I love Warner Archive, the online scheme that offers ‘less commercially viable’ films from the studio’s back catalogue on manufactured-on-demand discs. Every time I click through to buy a disc, an order goes out for a copy to be burned, and then that disc is mailed out to me, fresh. With no inventory to house in expensive warehouses, or potentially even bury in big holes in the desert, overheads can be kept pretty low and higher risk titles can be made available.
But I haven’t bought a disc from the Archive in a little while now. I’ve been waiting for the service to go HD and start offering Blu-rays.
And next week, report Home Media Magazine, it does. Where’s my wallet?
Warner Archive have announced that their first Blu-ray releases wil be Deathtrap, with Michael Caine and Christopher Reeve, and Gypsy, with Natalie Wood and Rosalind Russell.
Not the most enticing of first services, but I think Warner Bros. knew that a certain audience would need a different bait so they also teased two more, upcoming relases – The Hudsucker Proxy and Peter Weir’s Fearless. Sold and sold.
Now, I’m said we live in a world where The Hudsucker Proxy and Fearless couldn’t get a full, retail release but I’m happy that there is a second way. The Archive DVDs have used the best available prints, usually without a full restoration. The Blu-rays may require a little more attention but the same transfers could be farmed out to TV and as downloads.
The price for each Blu-ray will be $21.99, and contrary to the DVD scheme, they won’t be made singularly to order, just in very small batches. How small? Not for me to know. Mine is just to order and enjoy.
As the months go on Warner Bros. will make more and more films available. They’re pretty good at responding to requests too, so I shall get to scratching my head and then hassling their customer service teams.