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Old 02-02-2014, 02:02 PM   #361
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There is no way Suspiria is getting released this year. Synapse is notorious for delays. Those delays are justified and likely for the sake of quality, but regardless they are going to happen.
Agreed, what I was figuring was that their original time table had Suspiria at Summer '15. Delays likely to push it further than that, making Christmas '15. If Don is hopeful for Christmas '14 that means we'll probably have it in our hands by Halloween '15.

Synapse's delays are common and frankly they haven't been releasing very high profile releases the last few years so it hasn't gotten much hand wringing. They're releasing some attention grabbing titles now, so I'm sure delays will get a lot more attention. Normally companies that are notorious for delays it's because of the bumbling but with Synapse it's perfectionism.

Once the titles are out, the delays are a long distant memory.

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The Happinet Japanese blu-ray set was a massive letdown. I am concerned that Rubenstein will oversell this new 3D version of the film. Did he spend the money to first restore the film (s) first? Due to the resurgence of zombies, will a major studio gamble on a 3D conversion of a 36 year old cult classic? The masses have spoken unfavorably against 3D. Time will tell.
There's some good speculation that the restoration and therefore 3D work done on Dawn was based off of the Cannes Cut (with inferior materials), as would appear to be the case on the Happinet discs. If true, and if the 3 million involved were also true, it's unlikely any other direction will be taken in terms of restoration.

That could mean 1080p may be a lost format for Dawn, with Rubenstein pushing inferior transfers he spent too much money on. He'd have to recoup that money with what he has in the can. We may have another Battle Royale situation where a decade later the owners cracks and Anchor Bay bought the rights with theatrical and 3D but just released 2D Blu-rays anyways; no theatrical, no 3D release.

It's interesting though, I'd have to double check what Cliff said but he made it pretty clear a deal was done with someone else. Now Don's talking as if Dawn is still up for grabs. Something fall through in between? Did Shout pass for good or if this is the case are they back in it? May be awhile before we ever know.
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Old 02-02-2014, 02:25 PM   #362
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There's some good speculation that the restoration and therefore 3D work done on Dawn was based off of the Cannes Cut (with inferior materials), as would appear to be the case on the Happinet discs. If true, and if the 3 million involved were also true, it's unlikely any other direction will be taken in terms of restoration.

That could mean 1080p may be a lost format for Dawn, with Rubenstein pushing inferior transfers he spent too much money on. He'd have to recoup that money with what he has in the can. We may have another Battle Royale situation where a decade later the owners cracks and Anchor Bay bought the rights with theatrical and 3D but just released 2D Blu-rays anyways; no theatrical, no 3D release.

It's interesting though, I'd have to double check what Cliff said but he made it pretty clear a deal was done with someone else. Now Don's talking as if Dawn is still up for grabs. Something fall through in between? Did Shout pass for good or if this is the case are they back in it? May be awhile before we ever know.
I could have sworn that I read that Cliff stated that Rubenstein wanted too much for Dawn, thus Shout passed. What a shame.
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Old 02-02-2014, 02:46 PM   #363
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I could be wrong, but didn't I hear that it cost something like 6 million to convert Dawn to 3D? The only entity willing to pay whatever insane amount he is asking to liscense Dawn is a major studio and which one of those are willing to spend that kind of money on a catalog title? None that I can think of. Major studios are becoming less and less interested in not only catalog and niche' titles, but the whole physical format in general. He needs to be smart with his decisions and go with Synapse or Scream Factory or he's going to loose a lot of money. He has to make a distribution deal with someone because there's no way he just plans on re-releasing this theatrically. He'd obviously want to make as much money as possible. He just needs to be realistic.
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Old 02-02-2014, 02:50 PM   #364
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I could be wrong, but didn't I hear that it cost something like 6 million to convert Dawn to 3D? The only entity willing to pay whatever insane amount he is asking to liscense Dawn is a major studio and which one of those are willing to spend that kind of money on a catalog title? None that I can think of. Major studios are becoming less and less interested in not only catalog and niche' titles, but the whole physical format in general. He needs to be smart with his decisions and go with Synapse or Scream Factory or he's going to loose a lot of money. He has to make a distribution deal with someone because there's no way he just plans on re-releasing this theatrically. He'd obviously want to make as much money as possible. He just needs to be realistic.
$6 million is the number. Insanity.
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Old 02-02-2014, 04:29 PM   #365
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$6 million indeed.

Seems suspiciously high, especially if they went to Korea to get it done. But then I don't know the costs of 3D conversions. Even so this reminds me of the NotLD remake where apparently John A. Russo and others spent all the money on themselves leaving Savini pocket change to work with. But then he could also be doing what producers do and said it costs 10x what they really spent, meaning they spent $600,000.

Even then, asking $1.2 million to license would be out of question, none the less $12 million. (Rubenstein would naturally ask for double the investment, that's the game.) Asking Shout or Synapse to expect $24 million in sales is absurd (to get double return on their investment). The math just doesn't work here. No one's going to bite on Blu-ray, and when 4k/8k comes out Rubenstein's 2k transfers will be worthless.

Bad business.
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Old 02-02-2014, 05:32 PM   #366
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I may be missing something but can someone please tell me why I hear Synapse Films sometimes compared to something like Criterion in Quality. Other then the Demons blu release, which I admit looks great in the screenshots I've seen. I really have never noticed their quality as something that stands out ahead of the rest.

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Old 02-02-2014, 05:58 PM   #367
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Originally Posted by X-human View Post
$6 million indeed.

Seems suspiciously high, especially if they went to Korea to get it done. But then I don't know the costs of 3D conversions. Even so this reminds me of the NotLD remake where apparently John A. Russo and others spent all the money on themselves leaving Savini pocket change to work with. But then he could also be doing what producers do and said it costs 10x what they really spent, meaning they spent $600,000.

Even then, asking $1.2 million to license would be out of question, none the less $12 million. (Rubenstein would naturally ask for double the investment, that's the game.) Asking Shout or Synapse to expect $24 million in sales is absurd (to get double return on their investment). The math just doesn't work here. No one's going to bite on Blu-ray, and when 4k/8k comes out Rubenstein's 2k transfers will be worthless.

Bad business.
It's really hard to argue that Mr. Rubenstein isn't (wasn't?) a terrific businessman. He produced Dawn, Martin, Creepshow, Pet Cemetery and others. This bizarre treatment of Dawn really makes me scratch my head. No one other than the people on this site are going to venture out to whatever theater is showing this. As a collector (I have at least two dozen versions of Dawn as it is), I really don't need another version of the same old print in 3D. I can hit the 3D button on my remote and watch it now! One of the best horror films of all time doesn't need a gimmick, it needs proper treatment.


Getting back to what Ash asked about Synapse's quality. They don't hold a candle to Criterion, but who does? They remind me of Shout Factory minus their occasional mishaps (like Cat People). Document of the Dead and the Hammer films they've released are exceptional and will remain in my collection always.
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Old 02-02-2014, 05:59 PM   #368
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I may be missing something but can someone please tell me why I hear Synapse Films sometimes compared to something like Criterion in Quality. Other then the Demons, release which I admit looks great in the screenshots I've seen. I really have never noticed their quality as something that stands out among the rest.
Because Don May Jr. has one of the best eyes in the business when it comes to transfering these films to HD and flat out refuses to release a half assed product. He is a fan of these movies and obsesses over the details that go into each release. Basically, he understands his market and his customers and knows what they want and does his best to give it to them. I don't agree with his pricing on the Demons movies, though. I thought that was a little excessive, but they were amazing releases regardless. The Intruder and Street Trash releases were great too. Come to think of it, I don't even understand why Criterion gets the credit that they do. I think 90% of their output is boring, vapid, pretentious, art house dog shit, but maybe that last statement should be saved for the unpopular opinions thread.
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Old 02-02-2014, 06:42 PM   #369
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Because Don May Jr. has one of the best eyes in the business when it comes to transfering these films to HD and flat out refuses to release a half assed product. He is a fan of these movies and obsesses over the details that go into each release. Basically, he understands his market and his customers and knows what they want and does his best to give it to them. I don't agree with his pricing on the Demons movies, though. I thought that was a little excessive, but they were amazing releases regardless. The Intruder and Street Trash releases were great too. Come to think of it, I don't even understand why Criterion gets the credit that they do. I think 90% of their output is boring, vapid, pretentious, art house dog shit, but maybe that last statement should be saved for the unpopular opinions thread.
Criterion has worked miracles on the older Hitchcock films.
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Old 02-02-2014, 07:13 PM   #370
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The only Synapse title I can think of that was subpar was their DVD of Resonnances. It was something like a poor master in non-anamporphic widescreen, something beyond their control. They must've decided the title was worth releasing "as-is".
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Old 02-02-2014, 10:01 PM   #371
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Come to think of it, I don't even understand why Criterion gets the credit that they do. I think 90% of their output is boring, vapid, pretentious, art house dog shit, but maybe that last statement should be saved for the unpopular opinions thread.
While I certainly don't agree with your assessment, I can't say that I fully disagree with it either. But you have to look at it in the context that Criterion was operating in for many years. If directors like Godard and Ozu and Fellini don't float your boat, then up until recently Criterion's disc library probably did seem like a pretty vapid wasteland. Back in the 80's and 90's, Criterion released quite a few mainstream classics on laserdisc - CITIZEN KANE, GHOSTBUSTERS, 12 MONKEYS, CASABLANCA, KING KONG - in addition to a steady output of European and Japanese arthouse-style fare. In the early days of DVD, when they still had licenses on some of these movies, they put out discs of ROBOCOP and THIS IS SPINAL TAP. But they went out of print because the licenses could not be renewed, because many of the big studios changed their licensing policies and stopped offering their movies to third-party companies. So for many years Criterion was shut out of libraries like MGM's, even as overseas companies like StudioCanal continued to offer their titles for licensing onto the American market. In recent years some of those same studios have relaxed their licensing policies, and so now Criterion has been able to return to offering more major studio films.
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Old 02-02-2014, 10:31 PM   #372
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While I certainly don't agree with your assessment, I can't say that I fully disagree with it either. But you have to look at it in the context that Criterion was operating in for many years. If directors like Godard and Ozu and Fellini don't float your boat, then up until recently Criterion's disc library probably did seem like a pretty vapid wasteland. Back in the 80's and 90's, Criterion released quite a few mainstream classics on laserdisc - CITIZEN KANE, GHOSTBUSTERS, 12 MONKEYS, CASABLANCA, KING KONG - in addition to a steady output of European and Japanese arthouse-style fare. In the early days of DVD, when they still had licenses on some of these movies, they put out discs of ROBOCOP and THIS IS SPINAL TAP. But they went out of print because the licenses could not be renewed, because many of the big studios changed their licensing policies and stopped offering their movies to third-party companies. So for many years Criterion was shut out of libraries like MGM's, even as overseas companies like StudioCanal continued to offer their titles for licensing onto the American market. In recent years some of those same studios have relaxed their licensing policies, and so now Criterion has been able to return to offering more major studio films.
You definitely have a valid point. I'm not saying their entire catalog is shit. I have a few of their titles like The Blob, The Game, Repo Man and Two-Lane Blacktop and those releases are top notch. I just don't see the insane fanboy dedication they get from some of these people out there who have to have literally everything with the Criterion name on it. I mean, come on, there's no way in hell that anyone can like EVERY film they release.
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Old 02-02-2014, 10:52 PM   #373
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You definitely have a valid point. I'm not saying their entire catalog is shit. I have a few of their titles like The Blob, The Game, Repo Man and Two-Lane Blacktop and those releases are top notch. I just don't see the insane fanboy dedication they get from some of these people out there who have to have literally everything with the Criterion name on it. I mean, come on, there's no way in hell that anyone can like EVERY film they release.
I think that is just a form of the OCD collector mentality that we all suffer from in some capacity.
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Old 02-02-2014, 10:58 PM   #374
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Because everything criterion puts out is of amazing quality. Their name is a guarantee for a high quality transfer that was restored PROPERLY. No DNR, artificial filtering, edge enhancement, etc. Criterion has their reputation for a reason. And rightfully so. They are one of the best studios of all time when it comes to the quality of their releases (probably THE best - can you even think of a Criteion transfer that was BAD?) they're extremely consistent with the quality of their releases. They're really unparalleled. They never have delays, they always properly restore films (and make sure the transfers they receive are properly done, if they're not the ones doing the restoration).

They have yet to release a bad quality blu ray.

And who cares if thier output is mainly art house? That's really always been their thing. Yeah they have some mainstream stuff but they specialize in art films and foreign films. We need studios like that because there aren't many studios dedicated to releasing that sort of stuff. Knocking Criterion for releasing too much art house "dogshit" is like knocking Synapse for releasing too much cult "dogshit". The same argument can be played the other way around.

Masters of Cinema in the UK is the only other studio I can think of that rivals Criterion.

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Old 02-02-2014, 11:23 PM   #375
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Absolutely the arguement can go the other way around. It's all subjective. I'm not knocking the quality of their releases. Like I said, the Criterion releases I have are amazing. I'm just saying that 90% of what they release just isn't my thing. If you're into those type of movies, great, have at it, but to bring this thread back on topic, I'm just saying that Synapse and in some cases Scream Factory are, in my opinion, the closest thing to Criterion for the types of films that I am into.
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