Saturday, October 6, 2012

Warner Bros. One-Ups Universal With New Blu-Ray & DVD Collections

These movie collections just keep getting better and better! Recently, in honor of the 100th Anniversary, Universal Studios unveiled a 25-movie collection, featuring some of the most notable films from the studio's filmography. This seemed like a great way to cap off their centennial year, and a gesture that would surely bode well with fans (I know I loved it!).

Flash forward to this week, where in celebration of their 90th Anniversary (2013), Warner Bros. Studios has debuted a little collection of their own. There are actually two sets that will be rolled-out for pre-order on December 25, 2012 and available for purchase January 29, 2013. One is a 100-film DVD set, the other a 50-film Blu-Ray set, both featuring all 22 Academy Award winning Best Picture films from over the years. The Blu-Ray collection will feature a handful of films being offered in the format for the first time, while the DVD set aims to simply stock your collection with more notable titles than you know what do with with. Both feature plenty of old and new releases, with notable titles like "The Wizard of Oz", "Casablanca", "Ben-Hur", "The Exorcist", "The Shining", "Unforgiven", "The Matrix", "The Departed", and "The Dark Knight".

Both sets will also feature two Warner Bros. documentaries, detailing the various histories of the studio, the films it's produced, and the filmmakers who have worked them.

Hit the jump for Warner Bros.' official press release, detailing the complete listing of films available in both the 100-movie set and the 50-movie set, as well as pricing for each.

First, let's start with the trailer that Warner Bros. just released for the collection. It's not the most exciting or attention-grabbing trailer, but it outlines some of what to expect. Plus, the excerpts from various filmmakers briefly talking about some of their experiences is great; hopefully there will be a lot more of that in the two documentaries.



Anyway, here are the images for the sets, including pricing for both. This is a bit lengthy, but at least it includes all of the information. I gotta say, even though I have the Universal Studios box set on pre-order, this looks damn impressive. As you will also see, the pricing is nearly as high as you'd expect for such massive collections. Even though the titles are fantastic and the packaging looks beautiful, dropping $600 for movies will be much harder to justify than the $250 price tag for the Universal Studios set.


Burbank, Calif., October 3, 2012 — One of the most respected, diversified and successful motion picture studios in the world, Warner Bros. began when the eponymous brothers – Harry, Albert, Sam, and Jack — incorporated on April 4, 1923. Four years later, the release of The Jazz Singer, the world’s first “talkie,” set a tone of innovation and influence that would forever become synonymous with the Warner Bros. brand. Soon to be 90, Warner Bros. continues to entertain the world with films passionately produced, selectively acquired, carefully preserved and impeccably curated for both the casual and ultimate movie lover to enjoy forever. 
As a result of all the films the studio has produced, co-produced (with numerous partners), acquired and distributed, Warner Bros. now boasts the largest film library in the world – 6,800 feature films, with 2,000 films currently available on DVD and Blu-ray™. The library includes 22 Academy Award®*-winning Best Pictures (the most in Oscar®history), and leading franchises such as Harry Potter™, Batman™, Lord of the Rings™, The Matrix and Superman™.

Beginning in January, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group will launch a major Anniversary initiative that will continue through year-end 2013. This includes the release of seven new collections, including two limited and numbered anniversary collections — 100 films on DVD and 50 films on Blu-ray, both the largest collections ever released, to date, in their respective formats. The year-long celebration will also include several stand-alone releases of new-to-format classics on Blu-ray™ for the first time, including The Jazz Singer, all three James Dean films (East of Eden, Rebel Without a Cause, Giant), Cabaret and Academy Award® Best Picture Winners Grand Hotel (1932), Mrs. Miniver (1943), and Driving Miss Daisy (1990).
The Collections
The Best of Warner Bros. 100 Film DVD Collection*: 100 movies including all 22 of Warner Bros. library’s Best Picture™ Winners and two new documentaries (details below) on 55 discs presented in book style premium packaging.

The Best of Warner Bros. 50 Film Blu-ray™ Collection*: Includes 50 movies and the two new documentaries on 52 discs, also presented in book style premium packaging. It will introduce several new-to-Blu-ray film titles, including Grand Hotel, Mrs. Miniver, and Driving Miss Daisy.

Both of the above are limited and numbered collections and each includes a collectible poster and series of art cards featuring movie poster designs created by legendary American graphic designer Bill Gold.

Gold, who worked with Hollywood’s greatest filmmakers, including Clint Eastwood, Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, Elia Kazan, and Ridley Scott, had this to say:

“My 65-year career began with Yankee Doodle Dandy and Casablanca and continued on to every Clint Eastwood picture from Dirty Harry to Mystic River (and I came out of retirement to design the poster for J. Edgar). In my wildest dreams I could not have foreseen the world I would inhabit and the joy it would bring me over the years. Every poster I worked on had a story to tell, and I’m delighted to be able to share a sampling of some of them in these collections.”
Two New Documentaries to Celebrate Warner Bros. 90th Anniversary
Created specially for this anniversary, Tales from the Warner Bros. Lot is a full-length documentary that features some of Warner Bros.’ top talent and executives giving an inside look at the history of the studio. In on-the-lot interviews, stars including Clint Eastwood, Steve Carell, Morgan Freeman, Martin Sheen, along with current and former studio toppers Barry Meyer, Alan Horn, Bob Daly, and Terry Semel, and others, recount personal reflections and anecdotes about their experiences at the studio. Tales from the Warner Bros. Lot was produced by documentarian Gary Khammar (It’s So Audrey! A Style Icon) and producer Bill Gerber (Gran Torino).

Now, for the first time, home viewers can take the hugely popular Warner Bros Studio VIP Tour in this new documentary produced exclusively for the 90th Anniversary collections. In The Warner Bros. Lot Tour, an official WB Lot Tour Guide gives guests a “virtual” tram ride (of what some 200,000 annual visitors experience) — an extraordinary opportunity to see first-hand where movie magic happens at the world’s busiest motion picture and television studio. Unlike a theme park, the Tour represents a rare and intimate “behind-the-scenes” look at real Hollywood, winding through back lot streets, sound stages, sets and craft shops.

Best of Warner Bros. 100 Film DVD Collection

Street Date: 1/29/13

Order Date: 12/25/12

Catalog # 1000334080

Pricing: $597.92 SRP



Best of Warner Bros. 50 Film Blu-Ray Collection

Street Date: 1/29/13

Order Date: 12/25/12

Catalog # 1000334079

Pricing: $597.92 SRP

The Best of Warner Bros. 100 Film DVD Collection:
The Broadway Melody (1929)
Cimarron (1931)
The Public Enemy (1931)
Grand Hotel (1932)
42nd Street (1933)
Mutiny on the Bounty (1935)
A Night at the Opera (1935)
The Great Ziegfeld (1936)
The Life of Emile Zola (1937
The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)
Dark Victory (1939)
The Wizard of Oz (1939)
Gone with the Wind (1939)
The Philadelphia Story (1940)
Citizen Kane (1941)
The Maltese Falcon (1941)
Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)
Mrs. Miniver (1942)
Casablanca (1942)
Gaslight (1944)
Anchors Aweigh (1945)
Mildred Pierce (1945)
The Big Sleep (1946)
The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)
A Streetcar Named Desire: The Original Director’s Version (1951)
An American in Paris (1951)
Singin’ in the Rain (1952)
A Star Is Born (1954)
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954)
East of Eden (1955)
Rebel Without a Cause (1955)
The Searchers (1956)
Giant (1956)
Around the World in 80 Days (1956)
A Face in the Crowd (1957)
Gigi (1958)
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958)
North by Northwest (1959)
Ben-Hur (1959)
How the West Was Won (1962)
What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)
Viva Las Vegas (1964)
Doctor Zhivago (1965)
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)
The Dirty Dozen (1967)
Cool Hand Luke (1967)
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
Bullitt (1968)
The Wild Bunch: The Original Director’s Cut (1969)
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971)
Dirty Harry (1971)
A Clockwork Orange (1971)
Cabaret (1972)
Enter the Dragon (1973)
The Exorcist: Extended Director’s Cut (1973)
Blazing Saddles (1974)
Dog Day Afternoon (1975)
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)
All the President’s Men (1976)
Superman: The Movie (1978)
The Shining (1980)
Caddyshack (1980)
Clash of the Titans (1981)
Chariots of Fire (1981)
The Outsiders (1983)
National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983)
Risky Business (1983)
The Right Stuff (1983)
Amadeus: Director’s Cut (1984)
The Goonies (1985)
The Color Purple (1985)
Lethal Weapon (1987)
Full Metal Jacket (1987)
Batman™ (1989)
Driving Miss Daisy (1989)
GoodFellas (1990)
Unforgiven (1992)
The Bodyguard (1992)
The Fugitive (1993)
Natural Born Killers: The Director’s Cut (1994)
The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (1994)
Seven (1995)
L.A. Confidential (1997)
The Matrix (1999)
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone™ (2001)
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring™ (2001)
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers™ (2002)
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King™ (2003)
The Notebook (2004)
Million Dollar Baby (2004)
The Departed (2006)
300 (2007)
The Dark Knight™ (2008)
The Hangover (2009)
The Blind Side (2009)
Sherlock Holmes (2009)
Inception (2010)
Documentaries: Tales from the Warner Bros. Lot, Warner Bros. Lot Tour (2013)

Best of Warner Bros. 50 Film Blu-ray™ Collection:
Grand Hotel (1932)
Mutiny on the Bounty (1935)
The Wizard of Oz (1939)
Gone with the Wind (1939)
The Maltese Falcon (1941)
Mrs. Miniver (1942)
Casablanca (1942)
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)
A Streetcar Named Desire: The Original Restored Version (1951)
An American in Paris (1951)
Singin’ in the Rain (1952)
Gigi (1958)
North by Northwest (1959)
Ben-Hur (1959)
How the West Was Won (1962)
Doctor Zhivago (1965)
Cool Hand Luke (1967)
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
Bullitt (1968)
Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971)
Dirty Harry (1971)
A Clockwork Orange (1971)
The Exorcist: Extended Director’s Cut (1973)
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)
Superman: The Movie (1978)
The Shining (1980)
Chariots of Fire (1981)
Risky Business (1983)
Amadeus: Director’s Cut (1984)
The Color Purple (1985)
Lethal Weapon (1987)
Full Metal Jacket (1987)
Driving Miss Daisy (1989)
GoodFellas (1990)
Unforgiven (1992)
The Bodyguard (1992)
Natural Born Killers: The Director’s Cut (1994)
The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
The Matrix (1999)
Million Dollar Baby (2004)
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone™ (2001)
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring™ (2001)
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers ™ (2002)
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King™ (2003)
The Departed (2006)
The Dark Knight™ (2008)
The Hangover (2009)
The Blind Side (2009)
Sherlock Holmes (2009)
Inception (2010)
Documentaries: Tales from the Warner Bros. Lot, Warner Bros. Lot Tour (2013)

Those are pretty fantastic compilations. I can't imagine this will be one I'll be purchasing anytime soon, but it would be great to eventually own someday. It's unfortunate that the 100-film set isn't available on Blu-ray, and that alone might be enough to make me okay with passing on this collection for now. If I was going to spend hundreds of dollars on a box set like this, I'd go for the biggest one and want it in the best format available. Maybe someday when all of those films are converted to Blu-ray I'll be able to pick it up; for now, it's just a ridiculous collection to salivate over.

Will anyone be dropping the $600 for either of these sets after Christmas?