Mary's Laser Disc News & Tidbits
for the Laser Disc Fan

Last updated: 09 Mar 96

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Best of Roger Rabbit front Title: "The Best of Roger Rabbit"

Original Street Date: 20 Feb 96

Recalled on: 27 Feb 96

What's all the fuss about ?

Originally scheduled to be released on February 20th (Image's Laserdisc Preview, January 1996, page 4), the street date for this release was pushed back a week. Several days before "The Best of Roger Rabbit" was scheduled for released, a major line of discussion in was that Image would recall the disc due to "glue problems". Based upon my experience over the last few days in trying to find this disc, this justification certainly scared many retailers into complying with the recall immediately. Many of the stores we visited had already returned their stock of "The Best of Roger Rabbit" unopened to Image Entertainment only a day or two after the recall. One store allowed me to see the official Image announcement concerning the recall. However, the justification from the retailers were not all consistent. In particular, one person told me that there were "legal" problems with the release of this disc. In addition, much of the talk on concerning this recall also speculates that "glue problems" may not be the only reason for this recall; a leading candidate is censorship.

Best of Roger Rabbit back Because of the publicity surrounding this disc, I immediately went home to closely examine my copy. My disc does not appear to have any of the "glue problems" that certainly have plagued several of my other Image titles. After one viewing, I do not see any material that warrants censorship. The Roger Rabbit cartoon series are geared towards a more mature audience; however, all three of the cartoons, "Tummy Trouble" -- originally with "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids", "Roller Coaster Rabbit"--with "Dick Tracy", and "Trail Mix-Up"--with "A Far Off Place" preceded family movies in the theater. [2/96-Special Thanks to &
for providing me with the last two movie references!] For those of you who are still interested in trying to find this title, I found mine at the North County Fair SunCoast Motion Picture Company in San Diego County. This store had another copy as of 1 p.m. today. In addition, the Carlsbad Plaza store indicated that they would receive more next week.

"The Best of Roger Rabbit" is presented in CAV format which enables a viewer to examine each cartoon frame by frame. It contains 25 minutes of hilarious cartoons, guaranteed to keep your attention as each gag is revealed. It also includes, free of charge and presented in CAV format, the infamous laserdisc turtle on side B, for your viewing enjoyment.

The First Ever LaserDisc Spectacular

First Impressions of the "First Ever". . .

Paramount Pictures Studio (5555 Melrose Avenue, Hollywood, CA) hosted the First Ever Laserdisc Spectacular. Image Entertainment, Inc., the planner and presenter of this event, expected 1500 - 2000 attendees to the event, but were swamped with twice that number of people on opening day, Saturday, February 24. The line to enter, as early as 11:00 a.m., was a two to three hour wait.

Foolishly, when my husband and I arrived at 2:00 p.m., I was planning to be in and out in an hour or two (I obviously did not realize the popularity this event would be). I looked at the line (not even 100 yards long), sighed, and walked about five minutes to the end of the line, hoping this would be worth it. After awhile, the line actually moved a few inches ... I looked at my watch ... 2:15 (moved 5 feet)... this is going to be a long wait ... 2:30 ... 3:00 (40 feet) ... 3:30 ... 4:00 (about half way, no big changes) ... 4:30 ... I can actually see the front door! We got in the door at 5:00, determined to find something to make the three hour wait worth it (and being slightly irritated when the people at the door said the line to purchase discs was another one to two hour wait). [question: if the Fire Marshall was inside, regulating the number of people allowed into the Paramount Commisary, what other event was not properly covered for safety violations ?]

There was not very much in the way of laserdisc hardware (just the Pioneer CLD-D104, CLD-D504, and CLD-D704), and no other was hardware available for purchase [well I should not "exaggerate" about the lack of sellers, there was one other piece of hardware available for purchase: a Karaoke audio mixer but it sold out early in the afternoon]. There were a few other home theater vendors but several were gone by the time we got in. They did have an AC-3 demonstration (a few minute walk across the lot in Studio 11) that was cancelled for a hour due to technical difficulties.

As for laserdisc titles, there were about 150 discs from their "Catalog Best Sellers" that were 30% off. "Catalog Best Sellers" was their euphuism for "overstock on year (or more) old titles" since few were really new releases (i.e. within the last month). The rest of the titles were under-sellers, cut-outs and soon to be cut-outs, prices ranging from $9 - $50. I was determined to make the most of it, so I pushed and shoved my way between people for two hours, looking for that one prized jewel title ... something ... well, almost anything towards the end. As a result of our desperation to salvage our dignity from this "event", we didn't leave empty-handed ... we somehow found fourteen decent titles we did not already possess ... and the line to purchase actually was shorter at 7:00 so we got out of the door at 7:30 ... finally realizing that we had not eaten for over 24 hours. [We have never seen so many Hemdale discs in one place. I wonder why ?]

Finally, I'm sure the question you've been dying to have answered, will anyone see me at the Second Annual LaserDisc Spectacular ? Hmm, let me ponder that for a moment (is there anything less than a moment ?)...unless they change the location (or at least rent more space at Paramount), add more Home Theater equipment vendors (at least more demos), and increase the number of recently released laserdisc titles for sale... I certainly doubt it.

P.S. We do want to thank the sponsors for the nifty give aways. Since we did not have the heart to stand in any more lines for some of the other freebies (i.e., autographs & demo giveaways), all we came away with was Kevin Costner's "Dances With Wolves - The Illustrated Story of the Epic FIlm" coffee table book + CD music soundtrack, included in everyone's tote bag at the door.

We have heard already that Sunday's event went much smoother. Lines were short, if it at all. I'm sure every one on Sunday was much happier (except for those unlucky enough to get stuck out in the rain).

A Ken Crane's Visit

During the weekend of February 9 - 11,
Ken Crane's had one of their mega-sales, at least 25% off everything in the store. If you have ever been to one, you can picture what the place looked like ... and if you were there, you know what the place looked like ... no parking spaces in the entire parking lot ... people carrying at least one of those packing boxes the distributors send discs in full of boxed sets and individual movies ... totals at the registers totalling at least $200, but usually more than $500 ... a line of twenty people, and many more still looking through the stacks.

Very few people leave with a handful of discs ... though I was one of them. I only came out with four Charles Schulz's Peanuts discs, Theodore Geisel's the Dr. Seuss Collection, and the two volumes of Schoolhouse Rock . In that respect, I consider myself very lucky ... especially when I consider my history when it comes to shopping at Ken Crane's during one of their sales.

I was a bit perturbed when I saw the price of Walt Disney's Fantasia boxed set. You see, at the end of 1991, I purchased the set for $90 (a generous 10% off the list price) ... but at Ken Crane's it was on special for $20! I am not sure if they actually took 25% off the $20, making it $15, since they said they would take 25% off their discounted discs as well ... but even at $20, I paid 4.5 times more five years ago!

FYI for those who shopped Ken Crane's in 1995 - they have extended the 20% off sale until June of this year.

Until the next 25% off sale, maybe you might catch me browsing their Newest Release racks. 20% off SRP is still nothing to take too lightly...

Laser Catalog Part 1   Laser Catalog Part 2

Copyright 1996 M. E. Barr.

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