DVD Talk
Standing up for RETROMEDIA... [Archive] - DVD Talk Forum
 
Best Sellers
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
The Longest Day
Buy: $54.99 $24.99
9.
10.
DVD Blowouts
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
Alien [Blu-ray]
Buy: $19.99 $9.99
8.
9.
10.

PDA
DVD Reviews

View Full Version : Standing up for RETROMEDIA...


Carcosa
09-27-07, 10:53 PM
Since the whole "grindhouse" thing happened I have finally come around to Retromedia and their DVDs. As many know, their discs are typically not...well, the best in terms of picture quality, etc and they got positively hammered regarding the I, MONSTER release and pre-release review of the now unreleased and cancelled FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE DVD.

I'm kinda slow, but I GET it. Watching them from a perspective of nostalgia, they are a real pleasure. I am lucky enough to have been a kid when the Saturday Creature Feature thing was still popular and remember waiting absolutely impatiently for the weekend to come for GODZILLA VS THE SMOG MONSTER or THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER or whatever it was that was on tap for the day....prints in all their washed out, defective, sprocket jumping glory. It was THE GIANT MAJIN COLLECTION that brought this home to me. I own the really terrific ADV releases of these but I'm awfully fond of this disc.

Thanks for the memories, Mr Fred Olen Ray. Keep it up. I'm on your side from here on out.

The Man with the Golden Doujinshi
09-28-07, 12:16 AM
You have to understand that many people complain don't have amazing video/audio when they're released. The people complaining have no understanding of what it was like to watch this stuff when the only choices were tv edits or going to the video store and renting a beat up tape or finding someone that had a copy made somewhere that looked awful.

There are a lot of cry babies out here that won't buy something on vhs even though it's not out on dvd. That's fine with me, I'll spend the couple of dollars to watch it because I care more about the movie than the format it's on.

I'd also like to add that I'm already sick of all this grindhouse talk. I can only imagine all the clowns that are going to start taking film classes to make their grindhouse movies that start showing up as straight to video movies.

Back on topic, Fred Olen Ray is cool. He sent me an animation cell and corresponding paper sketch from Evil Toons.

salamander2
09-28-07, 01:01 AM
OK, so are you saying you'd prefer his version of FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE over the WB's version that was mastered from most likely a HD source?

Carcosa
09-28-07, 01:42 AM
OK, so are you saying you'd prefer his version of FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE over the WB's version that was mastered from most likely a HD source?

Not at all...but since we had NO version of FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE on DVD at the time the Retromedia disc would have been most welcome. We STILL have no better Region 1 version of I. MONSTER at this point. Maybe someday...

Its not an "either/or" situation. I believe their discs to be aimed at the niche market I described and in most or at least many cases there are no superior DVD versions of the films they release in circulation. Even THE GIANT MAJIN disc I mentioned is unique; the ADV discs are the original Japanese releases with no English track. The Retromedia disc is taken from original AIP English-dubbed 16 mm prints...and looks just like they did when I was a kid watching them in awe on one of the local independent stations that don't exist anymore.

I love that about them. Nostalgia is a HUGE draw for many of us.

sracer
09-28-07, 10:08 AM
Not at all...but since we had NO version of FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE on DVD at the time the Retromedia disc would have been most welcome. We STILL have no better Region 1 version of I. MONSTER at this point. Maybe someday...

Its not an "either/or" situation. I believe their discs to be aimed at the niche market I described and in most or at least many cases there are no superior DVD versions of the films they release in circulation. Even THE GIANT MAJIN disc I mentioned is unique; the ADV discs are the original Japanese releases with no English track. The Retromedia disc is taken from original AIP English-dubbed 16 mm prints...and looks just like they did when I was a kid watching them in awe on one of the local independent stations that don't exist anymore.

I love that about them. Nostalgia is a HUGE draw for many of us.
As the DVD market matures, it is becoming more clear which people are in love with the technology of the medium (DVD) and which are in love with the content (film).

Many of the people who stand firm on OAR, don't blink an eye when a film's monaural track is remixed into 5.1 surround. They pefer 4 disc ultimate editions and thumb their nose at a single disc bare-bones release.

Even many of those "discerning" buyers who hold out for the best possible remastering and transfer really care more about the medium and how it will look on their technology than with the content.

Gobear
09-28-07, 10:28 AM
The problem with old genre movies that Retromedia and other niche studios release is that the original materials weren't produced well in the first place. Movies made cheaply with bad film stock and sub-optimum audio recording are always going to show poorly on modern home theater setups.

Given the poverty of the film elements that Retromedia has to work with, I think they do a very good job. My OOP copy of The Deathmaster has a clean picture with stereo sound, plus it has a commentary with Fred Olen Ray and Robert Quarry, a trailer, plus some commercials that Quarry did in the 60s before he became a horror icon.

macnorton
09-28-07, 11:39 AM
If I may chime in...I have noticed a lot lately that people do not clearly understand what the word "grindhouse" means. It is almost as bad as the horrible misuse of the term "Jump the shark"...but that is a discussion for another day.

Although I am not familiar with DVD authoring, but I think when some of these grindhouse releases come out non-anamorphic, I have to wonder. To me it just seems like sloppy work on the companies part, however if it is due to technical problems, then that I can understand. But when it comes to actual picture/audio quality, I expect problems to be there. And I am totally fine with that, for me anyways, it adds to the mystique of these releases.

For the poster above me, I agree, OAR nuts are funny with that stuff...as are the audio nuts. Personally, I like having the option, but if I don't no biggie. I am a stickler for the OAR though...if I am meant to see something, then I should. The only sticky part with that are those Disney releases, since they are made in 4:3 and projected 16x9, you could call either OAR....but if you give me both (like the Transformers DVD), then I am good to go.

Cameron
09-28-07, 03:45 PM
The only sticky part with that are those Disney releases, since they are made in 4:3 and projected 16x9, you could call either OAR....but if you give me both (like the Transformers DVD), then I am good to go.

Most films are done this way as well. Things are shot open matter and have lines roped off for protection of the letterbox frame. This started years ago for television. It doesn't mean its OAR.

Carcosa
09-28-07, 09:57 PM
As the DVD market matures, it is becoming more clear which people are in love with the technology of the medium (DVD) and which are in love with the content (film).

Many of the people who stand firm on OAR, don't blink an eye when a film's monaural track is remixed into 5.1 surround. They pefer 4 disc ultimate editions and thumb their nose at a single disc bare-bones release.

Even many of those "discerning" buyers who hold out for the best possible remastering and transfer really care more about the medium and how it will look on their technology than with the content.

I think there is a lot more truth to that statement than most people would admit to. There was a time when many of us were THRILLED just to own a copy of a much-loved film in ANY format. When some people are completely outraged at what seems to be a relatively minor issue with a disc I sometimes just have to shake my head.