(Horror Of) Dracula UK Blu-ray - Epic Fail! - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 85 Old 02-27-2013, 10:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Reviews and screen caps are starting to come in about the eagerly awaited Blu-ray release of "Dracula" aka Horror of Dracula. Apparently and the screen caps seem to confirm someone really fudged with the color timing and gamma setting for this release. The image is now significantly darker and there's an oppressively blue tint to the entire film, no doubt to make it look more "modern." Apparently this was done for the original BFI film restoration back in 2007 however the BFI sourced their print (except the opening titles and newly-found Japanese footage) from Warner Bros USA which color-wise looked excellent so clearly the BFI did some revisionist color timing and Hammer stuck with it for this release.

One example:

US DVD


New UK BR/DVD


Also, a raw still from the Japanese footage:



At least the framing is a bit better, but that's small consolation.

Here's a long thread with numerous screen caps (from the new dvd which is part of the BR release).

http://thelatarniaforums.yuku.com/topic/10643/More-Hammer-classics-coming-to-bd-announcement-good-news?page=9#.US7sHzca4aw
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post #2 of 85 Old 02-27-2013, 10:19 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Partyslammer View Post

Reviews and screen caps are starting to come in about the eagerly awaited Blu-ray release of "Dracula" aka Horror of Dracula. Apparently and the screen caps seem to confirm someone really fudged with the color timing and gamma setting for this release. The image is now significantly darker and there's an oppressively blue tint to the entire film, no doubt to make it look more "modern." Apparently this was done for the original BFI film restoration back in 2007 however the BFI sourced their print (except the opening titles and newly-found Japanese footage) from Warner Bros USA which color-wise looked excellent so clearly the BFI did some revisionist color timing and Hammer stuck with it for this release.

One example:

US DVD


New UK BR/DVD


Also, a raw still from the Japanese footage:



At least the framing is a bit better, but that's small consolation.

Here's a long thread with numerous screen caps (from the new dvd which is part of the BR release).

http://thelatarniaforums.yuku.com/topic/10643/More-Hammer-classics-coming-to-bd-announcement-good-news?page=9#.US7sHzca4aw

You cannot judge on ill-taken caps, which these are. Sorry. Come back when you've actually seen the disc and therefore can post something that means something smile.gif And let me tell you from someone who used to own a dye transfer print of this film - if you think the color timing in your first cap is accurate then you know nothing about this film and its original look.
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post #3 of 85 Old 02-27-2013, 10:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by haineshisway View Post

You cannot judge on ill-taken caps, which these are. Sorry. Come back when you've actually seen the disc and therefore can post something that means something smile.gif And let me tell you from someone who used to own a dye transfer print of this film - if you think the color timing in your first cap is accurate then you know nothing about this film and its original look.

"Ill-taken caps..." LOL!

So are you saying the film is supposed to have color timing like "Van Helsing?" Are you saying the color timing of *numerous* screen caps are so far off that the blue color tinting and darker overall image is totally misrepresented?

I've seen several prints of this film theatrically over the decades, owned it in every home video iteration and I can say without hesitation or doubt the color timing has always looked far closer to the old Warner Bros dvd than the new Blu-ray.
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post #4 of 85 Old 02-28-2013, 08:07 AM
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post #5 of 85 Old 02-28-2013, 10:21 AM - Thread Starter
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Hammer goes on the defensive amidst growing fan uproar...

http://blog.hammerfilms.com/?p=366#comment-10022

They basically sum up their stance with "buy it and decide whether you like it or not."
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post #6 of 85 Old 02-28-2013, 01:43 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Partyslammer View Post

"Ill-taken caps..." LOL!

So are you saying the film is supposed to have color timing like "Van Helsing?" Are you saying the color timing of *numerous* screen caps are so far off that the blue color tinting and darker overall image is totally misrepresented?

I've seen several prints of this film theatrically over the decades, owned it in every home video iteration and I can say without hesitation or doubt the color timing has always looked far closer to the old Warner Bros dvd than the new Blu-ray.

I doubt you have ever seen a dye transfer print. I believe you are basing everything you're saying on previous substandard and very incorrect releases, especially in terms of color timing. There is NO blue tint or wash - it's the way the film was photographed and timed and had you ever seen an original print from back then you would know this. There is a shot of a woman in a green coat - if you look at that cap (and yes, the caps are kind of inept but one gets the idea) - there are pure greens, lush reds - and NO BLUE TINT. Funny, isn't it? The colors are entirely accurate to a dye transfer prints. When there should be blue in a shot there is blue in a shot and when there shouldn't be (the shot of the woman in the green coat) there isn't. But of course you know best based on your long knowledge of previous incorrect home video releases. Yessir - LOL indeed smile.gif
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post #7 of 85 Old 02-28-2013, 01:47 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Partyslammer View Post

Hammer goes on the defensive amidst growing fan uproar...

http://blog.hammerfilms.com/?p=366#comment-10022

They basically sum up their stance with "buy it and decide whether you like it or not."

Hammer for once has said exactly what they needed to say. No one cares whether YOU like it or not - that is not the issue and never will be the issue. The issue is does it represent the dye transfer color timing, and from having owned two gorgeous dye transfer prints of this film, my guess, based solely on poorly rendered screen caps, is yes it does, color-wise. As to the darkness, if you don't understand how placing an overly bright cap directly next to a cap that's not overly bright fools the eye then I can't help you. And that' where Hammer is getting it right, this time - you can continue making with your snappy negative posts and everyone here will smile and understand you don't know what you're talking about because - you haven't seen the disc, nor have you seen a dye transfer print. That's batting zero, I'm afraid. Once you've SEEN the disc, do feel free to weigh in - I know I will be.
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post #8 of 85 Old 02-28-2013, 04:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by haineshisway View Post

I doubt you have ever seen a dye transfer print. I believe you are basing everything you're saying on previous substandard and very incorrect releases, especially in terms of color timing. There is NO blue tint or wash.....

Nahh, no blue here.

New transfer:


This image from one of the documentaries ON THE SAME DISC:


Son, I can school you all day long on the look of Director of Photography Jack Asher's films, how they were lit and the fact that he NEVER lit and shot any of his films saturated towards one tint to this degree in this fashion, much less the fact that no print of Dracula EVER looked like this up 'til the BFI restoration (which more or less the heavy lifting was done by Warner Bros who supplied a newly color timed check print in 2007). And any reasonably informed, intelligent person would know by now how clueless the person(s) running Hammer's blog are in regards to technical matters - they were defending the screwed up "Dracula Prince Of Darkness" mess and more recently the terrible looking "Curse Of Frankenstein" blu-ray. For Dracula, they are saying The BFI’s grading decisions were made based on a close inspection of an "original" check print, yet the BFI tech has long since said they got a NEW check print from Warner Bros. There is no "original" check print in existence.

If you have any further bleating to do, by all means be my guest but I'm done playing your usual troll game.
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post #9 of 85 Old 02-28-2013, 05:22 PM
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It's really sad Hammer has done such a piss poor job on their BDs in general.

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post #10 of 85 Old 02-28-2013, 05:42 PM
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As for the WB dvd of Horror of Dracula I cannot say I am impressed with what little I have seen of it, it seems brightened to the point of flattening the lighting. While I will wait until there are 1080p caps to see if the Hammer BD is yet another sloppy job I have a hard time believing the original film had such a strong blue tint.
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post #11 of 85 Old 02-28-2013, 07:48 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Partyslammer View Post

Nahh, no blue here.

New transfer:


This image from one of the documentaries ON THE SAME DISC:


Son, I can school you all day long on the look of Director of Photography Jack Asher's films, how they were lit and the fact that he NEVER lit and shot any of his films saturated towards one tint to this degree in this fashion, much less the fact that no print of Dracula EVER looked like this up 'til the BFI restoration (which more or less the heavy lifting was done by Warner Bros who supplied a newly color timed check print in 2007). And any reasonably informed, intelligent person would know by now how clueless the person(s) running Hammer's blog are in regards to technical matters - they were defending the screwed up "Dracula Prince Of Darkness" mess and more recently the terrible looking "Curse Of Frankenstein" blu-ray. For Dracula, they are saying The BFI’s grading decisions were made based on a close inspection of an "original" check print, yet the BFI tech has long since said they got a NEW check print from Warner Bros. There is no "original" check print in existence.

If you have any further bleating to do, by all means be my guest but I'm done playing your usual troll game.

Oh, yes, do school me. You haven't seen the transfer. The End. Come back when you have. I think it is you doing the bleating here. People who have heard the commentaries, which apparently don't include you, are saying that the people doing the talking say that a dye transfer print was used to time what the BFI did. You've seen, what, five or eight still frames - sorry, I'm not rushing to judgement like you lot. If it's a piece of turd I'll be the first to say it, but it will be based on my knowledge of my dye transfer prints. And it's fascinating to me that you can school me in the look of Jack Asher's films without having seen an original dye transfer print of THIS film. Were you thrilled with the color of The Curse of Frankenstein, which is all brown and crappy? I wasn't.

Oh, and please provide a direct link to where those caps came from. Do it. Do it now.
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post #12 of 85 Old 02-28-2013, 08:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Oh, and please provide a direct link to where those caps came from. Do it. Do it now.

How are you still a member on this site with all the 3rd grade trolling you do?
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post #13 of 85 Old 02-28-2013, 10:40 PM
 
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How are you still a member on this site with all the 3rd grade trolling you do?

I don't know - how are you still a member on this site with all the 3rd grade trolling you do? Funny how that works. Exactly how am I trolling? Unlike you, I have owned dye transfer prints of Horror of Dracula in both 16mm and 35mm. Unlike you, I saw the film when it was released. I am completely on topic. Do you even understand the word troll? Apparently not, but it's always fun to just throw these words out when someone has the temerity to challenge your unsupported posts. You profess and state loudly that you can teach me all about Jack Asher and the way he photographs films. Based on what exactly? What makes you an expert?
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post #14 of 85 Old 02-28-2013, 11:43 PM - Thread Starter
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A fair review:

http://www.dvdactive.com/reviews/dvd/dracula.html

"However, the colour grading of this release is undoubtedly different from previous DVD releases, and from footage of the film found in the supplemental features section of the disc. It's much colder, with plenty of blues in the night-time sequences, not to mention a darker overall appearance and flatter contrast. Now SD DVD is hardly known for its accurate colour reproduction, particularly for older releases, but even so it would appear that there is a certain degree of revisionism at play here."
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post #15 of 85 Old 03-01-2013, 12:29 AM
 
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I defy anyone to look at the caps in the review posted above and especially caps one, two, four, and five, and show me a blue wash over the image - there is NONE. The nighttime scenes are blue as they should be but if they'd put this supposed blue over the entire image the caps I've referenced could not possibly look like they look. I also see no overly dark images. Also, I don't see much of any difference in the caps posted at the bottom of the page between the Blu and the DVD included with the Blu. He admits he has no idea what the film should look like, he's never even seen the previous DVD so that doesn't make his review "fair" - it makes it a review by someone who hasn't a clue as to what's right or wrong. Also, they admit freely that the caps are resized and jpgs and compressed - how can you take any of it seriously until you actually see the disc? That said, IF the color in those caps is representative of what's on the disc, then we will finally have a transfer that actually looks like what the dye transfer prints looked like - and that is not the haze of memory speaking - it's from many viewings of dye transfer prints I owned.
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post #16 of 85 Old 03-01-2013, 05:08 AM
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My God, yet another release ruined and yet again people saying "so what!" One reason why I rarely post anymore.

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post #17 of 85 Old 03-01-2013, 06:34 AM
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I have not seen the Blu-ray, will not comment on the BD caps, and have no knowledge of what this film is supposed to look like. But anyone who is using the Warner DVD to demonstrate this film looking "good" or "better" is being foolish. The colour and contrast on that thing is and always was rubbish.
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post #18 of 85 Old 03-01-2013, 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by EddieLarkin View Post

I have not seen the Blu-ray, will not comment on the BD caps, and have no knowledge of what this film is supposed to look like. But anyone who is using the Warner DVD to demonstrate this film looking "good" or "better" is being foolish. The colour and contrast on that thing is and always was rubbish.

My only exposure to this film was via the 1080p streaming on VUDU, which comes from the older Warner HD master. While it looked nice overall in terms of detail, the image was clearly too bright, which made the sets look overlit and stagy, and the blood look very fake. It was obvious even to someone who wasn't terribly familiar with the movie that the picture should have been darker.

Whether the Blu-ray veers too far in the opposite direction, I'm not qualified to say. But I certainly wouldn't judge the accuracy of the Blu-ray based only on older video editions.

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post #19 of 85 Old 03-01-2013, 11:31 AM
 
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My God, yet another release ruined and yet again people saying "so what!" One reason why I rarely post anymore.

And you know this how? No one here is saying so what. They're saying - and I know it's radical - wait until you see the actual disc. Everything else is a fool's game that people here do love to play. As many have pointed out, the Warners DVD transfer is a joke - the color is sickening and completely incorrect and it's way too bright. If you put that image next to a correctly timed image what do you think your eye will tell you? And your eye would be wrong. The blood on the Warner transfer is orange. The blood in these caps that keep being posted is RED. As bad as these caps are, that should at least give you a hint that the color timing is more accurate, and if you do exactly what I said and look at the caps I referenced in a post above you will see there is in no way, shape, or from a blue wash over the entire image of this transfer. It's such nonsense.
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post #20 of 85 Old 03-01-2013, 01:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post

My only exposure to this film was via the 1080p streaming on VUDU, which comes from the older Warner HD master. While it looked nice overall in terms of detail, the image was clearly too bright, which made the sets look overlit and stagy, and the blood look very fake. It was obvious even to someone who wasn't terribly familiar with the movie that the picture should have been darker.

Whether the Blu-ray veers too far in the opposite direction, I'm not qualified to say. But I certainly wouldn't judge the accuracy of the Blu-ray based only on older video editions.

It's true the WB US dvd is lighter than it should be, however the color is fairly accurate (and most Hammer experts seem to agree) to every theatrical screening of the film I've ever seen with the exception of the 2007 BFI restoration which Hammer/Lionsgate used for this release. Hammer "blood" sometimes nicknamed "Kensington Gore" almost always had a unnatural, overly bright, stagey color and consistency more like paint than plasma.

As for the overall "look" of the late 50's - early 60's Hammer color productions, that was due in large part to the vibrant lighting and color photography pioneered by Jack Asher first in Curse Of Frankenstein, then refined the following year with (Horror) Of Dracula (which Asher was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Color Photography) and several subsequent Hammer Films culminating in "Brides Of Dracula" which is inarguably Hammer's most beautiful looking film. Asher specialized in lighting the sets much like how a stage play is lit, in a very theatrical, non-realistic way with smaller spots and colored gels... painting with light. Colors often diametrically clashed - a bright pool of red against browns and purples while character's faces retained warm fleshtones against comic book-like backgrounds.

Asher was gradually replaced in the early 60's with Arthur Grant who was faster and cheaper. Grant generally followed Asher's lighting style on films like "The Curse Of The Werewolf" and "The Phantom Of The Opera" but gradually moved towards a less flamboyant, more realistic lighting and photography style as the 60's progressed.

Here's several examples of Asher's and Grant's (bottom cap from "Werewolf~") lighting:

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post #21 of 85 Old 03-01-2013, 01:55 PM
 
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It's true the WB US dvd is lighter than it should be, however the color is fairly accurate (and most Hammer experts seem to agree) to every theatrical screening of the film I've ever seen with the exception of the 2007 BFI restoration which Hammer/Lionsgate used for this release. Hammer "blood" sometimes nicknamed "Kensington Gore" almost always had a unnatural, overly bright, stagey color and consistency more like paint than plasma.

As for the overall "look" of the late 50's - early 60's Hammer color productions, that was due in large part to the vibrant lighting and color photography pioneered by Jack Asher first in Curse Of Frankenstein, then refined the following year with (Horror) Of Dracula (which Asher was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Color Photography) and several subsequent Hammer Films culminating in "Brides Of Dracula" which is inarguably Hammer's most beautiful looking film. Asher specialized in lighting the sets much like how a stage play is lit, in a very theatrical, non-realistic way with smaller spots and colored gels... painting with light. Colors often diametrically clashed - a bright pool of red against browns and purples while character's faces retained warm fleshtones against comic book-like backgrounds.

Asher was gradually replaced in the early 60's with Arthur Grant who was faster and cheaper. Grant generally followed Asher's lighting style on films like "The Curse Of The Werewolf" and "The Phantom Of The Opera" but gradually moved towards a less flamboyant, more realistic lighting and photography style as the 60's progressed.

Here's several examples of Asher's and Grant's (bottom cap from "Werewolf~") lighting:


And not ONE of those caps you just posted looks anything like the Warners DVD of Horror of Dracula. And color-wise, they are much closer to what's been posted from the new transfer. So, there's that. We'll all have the disc in a couple of weeks and then we can ALL off our opinions about it.
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post #22 of 85 Old 03-01-2013, 04:29 PM - Thread Starter
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And not ONE of those caps you just posted looks anything like the Warners DVD of Horror of Dracula. And color-wise, they are much closer to what's been posted from the new transfer. So, there's that. We'll all have the disc in a couple of weeks and then we can ALL off our opinions about it.

LOL, two of those caps *are* from the old Warner Bros HOD dvd, genius.
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post #23 of 85 Old 03-01-2013, 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Matt_Stevens View Post

My God, yet another release ruined and yet again people saying "so what!" One reason why I rarely post anymore.

But we need you posting about ruined stuff.
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LOL, two of those caps *are* from the old Warner Bros HOD dvd, genius.

That poster comes up with endless and ever changing excuses, not worth arguing with really,.
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post #24 of 85 Old 03-01-2013, 06:49 PM
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... then refined the following year with (Horror) Of Dracula (which Asher was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Color Photography) .. .

Huh? Nothing in the Academy's database about that.

1958 (31st Academy Awards)
CINEMATOGRAPHY (Black-and-White)
*The Defiant Ones -- Sam Leavitt
Desire under the Elms -- Daniel L. Fapp
I Want to Live! -- Lionel Lindon
Separate Tables -- Charles Lang, Jr.
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Auntie Mame -- Harry Stradling, Sr.
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof -- William Daniels
*Gigi -- Joseph Ruttenberg
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post #25 of 85 Old 03-01-2013, 07:12 PM
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He was nominated for a BAFTA award in 1963 for best cinematography (color) for The Scarlet Blade.

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post #26 of 85 Old 03-01-2013, 08:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Huh? Nothing in the Academy's database about that.
(snip)

Interesting. I've read that he was nominated for Color Photography (and losing to "Gigi") in various books and articles over the years but sure enough, there's no Academy/Oscar database that shows his name.
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post #27 of 85 Old 03-02-2013, 11:25 AM
 
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Interesting. I've read that he was nominated for Color Photography (and losing to "Gigi") in various books and articles over the years but sure enough, there's no Academy/Oscar database that shows his name.

I guess we're both geniuses, huh.
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post #28 of 85 Old 03-02-2013, 10:40 PM
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Originally Posted by haineshisway View Post

And not ONE of those caps you just posted looks anything like the Warners DVD of Horror of Dracula.
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post #29 of 85 Old 03-03-2013, 05:33 PM
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Revisionist color correction is always a murky issue on new home video releases of classic movies. Personally, I prefer the early Hammers in bright, garish colors. They had brilliant stage and set design with make-up specifically made for certain lighting, where a darker contrast will obscure those attributes. It's a shame they couldn't have offered both color corrections on Blu-ray. There seems to be immense pressure on distributors to tint their older films with modern audiences in mind, irrespective of whether it is accurate to the original theatrical presentation. Gothic horror films looked little like the desaturated thrillers of today.
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post #30 of 85 Old 03-03-2013, 07:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Partyslammer View Post

Hammer goes on the defensive amidst growing fan uproar...

http://blog.hammerfilms.com/?p=366#comment-10022

They basically sum up their stance with "buy it and decide whether you like it or not."
Grossly inaccurate!
Their is no such "quote": buy it and decide whether you like it or not.
Although in the past I may remember this being their (or a reviewer's) stance (I think in reference too DNR).
They basically sum up their stance with: "Finally, we would at least ask that judgment be reserved till you have watched the film. Screengrabs never convey colour or contrast entirely accurately. Thank you"

It doesn't matter w/the DVD lOOkED like, it doesn't matter what you remember seeing in the US back-in-the-day, cause this is as close as Hammer could get today (cost, etc, etc... ).
I applaud them for that.
Doesn't mean I have too like it tho!

Wonder where the previous Home Video sources came from?!?!
That's QUITE a diff!
WB???
.

"I wonder if any of the releases had slipcovers though."
"Are these comfirmed to have slipcovers?"
"They look nice in those slips."
"This slipcover looks too good to pass up."
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