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  • Mixed reviews & worries from the UK

    I haven't seen TLT yet so please don't reply with any spoilers. However the reviews I've read have worried the hell out of me. 'Wordy, turgid, slow....', is it really that bad?

    Also, does anyone have any ideas of how the US sales figures are looking? I know Amazon.com has it high in its sales ratings but does anyone have any numbers in terms of $$$$$$?
    S

  • #2
    Originally posted by Smudger View Post
    ...'Wordy, turgid, slow....', is it really that bad?
    It all depends on whom you ask. Some people, like me, love it. Others hate it. And there are people that fall in between the two poles. Just like with everything, I'd imagine.

    There is a lot of talking; it's not an action story. But then, despite having a good amount of action in it, Babylon 5 never was an action story but a character drama about making choices and the consequences those choices have. And having to make choices is definitely at the heart of both segments of "Voices In The Dark". VITD is about contemplation and understanding the consequences of choices, not about kicking ass.
    Last edited by vacantlook; 08-07-2007, 06:26 AM.

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    • #3
      I liked it quite a bit but there's no denying that it's different from the episodes that we were used to. It's supposed to be and we were told it would be from the beginning.

      I liked it even though I didn't love it extavagantly. The trubutes that were done for Andreas and Richard were lovely. The music was great. The Fireside Chats were a nice nod to the crew who helped make it. I was disappointed that not all of the Video Diaries made it onto the DVD.

      Reviews are all over the place although the second segment seems to be favored over the first and I feel the same. There's no doubt that this was done on a strict budget and it does show in a few places.

      I can't advise you much because you're already 'worried' so my advice to make up your own mind when you see it isn't exactly helpful. I guess I can only suggest that you only pay attention to reviews that you trust, not just anybody who can type on a blog or who might have an agenda (like the person who wrote the first 'review' on the Amazon.co.uk page).

      As for sales numbers, no we haven't gotten any and I don't really think we will. It would be hard to compare them to anything else if we did have them since we don't have any data on the expectations or original budget.

      That any help?

      Jan
      "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

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      • #4
        I'm not personally too worried by that kind of criticism. Everything that they complain about - the wordiness, the lack of scale, the lack of action, the absence of so much of the cast, can be traced back to the budget, and the fact that the thing was shot on minute sets (mostly consisting of a couple of wall fragments and some green screen), using costumes and props that had been knocking around since the original.

        I think JMS acknowledges the problem in this quote from the CG Society article:

        And will there be any more Babylon 5 shows in the future? ôAny further B5 DVDs will depend on the sales, and on Warner Brothers giving us sufficient money to take the step of making any subsequent DVDs bigger than this one,ö says Straczynski. ôThis was kind of a test of the concept of making what is essentially a series on DVD, which hasn't really been done before. But it was a test, with a very modest budget. If we do more, they have to be done with a larger budget so we can involve more of our cast members, do bigger FX and locations and the like. If we can't keep making them better, then they shouldn't be done.ö
        It's an interesting quote - imagine if he'd said something like that in relation to the original series or TV movies. It almost sounds like an ultimatum..

        What's really annoying me about those reviewers is that they're actively advising people to save their pennies and spend them elsewhere, which is a great way to ensure we never get to see any of the above..

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        • #5
          I found that quote to be very telling also, RMcD. The fact that this DVD is as good as it is is a tribute to the 'Straczynski method' of doing things smart.

          <small rant> I don't know about anybody else but I'm really sick of WB doing that 'test the market' thing. They did it with the VHS tapes, again with the DVDs and now with Lost Tales. Isn't it about time that they realized that the fans do love and support this universe? </small rant>

          Oops...where'd this soap box come from?

          Jan
          "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Jan View Post
            ...I don't know about anybody else....
            I'm with you.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Jan View Post
              Oops...where'd this soap box come from?
              Wanna slide that over here for a minute?

              <sympathetic rant>Testing isn't so bad, but I mean show a little backbone and do a real test! Make a commitment! At least when Universal did their experiment with "Serenity" they committed, like $20M. Would it have killed WB to commit to 2 or 3 disks in order to gauge reaction over time? </sympathetic rant>

              Thanks. Anyone else need this thing????
              "That was the law, as set down by Valen. Three castes: worker, religious, warrior."

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              • #8
                well mine got here today, I want to watch it but I prmoised I'd upload a podcast first.
                Right, podcast recorded and uploadign now, just need to update the page then I can watch.
                *looks at soapbox for a bit, considers rant about sanctuary pricing, gives up*
                Phaze
                on the "I'm off to watch the lost tales, the wonderful lost tales of Joe" ID
                "There are no good wars. War is always the worst possible way to resolve differences. It degenerates and corrupts both sides to ever more sordid levels of existence, in their need to gain an advantage over the enemy. Those actively involved in combat are almost always damaged goods for the rest of their lives. If their bodies don't bear scars, their minds do, ofttimes both. Many have said it before, but it can't be said to enough, war is hell. "

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Jan View Post
                  <small rant> I don't know about anybody else but I'm really sick of WB doing that 'test the market' thing. They did it with the VHS tapes, again with the DVDs and now with Lost Tales. Isn't it about time that they realized that the fans do love and support this universe? </small rant>
                  The love and support is why it is worthwhile Warner Brothers using Babylon 5 as the test item.
                  Andrew Swallow

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                  • #10
                    When i told my sisters and parents about this they were hyper excited and all said they wanted a copy. To quote mother dear 'Babylon 5 is the best scifi show ever'.

                    You cannot really argue with that can you? ( im buying her a copy as well.)

                    As for a rant - well I suppose WB should just bite the bullet and announce the making of another dozen of these dvds. ( Well I can dream can't I? )

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Jan View Post
                      I liked it quite a bit but there's no denying that it's different from the episodes that we were used to. It's supposed to be and we were told it would be from the beginning.
                      Jan maybe you can help me with this, I'm remembering that JMS had said that TLT was going to be something along the lines of 2 "B" story lines. Do you remember that being said?

                      If this is true, then the "feel" of the stories makes more sense.

                      Aaron on the did you vote for my podcast at www.podcastawards.com id?
                      ---
                      Co-host of The Second Time Around podcast
                      www.benedictfamily.org/podcast

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                      • #12
                        I think this is what you're thinking about, Aaron:
                        So I thought about it and I came back to them and said, “Here’s what I’m thinking. When we did Babylon 5, what I liked were the small little stories that we did as ‘B’ plots and as short stories. What if we did a whole bunch of short films? Little mini-movies, each one worked around established B5 characters, not somebody else. One that’s worked around Sheridan, one that’s worked around Delenn, one that’s worked around Lochley or Garibaldi or whoever it is, and put these things out on DVDs and sell them to networks, whatever you want to do, make them short stories. An anthology show set in the Babylon 5 universe. They said, “Okay.” We already have a network that wants to carry them, by the way. We’re negotiating with them now. In addition to the network who wants to broadcast them, put them on DVD, three per DVD and sell them and build up an inventory of these: Babylon 5: the Lost Tales, basing a lot of them on stories I had for the series but never had a chance to actually put into gear-a bunch of different stories I never had time to produce.
                        Emphasis mine. It's from the transcript I did from the 2006 Comic-Con. Man, these transcripts come in handy!

                        Jan
                        "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

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                        • #13
                          Look, it's not perfect...but it's a damn sight better than alot of B5 stuff we've got, in fact the second story is great! It's intitmate, nice little "tales" which is exactly what we were promised. So I don't understand the mixed feelings. It's actually surpassed what I was expecting, especially with some of the visuals. I think the sales figures will be good and the next one we get, will be MUCH bigger in scope because JMS will have more budget. With all the main-stream attention JMS is getting on other projects, Warners would be stupid not to cash in on the B5 train and make some more money out of him...

                          I'd be suprised if we don't get an announcement on some more DVD's very soon. It's doing well in sales to my laymans eyes...and thats before the global sales numbers come in...

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                          • #14
                            Hey Smudger,

                            (De-lurking for a minute) I haven't seen it yet, but I've read all the spoilers and I'm set to buy (hopefully) two copies. I'm in France so like you, I'm waiting for it to hit Amazon.uk. I say hopefully two, because I'd truly like to see it re-issued at some point with french subtitles (dubbed would be great) for my french nieces, nephews, in-laws, friends and in all, it's not a small bunch. I turned 'em all on and they're hooked. They know a good story when they see it and if chances are there can be more... they want it. Bad!

                            The general concensus is, it's more than just a sci-fi show... It's food for the heart, soul, brain and let's not forget the eyes.

                            So support the effort and like Doritos, 'They'll make more.'
                            Waiter, will you serve the nuts? I mean, will you serve the guests the nuts? - Nora Charles

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Carlito View Post
                              I'm in France so like you, I'm waiting for it to hit Amazon.uk.
                              Then wait no longer. Amazon.co.uk

                              Jan
                              Last edited by Jan; 08-07-2007, 05:16 PM.
                              "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

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