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Columbia Fullscreen DVD Re-issues

Old 05-11-05, 12:10 AM
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Columbia Fullscreen DVD Re-issues

I first noticed when I went DVD shopping a couple of months ago that a few Columbia DVDs which were previously available with both widescreen and 4:3 picture options have been re-issued in fulllscreen only, with the old widescreen/fullscreen flipper versions going out of print. These include "Mary Shelley's Frankenstein" (1994), "Last Action Hero" (1994), and "...And Justice For All" (1979).

What's the deal? Does Sony/Columbia Tri-Star have something against the widescreen format? Is it somehow more price efficient to re-release the movies in full screen? (I found them in the bargain bin.)

If they were only planning to offer one format on the discs, then why not widescreen? Why re-issue them at all, for that matter?

Anyone got any info on this?
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Old 05-11-05, 01:25 AM
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I've noticed that too and thought it odd.
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Old 05-11-05, 05:40 AM
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I agree, re-issuing DVDs in full screen only is ridiculous. I ordered The Fan recently for my De Niro collection and received the full scren version, which I returned.

Here is a similar thread.
http://www.dvdtalk.com/forum/showthr...hlight=justice
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Old 05-11-05, 05:49 AM
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This is stupid, but I too would like to know the reason.
Is it cheaper? Are people more likely to buy the FS versions?
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Old 05-11-05, 08:45 AM
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There's a thread over at HTF discussing this very topic. The reason gaining the most favor is that Columbia (similar to Buena Vista churning out one absurdly soft, low-detail, edge-enhanced transfer--COLD MOUNTAIN, HERO, NATIONAL TREASURE, et al--after another) is intentionally trying to subvert the appeal of DVD to consumers so that, when HD-DVD hits the market, it will seem even more enticing and a greater leap forward from the prior technology.
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Old 05-11-05, 09:00 AM
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High School High is another one that was a flipper that is now only available in full screen.
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Old 05-11-05, 09:10 AM
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I had just found "Mary Shelley's Frankenstein" (1994) flipper disk with both widescreen and full screen at Borders. It cost me a little more $12.99, but it was worth it. I went back a week later and there is another one the shelf that has the widescreen version.
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Old 05-11-05, 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by natevines
This is stupid, but I too would like to know the reason.
Is it cheaper? Are people more likely to buy the FS versions?
I assume it's cheaper to offer a single-sided version vs. the flipper, but picking to offer the fullscreen version seems silly given that, when given a choice, the widescreen versions of DVDs almost always (if not always) outsell their fullscreen couterparts.

I think they're just making a bad marketing decision based on what they think people want rather than based on what the data suggests people really want.
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Old 05-11-05, 09:10 PM
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I have a repackaged "And Justice For All..." about to be shipped back to DDDVD. Columbia is using the same catalog code numbers for the initial and current release so be careful when ordering online. DDDVD still has the original details with both WS and FS on their site even though they confirmed that they didn't have any with WS in stock when I raised the issue. I was able to find the original release of "And Justice For All..." at 2 different stores this past weekend so if you hunt around you may be able to do the same.
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Old 05-11-05, 10:46 PM
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I've never bought the "HD-DVD" conspiracy theory about this. These Columbia/Sony FS only "reissues" first started to appear in the $5.50 "dump bins" at Wal-Mart, a chain noted for its preference, if not insistence, on FS transfers. It seems obvious these titles were no longer...if ever...big sellers, so Sony and Wal-Mart made the deal to produce these discount DVDs. Unfortunately, Wal-Mart does have a big enough share of the DVD market to make such an arrangement very profitable for Sony, and, with a lower profit margin per disc, Sony made the additional business decisions to discontinue the more expensive dual-sided discs and offer these discounted single-sided discs to all retailers.

My main business problem with this is what bhpaul noted, that Sony is using the same UPC codes for these replacement FS discount releases that were assigned to the original dual-sided WS/FS discs...and, in some cases, they've even used old keep case covers to package the new single-sided discs. If Paramount can find it cost-effective to use different UPCs to denoted which theft-deterrent system is packaged with their individual releases, there is no reason Sony could not have done the same to differentiate these reissues from the originals.
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Old 05-11-05, 10:51 PM
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with all the controversy of Blu-ray discs it doesn't surprise me that the buffons at Sony/TriStar pull this kind of crap.
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Old 05-12-05, 01:55 AM
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Originally Posted by bhpaul
I was able to find the original release of "And Justice For All..." at 2 different stores this past weekend so if you hunt around you may be able to do the same.
Bhpaul, are you talking 'brick and mortar' or 'online' stores? If online, would you mind telling me where? I wouldn't mind picking up the WS version of this movie. Thanks.
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Old 05-12-05, 02:01 AM
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Apparently you can add Bite the Bullet to the reissue as full screen-only list. I've got the dual release but a friend of mine can only find the title in hack-n-scan.
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Old 05-12-05, 07:22 PM
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" I ordered The Fan recently for my De Niro collection and received the full scren version"

I wasn't aware that there was a WS version available for The Fan. I've been looking all over and have only found the FS versions as well.
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Old 05-12-05, 07:35 PM
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I bought "The Bear" which said included both versions on the cover, but the disc only had the Foolscreen version. I checked 2 more copies at the same store and they had the same problem. I sent the disc back to Columbia with a letter demanding they send me the correct disc, and they did so a couple weeks later along with a free movie "Gray Owl". They're still planning to do this to more titles though. Whatever they've saved in manufacturing costs has got to have been negated by the number of these that have been returned.
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Old 05-12-05, 07:38 PM
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Here's a note they sent to retailers, essentially saying "Fuck You" to their customers:

April 8, 2005
Dear Sony Pictures Home Entertainment Customer:
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is currently in the process of reworking the Aspect Ratios on select
DVDs. These particular DVDs, which in the past have included both Widescreen and Full screen
presentations on a single disc, are now being reworked to include only one presentation, Wide OR Full
screen. A number of these have been completed and repackaged to reflect this change, and are listed in the
table below.
Catalog numbers and UPC Codes remain the same. Please update your systems as necessary to reflect
these changes.
We will continue to update you regularly as more DVDs are converted. Please contact your Sales
Representative or Client Operations Associate with any questions.
Sincerely,
Client Operations
Title Catalog # New Aspect Ratio
3 Ninjas Knuckle Up - DVD 05984 Full Screen
About Last Night - DVD 07359 Full Screen
Adventures of Milo and Otis, The - DVD 50149 Full Screen
Air Force One - DVD 71889 Full Screen
All About My Mother - DVD 04719 Widescreen
And Justice For All - DVD 05819 Full Screen
As Good As It Gets - DVD 21709 Widescreen
Assignment, The - DVD 28359 Widescreen
Bear, The - DVD 03994 Full Screen
Beast, The - DVD 06200 Full Screen
Big Daddy - DVD 03922 Widescreen
Bite the Bullet - DVD 07761 Full Screen
Black Dragon - DVD 01685 Widescreen
Body Double - DVD 04119 Full Screen
Body, The - DVD 06595 Full Screen
Breed, The - DVD 06783 Widescreen
Buddy - DVD 05617 Full Screen
Buddy Holly Story, The - DVD 08019 Full Screen
Chances Are - DVD 70159 Full Screen
Cheap Detective, The - DVD 90399 Full Screen
Title Catalog # New Aspect Ratio
Cruel Intentions 2 - DVD 05841 Full Screen
Dance With Me - DVD 23949 Full Screen
Deep End of the Ocean - DVD 02851 Full Screen
Desert Heat - DVD 04226 Full Screen
Desperate Measures - DVD 21759 Full Screen
Dick - DVD 04001 Widescreen
Excess Baggage - DVD 82309 Full Screen
Eye of the Beholder - DVD 05052 Full Screen
Fan, The - DVD 82479 Full Screen
Forsaken, The - DVD 06453 Widescreen
Futuresport - DVD 03302 Full Screen
Gattaca - DVD 82649 Full Screen
Geronimo: An American Legend - DVD 58709 Full Screen
Guess Who's Coming To Dinner - Restored - DVD 05419 Full Screen
Hard Times - DVD 03063 Full Screen
Hero - DVD 51569 Full Screen
Hideaway - DVD 05273 Full Screen
High School High - DVD 82489 Full Screen
Hollywood Knights - DVD 21894 Widescreen
Homegrown - DVD 25329 Widescreen
Hush - DVD 02356 Full Screen
I Dreamed of Africa - DVD 04606 Full Screen
Idle Hands - DVD 03931 Full Screen
Iron Eagle - DVD 83969 Full Screen
It Could Happen To You - DVD 72819 Widescreen
Jackie Chan's Who Am I? - DVD 02717 Full Screen
Jawbreaker - DVD 03615 Full Screen
Juror, The - DVD 11609 Full Screen
Knock Off - DVD 25889 Full Screen
Last Action Hero, The - DVD 27939 Full Screen
Last Dragon, The - DVD 05985 Widescreen
Lords of Flatbush - DVD 04540 Widescreen
MacKenna's Gold - DVD 03709 Full Screen
Madeline - DVD 02718 Full Screen
Mary Shelley's Frankenstein - DVD 78719 Full Screen
Mercy - DVD 05080 Full Screen
Mirror Has Two Faces, The - DVD 82529 Full Screen
Mixed Nuts - DVD 06534 Full Screen
Mortal Thoughts - DVD 50749 Full Screen
Moscow on the Hudson - DVD 06536 Full Screen
Mrs. Winterbourne - DVD 07742 Full Screen
My Life - DVD 05853 Full Screen
My Stepmother Is An Alien - DVD 61029 Full Screen
No Mercy - DVD 83759 Full Screen
No Way Back - DVD 05818 Full Screen
Nowhere to Run - DVD 52379 Full Screen
Odessa File, The - DVD 03299 Full Screen
Order, The - DVD 08426 Full Screen
Peggy Sue Got Married - DVD 81849 Full Screen
Revenge - DVD 50219 Full Screen
Title Catalog # New Aspect Ratio
River Runs Through It, A - DVD 03933 Widescreen
Roxanne - DVD 08539 Full Screen
Rudyard Kipling's The Second Jungle Book: Mowgli and Baloo - DVD 05988 Full Screen
School Daze - DVD 05834 Full Screen
Screamers - DVD 11869 Full Screen
Sheena - DVD 06535 Full Screen
Silent Rage - DVD 05277 Full Screen
Sniper - DVD 70759 Widescreen
So I Married An Axe Murderer - DVD 52429 Widescreen
Spice World - DVD 01770 Full Screen
Starman - DVD 04129 Full Screen
Stepmom - DVD 02852 Full Screen
Suspect - DVD 05857 Full Screen
Sweet and Lowdown - DVD 04757 Full Screen
Thirteenth Floor, The (Special Edition) - DVD 02848 Full Screen
Toy, The - DVD 06542 Full Screen
Two Moon Junction - DVD 09669 Full Screen
Universal Soldier: The Return - DVD 03934 Full Screen
Whatever It Takes - DVD 05285 Full Screen
Whipped - DVD 05500 Full Screen
Wild Things (Rated) - DVD 02411 Full Screen
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Old 05-13-05, 01:32 AM
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Thirteenth Floor and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein fullscreen? Dumbarses.
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Old 05-13-05, 08:57 AM
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Well, it's nice to have a list now, instead of random reports of titles showing up in stores changed, often after it's too late. Is it complete?

Did they just send the list in April? They've been doing this for over a year.

A few of these titles are still available in widescreen, albeit in more expensive Superbit editions (Gattaca, Air Force One) or special editions (School Daze).
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Old 05-13-05, 10:40 AM
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I give up. Even after the Castle Keep fiasco, they do this? I guess the more maddening thing is that people will actually buy these.
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Old 05-13-05, 10:41 AM
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I got burned on Johnny Mnemonic which was listed as both but was only FS. A quick check on Amazon shows that the DVD is now FS only in case you wanted to add it to your list.
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Old 05-13-05, 11:12 PM
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Al Tahoe - they were brick & mortar locations in MA. Newbury Comics and Tower Records had the WS/FS version. BestBuy had all FS.
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Old 05-13-05, 11:43 PM
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Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is currently in the process of reworking the Aspect Ratios on select DVDs.
Why

Is it too hard for these companies to understand Original Aspect Ratio? Why do they have to cater to the lowest common denominator? Why do they have to fuck the consumer with lame ass full screen editions of good movies? And then they don't have even the decency to change the UPC and even sometimes the information on the back cover.
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Old 05-14-05, 12:00 AM
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Aren't all of those pretty much dump bin movies though? Sorry if anyone has any favorites in there, but... ick.
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Old 05-14-05, 12:39 AM
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Originally Posted by bhpaul
Al Tahoe - they were brick & mortar locations in MA.
Well, that's a bit too far for me to drive. Thanks for your response anyway.
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Old 05-14-05, 01:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Daniel L
Aren't all of those pretty much dump bin movies though?
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner made AFI's list of the 100 greatest American films ever made. The fact that Sony's doing this to GWCtD means that none of their movies, even if highly regarded, is immune to the possibility of being butchered.

IMHO there are a few other very good movies on the list, especially The Bear (which really deserves to be seen in widescreen )
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