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Anyone have Chronos? Comments?

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 
Has anyone picked up a copy of this film, either in Blu-ray or HD-DVD? I'm a huge fan of anything done by Ron Fricke, and I believe this is the only film that he's either directed or was the cinematographer that's on a HD format. Am considering ordering this on Amazon and would like to get some comments on the film and the PQ.

Also on this note, anyone know if the Koyaanisqatsi trilogy will be released on HD as well? These films directed by Godfrey Reggio and shot by Ron Fricke are my favorites in this genre, particularly the first two, along with Baraka directed by Fricke. I would love to see them in HD. Baraka is particularly interesting to me since it was shot on 70mm, and it would be amazing to see it on HD. On DVD, the PQ is superior as well, so I imagine this newer film's master has held up better than the Koyaanisqatsi series.

Any comments would be greatly appreciated.
post #2 of 32
I have Chronos on HD DVD and it looks really good. I think the Blu-ray might look even a little better since it was redone in full 1080P. I also love the qatsi trilogy. I do know that Naqoiqatsi is being released this month on HD DVD by Toshiba/Japan so if you want it you will have to get it from them. I am going to look into that. I hope that Koyaanisqatsi and its sequel will also get an HD release as they REALLY deserve it very much.
post #3 of 32
It's great buy it! :P

I put it on for my parents and it sparked much discussion and they really enjoyed the quick tour around the world
post #4 of 32
To me (at 1080p from Blu-ray on a 1080p set) it could have been more detailed coming from the original 65mm negatives, though I don't know what telecine machine or resolution it was scanned at or whether or not they actually scanned a 35mm downconvert-- I thought 65mm HD scanners were supposed to be pretty rare. It's still pretty darn good and fairly consistant. The colors are what really pop, especially the night scenes in the city scapes.

The sound is what makes this a killer app. This and Legends of Jazz are probably the two best sounding HD discs out there bar none, so far, in either format. I cannot wait to hear the 24/96 DTS MA track in its full glory.

Here's hoping R&B's next large format Blu-ray discs are even better!

Dan
post #5 of 32
I have Chronos on Blu-ray. PQ is very good. Not really 3D since the camera hardly ever moves much, but the quality of the work shines through. I'd say the PQ is actually excellent considering the film is 23 years old.

Be aware that if you're going to be watching the Blu-ray version on a PS3, that most of the early copies are not compatible with the PS3 due to some authoring issues with respect to the PS3 firmware. Ron Casey from R&B films set up an alternate method where you can order direct from them for a revised version (which is how I'm watching it on my PS3). If your Blu-ray player is a PS3, do not order it from Amazon. For the PS3-safe version, get it direct from R&B Films here, paid through PayPal:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=820338

It's $20 for US Domestic delivery and $25 for International.
post #6 of 32
I have one question: Since the BD and HD-DVD releases of Chronos are (obviously) widescreen, do they show more or less of the picture area than the 4:3 version (which I have on standard def DVD)?

Meaning: Does the widescreen image crop off the top and bottom, or does it show more on the sides? Since this is an IMAX film, and IMAX is 4:3, I would think it'd be the former...wouldn't it? Can anyone confirm?

Also, what's that very final scene? The helicopter isn't about to crash, is it? :lol:
post #7 of 32
I had seen it in IMAX when it came out and had fond memories, so I like the Blu-ray.

You certainly cannot compare an IMAX presentation with 1080-anything but it is very nice as a jog to my memories.
post #8 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Babaganoosh View Post

I have one question: Since the BD and HD-DVD releases of Chronos are (obviously) widescreen, do they show more or less of the picture area than the 4:3 version (which I have on standard def DVD)?

Meaning: Does the widescreen image crop off the top and bottom, or does it show more on the sides? Since this is an IMAX film, and IMAX is 4:3, I would think it'd be the former...wouldn't it? Can anyone confirm?

The Blu-ray version is 16:9. It exactly fills the screen (no letterboxing or pillarboxing).

According to IMDB, the original aspect ratio is 1.44:1, so that leads me to believe the Blu-ray/HD DVD versions are cropped on the top/bottom (whereas the 4:3 is cropped on the sides).

Quote:


Also, what's that very final scene? The helicopter isn't about to crash, is it? :lol:

Not at all. The last scene was a time lapse shot at 1 second with the helicopter spinning in a very fast circle (if you listen to the audio commentary track, they talk about how doing something like that wouldn't be legal today).
post #9 of 32
One word, REFERENCE Q!
post #10 of 32
The 16:9 disc is cropped from the original IMAX 1.44:1 negative, but IMAX movies are photographed with intentionally loose composition intended to exceed the field of vision of viewers on the huge IMAX screen, causing them to constantly look around to catch everything. That's an effect that obviously can't be duplicated at home.
post #11 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Babaganoosh View Post

I have one question: Since the BD and HD-DVD releases of Chronos are (obviously) widescreen, do they show more or less of the picture area than the 4:3 version (which I have on standard def DVD)?

Meaning: Does the widescreen image crop off the top and bottom, or does it show more on the sides? Since this is an IMAX film, and IMAX is 4:3, I would think it'd be the former...wouldn't it? Can anyone confirm?

It's panned and scanned.
post #12 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by joerod View Post

One word, REFERENCE Q!

Not for the image. It's often somewhat soft and does not have full 1080p detail. It also shows EE outlines regularly. Then there are other anomalies related to how it was shot.
post #13 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by mhafner View Post

Not for the image. It's often somewhat soft and does not have full 1080p detail. It also shows EE outlines regularly. Than there are other anomalies related to how it was shot.

Agreed.

I'm a little curious about the EE, actually. I can't imagine it is in the master, but it's clearly visible in a handful of shots (Stonehenge, for example). Rich Casey at R&B Films is a big tech supporter, and probably knows more about HD mastering than any two other people here, so I find it a bit odd that there is any EE at all.

I don't know that there's not 1080 lines of resolution. It's certainly pretty crisp, but it doesn't have any 3D "pop" to speak of; this isn't really a surprise, however, considering the source material is coming from time-lapse photography.

As for the other anomalies, like the jittery framerate in the Grand Canyon scene, that is definitely a flaw in the original master; the commentary track talks about it, in fact.
post #14 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Icemage View Post

As for the other anomalies, like the jittery framerate in the Grand Canyon scene, that is definitely a flaw in the original master; the commentary track talks about it, in fact.

The opening credits are not rock steady. It does not look like a pin registered transfer. I don't believe the original is moving around like this. Some shots look like there is warping going on.
post #15 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by mhafner View Post

The opening credits are not rock steady. It does not look like a pin registered transfer. I don't believe the original is moving around like this. Some shots look like there is warping going on.

I noticed the flaw in the opening title too and assumed that was in the master since it's such an obvious flaw? Surely they wouldn't leave that in by accident? After all, it's a black background scene; it should have been laughably easy to center the text once they scanned the digital master.
post #16 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Icemage View Post

I noticed the flaw in the opening title too and assumed that was in the master since it's such an obvious flaw? Surely they wouldn't leave that in by accident? After all, it's a black background scene; it should have been laughably easy to center the text once they scanned the digital master.

I doubt pin registered IMAX has moving credits like this. I suspect weave in the telecine.
post #17 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by mhafner View Post

Not for the image. It's often somewhat soft and does not have full 1080p detail. It also shows EE outlines regularly. Then there are other anomalies related to how it was shot.

I also have to agree with you. I was rather disappointed with this title.
J
post #18 of 32
So is this worth a blind buy or not? I've never seen it, but it sounds interesting...
post #19 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wet1 View Post

So is this worth a blind buy or not? I've never seen it, but it sounds interesting...

Rent it...watched all 45 min this weekend on BR from NF. Nice film. My wife and enjoyed Versaille, Notre Dame, and the city of Paris the most but visually stunning none the less. I did note not all the scenes had the clarity I would expect but still fun to watch.
post #20 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Icemage View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Babaganoosh View Post

The helicopter isn't about to crash, is it?

Not at all. The last scene was a time lapse shot at 1 second with the helicopter spinning in a very fast circle (if you listen to the audio commentary track, they talk about how doing something like that wouldn't be legal today).

It's just that the helicopter seems to be pointed at the ground when that final freeze-frame happens. For most of that last bit, it's flying straight over the city, but then it looks like it turns and points straight down for the final freeze.

The helicopter must have had a great pilot.

Wet1, this film is definitely worth a blind buy. Great music (I just wish the soundtrack CD was still available) and awesome visuals.

I would never have guessed that this film is over 20 years old. Except for two shots: Grand Central Station (the old luggage room/Chemical Bank area is still there, as is the huge ATM) and Times Square (a lot less neon).
post #21 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by mhafner View Post

The opening credits are not rock steady. It does not look like a pin registered transfer. I don't believe the original is moving around like this. Some shots look like there is warping going on.

I've seen Chronos in an IMAX theatre and the letters bounce around in the same way. The same jiggle is also seen on my Chronos DVD and LaserDisc.

I'm not sure why more people don't recommend this as a demo disc; the use of all five channels for music is enveloping and a great effect.
post #22 of 32
Are you looking for PQ or what people think of the film itself?
post #23 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geremia P. View Post

It's panned and scanned.

Sort of. I did some checking.

BOTH versions of Chronos on home video are cropped. The BluRay/HD-DVD versions, being widescreen, are cropped on the top and bottom (very slightly). The standard-def 4:3 version is cropped on the sides.

But as has already been pointed out, IMAX films are shot very loose anyway, so it doesn't really matter.

As for the opening credits: The HD version - the one I saw on one of the HDTV channels, anyway - appears to use a completely different set of credits than the 4:3 version. It's like they just did them over again. I don't know which of them is 'real' (possibly neither).
post #24 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Babaganoosh View Post

As for the opening credits: The HD version - the one I saw on one of the HDTV channels, anyway - appears to use a completely different set of credits than the 4:3 version. It's like they just did them over again. I don't know which of them is 'real' (possibly neither).

In Imax theaters, the credits are usually positioned low in the frame within the audience's field of vision. For home video, whether a 4:3 or 16:9 transfer, the credits are repositioned.
post #25 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Icemage View Post

Rich Casey at R&B Films is a big tech supporter, and probably knows more about HD mastering than any two other people here,

Well, you know, except for that whole thing about insisting that his disc which was actually encoded for 1080p24 was "1080i" and refusing to ever admit the mistake.
post #26 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post

In Imax theaters, the credits are usually positioned low in the frame within the audience's field of vision. For home video, whether a 4:3 or 16:9 transfer, the credits are repositioned.

This wasn't like that. The credits were, in both versions, posted dead center. In the 4:3 version (the standard def DVD), they were MUCH larger than on the 16:9 version (high definition that I recorded with my DVR).
post #27 of 32
Bump.

I just got this movie on Blu-Ray. WOW!!!!!!! It is darn near 3D looking it is so perfect.

One thing, though:

It is definitely WIDER than when Mojo HD shows it. I had recorded Mojo's showing of the film, on my DVR, and the Blu-Ray version is definitely wider - meaning, it shows more info on the sides - than that version was. Does anybody know why that would happen?

I mean, Mojo HD shows everything in, well, HD. So the version I had on my DVR was also HD of course. Why would the Blu-Ray (and presumably HD-DVD) version be even wider than that?

My understanding was that when an IMAX film such as this, is released to home video, it is either cropped on the top and bottom while preserving the full width of the IMAX image (for widescreen broadcasts such as HD cable channels, and Blu-Ray / HD-DVD discs), or cropped on the sides but preserving the full *height* (for 4:3 versions). But I am totally sure the Blu-Ray version was even wider than when I saw it on Mojo HD (or, as it was known at the time, INHD). Why would this happen?

Also, what does "EE" mean?
post #28 of 32
I bought the BD version and although it is sonically and visually stunning, the DTS-HD Master soundtrack has a pop in the rear channels around 38min 50 seconds.

The problem was repeatable so I returned it for another. The replacement has the same exact pop at the same time as well.

Has anybody noticed this at all?

As a workaround I ordered the HD-DVD version since I have that format as well.
post #29 of 32
The Blu-Ray version is SO MUCH BETTER than the version shown on cable HD. I don't know how they did it, but it's like a whole new film! The Blu-Ray version is as much of an improvement over the version shown on cable (and probably satellite) as the cable HD version was over standard def DVD.

I'd never guess that this movie was made in 1985. The quality of the Blu-Ray version is almost on the level of *reality*, it's that good. In terms of how stunning it is, this Blu-Ray is right up there with Planet Earth in terms of knock-your-socks-off quality.
post #30 of 32
I just got this BR disc from Amazon the other day and yes I heard the repeatable pop in the exact same spot at 38:50 to 38:55 section of the disc when using the DTSHD audio setting.

What is your equipment for BR player and Receiver and cable used ? as this may help us decipher if its a disc or setup issue. Post it here or over on the other forum shown below

We have this now listed on this other AVS forum describing 4 discs so far that have a bad pop issue:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...5#post13400675

Quote:
Originally Posted by snowghost View Post

I bought the BD version and although it is sonically and visually stunning, the DTS-HD Master soundtrack has a pop in the rear channels around 38min 50 seconds.

The problem was repeatable so I returned it for another. The replacement has the same exact pop at the same time as well.

Has anybody noticed this at all?

As a workaround I ordered the HD-DVD version since I have that format as well.
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