Monday, April 02, 2007

Children Of Men, Superman Series And Tideland: The Sad State Of DVD Publishing Today

If you live in the UK, your first chance to buy Children on Men came in December. The single disc edition was virtually bare bones and when news broke about a replacement 2-Disc edition coming little more than three months later, it felt like a slap in the face. Early adopters had been had.

Luckily, now, Universal are agreeing to replace UK R2 copies of the single-disc edition with the full monty. And virtually for free.

Send your disc with a jiffy bag for the return item, stamped to the value of 70p, to this address:

Children of Men DVD Amnesty
PO Box 188
Woodford Green

You have until June 30th. Ex-rental copies are not elligible. Tell them who sent you.

You won't believe how hard it was to get that address. I called, was put on hold, cut off; called again, was put on hold, given an e-mail address to try; I e-mailed and never received a reply; called again, was cut off again... I could go on. Somehow I don't think Universal want a large number of returns - but they are doing the right thing. Well, almost - they should offer something in return for the postage costs, really. Maybe a discount voucher from other Universal releases?

The Superman series boxset that was issued lat last year was, I'm told, a bit of a botch job. In R1 at least - can anybody confirm the status of the R2 discs? America will find the repressed, corrected set on shelves from May 19th. Frankly, I wouldn't touch Superman IV with a barge pole and way prefer Richard Lester to Richard Donner... I'm not the audience for this box. Not until it gets real cheap.

And finally, the biggest DVD debacle in recent years goes on and on and on. Tideland is still not available in the correct format outside of the UK. ThinkFilm's final official statement?

That they will be replacing the 1.78:1 disc currently on shelves with a 2.35:1 reissue later this year. No amnesty announced, no replacement scheme in place. And worst of all... 2.35:1 isn't the aspect ratio Gilliam wants used anyway. They should be repressing to the 2.25:1 (approximately) master that he supplied.

At least when discs area thing of the past and everything comes as a download, botches like these should be easier to rectify.


David Alexander said...

As I understand it, the repressed Superman Ultimate set will be a fair bit les Ultimate than the original release -- no tin, no fluffy bits of kit, and reduced by a couple of discs in size. The original tin was yanked from the market literally overnight.

Mark said...

Love, love, love Dick Lester's THE THREE MUSKATEERS, love THE BED-SITTING ROOM, love A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM, love A HARD DAY'S NIGHT, and I am even fond of HELP! if just for the wacky visuals, and how the "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away" section pretty much invents pop promos (and also the Monkees, but whatchu gonna do?).

So yeah, whenever various Yank comic bloggers who know nowt about movies start disparaging Lester in order to inflate their claims for Donner, I get a little pissed off.

Anonymous said...

Can we start a petition to get ThinkFilm to replace our 1.78:1 Tideland DVDs, free of charge? This is ridiculous. Why should the customer have to pay for the company's ignorance?

Brendon said...

What do you think we should do? I think we should keep calling, e-mailing and writing to ThinkFilm - and keep sending messages to the big film sites every time they make a mistake.