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Posted: 12 Aug 2012, 22:04 

Independence Day: ID4 (1996) [0411885]

The Movie:
You are advised not to discharge your firearms at the alien spacecraft - it might inadvertently trigger interstellar war.
With the special effects boom in the mid to late 1990s, the disaster film reared its ugly head once more, with such extravaganzas as Dante's Peak, Armageddon, Deep Impact, Volcano, and my favorite of them all - Independence Day.
Mixing the disaster elements of toppling cities and large explosions with the classic sci fi plot of an alien invasion, Independence Day represents all I enjoy in film making. With a stellar cast featuring Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Judd Hirsch, and Robert Loggia an alien invasion has never hit the screen with such style and splendor.
Wait - what the hell am I telling you all this about? EVERYONE has a copy of Independence Day on Laserdisc. It's the top disc in everyone's collection, and if you don't already have a copy or two(I have two myself) you're probably collecting Laserdisc wrong. I don't need to tell you about Independence Day, you've probably already seen it 6 six times on six different copies.
Bottom line is that even though it's cheesy as all hell and has plenty of shallowness and hammy dialogue, I absolutely love Independence Day through and through. For many years it sat atop my list of favorite films and was only recently dethroned by The Dark Knight Rises. If you haven't seen it, go out and form your own opinion - mine seems to be that of a small minority.

Exploding onto Laserdisc with a 2.35:1 letterboxed transfer, Independence Day looks....ok on Laserdisc. Despite it's high regards with the ratings on its LDDB page, I find that for the most part, it's merely adequate. Most scenes don't pop off the screen compared to several other films in its class, especially in the third act of the film. Fine details, even for Laserdisc occasionally seem obscured for the last half hour or so. To be fair however, Independence Day does shine when ever something explodes, as the rippling explosions look fantastic. The special effects scenes are top notch, while everything else seems moderately flat.
Signal noise is present in moderation through out the film though it never really becomes distracting.

Be prepared to crank your 5.1 surround receiver as ID4 may have one of the most impressive AC3 encoded digital surround tracks on the format. Lows are constantly being pumped out of the .1 LFE track, while the devastation echoes all around you as building crumble under the heat of the gaining explosions. The annihilation of Los Angelos on the first side of the film is especially impressive, with the sound of buildings shattering all around you as the score pumps through the front speakers. Be warned, playing this film at anything less than 11 is seen as unfair treatment of your surround field. That's how good it sounds.

Import Dissection:
For those of you who collect Japanese Laserdiscs, this one may seem less than enticing. It shares the exact same video and audio transfers, plus an additional layer of subtitles on top of the letterboxed frame. There seems to be no motivation to pick this one up other than an excellent front jacket art. Only for the most hardcore of Japanese LD collectors who have everything else and can find it cheap.

Buy it if you don't already have it, and skip it if you can't handle a little cheese on the side of your epic cinema. It's fun above all, and those who expect a deep and thought provoking movie should look elsewhere. I however, love every minute of it, and will continue watching it for years to come.

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 Post subject: Re: Extra discs like crazy
Posted: 26 Sep 2017, 13:28 

Having just picked up 70+ hddvds without cases, I put my dead copy's cases to use. Which brings up the fact that shipping said hddvds would be a lot cheaper without the cases. I'm all about saving money, I like the idea of trading, for me, this could work.

But that said, it does seem like most of us with large collections already have most of the common titles and are looking for the same less common ones.

I agree, but at the same time, there are holes in my collection of common titles and at this point it is either buy them for $4+shipping or trade for them. Buying them individually is risky given the high occurrence of rotters.

Either way, I will put together a list and post it. If anyone wants to trade, let me know what titles and I can check them out.

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Posted: 27 Sep 2017, 01:54 

This is the 50th Anniversary Box Set. A friend who knows I collect LDs gave me a bunch of Disney LDs that he ran across. In the group were two of this box set, which I started watching with my daughter.

Fantasia: Special Edition (1940) [1236 CS]

The Box Set - Compared to every other Disney (or non-Disney) box set, the box is an oddly large shape that is ~25% larger on one side than a normal LD. The label is on the long side, so due to the extra length it makes it difficult to store with the label facing out. The long side is just too long to put into the correct orientation along side of other normal sized laserdiscs. Besides 3 discs, the box includes a commemorative program, and a matted lithograph of Mickey as the sorcerer's apprentice. The box quality is very good, but the plastic insert that holds the discs is a little too easy to crush or bend when putting discs away after use.

Picture Quality - Of the 500+ laserdiscs I own, this is probably one of the better movies for scaling to 1080P (using VPS3800). The PQ is top notch, and is a real treat to watch and had an old school film grain texture that did not detract from the movie and felt right. I personally enjoyed the PQ through all of the animated scenes. The only time I noticed scaling artifacts was during rapid movement of smaller objects. However, the visuals were just as good and is probably one of the better laserdiscs I have seen PQ-wise. I am certain that being CAV animation helped with scaling. Regardless, very enjoyable.

Discs - In order to make the chapters work, they split the movie into chapters at the end of a given music piece so as to have a natural stopping point. A total of 5 sides of discs were used for the main move and a 6th side (CLV) contains supplementary content. The choice in chapter splits created an interesting oddity in the set. Side 2 of 6 was dedicated to the sorcerer's apprentice scene for a grand total of 10:31 of run time. Very confusing the first time you come to the end of the disc, and say to yourself, "didn't I just put that in there?" I had check that I didn't somehow start midway through a disc as I expected run time to be closer to 30 minutes.

Finally, sound quality. The movie discs have a digital and analog tracks. There is a significant difference between the two tracks. The analog track is in mono and sounded muddy compared to the digital track. The digital track is in stereo (or limited surround) which is used to great effect for sound staging. During many of the early scenes of the movie, the left to right movement in sound stage was well placed and added an extra dimension to the movie I don't think would be there in mono. The digital track also had a considerably wider dynamic range compared to the analog track. If playing back the movie, I would recommend the digital track along with properly set up stereo system to fully take advantage of sound staging. From a historical perspective, I was able to find that the original movie was largely released in Mono, but if you want an interesting read about the history of surround sound, google FANTASOUND.

All in all, I would recommend this disc set to someone who enjoyed the original Fantasia. No frills with the audio compared to many more current movies. However, I think for its time, the audio showed well, and is a byproduct of its original release date of 1940 and subsequent audio renditions.
I would say the biggest negative I can say for the disc set is the stupidly oversized box. It just doesn't fit well into my storage, and imagine woudn't for most collectors. If they had just put the label on the short side instead of the long side of the box, I may have found it more acceptable. Clearly the creators didn't think much about how people would store it, or how it compared to other box set offerings.

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 Post subject: Re: Ultra Stereo?
Posted: 28 Sep 2017, 04:00 

Made a quick update to the "advanced search" to add soundtrack (mono/stereo/surround/etc.) on top of sound encoding (Digital/CX/DTS/AC3/etc).

Because soundtrack internal IDs do not match between Digital/Analog, it's limited to LDs with a digital soundtrack for now.

Here are the results:

Ultra Stereo (553 titles)

As well as:

DTS Stereo (22 titles)
Chace Stereo (30 titles)
Roland Sound Space (11 titles)


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Posted: 03 Oct 2017, 21:08 

On the end credits of 'Chronos' (1985) HD-DVD it states recorded in "dbx six channel surround sound" I assume it would state same on the laserdisc pressings.
Laserdisc pressings
Chronos (1985) [72333-80017-6]
Chronos (1985) [ID3548MM]

Chronos (1985) [RB16009]
Chronos, The Ultimate (1985) [RBF-HD-90002]

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 Post subject: Dumbo [024 AS] NTSC (1941)
Posted: 05 Dec 2017, 20:45 

In 1941, Dumbo was released to box office acclaim. Telling the story of the elephant with big ears, this classic holds up as an adult just as much as it did as a kid. The film carries the distinction of the first Disney Animated Feature released on VHS, with a 1982 release date also matched by the first Laserdisc. In 1991, the disc was remastered with digital sound.


The first thing you notice is that a Buena Vista logo plasters the RKO logo. Other than that, the picture is great, representing the painted cels in great detail. The Pink Elephant sequence stands out as having good picture quality.


The conversion of the mono sound to Laserdisc is really nice. Don't expect this disc to have high-fidelity audio like Fantasia.


The artwork on this disc looks much better than the version released in 1982. My copy came with a business reply card, something you don't see on Laserdiscs very much.

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Posted: 03 Jan 2018, 05:07 

Quite an advanced age for a venerable format!

Although there was a pre-production test batch of Jaws back in 1977, the first commercial release hit the market end of 1978 as Jaws (1975) [12-001] .

And somehow, even the first released can still be played today!

29954c07bf0e1ff6684db0ba148a07d4.jpg (is it what heavy laser rot looks like on a cake? ;-))

Let's see if other formats will still play 40 years after entering the market.

For some reason, *6* seems to be the magic number for new video commercial formats:

DVD -> 1996
HDDVD/BD -> 2006
UHD BD -> 2016

Let's synchronize our watches now and try to play these formats by, respectively, 2036, 2046 and 2056!


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Posted: 31 Mar 2018, 21:02 

A few years ago, I found this link for info on LD and bookmarked it:

Which lead me to: which is now gone.

I was able to find a snapshot of the data from 2010 at:

maybe this information should be preserved at lddb somewhere?

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Posted: 20 Apr 2018, 15:50're browsing through cable channel menus and as you notice the movie titles you try to remember if they were released on Laserdisc're running on a treadmill and as certain times come up on the clock, they make you think of Laserdisc player model numbers (ie: 406, 604, 704, 909, 919, 939, 959, 1010, etc.)'re talking movies with a friend or friends and when their favorite movie is mentioned you try to recall if you have it on Laserdisc (bonus points if you actually say you have it on Laserdisc)

...a friend of yours posts a music video that they like on social media and you comment that you have the video on Laserdisc find a music/thrift shop that sells old records and you HAVE to check to see if they sell Laserdiscs find a used electronics shop and you HAVE to check to see if they have Laserdisc players

Feel free to add more!

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Posted: 03 May 2018, 23:42 

Yes there is a way to enter service mode without the remote, the service manual will tell you how to do it. It is not the same for all units.

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Posted: 12 Jul 2018, 20:39 

Hello everyone im film historian love having films on dvd used to have a large vhs collection but got rid of them once i had replaced the titles with dvd but am creating a personal database of films with the formats the films were released in from 35 and 70mm right up to blu ray and hopefully find the release dates of these various formats as an example star wars 1977 all formats this film has been released on from 35mm to blu ray including special editions etc but as i said its just for my own personal use
I like most genres of film and also collect films which are special editions with two discs i source these mainly in charity shops etc and they are reasonably priced
i also collect the bond films but they have been issued in so many different versions its a nightmare trying to fathom which year that particular disc was released in
i also have an interest in cinema history and cinema projection 35mm 70mm and digital i also visit the new beverly cinema website which is the cinema owned by quentin tarantino who will not under any circumstances show digital films all the films he shows are 35mm either from his own private collection or borrowed from collectors
Iam also doing research about the Dundee Scotland cinema owner J B Milne who owned the largest privately owned cinema chain on the east coast of scotland from 1928 to 1968 which i am hoping to write up as a book and get it published

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Posted: 23 Feb 2019, 09:37 

I watched The Ghost and the Darkness last night. Normally I wouldn't mention this film but the surround mix ( I watched the German Blu-ray ) was outstanding. Wow. No wonder it won an oscar for best sound effects back in the 1997.

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Posted: 20 Aug 2019, 02:18 

admin wrote:
Found it!

=> Jiko [LKH-601]


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 Post subject: Unboxed: V on Laserdisc
Posted: 01 Sep 2019, 17:01 

Another very nice "vintage" reviews by Josh Zyber of:

V: The Original Miniseries (1983) [11489]
V: The Final Battle (1984) [14146]
V (1983) [NJL-11443]
V2 (1985) [NJL-11576]

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