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post #1 of 91 Old 11-08-2012, 08:15 AM - Thread Starter
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The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373699

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )
95





Studio and Year: Columbia Pictures - 1962
MPAA Rating: PG
Feature running time: 227 minutes
Genre: Drama/Adventure

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.20:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, French/Japanese Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, English, Arabic, Dutch, French, Japanese
Starring: Peter O’Toole, Alec Guiness, Anthony Quinn, Omar Sharif, Jack Hawkins, Jose Ferrer, Claude Rains, Arthur Kennedy, Anthony Quayle
Directed by: David Lean
Music by: Maurice Jarre
Written by: Robert Bolt & Michael Wilson
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: November 13, 2012







"An epic masterpiece as you’ve never seen it before!"


Film Synopsis:

David Lean's splendid biography of the enigmatic T. E. Lawrence paints a complex portrait of the desert-loving Englishman who united Arab tribes in a battle against the Ottoman Turks during World War I.


My Take:

The dramatic portrait of the famed British officer's journey to the Middle East, Lawrence of Arabia, is one of the most critically acclaimed and beloved films of all time. Assigned to Arabia during World War I, Lawrence courageously unites the warring Arab factions into a strong guerrilla front and leads them to brilliant victories in treacherous desert battlefields, where they eventually defeat the ruling Turkish Empire. An intensely personal drama, the story of T.E. Lawrence is a story of courage and guilt, betrayal and triumph. His role in the unification of the Arab tribes against the Turks endeared him to a generation of Bedouins, but it also set it motion a chain of events that Lawrence would be powerless to stop - events that would profoundly shape Arab-Western relations for generations to come.

Winner of 7 Academy Awards including Best Picture (1962), Lawrence of Arabia, David Lean’s sweeping and memorable epic is widely considered one of the greatest and most influential films in the history of cinema. What a spectacular introduction for actor Peter O’Toole. His portrayal of this inordinately complex individual that few understood stands as the crowning achievement in his career. It has been a number of years since I have sat and watched Lawrence of Arabia. It retains all of its enigmatic depth and audacity via its epic scope, unraveling narrative, sterling performances and visionary direction. It is an engaging, evocative and powerful film that would best be described as an experience.

Newly restored and remastered at 4K resolution, the massive scope and epic action of the Director’s Cut of Lawrence of Arabia can now be experienced like never before in this landmark 50th Anniversary Blu-ray release.


Parental Guide:

The rating is for war violence and thematic content.



AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**


Audio: 90

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373647

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373647

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692



Video: 100

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699


Lawrence of Arabia comes to Blu-ray Disc from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 20 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 2.1 Mbps.

Sony did an outstanding job with the re-mastering of Lawrence of Arabia. It was created by doing an 8k scan/4k intermediate of the negative to generate a new master which appears to have beautifully preserved the high resolution elements contained within. Looking at the results it is readily apparent that a lot of care went into the restoration. Grain is intact across the board and I saw no sign of digital noise reduction or image degrading manipulation. This is a flawless and film like video presentation that delivers exquisite high level detail and rich, deep, image penetrating colors that look gorgeous in high definition. The video has incredible depth and dimension that is rarely limited by the camera’s perspective. The level of resolution present produces imagery that in many cases has a near infinite visual acuity that draws out the finest details in close ups while enhancing the delineation and textural nuance within objects and backgrounds. Wide angle shots of expansive building interiors and exterior compounds reveal the varied smooth and rough texture in the surfaces made of stone and wood while the beautifully framed panaramas of the desert landscapes look stunning.

Flesh tones exhibit lifelike textures with natural color and vibrant complexions. Blacks exhibit exemplary dynamic range and appear deep and rich without compromise. Shadow detail is impressive and readily conveys strong dimensionality during the scenes shot in darkened areas and uneven light. Contrast and brightness work in tandem so that dark scenes exhibit good dynamic range and bright scenes are vivid without loss of detail. Other than a few minute instances of banding visible in the daytime sky (which in my opinion aren’t worthy of deduction) I saw no signs of video related anomalies. I tip my hat to Sony Pictures. This is one of the most impressive restorations I have seen to date. It is an immaculate and faithful reproduction that befits one of the most beloved films of all time.

I sometimes receive queries from readers with regard to audio ratings where some feel that a particular title may or may not fit into my rating scale as it coincides with either my description of its elements or perhaps the nature of the soundtrack compared to other films that have received a similar score. I think as enthusiasts we tend to attribute high ratings with bombast, lots of surround activity/effects, and of course powerful dynamics/bass. In many cases that is true however there are cases of exemplary audio expression that can be found in the subtleties and nuance within a soundtrack. Lawrence of Arabia is a good of example of this and I will be sure to preface future reviews where applicable with this brief overview.

The high resolution DTS-HD MA 5.1 channel mix does a terrific job rendering the film’s soundtrack. Dialogue has appreciable vocal character and above average room penetration. This is a more or less front oriented presentation that makes use of the entire system to deliver a rewarding audio experience that is highlighted by the richness and defining clarity of Maurice Jarre’s award winning and memorable music score. The surrounds are utilized for atmospheric extension while appropriately applied dynamics and mid to upper level bass combine to provide solidity that enhances both the music and effects without sounding unnatural or over processed. I was extremely pleased with the outcome of this audio presentation. It highlights the strengths of the source material without ostentatious display and sounds great.


Bonus Features:

  • Disc 1:


  • Feature film

  • Secrets of Arabia: A picture-in-graphics track

  • Disc 2: Bonus Features


  • (HD) Peter O’Toole revisits Lawrence of Arabia – 21 minutes

  • Making Lawrence of Arabia – 61 minute documentary

  • A conversation with Steve Spielberg – 8 minutes

  • Vintage featurettes:
    1. Maan, Jordan: The camels are cast – 2 minutes
    2. In search of Lawrence – 5 minutes
    3. Romance of Arabia – 4 minutes
    4. Wind, sand, and star: The making of a classic (1970) – 4 minutes
    5. New York premiere – 1 minute reel
    6. Advertising campaigns – 5 minutes
  • Ultraviolet Digital Copy



Final Thoughts:

Winner of 7 Academy Awards including Best Picture (1962), Lawrence of Arabia, David Lean’s sweeping and memorable epic is widely considered one of the greatest and most influential films in the history of cinema. Its widely anticipated release in high definition has arrived and the results are spectacular. In honor of its 50th anniversary Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has delivered a faithful and beautiful video restoration on Blu-ray that is accented by an equally wonderful lossless soundtrack. Couple that with a complimentary assortment of bonus features and you have a superb home video offering befitting of the film’s status. This is highly recommended and a must have for fans and film enthusiasts.





attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






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post #2 of 91 Old 11-08-2012, 08:28 AM
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Great review as usual.

I can't wait until Tuesday smile.gif

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post #3 of 91 Old 11-08-2012, 09:18 AM
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Excellent review, I watched a bit of LOA streamed a while back after a half hour I quit because the image looked terrible. I will be looking forward to this lovingly restored important film being added to my BR collection. As a side note a female film critic once commented that if O'Toole had been any prettier they would of had to call the film Florence of Arabia
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post #4 of 91 Old 11-08-2012, 10:07 AM
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I saw this in the theaters during it's 4k release. I am hoping the impact that the disc offers is slightly closer to the review above. I saw some MINOR short comings on the big screen in light of the recent refurbishment of the Jaws release. It seemed to me while LOA never looked better than I have ever seen it, the movie seemed to fall short of this(jaws) benchmark 4k release. Mainly based around the colorist, hue/saturation/contrast issues within certain scenes.

we'll see, this is definitely a first day purchase.

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post #5 of 91 Old 11-08-2012, 01:55 PM
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:eek:Finally! It's about time this made it to BD! Must buy for sure!

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post #6 of 91 Old 11-08-2012, 02:12 PM
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I think Lawrence was supposed to be a launch title for blu-ray, and I've always been bummed that it hadn't come out yet. After all, when I first heard about high definition, this movie was the first thing to pop into my head. But now, reading the reviews and how spectacular the restoration is, I think it's a good thing it wasn't an early disc after all. I can't wait to watch this next week! biggrin.gif
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post #7 of 91 Old 11-08-2012, 09:31 PM
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Thanks Ralph! Can't wait to see this on Blu Ray. I saw it in the theater when it was released (as I have most of the big movies from the 60's and 70's)

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post #8 of 91 Old 11-09-2012, 05:50 AM
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Ralph; excellent as always so thank you for that.... This is definitely my favorite movie of all time!!!! It's an automatic purchase on blu at any level of quality but what a bonus to read that Sony gave it the royal treatment it deserves.

This movie will be spinning in my machine at such a pace that it will re-write my own personal records for repeat viewing. The "spinning" factor will rank up there or exceed the number of time certain LP's were spinning on my turntable back in the day such as Cars "Candy O" and Boston's debut... Honestly, this is an epic home theater release event for an epic movie in a time where our gear delivers epic performance!!!!!

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post #9 of 91 Old 11-09-2012, 07:49 AM
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I've never seen this movie and didn't want to watch the crappy DVD.....FINALLY, i'll be able to check it out
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post #10 of 91 Old 11-10-2012, 08:31 AM
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Just think what this masterpiece would have been like if the compressionists at Sony had allowed for a split at the intermission onto two BD50 discs and let the film breathe... both in video and audio terms. They clearly cheapened out by cramming this on to one disc, even if the results were still good. This is 65mm and there should be less filtering and more bitrate.

We're still not reaching the potential of even 1080p... and now they're heading towards hyper compressed 4k.

Listen up, studios! Just say "NO" to DNR and EE!!
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post #11 of 91 Old 11-10-2012, 10:39 AM
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I could not agree more! I watched this 4k restoration on big screen. It seemed I was watching film forever behind smoke;) lol
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post #12 of 91 Old 11-10-2012, 04:39 PM
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It's a good time to own a Blu-ray player. Some great classics finally making their way to the format (including this one).


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post #13 of 91 Old 11-10-2012, 05:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stormshadow4life View Post

I've never seen this movie and didn't want to watch the crappy DVD.....FINALLY, i'll be able to check it out


LOL. I thought I was the only person who thought like that biggrin.gif
There are few other monumental films too a shame to mention that I've yet seen, waiting on glorious BR!

Thank goodness for this media.

Oh and thanks Ralph.

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Your in for a treat. One of the greatest films ever made. The extra's are interesting as well. Great review, can't wait for tomorows mail.
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post #15 of 91 Old 11-12-2012, 08:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stormshado\w4life View Post

I've never seen this movie and didn't want to watch the crappy DVD.....FINALLY, i'll be able to check it out
I'm in the same boat..never seen it and the DVD was so bad I didn't get past the match trick before it froze up, then jumped to the next chapter only to do it again. I'll check it out on BR.
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All catalog releases on blu-ray should get this kind of royal treatment. wink.gif

Quote:
Sony did an outstanding job with the re-mastering of Lawrence of Arabia. It was created by doing an 8k scan/4k intermediate of the negative to generate a new master which appears to have beautifully preserved the high resolution elements contained within. Looking at the results it is readily apparent that a lot of care went into the restoration.

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post #17 of 91 Old 11-12-2012, 04:14 PM
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Ahem! 50 years - finally a worthy version after previous flops. The desert scene in itself is a classic, with many imitation to follow.

I went to Amazon and saw the scene from Prometheus; both are keeper (yet another triple dip).

Thanks for the review, Ralph.
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post #18 of 91 Old 11-14-2012, 05:40 AM
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Ralph,

I bought this last night and "test drove" quite a few scenes. As I have stated many times and anyone who knows me knows... this is simply my favorite movie ever. From the theater to tv, vhs, to "Primestar", Dish, Comcast, FIOS HD, dvd, dvdSuperbit....I have watched this movie embarrassingly too many times...over a hundred times I'm sure...This is the one movie that I want to review to the extent that you did. My own review could mirror yours. Let me take out the emotions and critique as a art...

"An epic masterpiece as you’ve never seen it before!".... well said.

If this movie was made last year the bluray would be considered reference....the fact that it's this old ...nothing short of amazing. My jaw was hanging open as I went from scene to scene; from the cycle ride in the country side, Cairo headquarters to the desert well scene and all others....this is an absolutely special piece of art, media and cinematic history...perhaps unequaled to the well educated library movie afficiandos.

I may have to buy a second copy since I have a hunch I'll generate lazer trenches in this copy. What is funny is how unpopular or umknown this special movie is to the masses. Best Buy had 5 copies sitting obscurely next to 100 copies of some idiot movie. I'm very glad I could just grab one so easily and cheaply.

Anyway, I gotta go.. I need to email my boss that I am taking some sick time so I can watch this all day looooOOOooong! smile.gif

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post #19 of 91 Old 11-14-2012, 07:06 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bladerunner1959 View Post

Ralph,
I bought this last night and "test drove" quite a few scenes. As I have stated many times and anyone who knows me knows... this is simply my favorite movie ever. From the theater to tv, vhs, to "Primestar", Dish, Comcast, FIOS HD, dvd, dvdSuperbit....I have watched this movie embarrassingly too many times...over a hundred times I'm sure...This is the one movie that I want to review to the extent that you did. My own review could mirror yours. Let me take out the emotions and critique as a art...
"An epic masterpiece as you’ve never seen it before!".... well said.
If this movie was made last year the bluray would be considered reference....the fact that it's this old ...nothing short of amazing. My jaw was hanging open as I went from scene to scene; from the cycle ride in the country side, Cairo headquarters to the desert well scene and all others....this is an absolutely special piece of art, media and cinematic history...perhaps unequaled to the well educated library movie afficiandos.
I may have to buy a second copy since I have a hunch I'll generate lazer trenches in this copy. What is funny is how unpopular or umknown this special movie is to the masses. Best Buy had 5 copies sitting obscurely next to 100 copies of some idiot movie. I'm very glad I could just grab one so easily and cheaply.
Anyway, I gotta go.. I need to email my boss that I am taking some sick time so I can watch this all day looooOOOooong! smile.gif

Greetings,

I am glad to hear that as a fan you're pleased with the results on Blu-ray. Enjoy! smile.gif

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post #20 of 91 Old 11-14-2012, 07:38 AM
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I have a very curious question, one that Bladerunner1959 might be able to help me with. My first time seeing this film was sometime back in the 80's, and I remember a scene when the turkish bi-planes are attacking King Feisels camp and they actually show a close-up of the pilots dropping the bombs from the plane. It just seemed to be a big part of the film one that is missing in this newly released version. Does a member here happen to know what version this might be?
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post #21 of 91 Old 11-14-2012, 07:45 AM
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Ok, I gotta throw out a disagreement on the sound, especially in terms of dialogue reproduction, which I felt was the worst I've ever had on my system. I had to turn the volume up to levels I normally reserve for movies where I want to crank it up, but at that volume some of the more dynamic elements were grating on the ears. Otherwise, everything was exemplary.
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post #22 of 91 Old 11-14-2012, 08:08 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by javanpohl View Post

Ok, I gotta throw out a disagreement on the sound, especially in terms of dialogue reproduction, which I felt was the worst I've ever had on my system. I had to turn the volume up to levels I normally reserve for movies where I want to crank it up, but at that volume some of the more dynamic elements were grating on the ears. Otherwise, everything was exemplary.

Greetings,

Odd. I didn't have that experience..confused.gif

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post #23 of 91 Old 11-14-2012, 10:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin howarth View Post

I have a very curious question, one that Bladerunner1959 might be able to help me with. My first time seeing this film was sometime back in the 80's, and I remember a scene when the turkish bi-planes are attacking King Feisels camp and they actually show a close-up of the pilots dropping the bombs from the plane. It just seemed to be a big part of the film one that is missing in this newly released version. Does a member here happen to know what version this might be?

I'm pretty sure I saw that shot in the blu-ray, could you maybe have just looked away at the wrong moment? There's a close-up of the fuselage of the plane, with a bomb dropping.

Also, like Ralph I didn't have any issues with the sound. The dialogue was clear throughout.
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post #24 of 91 Old 11-14-2012, 10:34 AM
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Hrm... Hope its not my setup
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post #25 of 91 Old 11-14-2012, 12:56 PM
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Any reason not to go for the box-set (aside from $)?

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post #26 of 91 Old 11-14-2012, 01:57 PM
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Back in 2002, I drove 2 hours one way to see this in the Arclight cinerama dome in Hollywood in 70 mm (well 65 technically). I sat in the front row and it was glorious.
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post #27 of 91 Old 11-14-2012, 11:02 PM
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I saw this movie for the very first time in my life tonight at the theater. They were playing it for a couple of nights because of the 50th anniversary. I'm glad I saw it finally. People always told me it was a movie truly meant for a large screen and so I was glad the opportunity presented itself for me to see it at the theater. The movie itself was long and felt long, but was also very good. I was engaged the whole time and wondering what was going to happen next. Peter O'Toole was great. My only complaint was that the audio on the dialog was a bit weak. I would give this movie a 4 out of 5. I will pick it up at some point definitely.
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post #28 of 91 Old 11-15-2012, 02:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jh901 View Post

Any reason not to go for the box-set (aside from $)?

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None that I am aware of..smile.gif


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post #29 of 91 Old 11-15-2012, 05:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Robin howarth View Post

I have a very curious question, one that Bladerunner1959 might be able to help me with. My first time seeing this film was sometime back in the 80's, and I remember a scene when the turkish bi-planes are attacking King Feisels camp and they actually show a close-up of the pilots dropping the bombs from the plane. It just seemed to be a big part of the film one that is missing in this newly released version. Does a member here happen to know what version this might be?
....I did not watch the entire bluray yet so I cant speak to that particular detail myself Robin...I will be on the lookout.

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Ok, I gotta throw out a disagreement on the sound, especially in terms of dialogue reproduction, which I felt was the worst I've ever had on my system. I had to turn the volume up to levels I normally reserve for movies where I want to crank it up, but at that volume some of the more dynamic elements were grating on the ears. Otherwise, everything was exemplary.
....I have actually moved to a soundbar from my mid-entry level 5.1 system. That said I did not notice any deficiencies in the audio whatsoever. The throaty sound of the motorcycle in the beginning sounded equal to what I've heard dozens of times prior. I'll keep a keen ear out going forward and report back. Reminds me of LionKing discussion re audio. At first I thought the hd sound was superior, then went back and heard the Disney 5.1 hometheater mix really was fuller and more detailed. I dont think we have that situation here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jh901 View Post

Any reason not to go for the box-set (aside from $)?
....I did not even see the boxed set offered at the store...I had to walk and walk...and walk to even find a few copies of the single. As long as the pic quality is equal on both sets, i'd way that decision based on one's need for extra's. I have long since admitted to myself, way back in the early dvd days...that I really only care about pic quality, then audio quality.....rarely do I want behind the scenes, making of, opinion and commentary....I dont even have time to see extra's on my favorite movies....

Love for all things Hi-def...Losing count; 200 plus bluray, 500 plus dvd, 30 plus HDdvd and a rapidly growing 50 plus in the cloud.

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post #30 of 91 Old 11-17-2012, 09:53 AM
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Last night they showed LOA on TCM. It was supposed to be HD but the image quality wasn't very good. There was some faint mosquito noise in the sky and solid areas. I came across it while channel surfing. I saw this film when it first came out and many, many times thereafter. I read up on the real Lawrence. His book "The Seven Pillars of Wisdom" is one of the best books of any kind that I have ever read - and I read a lot. So I was drawn in to watching this masterpiece once again.

But I couldn't bear to watch it. Lawrence of Araia with a mediocre image quality is simply not the same movie. I'm very happy to see that this wonderul film has been restored properly.

I have a Home Theater set-up with a new 1080 projector and a nine foot screen. I bought a new Blu-ray player too. This sounds like just the thing as a demo movie -- sort of like how back in the Hi Fi days we all had a copy of "Thus Spake Zarathrustra".
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