This week’s been full of surprises, including the official closing announcement of Blockbuster Canada after its receiver made it public No One Cared.
Well, the death of a major chain could have some pungent repercussions, in terms of the studios losing a major client for their new releases, but perhaps BB’s slow demise in the U.S. and Canada may have given studios lead time to make sure they adjust their new release runs and aren’t about to be glutted with massive returns.
Will f BB’s demise further reduce the selection of movies on home video? I doubt it, given what’s out there now, certainly in physical and online shops, isn’t fully dominated anymore by the studios.
They may have the high profile titles, but in terms of back catalogue stuff, a chunk of movies from Warner, Universal, MGM, and Columbia have moved over to MOD (made on demand) DVD-R’s. There’s also downloads, streaming, and licensing to indie labels that have kept older films in circulation, so one can sense a shift as studios see the light and reap the benefits from licensing movies they’d thought had already penetrated their respective core fan base.
But getting back to BB, there’s a legacy of cruel competition, indolence, and just desserts to be examined, and I’ve done so in a lengthy blog over at Mondomark.com and Mondomark.blogspot.com, with some cautionary notes.
The second surprise news is Twilight Time has signed a swell deal with Sony and will be releasing some major classics on Blu-ray only, including the original Fright Night and Mysterious Island. Both will be special editions, and Mysterious Island is being made from a new HD master with Bernard Herrmann’s score in 5.1.
TT’s releases are exclusively distributed by Screen Archives Entertainment, so beware of wankorious speculators trying to flip these titles when they debut in November for the standard limited run of 3000.
Here’s the release schedule of their current and upcoming titles, as posted on the label’s Facebook page, plus some shamefully self-serving review links at KQEK.com (which also has a Facebook page, too):
THE FLIM-FLAM MAN (1967) DVD – Aug 9th
MY COUSIN RACHEL (1952) DVD – Sept 13th
STAGECOACH (1966) DVD – Oct 11th
THE LEFT HAND OF GOD (1955) DVD – Nov 8th
MYSTERIOUS ISLAND (1961) BLU-RAY – Nov 8th
RAPTURE (1965) DVD – Dec 13th
FRIGHT NIGHT (1985) BLU-RAY – Dec 13th
And the original press release:
TWILIGHT TIME joins forces with
SONY PICTURES HOME ENTERTAINMENT
to release Blu-ray editions of classic Columbia titles
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA (September 1, 2011) - Specialty label TWILIGHT
TIME has struck a deal with Sony Pictures Home Entertainment to license and
release classic films from the Sony-owned Columbia Pictures library in
high-definition Blu-ray editions. In line with TWILIGHT TIME’s innovative
limited series concept, just 3000 units of each title will be produced,
aimed at the collector/classic film aficionado market, and available
exclusively online through www.screenarchives.com, the nation’s largest
independent distributor of specialty soundtracks.
The November 8th Blu-ray debut of director Cy Endfield’s and special effects
master Ray Harryhausen’s 1961 science fiction/fantasy classic, Mysterious
Island, will be followed by a new release on the first Tuesday of each
month. Scheduled follow-up on December 13th is the original Fright Night
(1985), the horror/comedy cult favorite written and directed by Tom Holland
and starring Chris Sarandon and Roddy McDowall.
TWILIGHT TIME-the label that has made a recent splash in the classic film
home video pond with the release of such titles as The Kremlin Letter,
Violent Saturday, and The Egyptian-is the brainchild of 30-year Warner Bros
veteran Brian Jamieson and filmmaker/music restoration specialist Nick
Redman. In his long tenure at Warner Home Video, Jamieson initiated and
oversaw countless legacy restorations, including the films of Stanley
Kubrick, Samuel Fuller’s The Big Red One, and Sam Peckinpah’s The Wild
Bunch. Redman, a film historian and Oscar nominee for his 1997 documentary,
The Wild Bunch: An Album in Montage, is also a prime mover behind Twentieth
Century Fox’s pioneering series of limited edition soundtracks, the
inspiration for TWILIGHT TIME’s release model.
TWILIGHT TIME, Jamieson explains, is motivated by a desire “to optimize the
film enthusiast’s dream, providing long sought-after collectible and fully
restored titles, in their original aspect ratios, all manufactured to the
highest quality available, and at an affordable price.”
Unlike movies-on-demand offerings, each TWILIGHT TIME release is a BD or DVD
(not a DVDr) properly pressed from a restored transfer. Each is accompanied
by a collectible 8-page booklet complete with original essay, stills, and
poster art. And each TWILIGHT TIME disc provides, whenever possible, that
extra most coveted by cinemusic enthusiasts: an isolated score. Mysterious
Island offers a particularly high incentive along these lines, featuring
music by pantheon composer Bernard Herrmann.
Grover Crisp, Sony Pictures Entertainment’s Executive Vice President for
Asset Management, Film Restoration, and Digital Mastering, is enthusiastic
about his studio’s new partnership with the label. “Our collaboration with
Twilight Time will allow us to make available for Blu-ray release some of
our library’s most collectible titles in a way fans have been asking for:
restored and re-mastered with attention to detail and quality.”
And Jamieson concurs: “Sony and Twilight Time,” he says, “will be serving
both the collectible drive of film aficionados, and, in a larger sense, the
cause of cinema literacy.”
* * *
That is all.
Mark R. Hasan