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The French Connection comparison *PIX* - Page 3

post #61 of 226
Can someone who's really familiar with The French Connection answer me a question? The movie opens with an establishing shot of Marseilles. There's a building to frame left. On the Blu-ray, the right side of that building is the exact same color as the sky, which makes the whole shot look like a bad matte painting that's been misaligned with a huge gap down the middle. The other sides of that same building are a different color.

Is this an artifact of the new recoloring process, or has there always been a problem with that shot?
post #62 of 226
I have to say that I think the blu-ray is much better than the DVD, even just going by those screen caps. MUCH more detail now than ever before, except in some of the blacks, which I understand he wanted to be much deeper.

Comparison #1 - The ugly brown (Deluxe) hue is gone. Look at the detail on the chairs between the rear of the bus and the first customer at La Samaritaine. Much more detailed. Same with the "Scotch" sign hanging above.

Comparison #2 - Skin tones are much more realistic and there's no haloing on the black bars. Facial and hair details are much more visible on the girlfriend now.

Comparison #3 - The green/grey cast that affects the Santa beard and Roy's plaid shirt are gone. We now have honest to God white, as it should be.

Comparison #6 - The deep, DEEP blue cast is removed. Even their faces were blue on the dvd. Now we get a much subtler air of winter and no smurfs on the streets on NYC. Also, the details of the bricks of the corner building are infinitely better. Same with the "Madison Ave." street sign. Much more detailed now.

The only area of disappointment for me in the transfer is the bleeding of the reds. That should have been fixed before the final was approved.
post #63 of 226
Thank you, Mr. Friedkin...er...Xanderville for joining AVS Forum and stating your opinion.
post #64 of 226
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xanderville View Post

I have to say that I think the blu-ray is much better than the DVD, even just going by those screen caps. MUCH more detail now than ever before,

If you watch the color timing featurette on the disc, you can see how much detail should be in the image. Friedkin does before-and-after comparisons with the "uncorrected" negative. Every time he flips to the "corrected" version, half the detail goes away.

The recoloring process involved stripping out the original color layer, oversaturating it, defocusing it, and then bleeding the result back into the b&w layer. In other words, parts of the picture are now literally out of focus. Which is why so many faces have a weird soft glow all around them.

Quote:
Comparison #6 - The deep, DEEP blue cast is removed. Even their faces were blue on the dvd. Now we get a much subtler air of winter and no smurfs on the streets on NYC.

More often than not, skin tones on the Blu-ray have a purple hue, which is much more unnatural and distracting than the original blue.
post #65 of 226
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post

Can someone who's really familiar with The French Connection answer me a question? The movie opens with an establishing shot of Marseilles. There's a building to frame left. On the Blu-ray, the right side of that building is the exact same color as the sky, which makes the whole shot look like a bad matte painting that's been misaligned with a huge gap down the middle. The other sides of that same building are a different color.

Is this an artifact of the new recoloring process, or has there always been a problem with that shot?

Ya I noticed that too. Very ugly looking.

EDIT: Can someone tell me the best version of this movie available with the original color timing? I assume there is multiple DVD releases. I'd rather have that then this crap.
post #66 of 226
Quote:
Originally Posted by Franchot View Post

Thank you, Mr. Friedkin...er...Xanderville for joining AVS Forum and stating your opinion.

I knew someone would say that!

Josh, I did watch the featurette. And I've watched the blu-ray twice now. My comparison was based on the blu-ray vs. the dvd. Many people have said there was a loss of fine detail from the dvd, and I simply don't see it (except in some of the blacks.)

Ther color was defocussed, not the B&W film layer. The picture is not out of focus or less sharp. The detail is in the B&W film layer, not the color layer. There is much more detail now. Check out the table top in the scene at La Samaritaine. You can now see that it has a marbled texture. That was never really visible before. And you can now tell that the chairs there have a matte plastic finish, not a smooth one. However, it IS responsible for the bleeding of the reds. If it had been me, I would not have defocussed the color as much as they did in the specific shots containing red.

hlwl, there is only 1 transfer on DVD. It started out as a 2-disc "Five Star Collection" then became a 1-didc edition, dropping the 2nd disc of extras, then reappeared as a 2-disc "Collectors Edition." But it's the same disc one in all 3 editions. So you're safe to pick up any one of them, determined only by whether you want just the film or the extras too.

BTW, I'm not trying to (re)stir up any controversy about the this. I've been meaning to join AVS for a while now, and just happened to pick last night and this thread because Xylon was the first person I'd come across in all the FC hoopla to post side-by-side dvd/blu-ray comparison shots, which I thought was great.
post #67 of 226
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xanderville View Post

Ther color was defocussed, not the B&W film layer. The picture is not out of focus or less sharp. The detail is in the B&W film layer, not the color layer.

The before-and-after comparisons speak for themselves. You can watch the detail and textures vanish whenever Friedkin flips back and forth between the two versions of the movie. Although the detail may be in the b&w layer, applying a defocused color layer on top of that masks the detail.

Quote:


There is much more detail now.

More detail than what, the DVD? That's hardly a compliment. The question isn't whether the Blu-ray has more detail than a downgraded Standard-Def copy of the movie. The question is how much detail should it have, based on what is available in the negative.
post #68 of 226
Except that most of the critics of this new transfer ARE comparing unfavorably to the DVD, both here and elsewhere on the net. The consensus was that the blu-ray somehow looked worse than the dvd. I simply do not see that under any circumstances. Are you saying that most critics are now agreeing the blu-ray DOES look better than the dvd (just not as good as the negative)? If so, I haven't come across those comments yet anywhere.

As far as the original negative, I do not have it my collection to screen at will, so I can only go by which commercially available version is better. And, IMO. that is the blu-ray.
post #69 of 226
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post

The before-and-after comparisons speak for themselves. You can watch the detail and textures vanish whenever Friedkin flips back and forth between the two versions of the movie. Although the detail may be in the b&w layer, applying a defocused color layer on top of that masks the detail.



More detail than what, the DVD? That's hardly a compliment. The question isn't whether the Blu-ray has more detail than a downgraded Standard-Def copy of the movie. The question is how much detail should it have, based on what is available in the negative.

Except that most critics of the blu-ray are comparing it to the DVD, not just here but elsewhere on the net, and the consensus was that the blu-ray looked WORSE than the dvd. I just don't see that under any circumstances. Are you saying that now most critics of the new transfer are agreeing that the blu-ray looks BETTER than the dvd (just not as good as the negative)? If so, I haven't come across those comments yet anywhere.

As far as the original negative goes, I don't have it to print from and screen at will, so I can only go by what commercially available versions are accessable to me. And the best of those is far and away, IMO, the blu-ray.
post #70 of 226
Quote:
Originally Posted by spectator View Post

Do a little research and you'll see. Friedkin wanted, more or less, to emulate the look of a Technicolor IB print of Moby Dick. The "radioactive reds", as you call them, are a product of deliberately upscaling the chroma channels to replicate the overprinting on a slightly misaligned three-strip printmaster.

Which could have been created when he shot the film in 1970/71.

Again, this isn't about a director's vision...
it's about a director's re-vision.

I can understand defending Friedkin's intentions, but I can also certainly understand deriding them as well. It's akin to Friedkin simply removing the legendary car chase from the film because he wanted less action emphasis in the film. Would you understand people being upset with a chunk of the film missing when it didn't need to be and had survived intact for nearly forty years?

That's the biggest rub. After almost four decades of the film existing in its originally shot form, Friedkin suddenly decides to reveal his master intention for FC without any prior warning. It wasn't as if he had been giving interviews for years describing how he never quite got the look of the film to his liking, nor did his director of photography ever even hear about this intention. He had never before tried to get the transfer of the film to match his original vision. So would you expect me to believe that William Friedkin, one of the most vocal and egotistical directors of all time, would never have said word one about The French Connection not looking the way he intended it to look after all these years?

This release is just as Robert Harris describes it an experiment. There's nothing wrong with that, but label it as such and let's not pretend that Friedkin FINALLY got his original intent after all these years of being outside his ability, it's horse$h!t.
post #71 of 226
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cliff Stephenson View Post

This release is just as Robert Harris describes it… an experiment. There’s nothing wrong with that, but label it as such and let’s not pretend that Friedkin FINALLY got his original intent after all these years of being outside his ability, it’s horse$h!t.

And I also find it hard to believe he intended to have the reds bleed this much. And if he did, why?
post #72 of 226
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post

The before-and-after comparisons speak for themselves. You can watch the detail and textures vanish whenever Friedkin flips back and forth between the two versions of the movie. Although the detail may be in the b&w layer, applying a defocused color layer on top of that masks the detail.



More detail than what, the DVD? That's hardly a compliment. The question isn't whether the Blu-ray has more detail than a downgraded Standard-Def copy of the movie. The question is how much detail should it have, based on what is available in the negative.

Except that most critics of the new transfer, not just here but elsewhere on the net, were comparing the blu-ray to the dvd, not to the negative, and the consensus was that the blu-ray looked worse than the dvd. I just don't see that. Are you saying that now most critics are agreeing that the blu-ray looks BETTER than the dvd (just not as good as the negative)? If so, I haven't come across those comments anywhere yet.

As far as the original negative goes, I don't have it to print from and screen at will, so I can only go by what commercially available versions are accessable to me. And the best of those is, far and away, IMO, the blu-ray.
post #73 of 226
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xanderville View Post

Except that most critics of the new transfer, not just here but elsewhere on the net, were comparing the blu-ray to the dvd, not to the negative, and the consensus was that the blu-ray looked worse than the dvd. I just don't see that. Are you saying that now most critics are agreeing that the blu-ray looks BETTER than the dvd (just not as good as the negative)? If so, I haven't come across those comments anywhere yet.

Let me spell this out for you as clearly as I can:

- The Blu-ray has more detail than the DVD. This much is true.
- The Blu-ray does not capture as much detail as it should, as witnessed in the Color Timing featurette.
- The Blu-ray's screwy colors are very artificial and distracting. The DVD's colors are more natural and film-like.

The color issue is so severe that it detracts from any other positive attributes the transfer may have. On balance, the DVD is more satisfying to watch, even though it has less detail.
post #74 of 226
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xanderville View Post

MUCH more detail now than ever before, except in some of the blacks

Look at the backgrounds in those screenshots. Lots of background detail has been blown out by contrast being too high. Lots of white bloom. Look at the buildings and signs in the backgrounds. It's all a big white mess. It looks like instead of making the blacks deeper by adjusting the gamma, somebody figured cranking up the contrast was the way to go. If that's the look he wants, fine, he can do it. But i think it looks awful. Seeing more fine background detail is one of the things i like about HD. In those areas, with this BD release, detail was lost compared to the DVD.
post #75 of 226
Horrible.
post #76 of 226
I just read about this on highdefdigest and I must say, that these comparison pics are even more shocking than I expected!
One look at that glowing santa-costume and any discussion is over! Blurring the colors this far is not only terribly ugly, it´s amateurish. How anyone could see this as an improvement, let alone the director himself, is totally beyond my comprehension. It looks like a broken transfer, not a restored one.

Listen to this radio-interview with Friedkin. He claims that nothing has been changed and that the picture looks different only because of the nature of the process and some color correction. No word about the blurred colors. Why did he not talk about that, since it´s that obvious? My guess is that he was so obsessed with eliminating the grain, that somebody proposed to him to blur the colors. Friedkin jumped on that without really knowing what he was doing.

I support the following view: Once a piece of art is finished, it becomes not only property of the artist but in a way it belongs to humanity. It becomes a part of us and our culture. If an artist goes back and changes it, we all lose that original piece of art that had personal meaning to some of us. Would you agree if DaVinci came back to change and blurr the colors on the Mona Lisa?

Fortunately, I am not a fan of "The French Connection". I would be heartbroken, if I was. This Blu-Ray should not be bought by anyone. Don´t support such dilettantism!
post #77 of 226
I am really glad I do not like this movie that much

That being said when not even the fans of the movie buy it this might send the right message, which is: Don't completely change the look of a movie from both its theatrical and prior home video releases - people don't like that !

Here's hoping that the theatrical version of The Exorcist will be on the coming Blu-Ray along with whatever strange revisionist version Mr. Friedkin is coming up with.
post #78 of 226
The reds look like Superman has been let loose with his heat vision.

A shame indeed.
post #79 of 226
Thread Starter 


post #80 of 226
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rowlander View Post

Fortunately, I am not a fan of "The French Connection". I would be heartbroken, if I was.

You've looked into my soul, this is what I posted 3 weeks ago on the HTF:

Quote:


This movie has long been one of my favorites, and when the Five Star Collection dvd was released in 2001 I was hugely impressed and very happy with the presentation of the movie. Having lived with the European blu-ray for the last 2 months I can say it's been hard to take this new director approved version.

......

Luckily the original dvd is still a marvel upconverted. But my heart breaks every time I think of the lost opportunity here. Friedkin in my opinion has really not thought through this new colour timing process.
post #81 of 226
Xylon!

Please have mercy on all of us who love The French Connection movies and stop posting screenshots!

I simply cannot take it any longer... It is tragic.. Simply tragic... To think what might have been...
post #82 of 226
If he had kept the original contrast level it might have been acceptable. I remember when I saw the first remaster of GWTW at Radio City it looked like Eastman color, it lost a lot of the Technicolor saturation. I also remember seeing Legend at it's opening the print was amazing, a few weeks later went to local theater with a friend and was horrified by the print, all of the rich deep color was gone. At least the Standard DVD of The French Connection is still around. You would have thought the director would have had the cinematographer there when he made the new transfer.
post #83 of 226
Wow!! look!! there is no red in the stop lights
post #84 of 226
It's so infuriating. Look at the 'TOW AWAY ZONE' street sign and 'ROMAN CARNIVAL' newspaper on the window in Xylon's last picture. There is a noticeable bump in resolution from the DVD version (i.e. from blurbs to readable text) yet Friedkin's color-decoloration-whatever process robs the picture of even sharper rez and strips it of its natural color. It's fitting Friedkin will be messing with "The Exorcist" BD because he's the anti-Christ!
post #85 of 226
Why does it look like the grain was added in later?
post #86 of 226
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kram Sacul View Post

Why does it look like the grain was added in later?

That's what perplexes me, too.

larry
post #87 of 226
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kram Sacul View Post

Why does it look like the grain was added in later?

The grain looks unnatural because the way the color is filtered.
What is left of the grain is mostly black and white.



It's not only red that is messed up, all the colors are.
post #88 of 226
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post

Friedkin has already confirmed that he's using this same recoloring process on The Exorcist.

3-4 of his other films, I believe he said on the featurette...
post #89 of 226
Wow, that's just brutal. What a shame.
post #90 of 226
Well, I guess that is why some Reference Blu-Rays are coming out now. This Blu-Ray looks like crap, only in a few distance shots can you actually make out some faces. But for the most part this Blu-Ray is full of way too much grain that surely makes the picture suffer. Xylon, thanks for posting as I was going to pick this up, but after seeing these shots, no way! Similar situation happen with the first release of Full Metal Jacket, it looked horrible. The new version is much improved... I mean if there going to make a old movie look better do it right!
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