For June 1997
Just a note to say I really enjoyed checking out your web site for the first time. Very helpful, and a first rate job of putting all the elements together. Thanks for the effort!
On a side note, you might be interested to know that your report about TOHO VIDEO switching to DVDs in the near future ("1998") is totally false. I talked with people at Toho several months ago about this, and again a few days ago when i saw this story come up on the alt.movies.monster newsgroup (with Laserot credited as the source for the story). According to the folks I talked to there is no plan currently on the boards for Toho Video to release any titles on the DVD format anytime before the year 2000, and after that any policy changes will be dictated by then current market trends. Currently the Japanese DVD collecting public makes up such a tiny percentage of the overall market that such a switch would be "foolish" according to my contact.
Furthermore the only reason Godzilla (and other kaiju eiga titles) have slowed down in terms of LD release is because the whole catalog is already out there! In fact most of the Godzilla titles (the older ones) have been re-released in re-mastered editions. A few non G titles are being held back for either commercial or "political" reasons. Two examples of the latter are MATANGO and JUJIN YUKIOTAKO, which were removed from the catalog after Toho received complaints from special interest groups in Japan.
Anyway I hope this clears things up a bit for you, aside from this very minor bit of misinformation I think you are doing a real service for LD & DVD collectors everywhere. Thanks!
I have a good friend who is a Best Buy manager and he gave me the lowdown on the price hike. Only those Warner Bros. (WB, MGM/UA and New Line) DVD titles that were released in the second wave were hiked in price and will stay there. (Batman Forever, Wild Bunch, Dumb and Dumber, "10", etc.). The reason for this price hike is that Warner Bros. distribution refused to sell those titles to Best Buy, Inc because they violated their agreement with the WB to only sell the first wave of WB DVDs in the test market seven-cities. Since Best Buy is having to go through a middle-man for their DVD software, they are passing the "savings" on to their customers. The newest titles from LIVE and SONY (Tri-Star and Columbia) are back to their regular pricing but it remains to be seen whether or not they will have to continue going through a middle-man for WB product. If so, the $25.99 will stick.
If you want to get a copy of Jerry Maguire on DVD you better be there when the store opens on 6-24-97 and hope the employees aren't snatching them first.
SONY is still producing all DVD product out of the corner of their audio CD factory that they converted to test DVD production. The planned facility for DVD production has been delayed and so their next batch of titles will be in short supply. The biggest of these titles, Jerry Maguire, has been allocated to only 3 copies per store in most markets (including the "big seven"). The main reason is that with Fly Away Home, Jumanji and Legends of the Fall they had already been producing product far in advance, as a test of the process. With plans to release a much larger variety of titles this month, the number of each title being produced has shrunk to accomodate the variety. Coupled with the demand for Jerry Maguire you can imagine the result. Major retailers like Suncoast Motion Picture Company who normally take pre-orders and reservations have cancelled any they had for Jerry Maguire and are not taking new ones. There is no word on when SONY will get the new facility ready which could mean trouble if you are desperately looking for any of their future bigger titles.
Hi. I visit your site all of the time and I enjoy it a great deal. Two comments on your editorial, which I basically agree with:
1) You could have just as easily sited "Bye Bye Laserdiscs", "Laserdiscs are on the Way Out", "Satanic Laserdisc Worshippers" (this was originally a laserdisc is on the way out post), ad nauseum. The negative posts have been going both ways, with incorrect information being spewed by proponents of both formats. ((There's also a lot of information, specifically the costs of producing DVDs and laserdiscs, that I don't think anybody has a definitive answer.))
2) I am for the forseeable future sinking most of my discretionary income for movie purchases into laser software for several reasons, but the major reason is because of what you state in your editorial. There is a veritable deluge of laserdisc releases coming out in the next couple of months, including a lot of movies I never dreamed would come out on laserdisc (all of the Hammer releases, the Knack, the Lone Wolf and Cub and other Samurai video releases, Betty Boop, Cutter's Way, etc.) This is compared to the mainstream fare and "established classics" that have been announced on DVD.
I don't live in one of Warner's seven test cities, but even if I did, there isn't much new coming out on DVD (per your website) that is attractive to me. Of those titles I'm interested in, I thought the Blade Runner DVD was nice, but not good enough for me to buy another copy of what I already love on laserdisc (I watched the Warners' CAV version last weekend!). I wonder why Warners' didn't provide copies of both versions of this on each side (because of the expense?). On Road Warriors, the difference I saw was negligible. I've ordered the Wild Bunch SE laserdisc, primarily because I love the movie, and all of the extras coming with the laserdisc are more attractive than the movie and documentary provided on the DVD (which is more reasonably priced). (And to reiterate, I can't buy the Warners' DVD version.)
Based on what I read on alt.video.dvd, I'll stick with my copies of GoodFellas, Terminator 2, A Boy and His Dog, Rock and Roll High School, and Stargate (which I got for $25.48, including postage, a couple of weeks ago). Both Live and Lumivision have been getting bad comments about compression problems with all of their releases. I'm interested in seeing what you think (and Doug Pratt of the Laser Disc Newsletter). In addition, the titles that I would think about getting on DVD on Columbia: Lone Star, Big Night and Maximum Risk, are not in your announced DVD listings. I also question why Fly Away Home wasn't letterboxed.
In summary, I'll think about DVD when they start releasing more non-mainstream titles. Right now I'm very happy with what's available on laserdisc and the quality presentation I get from my laserdisc player. Flipping sides has never bothered me on my laserdiscs (and it seems to be more and more prevalent on the new DVD releases).
How long should I expect to wait to get Star Trek: First Contact on DVD? I could buy it on laserdisc, and Paramount doesn't seem to be doing the DVD thing, but do you think they will get this product out in a short period of time?
(Truthfully, I don't have the slightest idea, and this is not really something that anyone else can answer either. First off, Paramount has to actually have some plans regarding the DVD format, and as of right now, they apparently have shown no interest in it. Of all the major home video companies that are out there, they fall in absolutely last place on the DVD interest list - while the other companies have at least stated that they are "thinking" about it and seeing what happens, Paramount hasn't even done that much as far as we've seen.
Personally, unless they've managed to keep their plans very well hidden and make a surprise announcement as this years VSDA convention, I really don't think you should expect to see Star Trek on DVD for quite a long time (probably not this year, at least). Hopefully they will start putting DVDs out shortly, but I seriously doubt it...)
I refer to your excellent website in regards to the ld and dvd news and really enjoy all the wonderful 'setups'. I happened to discover your site from a friend who is a laserdisc fanatics just like me (650 titles - last 6 years) and beginning to 'start' all over again with the new 'DVD' format. With the improved picture resolution and sound ( hopefully better than the current '12' bit-sound only) i am ready for the transition and yet will still collect those 'antique' laserdiscs as well.
A few questions that i hope you could help...
1. Do your ship outside USA ?.. ( to HONG KONG ADDRESS )
2. Currently i have the sony dvp-s7000 player (multi region code-free player) , and would have no problem in playing 'region 1' (USA) dvd softwares.
3. Shipping charges ( in regards to number of titles )
4. Any advance or pre-booking of titles ??
5. Could you put me on your mailing list for your upcoming or latest released titles.
Thank you very much for your help and looking forward for your reply.
(Aha...another person who thinks we are selling DVD software! Sorry Jumani...as we keep telling people, Laser Rot does not sell laserdiscs, DVDs, players or anything else. We are just here to provide the best possible information on the world of laserdisc and DVDs. We don't sell anything now, and we never will. (Hmmm...I think it's time to put a notice up on the index page...).
As for placing you (or any of the rest of you) on our "mailing list" for upcoming or recently-released titles, please be aware that there is no such mailing list now, and again, there will not be any in the future. This information is only provided on our various web pages.)
I saw the recent posting in your coming distractions list for a lbx, RM of Dogs Of War. I wish you would use your considerable influence with the MGM/UA, powers that be, to lobby for the release of the 118min European version, instead of the cut U.S. print. If they reissue this short version again, we'll never see the original, full-length cut. They used the European cut on the recent Eye Of The Needle LD. I know I wouldn't mind paying the extra $5.00-$10.00, if they had to use a third side. Let me know what you think.
I was happy to see Thunder Road finally getting an LD release, one of my cult faves.
Good to see you on-line. I still have all my old, dog-eared copies of "Pond Scum". I like the irreverent attitude you bring to the LD hobby. After all, it's suppose to be fun.!
(Hi Glenn...glad you found us again! I'll pass on this information to the appropriate parties, and hopefully we'll get some good new re: Dogs of War.)
Let me tell you that this month "laser rot speaks" is one of the first intelligent unbiased opinion I've seen regarding DVD and LaserDisc. I read alt.video.dvd and alt.video.laserdisc every day and I'm very anoyed by post like "DVD will Die" and "LaserDisc suck". All these post are just a waste of bandwith. I just hope that these people will calm down in a couple of month when the shock of the arrival of the DVD will be passed. Congratulation for your great web site!
> IT'S THE MESSAGE, NOT THE MEDIUM, YOU DOLTS!"
Hmmm... that's not what Joshua Meyerwitz would say. Meyorwitz is a media researcher who wrote the book "No Sense of Place: the impact of electronic media on social behavior", where he (amoung other things) presents his Medium Thoery, whereby he says "It's the medium, not the message", meaning the medium is as important, if not more so, than the message. Of course, he was not referring to things like DVD vs LD vs VHS, but more TV vs radio vs print mediums. Anyway, since you used his theory (although backwards) I figured you might know the source.
The message is not the medium, the medium is the message.
Just read your editorial, and wanted to let you know I agree with you. I was the Virgin Music Store in NY over Memorial Day weekend. This was the first time I had seen DVD. They were running The Road Warrior. To me, it looked just as good as a laserdisc. I only have this title to go by so far. However, the one GREAT thing I noticed was there were ABSOLUTELY NO dropouts or that rainbow colored speckling laserdiscs tend to have if the proper care is not taken when they are pressed. That's a huge problem and annoyance I have had with laserdisc since the beginning. I am waiting in line to purchase the Pioneer DVL-700. My cousin has a connection, and can get it for me at a good price. I am so excited about DVD. I can't wait to start collecting them. However, I will not under any circumstance stop buying laserdiscs. I love them, I have many, and I WOULD NOT give most of the up. I firmly believe it is a format that is going to survive for now and some years to come. The titles just keep coming, especially older collectable films. I plan on waiting for new blockbuster hits on DVD, and continue with laserdiscs as the more collectable titles come out. I say "Life to Warner Brothers". They have never been a big releaser of titles on laserdisc. Now, since they are backing DVD, I will be able to collect a more extensive library of their films. Hope the other studios jump in soon. Keep up the excellent work on your website.
Just thought I'd drop you a line to tell you how on the money you are regarding the newsgroups and such. I almost hesitate contributing my 2 cents to any topic out of fear of reprisals. It seems clear to me that the juvenile rantings on the dvd and laserdisc newsgroups are nothing more than just that...rantings from people who will never be satisfied with anything. I think the majority of them would rather slag something off than view it objectively.
Personally, I love laserdisc, and I also love DVD. But like you stated, it's the message not the medium. Well, some folks are just too "bull-headed" (read: stupid) to distinguish between the two. I'd rather direct my energy towards worrying about how I'm going to hook my Toshiba SD-3006 up to my DTS decoder when DTS DVD's arrive. It doesn't have an optical output. Am I going to have to get another player or upgrade this one ? See what I've got to deal with ? Do you know if DTS will be output only through the optical jack or will it also be output through the coaxial? I can't try it for myself since I don't own any DTS CD's, and haven't even been able to track any down here locally. I had originally purchased a Pioneer DV-500 which had both optical & coaxial outputs, but I had MONDO problems with it so I took it back and exchanged it for the Toshiba. I haven't had any problems with the Toshiba, but with the inevitability of DTS coming to DVD, I've got bigger and better things to occupy my time as opposed to "Why DVD will fail !".
Gimme an f. break folks. I feel that if those doomsayers would direct all that energy into something positive, maybe...
1. The Greenhouse Effect would end;
2. The video companies would decide on one regional code for DVD's;
3. Esperanto would become the universal language;
4. Lawrence of Arabia & Ben-Hur would be the first dual layer "continuous" play DVD's.
5. Warner would begin a NATIONAL ROLLOUT (HURRAH !);
6. World Peace;
7. Kate Bush would tour again;
8. November, Jurassic Park & The Lost World on a single DVD, with DTS & Dolby Digital 5.1 mixes. (Or The Lost World on LD/DTS/DD, I don't care, I'm not picky !);
9. Again, World Peace !
Anyway, that's my opinion. (AND THAT'S ALL IT IS, AN OPINION !) Again, you're doing a brilliant job ! Keep up the great work !
Loved the magazine when it was Pond Scum and love it even now on the web.
Just wanted to say I agree whole heartedly with your June editorial, but would like to add that the DVD posters in the laserdisc newsgroup are just as offensive, in my opinion. Sounding the death knell for laser left and right is just as ignorant as all the false DVD info that's being bandied about.
Personally, I have seen DVD and compared it to laser at home, but I'm currently abstaining from buying a player (this in spite of the better picture quality...it was noticible...as for audio quality, I don't have a Dolby Digital set-up and the Dolby Pro-Logic did sound a little flatter). I'd like to wait and see what happens with the other four major studios before plunking money down into another format.
As a retailer, I'd like to add what I consider to be some valid complaints (realize they're only my opinions). I personally hate Warner's DVD packaging. It's very flimsy and doesn't contain enough liner notes. I prefer Columbia's Keep Case to anything else so far (although I have physically seen the Polygram/Image packaging). I also don't currently care for what I see as inconsistencies in the format. Why are there no widescreen versions of Michael, My Fellow Americans, Space Jam, Bonnie And Clyde, Bridges Of Madison County and The Bodyguard when they exist that way on laserdisc? Also if MGM can fit both versions (Pan & Scan and Widescreen) of a film on one dual layered side (GoldenEye comes to mind), why can't Warner put both versions of a longer film (like Time To Kill or Sleepers) on two dual layered sides?
I realize that the mastering costs may be prohibitive, but there just doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason behind their choices and kind of baffles both me and my customers.
And I'm not even gonna mention the "false" information being bandied about at most major electronic chains in my area when it comes to DVD and Laserdisc (did you know that they haven't made laserdiscs in years and there are currently about 1000 titles...including some Disney classics on DVD)?
Anyway, I agree whole-heartedly that it is the content and not the format. Personally, I hope DVD does eventually takes off and become the successful format that it should be (in spite of how I feel about Warner Home Video), but for now I think a wait and see attitude might be best for those who are confused or terrified.
Keep up the great work
I'm upset like many others who feel cheated out of Warner laserdiscs in favor of DVD. I like DVD, but they can at least secure enough manufacturing facilities and resources to be able to release laserdiscs and DVDs on the same day. First it was Michael Collins and Space Jam (they claim piracy for this one - hmmm). Now it's Mars Attacks!, Michael, and My Fellow Americans. What other laserdisc titles has Warner delayed so that they can concentrate on DVDs? That's my tirade. Looking forward to reading yours.
(Actually, Warner's "antics" regarding LD releases are beginning to tick off many people, and I'm not to fond of this policy myself. The delays in releasing their laserdisc releases is definitely beginning to look like at attempt to push DVD products. Let's just say that I had review copies of Michael Collins and Space Jam several weeks before they finally got around to shipping it. I also have had copies of Michael, Mars Attacks!, My Fellow Americans and Vegas Vacation for a little while (by the way, the reviews of these titles will be up in a few days). When Space Jam was released, it was apparently suffering from a short pressing run, and many locations didn't have it available on street date. As you already know, Mars Attacks! got pushed and won't be out until July 8. Sure, the laserdisc delays aren't entirely affecting me since my review copies are showing up "on time," but it's still upsetting for me to see this being done to everyone else.
However, to be completly fair, you cannot blame the laserdisc division over at Warner for these delays - the laserdisc division is essentially a separate entity from the DVD division, and apparently someone a bit higher up the ladder is dictating to the LD & DVD division heads what to do regarding release dates. Hopefully the "reasons" behind the delays will stop and Warner will allow the VHS, LD & DVD versions of films to be available on the same day - let the consumer choose which version they want to buy on street date.)
Great site !!!!!! Finally I found a site that is able to fullfill my need for info regarding LDs and DVDs. Could you do a review for the DVD version of JFK: Director's Cut and Interview with an Vampire? I would love to see what you think of these two title. JFK is currently spread over two sides. I very interested in what would happen if JFK is put on one side of a two layers disc; Will there be a break while the layer change is going on? or the layer change so smooth that the viewer will hardly notice. Keep up the good work. I will check back often.
(Thanks for the message...reviews of JFK and Vampire will be showing up at some point online - I wish I could give a definite date, but those 2 discs are sitting here waiting for reviews. (I'll try and push them up a bit...). From everything I've heard about doing dual-layer with very long films, apparently the layer change is instantaneous and completely unnoticeable (it is simply a refocusing of the laser, which happens in a small fraction of a second). Of course, who knows when someone will actually start producing discs this way... I have heard that some demos from Sony - well, I think it was Sony - had the dual-layer film thing already working correctly.)
Will DVD have the movie Scream: The Director's Cut? I know that laserdisc is going to have one, but not for video. I was thinking of buying the DVD and if you guys have Scream: The Director's Cut, I'll will be buying the DVD, not the laserdisc then.Thank you.
(There will not be a Scream DVD at this time. Scream is a Disney release, and since Disney isn't putting out any DVDs yet, no Scream. Rumors have it that Disney will not begin releasing DVDs until 1998 at the earliest. Sorry, but the laserdisc is the way to go for now...)
Hi! My name is Roberto and I am living in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I came to Buenos Aires last May. I used to live in Seattle. I am telling this because I have a DVD player that I bought in Seattle. As you know my DVD is Region 1 compatible. I will stay in Argentina for 2 or 3 years. I would like if I can buy movies on DVD. I have credits cards, so I think that it will not be a problem. I am very interesting if I can buy by internert or mail. Do you have a catalog or something like that. Can you send the disc to Buenos Aires or just in the US (maybe in PO Box?) Please, keep inform me.
I will waiting your reply.
(We've been getting lots and lots of letters from people asking for us to send them catalogs as well as price lists for the stuff "we sell."
Unfortunately, we are not a store and we do not sell any LD or DVD titles or players - either now or in the future. We are simply an informational source trying to provide you folks with the best possible information we can on LD and DVD products.
Sorry if this is a disappointment to all you folks, but you'll have to go elsewhere for your shopping needs.)
I agree with Laser Rot's comment about the packaging of DVD. Cardboard sleeves would be preferable to these cheap plastic/cardboard monstrosities. Better yet, jewel cases. I bought Blade Runner on DVD for $19.95 at K's Merchandise in Carbondale , Illinois recently. They had a Twister demo playing on a huge Sony and the Panasonic $700 model player. They had about 10 titles. How does K's sell outside the test markets? Don't ask!
Since there are more than a few of us now that have modifed our "first shipment" region 1 Sony DVD players to "region code-free" and "Macrovision-free" status, is there any chance that we might see a list of upcoming (or even current) Japanese releases? If not, is there a website that lists these? Thanks for your assistance.
(Actually, Joel, up until a couple of weeks ago, we couldn't find anything regarding foreign DVD titles. But recently, I've finally been getting some information on these European & Japanese DVD releases, and listings will be showing up on our pages shortly...probably within the next week or so. I make no promises as to how complete these listings will be, but they are better than nothing. Stay tuned...)
Unless I missed it, you really need to have a search function of the site's contents.
I've been coming by regularly, the site is great. The name "Laser Rot" upsets me a little (It makes me wonder about the condition of all those discs in my collection I haven't viewed in sometime:)
Couldn't find anything in a quick looksee and thought how great it would be if (like at many many other sites) I could punch in a few keywords and get back any references found at the site. Any chance of a search feature ?
(No, there is not a search function yet, but it is something that is currently being worked on and I'm still taking a look at the best way to search the site. Also, my side provider is apparently really, really scared of people dumping CGI scripts onto their server (CGI scripts are the mini-programs that I need in order to get a search function to work), on the off chance that one of those may do nasty things to the server itself. They must test and approve all scripts themselves prior to allowing them to be placed on the server. Supposedly a test server is set up for us to test CGI scripts on, but we are repeatedly unable to access it. Anyway, we're trying to work things out, so hopefully it should show up one day...
Of course, if anyone out there has any idea if it's even possible to write a search script using standard HTML commands, please let me know.
As for the name, well...it wasn't my first choice, but everybody we polled for a name to use picked that one (we gave something like 15 or 20 suggestions). Apparently, most of you laserdisc fans are a twisted bunch and liked the bizarre name. Anyway, instead of dwelling on "laser rot" as a disc problem, we suggest just thinking about all the cool stuff on our site instead... :)
Originally Created: 06/04/97