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(Horror Of) Dracula UK Blu-ray - Epic Fail! - Page 2

post #31 of 85
haineshisway,

Not trying too start/join a fight.
Are you saying those caps of the new Blu don't lOOk like your prints?
Cause I know you are posting the DVD caps don't (inferring the SD caps aren't blu enough).

Why were expensive 16mm dye transfer prints made?
When & where did you get a 35mm dye transfer print??
What is the source for the BFI’s "original" check print in '07???
post #32 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by BIG ED View Post

haineshisway,

Not trying too start/join a fight.
Are you saying those caps of the new Blu don't lOOk like your prints?
Cause I know you are posting the DVD caps don't (inferring the SD caps aren't blu enough).

Why were expensive 16mm dye transfer prints made?
When & where did you get a 35mm dye transfer print??
What is the source for the BFI’s "original" check print in '07???

I am saying I put no stock in caps at all. But from what I've seen of the Blu-ray, yes it does resemble the timing on the IB prints I've owned. 1000% closer than the Warners DVD. As to why dye transfer 16mm prints were made? Why not? I have no idea about the why, but there were thousands of them, as you probably know. I owned at least 500 IB 16mm prints in my time of collecting. Are you really asking me "when and where" I got a dye transfer 35mm print? smile.gif I got it from someone who was selling one - that's how film collecting went back in the day, all behind well-closed doors. I had 35 IB prints of Vertigo (my copy was the best anywhere), all the Bond films, The Court Jester, The Wild Bunch, and many others.

There seems to be much confusion over the term "check" print. From what I've read, in the commentary tracks on the Blu-ray it is stated that a dye transfer reference print was used - again, I don't have the Blu-ray and cannot judge the transfer until I do - screen caps are stupid and you never know what you're looking at, which is why my commenting on a bunch of postage-sized caps with no context was indeed stupid of me, although that said, not a one of those two postage-sized caps purportedly from the Warners DVD release looks anything like the horribleness of that transfer in motion on a big screen. Well, you know what I'm saying, I'm sure.
post #33 of 85
Why were expensive 16mm dye transfer prints made?

Most likely becauset the color holds up better than any of the other color processes (excepting possibly Kodachrome). There was lots and lots of 16mm rental going on in the sixties and seventies. I saw a 16mm print of the DeMille King of Kings in the early '60s that had the most amazing 2-strip Easter scene. It did not look like the usual orange-green early Tech stuff. Never seen 2-strip Technicolor look remotely as good since.
post #34 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaded Dogfood View Post

Why were expensive 16mm dye transfer prints made?

Most likely becauset the color holds up better than any of the other color processes (excepting possibly Kodachrome). There was lots and lots of 16mm rental going on in the sixties and seventies. I saw a 16mm print of the DeMille King of Kings in the early '60s that had the most amazing 2-strip Easter scene. It did not look like the usual orange-green early Tech stuff. Never seen 2-strip Technicolor look remotely as good since.
BIG thanks.
I was thinking they would only do "DTP" for 35mm.
post #35 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by haineshisway View Post

I am saying I put no stock in caps at all. But from what I've seen of the Blu-ray, yes it does resemble the timing on the IB prints I've owned. 1000% closer than the Warners DVD. As to why dye transfer 16mm prints were made? Why not? I have no idea about the why, but there were thousands of them, as you probably know. I owned at least 500 IB 16mm prints in my time of collecting. Are you really asking me "when and where" I got a dye transfer 35mm print? smile.gif I got it from someone who was selling one - that's how film collecting went back in the day, all behind well-closed doors. I had 35 IB prints of Vertigo (my copy was the best anywhere), all the Bond films, The Court Jester, The Wild Bunch, and many others.

There seems to be much confusion over the term "check" print. From what I've read, in the commentary tracks on the Blu-ray it is stated that a dye transfer reference print was used - again, I don't have the Blu-ray and cannot judge the transfer until I do - screen caps are stupid and you never know what you're looking at, which is why my commenting on a bunch of postage-sized caps with no context was indeed stupid of me, although that said, not a one of those two postage-sized caps purportedly from the Warners DVD release looks anything like the horribleness of that transfer in motion on a big screen. Well, you know what I'm saying, I'm sure.
It sounds like you no longer own any "DTP" of this title [16 or 35mm].
It's important when & where you got your previous prints because of the source. UK Hammer & US Warner are obviously diff.

Right, if "a dye transfer reference print was used" in 20-07 what was the source Hammer or Warner's?
One of the post you posted on "one of those two postage-sized caps " was "if you look at that cap (and yes, the caps are kind of inept but one gets the idea) - there are pure greens, lush reds - and NO BLUE TINT. Funny, isn't it? The colors are entirely accurate to a dye transfer prints".
The caps in post #8 show the dress goes from light pink in the WB DVD. too light blu on the Hammer BD.
Do you believe this is only an abbreviation of the screencaps.
post #36 of 85
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BIG ED View Post

Grossly inaccurate!
Their is no such "quote": buy it and decide whether you like it or not.
(snip)
.

"Finally, we would at least ask that judgement be reserved till you have watched the film."

I dunno, maybe they're saying "please feel free to download the Blu-ray from any bootleg torrent site for a sample in case you don't want to waste $35+ if you decide you hate the new color grading."
post #37 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by BIG ED View Post

It sounds like you no longer own any "DTP" of this title [16 or 35mm].
It's important when & where you got your previous prints because of the source. UK Hammer & US Warner are obviously diff.

Right, if "a dye transfer reference print was used" in 20-07 what was the source Hammer or Warner's?
One of the post you posted on "one of those two postage-sized caps " was "if you look at that cap (and yes, the caps are kind of inept but one gets the idea) - there are pure greens, lush reds - and NO BLUE TINT. Funny, isn't it? The colors are entirely accurate to a dye transfer prints".
The caps in post #8 show the dress goes from light pink in the WB DVD. too light blu on the Hammer BD.
Do you believe this is only an abbreviation of the screencaps.

Forget the confusing postage-sized caps posted here - just look at the large-sized comparisons - the Warners is brown and ugly and looks nothing like a dye transfer print would have looked - period. Then if you look at the new transfer you will see accurate reds, greens, and blues - people seem to be ignoring those caps completely because they don't have a "blue wash" on them - to support THAT argument they are looking at night scenes that would have bluish tone to them and did in the dye transfer prints.
post #38 of 85
Thread Starter 
post #39 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Partyslammer View Post


Yes, keep posting the same silly crappy screen caps - I'll let you know what the actual Blu-ray looks like in a couple of weeks. Although it seems like most people here and elsewhere, none of you actually purchase discs and your sole knowledge of them seems to be based on ill-posted screen caps of no quality whatsoever. I leave you and your pals to it, since you enjoy it so much, and I'll return when I've seen it.
post #40 of 85
Here's another review: Cine-Apocalypse

Relevant quote:
Quote:
I should also mention this “blue tinting” issue that seems to have become a centerpiece of extreme debate among certain collectors recently. And this started when screenshots leaked out of some scenes that were extremely dark and bluish. The review copy I was supplied with, however, contradicts these photos. In my opinion, and to my eyes, neither is the movie too dark nor too blue. Yes, there is blue in the film, but there is no “tinting,” you are not seeing certain scenes through a tinted lens. What has been applied looks to me more of digital brush stroke of light blue applied to certain lighted areas in certain scenes. For instance the scene where Michael Gough and Peter Cushing are conversing next to Lucy’s coffin. The door to the mausoleum is open and you can see the graveyard in the background. The courtyard has a light sheen of blue overlain upon it, but Cushing and Gough are free of any “bluing.” The night scenes are still dark, but there may be a sliver of light in one or two of the scenes and these slivers are indeed tinted with a light blue. If there’s anything more beyond this my eyes don’t seem register it. Basically, Hammer has remastered DRACULA into a beautiful looking film.

Looking forward to reading more reviews once they get out into the field, esp. from people familiar with the I.B prints such as Haines (I used to have a 35mm one back in the 80s).
post #41 of 85
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by haineshisway View Post

Yes, keep posting the same silly crappy screen caps - I'll let you know what the actual Blu-ray looks like in a couple of weeks. Although it seems like most people here and elsewhere, none of you actually purchase discs and your sole knowledge of them seems to be based on ill-posted screen caps of no quality whatsoever. I leave you and your pals to it, since you enjoy it so much, and I'll return when I've seen it.

I've seen it. You are aware there's a torrent rip of the BR available since last week, right? And for someone who keeps whining that he'll wait until the disc streets, you still seem to be posting an awful lot in this thread.
post #42 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Partyslammer View Post

I've seen it. You are aware there's a torrent rip of the BR available since last week, right? And for someone who keeps whining that he'll wait until the disc streets, you still seem to be posting an awful lot in this thread.

If you'd seen it then I have to assume the post from NJPete above would not mesh with your viewpoint, right? And yet, that reviewer clearly HAS seen the disc itself, not some rip (if you've even actually seen the rip), and I'll just take his word over yours right now. Please point out this "whining" - that's your word, and doesn't reflect the statements I've made. The only whining going on in this thread is coming squarely from you.
post #43 of 85
Oh great, now we've gone from judging all Blu-rays by isolated screenshots to judging them by illegal bootleg torrents. There's no way this could possibly go wrong. rolleyes.gif
Edited by Josh Z - 3/5/13 at 2:02pm
post #44 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post

Oh great, now we've gone from judging all Blu-rays by isolated screenshots to judging them by illegal bootleg torrents. There's not way this could possibly go wrong. rolleyes.gif

Exactly. As I said elsewhere, I wonder if anyone on this board actually purchases a disc or if their sole pleasure of judging films is from screen caps. Again, anyone who thinks the Warners DVD of Horror of Dracula looked anything like the original release prints in terms of color, clearly knows nothing about color or film. That's the bottom line, I'm afraid.
post #45 of 85
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Partyslammer View Post

1st release of French Connection and LOTR extended on Blu-ray. 'Nuff said.
post #46 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by BIG ED View Post

haineshisway,

Not trying too start/join a fight.
Are you saying those caps of the new Blu don't lOOk like your prints?
Cause I know you are posting the DVD caps don't (inferring the SD caps aren't blu enough).

Why were expensive 16mm dye transfer prints made?
When & where did you get a 35mm dye transfer print??
What is the source for the BFI’s "original" check print in '07???

16mm prints were originally made for cast and crew who desired to own them. Most early examples were not dye transfer, but rather, Kodachrome reductions, which looked nothing like the 35s. Add to that 16mm non-theatrical rentals, military bases, hospitals, prisons, camps, hotels, etc. Later for airlines. Ships generally ran 35. 16mm were also sold to the public (life of print lease) by studios for home / non-theatrical use only. If you wanted to own a Technicolor print of The Adventures of Robin Hood, you could purchase it from WB.

In many cases, but not all, 16mm could have a quite different look from the 35s. And as far as 35s are concerned the only one's truly reliable for reference would be original printings. All else is suspect.

16mm dye transfer prints, in multiples, especially in later incarnations, printed 35/32, and slit to 16mm, were not all that expensive to produce.

RAH
post #47 of 85
Thanks as always in sharing your knowledge, Robert. I know I am always leery of distributors using inferior elements as a guide for new transfers, especially without expert consultation.
post #48 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Harris View Post

16mm prints were originally made for cast and crew who desired to own them. Most early examples were not dye transfer, but rather, Kodachrome reductions, which looked nothing like the 35s. Add to that 16mm non-theatrical rentals, military bases, hospitals, prisons, camps, hotels, etc. Later for airlines. Ships generally ran 35. 16mm were also sold to the public (life of print lease) by studios for home / non-theatrical use only. If you wanted to own a Technicolor print of The Adventures of Robin Hood, you could purchase it from WB.

In many cases, but not all, 16mm could have a quite different look from the 35s. And as far as 35s are concerned the only one's truly reliable for reference would be original printings. All else is suspect.

16mm dye transfer prints, in multiples, especially in later incarnations, printed 35/32, and slit to 16mm, were not all that expensive to produce.

RAH
In your post too my Q for haineshisway you point too a lot of general examples of prints getting out.
However, the OP was specific too " 16mm dye transfer prints" & in this case Hammer prints; too take it too the next level for this 1958 title.
How common were 16mm dye transfer prints? Were all 16mm prints "dye transfers"?? Are there non-dye transfer 16mm prints of this title???
post #49 of 85
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BIG ED View Post

Were all 16mm prints "dye transfers"?? Are there non-dye transfer 16mm prints of this title???

Every 16mm print I saw was Kodachrome. The 35mm print I saw about 15 years ago at a horror film festival in LA was supposedly an original Eastmancolor print (the big selling point of the viewing) but was in pretty bad shape and even "warmer" looking to the point of some distracting yellow/orange tinting than the US Warner Bros dvd.
post #50 of 85
The original 35mm of Horror of Dracula were all Technicolor, as far as I know. An "original Eastmancolor" print would have faded completely to red by that time. It was most likely a newer Eastman printing from a slightly faded element (the yellow is a clue.)

I had owned 3 16mm prints in addition to the IB 35mm. 2 were beautiful Technicolor, one was a brand new CRI Eastman (around 1984) with a cold color balance. How did the Kodachrome prints look?
post #51 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by NJPete View Post

The original 35mm of Horror of Dracula were all Technicolor, as far as I know. An "original Eastmancolor" print would have faded completely to red by that time. It was most likely a newer Eastman printing from a slightly faded element (the yellow is a clue.)

I had owned 3 16mm prints in addition to the IB 35mm. 2 were beautiful Technicolor, one was a brand new CRI Eastman (around 1984) with a cold color balance. How did the Kodachrome prints look?

Agreed - I believe all the original prints were IB. Anything Eastman would have completely faded within seven years. So, it does sound like what he saw was a new Eastman from a fading element. I've had several Kodachrome prints in 16mm (not Horror of Dracula - had an IB of that), and never really found any of those that pleasing, although I do wish I'd kept my Kodachrome Invaders from Mars.

I had no idea Partyslammer was right here in LA. We could have a meet and greet smile.gif
post #52 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by haineshisway View Post

Agreed - I believe all the original prints were IB. Anything Eastman would have completely faded within seven years. So, it does sound like what he saw was a new Eastman from a fading element. I've had several Kodachrome prints in 16mm (not Horror of Dracula - had an IB of that), and never really found any of those that pleasing, although I do wish I'd kept my Kodachrome Invaders from Mars.
Again, you don't currently have prints of this title do you?
How were you sure that both the 16 & 35mm were '58 Hammer "dye transfers"??
Quote:
Originally Posted by haineshisway View Post

Yes, keep posting the same silly crappy screen caps - I'll let you know what the actual Blu-ray looks like in a couple of weeks. Although it seems like most people here and elsewhere, none of you actually purchase discs and your sole knowledge of them seems to be based on ill-posted screen caps of no quality whatsoever. I leave you and your pals to it, since you enjoy it so much, and I'll return when I've seen it.
Hey, I'm the type that no longer goes head-over-heels over caps; however when its all we got its all we got!!
And, since you haven't seen the Blu either you shouldn't be posting so strongly on the Blu caps not being actuate.
You don't know that.
post #53 of 85
Even NOLTD*90 wasn't as blue as the caps were.
post #54 of 85
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fanboyz View Post

Even NOLTD*90 wasn't as blue as the caps were.

No, but they gave a strong indication which was confirmed once people viewed the disc that the new color grading was clearly a revisionist (and almost universally disliked) take on what the film has always looked like up to that release.
post #55 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by BIG ED View Post

Again, you don't currently have prints of this title do you?
How were you sure that both the 16 & 35mm were '58 Hammer "dye transfers"??
Hey, I'm the type that no longer goes head-over-heels over caps; however when its all we got its all we got!!
And, since you haven't seen the Blu either you shouldn't be posting so strongly on the Blu caps not being actuate.
You don't know that.

How did I know? I suggest you do a little research on dye transfer prints - it's easy to do. They have a very specific gray track on them - very simple to tell an IB print. I sold all my prints some years ago, but have access to many of them still, since they were sold to a local collector.
post #56 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Partyslammer View Post

No, but they gave a strong indication which was confirmed once people viewed the disc that the new color grading was clearly a revisionist (and almost universally disliked) take on what the film has always looked like up to that release.

I'm going to reiterate once again: A simple look at the caps I referenced will tell you there is NO blue push to this transfer - if there were you'd see it in those caps and it ain't there, plus the posted review has also said there is no blue wash over this transfer. Why don't you just stop and then I can stop and I can wait for the disc to arrive, while you can wait - well, I don't know for what, since you clearly don't buy many discs. smile.gif
post #57 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by BIG ED View Post

Again, you don't currently have prints of this title do you?
How were you sure that both the 16 & 35mm were '58 Hammer "dye transfers"??
Hey, I'm the type that no longer goes head-over-heels over caps; however when its all we got its all we got!!
And, since you haven't seen the Blu either you shouldn't be posting so strongly on the Blu caps not being actuate.
You don't know that.

As Haines mentioned, dye transfer Technicolor prints had very specific physical characteristics, so any collector would know instantly when they had one. As for their origin year, most film prints have a date code for the film stock in a code on the edge, which is used to date the print, which in the case of my 35mm was 1958. The print also had the Universal logo, who was the distributor. Warner took over in 64/65. I don't remember the date of the 16mm Tech prints I had, but they were most likely 58-60.
post #58 of 85
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NJPete View Post

As Haines mentioned, dye transfer Technicolor prints had very specific physical characteristics, so any collector would know instantly when they had one. As for their origin year, most film prints have a date code for the film stock in a code on the edge, which is used to date the print, which in the case of my 35mm was 1958. The print also had the Universal logo, who was the distributor. Warner took over in 64/65. I don't remember the date of the 16mm Tech prints I had, but they were most likely 58-60.

To add to your comments, the original UK theatrical prints (under the original title of "Dracula" as seen in the text below the movie title in the lobby card image below) were Eastmancolor, as was "Curse Of Frankenstein." AFAIK, those were the two key color Hammer films originally distributed (at least in the UK) in Eastmancolor. Almost everything Hammer filmed in color from 1958's "Revenge Of Frankenstein" onward was in Technicolor with the odd exception of a number of films in the early 60's including "Phantom Of The Opera," "Kiss Of The Vampire," "The Evil Of Frankenstein" and "The Gorgon."

post #59 of 85
If you go here, and reference post 1917, you'll see examples of some dye transfer frames.

http://www.hometheaterforum.com/t/319469/aspect-ratio-research/1890

RAH
post #60 of 85
Thread Starter 
I now have the Blu-ray release and can address directly the talked about issues with the new transfer and comment on the extras which I had not seen 'til now.

First and most importantly, yes, most of the pre-release frame caps represent to a degree the new "bluer" color grading. The thing is, this color grading is *not* an across the board "tinting," it's very scene specific, notably in many of the scenes represented by posted screen caps. Most of the daytime or brightly lit scenes look acceptable, it's just certain night time or indoor scenes feature clearly heavy handed "new" color timings. Another result of the revised color grading is faces or other lighter objects (look at the clouds in the opening titles) often take a pinkish hue vs the much more natural color grading of any previously seen version on film or home video. Saturation isn't as strong as in previous home video releases as well, something which is addressed in the Restoration feature.

IMO, it's not nearly as bad as it originally appeared to be, but perhaps more problematic than any revisionist color grading (and it is, there's no denying that fact) is the significantly darker quality of the transfer than any previous home video release. Obviously, the decade old Warner Bros dvd release is a bit to bright and on the warm side but I think the BFI went too far in the other direction. In some scenes, detail is unacceptably lost in murky blacks and subtracting the fact this is the film's first home video presentation in HD, it's not a huge step up in fine detail over the previous WB dvd release. One of the unexpected improvements in this release is the audio which is much more robust and full without drawing attention to itself. All said, if you're buy / no buy decision is based purely on the quality of the transfer, I'd still recommend it despite some misgivings.

But there's much more....

The "found" Japanese footage is worked into the original cut nicely - especially considering just how awful the footage's condition was in it's original state. The audio isn't a smooth merge when the Japanese footage cuts in, but overall, it isn't a jarring transition and especially the holy grail scene of Dracula clawing a bit of flesh off his face during his death and perhaps more importantly, Cushings additional reactions (he shuts his eyes at one point) adds greatly the the films climax.

The extra features are really well done with the exception of the reading of a passage from the book by Janine Fay, the now grown up actor who played a child in the film. Predominantly, there's a feature on the BFI's restoration where Ben Thompson of the BFI discusses and directly addresses how they came to the overall "look" of the film for the restoration and this home video release. He states "I felt in controlling the overall look of the (color) grade, the most genuine thing to do given the lack of materials was to not push the saturation bias to emulate an (IB) print for example.... we didn't want to put much of a signature that might suggest we're trying to look like an Eastmancolor or IB print .... Really just trying to emulate what I saw on the check print from the camera neg (from Warner Bros which the had produced a new IP used to make the 2002 era dvd?)." That feature goes into detail the work done to digitally restore the damaged Japanese footage and as a whole, the feature is a fascinating and revealing look into the kind of work and decision making processes involved in current film restoration and home video presentation.

Another interesting bonus feature is basically the last half of the film taken from the unrestored Japanese footage which had burned in subtitles on the right side. Oddly, the Lucy staking scene looks like an alternate take and is severely cut compared to the UK/US version. Also, for some strange reason, during the finale as Dracula is forced into the sunlight, there's a couple of quick cuts of Lee's reaction just before he falls backwards not included in the restored cut of the movie. As the footage unspools in all it's chewed up, scratchy, skipping glory, the frame almost organically breathes as the image ebbs and flexes in a visceral way today's digital medium can never match. It's Grindhouse at it's best.

All in all, despite my misgivings and this thread's rather unfortunate title, the overall package is far from a "Epic Fail." I still am greatly disappointed in the new color grading and darkness of the film itself on this Blu-ray and will hold on to my old dvd, in large part, the effort by key individuals into making this release more than the sum of a clearly classic film makes this a recommended buy.
Edited by Partyslammer - 3/20/13 at 2:00pm
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