement over the DVD - and that this is probably about as good as it will get for this title (in my lifetime).

I also took a peak at my "Journey" DVD. Pretty bad too (at this screen size). So hopefully this title (which is much more important to me) will be a HUGE improvement over the DVD (as was Mysterious).
post #54 of 513
Quote:
Originally Posted by stumlad View Post

I don't think Twilight Time is portraying themselves as a "quality release/restoration" seller. They are essentially selling bargain-bin titles, but trying to ensure it doesn't end up in the $5 wal-mart bin.

In a way, you're right...

Twilight Time is aimed squarely at those who buy a few copies of their limited releases to sell on E-bay (to the many who have no idea who Twilight Time is) for $80.
post #55 of 513
Quote:
Originally Posted by NetworkTV View Post

In a way, you're right...

Twilight Time is aimed squarely at those who buy a few copies of their limited releases to sell on E-bay (to the many who have no idea who Twilight Time is) for $80.

The only title I have seen this with was Fright Night, all other titles have not sold out. If you only buy from BM stores then yes you will miss these titles, but they are on Amazon. It's unfortunate that only people who seek these titles out on the internet will be aware of them.
post #56 of 513
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeD View Post

The only title I have seen this with was Fright Night, all other titles have not sold out. If you only buy from BM stores then yes you will miss these titles, but they are on Amazon. It's unfortunate that only people who seek these titles out on the internet will be aware of them.

It's worse than that.

1) I couldn't get the listing for the Fright Night BD to come up on the first page, except for E-Bay listings back when it was still available. In other words, the secondary market was already topping the primary market before it even sold out.

2) They two different names. It's released by Twilight Time, but the website is Screen Archives. Therefore, eben if you search Twilight time, Screen Archives comes up with no mention of Twilight Time in the search description.

So, it's not just limited to people who seek them out on the internet. It's limited to those who know exactly where to look.

Screen Archives feels like the speakeasy of the home video world. I'm surprised you don't need a code word and a secret handshake to get into the site.
post #57 of 513
Quote:
Originally Posted by Partyslammer View Post

The problem is, Twilight Time is charging essentially a premium price for the "product" which should lead a customer to believe the product has a certain level of quality. It's very much like the situation Hammer/Studio Canal in the UK are currently facing, where they are putting out Hammer's horror films to basically a small niche market at a fairly high cost but seem genuinely baffled by the criticism they are getting due to the abysmal quality of one of their first releases (Dracula Prince Of Darkness) that they claim to have done significant work to "restore."

From the consumer perspective, I don't necessarily disagree with you about the price issue. However, Twilight Time's business model is what it is. As stumlad said, there isn't a lot of money to be made here. Twilight Time needs to charge a certain amount in order to recoup their own expenses, and apparently they've decided that $30 is that price. If you don't find enough value in that (and I can understand that feeling), then you shouldn't buy their titles.

Quote:


In a nutshell, Twilight Time needs to build and protect their reputation not just by releasing titles that have some sort of legitimate appeal but more importantly to have the foresight and guts to pass on licensed titles from other studios that are sub-par quality that they can't invest the cost to improve.

This just goes back to my previous point: You can either have the movie or not have the movie. The reality of the situation is that a title like Demetrius and the Gladiators is simply not going to get a full and proper restoration. Either Twilight Time looks at that and decides to pass on it, or they release it as is. In either case, the movie's not getting the restoration you feel it deserves.

It's certainly your prerogative to refuse to buy their disc. However, other fans of the film may be more willing to overlook the transfer's shortcomings so long as it's still an improvement over previous formats, because they'd rather have the movie in a compromised condition than not have it at all. I don't think we should begrudge them that opportunity.

What's really needed here are informed reviews of each title, so that interested buyers can know what they're getting into.
post #58 of 513
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post

From the consumer perspective, I don't necessarily disagree with you about the price issue. However, Twilight Time's business model is what it is. As stumlad said, there isn't a lot of money to be made here. Twilight Time needs to charge a certain amount in order to recoup their own expenses, and apparently they've decided that $30 is that price. If you don't find enough value in that (and I can understand that feeling), then you shouldn't buy their titles.



This just goes back to my previous point: You can either have the movie or not have the movie. The reality of the situation is that a title like Demetrius and the Gladiators is simply not going to get a full and proper restoration. Either Twilight Time looks at that and decides to pass on it, or they release it as is. In either case, the movie's not getting the restoration you feel it deserves.

It's certainly your prerogative to refuse to buy their disc. However, other fans of the film may be more willing to overlook the transfer's shortcomings so long as it's still an improvement over previous formats, because they'd rather have the movie in a compromised condition than not have it at all. I don't think we should begrudge them that opportunity.

What's really needed here are informed reviews of each title, so that interested buyers can know what they're getting into.

Informed reviews - that would be novel
post #59 of 513
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post

It's certainly your prerogative to refuse to buy their disc. However, other fans of the film may be more willing to overlook the transfer's shortcomings so long as it's still an improvement over previous formats, because they'd rather have the movie in a compromised condition than not have it at all. I don't think we should begrudge them that opportunity.

What's really needed here are informed reviews of each title, so that interested buyers can know what they're getting into.

So far I have 3 titles (Mysterious Island, Pal Joey and Picnic), and one more (Bell Book and Candle) on the way and have been very happy with the transfers so far, definitely an upgrade to the DVD's.
post #60 of 513
Quote:
Originally Posted by stumlad View Post

I don't think Twilight Time is portraying themselves as a "quality release/restoration" seller. They are essentially selling bargain-bin titles, but trying to ensure it doesn't end up in the $5 wal-mart bin.

The point, though... is you can't sell bargain bin titles for $30 if you don't put some work into the quality. If your $30 "limited edition" has poorer quality than the $7.99 bargain bin title, then Twilight Time is going to have a short history.

They are trying to buy niche movies that maybe would not get a larger release otherwise... ok, I'll accept that... but if they aren't going to accept criticism of their product then they shouldn't publish.

Again, the argument for Twilight Time from fans has been that they did a good job, produced a quality product, and released a movie that might not otherwise be available... so it was "worth" the $30 admission... but if the quality isn't there, then the long-term value isn't there for the collectors either... and Twilight Time will not survive the scrutiny they will get from the same fanboys that until now have been cheering for them.
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