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Best Catalog Film Transfers? - Page 3

post #61 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff D View Post

Last time I watched The Warriors it looked fairly Paramounted, i.e. it had a fair bit of DNR. Thank **** for the anamorphic DVD of the original version, which still looks very respectable indeed.

i'm not going to deny it's DNRed because it is but you seriously can't be suggesting the DVD you are referring to can actually look better than the bluray which while DNRed is still much way more subtle than films that DO look better on DVD (like the original BD of Evil Dead 2)
post #62 of 106
Did I say it looked "better" than the Blu-ray? Nope. But the PAL platter is very good for a DVD, and I could happily watch that version for eternity. Helps that it's the theatrical edition too, and not that dumbass 'director's cut'.
post #63 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by steel_breeze View Post

Aha... that brings up an interesting question for this thread. The blu-ray version of THE WARRIORS is quite different from the original theatrical release, and that original theatrical version is not available as a choice.


[RANT]

Which was such a bummer when I watched The Warriors. I love that movie but Gawd I hated the intrusion of those newly added, dumb comic-frame transitions! All they did was jar the viewer, break up what otherwise was a nice flow to the movie. Yeah, Walter Hill, we get it: the movie that inspired real violence off screen was only ever meant as a comic-book level take on a gang adventure. But we hardly needed that point added to the film so literally as to make the movie even shallower than it was.

[/RANT]
post #64 of 106
The Warriors was essentially destroyed.
post #65 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fanboyz View Post

The Warriors was essentially destroyed.

Is that in agreement with the issues I raised? Or are you talking PQ issues?
post #66 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by R Harkness View Post

Is that in agreement with the issues I raised? Or are you talking PQ issues?

Issues you raised. Walter Hill's rearrangement of the movie, ruins the movie.
Star Wars for all the hate it's current edition gets; is still the same movie.
The Warriors is so jarringly altered that the whole movie falls apart because of it.
Above all else, it now claims to be set in the future.
Terrible, just disturbingly awful. You'd think that an Walter Hill's "ULTIMATE DIRECTOR'S CUT" would be have a few more inserts of violence or something, not that the whole movie would have horrid "Who Wants To Be A Superhero" style fake comic-panels.
post #67 of 106
^^^^ Yup.

As for best catalog transfers, I have to agree with a previous post suggesting The Original Twilight Zone series on Blu-Ray as being a superb example. Such a joy to watch.
post #68 of 106
The inserts are annoying, but I'd rather have them than have the theatrical release "teal and oranged" for BD like Aliens.

larry
post #69 of 106
MOONSTRUCK is an amazing blu ray transfer. VERY VERY film like!!

Hustle and Flow - Wicked film like


Taxi Driver - The best blu ray ever!!


Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid - very proper film like transfer


BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA - one of the best blu rays ever..extremely film like and proper transfer.


Something Wild (Criterion) - very good blu ray.. the colors are just a little too bright, so I just turned the color down a bit on my tv and that fixed it and toned it back down to where it should be and then it was pretty much perfect.
post #70 of 106
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your recommendations, cinemasoul. I haven't seen any of the titles on your list, but I'm sure others here have, and may perhaps chime in with their opinions.

 

It's been awhile since I've seen a really good transfer of an older film that I felt was a worth commenting on here. (Good catalog transfers apparently don't grow on trees. smile.gif) But I picked up several pretty good ones over the holidays...

post #71 of 106
Thread Starter 

Lawrence of Arabia (2012 - 50th Anniversary Edition)

Directed by David Lean

 

This is a pretty extraordinary transfer... esp. when you consider what the film went through before finally making it onto your TV screen. smile.gif

 

This film was originally shot in Super Panavision 70, which is a high resolution non-anamorphic* (ie spherical lens) widescreen 65mm film format, with an aspect ratio of 2.20:1. The cameras used to shoot the film were exceedingly heavy, and had to be lugged around often in blistering heat to remote mountain and desert locations all over the world, with a cast and crew (and horses, and camels) sometimes numbering in the thousands. The making of the film was a Herculean endeavor in itself. And according to a Sony rep: "the original negative was seriously damaged in a number of ways, some problems dating from the original release and some accumulated over the years”... which is why it's all the more remarkable that it can be enjoyed in such a high quality presentation as this today.

 

The film was initally scanned at 8k, then remastered at 4k, and finally scaled to 2k (1080p) for the BD release. The end result is one of the most highly detailed transfers I've seen so far on Blu-ray, probably only equalled or superseded by some of the more detailed scenes in Ben Hur. There are a few minor "imperfections" worth noting though...

 

Several AVSers have already commented on the subtle vertical lines or stripes of wear that can occasionally be seen in the middle of the frame in some of the desert scenes. This is touched on briefly in the BD extras. The film apparently warped in the desert heat during shooting, and rubbed against the sprockets or film gate, causing the lines. However, it sounds as though Sony made a concerted effort to minimize the appearance of that damage as much as possible during the restoration.

 

There is also some subtle haloing/ringing which is occasionally visible. One example is the nighttime imagery at the beginning of Chapter 8, where haloing can be seen around the edges of darkly silhouetted figures. The detail looks pretty clean though in most of the film. I was particularly impressed by how well the detail holds up during dissolves and other opticals (esp. after watching Bridge on the River Kwai, which has problems in that area).

 

The color and contrast also appear somewhat manipulated to me. Although the transfer often exhibits nice differentiation in hues, there are certain color tones, namely olive or beige-olive and cherry red (which are admittedly a dominant part of the film's palette due to the military uniforms) that often appear somewhat unnaturally stressed. This seems particularly apparent in the scenes in Prince Feisal's tent in Chapter 7.

 

Although I don't think the "tweaked" color palette always looks totally natural, imo it works pretty well aesthetically with the subject matter. And there are also very nice golds, whites, blues, oranges, greens and other hues in the picture. So the color is by no means homogeneous in appearance. The palette is somewhat limited by the subject matter as well. And the condition of the color was undoubtedly also badly degraded in the source material... so it's rather remarkable to me that the color looks as good as it does.

 

I think most viewers, esp. those with larger screens, will be pretty amazed by how good this film looks. And I'm very glad to have been able to add such a high-quality presentation of this film to my own movie collection. (I own the lower-cost 2-disc edition btw.)

 

* The Blu-ray case incorrectly lists the feature as "2.20:1 anamorphic widescreen" which is not correct, because all high-definition Blu-ray content is encoded with a 1:1 (ie square/non-anamorphic) pixel aspect, and the Super Panavision process used for the film's photography employs spherical (1:1) lenses.


Edited by ADU - 4/30/13 at 6:29pm
post #72 of 106
Those are excellent observations about Lawrence Of Arabia's transfer, ADU.
post #73 of 106
While I am no expert on transfer quality, I was just amazed with White Christmas in all of it glorious Technicolor.
post #74 of 106
White Christmas and The Ten Commandments are as good as it gets for 50s color films.
(though technically speaking, neither of those blu-rays has anything to do with the Technicolor process, used to make the theatrical prints, since they are transferred from the original Eastman negatives)
post #75 of 106
PSYCHO (50th Anniversary) is an amazing restoration and blu ray transfer. Very impressively restored while keeping the film grain and film look intact. This is probably one of the most impressive blu rays I've ever seen. If you haven't seen this on blu ray yet, then you need to do yourself a favor and get and watch it right away. I can't think of a better blu ray for this list that this one right here....it doesn't get much better than this. You will be completely amazed by PSYCHO on blu ray. Very film like and very amazing.
post #76 of 106
The Omega Man looks very well for an early cataogue title.
post #77 of 106
I just got done watching EDWARD SCISSORHANDS on blu ray and WOW!! I don't care what any of the blu ray review sites have to nit pick about this one, it is simply amazing! Most of the blu ray review sites complain about it being 'jumpy', making claims that the only way to see a clear picture is to pause the movie because the picture is constantly jumping like a slightly mis-framed film projector and that it ruins the whole movie experience. This is complete and utter malarkey . OK, so yeah, in the very beginning of the film you can see what they are talking about with the jumpy picture, but it is ever so slight, and it does NOT happen constantly and does not by any means 'ruin' any kind of enjoyment of the movie. In fact, it just gives it a little slight tad bit more of an authentic film like feel to the whole thing. This is a GREAT blu ray, and feels very much like film.

I also read on review sites where they say stuff like this is an older blu ray and that blu ray has come along way since this was release on the format and if it were to be re-done that it would finally look amazing. Well, let me tell you something... it DOES look amazing. I'm sick of these review sits that always talk about how flecks, specks or a little bit of dirt here or there 'mar' the picture or detract from the enjoyment of the film. How pansy have we gotten as a society? I mean come on!! If I read the word 'mar' on another blu ray review site in reference to film specks or 'flecks' I'm gonna loose my mind. I actually think that stuff is great to have in there. To me I just look at 'specks' or 'flecks' or a little dirt here or there every once in a while as evidence that I am watching a film and not just a video. To me, those things are just EVIDENCE of AUTHENTICITY...a reminder that this was shot on real film and not cheap fakey video.

I think the real reason the review sites don't like this one on blu ray is because it doesn't look 'digital' enough for them, and looks or feels too much like a film and not a video and to me that is just a completely twisted and demented way to think about film.

ANYWAY..... EDWARD SCISSORHANDS looks great on blu ray and watching it on my 50" plasma was a wild trip. I never thought too highly of this movie before but now I love it!! I don't let any of those review sites fool you into thinking that it isn't 'good enough' for this falsely pristine world that they live in. It's not a highly priced blu ray either, I wouldn't hesitate for a second to highly recommend that everyone reading thins go right now and buy it up before they are no longer available... it came out in 2006 and I'm sure they will replace it soon enough with The Ultimate Hunter Edition of it.
Edited by cinemasoul - 1/30/13 at 12:42am
post #78 of 106
Edward is an outdated transfer that is far from great. I remember sharpening artifacts and a general lack of fine detail and resolution. Looks videoish, not film like. Could look miles better.
post #79 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by cinemasoul View Post

To me I just look at 'specks' or 'flecks' or a little dirt here or there every once in a while as evidence that I am watching a film and not just a video. To me, those things are just EVIDENCE of AUTHENTICITY...a reminder that this was shot on real film and not cheap fakey video.

All they are evidence of is studio laziness and cost-cutting. Do you think the film's director intended to have his movie covered in dirt, scratches and other unwanted physical damage?
post #80 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by mhafner View Post

Edward is an outdated transfer that is far from great. I remember sharpening artifacts and a general lack of fine detail and resolution. Looks videoish, not film like. Could look miles better.

I don't agree... I think it looks and feels way more like a film camera filmed it than a video camera. Doesn't look at all 'videoish' to me.

Could look miles more 'Ultimate DNR Edition' too. Be careful what you ask for. I think E.S looks great of blu ray on my 50" plasma... not sure how videoish it looks on an lcd or any other tv, but on mine it looks and feel like film and not 'videoish' at all in the least bit.

If they do make a new transfer of this film to blu ray they will only make it look more video and even less film like... if anything they will put more EE and DNR and try to make it look like a completely plastic video. I'm sure a new version will probably end up looking more like Predator The ultimate hunter edition which IMO is the worst. I highly doubt they will make a new version with intent to make it look more like film.

I certainly will enjoy the version that is already out.. it's as film like as it's ever going to get. Personally, I do think it looks great.
Edited by cinemasoul - 1/30/13 at 1:34pm
post #81 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post

All they are evidence of is studio laziness and cost-cutting. Do you think the film's director intended to have his movie covered in dirt, scratches and other unwanted physical damage?

I never said that they should be 'covered in dirt and scratches'... I just said that if a little of it is in there here or there then it is a good thing, because that is evidence of the authenticity of film in general. Flecks or specks here and there is different than being 'covered in dirt and scratches' as you put it. You took what I said and stretched it to the extreme, essentially turning what I said into something made up in your mind about what you wished I said so that your opposing view and argument would seem 'extremely' obvious.
post #82 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by cinemasoul View Post

I never said that they should be 'covered in dirt and scratches'... I just said that if a little of it is in there here or there then it is a good thing, because that is evidence of the authenticity of film in general. Flecks or specks here and there is different than being 'covered in dirt and scratches' as you put it. You took what I said and stretched it to the extreme, essentially turning what I said into something made up in your mind about what you wished I said so that your opposing view and argument would seem 'extremely' obvious.

You are quite right, flecks/specks are in the original negatives in catalog films although in your 1990 film example they should be few and far between by comparison to older films. In the Dr No supplement 'License to Restore' Lowry proudly shows examples of flaws in the (which they state) ON that they 'fixed' which the director saw and put in the final edit regardless.

Even dirt and scratches is better then over done automatic 'fixing', for instance the Criterion Gojira scratches and all appears better then the two other BDs with over filtering that reduced Gojira to dvd level pq. Kino released White Zombie with heavy filtering but also put a 'raw' version on the BD (although I suspect some sharping was used on the raw). If some company (like Capitol) feels the need to over process classics they should at least put a raw version in the release as well, it's not like it's going to hurt someone. The film format was never meant to be 'clean'.

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film4/blu-ray_reviews_58/white_zombie_blu-ray.htm
Edited by wuther - 1/30/13 at 5:24pm
post #83 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by wuther View Post

You are quite right, flecks/specks are in the original negatives in catalog films
er, I think that would be ON the original negatives (other than where it's baked into an optical or something). They come quite clean out of the factory. The dust accumulates during lab handling, and should be cleaned off.
post #84 of 106
It's O Friggin K if there is a speck or fleck here or there every once in a while. It does not 'mar' the picture and it should not take away any enjoyment from your viewing if it happens once in a while here or there. Have we seriously become such a pansy society that we freak out by one or 2 little specks or flecks on a film we are watching? Talk about being spoiled... 'omg there was a speck...ewwwww how gross... this movie sucks now, and I can't enjoy it...they need to go in there and purify this with bleach and completely sanitize it until it god like in it's flawlessness. I need my movies to be sterile looking...even a movie like Predator...I don't care if it is supposed to be a gritty and raw film, I need it to be sterile looking, even if that means it looks plastic and fake'


Sorry, I had to vent.

I will say this though...
'Flawlessness' is actually the biggest 'flaw' there could be. It's very unnatural and un-human to be flawless.
post #85 of 106
Proper use of digital tools for dust reduction does not harm the picture in the way you describe.
post #86 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by cinemasoul View Post

It's O Friggin K if there is a speck or fleck here or there every once in a while. It does not 'mar' the picture and it should not take away any enjoyment from your viewing if it happens once in a while here or there. Have we seriously become such a pansy society that we freak out by one or 2 little specks or flecks on a film we are watching? Talk about being spoiled... 'omg there was a speck...ewwwww how gross... this movie sucks now, and I can't enjoy it...they need to go in there and purify this with bleach and completely sanitize it until it god like in it's flawlessness. I need my movies to be sterile looking...even a movie like Predator...I don't care if it is supposed to be a gritty and raw film, I need it to be sterile looking, even if that means it looks plastic and fake'


Sorry, I had to vent.

I will say this though...
'Flawlessness' is actually the biggest 'flaw' there could be. It's very unnatural and un-human to be flawless.
Maybe we should drag the negative through the dirt while we're at it, give it that grindhouse patina? Dust has nothing to do with the film, with the artistry of the filmmaking, etc. It's an extraneous nuisance, like a guy chewing popcorn in the seat behind you.
post #87 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by cinemasoul View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by mhafner View Post

Edward is an outdated transfer that is far from great. I remember sharpening artifacts and a general lack of fine detail and resolution. Looks videoish, not film like. Could look miles better.
I don't agree... I think it looks and feels way more like a film camera filmed it than a video camera. Doesn't look at all 'videoish' to me.
Could look miles more 'Ultimate DNR Edition' too. Be careful what you ask for. I think E.S looks great of blu ray on my 50" plasma... not sure how videoish it looks on an lcd or any other tv, but on mine it looks and feel like film and not 'videoish' at all in the least bit.
If they do make a new transfer of this film to blu ray they will only make it look more video and even less film like... if anything they will put more EE and DNR and try to make it look like a completely plastic video. I'm sure a new version will probably end up looking more like Predator The ultimate hunter edition which IMO is the worst. I highly doubt they will make a new version with intent to make it look more like film.
I certainly will enjoy the version that is already out.. it's as film like as it's ever going to get. Personally, I do think it looks great.
When I say videoish about film transfers I don't mean it looks like it was shot with a video camera, but that I see artifacts typical of (outdated) digital video and not existing on film like that. The problem, as I remember the transfer, is not lack of grain or DNR, but the use of an older transfer made on equipment that simply can't compete with today's scans. The result is overall lack of resolution (grain and real world detail), visible sharpening artifacts and unnecessary video noise. Also outdated MPEG 2 compression adding more artifacts. It's watchable but can't hold a candle to today's reference discs of catalogue titles. I'll have another look at it to recheck if my memory of it is accurate.
Update: I scanned some of it again and my impression is as before. Nothing terribly wrong with it, just not looking like a recent transfer on the latest scanners. Lacks fine detail, somewhat coarse/harsh look, edges are not free of artifacts as they could be, it's rather unstable at times (telecine jitter), some dirt etc.
Edited by mhafner - 2/2/13 at 6:16am
post #88 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by cinemasoul View Post

It's O Friggin K if there is a speck or fleck here or there every once in a while. It does not 'mar' the picture and it should not take away any enjoyment from your viewing if it happens once in a while here or there. Have we seriously become such a pansy society that we freak out by one or 2 little specks or flecks on a film we are watching? Talk about being spoiled... 'omg there was a speck...ewwwww how gross... this movie sucks now, and I can't enjoy it...they need to go in there and purify this with bleach and completely sanitize it until it god like in it's flawlessness.

Honestly, I don't entirely disagree with you. I'm not bothered by a little dust or specks. But the fact is that those things are not supposed to be there. They were not intended by the director, who no doubt would have made every effort at the time of production to avoid or minimize them. The studios should clean things like this up.

I do find it kind of amusing that audiences have been conditioned over the decades to accept and almost totally tune out things like grain, dirt and reel change marks when they appear on 50-foot screens in a theatrical setting, but heaven forbid that any of them should pop up on the 32" TV in that same person's living room, or a major hissy fit is in store. smile.gif
post #89 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post


I do find it kind of amusing that audiences have been conditioned over the decades to accept and almost totally tune out things like grain, dirt and reel change marks when they appear on 50-foot screens in a theatrical setting, but heaven forbid that any of them should pop up on the 32" TV in that same person's living room, or a major hissy fit is in store. smile.gif

But these things are specific to a certain type of theatrical presentation (I don't mind them btw). And like you said they should not be there in the first place. They are (were?) part of the deal and the theater experience. There's no reason to see them on a home video release (except in Fight Club for the reel change wink.gif). It's like seeing horizontal vhs artefacts at the theater tongue.gif
post #90 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by 42041 View Post

Maybe we should drag the negative through the dirt while we're at it, give it that grindhouse patina? Dust has nothing to do with the film, with the artistry of the filmmaking, etc. It's an extraneous nuisance, like a guy chewing popcorn in the seat behind you.

lol it's funny how you take someone saying a fleck or speck here or there is ok, and completely twist it around and say that is equivelant to dragging the film through the dirt and giving it a grindhouse look just to try to make your point seem like it has merit.
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