John Sturge's "The Great Escape" - Page 2 - AVS Forum
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post #31 of 60 Old 05-08-2013, 01:14 PM
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Look, they can remaster, restore, rescan and frame-by-frame this film til the cows come home and it's just never going to look like Lawrence of Arabia. It is what it is. A great movie with a now decent Blu-ray transfer off of what's left of the elements. Few fans of TGE will sit through a viewing and not like what's presented here. Those who dream of something that will never be will continue to nitpick. I watched the film last night and thoroughly enjoyed it.
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post #32 of 60 Old 05-08-2013, 02:10 PM
 
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And I concur with Mr. Harris. There is no DNR on this transfer. It is not an old master. The film is loaded with opticals - of course, let me first note that those doing the loudest complaining, you know, the usual suspects, haven't seen the transfer at all. Some of the opticals go on for a VERY long time, sometimes as long as five minutes. Of course those look soft, that's the way they've always looked and always will look - of course, you'd had to have actually seen the film projected to understand that, but it's also obvious from every other home video release on this film. Several of the lengthy outdoor sequences were also shot with a heavy diffusion filter and those have that look - that's the way it's always been and always will be. The shots that are not opticals all look fine, have excellent detail (you can see fabrics for the first time ever) and it looks like - wait for it - The Great Escape. And the color is absolutely perfect - all previous home video releases have been incorrect - thank goodness this time they got it right. But thanks to that other site and its reviewer and the sheep that follow him, this transfer has received unfair reaction and if I were MGM/UA I would just throw up my hands and license everything to Twilight Time, Olive, Criterion, or Image. Horrible.

I think we all know now to discount immediately the members of this forum who consistently and constantly make pronouncements without having actually seen the transfer. Those comments are useless and should be disregarded immediately by everyone.
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post #33 of 60 Old 05-08-2013, 02:12 PM
 
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Originally Posted by par4 View Post

Look, they can remaster, restore, rescan and frame-by-frame this film til the cows come home and it's just never going to look like Lawrence of Arabia. It is what it is. A great movie with a now decent Blu-ray transfer off of what's left of the elements. Few fans of TGE will sit through a viewing and not like what's presented here. Those who dream of something that will never be will continue to nitpick. I watched the film last night and thoroughly enjoyed it.

As I've said many time, logic will get you nowhere. Very few people understand what film actually is, what negatives actually are, and as is made painfully obvious by the usual suspects crying DNR (there is none) and all that malarky (without having seen the transfer, BTW), they most assuredly know nothing about opticals and what the result of them is.
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post #34 of 60 Old 05-08-2013, 09:03 PM
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One of my all time favorite movies, and a welcome addition to the Bluray catalog, even if it did not receive the full blown restoration afforded to other classic titles (some less deserving IMO).

I've received my disc today and plan to watch this weekend. I'm not expecting Ben-Hur levels of restored PQ, but I fully expect to be thrilled by the best I've ever seen this film look. I don't think I'll be disappointed based on what I've read from Robert Harris' posts.

One thing about the thread, can we modify the title to get John Sturges' name right? The man deserves that. smile.gif
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post #35 of 60 Old 05-09-2013, 07:29 PM
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Originally Posted by haineshisway View Post

As I've said many time, logic will get you nowhere. Very few people understand what film actually is, what negatives actually are, and as is made painfully obvious by the usual suspects crying DNR (there is none) and all that malarky (without having seen the transfer, BTW), they most assuredly know nothing about opticals and what the result of them is.

I agree with both of you (par4 and haineshisway).
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post #36 of 60 Old 05-10-2013, 02:42 PM
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And I concur with Mr. Harris. There is no DNR on this transfer. It is not an old master. The film is loaded with opticals - of course, let me first note that those doing the loudest complaining, you know, the usual suspects, haven't seen the transfer at all. Some of the opticals go on for a VERY long time, sometimes as long as five minutes. Of course those look soft, that's the way they've always looked and always will look - of course, you'd had to have actually seen the film projected to understand that, but it's also obvious from every other home video release on this film. Several of the lengthy outdoor sequences were also shot with a heavy diffusion filter and those have that look - that's the way it's always been and always will be. The shots that are not opticals all look fine, have excellent detail (you can see fabrics for the first time ever) and it looks like - wait for it - The Great Escape. And the color is absolutely perfect - all previous home video releases have been incorrect - thank goodness this time they got it right. But thanks to that other site and its reviewer and the sheep that follow him, this transfer has received unfair reaction and if I were MGM/UA I would just throw up my hands and license everything to Twilight Time, Olive, Criterion, or Image. Horrible.

I think we all know now to discount immediately the members of this forum who consistently and constantly make pronouncements without having actually seen the transfer. Those comments are useless and should be disregarded immediately by everyone.

I couldn't agree more. I finally watched the disc last night and waited for this disappointingly awful PQ to show up. Lo and behold, it never did. That doesn't mean I thought it was a perfect 5 star transfer, but it certainly is nothing like the early "reviews" made it out to be. Even the overly soft image and lack of fine detail I was expecting wasn't there. As you pointed out, for the first time I could actually make out the fine fabric in their clothing. Even beard stubble on a few of the men I had never noticed before. I really have to question those saying "it's barely better than the DVD". Having done my own little comparison between the BD and the 2004 DVD, the BD simply towers over it. They're not even comparable at all.

Great movie and a very good disc.
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post #37 of 60 Old 05-10-2013, 03:52 PM
 
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I couldn't agree more. I finally watched the disc last night and waited for this disappointingly awful PQ to show up. Lo and behold, it never did. That doesn't mean I thought it was a perfect 5 star transfer, but it certainly is nothing like the early "reviews" made it out to be. Even the overly soft image and lack of fine detail I was expecting wasn't there. As you pointed out, for the first time I could actually make out the fine fabric in their clothing. Even beard stubble on a few of the men I had never noticed before. I really have to question those saying "it's barely better than the DVD". Having done my own little comparison between the BD and the 2004 DVD, the BD simply towers over it. They're not even comparable at all.

Great movie and a very good disc.

It's probably not a perfect transfer - there seems to be some confusion about what the transfer is exactly, because apparently there's a DCP out there from a 4K restoration. Now, 4K isn't really necessary for The Great Escape because as Mr. Harris points out, there's only 2K worth of information on the negative. The question is, and no one has really answered it, is the DCP the same as the Blu-ray or were different transfers used? But for what we do have, I found the presentation fine, the color perfect, and I don't really know enough about this particular film and its elements to know whether it could have been better.
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post #38 of 60 Old 05-31-2013, 08:19 PM
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Anyone calling this a perfect transfer is out of their minds. The color timing and contrast levels are much improved over prior incarnations on home video. But the video compression is fairly substandard by today's technology, from what appears to be a source that has been filtered on some level. It is an acceptable transfer that could be improved if MGM had decided to throw a few bucks at the problem. The BD looks better than the DVD in terms of actual resolution, but that is a low bar to set.
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post #39 of 60 Old 05-31-2013, 09:52 PM
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I'm not sure a single soul on Earth has called this transfer perfect wink.gif
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post #40 of 60 Old 05-31-2013, 11:47 PM
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I'm not sure a single soul on Earth has called this transfer perfect wink.gif
The Great Escape?
No eye-candy here....please move along.wink.gif

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post #41 of 60 Old 06-01-2013, 09:44 PM
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The Great Escape?
No eye-candy here....please move along.wink.gif
There would be if they had to do a little road crew work like they did in "Cool Hand Luke"... wink.gif
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post #42 of 60 Old 06-02-2013, 12:07 AM
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There would be if they had to do a little road crew work like they did in "Cool Hand Luke"... wink.gif
LOL, nice one.wink.gif

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post #43 of 60 Old 06-02-2013, 05:43 AM
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Anyone calling this a perfect transfer is out of their minds. The color timing and contrast levels are much improved over prior incarnations on home video. But the video compression is fairly substandard by today's technology, from what appears to be a source that has been filtered on some level. It is an acceptable transfer that could be improved if MGM had decided to throw a few bucks at the problem. The BD looks better than the DVD in terms of actual resolution, but that is a low bar to set.

Look at the beginning titles and how digital they look, blue trees, intrascene contrast is abysmal, few if any places where the image is sharp looking. This isn't isolated to opticals and fades, although these are worse,the whole BD looks like this. Comparing it to many many contemporary films on BD this is suibstandard IMO.


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post #44 of 60 Old 06-02-2013, 12:41 PM
 
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Look at the beginning titles and how digital they look, blue trees, intrascene contrast is abysmal, few if any places where the image is sharp looking. This isn't isolated to opticals and fades, although these are worse,the whole BD looks like this. Comparing it to many many contemporary films on BD this is suibstandard IMO.


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If you want someone to take this seriously, then why are you talking about the titles, which ARE multi-pass opticals at least four or five generations down the food chain. They don't look "digital" in the sense you're speaking of. When you're five generations away from production photography, exactly how sharp do you think the image will be, and exactly how wonderful do you think the contrast will be? Hint: Not sharp, not good. You're talking specifically about the main titles here and then you say it isn't isolated to opticals and fades as if the main titles weren't one long multi-pass optical. The only thing that should be sharper in the main title sequence are the actual titles themselves, the type. I pointed out that lack of sharpness in the first post I made. But there are plenty of non-optical scenes where the sharpness is just fine - those, to reiterate, are not opticals (fades are opticals, BTW, and don't need to be called out separately).
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post #45 of 60 Old 06-02-2013, 01:32 PM
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The titles are not even the original opticals, they're also reconstructed dupes, according to some blurb that was posted on HTF about a photochemical restoration MGM did earlier.

There are better transfers of 60s anamorphic films; there are many worse ones. For me, TGE makes for reasonably pleasant viewing.
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post #46 of 60 Old 06-03-2013, 04:27 AM
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If you want someone to take this seriously, then why are you talking about the titles, which ARE multi-pass opticals at least four or five generations down the food chain. They don't look "digital" in the sense you're speaking of. When you're five generations away from production photography, exactly how sharp do you think the image will be, and exactly how wonderful do you think the contrast will be? Hint: Not sharp, not good. You're talking specifically about the main titles here and then you say it isn't isolated to opticals and fades as if the main titles weren't one long multi-pass optical. The only thing that should be sharper in the main title sequence are the actual titles themselves, the type. I pointed out that lack of sharpness in the first post I made. But there are plenty of non-optical scenes where the sharpness is just fine - those, to reiterate, are not opticals (fades are opticals, BTW, and don't need to be called out separately).

Just picking examples with the beginning titles,the issue isn't does this look poor,it does, and I appreciate the input regarding why it looks as it does.

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post #47 of 60 Old 06-03-2013, 02:28 PM
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There are problems in the transfer, but evaluating it based on the title sequence and credits is unfair at best. It's almost impossible to determine how many generations of film were used in them ex post facto. Studios have shown they are prone to use whatever elements are available for them.
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post #48 of 60 Old 06-03-2013, 05:33 PM
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I'm not basing it just on the titles,on the contrary this BD is flawed on many fronts but the titles show digital manipulation that obviously couldn't have been part of the original film and clearly so. The image is very very flat ,the colors are drab not to mention strange like the blue trees. The intrascene contrast is very very poor as are blacks. The resolution is mediocre at best throughout the film, as others have noted, being a little better than the DVD but that's it. My point is this title seems to be getting a pass for some reason. This is one of my favorite films and I'd like to see it look a lot better.

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post #49 of 60 Old 06-03-2013, 07:01 PM
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I'm not basing it just on the titles,on the contrary this BD is flawed on many fronts but the titles show digital manipulation that obviously couldn't have been part of the original film and clearly so. The image is very very flat ,the colors are drab not to mention strange like the blue trees. The intrascene contrast is very very poor as are blacks. The resolution is mediocre at best throughout the film, as others have noted, being a little better than the DVD but that's it. My point is this title seems to be getting a pass for some reason. This is one of my favorite films and I'd like to see it look a lot better.
What should it look like? What is the condition of the original film? The color of 1963 film stocks was not terribly stable if not properly stored, so personally, I'm not inclined to be overly critical when I have no clue what they have to work with. Softness is par for the course with these old anamorphic films, the lenses weren't great even before they stuck a fog filter on, and to me it looks in line with the average 35mm print in that respect (at least if you sit far enough away that you don't see the weird stair-stepping). If I knew that the source materials are pristine I might be more critical, but in the grand scheme of blu-rays, I don't think this disc is that bad at all, sorry... confused.gif And this is getting a pass? Judging by some of the comments on the internet you might think this is some Spartacus or The Longest Day caliber disaster.
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post #50 of 60 Old 06-04-2013, 08:06 AM
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Saying that you don't know what they had doesn't in the least alter the simple fact that the result on the BD is poor looking. Additionally, having visible pixelated structure has nothing directly to do with the film condition but instead the manipulation of it.

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post #51 of 60 Old 06-04-2013, 05:04 PM
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Saying that you don't know what they had doesn't in the least alter the simple fact that the result on the BD is poor looking.
Possible (as well as apparent) source problems shouldn't enter into my evaluation of the blu-ray? confused.gif I'll leave such absurdity to the PQ tier thread.
And no, that's not a simple fact, that is an opinion, one myself and others happen to disagree with... there are releases that look poor, there are releases that are great, and this one's somewhere in between. It does not look like some pristine print made from fresh negatives. But it also looks a hell of a lot better than many of the chewed-up, murky prints of 60s films I've seen over the years, not to mention all the awful blurays loaded to the gills with digital filtering that look like no film I've ever seen.
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post #52 of 60 Old 06-04-2013, 06:21 PM
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Possible (as well as apparent) source problems shouldn't enter into my evaluation of the blu-ray? confused.gif I'll leave such absurdity to the PQ tier thread.
And no, that's not a simple fact, that is an opinion, one myself and others happen to disagree with... there are releases that look poor, there are releases that are great, and this one's somewhere in between. It does not look like some pristine print made from fresh negatives. But it also looks a hell of a lot better than many of the chewed-up, murky prints of 60s films I've seen over the years, not to mention all the awful blurays loaded to the gills with digital filtering that look like no film I've ever seen.

I don't disagree with much if any of this post it's just that I certainly wish for one of my favorites to have gotten better treatment. Perhaps the source material was hopeless I don't know but I can't help but feel that it could have looked better and that it's the type of title (similar to Dirty Dozen) that could look pretty darn good. Many arguments here and elsewhere use the films age to justify TGE's appearance and I just can't agree with this.

Certainly there are many BD that look worse and many similar vintage films on BD that look incredibly better.

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post #53 of 60 Old 06-05-2013, 06:17 PM
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And no, that's not a simple fact, that is an opinion, one myself and others happen to disagree with... there are releases that look poor, there are releases that are great, and this one's somewhere in between. It does not look like some pristine print made from fresh negatives. But it also looks a hell of a lot better than many of the chewed-up, murky prints of 60s films I've seen over the years, not to mention all the awful blurays loaded to the gills with digital filtering that look like no film I've ever seen.
So you agree there was room for improvement here? We certainly haven't seen yet the best this film will look in 1080P. The Great Escape BD is watchable but there are numerous film transfers from the '60s which look better.
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post #54 of 60 Old 06-06-2013, 10:10 AM
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So you agree there was room for improvement here? We certainly haven't seen yet the best this film will look in 1080P. The Great Escape BD is watchable but there are numerous film transfers from the '60s which look better.

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post #55 of 60 Old 06-06-2013, 11:12 AM
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So you agree there was room for improvement here?
In some respects, certainly. The compression could be improved, there's some digital anomalies, the contrast seems overly low compared to the look of a healthy Eastman print... don't know what the original color timing was, or how much of that color is left on the film, so can't speculate if the cooler palette is correct or not. But as far as the dupes, the opticals, the diffusion filtering, not much to be done about that (unless they can somehow go back to the excised parts of the o-neg digitally). And while I don't think the transfer has the full resolution of a 35mm anamorphic film by way of blu-ray, those lenses were inherently pretty soft (which is often mistaken for DNR) and I don't think trying to correct that is a good idea at all. Frankly, I don't think there's anything anyone could do to make the folks who think it's appropriate to compare this to Ben-Hur and Lawrence of Arabia happy.
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post #56 of 60 Old 06-07-2013, 12:01 AM
 
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The color is absolutely accurate to Eastman color films not printed dye transfer - it's very much of a piece with just about every film of its era, color-wise. Previous versions of this film on home video have been awful and that includes the color.
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post #57 of 60 Old 06-07-2013, 05:01 AM
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The color is absolutely accurate to Eastman color films not printed dye transfer - it's very much of a piece with just about every film of its era, color-wise. Previous versions of this film on home video have been awful and that includes the color.

I saw The Great Escape at the Michigan theater in Ann Arbor about five years ago. Although it had a siginificant number of faded scenes,quite a bit of debris and damage etc the color looked nothing like this. Flesh tones looked realistic the colors were frequently vibrant and the trees didn't look blue. There are plenty of other films in Eastman that are this old or older that have fantastic color eg Forbidden Planet .

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post #58 of 60 Old 06-07-2013, 05:01 PM
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I bought this from Walmart after it came out, just now opened it, and it was the fookin DVD version of the film. One disc with the movie and another with the special features! mad.gif
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post #59 of 60 Old 06-16-2013, 07:59 PM
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saw this last night - its been Tealed
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post #60 of 60 Old 06-18-2013, 04:11 PM
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saw this last night - its been Tealed

+1

I have the same problem with my copy of Rio Bravo - too much blue. Otherwise, I think it's an acceptible transfer.
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