Jump to content
 
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

So what has been your experience with the Warner Archive?


LsDoorMat
 Share

Recommended Posts

 

So what has been your experience with the Warner Archive? Let's compare notes.

 

 

My bad luck started with my first order when they first opened three years ago. I ordered 5 discs . The Beast of the City was one of them, or at least it should have been. Instead, in a case marked "Beast of the City" and a DVD marked "Beast of the City" I got a copy of Edison the Man.

 

 

I got a copy of Never too Late that pixelated in every scene where there was excessive motion.

I got a second replacement copy which did the same - I gave up.

 

 

I bought a copy of 1946's The Verdict when it came out. It was supposed to have a trailer. Instead it is the first minute of the film which then just ends randomly.

 

 

I've been through three copies of Madame Satan - supposedly restored. I'll never know since none of them ever played all the way through. I finally just threw the last copy in the trash, figuring they all had this flaw and there was no point in getting any more replacements.

 

 

In a last attempt to see if the Warner Archive could do anything right I bought the Vitaphone Short set they put out about a year ago. The first disc is unreadable by anything in my home.

 

 

Warners needs to realize that beautiful transfers mean nothing if your authoring is haphazard and your quality control turns out discs that have only an 80% - 90% chance of being serviceable. I own just about every pressed classic set WHV ever put out, and I have never had a case of any DVD being bad or unplayable.

 

 

Let's not even go into the ten Archive discs that have gone bad in their cases over the last three years, yet Warners DRM makes it a felony to make a backup copy when the original DVD-R fails - and they all do fail eventually.

 

Needless to say I'm done pouring money down the overpriced rathole that is the Warner Archive. I've had better success with Alpha Video at lower prices.

 

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have never purchased anything for Warner Archives, but I know people who have and they have the same type of complaint that you have. Poor, poor quality. A lot of them refuse to buy from Warner Archives ever again, or at least until this problem is fixed. Just ridiculous that they sell just poor quality DVDs. What can we do, except continue to complain?

If you put together sometype of complaint / petition letter I sure lots of people will sign it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I left out a story in my original post about a problem that is still going on two years after the DVD-R was first offered. The Warner Archive apparently made a bad batch of "The Show of Shows", which is a 1929 revue that should run about two hours. The defective copy has roughly the first 55 minutes of the film then skips straight to the finale. Knowledgable consumers call WB which promptly sends a replacement, and it often turns out to be ANOTHER 64 minute long copy of the film! When reviewers went to the Warner website to review their bad experience, these experiences were not published. All you would see is a glowing 4 star review from someone who obviously got a good copy the first time. So if you do buy this film, make sure you look at it the day you get it and make sure it is two hours long. The problem is, there are probably plenty of "blind buy" customers who bought the film and didn't realize they had only half of the product since TCM never runs this old film any more, and due to the film's revue format there is no "plot hole" to be noticed.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have ordered many movies from them ( specially during their five for $50.00 event which is the best time to buy) and never had any problems . A friend did have a defective copy but he had no problem exchaging with for a good one.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just started buying from Warner's Archive. I bought the OUR GANG set, the LON CHANEY set, and THE CYCLOPS - remastered version.

 

Surprised at how good the OUR GANG set is. I really took a chance because I had heard some bad things about it when it was first released. No menu, for one. But, they must have listened to the complaints because there is now a menu. The shorts themselves look beautiful.

 

The remastered CYCLOPS was also fine, no problems. Don't know why Warner's is still offering the edited version as well???? Indicate remastered version when ordering.

 

Have not viewed the LON CHANEY set, yet. I hope it is ok, but I have not heard of anyone having any problems with theirs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

 

 

 

> {quote:title=calvinnme wrote:}{quote}

> So what has been your experience with the Warner Archive? Let's compare notes.

>

>

>

>

I only have a few and haven't had a problem so I asked a friend of mine who has around 400 and he said he's only had one or two bad discs and that was in the early days just after they started releasing them.

 

With all the problems you're having perhaps you are looking in the wrong place. You might want to explore your player. Even though theoretically all DVD players, made in recent years, are able to play all formats with no problem there are some that do have issues with DVD-R.

 

Try another player and see how your problem discs play. I have a couple of thousand DVD-R recordings I've made and they'd play fine on all my players, but would skip and freeze on a player a friend use to have. Once she switched to another player the problems went away.

 

I hesitate to name specific brands because in today's world many well-known brands are actually made by one large Japanese electronics company that simply bought the trademarks. The actual manufacturing is farmed out to whatever factory in Asia that has the lowest bid at that particular time. So it's not unusual to find the same model of the same brand made in several different countries. Of course, that means that not every single player made in the same model has the issue.

>

>

>

Link to comment
Share on other sites

> {quote:title=markfp2 wrote:}{quote}

>

>

>

>

>

>

> > {quote:title=calvinnme wrote:}{quote}

> > So what has been your experience with the Warner Archive? Let's compare notes.

> >

> >

> >

> >

> >

> >

> >

> >

> >

> I only have a few and haven't had a problem so I asked a friend of mine who has around 400 and he said he's only had one or two bad discs and that was in the early days just after they started releasing them.

>

> With all the problems you're having perhaps you are looking in the wrong place. You might want to explore your player. Even though theoretically all DVD players, made in recent years, are able to play all formats with no problem there are some that do have issues with DVD-R.

>

> Try another player and see how your problem discs play. I have a couple of thousand DVD-R recordings I've made and they'd play fine on all my players, but would skip and freeze on a player a friend use to have. Once she switched to another player the problems went away.

>

> I hesitate to name specific brands because in today's world many well-known brands are actually made by one large Japanese electronics company that simply bought the trademarks. The actual manufacturing is farmed out to whatever factory in Asia that has the lowest bid at that particular time. So it's not unusual to find the same model of the same brand made in several different countries. Of course, that means that not every single player made in the same model has the issue.

> >

> >

> >

I have four DVD players of various ages and brands and all have had problems with Archive discs. I do have one player that is particularly touchy, but strangely enough "Madam Satan" would play about three quarters of the way through on that player before it began pixelating and freezing, which is much further than the other three players got.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 months later...

I was quite confused at first, as the film opens with that famous RKO radio tower and herds of cattle being driven across the plain. Then the narrator begins "Kansas, where desert plain spreads without boundary". What??? Kansas??? Isn't this supposed to be an MGM silent about the Alaska gold rush of 1898 starring Delores Del Rio? I check the DVD case and it clearly says "Trail of 98". The DVD is also clearly marked the same. However, it seems, the Warner Archive strikes again and I received "Trail Street" starring Randolph Scott rather than "Trail of 98" in spite of every indication to the contrary. I bought this one a couple of years ago during their 5/50 sale at Christmas and just now got around to watching it. This is what happens when you pay big bucks for a MOD product. I doubt anyone ever bought a copy of the pressed DVD "The Thin Man" that was marked as such and got Stephen King's movie "Thinner" instead.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

First and foremost, they are way over-priced for what you get. DVDs should never cost more than $5 especially for material that is more than 50 years old and in many cases unrestored.

 

Second, all of WA titles are available on different film sites and torrent sites for free which is how material that is that old should be shared.

 

Third, many of these discs will not play on DVD players and they almost NEVER play on DVD recorder players which is the primary DVD player for many people.

 

Fourth, save your money for Criterion Collection discs where items are lovingly restored. The Warner Archive discs are shoddy and just another way for corporate Hollywood to wring more money out of stuff that should have long ago (if not for draconian Copyright laws) entered into the public domain.

 

Long live file sharing, not profit-mongering!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well first, the DVDs from the archive are worth it when they have a real good sale, so, when they have the sales you can get them for $10 or $11 each, depending on what kind of sale they are having.

 

I recently got some DVDs from the archive and, they all looked super. No problems playing them, and, altho they say the films are not remastered and all that,, I have to say they sure look like they were as they are very sharp prints, and look perfect!

 

Also, the quality is so much better then how they look on TCM, and also, never a logo to pop up on the screen as it does on TCM so, if there is a movie you really like a lot, and the archive offers it, then thats the way to go, but just wait for them to have a real good sale and it makes it worth it!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Actually, Warner is doing new HD scans for a lot of their Archive discs (all of the ones labeled "Remastered") so the Warner Archive project is helping not just create HD masters for future exploitation (a limited pressed Blu-ray line is supposedly going to happen,) it's also going to help TCM's eventual switch to true HD.

 

I agree that they are overpriced at their regular price point but the 5 for $50 offer is pretty reasonable. If I don't want DVD-Rs, some of these are available overseas on legit DVDs.

 

If everything filtered into the public domain, quality standards would tank immediately because no one would get paid to work on these films that require A LOT of money to maintain and preserve. No money to restore, no money coming back in from the results. Copyright laws are imperfect and occassionally unreasonable, but public domain would actually create a nightmare scenario for this industry rather than freeing anything. Public domain works well for literature, the words are the words, all that is required is an authoritative text. It presents a lot of problems for film - if the film prints disappears, we no longer have an original article (and the digital world, although helpful, isn't a panacea for this; it will provide new and perhaps greater challenges.)

 

Criterion discs are sourced from materials maintained by their parent companies - not Warner, they don't license, but other studios like Fox, Universal, Gaumont - so there goes your entire argument. Criterion couldn't operate the way you glowingly describe them in a public domain world.

 

And I'm not about to rely on Criterion to feed my cinematic needs. As valuable as they are, they at max offer maybe 3% of the vast kinds of things out there (probably less.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not advocating a public domain system. I'm advocating fairness. The current copyright regime exists solely so that corporations can make more money out of stuff that is very old and should be shared at this point.

 

Hollywood has NEVER been very interested in film preservation. They make billions per year in profits and put less than 1% into film restoration. That's appalling.

 

I believe in sharing. I believe in preservation. I believe in a fair system in which films are made available to the widest audience possible at the fairest price.

 

I believe that $10 for a DVD of a film that is more than 60 years old is not, by any definition, fair and so I'll continue to get my stuff for free as I'm not going to feed the greedy Hollywood interests.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not advocating a public domain system. I'm advocating fairness.

 

I believe that $10 for a DVD of a film that is more than 60 years old is not, by any definition, fair and so I'll continue to get my stuff for free as I'm not going to feed the greedy Hollywood interests.

 

No, you're advocating thievery by endorsing the downloading of copyrighted material. But hey, since you can do the crime, if you're caught, I'm sure that you will be willing to do the time and pay the fine.

 

Or will it be as Rhett Butler says in a certain 73-year-old movie "You're like the thief who isn't the least bit sorry he stole, but is terribly, terribly sorry he's going to jail."

 

I don't like certain laws anymore than you like the copyright laws, but if I'm going to take the chance on breaking them, I'm not going to promote it in an internet forum.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

{font:Times New Roman}I seem to remember stating I have used Warner Archives and found it very good for the most part. One film was not that great but as it was low budget, not well-known and hard to find to begin with so I couldn’t complain. The rest were just fine. I will go back again and unless I get burned as some of you seem to have been keep it up.{font}

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

> {quote:title=clore wrote:}{quote}I'm not advocating a public domain system. I'm advocating fairness.

>

> I believe that $10 for a DVD of a film that is more than 60 years old is not, by any definition, fair and so I'll continue to get my stuff for free as I'm not going to feed the greedy Hollywood interests.

>

>

> No, you're advocating thievery by endorsing the downloading of copyrighted material. But hey, since you can do the crime, if you're caught, I'm sure that you will be willing to do the time and pay the fine.

>

>

> Or will it be as Rhett Butler says in a certain 73-year-old movie "You're like the thief who isn't the least bit sorry he stole, but is terribly, terribly sorry he's going to jail."

>

> I don't like certain laws anymore than you like the copyright laws, but if I'm going to take the chance on breaking them, I'm not going to promote it in an internet forum.

>

>

>

Sage advice given the following recent news story:

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120321/12073218187/mpaa-asks-megaupload-data-to-be-retained-so-it-can-sue-users-then-insists-it-didnt-really-mean-that.shtml

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Actually I finally have something good to say about the Warner Archive.

I actually shelled out $44 dollars for their 4/44 sale recently - including one double feature so it was actually 5/44 - and the product was very good. I got

 

Voice of the City (1929)

Lovin the Ladies (1930)

Loose Ankles/Naughty Flirt (1930)

The Idle Rich (1929)

 

All were good prints that did not freeze or pixelate. You have to consider the age of the elements, but I think the Archive achieved the maximum quality you are going to get out of these old prints. If early talkies are your thing you might want to consider them.

 

If they ever release Dancing Sweeties I'll know that Warner Brothers really is emptying their vaults.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

© 2023 Turner Classic Movies Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Settings
×
×
  • Create New...