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July 31 2008

Complete specs for Firefly on Blu-Ray. A complete list of special features (including new commentaries) and other specs for the Blu-Ray release of Firefly!

Apparently, there's a Cast Reunion, too!
psst. I hear there may be all new cover art as well. Stay tuned.
That's way less new material than I thought there would be. Only two new commentaries and one new featurette? What about the other old commentaries that we know were recorded? For example, wasn't there mention of a commentary of "Safe" by Summer and Sean?

This is pretty disappointing and doesn't make me want to go out and buy a Blu-ray player.
I kind of "yay" at the fact that I don't feel obliged to spend that kind of money on something I already own (and bought at full original RRP and don't regret it now that it's 70% off new in most places).

Actually we didn't even get the Serenity special edition over here. I bizarrely ended up buying the original again (though this time for £3) after a friend lost my copy.
I'm getting hot and bothered over this.
psst. I hear there may be all new cover art as well. Stay tuned.

Will there be las llamas de seizures?
They can include my own fan commentaries if they want. ;)

No wait, that site's offline.
$62!!! No thanks!!! I'll continue to upconvert. They really need to lower the prices on blu-ray! I think they're forgetting the economy sucks.
Oh, man, I don't have Blu-Ray and don't know a soul who has it, but I desperately want to hear that "OMR" and "Ariel" commentary! To me that alone makes it worth the price. Also, considering that this is an old series which had great extras when it was first released and where all the actors have moved on to bigger and *cough*so not*cough* better things, I imagine it was difficult getting anything new. Of course, that all depends on who's doing the commenting. *crosses fingers for Adam*

Also, I originally read that as the specs for a firefly -- I was hoping for the blueprints on the DVD. :( Even though I already own them. Just because.
I want Angel on Blu Ray.
New commentary tracks?! Oh boy oh boy oh boy! But seriously, couldn't they have done all of them while they were at it? Oh well... Gotta buy a PS3 and a new TV I guess...
Yeah, Firefly on Blu-Ray + Angel on Blu-Ray = Me getting Blu-Ray. Although, the early seasons of Angel could be problematic in converting to hi-def.
Ah, mentioning of the step-child! My heart weeps openly. Maybe I'm tired and should go home. I'm really looking forward to this. AND, when I get home from my vacation and have a job with more-than-now money, I will invest into these new shiny toys.

ETA: OMJ! 903 posts! I missed my marker, but still! And, in only 4 months! Sweet.

[ edited by korkster on 2008-07-31 04:35 ]
Yeah, Firefly on Blu-Ray + Angel on Blu-Ray = Me getting Blu-Ray. Although, the early seasons of Angel could be problematic in converting to hi-def.


Not really. The majorly difficult Buffyverse seasons would be S1-2 of Buffy, since they were shot 16mm. Everything since has been shot 35mm, which is significantly higher in resolution than even 1920x1080. Sure, you'd have 1.33:1 episodes, but they'd still be high-def.

Of course, you'd have a similar problem with Firefly wherein every shot with a special effect was rendered at 480p.

[ edited by The Dark Shape on 2008-07-31 04:57 ]
They redid the effects for Firefly for Universal HD's broadcasts, so these Blu-Rays may be the same copies as those.
Yeah, Angel on Blu-Ray would be amazing. Check this out, perhaps Amazon knows something we don't?!
Check this out
I'm still waiting for my region 1, anamorphically enhanced "Once More With Feeling"...... Sigh.....
Awesome news by the way! Now I just have to find me someone with a blu-ray player.
'They redid the effects for Firefly for Universal HD's broadcasts, so these Blu-Rays may be the same copies as those.'

Are you sure? According to what I heard, they merely upscaled the original SFX scenes - re-doing them would be actually going back and re-rendering everything.

Oh, and I am so getting this when it hits Australia.
UniversalHD's broadcasts are lower-quality than BluRay will be.
What I want is Buffy and Angel (released in region 1) all in widescreen.

It exists for BtVS seasons 2-7 and AtS 1-5. Check out the previously shown segments on the region 2 DVDs, even though we only have widescreen for AtS 2-5 for region 1 and BtVS 4-7 for region 2. You can spot in the previously shown segments that while season 1 appears to remain 4:3, starting at season 2, the widescreen exists.

Now, we know BtVS 1-2 was shot in 16mm, so it would be difficult to upgrade it a lot, but we could at least get season 2 in widescreen. Despite Joss saying that he released the shows for region 1 on purpose in pan and scan because of the classic T.V. format and the fact that some episodes with the sides added occasionally show production equipment poking out of the sides, but in my opinion, I still prefer the widescreen.

Deleted scenes that were cut purely for time reasons should be added back in. A lot of them are included in the scripts and would actually explain a lot of things and add a lot to the episodes.

Some cuts even left funny bloopers like why Gunn walks into the office with blood on his lip in Darla (a deleted scene had him confusing Angel's pig's blood for V-8 juice). The episode, Angel, had an entire 3 large scenes cut (one of which was Buffy stealing food at dinner). Prophecy Girl (Collin visits Angel in his apartment), Surprise (Giles explains his non-father relationship with Buffy to Jenny--Jenny mentions Buffy and Angel's relationship is further along than he thinks), The Harsh Light of Day (Buffy admitting that sleeping with Parker was all about her trying to move on from Angel), etc... all have significant cuts.

In fact, I'd imagine most episodes could be expanded to about 50 minutes each, just going by all the cut scenes.

My other wish is that all the on-episode credits would be put on a separate subtitle track, so that if you want those scenes (fanvidding, for example), you can have them without the guest star credits. A lot of those opening scenes are rather ruined for fanvidding and clip projects. Star Wars is an example of a film franchise that has taken all of its embedded subtitles and put them onto another track.

Another wish would be to perhaps fix up some of the half-baked C.G.I. like Larconis (the sewer snake) and perhaps add some rendering to the Mayor snake. The early vampire poofs could have skeletons added.

[ edited by NileQT87 on 2008-07-31 07:15 ]
Deleted scenes that were cut purely for time reasons should be added back in.


I really want to see the scene from Lies My Parents Told where Giles tells Buffy that he killed Ben.
Star Wars is an example...

Star wars is also an example of why you probably shouldn't go back and manipulate the original material years after the fact. :)
I doubt that the introductory credits could be removed legally. Besides, it would look terrible to have credits and on-screen text presented as subtitles, unless blu-ray has more advanced subtitling features than dvd that would allow the text to be recorded as as a second picture "layer" that would preserve the original font, placement, etc....

I would also be wary of Star Wars style Special Editionizing.
'I doubt that the introductory credits could be removed legally. Besides, it would look terrible to have credits and on-screen text presented as subtitles, unless blu-ray has more advanced subtitling features than dvd that would allow the text to be recorded as as a second picture "layer" that would preserve the original font, placement, etc....'

I believe it actually does. Blu-ray has some interesting branching tech, and could most likely have the credits as a fancy form of subtitle track with the original font/placement. It would take some effort to acheive this on all episodes, though.
Well, any extra extras are a bonus but I must admit it would've been super-bonusy if they'd managed a commentary for all the episodes (or to be greedy, maybe one each and an extra commentary on some of the others). Course, it's been so long since they made it, I wonder how much folk'd be able to remember.

Re: deleted scenes, I wouldn't mind them being included on the disc but i've absolutely no desire to see them put back into the episodes unless there's an extremely compelling reason (an option to view with them in is fine but actually changing the episodes really isn't IMO). And it's a rare deleted scene where I don't completely agree with the original decision to delete it anyway (the scene between Mal and Inara in 'Serenity' is one i'd like to have stayed, just as a f'rinstance).
I thought Joss has said that all the seasons of Buffy were shot in 4:3 and the widescreen ones that exist are just adding picture onto the sides or something like that? I think the first season of Angel may be like that as well, but at least 2-5 of Angel was shot in widescreen and would look amazing on Blu Ray.
SWEET!

My contest will begin on Friday on The Numbers.
I thought Joss has said that all the seasons of Buffy were shot in 4:3 and the widescreen ones that exist are just adding picture onto the sides or something like that?

Nope, they were shot in widescreen (apart from the early seasons IIRC) but framed for 4:3 i.e. when the director (sometimes Joss, mainly not) composed the shots he/she did it with 4:3 in mind. So, for instance, if the director/DoP/writer wanted to convey intimidating size they might have the character totally fill a 4:3 shot whereas viewed in widescreen the unfilled space at the sides might diminish the effect they were going for. The way shots are framed subtly but definitely affects how scenes are interpreted by the viewer (which is why Joss considers the "fullscreen" - i.e. 4:3 - version to be how he intended BtVS to be seen, irrespective of the few minor goofs introduced where crew/cast are visible in the widescreen version).
The difference between upgrading Star Wars and BtVS/AtS is that George Lucas is a moron when he did it (actually going in with the purpose of making things tamer, sillier and cuter rather than subtle tweaks to finish an already present design and look--without actually changing any meaning to the scenes). Also, Larconis is not an example of a completely serviceable effect. Whereas Star Wars, imo, was finished, BtVS/AtS had time constraints that meant that the C.G.I. was occasionally unfinished and hurried to get aired on time. The Mayor snake is a perfect example of an effect that only could get as rendered as it was due to weekly time constraints. I'm not saying change it, just finish it. Larconis is the only one that is truly egregious, however. It's a case where a rubber snake would have looked more convincing.

And widescreen exists for every season BUT season 1 BtVS. You can see season 2 BtVS scenes in widescreen during the previously on segments (region 2). And about 90% of the time, the widescreen actually enhances the shots or changes them practically none. The Harsh Light of Day is probably the episode with the most interference from production equipment. We also suffer in region 1 land from having Once more, with Feeling not in the correct aspect ratio. It was shot in widescreen, meant to be in widescreen and then they didn't put it in widescreen on the DVD (they even have black bars on all 4 sides). Once you've seen the region 2 widescreens, you really will have a trouble going back and feeling jipped. I really have to disagree with Joss here.

And works of art like the previously on segment for The Gift is an absolute CRIME not to have on the DVD.

And I definitely want all the deleted scenes that weren't reshot with something else put back in. Some of them, if you know what they are, are really revealing and important--and only got snipped for really unfortunate time-constraints. Jane Espenson even talks about the Parker/Angel explanation scene in the commentary. And then they could even give us separately the scenes that were replaced with something else when a shot scene got replaced (like Amy Acker and Alexis Denisof's ballet segment).

It's also time for Joss to suck it up (yes, I realize he's fighting it) and give us a fabulous good quality version of the BtVS pilot and the AtS pitch tape. Fun stuff, imo. More screen tests besides Amy's and Vincent's would also be awesome.

Since we all (likely) have the original DVDs, it would only be worth it, imo, to buy them all again if it was truly SIGNIFICANTLY made worth it. These add-ins would make it worth it for me. Otherwise, I just couldn't see it as being worth it.

[ edited by NileQT87 on 2008-07-31 13:01 ]
I agree with you, Nile. I was recently having this discussion with a Buffy fan on another forum - I preferred Buffy in widescreen, while his opinion was basically that widescreen Buffy is blasphemy for no other reason than Joss' say-so. I agree with the element of watching something in the way that it was originally intended, but this guy seemed to think that having Buffy in 16:9 was just as bad as cropping a 2.40:1 or 16:9 movie to 4:3 in the sense of corrupting the director's original intent, which I can't agree with - gaining picture is not the same as losing picture. At least Firefly was shot with the 16:9 intended, so we don't have to have this debate on that particular front.
I'll have to respectfully disagree on your points; the framing issue, while subtle, is to me significant. The classic example here is the scene in "The Body" where Buffy is almost blocked out of the frame by the paramedic; she's trapped against the side of your TV. Widening the image loses some of the emotion. Buffy is square (except for OMWF, which I agree must be corrected in any new release); it's an important part of the show's aesthetic.

Adding scenes back into the episodes is unacceptable; it changes the canonical fabric of the 'verse years after the fact. In other words, retconning. On top of which, adding deleted scenes back into a work can cause a real drag on the narrative momentum (Apocalypse Now: Redux, anyone?). Any deleted scenes that could be still be found on film should be kept separate, to preserve the integrity of the original.

As to the FX, should they also go back and restage some of the early fight scenes? Redo some of the musical score, or any other parts of the show that were a little rough around the edges? To me, you can't. It's about the integrity of the piece. And could I sound more pompous? :)

[ edited by jlp on 2008-07-31 14:00 ]
I have a solution for this...Netflix! It'll take some time, but Netflix is adding more blu-ray to it's lineup every day, and I think eventually, Firefly will be on it.

I don't have a blu-ray player...and I don't have a HDTV...these are items that definitely fall deep, deep into the "luxury" category, along with a new car (mine's a gas guzzler) and more money.
Two new commentaries and a cast reunion. I need a Blu-ray player.
Well, I'd agree with Saje and jlp. The fact that the material is there, doesn't mean it was meant to be seen. If the episodes were framed with 4:3 in mind, then that's how I want to watch them, not in 16:9. Directors spend time framing things for a reason and more image does not automatically mean "better". I'd say it is along the lines of cropping a movie, Break_Atmo. You'd be seeing a non-intended version, ruļning the way things were framed. Whether you do that by adding or substracting image is really not an issue, I'd say. I'd agree that for people who wanted to see them that way, it'd be great if the option was available (if even just for nice side-by-side comparisons), just like a pan&scan option was available for the misguided ;) few who hated the "black lines" on their televisions (people used to think they were *missing* image when they were shown movies or television shows in 16:9 as opposed to 4:3. How times have changed :)).

On the other hand, if you were to ask me if I'd prefer framing for 16:9 or framing for 4:3, I'd have to say I prefer framing for 16:9. Because the wider canvas looks nicer and more cinematical. But, really, both are "just" an aspect ratio and I like to view the material in the aspect ratio for which it was intended. If there were cameras able to record 360 degrees in all directions, I would not want that footage on DVD either. Just give me what I was meant to see.

Also, jlp, maybe you sound pompous, but souding pompous and being right, isn't so bad, I'd say ;)

Also: I have always hated the cutting of the PoB-segments.

ETR: typos

[ edited by GVH on 2008-07-31 14:14 ]
The "Previously on" segment for The Gift is an easter egg on disc six of Seasn 7.
I vaguely recall some mentions of backward compatibility of high density DVDs with old DVD players, as in, in some cases the old players could read the disk, but not the HD content itself. It might very well be this worked only for the now obsolete HDDVDs or is a completely unwarrented thought, but if anyone knows for sure, I would like to know if you can see the new extras also on regular DVD players (even if the image is just the old quality).

As for aspect ratio errors, it is less bad if they add too much picture then when they cut away some (it is easier to cut away some image yourself, than it is to add it :-)). Still it is annoying that I have these widescreen region 2 Buffy DVDs (being in Region 2) as my DVD player refuses to crop it. Therefore, if I want to see Buffy in its correct aspect ratio I must watch it on my computer.
I would love to see some deleted scenes, hearing about them in the audio commentaries is really frustrating.

Now about the aspect ratio... I live in France and I'm very happy about my widescreen edition, I think it looks great.
I wonder what Joss has in mind for Dollhouse, Fox airing the shows in fullscreen, it will probably be intended to be seen in both aspect ratio (like most of tv shows today).
Darn, guess I'll have to wait and see the image quality/how robust the Cast reunion is before I decide whether to purchase it. I was really hoping they would put the original cut of the Pilot (which has been floating around on the net in low quality) on there as a special feature.
The "Previously on" segment for The Gift is an easter egg on disc six of Seasn 7.

I forgot to look for that during my last rewatch. Damn.
I wholeheartedly agree with NOT retroactively "fixing" a body of work (I'm looking at you, George Lucas.) But you have to admit that we have some really great deleted scenes in Firefly.

One of the best (and most informative) is the Simon/Zoe scene regarding the Battle of Serenity Valley (history is programmed by the winners.)

And of course, River and her pillow saying "now you have to marry me- I'm in the family way." (grin)
Re Buffy, I'd want Buffy to be released on BluRay in widescreen. It would help convince me to buy it again. You figure a complete season set of Buffy on BluRay would probably be at least $300 (!), so, it would need to offer me something new.

There could be an option for "turn side masks on" that would cover over the sides with black for those who want to see it the way it was televised in America.
jlp said

Buffy is square (except for OMWF, which I agree must be corrected in any new release); it's an important part of the show's aesthetic.


As to the FX, should they also go back and restage some of the early fight scenes? Redo some of the musical score, or any other parts of the show that were a little rough around the edges? To me, you can't. It's about the integrity of the piece. And could I sound more pompous? :)


Pomposity aside, these are my feelings exactly. To paraphrase Shepherd Book, You don't fix Buffy - Buffy fixes you.
I'am eagerly awaiting Firefly on Blu-Ray but the price is kinda ridiculous. I mean I would understand had Firefly been 22 episodes but it's only *sad face* 13.

[ edited by Rhodey on 2008-07-31 22:06 ]
Commentary for "Ariel" was one of the only glaring omissions on the Firefly DVD set, IMO. So glad to see it (I really hope we get Sean Maher in a Firefly extra finally, aside from just a funny moment or two in the gag reel). I have no idea when I might buy a PS3, but at least I'll get to see/hear it eventually. "Our Mrs. Reynolds" should be fun too.

I'm glad they're changing the cover. As much as I love the actors, I hope it's actor-less. I like the more iconic images. Use the glowy Firefly ship emblem that flashes by at the end of the episodes or something (is that still on the DVDs, or was it just in the aired versions?).

Re: Buffy

Rather than have people argue about what would be best for a Blu-Ray release, the most awesome release would be...options! Sure, it'd be a massive undertaking for whoever puts 'em together, but...

I dunno, I guess I wouldn't mind seeing Buffy (and Angel Season 1?) in unintended-widescreen, despite them not being intended. As long as the originals were on there as well. You could even pick and choose as a viewer which looked more effective ("The Body" would definitely stay claustrophobically square-box-shaped though, along with probably many other essentials). If you're really thorough, you could take notes during re-watches and eventually have an entire list of what to watch widescreen and what to watch fullscreen. I think it would be nice to have Joss' blessing/okay on this though, and for the Blu-Ray producers to make it clear that the original version aspect ratios of the episodes would be more prominent while the others would be presented more as extras or the way you turn a commentary on and off.

Much more interesting (to me), the deleted scenes. I say, if anything huge was cut for time (and doesn't contradict any piece of continuity that came later in the show or in Season 8), put it back in. If it was supposed to be in there and wasn't just due to the fact that Buffy and Angel were limited by their 40-some minute-per-episode run time, get it back in there, fit some score over it (if appropriate), make it work.

For the fun or irrelevant deleted material, give us branching options. The viewer can decide if they want the stuff inserted or not--this is sometimes very satisfying on the 24 DVDs, where slower character bits often get cut for time in a tension/action-drive series...sometimes I think they should leave ou the "alternate angles" part of this on the 24 discs though, which are distracting when you're watching a season through on DVD for the first time.

No one is right or wrong about these issues (and yeah, I realize I just claimed they should insert certain deleted scenes back into the hard copies of the episodes when it sees Blu-Ray, although I guess they could just be made branching along with every other deleted scene). However, I don't think we should be freaked out by the possibilities just because George Lucas and Steven Spielberg (replacing guns with flashlights in E.T.) fucked up. Just make an all-encompassing Blu-Ray series set and fans will lap it up.

It's what I'm holding out for at this point. My friend has the Chosen Collection and the individual seasons of Angel, I can borrow off her. I lend her the parts of the Buffyverse she wouldn't have otherwise bothered with but still loves, like Fray, Tales, and Season 8 (she thought the opening arc was really off but things just kept getting better...was wtf about Dawnzilla but still got a laugh out of it), among others. I'm gonna show her Profit some day too, since she likes Adrian Pasdar on Heroes and might find it cool that David Greenwalt wanted to introduce that pre-BuffyTheSeries-character as an associate of Wolfram & Hart.

[ edited by Kris on 2008-08-01 04:50 ]
New 'Verse content of any kind = my $$$, simple as that. I want more 'Verse in one way, shape, form, or another gorramit!

Yes, I'll be getting the Blu-ray though I don't have a Blu-ray player (yet) and that's because I want Joss, FOX, Universal, venture capitalists, my cat or anyone else in the solar system to see there is profit to be made in making more Firefly/Serenity. Much more than dozens of dollars.

Sure I know a whole new TV series won't happen but another movie , a TV or Web mini-series, or even shadow puppets would be nice please. There is still much to do in the 'Verse.
All I want a 'master collection' chip I can plug directly into my brain. Or maybe better (unless you really like gratuitous surgery) would be a pair of sunglasses with tiny screens on the inside and enough storage for all of my favorite ME shows, extras and podcasts. And I'm gonna hold out until I get one. Or a PS3, whichever comes first.
I would love to buy this, but knowing my luck it'll be region-coded for North America only (I'm from the UK). A lot of Blu-Ray releases are region-free so I'm praying this will be the case, but I have a feeling that Fox always use region-coding. Anyone know for sure?
The contest is up and running for anyone who wants a chance to win a copy of Firefly on Blu-ray...

http://www.the-numbers.com/interactive/newsStory.php?newsID=3597

Link!

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