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Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Cheepnis: Digiview and edits.

Digiview is another company to look out for on the dollar DVD scene. For the most part, their releases seem to be acceptable or better quality, which at this price range is about all you can ask for. There's also the fact that they've been licensing exclusive content, including some truly terrible Korean anime.

But wait. All is not well as apparently some of their newer licensed movies ("Amnesia" and "Prophet's Game") are edited for content. It's also no uncommon to see claims of some of their older movies being edited as well. Theories as to why usually center around the company's strong ties to Wal-Mart and that company's "family friendly" face. Among the older titles claimed to have gotten the chop are "Satanic Rites of Dracula", "Don't Look in the Basement" and "The Street Fighter."

I checked my "Basement" disc and since I still haven't seen the film, I just did a check against a Brentwood copy of same (from the "Nightmares from the Crypt" set) and IMDB. Here's what I got:

IMDB: 89 min / Australia:92 min
Brentwood (Nightmares From the Crypt): 1:29:11
Digiview: 1:28:18!

So it would seem, at least just comparing timing, Digiview lost about a minute somewhere. Honestly, I don't have the time to compare these side by side, but if someone familiar with the film wants to, be my guest. :)

I'm pretty sure at some time in the past I did a time comparison on "Satanic Rites" and came up with the same length as everyone else's. I'll pick up a copy of "the Street Fighter" eventually and see what that turns up.

I'm curious as to what other titles have been cut and who made the cuts. In the case of "Amnesia" and "Prophet's Game", I wonder if they didn't just use TV prints of those, as they are pan and scan as well.

Hopefully, if Digiview is making edits themselves, this is just a few isolated incidents and not a corporate policy. As I mentioned, it is not uncommon to find a TV print on a dollar DVD and I think most people will reluctantly accept that if it's the only version of a film out there. The problem comes in if Digiview is making cuts on their own for video. It's also problematic when the package says "Rated R" and shows an uncut running time but the disc inside is something different.

Yes, I know we're approaching the "what do you want for a dollar" end of the spectrum, but I don't think, at the very least having the exculsives unedited is too much to ask.

Here's a couple of links for you, and I'd encourage anyone interested to join the popmusicpopculture Yahoo group as that's where this discussion originated.

Digiview's snappy new website
Scroll down for some links to reviews of the licensed stuff
Anime review

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