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Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection - Page 4

post #91 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by R Harkness View Post

Good to see the creature-love flowin....
That's my impression of general forum activity too: not nearly as robust as it used to be. I've been wondering if it reflects a downward trend in overall interest in specialty AV gear and home theater (too many other ways people are getting their entertainment). But you bring up changes to the forum format, so who knows?

Over at bluray.com there is a large thread going on and also one in the U.K. and Canada movie threads on the Universal Monsters Essential Collection. It's here that things are slow. I've noticed that also. AVS is hot for gear and bluray.com is hot for blu ray movies.
post #92 of 111
It's my opinion that the AVS forum is much, much less active period, not just the BD section.

Art
post #93 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by Art Sonneborn View Post

It's my opinion that the AVS forum is much, much less active period, not just the BD section.
Art

Problem with black and white movies is that there can't be no teal fights wink.gif
post #94 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by Art Sonneborn View Post

It's my opinion that the AVS forum is much, much less active period, not just the BD section.
Art

Yeah, I've been wondering why. I don't get on as much as I used to and I don't know if it's because the forum feels less active (drawing me less), or the forum is less active because people for other reasons aren't as interested.

Anyway, I'm LOVING this UCMonsters set, especially every night before Halloween. It's glorious to experience these old films, like seeing them new.
post #95 of 111
I much prefer AVS and HTF over bluray.com. Although bluray.com gets a lot more activity, it seems to be mostly semi-literate moronic posts asking why a movie isn't sold at Best Buy, or where it's cheapest, or which cover is cooler. Although AVS and HTF occasionally have juvenile catfights, they're generally much calmer and more intelligent discussions.
post #96 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by Morpheo View Post

Problem with black and white movies is that there can't be no teal fights wink.gif
Don't go giving them ideas
post #97 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by dougotte View Post

I much prefer AVS and HTF over bluray.com. Although bluray.com gets a lot more activity, it seems to be mostly semi-literate moronic posts asking why a movie isn't sold at Best Buy, or where it's cheapest, or which cover is cooler...

I saw Steve Allen being interviewed and he was asked if television is worse today than it was in his era. His answer was (paraphrased) "There's a LOT more of it. That means a lot more good and a lot more bad".

The thread about the Universal Monsters over there is a doozy...like the guy who won't buy the UK set because he's annoyed by the British spellings like the word "colour".

That being said, there's a huge amount of discussion about small, specialty titles that get virtually no mention here. And most of what I buy are oddball catalogue titles. There's a mountain of crap but if you want a three page discussion about BABES IN TOYLAND, that's the place.

It's probably our own fault. I should try starting a discussion here about some of those oddball titles. Maybe we can restore that critical mass.
post #98 of 111
Anyone know why the Universal Monsters set hasn't been reviewed by RP yet?
post #99 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbug View Post

Anyone know why the Universal Monsters set hasn't been reviewed by RP yet?

Probably because in addition to the regular stream of Blu-ray discs in the past two months, there have been a large amount of high-profile multi-packs released as well as single catalog titles. Indiana Jones, Alfred Hitchcock, Universal Monsters, Bond 50, Marilyn Monroe, etc. I don't know how much time he dedicates to reviewing discs, but that many pending reviews has got to take its toll. He's just one man whereas other sites have multiple persons. Just a guess.
post #100 of 111
http://caps-a-holic.com/hd_vergleiche/comparison.php?art=part&x=460&y=234&action=1&image=0&cID=1346&cap1=15744&cap2=15768&lossless=#vergleich
post #101 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by gomezfan69 View Post

I have serious issues with The Wolf Man.
I can't understand why it's been getting a pass from so many people when it is so heavily manipulated. Otherwise I have no complaints about the set...(well there is the third reel of the Spanish Dracula. But that probably couldn't be helped.)

+1

I've been watching them in chronological order and have been very pleased until I got to The Wolf Man. The five earlier pictures looked like film. The Wolf Man looks like digital video. How can a sky shot in a 1941 film look that smooth? The earlier films don't look like TKAMB, why does this one?
post #102 of 111
How can a sky shot in a 1941 film look that smooth?

Slow film stock, that's how. Which is not to say that the transfer hasn't been smoothed out. But the intention of the Hollywood film studios in the heyday of B&W films was a smooth tonal range. Lots of film grain in these films usually means the source is several generations from the camera negative.
post #103 of 111
I watched Dracula, The Creature From The Black Lagoon ,The Invisible Man and The Wolf Man and, I agree, The Wolf Man looks manipulated the most of those but so does The Invisible Man to some degree. They appear to have had something similar to the photoshop unsharpen mask applied.

Art
post #104 of 111
I thought that they "all" were restored would be bogus.
It's Uni & not all these films are held in equal regard.

They should have been completely honest w/a set they wanted over a hundred bucks for here in the states.
Just super happy "TCftBL" HAD too be a new transfer for BD 3D!
post #105 of 111
I've watched Frankenstein, Bride, Wolf Man, Creature and Invisible Man. I've been happy with all the transfers.

BTW, when watching Bride, anyone here find the meeting of The Monster and the Blind Hermit in the cabin to be a touching scene? For me it has always been a pristine little scene in that film, with real emotion, affecting music and and absolutely superb, heartfelt performances by each actor. By the time the tear roles down Karloff's cheek I always have a lump in my throat.
post #106 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by R Harkness View Post

I've watched Frankenstein, Bride, Wolf Man, Creature and Invisible Man. I've been happy with all the transfers.
BTW, when watching Bride, anyone here find the meeting of The Monster and the Blind Hermit in the cabin to be a touching scene? For me it has always been a pristine little scene in that film, with real emotion, affecting music and and absolutely superb, heartfelt performances by each actor. By the time the tear roles down Karloff's cheek I always have a lump in my throat.
'The Bride' is still quite a flick!
Cause in "Frankenstein" when the father is carrying his dead daughter though the town you want too kill the "monster".

Plus 'The Bride' is still stunning after all these decades.
I go too a goth club like one a week & the women only wish they could lOOk as hot as "?"! tongue.gif
post #107 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by R Harkness View Post

I've watched Frankenstein, Bride, Wolf Man, Creature and Invisible Man. I've been happy with all the transfers.

BTW, when watching Bride, anyone here find the meeting of The Monster and the Blind Hermit in the cabin to be a touching scene? For me it has always been a pristine little scene in that film, with real emotion, affecting music and and absolutely superb, heartfelt performances by each actor. By the time the tear roles down Karloff's cheek I always have a lump in my throat.
Alas, I keep thinking of Gene Hackman as the Blind Hermit in Young Frankenstein, but yes, if I suppress the years of knowing that scene thru the lens of Mel Brooks, it is quite well done.
post #108 of 111
I think Bride suffers for its lack of length, the opposite of many modern films. And recutting: in the original, Frankenstein's bride-to-be had her heart removed by Dwight Fry's character, and it was put into the female monster: hence, the unhealthy interest the female monster showed in Frankenstein. One can still see hints of this happening in the film (``it's a very fresh one.'') And everyone was supposed to die in the end.
post #109 of 111
My wife got me this set for Christmas (bless 'er) and I've been wading through a film or tow a night the last few days. So far, I've watched both Frankensteins, Dracula, The Mummy and The Invisible Man.

Aside from the two Frankensteins, (particularly BOF), I've never been much of a fan of Universal's "classic horror: movies, my love of gothics pretty much starts with the Hammer Films. Thus, possibly astonishingly, this was the first time I've watched Dracula, The Invisible Man and The Mummy completely though in one sitting. On one hand, I've gained an appreciation for the films in some respects while reinforcing certain dislikes for them in others.

Starting with the two Frankensteins, they have been and remain the only two films of Universal's classic horrors to rate and continue to exude a still relevant level of quality, novelty and art. It is true there's bits here and there that no longer work in the context of modern scrutiny such as the dated stagey dialog and especially in the annoying case of over-the-top hysterics of Una O'Conner (also in Invisible Man) but it's offset by how much of the direction, the acting (excepting Colin Clive), the direction, production design, the score and especially the photography all retain much of their impact nearly 80 years later.

Dracula.... I still do not care much for. I do have a better appreciation for the set design and strong gothic atmosphere that permeates the film. And I finally do "get" the appreciation many fans have for Lugosi's overall appeal in the role as a *presence* of evil. But the plodding, stagey (it was basically a filmed version of the Broadway play) manner in which the story unfolds, often with character descriptions of events that happen offscreen far more interesting than what happens onscreen continuously frustrates any attempts at horror. I can't help but chuckle watching Renfield half-heartedly tumble down the stairs after receiving what appears to be a Vulcan death-tickle from Dracula.

The Invisible Man is another thing altogether. It's execution seems more... modern, energetic than I had expected for one of the movies from this early 30's run. Director James Whale's dark, dry sense of humor seems most unfettered in this film and it works more successfully than in the Frankenstein films. On the other end of the spectrum, The Mummy moves at a snails pace, but also in many ways is the best photographed (and so far, best looking of these "restorations").

Getting to the overall Blu-ray presentations, certainly at least the Frankensteins look the best I've ever seen compared to the various dvd and laserdisc releases. However, whatever digital process Universal used for these transfers, while bringing out previously unseen details and textures, also often creates ugly, cartoonish black outlines between black foreground objects and light backgrounds, most noticeably in Dracula where his cape and hair are often 100% crushed black with no nuance and a odd outlines as if he was a comic book pen and ink drawing. It's like every gradient of black between 85% to 99% was just pushed to 100% black. Very much reminds me of the process used for the original King Kong.

And perhaps stranger, during the scene in BOF where The Monster approaches the blind mans hut for the first time, there's a dark clump of branches on the lower right side of the screen as the Monster walks past, it appears there's a dropped frame and the branches disappear almost as if the scene was composed of two takes! It bugged me so much, I checked my old dvd and sure enough, it appears that Universal half-heartedly attempted to digitally "merge" what was originally the two separate takes which had a bad jump cut or splice but didn't bother to digitally "correct" the tree branches making the scene look even stranger!

More as I watch more......
post #110 of 111
A few months ago I read the novel FRANKENSTEIN for the first time, and was rather surprised at how much the movie and BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN differ from the novel. It seemed to me to be not so much about a man doing the forbidden thing of "playing God" by creating life as about the morality of the monster doing what it did because of Frankenstein's and society's rejection of and repulsion toward him. Apparently Mary Shelley's atheistic views re: sin and accountability and moral freedom yielded and shaped the novel (with her husband's help; a later edition has tried to differentiate between what she wrote and what her husband added or edited).
post #111 of 111
Mary Shelley's novel is a pretty rough slog. I tried it as a teenager and only got around to reading it in the last ten years. The details of the creation of the creature are next-to nonexistent, and there's a great deal of talk. It's essentially an oral ghost story expanded in the manner of the early 19th century gothic novel, and it's true that there seems to be a definite hand of another involved.

Dracula is a much, much more fun read. Copolla's film is about as close to the book as any version has ever been, but a definitive version is yet to be filmed.
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