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The DVD Revival Thread (DVD, Blu-Ray, Laserdisc, VHS, etc)


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Not sure how this will go but ...

 

There's a thread in Music, The CD Revival Thread, where people are picking up great music on the much-maligned (in my opinion) CD format. 

 

Lately I've been picking up DVDs of shows and films that, for whatever reason, aren't available on the various streaming services. We were promised this bright future where we could stream almost anything we wanted, it's not quite come to pass largely thanks to that old chestnut, rights. 

 

I'm definitely not a collector, although I'm finding I want to keep the more interesting stuff, or things that chime with me. In the past I've used charity shops as a kind of ad hoc video rental, buying up a stack of films, watching them and then giving them back to other shops, keeping anything worthwhile, in my criteria anyway.

 

Looking at various things lately I'm noticing that some DVDs are going up in price and becoming more collectable, not just limited edition boxsets of cult stuff but also forgotten TV shows. That being said, like CDs it's at that stage where it's not crazy pricing and you're still able to pick up some great stuff for pence. 

 

Curious to know if there's anyone else out there picking up DVDs, Blu-Rays or even VHS and Laserdiscs. 

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21 minutes ago, max renn said:

I'm not picking anything up but I do have over 2 thousand DVD's in my shed! I was an avid collector of Horror / Action / Sci-Fi in the past, didn't realise they were becoming collectable, I'll have to see if there's anything valuable.

There was a time when DVD was the main way to distribute genre films. Perhaps the more obvious stuff won't be worth much but the films that only came out that way and haven't got to Blu-Ray and the like, that'll be where it gets interesting. 

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I've been looking at my Lords of the Rings, Indiana Jones trilogy, and Star Wars DVD boxsets for the past few months and trying to decide if they're worth keeping. The custom cardboard case are amazing to see on the shelf, but it feels like a waste of space to keep lower-quality versions of mainstream films when the UHD versions are available.

 

On the other hand, there are films like Shawn of the Dead that turn the DVD into an interactive feature. There's lots of little animations and 3 minute snippets that help to create the world in which the film exists. It's great to navigate around these menus on the DVD, though I know I'd never watch the snippets on a streaming service.

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I got into John Woo again recently and started wanting to re-watch his classic action films, which meant that I had no option but to buy them on DVD - none of them are on streaming services and none of them are available on blu-ray (unless you want to chance your arm buying random Italian / Korean BR releases, where the Amazon reviews seem to cover six or seven different versions, and it's impossible to tell if it even has English subtitles, or an English dub).

 

It was actually quite satisfying tracking down the 'best' version of each film, given that each company that had the rights seemed to release several different versions with varying edits and wildly variable picture quality. DVDs have a kind of softness to the image that really suits Hong Kong action films, and evokes the era they were released in. Ideally, I'd be watching them on VHS on a CRT, but I don't have the room or the inclination or the relevant signoff from my other half, so this will do for now. I would love to see, for example, A Better Tomorrow or Hard Boiled on a fresh BR transfer, but the DVD aesthetic really works with the lurid, amped-up vibe of eightes / nineties John Woo. 

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I got the Godzilla Heisei era boxset on imported DVD. After watching some UHD BD recently and getting used to unparalleled detail and HDR and all that stuff, it's been a little strange but quite lovely to jump back to the soft early 90s DVD atmosphere. I guess it's like listening to Stevie Ray Vaughan or vaporwave or whatever, there's just a different feel and character to lo-fi. 

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I’m deep into dvd buying, same goes for CD albums and books. Been doing it forever. I love physical items and feel you value (amongst many other things) them more than free, throwaway entertainment. That goes especially for music listening.

As time rolls on and more and more people become consumed by the streaming digital age, I really believe there will be a huge renaissance in physical media. Whether it will be affordable again tho is another matter.

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Recently picked up these comedy shows on DVD:

 

Man To Man With Dean Learner - sequel series to Garth Marenghi's Darkplace

Brass Eye - you'll never see these on streaming, I'm pretty sure of it

Modern Toss (series 1 and 2) - based on the comic strips.

Chance In A Million (series 1 to 3) - 80s sitcom starring Simon Callow and Brenda Blethyn. Still holds up.

 

There's definitely something to the DVD experience, although I'm using a modded OG Xbox with XBMC as a DVD player, on a Sony Trinitron CRT (bit of a beaten up one, sadly), gets past all the unskippable guff. Some discs don't work because of protection, so I'll just use MakeMKV to rip shows off a disc and watch them on Kodi.

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13 minutes ago, K said:

Brass Eye is in fact on All4, although I haven’t checked to see if the episodes have the extra cut bits from the DVD. 

You're right, and it's on Britbox as well. But yes, not sure which versions of it these are. The DVD was literally just postage anyway.

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2 hours ago, K said:

I got into John Woo again recently and started wanting to re-watch his classic action films, which meant that I had no option but to buy them on DVD - none of them are on streaming services and none of them are available on blu-ray (unless you want to chance your arm buying random Italian / Korean BR releases, where the Amazon reviews seem to cover six or seven different versions, and it's impossible to tell if it even has English subtitles, or an English dub).

 

It was actually quite satisfying tracking down the 'best' version of each film, given that each company that had the rights seemed to release several different versions with varying edits and wildly variable picture quality. DVDs have a kind of softness to the image that really suits Hong Kong action films, and evokes the era they were released in. Ideally, I'd be watching them on VHS on a CRT, but I don't have the room or the inclination or the relevant signoff from my other half, so this will do for now. I would love to see, for example, A Better Tomorrow or Hard Boiled on a fresh BR transfer, but the DVD aesthetic really works with the lurid, amped-up vibe of eightes / nineties John Woo. 

 

I've got an UK RCA Video release of A Better Tomorrow SIGNED BY CHOW YUN FAT:P

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Just now, Vimster said:

You're right, and it's on Britbox as well. But yes, not sure which versions of it these are. The DVD was literally just postage anyway.


I seriously doubt the All4 version will have the Sutcliffe! musical or the unbleeped Irish religious fervour bit, so yeah, definitely worth hanging onto the DVD. 

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I've got tons of DVDs. I got into the habit of picking up anything on the more esoteric side of things from charity shops and have done so for ages. Also Second Run who put out loads of great world cinema only moved to doing Blu Ray fairly recently so I was buying their stuff on DVD too. We've still got a fairly small LCD screen so the quality isn't terrible and as pointed out, loads of films aren't available on BR or streaming services (plus you can't subscribe to ALL the bloody streaming services).

 

I've actually just watched a film on DVD that my son wanted to watch. George of the Jungle. Seriously highbrow stuff.

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27 minutes ago, K said:


I seriously doubt the All4 version will have the Sutcliffe! musical or the unbleeped Irish religious fervour bit, so yeah, definitely worth hanging onto the DVD. 

Just watched an episode on Britbox, it's the DVD version and has the Sutcliffe musical and the bit at the end with Jesus that got totally blanked out on the telly.

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16 hours ago, Marlew said:

I got the Godzilla Heisei era boxset on imported DVD. After watching some UHD BD recently and getting used to unparalleled detail and HDR and all that stuff, it's been a little strange but quite lovely to jump back to the soft early 90s DVD atmosphere. I guess it's like listening to Stevie Ray Vaughan or vaporwave or whatever, there's just a different feel and character to lo-fi. 

 

Did you mean R. Stevie Moore?

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My blu ray collection is pretty massive (and Mrs Sandman would rather get rid of it!) but I simply wouldn't be without it. If I want to watch Goldeneye followed by Throne of Blood followed by Big Trouble In Little China followed by Minions  then Christ knows how many streaming services I would need to sign up to.

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6 hours ago, max renn said:

:lol: 

 

Correct me if I'm wrong but I thought that the main problem with getting the HK action classics out is that most of the master prints got 'lost' after shenanigans with money & unsavoury funding sources?

 

It wouldn't surprise me. I would imagine the Hong Kong film industry was pretty sketchy in the eighties; if they treated film financing with the same level of care they treated the health and safety of stuntmen, it must have been a bit cut-throat. I mean, they nearly blew up Chow Yun-Fat a few times while the cameras were rolling, god knows what happened behind closed doors.

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I remember popping into an odd proprietary charity shop on Kingsland Road a few  years ago and they had, without exaggeration, thousands of Laserdiscs for a  quid each. There were boxes of them in the shop and a wall of them in their stock room. I can only presume an eighties yuppy with a penchant for anime had travelled in time with his vast collection and died in Hoxton leaving a baffled house clearance bloke to dump them at this shop. There was literally everything – Japanese releases of pretty much every major film of the 1980s, anime, stuff I’d never even heard of, Hocus Pocus, all just in an overwhelming pile. I obviously fervently scoured eBay on my phone to see if this was a treasure trove and my retirement plan, or an expressway to getting booted out of the flat. To this day I’m still not sure. Would have been a glorious collection if you had the space in any case.

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I've found myself picking up DVDs that my kids and I will watch once or twice.  Stuff like Tim Burton's Batman.  Or The Great Outdoors.  Stuff that I'd have never picked up at the time but that I'd like them to see.  FFS, I own a Wayne's World box set.

 

Airplane for £2 is gonna pay for itself.

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16 hours ago, Bucky said:

I've found myself picking up DVDs that my kids and I will watch once or twice.  Stuff like Tim Burton's Batman.  Or The Great Outdoors.  Stuff that I'd have never picked up at the time but that I'd like them to see.  FFS, I own a Wayne's World box set.

 

Airplane for £2 is gonna pay for itself.

Why pay Amazon £3.99 to rent a film when getting it on DVD is cheaper, you get more pleasure from it, and you can give it away to someone else afterwards? It's all good.

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