Weekly Digital Disc Picks – September 23, 2008

I’ve now gotten these caught up. I’m out of town again next week, so expect this, the weekend review, and the next Smallville review all to hit next Sunday.

I have to open with a bit of commentary this week. Since HD-DVD folded, leaving Blu-Ray the undisputed high definition format, I’ve seen way more repressings of legacy titles coming out of the studios than the norm. To me, this says the studios are making as much as they can off of DVD while they still can, knowing full well that they’ll be putting the same product out on Blu-Ray in one or two years time. I’m not listing all of the 70+ reissued titles that are out this week, though I will mention some of the highlights. Maybe they need to cash to pay for the hardware upgrades to convert their factories to Blu-Ray, but it still rubs me the wrong way, in much the same way the “double dip” releases bother so many of us.

Now, the DVD releases:

Now, the Blu-Ray releases:

Finally, the pick of the week. I’ll have to go with “L.A. Confidential” in the highest definition you can handle.

5 replies on “Weekly Digital Disc Picks – September 23, 2008”

  1. Reason for the multiple Hellsing releases
    It looks like one version of the Steelbook is just the DVD with bonus disk in a steelbook, and the second more expensive version is one with what almost looks like a bookend. Volume 4 only comes with the more expensive version because it appears to only be available with an 200 page artbook.

    As far as the re-releases of the Hellsing Ultimate volumes, that would be because Hellsing Ultimate was originally licensed by Geneon USA. When Geneon USA went under, they sold the US publishing and distribution rights to Funimation. If you’ll look at the full DVD releases since the license transfer, you’ll start to see a slow build of former Geneon licenses being re-released by, say, Funimation, both recent ones, like Hellsing Ultimate and Black Lagoon, and older ones, like Trigun.

    Under the circumstances, I don’t mind seeing the re-releases, becuase it means the shows are still in print – which is good, because I’m missing the second to last disk of Trigun (episodes 20-23).

    • Re: Double Dip

      That’s a new term to me–what’s ‘double dip’ mean?

      That’s when a studio releases a bare bones release now, and then another edition with additional content later. Many people cite "Lord of the Rings" as the main example, though I don’t think that technically qualifies as the studio announced both editions simultaneously, and it was the retailers that failed to inform their customers of the extended editions coming later. More typical examples are "The Wizard of Oz" and "The Maltese Falcon," both of which were released in single, double, and eventually triple disk editions. A worse one is "Species," which keeps getting released with new packaging and labels (special edition, collector’s edition, limited edition) but no new content apart from trailers for the latest direct to DVD sequel. The practice frustrates people who feel compelled to buy things more than once. Talk to the "MASH" collectors: many bought the 11 seasons as they came out, and then bought the complete series just to get the new bonus disc, which really angered them. They were angered even more when the bonus disc was announced as an individual release three weeks after the complete series came out, which was just long enough for them to buy the expensive set and not be able to return it (given the standard "14 day unopened" return policies for DVDs around.) There are only a few choice movies that I’ll get special editions for if I already have a regular edition, and those usually have some sort of upgrade in the transfer. (ie. Blu-Ray vs. DVD, anamorphic vs. non-anamorphic, etc.)

      • Re: Double Dip

        That’s when a studio releases a bare bones release now, and then another edition with additional content later.

        Ah, thanks for the explanation. The LOTR example makes total sense–I know of at least three different versions of it.

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