Thursday, March 31, 2005

Warner Brothers DVD news...

The Home Theater Forum website had one of its essential Internet chats with representatives of Warners DVD. A transcript of the entire chat, which lasted three hours, can be found here.

The basic idea for these is that a muckity muck from some studio's DVD department takes questions from (some rather obsessive) fans on issues ranging from disc problems and presentation issues to, and this is the most fun, what's in the pipe to be released over the next year. I'm always amazed at the films people asked about.

Note the animation DVD guys weren't there (probably to avoid being raked over). This confirmed what I already assumed, that there were different Warners dvd departments. The reason I thought that is because the movie department is great, as proved by all the awesome boxed sets of classic films they're released over the last couple of years, and the animation releases suck; i.e., putting out one or two episodes of shows like Batman:TAS and Justice League, and then screwing consumers either by subsequently putting out partially redundant, double dipping full season sets (Batman:TAS) or conversely not offering full season sets (Justice League). Anyway, except for the Looney Tunes, the Warners animation release guys are incompetent dicks.

A quick run-down:

Single coolist news: This year will see a box set of nine (!) Val Lewton films, with special features and commentaries.

Plus: "We plan to start releasing all 48 of our BOWERY BOYS films in collections during 2006."

Also Mighty Joe Young (the real one) out before Christmas.

Potentially most valuable news: Warners is "working hard to resolve" the rights issues on the Fleisher B&W Popeye cartoons. I can't think of anything that would excite me more than getting a big set of these classics on DVD.

Asked about/No current plans to release: Night School, New Year's Evil, Dark Night of the Scarecrow, Killer Party, Not of This Earth ('57), Caltiki, Giant Behemoth, Mad's Up the Academy; Under the Rainbow (!); Electric Dreams; Mama's Family , The Hogan Family, Growing Pains, Freddy's Nightmares, Shazam!; Time Trax, Just the Ten of Us, Flamingo Road, Family Matters, Step by Step; Falcon's Crest (TV).

Asked about/in the pipe for release: Streisand Star Is Born (by end of year); Point Blank, Thin Man Collection, Adventures of Superman (Reeves TV show set); Ben-Hur 4-disc set, with both '25 & '59 versions of film, restored; Outsiders extended edition; special editions of Dog Day Afternoon, Network and All the President's Men (nice); two box sets of Astaire/Rogers flicks; Lois & Clark (TV); The Naked Spur; Looney Tunes Box Three before Christmas '05; 2001: A Space Odyssey SE (2006); a supposedly super-super Wizard of Oz SE; Streetcar Named Desire SE (2006); a whole mess of Steve McQueen stuff; The Devils SE; Maltese Falcon SE (2006).

Projects in limbo: Magnificent Ambersons (looking for elements), Zabriskie Point ("under consideration"), Get Smart (don't own), Batman TV show (don't own), Superboy TV show ("under consideration"); Cold Case TV show ("music rights issues");

Stuff to come out eventually: Welcome Back, Kotter; The Flash (TV); Witchblade; Batman: Mask of the Phantasm SE; Green Mile SE; more Lon Chaney Sr. stuff; L.A. Confidential SE (finally).


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