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  1. #1
    Forum Regular Widowmaker's Avatar
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    Poll: most disappointing DVDs?

    With today's technology, most DVDs have excellent picture and sound quality with lots of extras. Still, a few manage to fall through the cracks depending on who releases them (Disney/Touchstone, I'm looking at you). So, let's post our most disappointing DVDs with one caveat. You can't criticize a DVD on the quality of the movie itself, just the technical aspects. Here are mine:

    2 Fast 2 Furious - I am NOT a ricer. I liked the first movie, it is a reference DVD in terms of picture and sound quality. The sequel is not on par technically with the first one. No dts track, commentary only from the director, and they don't even have the trailers for the movie. Overall, very disappointing.

    Terminator 3 - Maybe I've been spoiled by having T2: Ultimate Edition. This is not even close in terms of technical quality. While the Dolby Digital track is loud, it doesn't compare to the dts track from T2 nor does T3's picture quality. If only that insane perfectionist James Cameron made this DVD instead of the "good enough" folks.

    Crimson Tide - I realize that this DVD came out just when the format was taking off but it disappoints nontheless. Sound quality is only okay while the video is not even anamorphic. Come on, Touchstone, rerelease this great movie and give it the quality it deserves

  2. #2
    Forum Regular wasch_24's Avatar
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    Hopefully the Star Wars faithful won't hurt me for this but the first time I watched Attack of the Clones in my new HT I was kinda dissapointed. Granted, I had just finished Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers which has a wonderful surround track, but AotC seemed like is was poorly masterd. The biggest complaint that I have is that irregardless of where the person speaking was on the screen, or off it for that matter, the dialogue would come from the center channel. It is really strange especially when you know the person speaking is off screen to the left their voice is still coming from the center channel as opposed to the left front.

    I agree with on T3-that soundtrack is very loud.

  3. #3
    cam
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    I was all jacked to throw in Raiders Of The Lost Ark Trilogy that I got for christmas. I started with the first one, very disappointing and no great bass at all. Threw in the second one and, same thing. I thought there is no way the third one will be as lifeless as the first 2, threw it in and, same friggen lifeless sound the first 2 had. I might be overreacting but I mind as well have just watched through the tv speakers, ok i'm overreacting, but still very disappointing sound tracks.

  4. #4
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cam
    I was all jacked to throw in Raiders Of The Lost Ark Trilogy that I got for christmas. I started with the first one, very disappointing and no great bass at all. Threw in the second one and, same thing. I thought there is no way the third one will be as lifeless as the first 2, threw it in and, same friggen lifeless sound the first 2 had. I might be overreacting but I mind as well have just watched through the tv speakers, ok i'm overreacting, but still very disappointing sound tracks.
    Cam,
    You have to keep in mind that every movie in the trilogy was made pre-Dolby digital, and two were made pre-THX dubbing stage. While magnetic tracks can produce VERY good audio, it is very difficult to mix VERY deep bass on them without overload or saturation problems. All of them were mixed on analog equipment, and presented on analog tape, so it might be a little unfair to make a comparison to today digital soundtrack mixes.

    Unfortunately your audio can only be as good as the printmaster.
    Sir Terrence

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  5. #5
    cam
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    I know

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Terrence the Terrible
    Cam,
    You have to keep in mind that every movie in the trilogy was made pre-Dolby digital, and two were made pre-THX dubbing stage. While magnetic tracks can produce VERY good audio, it is very difficult to mix VERY deep bass on them without overload or saturation problems. All of them were mixed on analog equipment, and presented on analog tape, so it might be a little unfair to make a comparison to today digital soundtrack mixes.

    Unfortunately your audio can only be as good as the printmaster.
    I realize that these movies are dated now, but keep in mind that I was pumped thinking that with todays technology that somehow they would create a killer sound track for a killer trilogy.

  6. #6
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    terrance, do you think

    do you think Lucas will be able to make the new star wars releases better since they already improved the sound for the 2nd release a few years ago, or do you think they'll suffer the same fate as Indiana Jones

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    As a general statement... recent "big budget" movies, such as Titanic, that made it to DVD in "matted letterbox" format instead of an anamorphic "enhanced for widescreen" format: Inexcusable, IMHO.

    Q

  8. #8
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    Disappointing DVD's

    Quote Originally Posted by Quagmire
    As a general statement... recent "big budget" movies, such as Titanic, that made it to DVD in "matted letterbox" format instead of an anamorphic "enhanced for widescreen" format: Inexcusable, IMHO.

    Q
    The very very top of my list is the THX - Highlander. Appalling picture and the sound isn't much better. But it was $6 so maybe I should not have expected very much.

    Star Wars - Attack of the Clones but my only compaint is that the bass is way loud (especially at the beginning) and no DTS track.

    The Sting - just a poor presentation for one of my all time favorite films.

    The Good, the bad and the Ugly (FFOD, AFDM as well) - Come on, where are the special editions, digitally remastered and remixed audio for this AMAZING trilogy. They did such an amazing job on Once upon a time in the West, I wish they would spend an equal amount of time on these. Even just TGTBATU would be enough for me.

    The Hulk - the extras weren't very good and no DTS although the sound was good. But if you are going to do a two disk set, why not put the DTS on, there is enough space.

    OK that is all I can think of for now.

    Yam

  9. #9
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    actually, TGTBATU extended collector's edition(damn that's a long title even when it's abbreviated) is coming out May 18

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Widowmaker
    With today's technology, most DVDs have excellent picture and sound quality with lots of extras. Still, a few manage to fall through the cracks depending on who releases them (Disney/Touchstone, I'm looking at you). So, let's post our most disappointing DVDs with one caveat. You can't criticize a DVD on the quality of the movie itself, just the technical aspects. Here are mine:

    2 Fast 2 Furious - I am NOT a ricer. I liked the first movie, it is a reference DVD in terms of picture and sound quality. The sequel is not on par technically with the first one. No dts track, commentary only from the director, and they don't even have the trailers for the movie. Overall, very disappointing.

    Terminator 3 - Maybe I've been spoiled by having T2: Ultimate Edition. This is not even close in terms of technical quality. While the Dolby Digital track is loud, it doesn't compare to the dts track from T2 nor does T3's picture quality. If only that insane perfectionist James Cameron made this DVD instead of the "good enough" folks.

    Crimson Tide - I realize that this DVD came out just when the format was taking off but it disappoints nontheless. Sound quality is only okay while the video is not even anamorphic. Come on, Touchstone, rerelease this great movie and give it the quality it deserves
    Okay, Widow....as a fellow HT and DVD review enthusiast, here is my take on your thoughtful post....

    When a friend of mine brought over T3 to watch in my system, I was absolutely floored....wow....was this standard Dolby Digital 5.1 mix HOT.....it really gave my speakers a workout. The BEST 5.1 DD mix I have ever heard, honest. NOT comparing this to DTS mixes of other films, nor am I comparing it to T2's presentation.....as a standalone DD 5.1 track, it is the best I have ever heard. I still dont own it, however, because Im not a big Terminator fan.

    Now, when you talk of Crimson Tide, you are getting into my neck of the woods....I did a review of this DVD in an earlier post, if you caught it, where I complained of the sound, as well....I LOVE this film, and submarine films in general, but the 5.1 mix should have been absolutely taken care of better than this. Sure, there are memorable scenes --- the parts where torpedoes are firing from the subs come across the surround channels exactly where they should and put you in the action, but in general, this wasnt an aggressive mix....my receiver was in the "40"'s on the volume display when watching this Touchstone release of Crimson Tide, and it always seemed like it could have used more volume....I believe I got it up to "50" at one point to feel as though I was really immersed in the film.

    An absolute REFERENCE submarine DVD is Universal's DTS "U571".

  11. #11
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    Big disappointment...

    The new Special Edition of "The Commitments."

    It's been remastered for 5.1 and, maybe it's just me, but I'm hearing little perceptible difference from the original DVD.

    Also the old DVD has a little Stax/Volt-kind of horn track running under the menu pages.
    The new Special Edition has a Mississippi/Delta blues track on the same pages. Completely inappropriate! (Yeah, I know--I'm just a bit anal but this stuff bugs me. I blame my mother for inappropriate toilet training.)

  12. #12
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    I thought of some more.....Pioneer Home Video's re-release of the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre was AWFUL in the audio department.....the producers claim they created a brand new stereo surround track, but the audio still sucks....no surround effects, terribly low, non-existent volume levels.

    Some favorite John Carpenter films of mine on DVD were dissapointing too; Anchor Bay's remastered "Halloween" DVD that was THX certified was okay, but as one of my favorite films, the so-called "digitally remastered" 5.1 audio track was weak....as was the "brand new, digitally remastered" 5.1 audio track on Carpenter's "The Fog" disc.

  13. #13
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    Evil dead 1, absolutely brutal and this is in dts 6.1.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by cam
    Evil dead 1, absolutely brutal and this is in dts 6.1.
    Are you serious? What made it so "brutal"; are you referring to the sound quality?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lexmark3200
    Are you serious? What made it so "brutal"; are you referring to the sound quality?
    I ran my system for Evil Dead 1 with a 6.1 configuration to take advantage of the 6.1 dts. Sound sucked like no other. If memmory serves I believe it was also 6.1 dts discrete.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by cam
    I ran my system for Evil Dead 1 with a 6.1 configuration to take advantage of the 6.1 dts. Sound sucked like no other. If memmory serves I believe it was also 6.1 dts discrete.
    Really.....but tell me specifically what sucked....I was just curious....like on my Texas Chainsaw Massacre disc (of the original) the volume is TERRIBLY low; there is just NO fidelity power on the whole "remastered Stereo Surround" track....

  17. #17
    Forum Regular paul_pci's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lexmark3200
    Okay, Widow....as a fellow HT and DVD review enthusiast, here is my take on your thoughtful post....

    When a friend of mine brought over T3 to watch in my system, I was absolutely floored....wow....was this standard Dolby Digital 5.1 mix HOT.....it really gave my speakers a workout. The BEST 5.1 DD mix I have ever heard, honest. NOT comparing this to DTS mixes of other films, nor am I comparing it to T2's presentation.....as a standalone DD 5.1 track, it is the best I have ever heard. I still dont own it, however, because Im not a big Terminator fan.

    Now, when you talk of Crimson Tide, you are getting into my neck of the woods....I did a review of this DVD in an earlier post, if you caught it, where I complained of the sound, as well....I LOVE this film, and submarine films in general, but the 5.1 mix should have been absolutely taken care of better than this. Sure, there are memorable scenes --- the parts where torpedoes are firing from the subs come across the surround channels exactly where they should and put you in the action, but in general, this wasnt an aggressive mix....my receiver was in the "40"'s on the volume display when watching this Touchstone release of Crimson Tide, and it always seemed like it could have used more volume....I believe I got it up to "50" at one point to feel as though I was really immersed in the film.

    An absolute REFERENCE submarine DVD is Universal's DTS "U571".

    Lex,

    I must fully agree about U571. I picked it up for 10 bucks cause I like the movie and I figured the sound would be cool, and I ended up being totally blown away by the sound quality. A definite must have. Now only if I had a better sub there I go again.

  18. #18
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    Ok before I state my all time let down I must say its only because I was expecting alot more then what I got...ok?..ok


    the matrix...lol i know but everyone made this movie out to be a awesome audio, but I wasent happy with it at all. i fell asleep during it and even lost the dvd itself...hell I feel I didnt lose much

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by paul_pci
    Lex,

    I must fully agree about U571. I picked it up for 10 bucks cause I like the movie and I figured the sound would be cool, and I ended up being totally blown away by the sound quality. A definite must have. Now only if I had a better sub there I go again.
    Oh hell yeah....U571 MUST belong in every HT enthusiast's library; the sound placement is near perfect compared to just about every DVD I have seen (well, and heard!). Ten bucks is crazy cheap for that DVD! Was it Universal's Collector's Edition with the DTS track? That DVD cost me close to 30 bucks I think----and I had to buy it friggin twice because I lost the first copy I bought somewhere in my parents' house in Las Vegas!

  20. #20
    Forum Regular wasch_24's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lexmark3200
    Oh hell yeah....U571 MUST belong in every HT enthusiast's library; the sound placement is near perfect compared to just about every DVD I have seen (well, and heard!). Ten bucks is crazy cheap for that DVD! Was it Universal's Collector's Edition with the DTS track? That DVD cost me close to 30 bucks I think----and I had to buy it friggin twice because I lost the first copy I bought somewhere in my parents' house in Las Vegas!
    Yeap, $10.99 @ Best Buy. Collector's Edition and DTS!

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by wasch_24
    Yeap, $10.99 @ Best Buy. Collector's Edition and DTS!
    Damn, thats a great price. I gotta start buying my DVDs at Best Buy. I heard they are really cheap there.

  22. #22
    Forum Regular paul_pci's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wasch_24
    Yeap, $10.99 @ Best Buy. Collector's Edition and DTS!

    Yes, that's exactly where I got it. Definitely impossible to pass up.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lexmark3200
    Damn, thats a great price. I gotta start buying my DVDs at Best Buy. I heard they are really cheap there.
    You can get it for $9.35 from deepdiscountdvd.com with free shipping:
    http://www.deepdiscountdvd.com/dvd.cfm?itemID=MCA020785

    I've been getting a bunch of stuff there, and haven't had any problems so far...

  24. #24
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    even cheaper

    is through columbia house. Go to the dvdtalk.com dvd clubs threads and it'll tell you how to do it. I've been through numberous accounts with an average of under 8 buck per dvd total, new releases and everything. They don't have many criterions and superbits but that's life.

  25. #25
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    There have been some bad ones, but easily the most dissapointing dvd that I ever played was The Hunt For Red October. I guess they came out with a newer "special edition" nearly a year ago, but the original dvd release was so dissapointing. Terrible audio and the worst picture of any dvd that I have ever come across.

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