DVDBeaver

Discuss internationally-released DVDs and Blu-rays or other international DVD and Blu-ray-related topics.
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skeets kelly
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Re: DVDBeaver

#651 Post by skeets kelly » Tue Oct 08, 2019 12:31 am

A couple years ago, when there were a bunch of Criterion discs that were turning up defective because they had issues with a particular pressing plant, in the Beaver FB group Gary was on and on about how Criterion had to answer for deliberately passing off bad product on to their customers. I merely suggested that if it was entirely possible Criterion didn't have bad discs pressed on purpose...and then he banned me from the group.

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tenia
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Re: DVDBeaver

#652 Post by tenia » Tue Oct 08, 2019 1:47 am

I thought the discs he was selling was retail copies sent for reviews, not screeners. Selling check discs is a whole different thing and yeah, that's not very good.

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cdnchris
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Re: DVDBeaver

#653 Post by cdnchris » Tue Oct 08, 2019 6:48 am

Sorry if it wasn't clear but as far as I have seen they are final retail copies he sells, not check discs.

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tenia
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Re: DVDBeaver

#654 Post by tenia » Tue Oct 08, 2019 6:57 am

Oh OK. I'm fine with this. I actually did sell a couple of retail copies received for reviews... but only because they arrived late and I had bought my own copy by then in order to do the review !

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The Pachyderminator
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Re: DVDBeaver

#655 Post by The Pachyderminator » Tue Oct 08, 2019 5:52 pm

domino harvey wrote:
Mon Oct 07, 2019 4:56 pm
I'm sorry but the mental picture of Gary shivering while huddled under a blanket because the dude decided to buy movies instead of paying the heating bill is hilarious. Funny though, I didn't think begging for a handout was part of the bootstrap messaging of his beloved Republicans
He's not asking for a "handout," though. He's asking people who benefit from his work to pay something for it so it can continue to exist. The internet being what it is these days, we need people to get used to the idea that nice things are worth supporting.

(And I know you're taking a shot at Gary, not so much at the idea of a writer asking for money, but still.)

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Donald Brown
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 3:21 pm
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Re: DVDBeaver

#656 Post by Donald Brown » Tue Oct 08, 2019 7:14 pm

Despite whatever faults Gary may have, Beaver remains an invaluable resource. It's one of the few places that reviews obscure titles, or offers sweeping comparisons of multiple releases.

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Drucker
Your Future our Drucker
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Re: DVDBeaver

#657 Post by Drucker » Tue Oct 08, 2019 8:53 pm

Donald Brown wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 7:14 pm
Despite whatever faults Gary may have, Beaver remains an invaluable resource. It's one of the few places that reviews obscure titles, or offers sweeping comparisons of multiple releases.
Same! Was very surprised about the pile on here. I happily give to the site and would give more.

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Reverend Drewcifer
Joined: Sat Mar 09, 2013 5:16 pm
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Re: DVDBeaver

#658 Post by Reverend Drewcifer » Tue Oct 08, 2019 9:09 pm

Keeping track of the various bêtes noires on this site is a real drag. Nick Redman was a common target around here up until the moment he died, then it was radio silence from the more peevish members.

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Gregory
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 4:07 pm

Re: DVDBeaver

#659 Post by Gregory » Tue Oct 08, 2019 11:09 pm

If the choice is between the site going under due to the the burdensome cost of buying releases that Gary doesn't receive as screeners (e.g., Shout!, Warner Archive) or simply not reviewing releases from those labels, then the obvious choice is the latter. If a reviewer is buying piles of releases at retail cost to review (in addition to all the other overhead for running a site), that's not a sustainable business model.

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tenia
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Re: DVDBeaver

#660 Post by tenia » Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:26 am

Reverend Drewcifer wrote:Keeping track of the various bêtes noires on this site is a real drag. Nick Redman was a common target around here up until the moment he died, then it was radio silence from the more peevish members.
Nick Redman wasn't so much the target than its business model generating $30 releases of 8 heads in a duffel bag whose sole extras are the trailer and a M&E track, with the justification that "we own the rights so that's what Americans will get and so be it."

As for Gary, he's sure reviewing tons of stuff, but as written multiple times, the texts of his reviews are often inaccurate and his screenshots have been proved being inaccurate for more than 10 years. It gives you a rough idea, sure, but in no way should it be any kind of go-to website.

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david hare
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Re: DVDBeaver

#661 Post by david hare » Wed Oct 09, 2019 4:26 am

And that, as they say is that. I totally agree.

kekid
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Re: DVDBeaver

#662 Post by kekid » Wed Oct 09, 2019 11:53 am

tenia wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:26 am
Reverend Drewcifer wrote:Keeping track of the various bêtes noires on this site is a real drag. Nick Redman was a common target around here up until the moment he died, then it was radio silence from the more peevish members.
Nick Redman wasn't so much the target than its business model generating $30 releases of 8 heads in a duffel bag whose sole extras are the trailer and a M&E track, with the justification that "we own the rights so that's what Americans will get and so be it."

As for Gary, he's sure reviewing tons of stuff, but as written multiple times, the texts of his reviews are often inaccurate and his screenshots have been proved being inaccurate for more than 10 years. It gives you a rough idea, sure, but in no way should it be any kind of go-to website.
What, in your view, is a go-to website that gives consistently accurate screenshots and good reviews (whatever that means to you) for wide-ranging Blu Ray and DVD releases for English-speaking audience?

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MichaelB
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Re: DVDBeaver

#663 Post by MichaelB » Wed Oct 09, 2019 11:55 am

There isn't one. Which is why you have to filter the existing highly imperfect sites through your own critical judgement.

As with Halliwell's Film Guide (or at least the editions published when he was alive), I'm more than aware of the Beev's shortcomings, but because I'm aware of them upfront I can mentally compensate.

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tenia
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Re: DVDBeaver

#664 Post by tenia » Wed Oct 09, 2019 1:10 pm

kekid wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 11:53 am
What, in your view, is a go-to website that gives consistently accurate screenshots and good reviews (whatever that means to you) for wide-ranging Blu Ray and DVD releases for English-speaking audience?
There indeed isn't one. I need most of the time to combine multiple reviewing websites to have all this, but if I had to choose, I'd still choose blu-ray.com I guess.

When I started reading reviews, I was mostly looking for Criterion and MoC reviews and needed to check criterionforum, Beaver and blu-ray.com because blu-ray.com was providing the native HD accurate screenshots, Beaver the BD Info scans and extra features exact durations and criterionforum the detailed and thorough reviews (plus scores I find more accurate then blu-ray.com, who tends to give slightly too high PQ scores for catalog movies - not by much, but at some point, you can't give Transformers, Barry Lyndon and Shoah the same PQ score).

This reason is actually why I started writing my own reviews, since I can provide accurate screenshots (they're very much equivalent to caps-a-holic's ones - and I actively checked that to be sure about it), do BD Info scans, and thought I could appropriately review BD releases, thus combining 3 reviews into 1. But I certainly can't cover everything, and being French, I can't cover much outside French releases. I do, though, but French coverage is useless for some foreign labels, and I already have enough to cover with France itself : I will be publishing 10 reviews next week, and most likely 34 more before the end of the year plus a 20-movies Ozu boxset and a 8-movies Mizoguchi ones ! My GF sure won't be happy with the time I'll spend on my computer prepping those up...

Addendum : my issues with Gary's reviews is that they're too generic, often vague, and not detailed enough. He usually has a line about the general aspect, possibly colors, the usual "robust" stuff which is just high(er) or low(er) video bitrate and that's pretty much it. You usually can get it's a new restoration or not, but anything needing nuance (like separating good, not so good, quite bad or really problematic pre-existing HD masters) won't be found there. That's an issue, because even with inaccurate screenshots, I don't need help to recognize a beautiful brand new 4K restoration from OCN or a borderline SD upscale. The added value is for helping distinguishing everything in between.

Orlac
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Re: DVDBeaver

#665 Post by Orlac » Wed Oct 09, 2019 4:52 pm

MichaelB wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 11:55 am
There isn't one. Which is why you have to filter the existing highly imperfect sites through your own critical judgement.

As with Halliwell's Film Guide (or at least the editions published when he was alive), I'm more than aware of the Beev's shortcomings, but because I'm aware of them upfront I can mentally compensate.
I have a 1993 Haliwells (four years after his death) where the editor added 3 stars and a complimentary line to Haliwell's previously dismissive reviews of Alien and Night of the Living Dead!

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Florinaldo
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Re: DVDBeaver

#666 Post by Florinaldo » Wed Oct 09, 2019 8:04 pm

One shortcut I often use to find reviews is the DVD-Basen site. It is not necessarily exhaustive, but it usually gives a good sampling of references, over various editions of one title. They go back a good number of years, which is helpful. The same core sites usually pop up, so you quickly learn to filter out those that do not fit your tastes or preferences.

http://www.dvd-basen.dk/uk/home.php3?soeg=all&mvis=ok

How rude!
Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2012 1:36 am

Re: DVDBeaver

#667 Post by How rude! » Wed Oct 09, 2019 9:56 pm

No other site gives a visual history of a title like Dvdbeaver. If you have multiple versions of a title, especially from the early days of dvd, you can compare your own versions with newer dvd or blu-ray, and now UHD. I have made many purchases based on the screencaps, and decided not to buy for the very same reason. There is simply no other site that offers the ability to compare multiple releases over multiple formats.

The reviews are short, and personal. It is a site which primarily offers image comparison, along with detailed technical info. A new blu-ray is released. you have a 15 year old dvd. Compare the pair! No other site offers this with the enormous catalogue of titles available.

as Gary noted, he has championed a number of small labels over the years, giving them an established outlet to grow a fan base. Secondrun comes to mind. Even when his screencaps showed releases with modest picture quality, I supported these small labels because they were releasing interesting films, generally unavailable in English-friendly formats.

It is a great site, offering an unrivaled ability to compare (in many cases) the visual history of a film over different formats,sometimes over decades.

It is my go-to site. Has been since I started collecting the earliest Criterion releases. I hope Gary can continue to operate the site. Perhaps labels that do benefit from his site could consider how they can help to keep it a viable option. They have benefited greatly from his passionate work. For those who 'pile on', as Drucker wrote, how many times over the last month/ year/ten years...or more, have you viewed his site to compare releases?

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Gregory
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Re: DVDBeaver

#668 Post by Gregory » Wed Oct 09, 2019 10:51 pm

How rude! wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 9:56 pm
There is simply no other site that offers the ability to compare multiple releases over multiple formats.
Caps-a-holic does. They offer 4,452 comparisons of 11,268 discs with total 109,262 screenshots.

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domino harvey
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Re: DVDBeaver

#669 Post by domino harvey » Wed Oct 09, 2019 11:28 pm

How many of those screenshots are Penelope Cruz topless though? Checkmate, Gary H8rs

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tenia
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Re: DVDBeaver

#670 Post by tenia » Thu Oct 10, 2019 2:36 am

How rude! wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 9:56 pm
For those who 'pile on', as Drucker wrote, how many times over the last month/ year/ten years...or more, have you viewed his site to compare releases?
It was my go-to site. 10 years ago indeed. It stopped feeling reliable about 6 years ago. I pretty much stopped viewed it 6 months ago, and am now only using it for its extra features listing.

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bearcuborg
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Re: DVDBeaver

#671 Post by bearcuborg » Thu Oct 10, 2019 12:48 pm

It’s cold in Canada eh? Go figure...

Well, as Tenia said, it was a most invaluable site 10+ years ago. I find this site does an excellent job keeping me in the loop, as does Global Discoveries w/Rosenbaum and the Lincoln Center magazine. Still, I find myself using it every now and then...it would be a shame to lose it...
Last edited by bearcuborg on Thu Oct 10, 2019 3:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

kekid
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 9:55 pm

Re: DVDBeaver

#672 Post by kekid » Thu Oct 10, 2019 1:30 pm

I understand some of the limitations of DVDBeaver various people have noted. However, I think it will be a loss if it is gone.
The value of this site is the comprehensive information contained in it. At a simplest level, I find it very useful to have a release calendar in one place. I am sure I would have missed many DVDs and Blu Rays I bought if they had not been pointed out in this calendar. Secondly, it has a library of reviews and comparisons. Even if some of the captures are flawed, and the style of reviews somewhat homogenized, the reviews provide a reliable guide for choosing from alternatives most of the time. The Blu Ray and DVD of the Year is as subjective and as valuable as many other selections of this type, including those made on this forum.
This leaves the question of the man behind this site, Gary Tooz. I have often wondered what motivates him to put in the effort and resources to maintain the site. It does not seem to be money, and judging by the often harsh criticism leveled at him it cannot be the desire for fame. There seems to be a kind of passion. I for one am grateful for the service he has provided.

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tenia
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Re: DVDBeaver

#673 Post by tenia » Thu Oct 10, 2019 2:47 pm

I do believe Gary is doing it out of pure and blind passion, for people to have access to this info somewhere. In this regard, I don't think there is any other motive behind (though it's always practical to get freebies - I'm saying this without malice, it just is a way to save a bit) and he is commendable to throw that much time in this venture.

CriterionPhreak
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Re: DVDBeaver

#674 Post by CriterionPhreak » Tue Oct 22, 2019 11:45 pm

I would've thought the biggest threat to Gary is the possible shutdown of AnyDVD, which did get shut down once. Without AnyDVD, no captures can be made, and there goes Gary's site.

If Gary had the writing skills of, say, Douglas Pratt, then he could supplement his income by publishing written disc reviews and earn subscription fees like Mr. Pratt is still doing -- has been doing since laserdiscs, way before DVDBeaver started. It pains me to say Gary seems to have below-average writing skills if his site is any indication. (As many of you may know, Doug Pratt is a stunningly good writer and reviewer of movie discs without having to use screenshots at all. I subbed his e-newsletter as recently as 2016. I subbed him the most during the 90s.)

I don't know if Gary has any video-making skills. Probably not, or his Youtube channel would've indicated that long ago. His niche fan base probably wouldn't have parlayed into enough Youtube subs or income.

He does one thing, and one thing only, in the niche business of arthouse & classic discs, when fewer and fewer people watch discs. And he seems to have few other options.

He currently has 600+ Patreon patrons, giving him about $3000 a month. WIth that, he could buy about 100 discs at $30-40 each, and that is about the number of discs he reviews a month (maybe on average). Pay the $150-300 heating cost and he could still buy about 90-95 discs a month. Unless he has no other income.

Blu-ray.com has MUCH more traffic than Gary's site, I imagine. But of course, Blu-ray.com does many things other than reviews. If Gary keeps on doing one thing and one thing only with few options, he is going to keep having obstacles like this.

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Altair
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Re: DVDBeaver

#675 Post by Altair » Wed Oct 23, 2019 12:24 am

Just to chip in, I would imagine a substantial amount of that $3,000 goes towards hosting the website, maintaining it, and so on, and probably represents a significant amount of the costs.

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