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View Poll Results: Yea or Nay?
Anolis/i-catcher 1 11.11%
Koch 4 44.44%
NSM 1 11.11%
StudioCanal 3 33.33%
Turbine 1 11.11%
Warner Archive Collection (WAC) - Should It Remain? 5 55.56%
Wicked Vision 2 22.22%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 9. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 07-23-2022, 01:37 AM   #1
Ben_R Ben_R is offline
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Default Letís Talk About Boutiques.

Pottering around the forum it’s impossible not to notice the grumblings about boutiques, their releases and various resolutions when it all goes wrong.

It’s pretty much a given that every label will go through good and bad stages. Hopefully this thread can provide advice and discussion about all highs and lows.

Below is a list of current labels along with a few words with any known “idiosyncrasies” listed. Everything is up for debate so if you see something you disagree with in this OP feel free to mention it.


88 Films

- Early releases not too great as they were akin to 101 Films. Massively improved and much more consistent.

101 Films

- Never blind buy a release as there's a 50/50 chance that it's a poor encode.

Anime Limited

-

Arrow

-

British Film Institute (BFI)

-

Blue Underground

-

Criterion

- Encode issues, abundance of extras on releases.

Cult Films

- Never blind buy a release as there's a 50/50 chance that it's a poor encode.

Eureka

-

Flicker Alley

-

Imprint

-

Kino

- Encodes and framing issues. PQ, AQ & QC issues. Some discs have been replaced, others not.

Milestone Films

-

Mill Creek

- Never blind buy a release as there's a 50/50 chance that it's a poor encode.

MVD

-

Network

-

Plain Archive

-

Powerhouse

- Reliable true to source PQ, wealth of extras. Mistakes have happened previously and without fail were fixed.

Second Run

-

Second Sight

- Consistently good.

Shameless

- Never blind buy a release as there's a 50/50 chance that it's a poor encode.

Shout

-

Signal One

-

Synapse Films

-

Third Window Films

-

Twilight

-

Vinegar Syndrome

- Consistently good.

Warner Archive Collection (WAC)

- Consistently good but have minimal extras.

Last edited by Ben_R; 07-25-2022 at 06:38 PM.
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Old 07-23-2022, 01:56 AM   #2
drush9999 drush9999 is offline
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You missed
101 Films Mostly garbage
Shameless Shameful

As regards boutiques generally, in an ever diminishing market, I'll take whatever I can get for certain titles.
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Old 07-23-2022, 02:13 AM   #3
Hammerlover Hammerlover is offline
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Blue Underground Overall good PQ/QC. Only re-releasing back catalog titles though.
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Old 07-23-2022, 02:33 AM   #4
Panson Panson is offline
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Quit buying them.
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Old 07-23-2022, 09:47 AM   #5
thuata thuata is offline
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There have been a few serious issues with Powerhouse, but in almost all cases replacement discs were available. The only exception I can think of is The Legacy, which a number of people have reported as having glitches and errors (sometimes unreadable entirely), but I think that the problem was deemed too uncommon to warrant a replacement.
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Old 07-23-2022, 10:04 AM   #6
Marv Inc. Marv Inc. is offline
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I think Arrow peaked and then got a little complacent. Had some staffing changes, Sold a chunk of the company to Zavi and had more staffing changes.

88 has worked hard to improve its self while still managing to stay relatively small like Second Sight.

Criterion are Criterion. They've been around the longest and have the backing of lots of directors and studio's.
I do believe they think they know best and don't listen to consumer criticism of there encodes.

I wouldn't class Studio Canal as a boutique label myself since there a huge company with offices all over the world.
While they own and release alot of cult and classic films. They don't give them the same level of care as other labels hence there teal and yellow restorations that get passed.

Last edited by Marv Inc.; 07-23-2022 at 10:27 AM.
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Old 07-23-2022, 12:35 PM   #7
Yami Yami is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marv Inc. View Post
I wouldn't class Studio Canal as a boutique label myself since there a huge company with offices all over the world.
While they own and release alot of cult and classic films. They don't give them the same level of care as other labels hence there teal and yellow restorations that get passed.
Worth noting though that this is due to the practice of the professional restoration houses and not really anything to do with Canal themselves. When Criterion or Eureka get a restoration that's been passed through Ritrovato or Eclair they also just release it as is. I think Arrow is the only label I know of that has went to the effort of re-doing the colour on the restorations they've received (compare Arrow release of The Tree of Wooden Clogs to the Criterion).
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Old 07-23-2022, 12:41 PM   #8
ronand ronand is offline
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I suppose BFI would qualify as a boutique label
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Old 07-23-2022, 12:49 PM   #9
blurayisnice blurayisnice is offline
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Milestone Films are great too!
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Old 07-23-2022, 12:55 PM   #10
Ste7en Ste7en is offline
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Signal One - Love (Eric the Viking was rectified)
Third Window Films - Love (every release a gem)
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Old 07-23-2022, 01:06 PM   #11
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Second Run is a great wee label
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Old 07-23-2022, 01:09 PM   #12
rapta rapta is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yami View Post
Worth noting though that this is due to the practice of the professional restoration houses and not really anything to do with Canal themselves. When Criterion or Eureka get a restoration that's been passed through Ritrovato or Eclair they also just release it as is. I think Arrow is the only label I know of that has went to the effort of re-doing the colour on the restorations they've received (compare Arrow release of The Tree of Wooden Clogs to the Criterion).
Indicator altered the colour for Buffalo Bill, but I can't remember if that was in-house or done through the licensor. They certainly take their time to make it right on certain titles like Arrow have.

Second Sight are really impressing these days, but my only frustration is their choice of titles which I'm quite often baffled by. Titles they would've released as a simple standard edition are getting the full lavish treatment which is possibly overkill in many cases (especially contemporary titles which don't have a huge cult following). Ironically I generally preferred their older choices of titles, but their attention to detail has got better and better. Walkabout was where they knocked it out of the park, and they weren't even doing UHD yet (my favourite release that year).
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Old 07-23-2022, 01:23 PM   #13
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The only one that I've any respect left for is Third Window Films. It's been my favourite label for many years, and I hope it continues to be. I value honesty more than anything else, and Adam has been that in all things, afaik. Every other label I've had dealings with have lied about their actions, either publicly or directly (in email queries).

Last edited by Faustus; 07-23-2022 at 01:33 PM.
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Old 07-23-2022, 02:18 PM   #14
filmlover22 filmlover22 is offline
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i am not even sure how one would rank these companies. It is so subjective. It is a combination of # and type of releases, genres/decades covered, PQ, AQ, Supplements, Packaging, pricing, truth in advertising, and - if you buy direct - customer service. Not sure we would ever get general consensus on this.

I would also add the QC seems to be problem with practically every company.

FWIW, I would put Indicator, Eureka and Kino at the top, and Criterion and VCI at the bottom, with everyone else in the middle to be hotly debated. Indeed, my putting Criterion at the bottom can (and has been) hotly debated on the Criterion thread. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and that is mine.
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Old 07-23-2022, 02:31 PM   #15
yoloswegmaster420 yoloswegmaster420 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yami View Post
Worth noting though that this is due to the practice of the professional restoration houses and not really anything to do with Canal themselves. When Criterion or Eureka get a restoration that's been passed through Ritrovato or Eclair they also just release it as is. I think Arrow is the only label I know of that has went to the effort of re-doing the colour on the restorations they've received (compare Arrow release of The Tree of Wooden Clogs to the Criterion).
That's absolutely not true at all. Criterion have regraded Ritrovato restorations before, like the Bruce Lee films and Chaplin's The Kid, as well as taking the 4K scan from them and doing their own color grading (e.g. A Brighter Summer Day). Arrow have also released films that were restored by Ritrovato/Eclair and left their color signature as is, like the Claude Chabrol films, Property is No Longer a Theft, Your Vice Is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key, the Ringo double pack, The Blood-Stained Butterfly, etc.
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Old 07-23-2022, 02:46 PM   #16
BDBert BDBert is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marv Inc. View Post
Criterion are Criterion. They've been around the longest and have the backing of lots of directors and studio's.
I do believe they think they know best and don't listen to consumer criticism of there encodes.
I'm always annoyed when I put in one of their discs and don't see a "subtitles" menu option. And then I realize I have to use the one from my player.
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Old 07-23-2022, 02:54 PM   #17
wabrit wabrit is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knuckles96 View Post
Second Run is a great wee label
Couldn't agree more, and I'd look at this whole question from a different angle to the PQ/QC one originally posted. I'm less interested in that than whether the label releases films I'm interested in; sure I like a good transfer but as someone who cut their cinematic teeth in repertory cinemas and 16mm film clubs I guess I'm a little more forgiving in such matters.

My current favourite labels: Second Run, Fun City Editions, Criterion, BFI, Indicator, Cult, New Wave, Warner Archive.

Arrow lost me when they ditched their Academy range (although I still pick up titles which would have been candidates); being less fond of silents and HK stuff Eureka has dropped off the list too.

I'm still sad that Criterion discontinued their Eclipse DVD label; that was a treasure trove of relative obscurities.
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Old 07-23-2022, 02:54 PM   #18
Yami Yami is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yoloswegmaster420 View Post
That's absolutely not true at all. Criterion have regraded Ritrovato restorations before, like the Bruce Lee films and Chaplin's The Kid, as well as taking the 4K scan from them and doing their own color grading (e.g. A Brighter Summer Day). Arrow have also released films that were restored by Ritrovato/Eclair and left their color signature as is, like the Claude Chabrol films, Property is No Longer a Theft, Your Vice Is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key, the Ringo double pack, The Blood-Stained Butterfly, etc.
Fair enough. You wonder why they've bothered with some and not other egregious examples then.
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Old 07-23-2022, 03:08 PM   #19
oddbox83 oddbox83 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by filmlover22 View Post
It is so subjective.....VCI at the bottom....
That's one example where I think there is a general consensus - VCI are the bottom of the barrel with staggering regularity.
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Old 07-23-2022, 06:42 PM   #20
LAPrice LAPrice is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thuata View Post
There have been a few serious issues with Powerhouse, but in almost all cases replacement discs were available. The only exception I can think of is The Legacy, which a number of people have reported as having glitches and errors (sometimes unreadable entirely), but I think that the problem was deemed too uncommon to warrant a replacement.
My (Ltd edition) copy froze about 40 mins from the end. They sent me a replacement of the standard release.
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