Click here to learn more about anamorphic widescreen!
Go to the Home Page
Go to The Rumor Mill
Go to Todd Doogan's weekly column
Go to the Reviews Page
Go to the Trivia Contest Page
Go to the Upcoming DVD Artwork Page
Go to the DVD FAQ & Article Archives
Go to our DVD Links Section
Go to the Home Theater Forum for great DVD discussion
Find out how to advertise on The Digital Bits

Site created 12/15/97.

The Digital Bits logo

page created: 3/7/01

Please visit our sponsors!

Chat Transcript: MGM Home Video
on Home Theater Forum


The following is a complete transcript of the on-line chat with Blake Thomas, Alyssa Moore and Steve Wegner of MGM Home Video, held on Tuesday, March 6th on The Home Theater Forum. Thanks to Ron Epstein and the staff the HTF for all their hard work, and for providing the transcript for all to read. Enjoy!

Home Theater Forum
http://www.hometheaterforum.com

Subject: MGM HOME VIDEO chat
Date: March 6, 2001

[RonEpstein] Good Evening everyone. Thank You so much for being here this evening This is a big night for us. We have been wanting to talk to MGM for months now. The studio called us, and was concerned over some of the opinions from members of our forum. MGM is here to address your opinions and issues, and we are very happy to have them here this evening. It is my pleasure to welcome Alyssa Moore and Blake Thomas. Evening!

[MGM] It's good to be back - - we are excited to talk with you all and are looking forward to hearing your thoughts and questions. So here it goes...

[Alex_Richard] What's going on with Escape From New York. The job you guys did on it was very poor. You guys planning a rerelease?

[MGM] We are re-visiting this title in 2002, and we will be working with the composer for a new digitial 5.1 audio track and will revisit the transfer.

[Bill_Crosthwait] MGM thanks for being here. Any release date for Ice pirates?

[MGM] We noted interest on the Forum in this and are investigating the rights situation - - with all of the recent acquistions, it is not clear if this is ours.

[MeganDodson] I would like to ask that MGM start a policy of 100% accessibility for the deaf & hard of hearing on their DVDs. Too often, I'm shut out of extras because there is no captioning or subtitling. To give you an idea of what I would like: 5 Deleted Scenes & Outtakes. Sure you don't "finish" them but please at least caption/subtitle them. This is especially important if you do any seamless branching because the deaf audience aren't able to watch the "long" version without suddenly missing part of the dialogue. Any audio commentary, add an accompanying subtitle track (closed captions are probably not possible). Anything else such as documentaries, making of. Please be the studio to lead the way for others. Caption and/or subtitle everything on the discs, not just the movie. You do good work and I'd love to see you take the next step. It will really be the icing on my cake to finally be able to enjoy the entire disc as you've seen fit to share with us.

[MGM] Thanks Megan. Just to be clear, we do include close captioning on all of our releases, for the feature. We have not made it a policiy to do this for the supplemental material and we thank you for voicing your concern - - we will consider for future releases.

[TimBalme] Is there any truth to the rumors that Theater of Blood, Twice Told Tales and Bava's Planet of the Vampires are hitting DVD in August? Also is there any specific reason Pit and the Pendulum will be nonanamorphic while all other Poe DVDs are? thanks.

[MGM] The rumors are correct, all of these titles will be available on August 5. With re: to Pendulum,we did not have the source materials available for a 16x9 transfer. Please note, there are audio commentaries by Director Roger Corman on Pit & the Pendulum, X the Man with X Ray Eyes and House of Usher. There will also be progologues on House & X the Man.

[JeffUlmer] Thanks for coming. Unlike JEAN DE FLORETTE, the transfer on THE EMERALD FOREST was great, but the lack of extras was disappointing. It was just announced that John Boorman's HOPE AND GLORY is coming in June, but it will not be anamorphic or have any extras or commentary. First, I am upset that it won't be anamorphic, and second I am sure John would want to be involved in this project as it is semi autobiographical, and he seems to be quite interested in participating when he has the opportunity, as he did with ZARDOZ (nice how I worked that in, huh!). Why is this being released nonanamorphic, and would you reconsider not releasing this title until commentary and anamorphic transfers are available?

[MGM] I'll answer this question in a few parts. 1st, with re: to Jean De Florette, with the quality of the film elements that exist, this is the best possible transfer that could have been accomplished by us or any studio. Secondly, we have not spoken with John Boorman but are glad to hear you think he would be willing to coorperate. Our current plans are to release it in OAR, with minimal extras at a very attractive price.

[ChrisM] Hi MGM, glad you could come! Why is MGM still releasing Pan and Scan movies, even of family films. It's silly, especially when it's possible to put P&S on a disc with Anamorphic Widescreen in the Original Aspect Ratio? Examples: Secret of NIMH, Secret of NIMH 2, and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. I would love to buy those movies, but have absolutely no interest if it's not OAR and anamorphic. Thanks.

[MGM] With regard to family films, we made the decision to release full frame versions as these are most appealing to the family/kid-friendly consumer. We are reconsidering some of our previous releases for a new disc, including supplemental materials.

[GarethFlynn] Hi guys, thanks for coming. My question is in regards to Martin Scorsese's classic "Raging Bull", which you released as a bare-bones non-anamorphic disc in the early days of the format. Have you any plans to revisit this title as a Special Edition with an anamorphic transfer and perhaps a commentary? If not, would you consider licensing this title (or any others) to Criterion (a long shot, I know!). Many thanks!

[MGM] This title is coming out in 2002 as a special edition. We hope you will be pleased with the new supplemental materials.

[todd_s] Thanks for coming. Any chance that episodes of the Outer Limits (both old and new) will be coming out. Like Stargate SG-1? Also, any other tv shows coming?

[MGM] We have thought about releasing many of our TV properties, but they tend not to do very well on video. We are considering OuterLimits though.

[Anders_Runestad] Hello, thanks so much for being here. I first want to express my sincer gratitude for making some great non-mainstream titles available, particularly THE FANTASTICKS, SUTURE, and the upcoming KISS ME DEADLY. My question is: what are your plans for William Friedkin's TO LIVE AND DIE IN L.A.?

[MGM] Thanks - - we are happy to be here. We are looking in to releasing this for 2002, the rights & elements are still in question. Thanks.

[CraigS] I'd first like to thank you guys for getting all the Woody Allen films out on DVD. The booklet that came with Manhattan mentions how important the Scope ratio is to this film. Yet a comparison of the DVD to MGM's earlier laser shows the DVD is cropped - missing information on the sides - and NOT in the correct AR. Can you explain this and will it be fixed?

[MGM] It's news to us, we will look in to the problem and will let Ronald know what the outcome is for posting on the site.

[Micahel_Brian] Thanks for coming. Any plans to release "The Return of the Living Dead" or "Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia"?

[MGM] Garcia is coming out in 2002. There is question re: Dead, we believe we have the rights but another studio is also claiming it as well.

[BillHuelbig] Had to stop watching THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD to get in on the chat (thanks for it - it's beautiful). Can you give us any release news on two of the best comedies ever made, IT'S A MAD MAD MAD MAD WORLD and ONE, TWO, THREE? Thanks again, and many thanks for THE KENTUCKIAN on 5/8.

[RonEpstein] IT'S A MAD MAD MAD MAD WORLD is one of the most requested titles right now. (If I may interject)

[MGM] Yes Ron, we know this is your favorite title. Mad Mad is coming Q4, and you will be pleased. We are looking in to 1,2,3.

[RonEpstein] Special Edition, guys?

[MGM] You'll have to wait and see.....

[Edwin_S] I would like to say I am very pleased with the work you given your recent Soul Cinema line. Are there any plans for any more releases in this line in the near future? If so are you familar with A.I.P. film Abby? I think this would be a great addition to the line as it has been bootlegged for years and has never been given a home video release. Also, are any of these titles coming out in the near future? Dead and Buried, Squirm, Deranged and Vampire Lovers?

[MGM] Yes, you will see more Soul Cinema titles. They are great. Thanks for your interest and we will look in to Abby. The other titles you mentioned are slated for a 2002 release.

[Scott_J] Thanks for coming. Is there currently a release date for UHF? Will there be any supplements included on the disc? I know that Weird Al, the star of the movie, has approached your studio to help put together a special edition, including commentary, deleted scenes, etc. The last I heard (unofficially) was your studio didn't show any interest in his offer. Has that changed? Thank you.

[MGM] Are you his agent? Seriously, this titles is scheduled for 2002 and we are considering supplemental material and working with Al.

[Jeff_Swindoll] Hello again. English subtitles-rumor is that they will become standard again but with what disc does this begin and why is it policy not to do 1.66:1 anamorphic?. Looking forward to the Corman commentaries on the Poe discs--more please :)

[MGM] The English subtitles issue is something we have been kicking around. We have not made a final decision on policy but thank you for your input. With regard to 1:66, we must force side-bar matte for an anamorphic transfer and we have chosen not to do this. We feel the movies play best in their OAR.

[Vince_Maskeeper] I don't have a question per se, rather a suggestion I'm sure the majority in this room share (and hopefully many will echo). We would absolutely, 100%, prefer QUALITY over Quantity. I know MGM plans to release thousands of titles this year; but I would rather see titles like Spinal Tap released with the real subtitles (the player generated titles look horrid!), would rather see all films given Anamorphic enhancement, rather see an end to rehashed LD transfers, etc. The bottom line is most see MGM as the lowest quality MAJOR studio doing DVD, and I don't think anyone would argue with a slower release schedule of titles if they were given utmost care and respect! End of non-anomorphic titles, and not allowing product like the errored Bonds or the subtitle-less Spinal Tap slip through QC. Thanks for coming!

[MGM] To answer Vince's question. Our philosophy is tor release as many titles as possible for as broad an audience. This precludes doing 16x9 transfers for every title, however, we are doing over 70% new transfers on our release schedule for 2001 and we believe this shows our commitment to releasing the best quality product with the materials at hand. As to the subtitle screw ups.....to quote Artie Fufkin "Just kick my ass".

[Olfin] When will LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT be released?

[MGM] This title will be released in August 2001.

[Olfin] will it be the US unrated version?

[MGM] Last House will be released with a new transfer in the R rated version.

[jimmy_m] Thanks very much for being here tonight. On Her Majesty's Secret Service and License to Kill both have acknowledged problems, and are going to be correctly repressed. However, MGM Customer Support has said that no replacements will be issued to customers that have defective copies because the problems are "much smaller in scale." Regardless of the scale, it is not being presented the way it is supposed to be. I was wondering how you could not replace something that is not as it should be? (Not to sound too negative though. I do enjoy everything else about the 007 discs! Well, except for not using the original poster art on the jackets...) Thanks.

[MGM] .Yes. We do plan to fix both titles - OHMSS & License to Kill. These are in progress now, however, we did not recall the discs. The new discs will not be available for another 6 months. And we will work with our customer service group to make sure they are aware.

[AdamLenhardt] Ok, first, thanks for joining us Mr. Thomas, Ms. Moore. My question also relates to certain Bond titles. I also find it curious that there are DVD subtitles are opposed to the ones found on the theatrical prints. Could you please clarify on why this is done when the original titles would be easier? to use, I mean.

[MGM] We do this to avoid a double-subtitle situation. If we use the subtitles which are burned into the film element, when a consumer watches a disc... in another language, there would be many different lines of text appearing on the screen. This way, depending on what subtitle stream is chosen, only one language of subtitles will ever appear. Seems like a better choice for the consumer.

[StevenA] Something that concerns me greatly (mentioned and answered briefly above re: Spinal Tap and in the last question), is your general approach to subtitles (not foreign languages or closed captions, but "burned in" titles which were part of the original film). Your answer above presents a real problem for films in which these titles are crucial. For example, ANNIE HALL has really been ruined because one of the funniest scenes has been transferred without the burned in film subtitles which express Woody and Annie's true thoughts (instead there are video closed captions which say "Thinking...:" before each line, which spoils the joke). I think we would all prefer you to use prints with the original FILM subtitles attached so this type of error is avoided; and can ANNIE HALL please, please, please be fixed? Also, the MANHATTAN error mentioned earlier is another genuine problem with the Woody set: check the restaurant interior scene early in the film against the LD: one character is completely cropped out on the DVD!!

[MGM] Since the Spinal Tap fiasco, we have implemented various QC steps to avoid this type of error happening again. We don't have any plans to reissue Annie Hall...in the near term. I will look at the Manhattan scene you have described. Thanks.

[Michael_Boyd] What's going on with the release of Casino Royale? I'd love to have a 5.1 isolated score. I'm a huge Bacharach fan and own it on CD and Vinyl and would love to have it on DVD! And is Whats New Pussycat MGMs property these days?

[MGM] Casino is on our release schedule for '02. As for isolated scores, there are BIG music clearance problems with these scores that all studios are struggling with. Regarding Pussy Cat, this is no longer our title.

[Greg_P] Hi MGM, thanks for coming tonight. Any news on releasing The Sure Thing?? Any chance for supplements with Rob Reiner, John Cusack or Anthony Edwards ?? Thanks!

[MGM] We also LOVE this title! We're trying desperately to secure elements from the rights holder as we type. We even have Rob Reiner's interest to work with us on the disc. We hope we can resolve all of the legal obstacles to make a big splash in '02.

[Matt_Stevens] Thanks for showing. You gave LA FEMME NIKITA a terrific 16x9 transfer, but remixed the horrid English dubbed track into 5.1 instead of the original French track and worse, used the dubbed script for the subtitles instead of the proper French translation... DUB-titles are terrible... Now I ave a DVD Inever watch. I stick to the LD. How did this happen? And can the subtitles be fixed? The film deserves this, as the dub-titles are just heart breakingly bad.

[MGM] We acknowledge that we made an error in our 5.1 decision. There are talks of revisiting this but a final decision has not yet been made. We do not feel the subtitles are as bad as you do, but if we do fix the audio decision, we will change the subtitles at the same time.

[BenMotley] Hi thanks for coming. In regard to Hammer to titles...Which titles does MGM still have the rights to, and what are your plans in releasing them?

[MGM] Which titles are you interested in? done

[BenMotley] Well, all of them. My list that I think you have rights to are: Hands of the Ripper, Twins of Evil, and Vampire Circus.

[MGM] We're looking into all of them now. We will have more news later. These are more obscure titles and the elements are more difficult to locate but, we will release them if we find them. Thanks.

[RobertCrawford] Are you going to release Stanley Kramer's Inherit the Wind, The Defiant Ones, and Judgement at Nuremberg? Please release your titles anamorphic!

[MGM] Yes.

[Dexter_Jettster] Hello! Thanks for being here. Any chance of reissuing two of the most underrated movies of the 90's--Leaving Las Vegas and The Usual Suspects? I'd love to see Special Editions for these. . . ANAMORPHIC PLEASE! Thanks!

[MGM] Usual Suspect will be a special edition release in 2002. No plans for LLV yet.

[RichardSharpe] Hi MGM - thanks for sharing your time with us this evening. Another Bond question... could you please let us know what your plans are for the Bond films, now that you've discontinued them? Do you have plans to re-release them in the future? If so would they be the same editions already released?

[MGM] We do not have any plans that we are ready to share. We will let you know when this changes.

[MarkMcLeod] Do you have a planned release yet for both Bill & Ted movies? Also will both films be SE or movie-only? - Thanks.

[MGM] Yes. Both B&T movies will be released in the near future.

[Tim_Gerdes] I want to thank you for releasing the Woody Allen films to DVD. Apart from the already mentioned problems, I think they have been great. I know Wave 2 was just announced for June. When can we expect Wave 3?

[MGM] Look for them this fall in a retail store near you!! Yippee!

[MatthewChmiel] Is the Killer Klowns From Outer Space DVD going to come out this Summer as said by many sources (including The Digital Bits)? Also, if it is coming out this Summer, can you slip us any details on the disc?

[MGM] The sources are correct and we will include some special material.

[MarkPfeiffer] Thank you for coming tonight and being very forthright with your answers. The packaging for the Robyn Hitchcock concert film "Storefront Hitchcock", directed by Jonathan Demme, states that the film has been modified from its original aspect ratio. And indeed, the credits are letterboxed to accomodate the four different camera shots. I have not been able to determine with 100% certainty the OAR, so is this truly a compromised ratio or a mislabelling? If cropped, why do so for this title? On a completely opposite note, I'd like to throw my two cents in for the Grace Kelly films "High Society" and "The Swan". I should point out, the end credits are letterboxed.

[MGM] Mark, this is a good question. The feature was released in the standard format, but we had to letterbox the credits in order to avoid cutting off any letters. The 2 titles you mentiond are now owned by WB.

[Frank_Sesma] Also, I was wondering if you can comment on any plans for these excellent unreleased titles: a). The Hunger ('83DavidBowie,SusanSarandon OAR:2.35:1), b). and State of Grace (Gary Oldman, Ed Harris OAR:1.85:1), c). Deceiver('97) (TimRoth, Michael Rooker OAR:2.35:1).

[MGM] Frank - just the title questions, all 3 titles are scheduled for 2002.

[HarryWarden] I am mostly interested in horror dvds. I appreciate the cheaper prices as not all dvds need special editions but... do you have any plans for any special edition horror dvds with lots of extras such as Last House or others? Also I will not buy LAST HOUSE if it's the same as the VHS.

[MGM] Look for special editions of some of our strongest horror titles in 4th quarter of this year....and we will release a few in 2002 as well.

[Will_K] Hi guys. Thanks for your recent DR. PHIBES DVD's. I'd like to know if MGM is planning or considering a new version of MOONSTRUCK (i.e. Widescreen)...a special edition of GONE WITH THE WIND, and THE BURNING(uncut version preferably!). Thanks.

[MGM] At this point, no. Gone with the Wind is now a WB titles. The Burning is under consideration for 2002.

[StephenR] First of all, thanks for braving the chat; it should be very beneficial to us all. My question: Are you guys planning releases for any older Ingmar Bergman classics, such as "Persona" or "Passion of Anna"? If so, are there going to be any special editions?

[MGM] Stephen, we are planning to release both Bergman films, but we are not ready to announce any details.

[Alex_Yang] MGM Thanks for coming to the chat tonight. My apologies if this question has already been asked...Will you be planning on re-releasing Chitty Chitty Bang Bang as a special release, with Anamorphic transfer soon? I'm a huge fan of this movie and would LOVE to see this get the treatment it so RICHLY deserves as one of my childhood classics...

[MGM] Yes, we are looking at this title for the future (2002).

[Ike] Will Blow Up see release on DVD? Probably more appropriate, when it does, will it be given the treatment it deserves?

[MGM] To be honest, I am not sure what the status of this title is. I will follow up with Ron once I know the answer.

[RobLutter] Thanks for coming...just wanted to know...humor me...will the new RoboCop: SE feature the same x-rated cut as criterion's (amazing, fantastic, breathtaking, captivating...you should really look at some of their work :-) ) special edition release? also... when will MGM's commitment value to DVD go from 70% to 100%? anyways...a little creative criticism...thanks for coming!

[MGM] We are releasing the original theatrical version of Robocop this year. We will revisit the director's version for a future release. done. The 70% was a number that reflected titles we needed to do a transfer on. Many of our titles are in pristine condition, and require no transfer. Thanks.

[Zam_Wessell] Hey guys, what are your plans for The Silence of the Lambs, now that the other versions are out of print? Thanks.

[MGM] We are very excited about our upcoming Silence release. It has a lot of new and spectacular material which I think you will be pleased with.

[Jim_K] Thanks for the upcomming MAGNIFICENT SEVEN SE. Any more classic westerns in the pipeline? Specifically Anthony Mann's MAN OF THE WEST.

[MGM] Man of the West is on the schedule but we have not made a decision on supplemental material. We are considering a few of our Western classics for special edition treatment.

[Justin_S] Hi, do you have any plans to release David Cronenberg's classic SCANNERS to special edition DVD?

[MGM] Not at this time.

[Neil-S-Bulk] Hi and thanks for coming! I understand you have the rights to at least 3 Brian DePalma films (Carrie, Dressed to Kill and Blow Out). Any chance of a box set of special editions? Anamorphoic would be a must.

[MGM] Look for special editions this year....both (did I hint at something) are anamorphic. We are not planning a boxed set at this point.

[RonEastman] Many of us hosers at HTF would like to play a proper game of beerhunter. What are your plans for Strange Brew?

[MGM] Strange Brew is a WB title now.

[Peter_M_Fitzgerald] Thanks for tonight's chat opportunity, and thank you for being the ones to finally restore the original music to DR. PHIBES RISES AGAIN. Ideal "Midnite Movie" DVDs would be 3 terrific British sci-fi/horror gems from the Orion/AIP library that you should currently own: THE UNEARTHLY STRANGER ('63), BURN WITCH BURN ('62) and INVASION ('66)...any current plans for them? Also, any DVD plans for 2 widescreen action/adventure classics from the Nelson/Embassy library, ZULU ('64) and SANDS OF THE KALAHARI ('65)? Love your pricing structure and look forward to many future releases from you.

[MGM] The 3 horror films are not on the schedule for 2001 but will be released in the future. We are working on a new tranfer of Zulu and have not discussed the plans for The Kalahari yet. Thanks for comment on pricing!

[Brian_W_Ralston] Thanks for being here tonight MGM! What a great opportunity for feedback! Not to beat a dead horse with the subtitle and quality control issues, but will we be able to see future MGM DVDs with these details corrected on the first release? (For example, will the future release of Rock IV have the Russian translations (subtitles) included on the DVD?)... You had menitioned that it was not good for the consumer to have to watch two subtitles on the screen at the same time if the "burned in" transfer is used....but, the long process of having to return a DVD to MGM for a corrected version (when it should have been checked and corrected in the first place), is also not a pleasant experience for the consumer. And please do anamorphic transfers for your DVDs. This will ensure MGM has a product that stands the test of time and the picture looks great long into the future with Widescreen HDTV sets. Thank you again for being here tonight. It means a lot to us!

[MGM] Thanks Brian. We are happy to be here. With re: to the subtitle issue....we try to make sure that our customers are pleased with their purchases of MGM titles, and are not required to make any unnecessary trips to the store...that said, all the retransfers we will do this year will be in 16x9, when applicable (some films simply don't require this treatment).

[Bill_Kelley] The black bars on the left and right for the 1.66.1 is hidden on 16:9 TVs safe zone. All of the other studios are using the enhanement. What can you do to help?

[MGM] Our transfer team is not here with us (SHAME!), but we can get back to you on this.

[Matt_H] Hi MGM! Thanks for being here! My question is this: Are there any plans to release Let It Be?? I really enjoyed the Yellow Submarine DVD you put out and would love to see Let It Be on DVD as well!

[MGM] Do we wish we COULD release it...it is not ours, unfortunately.

[John_Berggren] I am very pleased with titles such as James Bond and "Six Degrees of Seperation", but poor & non-anamorphic transfers on titles like "Longtime Companion" have led me to choose (with dissapointment) not to buy. Any word on an S.E. of "Jeffrey" with full anamorphic transfer? Thank you for coming

[MGM] Sorry, but to commit to do a SE on Jeffrey would not be a good business decision. Unfortunately, films like Jeffrey do not have broad appeal, and we simply can't commit the resources.

[SteffM] Hi MGM. I wanted to ask about the other - and certainly more deserving, Ron!!! - Stanley Kramer titles, but Robert Crawford did. So, how come MGM does not include French language tracks on A-L-L its movies for us Quebecers over here? For instance, the latest batch of 007 discs was an true insult for your French-Canadian market. Is this something that will be corrected on future titles and re-releases? Thanx.

[MGM] Good question Stef....unfortunately the Bond titles fell into a period where we decided not to include French tracks due to trans-shipment problems to Europe. As I'm sure you all know, this is a very big problem. We have since decided to include French (when possible).

[RichardS] Any chance of fixing the DVD Bond film OHMSS because of missing footage as compared to laser discand a roadshow of The Alamo on DVD? Thanks

[MGM] As we previously disclosed, we are redoing OHMSS but it will not be available for at least 6 months. We'll let The Forum know when new discs are available. As you may know, from Bob Harris's chat last week, film elements for The Alamo are in tough shape. A restoration of this film is not likely for the next 12 months.

[Joey_Nazzari] Thanks for coming MGM -This question will probably get a laugh but we need a SW question, and my kid brother asks me all the time about this. Any plans to release Ewoks Battle for Endor?-I believe MGM has the video rights to this.

[MGM] This is a great title for kids but unfortunately we lost the rights about 2 years ago. I'm not sure who owns it now.

[Ron] Have any plans for Hammer titles, such as THE VAMPIRE LOVERS and HANDS OF THE RIPPER?

[MGM] Some of the Hammer titles will be released in 2002, however we are having a difficult time locating the elements and confirming all legal issues.

[GarySayer] Hi thanks for coming MGM. Any news on The Fog or Motel Hell?

[MGM] Look for The Fog this year. Motel Hell is TBD.

[PrenticeCotham] Hello...thanks for coming. Any plans for Milcho Manchevski's Before the Rain?

[MGM] Not at this time. done.

[RJDunnill] Hello - thanks for coming! Are there any plans to release The Loved One to DVD? And thank you for releasing such a broad variety of catalog material to the premiere home video format!

[MGM] It's not on the schedule at this point. It IS a terrific film and our plans are not finalized yet. Thanks for the compliment - there are some great titles releasing.

[MarkWilliams] Hi MGM. What are your reasons for releasing Last House on the Left R-Rated? Surely this will deter sales, especially considering that consumers can get hold of a (relatively) uncut DVD from France or Holland.

[MGM] We decided to release the R-rated version which is the most broadly appealing cut... and it is unfortunate that we can not accomodate everyone's wishes.

[WernerH] Why no DD 5.1 on Octopussy? six track prints were done in '83 I thought. Any interest in DTS on DVD anytime soon??. You did laser disc DTS years back.Thanks.

[MGM] Up until recently....we have not aggressively pursued 5.1 on older films, including special editions. However, we have since commited to creating 5.1 tracks for all special editions and wherever we feel it is appropriate. With re: to DTS...look for upcoming releases.

[MatttS] Hello MGM! Could you tell us what will be on your upcoming DVD of The Howling? Extras would be great, even if from the LD, also...please, do you have the rights to Howling II? Thanks a lot!

[MGM] First....to make sure everyone understands....just because supplemental material was included on previous releases through other entities does not automatically mean MGM can include these items on our discs. We are often unable to obtain legal rights to do so for a variety of reasons. Info on The Howling is forthcoming...stay tuned.

[JeffReis] Aside from the Corman commentaries can we expect extras (esp commentary) on other upcoming Midnight Movies discs? THANKS for this great line and the wonderful pricing on them...And any news on Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid or Duck You Sucker?

[MGM] We will have supplemental material on some upcoming Midnite Movie titles (look for Killer Klowns....). No plans for Pat Garrett titles yet.

[MarkWilliams] Any chance you'll ease up on the edge enhanement? Blue Velvet was a nightmare!

[MGM] Mark, we disagree with you on the Blue Velvet call, and quite frankly, this is the first complaint we have heard. Additionally, this has been well-reviewed.

[DerekGermano] I came in a bit late, will PIT AND THE PENDULUM be 16:9 enhanced? If not, it should be. Also, will we be seeing THE COMEDY OF TERRORS, THE HAUNTED PALACE, THE RAVEN, THE MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH or THE TOMB OF LIEGIA any time soon and will these titles be 16:9 enhanced?

[MGM] Thanks for the advice, Derek. As we have already covered, Pit is not 16x9, but is in OAR. Many of the remaining list will be released in the next 12 mos.

[PaulW] Thanks for the time to chat - I don't know if this has been covered while I was out: My question involves the first two installments of the Dollars Trilogy from Sergio Leone. Is there any chance to get Fistful of Dollars and For A Few Dollars More re-released with Anamorphic transfers? I think Leone's stunning composition screams for anamorphic if possible.

[MGM] Paul, we don't have plans in the next year to re-release them, but I agree that these would benefit from a new look. They are already in nice OAR transfers, though.

[phil_choi] what's the status on Witness for the Prosecution?

[MGM] Scheduled for release later this year.

[Chad_C] Hi, great to read about The Vampire Lovers in '02, will this be a "Midnite Movie"? Will there be any extras and will it be anamorphic? And in regards to other classic Hammer films such as Countess Dracula, Twins Of Evil, and Vampire Circus would you consider selling the rights to Anchor Bay since the elements are difficult for you to track down? MGM has 8 Hammer films in their library and it would be a real shame if they are on the back burner. Anchor Bay has released many outstanding Hammer dvds with commentary tracks and 16x9 enhancement with 9 more coming this summer. Thank you.

[MGM] Chad, thanks for your thoughts...these films have a limited appeal, and it IS a bit of a stretch to call Countess Dracula a classic...BUT, as we have said before, we will release it if we can find it. We will NOT license to anyone, including Anchor Bay (although they do good work).

[DanR] Just wanted to say "Thanks" for coming; it means a lot to us. Also wanted to throw my hat in the ring for DTS. No excuse for not including DTS wherever possible! Please bring on the DTS (like Fox, Universal, Dreamworks, etc are)!!! No question; just some feedback. Please do comment if necessary.

[MGM] Dan, Sorry I have to disagree on the DTS question...current installed base is less than 3% of total households, and DTS tracks take up a LOT of space on discs, and DD AC-3 is a really good sound format. There is no good reason to spend much time or $$ on DTS tracks.

[CraigMc] With regard to the new Stargate SG-1 releases, will it be possible to get replacement slicks for those who already own the first volume so the coverart matches up to the new cover art?

[MGM] No plans to release new cover art for those.

[ChrisMolanphy] Hey there! Can you tell us anything about the forthcoming Princess Bride SE? Content, release date, new transfer if any. (For the record, releasing the bare-bones edition w/o notifying people an SE was coming annoyed a few people.) Also, one other Beatles title: The Compleat Beatles. Is it still MGM's? It's been out of print for awhile. Thanks.

[RonEpstein] Yes, that's a BIG HTF Forum request also: The Compleat Beatles

[MGM] Princess Bride...Special Edition,16x9, many extras, later this year. Compleat Beatles is no longer ours. As the DVD market grows, you can expect all studios to revisit bare bones releases for SE treatment.

[RonEpstein] MGM, who has THE COMPLEAT BEATLES now?

[MGM] It is tied up in legal dispute among several parties.

[DaveAnderson] Hi MGM! Thanks for coming! Past laserdisc supplements: PLEASE, PLEASE include these on your DVD releases when possible. Image owns Escape From New York commentary, but not included on the DVD. Please license extras from Image for Fog and Howling DVDs - they own the supps. Any plans to include those? People don't mind paying a bit extra to get the extras....:) Thanks!

[MGM] Hi Dave....we truly try to include everything we can get our hands on... but as I stated before...it's not always possible to negotiate 3rd party deals with previous distributors.

[MGM] while we are waiting.....seriously people...it took 14 months to negotiate materials for upcoming SE release (Platoon).

[BrianHarnish] MGM -- A sincere *thank you* for participating in this chat! As for my question: When will seasons 2, 3, & 4 box sets of Stargate SG-1 be released? I'm anxiously looking forward to these after the release of the season 1 set. Thank you for releasing SG-1 on DVD! =)

[MGM] We are waiting to see how the first season does but are expecting to release Season 2 around the same time next year.

[J_Roberts] I apologize if these were asked about earlier (I was late arriving).. Are there any plans for Wim Wender's "Wings of Desire" and Bergman's "Fanny and Alexander".. Thanks for coming tonight

[MGM] Yes for both...pending some legal tangles.

[glevesque] hi MGM and thanks for all.! Are there any plans to release "fearless vampire killers" aka "dance of the vampire" a masterpiece of Roman Polanski.

[MGM] No plans at this time.

[Thomas_Hart] Thanks for coming MGM! Anyway, this year (and last) seems to be the year of Mario Bava. What is the outlook for "Planet of the Vampires"? And if you need any help, Tim Lucas at Video Watchdog does a great audio commentary. Plus any news on "The Outer Limits" (old & new)?

[MGM] Planet of the Vampires is slated for release this year. The OuterLimits is under consideration.

[DanBrecher] Thanks for being here. You may or may not be aware of many forum members take on 5.1 re-masters. While none of us mind them, we welcome the additional inclusion of a film's original soundtrack when possible. With that in mind, will the upcoming Terminator Special Ed release retain an option of its original mono soundtrack? Thanks again, its 5am here and your input has been worth staying up for.

[MGM] Yes, MGM has a new policy as you will notice on all 2001 SE release...to include both the new 5.1 remixes as well as the original theatrical audio.

[DAVE_B] Hi guys, I got here late so I'm not sure if these got asked, but is there a chance "Running Scared" with Billy Crystal and Gregory Hines will be released soon and with an anamorphic transfer? Also, will all the "Rocky" films in the box set be getting anamorphic transfers or just the first movie? Thanks a lot for coming tonight.

[MGM] Running Scared is under consideration for next year. The Rocky box-set is a mixed bag, some are anamorphic.

[EricDiaz] hey MGM, thanks for coming! Not sure if this was asked, but is Wild at Heart and the Hunger coming?

[MGM] Wild at Heart is not our title. The Hunger is under consideration for a future release.

[RonEpstein] I want to take this opportunity on behalf of Parker, the members and myself to thank MGM for coming here tonight. You spent 3 hours and put yourselves on the line to do this chat. I really feel that MGM is concerned about improving their stand in the DVD community. Thanks to Blake Thomas & Alyssa Moore as well as Steve Wegner! You folks are welcome back ANYTIME.

[MGM] Thanks to everyone for tonights chat. We hope that you are satisfied with what we've had to say and we appreciate your comments and suggestions. We'll touch base with Ron on any outstanding answers and will be back for a chat again in the future. Have a great night.

Session Close: Tue Mar 06 23:00:57 2001

Copyright 2000-2001 Home Theater Forum. Reader may not modify, publish, transmit, participate in the transfer or sale or in any way exploit any of the content of transcript, in whole or in part, without the express prior written permission of the copyright holder.


E-mail the Bits!

Please visit our sponsors!
Don't #!@$ with the Monkey! Site designed for 800 x 600 resolution, using 16M colors and .gif 89a animation.
© 1997-2002 The Digital Bits, Inc., All Rights Reserved.
billhunt@thedigitalbits.com