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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
AUJ SEE: Stop version madness and menu cheapness!

TheHutt
Gondor


Jul 25 2013, 1:01pm

Post #1 of 18 (1254 views)
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AUJ SEE: Stop version madness and menu cheapness! Can't Post

With the theatrical home video release of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey the audiences witnessed something unique. Whereas usually a title gets released with a similar cover design throughout the world, the amount of different cover artworks, package types and release dates for TH:AUJ was overwhelming and very distracting. The release date was somewhere between March (USA) and May (Australia, NZ) - more than a month's span! Also, almost each country had its own cover artwork as well as additional editions (4 steelbook editions in France alone!).

Despite this diversity in terms of packaging, the release per se made a rather cheap impression. The menu was just some uninspired collage with static subscreens, as opposed to the excellent LOTR TE DVD menus. Menus on non-US-releases were even worse: they had purple all-purpose buttons and Arial font on the menu points overlayed. The disc labels were simple black for the most countries AUJ was released in.


The Hobbit AUJ disc menu (non-US)

As far as the SEE is concerned, we already have an announcement for a UK steelbook box, which for me is a clear hint that Warner still has no idea how to market this film, and is likely to continue the same approach with a multitude of different editions, packagings etc.

If you remember the theatrical DVDs for "The Lord of the Rings": they all were quite similar in design. Also, they were released on a single day worldwide, even though the release was handled by many small release independent companies (as opposed to Warner who owns The Hobbit almost worldwide). They also had all the same menu designs.

As I think, the basic idea behind the menu and package design of LOTR TE / LOTR SEE on DVD was to give the audience a feeling of an "exquisite framing" for the content by assessing what the makers of the discs would like to see themselves. For instance, animated menus can be very annoying if you have to navigate through several screens of them, and have overlong transitions between these screens. On LOTR the transitions are still there but they are meticulously timed to be not intrusive. And the menus are done in such a stylish and elegant way that it is a joy just watching them.


The Fellowship of the Ring TE DVD Menu

Also, considering the package design: if anyone still owns the LOTR SEE DVD (as I do) - they are still a pleasure to hold in the hand, a truly elegant design made for collectors. (There was some difference between the normal SEE editions and Giftset SEE editions in Europe where the normal SEE was made of thinner cardboard - however, the design and the gold lettering were still the same). And the SEE is, in fact, per se targeted for collectors as opposed to the majority who is just happy with the TE.


So what I suggest:

There should be just one great design for the SEE, like it was the case with the LOTR SEE DVD editions. Or two variations of this design - for there should be a LOTR-like giftset as well. One which would deserve this name.
This package design should mirror the design of the available LOTR SEE DVDs (not the BluRays, mind ye - they suck in comparison).

The menus should reflect the same approach the LOTR SEEs used to have. Michael Pellerin is already involved in the documentaries - let him do the production for the SEE as well! The menus of the LOTR SEE DVDs were state of the art in terms of elegance, the amount of thought put into programming and the structuring of the bonus features. Although animated, the menus were never annoying.
Also, there should be no qualitative difference between English-language menus and non-English menus - that's cheap.




LOTR SEE DVD menu design: a piece of art in itself


By doing this, Warner would show:
- That the label actually knows what it does when it tries to market The Hobbit;
- That it recognizes that the target area for the SEE are collectors who mind such aspects;
- That it cares about giving the target audience what it wants: excellent content put into an exquisite framing;
- and that the label releasing the SEE is not cheap.

Russian LOTR & Hobbit Site: Henneth-Annun.ru


(This post was edited by TheHutt on Jul 25 2013, 1:02pm)


Shagrat
Gondor

Jul 25 2013, 1:07pm

Post #2 of 18 (524 views)
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I agree about the menus [In reply to] Can't Post

Can't see them letting up on the versions, with retailer and region exclusives and in particular steelbooks in rich demand now.

I honestly think the EE menus will be special, rather like the EE's. The cheap menus on the theatrical release are par for the course now with the major studios. Universal use the same layout for virtually all their catalogue titles, even those as prestigious as Jaws and Schindler's List. And I've seen that non-US menu on many Warner discs.


TheHutt
Gondor


Jul 25 2013, 1:15pm

Post #3 of 18 (513 views)
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Retailer exclusives are evil [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Can't see them letting up on the versions, with retailer and region exclusives and in particular steelbooks in rich demand now.

Agreed; however, where normal steelbooks look quite good and decent, so-called "jumbo steelbooks" (for >3 discs) are plain ugly. I would choose a stylish digipack (with Alan Lee paintings...) over a jumbo stellbook anytime!

As for retailer exclusives - a SEE box like LOTR had should be above such bickerings.

As for cheapo menus - they keep reminding me of the era of the beginning days of the DVD.

Russian LOTR & Hobbit Site: Henneth-Annun.ru


LordotRings93
Rohan


Jul 25 2013, 2:29pm

Post #4 of 18 (477 views)
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Not just TH [In reply to] Can't Post

But most of Warner's home releases are like this. A good example is the recently released Jack The Giant Slayer. Each cover was different: DVD, Blu-ray, and Blu-ray 3D, and the menu looks just like TH's menu with the buttons, except only they only incorporated a non-moving image, unlike TH where it has scenes cut together.

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Ham_Sammy
Tol Eressea

Jul 25 2013, 2:31pm

Post #5 of 18 (454 views)
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Good thoughts [In reply to] Can't Post

I agree with what you've said here. My biggest gripe was the hodgepodge of different styles and the terribly uninspired menus. WB has no clue sadly and I am pretty pessimistic about the design. This is why I will not be pre ordering. I am going to wait to see both what the design and the content is before I lay down any money.

Thank you for your questions, now go sod off and do something useful - Martin Freeman Twitter chat 3/1/13


sycorax82
Rohan

Jul 25 2013, 2:49pm

Post #6 of 18 (484 views)
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All this is the one reason I wish Disney was involved with these films [In reply to] Can't Post

Disney make the best DVDs and Blu-rays! That goes for all Pixar titles and anything from ABC TV (which they own). Everything has so much care and attention, they're reknowned for being the best studio for DVD authoring.

WB are gonna sell EEs by the bucketload so we can only hope they'll make the effort.


sauget.diblosio
Tol Eressea


Jul 25 2013, 2:58pm

Post #7 of 18 (431 views)
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I agree 100% [In reply to] Can't Post

with everything said here.


AlatarVinyamar
Lorien

Jul 25 2013, 3:02pm

Post #8 of 18 (431 views)
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Many of their releases are poor, however... [In reply to] Can't Post

WB are well capable of producing high quality tentpole releases at a price.

http://www.amazon.com/Wizards-Collection-Blu-ray-UltraViolet-Digital/dp/B007FSEAHY



Considering this is 8 movies on multiple formats, it probably works out cheaper than the SEEs of Lord of the Rings.


Bombadil
Half-elven


Jul 25 2013, 4:28pm

Post #9 of 18 (395 views)
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Bomby sooo Hopes that the Extended Edition [In reply to] Can't Post

is a Matched SET with LOTR's EE's

If Fact they were AWARDED something for their Designs back in 2004,


Arandir
Gondor


Jul 25 2013, 6:27pm

Post #10 of 18 (314 views)
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Likewise [In reply to] Can't Post

but it seems like I'm hoping for a miracle ... Frown

'A Tolkienist's Perspective' Blog


Arandir
Gondor


Jul 25 2013, 6:28pm

Post #11 of 18 (328 views)
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Great comparison (and contrast)! [In reply to] Can't Post

Agree that they should think about making the upcoming SEEs on the same high qualities as those of The Lord of the Rings.

'A Tolkienist's Perspective' Blog


DanielLB
Immortal


Jul 25 2013, 7:33pm

Post #12 of 18 (290 views)
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While I would love a boxset like this [In reply to] Can't Post

For TH and LOTR blu-ray extended edition DVDs, there is no way I'm spending 200 on a bunch of DVDs I already have. You can get LOTR and all in different formats for pennies in comparison these days.

Silly money. And not fair on the majority of people that can't afford it.

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AlatarVinyamar
Lorien

Jul 25 2013, 10:49pm

Post #13 of 18 (221 views)
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Actually its not that bad [In reply to] Can't Post

One the Amazon.co.uk site I picked it up for 120. At 31 discs, I think that's fair enough.


kbdiggity
Rivendell

Jul 26 2013, 2:47am

Post #14 of 18 (194 views)
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. [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm confused by a couple things.

-What is a SEE? I know we generally referred to EE in the past (extended editions.) Did I miss out on some Super Extended Editions or something?


-I saw the first guy talking about the LoTR theatrical DVDs. People actually bought those? ToRN let us know months ahead of time that the Extended Editions for LoTR were coming. Plus I remember a fair bit of outrage about how New Line actually included a trailer for the Extended Editions on the DVDs for the Theatrical Editions.


TheHutt
Gondor


Jul 26 2013, 6:06am

Post #15 of 18 (170 views)
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SEE [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I'm confused by a couple things.

-What is a SEE? I know we generally referred to EE in the past (extended editions.) Did I miss out on some Super Extended Editions or something?


-I saw the first guy talking about the LoTR theatrical DVDs. People actually bought those? ToRN let us know months ahead of time that the Extended Editions for LoTR were coming. Plus I remember a fair bit of outrage about how New Line actually included a trailer for the Extended Editions on the DVDs for the Theatrical Editions.


Yes, the SEE was the special term back in the day, referring to the LOTR Special Extended Editions.

The theatrical DVDs were bought by quite many people. The SEEs had excellent bonus, but the TEs had the trailers.

Russian LOTR & Hobbit Site: Henneth-Annun.ru


kbdiggity
Rivendell

Jul 26 2013, 6:09am

Post #16 of 18 (166 views)
Shortcut
. [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To

In Reply To
I'm confused by a couple things.

-What is a SEE? I know we generally referred to EE in the past (extended editions.) Did I miss out on some Super Extended Editions or something?


-I saw the first guy talking about the LoTR theatrical DVDs. People actually bought those? ToRN let us know months ahead of time that the Extended Editions for LoTR were coming. Plus I remember a fair bit of outrage about how New Line actually included a trailer for the Extended Editions on the DVDs for the Theatrical Editions.


Yes, the SEE was the special term back in the day, referring to the LOTR Special Extended Editions.

The theatrical DVDs were bought by quite many people. The SEEs had excellent bonus, but the TEs had the trailers.



I was on this site when the Extended Editions were first announced, when this site gave us advanced notice of each new or extended scene, and when the first spoilers for FoTR Extended Edition started popping up. I honestly don't remember the acronym SEE.


(This post was edited by kbdiggity on Jul 26 2013, 6:10am)


TheHutt
Gondor


Jul 26 2013, 6:57am

Post #17 of 18 (160 views)
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Well, there was one anyway [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To

In Reply To

Yes, the SEE was the special term back in the day, referring to the LOTR Special Extended Editions.

The theatrical DVDs were bought by quite many people. The SEEs had excellent bonus, but the TEs had the trailers.



I was on this site when the Extended Editions were first announced, when this site gave us advanced notice of each new or extended scene, and when the first spoilers for FoTR Extended Edition started popping up. I honestly don't remember the acronym SEE.


Well, there was one anyway. :)
It actually stands on the cover: "Special Extended DVD Edition"

Russian LOTR & Hobbit Site: Henneth-Annun.ru


TheHutt
Gondor


Jul 28 2013, 3:09pm

Post #18 of 18 (92 views)
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This article as a guest article on TORN [In reply to] Can't Post

http://www.theonering.net/...-and-menu-cheapness/

Russian LOTR & Hobbit Site: Henneth-Annun.ru

 
 

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