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Don't shortchange Branagh's HAMLET

post #1 of 59
Thread Starter 
This is one of my favourite movies of the last ten years, and I think other forum members think likewise. It's still unreleased on DVD. It's one of the most asked-about titles for all of DVD history, and recent news confirm that it is going to be released on DVD this year.

According to a post dated May 20 on the fan site kenbranagh.com:

Quote:


The new transfer of the film is nearing completion, but it has taken a very long time both because of its length and the fact that it comes from a 65mm negative. My Warner sources report that the initial transfer was completed last week. The next phase of the project, the removal of dust and scratches during the digital remastering process, should be completed in about 30 days. Once the master is ready for disc authoring, they will schedule a release date. Things are looking good so far! Unfortunately, I don't have any definite news to report on the supplementary materials to be included with the DVD, but Warner did make it a point to tell me that this remastering has been extraordinarily expensive, but worth it.

My congratulations to Warner for going the extra mile with this.

So, if all has gone well, by now cleaning of the copy should be done, and the painstaking compressing and encoding is probably underway or close to it.

This is a movie shot in 65mm, hence the highest detail a movie frame can show this side of IMAX. That detail must be kept. But it is also a very long movie (242 minutes, in its full version). And they are reportedly preparing a lot of bonus material.

The temptation probably exists to cram it all into one disc, just to prove a point. This approach can be catastrophic, as we have recently witnessed.

My request for any hidef releases of this title:

Put the extras in a separate disc. If necessary, split the movie at the built-in intermission. I shall not complain.
post #2 of 59
Agreed. I'd be happy to see a two-disc HD DVD or BD edition, with the movie split at its natural intermission and the bonus features matched to the corresponding half of the movie, presented as an In-Movie Experience.
post #3 of 59
SPLIT THE MOVIE! Duel Layer HD-DVD just isn't big enough. The movie is 4 hours long!!

No one will complain about the split taking place at the intermission.

Lots of people will complain if the quality is sh!t because they cram it all on one disc.
post #4 of 59
Where's the HD news in this? Is it coming ot either format?
post #5 of 59
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Clark View Post

Where's the HD news in this? Is it coming ot either format?

No, it hasn't been announced. But it is rumoured to be released during 2006 (for a 10th anniversary edition), so it is very likely that work for the HD DVD and/or BD editions is already underway.

And considering the array of insiders we have here, I thought it'd be a good idea to tell them where our priorities are, regardless of format preference.
post #6 of 59
I think doing the movie on a single disc would be very achievable in HD DVD, with supplementary content on a second disc. IIRC, it's a beautiful film, but nothing about it that would require unusually high data rates to provide superlative quality. And it sounds like they're doing the remastering right.
post #7 of 59
Quote:


Warner did make it a point to tell me that this remastering has been extraordinarily expensive

Does anyone know what this would mean in terms of real dollars ? Are we talking about 100s of K or 10s of M ?
post #8 of 59
There's no reason why this shouldn't look really good, even if the new transfer is only done at 2k res.
post #9 of 59
For the record, I'd like to see Branagh's Hamlet on an HD format. Hell, I'd take Gibson's on an HD disc of some kind...
post #10 of 59
This is the single most powerful reason I will jump into the new optical HD media. This production of HAMLET is well done and should look gorgeous. Please split it between two discs and make it a statement release in terms of quality. It is an embarrassment that this has not been released on DVD before when we have "less than deserving" movies being cranked out.

I would pay a large premium for this release.

Thanks,
Paul
post #11 of 59
even though one HD DVD might be achievable. Like the others I cast my vote for 2
post #12 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by benwaggoner View Post

I think doing the movie on a single disc would be very achievable in HD DVD, with supplementary content on a second disc. IIRC, it's a beautiful film, but nothing about it that would require unusually high data rates to provide superlative quality. And it sounds like they're doing the remastering right.

The 2.20 aspect does help the ABR get smaller. 04:02 long? Sure. The action level is so low. Big plus. I'm thinking 11Mbps average with a 24 peak could pull it off very nice with a TrueHD, 3 5.1DD+, commentary, and NO extras on one disc. No big quality loss either. When Dukes and Batman comes out and you think the quality sucks, then I'm totally wrong about this...

Cjplay.
post #13 of 59
I vote for a split, be it HD, BD, or DVD. This is one movie not to do a hack job to.
post #14 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by drjohnc View Post

I vote for a split, be it HD, BD, or DVD. This is one movie not to do a hack job to.

Should I take that as an insult??
post #15 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by drjohnc View Post

I vote for a split, be it HD, BD, or DVD. This is one movie not to do a hack job to.

Certainly, a split if a split is needed. But I think it's quite likely we could hit the optimum video and audio quality target on a single disc, with extras on a second disc.
post #16 of 59
I promise all of you this. Tests will be done before decisions made. If the first 10 minutes, the confetti throne room plus/minus 5 minutes, and the sword fight sequence towards the end (Robin Williams and the great big moustache...) don't show a clear indication of the required ABR/PBR combo, I'll recommend the split personally. Any other requests from other parts of the film? Please get one thing clear, we all want good looking content at the end of the day.

Cjplay.
post #17 of 59
Thread Starter 
Don't forget Act IV, scene 4:

Quote:


How all occasions do inform against me,
And spur my dull revenge! What is a man,
If his chief good and market of his time
Be but to sleep and feed? a beast, no more.

This is an elaborate shot set in a snow field, going from close-up on Hamlet to a wide shot of Fortinbras' army, all on a snow field. Not much movement, I agree, but
post #18 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grubert View Post

Don't forget Act IV, scene 4:

This is an elaborate shot set in a snow field, going from close-up on Hamlet to a wide shot of Fortinbras' army, all on a snow field. Not much movement, I agree, but

...but it's a white shot with a lot of detail you expect to be present. I've not seen it, but I'll try to keep a look out for it. Do you have TC on the DVD? If not, that would be very helpful...

Cjplay.
post #19 of 59
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cjplay View Post

Do you have TC on the DVD? If not, that would be very helpful...

Cjplay.

I wish. The movie has never ever been released on DVD, anywhere!

It's just before the intermission, if it's any help (I'm speaking from memory here).
post #20 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grubert View Post

Don't forget Act IV, scene 4:



This is an elaborate shot set in a snow field, going from close-up on Hamlet to a wide shot of Fortinbras' army, all on a snow field. Not much movement, I agree, but

Of course, individual scene complexity is an issue of peak bitrate required. Aggregate complexity of the whole movie determines average bitrate required. The movie could have 30 really challenging minutes, but if the rest was pretty simple, it wouldn't be a big problem.
post #21 of 59


Paid $30.00 several years ago for the LD version.
post #22 of 59
Thread Starter 
*dies with envy*

Side note for fans of the movie and great PQ in general:

I read on HTF that the film is going to be projected on 70mm in San Francisco next August:

http://www.castrotheatre.com/aug.htm
post #23 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xylon View Post

Paid $30.00 several years ago for the LD version.

Well then, sounds like 'u da man' who can provide Cj with some kind of TC reference point generally for Grube's snow sequence.

___________________________________________________
Palladin

Chance favors the prepared mind
post #24 of 59
Thread Starter 
Time to dig up this thread.

From thedigitalbits:

Quote:


I've spoken with Warner Home Video and learned that they've completed the telecine process for a long-awaited release of Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet.

Yay!
post #25 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grubert View Post

Time to dig up this thread.

From thedigitalbits:

"I've spoken with Warner Home Video and learned that they've completed the telecine process for a long-awaited release of Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet."



Yay!

I would assume from a 65mm print..??
post #26 of 59
This would be an excellent title to encode separately for the two formats, in order to use Blu-Ray's higher capacity and higher bandwidth.

All films should be optimized for each platform separately, but this one especially demands it.
post #27 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by rlsmith View Post

This would be an excellent title to encode separately for the two formats, in order to use Blu-Ray's higher capacity and higher bandwidth.

All films should be optimized for each platform separately, but this one especially demands it.

Yes please! With either VC-1 or H.264/AVC only as choices for video codecs. Otherwise I can't see any advantage for BD if they use MPEG2.

Looking forward to seeing BD50 used with an advanced codec.

Bob
post #28 of 59
^ Warners is only using VC-1 on both HD DVD and Blu-Ray. I agree with you that this is a good choice.

My concern is that, thus far, they are using the same encode for both formats. Since Blu-Ray has higher bandwidth and capacity, they really should re-encode. However, I imagine they do not see this as economically viable at this time.
post #29 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grubert View Post

*dies with envy*

Side note for fans of the movie and great PQ in general:

I read on HTF that the film is going to be projected on 70mm in San Francisco next August:

http://www.castrotheatre.com/aug.htm

I strongly recommend forum members who live nearby to witness this presentation.

I saw Grand Prix in 70mm and recently got the HD-DVD and let's just say we probably need 4k to start to do justice to good 70mm movies !
post #30 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by rlsmith View Post

My concern is that, thus far, they are using the same encode for both formats. Since Blu-Ray has higher bandwidth and capacity, they really should re-encode. However, I imagine they do not see this as economically viable at this time.

Why? If you exceed the quality target with the HD DVD encode, why go through the effort a second time to hit the same quality target with a BD encode?
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