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Old 05-31-10, 11:16 AM   #1
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Night of the Living Dead (1968; Region A) - Out Now!

So not a joke. Apparently, this film finally hit Blu-ray even after having received a million releases on DVD because the film is in public domain (how it managed not to get released on Blu-ray or HD DVD in the past is beyond me). So far it's only appeared on eBay (if link is not allowed, please remove), but someone bought the disc and posted their impressions:

Link to Review:
Quote:
Many horror fans are aware of the sad distribution story surrounding George A. Romero’s seminal Night of the Living Dead. The film’s credits were finished with the original “Night of the Flesh Eaters” title, but the feature’s distributor requested the title changed since surprisingly another film was already entitled that. The title was changed to the now iconic “Night of the Living Dead” as the film went off to do giant theatrical success both domestically and abroad. The problem was the copyright was mistakenly left off the credits after the title change, advantageous distributors soon realized the grave error, and this classic slid into public domain. Anyone can release Night theatrically or on home video with no problem. This is why there’s currently twenty-six unwanted copies at your nearest Dollar Tree and even Night’s extensive restorations by Elite Entertainment, who essentially saved the vault materials from being lost forever, and the Weinstein Company are in the same sinking boat.

This brings us to the newest home video format, Blu-ray, promising far greater image and sound quality than any previous consumer format. Despite being a fairly recent format, Night of the Living Dead has already been released on BD twice, with both editions hailing from the United Kingdom. First, Optimum Releasing issued a Region B Blu-ray in 2008 of a well restored high definition source that was strikingly better than ever seen prior. All seemed so great, in spite of the region locking, but the bite came in the form of image cropping. All four sides of the frame exhibited noticeable slicing away of picture information seen on the restored DVD releases. The following year, Network released their region free BD and while the presentation was uncropped–the source was a dirty beat up print with wonky contrast. The film was also mysteriously missing about thirty seconds of footage here-and-there throughout. It should go with saying fans with Blu-ray capability were again miffed at the situation.

Then suddenly, a PD distributor, “Forgotten Films”, began selling North American Blu-rays of Night on eBay about two weeks ago. I was admittedly skeptical, believing it was a snake oil salesman pushing off DVD (or worse) transfers on Blu-ray, but temptation led to an order. I just received the disc and to my surprise its a factory pressed 25GB single layer BD disc in a “real” Blu-ray case. The film is presented in its original 1.33:1 full frame ratio and encoded in MPEG-4 AVC with a high bitrate consistently hovering around thirty megabytes a second. The 1080p/24fps picture quality is unmistakably high definition with a nice layer of fine grain over the entire presentation and very minimal print damage. Detail isn’t consistent, this is a low budget feature from the ’60s after all, but it really shines when it decides to and looks noticeably superior to both Elite Entertainment’s Millennium Edition and Dimension Extreme’s matted 1.85:1 DVD edition.

Yet here’s the thing, the picture is cropped much in the same way as the Optimum (a little less actually) and missing at least one snippet like the Network. Though I don’t believe this is a direct rip from either of those Blu-rays. It looks far too good to be the Network transfer, but it’s missing a few seconds when Barbara recounts her ordeal with Johnny to Ben unlike the “uncut” Optimum disc. The seconds where Barbara says something to the effect of “it’s hot in here” and unbuttons her jacket are missing, so there’s a sudden jump from her jacket being closed then opened. I didn’t notice any other cuts and the film runs exactly 95 minutes, 19 seconds. Audio quality is a relatively clear 640kbps standard Dolby stereo track, there’s eighteen chapter stops, and the only “extra” is a slideshow of captures from the disc.

So Forgotten Films’s Blu-ray is kinda tough to recommend even with the somewhat modest $20 price tag. It’s cropped a little and cut a little, but trust me, it certainly has impressive image quality regardless. I’ll leave it up to you to dig around on eBay for it and decide whether it’s worth it to you. As a sidenote, Dimension Extreme has noted they will release an “official” North American Blu-ray sometime in the future, but their DVD is, like mentioned, not in the film’s original aspect ratio (or at least the ratio everyone’s used to).
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Old 05-31-10, 11:18 AM   #2
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Re: Night of the Living Dead (1968; Region A) - Out Now!

Keep in mind, Weinstein owns the rights to Night over here in America (well the best version approved by Romero). A BD release was planned and canceled, but Vivendi, who now distributes Weinsteins releases, might release a version later this year.
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Old 05-31-10, 11:20 AM   #3
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Re: Night of the Living Dead (1968; Region A) - Out Now!

Again with the cropping! Too bad the apparently forthcoming Dimension disc will also have the incorrect AR.
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Old 05-31-10, 11:27 AM   #4
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Re: Night of the Living Dead (1968; Region A) - Out Now!

i think the dimension extreme DVD is 1.33:1

EDIT: it is, which means that review in the OP should be taken with a grain of salt.
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Last edited by riotinmyskull; 05-31-10 at 11:34 AM.
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Old 06-04-10, 01:52 AM   #5
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Re: Night of the Living Dead (1968; Region A) - Out Now!

While I would be thrilled to get this on Blu-Ray, I'm going to wait and see if the rumored Dimension release is put out (and if so, what the quality is).
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Old 06-04-10, 07:08 PM   #6
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Re: Night of the Living Dead (1968; Region A) - Out Now!

I didn't even know there was a Dimension DVD out. What's the AR on that one?

I love this movie, but I can wait for a proper BD release, whenever that may be.
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Old 06-04-10, 07:20 PM   #7
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Re: Night of the Living Dead (1968; Region A) - Out Now!

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Originally Posted by KillerCannibal View Post
I didn't even know there was a Dimension DVD out. What's the AR on that one?

I love this movie, but I can wait for a proper BD release, whenever that may be.
it's 1.33:1 and considered the best version nowadays

http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/33346...e-living-dead/
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Old 06-05-10, 10:41 AM   #8
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Re: Night of the Living Dead (1968; Region A) - Out Now!

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Originally Posted by riotinmyskull View Post
it's 1.33:1 and considered the best version nowadays

http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/33346...e-living-dead/
Haha... I guess I never realized it was Dimension who put this out. It's the one I currently own.
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Old 06-05-10, 10:48 AM   #9
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Re: Night of the Living Dead (1968; Region A) - Out Now!

So much for the references to OAR in the first post. I'd definitely upgrade my Elite disc to a Dimension Blu then, particularly when it includes an exclusive full-length doc, plus all of the extras from the Elite disc.
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Old 10-29-15, 04:40 PM   #10
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Re: Night of the Living Dead (1968; Region A) - Out Now!

I'm surprised this isn't on the forum anywhere, news came out on the 19th.

http://www.dreadcentral.com/news/133...footage-found/

Quote:
Apparently [Romero] has found a 16mm work print which includes the roughly 9 min. scene never before released on home media.
Will the additional footage give Romero the leverage to make a new copyright and get this licensed for a new Bluray?
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Old 10-29-15, 04:58 PM   #11
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Re: Night of the Living Dead (1968; Region A) - Out Now!

Very excited about this "lost" footage being found, but fear that we'll never get the chance to see this footage properly included in the feature. Or, we'll have to wait 20 years for some bullshit copyright excuse / rights issue.

The same thing has happened with PHASE IV. The complete, original ending was discovered two years ago, but the fans have been shafted when it comes to an official release. Olive just released a blu-ray release of the cut version.

Where's the newly-discovered 20 minutes of footage of Kubrick's 2001? In copyright / rights hell, and we'll probably never see that footage properly integrated into the film, either!

Such a shame....
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Old 10-29-15, 10:39 PM   #12
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Re: Night of the Living Dead (1968; Region A) - Out Now!

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Originally Posted by zyzzle View Post
Very excited about this "lost" footage being found, but fear that we'll never get the chance to see this footage properly included in the feature. Or, we'll have to wait 20 years for some bullshit copyright excuse / rights issue.

The same thing has happened with PHASE IV. The complete, original ending was discovered two years ago, but the fans have been shafted when it comes to an official release. Olive just released a blu-ray release of the cut version.

Where's the newly-discovered 20 minutes of footage of Kubrick's 2001? In copyright / rights hell, and we'll probably never see that footage properly integrated into the film, either!

Such a shame....
Doesn't the Kubrick Estate have strict rules about not making deleted scenes from his movies publicly available?
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Old 10-29-15, 11:08 PM   #13
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Re: Night of the Living Dead (1968; Region A) - Out Now!

Quote:
Originally Posted by zyzzle View Post
Very excited about this "lost" footage being found, but fear that we'll never get the chance to see this footage properly included in the feature. Or, we'll have to wait 20 years for some bullshit copyright excuse / rights issue.

The same thing has happened with PHASE IV. The complete, original ending was discovered two years ago, but the fans have been shafted when it comes to an official release. Olive just released a blu-ray release of the cut version.

Where's the newly-discovered 20 minutes of footage of Kubrick's 2001? In copyright / rights hell, and we'll probably never see that footage properly integrated into the film, either!

Such a shame....
I think this would be the opposite of those situations. NOTLD is in the public domain, so the only way to copyright it is to change it from the existing cut. That's why Anchor Bay made that awful version that cut in new footage into the existing film, so they could create a version that they held the copyright to. If this footage is from the original production, it could be cut in and used to make a new copyright. I would think Romero would push for this as hard as he can.
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Old 10-30-15, 05:03 AM   #14
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Re: Night of the Living Dead (1968; Region A) - Out Now!

It's A Wonderful Life was in public domain yet somebody was able to copyright it. Is there something new about the version currently out there?
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Old 10-30-15, 06:24 AM   #15
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Re: Night of the Living Dead (1968; Region A) - Out Now!

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Originally Posted by Supermallet View Post
If this footage is from the original production, it could be cut in and used to make a new copyright. I would think Romero would push for this as hard as he can.
Well, if it in any way expedites the release of a new Blu-ray, correctly framed (ie, non-cropped), high bitrate BD50, with the restored footage properly inserted into the feature, I'm all for it! Hell, I'd even pay good money, maybe even Twilight Time prices for such a gem.

If the newly-found footage is, in fact proven to be from 1967-68, that is.
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Old 10-30-15, 09:06 AM   #16
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Re: Night of the Living Dead (1968; Region A) - Out Now!

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Originally Posted by rw2516 View Post
It's A Wonderful Life was in public domain yet somebody was able to copyright it. Is there something new about the version currently out there?
The copyright history of It's A Wonderful Life is kind of complicated, but the short version is that after losing the rights to the film, Republic Pictures was able to retain the rights to both the original story and the music. In other words, the film itself is still in the public domain, but no one can do anything with it without changing the story and the music.
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Old 10-30-15, 09:09 AM   #17
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Re: Night of the Living Dead (1968; Region A) - Out Now!

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Originally Posted by rw2516 View Post
It's A Wonderful Life was in public domain yet somebody was able to copyright it. Is there something new about the version currently out there?
It's more complicated with It's a Wonderful Life:

"In short, though the film itself is in the public domain, the story and music are not, making it impossible to show the film in its entirety on television without permission from the copyright holders, in this case, Republic Pictures."

https://www.plagiarismtoday.com/2013...opyright-life/
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Old 10-30-15, 09:24 AM   #18
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Re: Night of the Living Dead (1968; Region A) - Out Now!

I would be more interested if they found a print of the Theatrical Cut with the original title that had the copyright, "Night of The Flesh Eaters". The film is perfect the way it is and doesn't need an extended cut. In any case, I'll be behind whatever supports Romero's cause.
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Old 11-03-15, 08:55 PM   #19
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Re: Night of the Living Dead (1968; Region A) - Out Now!

Hopefully if this extended cut does get released on BD, it will include the Theatrical Cut as well.
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Old 11-03-15, 10:24 PM   #20
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Re: Night of the Living Dead (1968; Region A) - Out Now!

Twilight Time will be making a special edition of NOTLD. Price? MSRP: $499. Street Price: $399.


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Old 08-04-17, 01:38 PM   #21
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Re: Night of the Living Dead (1968; Region A) - Out Now!

Quote:
George A. Romero's Night of the Living Dead
50th Anniversary Edition - Blu-ray




http://www.millcreekent.com/george-a...d-blu-ray.html

I guess they are trying to beat Criterion.
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Old 08-04-17, 02:28 PM   #22
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Re: Night of the Living Dead (1968; Region A) - Out Now!

It's a smart move on Mill Creek's part to eat away at some of Criterion's sales since they don't have their version out yet. I can wait for Criterion's release.
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Old 08-04-17, 02:49 PM   #23
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Re: Night of the Living Dead (1968; Region A) - Out Now!

I'm surprised Mill Creek didn't stick this release in a steelbook like Flatliners.
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Old 08-04-17, 03:30 PM   #24
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Re: Night of the Living Dead (1968; Region A) - Out Now!

What does Mill Creek use for digital?
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Old 08-04-17, 03:53 PM   #25
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Re: Night of the Living Dead (1968; Region A) - Out Now!

This is the release I currently have and recommend.

Mill Creek will make a nice buck with their version because it will be widely available.
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