New Miramax/Dimension Blu-ray Wave from Echo Bridge

Discussion in 'High Definition' started by Katatonia, Mar 25, 2011.

  1. bigdaddyhorse

    bigdaddyhorse Detroit Hi-on

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    So, this is quickly turning into a horrible thing.
    All 3 BD's that came out have issues, from the reviews I've read I'm now happy to have the Canadian From Dusk BD no matter what the sound.
    Review so bad for Crow 2 I ordered the old dvd as I'm ready to give that piece of shit another try.
    H2O wrong ratio.

    Plus all the barebones dvds. It's probably the worst thing to happen to Miramax ever. I had a little hope of them treating this seriously, but the shit I've seen so far makes me cringe. I'll wait and see if anything down the road gets better treatment, but any little bit of hope I had is gone.
     
  2. Nailwraps

    Nailwraps Well-Known Member

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    The only thing that could be good now is if Anchor Bay buys the rights to the Mramax titles Echo Bridge owns.
     
  3. Grim

    Grim Well-Known Member

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    Ditto on that sentiment. Or Lionsgate. They might still release most of these as barebones blu's, but at least the transfers would be of some quality.
     
  4. highclassrob

    highclassrob Member

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    Anybody hear anything about "The Prophecy" triplepack? Complaints, Warnings, future Blu Rays etc...? I was thinking about ordering that.
     
  5. Katatonia

    Katatonia Hellbound Heart

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    Echo Bridge have already shit all over this catalog. Who's the idiot(s) who sold the licensing rights to a budget studio in the first place? :eek2:

    I'm hoping that at least the forthcoming Blu-ray of Hellraiser: Bloodline will at least be an upgrade over the old non-anamorphic DVD...but it certainly wouldn't surprise me if they botch that one up somehow as well. I'm sure we won't even get the 5.1 audio track there.
     
  6. chrismac87

    chrismac87 Zombie Eater

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    I don't think we all understand the whole "quality" issue here.

    Echo Bridge is just the distributor in this case, these poor quality masters were given to them by Miramax, they just didn't do anything to them - unlike Lionsgate or Anchor Bay may have done, but in all honesty - they shouldn't have had to do anything to them. These masters should have been ready to roll when they were shipped off to EB for distro - not have to be tweaked here and there because they're either outdated or not up to par. That's not EB's fault, the real fault here is by Miramax for supplying dated transfers, not to mention not informing EB of intended ratios for some of the films.

    H20 was shot in 1.78:1 NOT 2.35:1 - it was cropped into 2.35:1 - you are not loosing any information on the EB Blu Ray but in fact gaining information on the top and bottom. Granted that is not the way the film makers wanted the film to be presented, and it is no excuse for them not to fix the problem, but, if the proper notes or what have you didn't come with the transfer - there's no reason for EB to do anything to that particular transfer such as digitally adding the matte or cropping the picture. I just wanted to clear the air on that one - you are NOT losing picture information on that release, but in fact gaining it.

    SCREENSHOT COMPARISON:
    [​IMG]

    Notice the lack of head room on Michael Myers in the Dimension release??? It's CROPPED. Notice how there is no extra information on the left and right of the 2.35:1 version??? It's CROPPED. Again, not an excuse or any kind of a reason why EB should have released it like this, but it's not cropped as some people are stating. In fact, it's been un-cropped.

    I'd also like to mention that we all knew these releases weren't going to be perfect from the beginning, it just kind of baffles me that we're all up in arms even more so now that they're coming out. Did we really think EB was going to surprise us and throw out better than anticipated releases? I certainly didn't. They're a budget company and most of these discs are anywhere from $10 to under that depending on where you look.

    Kind of feels like someone who went to the dollar store and bought a pair of scissors that fall apart after a few weeks and complain that they did. This is truly a case of you get what you pay for. Then again, Mill Creek has released a few budget titles as well with some solid reviews - but there's also the thing to consider that those titles may have had newer HD masters done and if anyone thinks Mill Creek did something EB didn't - well, I won't say it because I'm a nice guy, but you get my drift.

    Point is, it's not going to do us much good to complain about these releases now, the damage is done. My thoughts are that we should either point people in the direction of better editions out there, if there are any, or report any further news that EB is releasing other titles or maybe the long rumored special editions of some of the films. I get that everyone has a right to voice their opinion, but it seems like we're all in the majority here, do we need another "they suck" comment plastered throughout five or six posts rather than something helpful? Like for instance that you can get the HALLOWEEN triple pack from Amazon.ca still and it's reasonably priced? Reasonably being NOT over $100 like some eBay sellers are asking.

    I believe the last time I checked it was in the $20-25 price range.

    So c'mon folks, let's quit the bitching, accept that EB came through with our lower than low expectations and help one another out to get each other the quality releases we've come to expect from these films. If none other are available in other countries in region free form, well, that sucks.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2011
  7. Nailwraps

    Nailwraps Well-Known Member

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    Well said. :)
     
  8. bigdaddyhorse

    bigdaddyhorse Detroit Hi-on

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    I only bitch because it means for now at least, many films I would want to get on blu I won't, either from poor treatment or just being ignored. Why not just re-issue the dvds they already made that have features with EB distributing? It seems many of the new masters are worse than the old anyway! I've been waiting for Rounders to get a true SE, but know that's very unlikely now. Would love a SE of The Prophecy on blu, can't see it happening in this agreement. There's just too many titles that should get good upgrade treatment that are and will end up being downgraded instead. I knew they wouldn't be perfect, but thought they would at least be worth an upgrade. So far I see the opposite. This makes me sad which makes me bitch.

    Now if Miramax was also putting out their own SE blu-rays giving us an option to spend a little extra and get a solid release or the movie only for cheap from EB, I would have no issue. It just feels like EB is the end of the road for all these catalog titles, at least fro the foreseeable future.
     
  9. JGrendel

    JGrendel New Member

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    I understand where you're coming from but you gotta understand our point as well. We are the consumers here, we're the ones that keep these studios in business. We are the people that go out & buy their product. Not what we are unhappy with is the films these people are suppling are substandard. I for one am insulted by this fact. These studios expect us to shell out our hard earned money & their movies. Movies that they can't even bother doing anything with. It's not like we're asking alot. Clear picture, Clear sound, a handful of extras that in most cases were on the original release & god forbid we ask these studios to keep the film in the aspect ratio that it was filmed in. Cause speaking for myself I don't mind paying the price for the good stuff.
    So I'm sorry if you like my bitching But I'm deeply offended by what these studios think of us the fans when they release crap like this & I will stand here on my soapbox & bitch & moan & whatever takes until these studios respect us!!!!!
     
  10. Chunkblower

    Chunkblower Member

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    While I agree that people have a tendency to complain about minor things that don't really matter, I don't buy the "Echo Bridge is blameless" narrative, either. I'm not really willing to give Echo Bridge the benefit of the doubt when they have a long track record of sub-par releases. When a film has been presented on home video in 2.35 for over a decade consumers have a better than reasonable expectation of getting it in 2.35. I'm not privy to the details of the Echo Bridge/Dimension deal, so I'm only speculating, but it seems like Echo Bridge is using HD TV masters rather than theatrical masters. Maybe there was a cost issue involved in that decision?

    At any rate, fans are lucky there is an alternative. Vote with your wallets. The Alliance triple pack is cheap, easy to obtain and, by all accounts, vastly superior in quality.
     
  11. chrismac87

    chrismac87 Zombie Eater

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    The horror genre hasn't been respected by most of the major player studios in well over 30 years or so - doubtful it will kick in en full force any time soon.

    And I see where everyone's coming from - but this isn't a case of "well, we're bitching because it'll make a difference", because in this case we all know it won't. Echo Bridge has never recalled a release due to quality concerns, you think they're going to start now? Or start questioning their releases from this point on in terms of quality?? C'mon man, give yourself some credit, they aren't going to do anything about this - if they were, it would've been done by now, the complaints started rushing in a month ago, plenty of time to correct the discs and make an announcement before it's street date and as we all know, that didn't happen.

    Right but given their track record of sub-par releases, we should have known - and most of us did - we were getting the bare minimum here, and probably less than that. And again with the case of H20, the 2.35:1 aspect is not the way the film was shot, it was probably cropped in post and whoever is responsible for this master that Echo Bridge received - didn't crop it as they should have or Echo Bridge just wasn't informed it needed to be. Not that I think that would have made a difference, but I can dream can't it???

    I can only assume that this part of the catalog only had these masters available because there is no reason I can think of why Lionsgate would not have put in a bid for part of the HALLOWEEN franchise, as well as the HELLRAISER films, that Echo Bridge could sport.

    The masters in question must have either been the television masters or outdated ones that Miramax wasn't going to spend money to update or re-do, that other companies didn't see the need in spending as well. So we got what Miramax gave them. I doubt Echo Bridge even has the facilities to encode a film in HD, let alone actually pull together a re-encode or spend the money to fix any problems these films had. Which is probably why they ended up with them in the first place.

    So again, I don't see the point in complaining about this any further than we have, we get it, these releases suck, so instead of giving them any more attention - let's give the releases of these films in either other countries or coming soon in either countries our attention and point people in the right direction. All I'm saying.
     
  12. shape22

    shape22 Well-Known Member

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    This is really an unsupported opinion. Plenty of less marketable horror films have received outstanding Blu-ray releases. Have you checked out the Shout Factory Corman releases, Night of the Creeps, or The Living Dead At The Manchester Morgue? With the possible exception of Piranha, none of those releases had the potential to sell as many units as H20. Yet they were all transferred and packaged with care.

    How can you argue that Echo Bridge is essentially blameless? Their name is on these discs. And it's obvious that they failed to undertake even the most cursory quality control measures. If your point is that it was unrealistic to expect Wizard Of Oz quality restorations, I agree with you. But is it really unrealistic to expect competent releases with only minor warts?

    For diehard fans of these films, this is a substantial disappointment and the source of justified grumbling. And if we can't air our frustrations here, then where? I understand what you're trying to say. But regardless of whether you meant to or not, you're suggesting that the people who are upset with these discs are more at fault than Echo Bridge. I can't let that slide without throwing my two cents in.
     
  13. chrismac87

    chrismac87 Zombie Eater

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    Right but I didn't say by ALL the studios, most studios in the film making world and most critics - we'll say major player critics, because again it's not all - consider horror films to be a step; in most cases a minor step at that, above porn. I mean there was a period in time where Siskel and Ebert had most of the country up in arms believing all of the world's problems were steamed from horror films. Mothers protesting films they had never seen, but knew them to be "depraved, digusting and violent, etc". An entire country at one point had 80% of horror films banned for no other reason than they were "violent". They weren't snuff films, they weren't hard core pornography, they were just plain old horror films that we know and love, in most cases and looking back at some of them, they weren't even as violent as one I think wanted them to believe. I mean TOXIC ZOMBIES is by no means a blood bath of epic proportions, certainly not something that ever should have been banned - but it was.

    In those rare cases, one only being released by a major studio mind you that took a decade for them to finally release; with no legalities holding it up and despite countless petitions, yes we do get awesome special editions and grand treatments for horror films here and there. Those are mostly from the smaller studios like Blue Underground, like Shout! Factory that are run by people who are fans of the genre and others like it.

    Look at the initial release of CHILD'S PLAY, a barebones full screen release, it took years for MGM to give that any kind of a special edition, then there's FRIGHT NIGHT from Sony that still has only one release of a now over 10 year old transfer, and let's not forget the original release of the 1990 remake of NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD that has yet to be re-released anywhere despite there being a demand for it pretty much everywhere. Then there's films like POLTERGEIST that are highly regarded, that doesn't even have a release that wouldn't even qualify as a barebones edition from the mid 2000's. And in the case of CHILD'S PLAY, one of the main actors of the film is entirely left out because no one thought to contact him, so it's not even a stellar special edition but an upgrade from what we had before which wasn't much to praise about in the first place.

    Horror has really never been the respected genre it deserves to be by a lot of the major players, I mean hell, it took over 20 years for Paramount to finally release one of their most profitable films uncut, when other countries had it since it's initial release. It wasn't because it was "too extreme" for US audiences, we were seeing worse from other films, it wasn't because it would require more money to put together an uncut version - again, it was already available uncut in pretty much every other country - it was the sole fact that Paramount did not care about FRIDAY THE 13TH or much more of the franchise rather, and I'll even go as far to say a majority of their horror catalog. Look how long it took for an uncut release of MY BLOODY VALENTINE to get released when there was a period of time - I'll assume since the film's initial release - that they would have made a TON of money releasing the film uncut, hell I think there was even a point a straight up third generation VHS work print would have been welcomed, and it wasn't even them that put it together but another studio that was producing a remake.

    Heck the only reason the FRIDAY films were even re-released on DVD, was because of the remake and they wanted to make a quick buck. They didn't do it for the fans, sure they got a die hard fan involved to finally give the fans what they wanted, but that wasn't any kind of a reason to really release these films in special editions or uncut, if that was the reason - they should have been released a long time ago, like when they first hit DVD, not years later, they cared about the amount of units they could sell or rent from the general movie goer that just spent $10.50 seeing the FRIDAY or MBV remake and either went online, found out it was a remake - if they didn't already know - and hey, there's a new special uncut release out, and look the sequels all have these deluxe edition banners too. Chances are someone that loved the FRIDAY remake would probably want to re-watch or see for the first time, the franchise it spawned from for curiosity's sake. And yes, in that case there's also Netflix, they can just rent the films, but there's money to be made in that too.

    As a horror fan it kills me to see these kinds of things being done with the films we all love because we are so passionate about these films and passionate about knowing everything we can about them. About seeing them in the best form we can. That would certainly explain why most horror fans probably have purchased more than a few copies of THE EVIL DEAD or HALLOWEEN or the original NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD. It's not because we have money burning in our pockets and we just need to spend it frivolously on something, it's because we love these films and the fact that some of these studios, again not all, don't even have an iota of affection for these films that we do is down right awful as far as I'm concerned. I wish companies like Blue Underground, Shout! Factory and Synapse would buy up every horror film in the world, and release them as they would release all of their other films. We would never be disappointed or at least not to the level we have been or neglected as fans.

    And I never said Echo Bridge was blameless. They are partially to blame, but not solely as everyone on here really has indicated. They are once again, the distributors, if Lionsgate had signed the deal to get these films through Miramax, they would have had to spend money to give them the proper and more technological appropriate releases. Evidentally, it was not something LG wanted to do, otherwise I'm sure they or AB would have ended up with these films. So we end up with the company that's just going to take the transfer of whatever film they're given, and slap it on a disc.

    Could they have fixed things up, maybe raised the bit rate or something to try and improve the picture quality? Sure. Could they have made more of an attempt to include special features and uncompressed 5.1 tracks on the films? Absolutely. There's really no real excuse for any of these things not being taken into consideration and I do blame Echo Bridge for that.

    However, once again, we are talking about a distribution company that I will only assume has limited facilities, probably a small staff of maybe 1,000 folks nationwide, and could very well use freeware to encode all of their releases. I mean have you seen the menus for these films they're releasing now??? Could they possibly be any more generic??? I think not.

    So we can only assume the facilities at Echo Bridge are less than that of let's say...Warner Brothers or Lionsgate, that had either of those studios released these films, they would have been outstanding and probably completely re-encoded, bit rate raised, the whole kit and kabuttle. But that didn't happen unfortunately and what we are left with are masters that were untouched by the distribution company, which again I have to stress in this case they are the distribution company - not a studio that produces their own product in terms of film making, I've yet to see an Echo Bridge funded feature film - so they are not entirely to blame.

    Also, again, I understand people have a right to complain about these releases and of course it's acceptable here, why wouldn't it be???

    My point was, and still is, what is the point of having page after page of posts that relay the same message over and over again; "These releases suck", "Don't buy these, they're terrible", "Oh my God Echo Bridge is awful, these Blu Ray discs are a waste", etc. Yeah okay, we get it, they suck, we once again - expected that - it's been confirmed, now what can we do about it? Are there other releases we can get from other countries that are more suitable to what we want? Is there any way to voice our opinion to Echo Bridge that we are very unhappy with these discs and same can be said for Miramax, can we touch base with them? Voice our opinions??? Can we???

    I mean somewhere on here, someone wished another member good luck to find the HALLOWEEN triple pack because it was selling on eBay for a cool $100 or so. Good luck? On a majority of the Canadian websites, that do ship the US, it's around $15-20. So why the "good luck" comment rather than doing some digging and going, "Hey, ya know, you can get a better release from here [insert link here]" rather than, "Well, good luck trying to find it, I checked eBay and here's what I found there." That's not really helpful now is it? Is someone capable of searching for themselves and finding the same results I did? Sure. Would it be more helpful if a fellow member did the searching for us all and instead of posting the same thing seven other members posted prior and posted that information instead??? I'd like to think so.

    So yes, everyone has a right to bitch, and I'm sure it will forever continue, but instead of solely complaining and bitching, do something, point us in the direction of something better or something that can help the situation. Offer something else to the conversation rather than the same ol', same ol' because again, we get it, these releases suck. Now how about where we can get better releases or if there really is anything that can be done at this point. I'd be much more interested in reading that rather than yet another, "Wow these releases are terrible" post. And I'm not suggesting we as fans are at fault for these releases, all I'm saying is, from the very beginning, everyone knew what to expect. Why is it the Echo Bridge meeting those expectations becomes a surprise to anyone???

    They're certainly not going to do less than expected and intentionally screw the releases up, that's kind of poor business management if you ask me and sounds more than highly unlikely. And from what I've heard, the quality on the Alliance release of H20 isn't much better than Echo Bridge's release, so we can only assume that both companies used dated transfers and possibly even the same masters - one just knew or was informed it needed to be in a certain ratio. I'm sure whatever po bunk tech geek that have working over at Echo Bridge's encoding department, you know that one guy with an assistant that comes in three times a month, really didn't look at any of these transfers or notice anything being off with them, they probably didn't even care - let's be honest, not everyone is a genre fan or knows the aspect ratio of every film - so they saw nothing to fix. Maybe the situation at Alliance is different and they're all fan boys who noticed right off the bat something was wrong and fixed it.

    I'd honestly like to see a direct comparison for both discs to see how much better the Alliance disc is before I shell out $20 for it, considering I already bought the Echo Bridge disc, spending $30 for one film to get potentially the same quality of a release just with the correct ratio applied isn't on my list of high priorities - but if it looks better, I'll bite. Another thing I've heard about that release is the uncompressed 5.1 tracks aren't even that impressive and if I remember correctly, it wasn't impressive on the DVD either, even by minimum standards. I actually remember having to fumble with the volume every now and again which to me is a clear indication that the mix was unprofessionally handled in the first place - but this is a DVD from 1998 we're talking about, so I'll give them a break.

    And that's really my two cents that everyone gets for only a quarter. ;)
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2011
  14. shape22

    shape22 Well-Known Member

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    I don't have a Blu-ray drive on my PC. So I can't post screen grabs. But if you're not interested in H6 or Resurrection you're probably better off saving your money. H20 is easily the weakest of the 3 triple feature transfers (as I've noted in other threads). Although it's a massive improvement from the non-anamorphic DVD, color saturation and fine detail are issues. Combine that with the obvious lack of restoration and you have a slightly grungy-looking, soft, and washed out transfer. A lot of older films look substantially better on Blu-ray.

    And yes, the lossless tracks for all 3 films are nothing to write home about. I didn't notice relative volume issues. But the soundtracks for H6 and H20 are definitely dull-sounding and bass heavy. There's virtually no crispness in the high end.

    The video transfers for H6 and Resurrection are much, much better. H6 looks particularly striking since the DVD release is so substandard. But if H20 is the only draw for you the Alliance disc probably isn't an upgrade beyond the correct framing.
     
  15. bigdaddyhorse

    bigdaddyhorse Detroit Hi-on

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    I would advise any fans of Rounders to pick up the Alliance BD from Canada. No telling if this will ever get a local BD release, if it does it will more than likely be from EB in the wrong ratio, and the Canadian BD proves Alliance doesn't suck. Watched last night and it looks amazing. Me and the girl have watched this film dozens of times, and BD really felt like a new film. Not quite Gangs of New York/Pirates of the Caribbean good, but very sharp and 3-D'ish. No menus or features but a very strong 1080p transfer in correct 2.40:1.
     
  16. Nailwraps

    Nailwraps Well-Known Member

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  17. shape22

    shape22 Well-Known Member

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    Compared with prior reviews for this title that's practically a rave.
     
  18. Kolpitz

    Kolpitz Purely and Simply Evil

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  19. spawningblue

    spawningblue Deadite

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  20. Katatonia

    Katatonia Hellbound Heart

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    Review of the Hellraiser: Bloodline Blu-ray: http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/Hellraiser-Bloodline-Blu-ray/22170/#Review

    The transfer doesn't look too bad actually, considering the old DVD was only letterbox.

    We don't get a 5.1 audio track again though. It's perplexing that an 11-year-old DVD utilized a 5.1 track, and now we get a measly 2.0 track. Thankfully the 2.0 audio track is lossless at least.

    No features at all...as expected.
     

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