The Warner Archive Collection (WAC), the Warner Bros. Digital Distribution (WBDD) division dedicated to releasing on DVD previously unavailable films and television shows, announced today that it will begin releasing catalog titles on Blu-ray. The first two titles, Deathtrap and Gypsy, will debut on November 20th.
The Blu-ray releases will use high quality 1080p masters and will be replicated in limited quantity on demand.
Michael Caine and Christopher Reeve co-star in the wickedly funny "who'll-do-it?" adapted from the Broadway smash penned by suspense master Ira Levin by famed director Sidney Lumet. Also stars Dyan Cannon.
This musical version drawn from the life of famed stripper Gypsy Rose Lee tells the bittersweet tale of an aggressive stage mother (Rosalind Russell) and the effects of her devotion to her two young daughters (Natalie Wood and Ann Jillian). Jule Styne and Stephen Sondheim provide the show-stopping music and lyrics. Also stars Karl Malden.
The Hudsucker Proxy
Tim Robbins and Paul Newman star in this biting business satire from the Coen brothers . Standing the Horatio Alger myth on its head, Robbins play the naïf with an idea ("You know…for the kids!") that sails up from mailroom to boardroom, all under the Machiavellian hand of board member Sidney J. Mussburger (Newman). Also stars Jennifer Jason Leigh and Bruce Campbell, from a script by the Coen brothers and Sam Raimi.
Peter Weir (Master and Commander) directs an unforgettable Jeff Bridges in this tour-de-force film focusing on transcendence in the face of our greatest fears. Following a horrific plane crash, two survivors (Bridges and Rosie Perez) help each other search for meaning, while the spouse (Isabella Rossellini) of one searches for signs of the man she married in the man that emerged from the wreck. Also stars Tom Hulce and John Turturro.
The problem with their DVD service and what looks like to be the problem with this is the extremely limited selection of titles. Considering the incredibly large catalog available to them, it seems like they are deliberatly trying to make this release strategy fail.
Ken Russell's "The Devils" please. Though I'm not holding my breath given that it didn't come via the DVD MOD. Still this would be a great way to finally get the film out while sort of keeping it under the radar.
all of the Archive releases are not films or tv shows previously unavailable--at this point, as certain dvds have gone OOP, they have reappeared as mod titles. One day probably 90% of all current Warner dvds will end up in the mod program, which now numbers over 1000 titles.
The Archive has been very successful for Warner, and has enabled them to fill in the gaps in the filmographies of many of the biggest stars from Hollywood's Golden Age.
Love the classic titles release on DVD-R and have purchased maybe 40 or so and have never had a problem yet with any of them. I'm in for this new venture and 'Fearless' and 'Deathtrap' are definitely on my list. Thank you Warner!!!
Since Warner has announced they are winding down their Blu-ray business, we foreigners are the collateral damage.
It's like a body freezing to death...it shuts off the blood supply to it's extremities in order to preserve it's core. Warner is winding down it's catalogue releases and shrinking it's operations down, pulling them toward the core where it can cheaply make and distribute product.
I don't blame them. I'm just sorry to see it ending this way.
Well, Dex, I see exactly the opposite of what you see: Because catalog business has been growing, and especially this year, Warner are bumping many deep catalog titles to Blu-ray, which would have otherwise ended up in MOD DVD-R land.
And for your information, Amazon carries Warner Archive product. I expect them to carry these upcoming Blu-ray releases as well
If this is the only way I can get Hudsucker Proxy on blu-ray I'll take it. It'll also be nice to finally see Deathtrap in widescreen. Hopefully the original Get Carter will get released soon via this avenue.
For those living in Canada, there are tons of sellers on E-bay where you can buy the MOD titles, also for anybody living in the Vancouver area, C&L carries them. They also sell online: www.thecnl.com
Great news! I've been wondering for years if Hudsucker and Fearless would ever come to Blu-ray; Hudsucker made less than $3 million yet I like it better than half the Coen movies and Rosie Perez was absolutely robbed of an Academy Award for Fearless (Marisa Tomei won for My Cousin Vinny). Must-haves for me!
They can't do Blu-ray of movies they only have video sources for (including the TCM and TV series), but Deathtrap on Blu ain't bad.
(And now they can finally shut up all those Coen/Criterion whiners asking for Hudsucker.)
@Dex: 2 + 2 = 4, not 40. Don't know how you're taking this and reading it as if Warner is somehow winding down their commitment to BD. This is very positive news for catalog films on the format in general. Lots of companies don't want to hastle with shipping across borders. But for Warner, it's probably a simple equation of estimated sells not being significant enough to warrant facilitating international shipping, and everything that such entails.
This is great news, I knew it was coming and hoping it was coming because now the vaults will really open. I am a little bewildered why Warner didn't consider Gypsy big enough for regular release, even as a digibook like Guys and Dolls. Let's hope all the studios follow.
I'm in for at least hudsucker and fearless. Maybe the others IDK. However I don't mind them offering some movies up this way as long as they are good transfers. Do they give cases and artwork or do they just come in paper sleeves or cd cases?
Antimatter, my Warner Archive DVD of "Wisdom" (B movie with Emilio Estevez and Demi Moore) looked indistinguishable from a regular release, even with 4-color art on the disc. Just no menu and no extras.
Cool! Thank you Kristian Idol. Now I am really excited about this. Especially on some more obscure titles that may never make it to bluray. I just hope they give these some descent treatment. As long as it is an upgrade A/V (hopefully lossless audio) presentation from the Dvd I would be happy. Although I doubt I would have any of the Archived movies on dvd anyway. Plus this would be great for my Mom as she likes some older movies that probably would never see bluray but are poppin' around cable. This was kind of what I was hoping for on some older titles that are on HD cable channels. It gives us the option to purchase what we want without them having to dish out a ton of cash on mass production. I just hope that this doesn't effect the catalog release as I don't want them to entirely abandon releasing quality catalog titles. Maybe other studios will follow suit as I am dying to get a hold of 8mm. I'm looking forward to possibly getting Conspiracy Theory from WB if they don't want to do a wide release.
What I'm seeing is great business sense - consider;
1. Studio makes 1000s of DVD and BD copies and releases them, sells half - half then just get trashed with only the case as reuseable. Waste loss is figured in set prices keeping them high.
2. Studio make 1 master in each format - gets order for 100 copies, makes the 100 and ships them. No waste - prices drop.
If studios were to make masters of every film in their vaults in both DVD and BD and let people choose title and format, could we then start getting first run releases with full extras at $5.00 for DVD and $10.00 for BD?