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Bram Stoker's Dracula comparison *PIX* - Page 21

post #601 of 763
I know this joke is made endlessly, but why won't this thread die? Can we put a nail (or a stake) through it? At least until a remastered copy appears.
post #602 of 763
Quote:
Originally Posted by kdssrugby View Post

I know this joke is made endlessly, but why won't this thread die? Can we put a nail (or a stake) through it? At least until a remastered copy appears.

Are you a fan of the current BD? Just curious.

Personally, this is one of the worst BDs I own. Absolutely terrible. Even if they fixed the color and brightness level, it would still suck because it's just not a very good transfer.

This one gets a big fat F. I don't care what Robert Harris or anyone else says. I've seen this movie theatrically countless times, I had the VHS, the Criterion LD, the original columbia DVD, the superbit DVD and this BD. Until the BD I never really had a complaint. They all looked pretty much the same outside of resolution. Anyone who says the BD is accurate to the original presentation is just plain wrong.
post #603 of 763
Not a fan. I blind bought it upon release and only saw Xylon's caps afterwards (speaking of which where is Xylon these days?). While I enjoyed the film, I agree that it's one of the worst transfers the format has to offer. I figured this was established enough that further discussion would be needlessly repetitious unless a remaster was issued.
post #604 of 763
Quote:
Originally Posted by kdssrugby View Post

Not a fan. I blind bought it upon release and only saw Xylon's caps afterwards (speaking of which where is Xylon these days?). While I enjoyed the film, I agree that it's one of the worst transfers the format has to offer. I figured this was established enough that further discussion would be needlessly repetitious unless a remaster was issued.

I guess so but there are still lots of people out there towing the "meticulously matched to the 'answer print'" line, which has to be complete garbage.

At any rate I was just glad to see something else discussed besides Lord of the Rings
post #605 of 763
My instincts tell me Zoetrope is at fault for the abysmal colors. The supposed answer print they used was clearly not correct or had been mislabeled, so the insiders at Sony went along with whatever Zoetrope said was correct. This Blu-ray is still one of the worst mistakes on the format. A shame, as Sony is unlikely to remaster it on Blu-ray. We will have to wait around for UltraViolet or whatever to see a correct rendition.
post #606 of 763
I am new to this forum so please bear with me!!!

Firstly, I am not blaming Zoetrope or Sony. I am certain that both companies intentions were for the best possible version of this film and it may have looked great on their super professional equipment. But, for people with HD TV sets costing $1,000 or less, I think the mastering should have taken that into account, especially the highly popular LCD Television market. Not many people in these tough economic times can afford a $5,000 Television set.

I began noticing with the Blu Ray that the scenes especially in the castle in parts are too dark. I know the superimposed journal writing has been mentioned frequently, but what is not mentioned is the scene where Jonathan Harker enters the forbidden room with the chest that contains various bottles.

This is the scene just before Harker gets seduced by the vampire brides. Now in this scene,I can barely see 2 drops yet I am hearing the sound of 4. On previous versions you could see the 4 drops come out of the bottle so clearly.

Now, the director Francis Ford Coppola mentions during this scene on the Blu Ray commentary track that the drops are going upwards, so clearly it is an effect that should be seen. Yet, everything is so crushed that even with good eyesight, it strains to pick out any detail. In fact the first few times I watched the film, I only made out 2 drops going up.

Now, I agree with certain members, that this film needs another version released, or two versions ( One from the old HD Master/ or a new one and then this new re-jigged version for those who prefer it ).

I even went and bought a R1 Superbit just to compare the quality, expecting it to be super bright, but on the whole, I felt the dark levels were just right on the SB version. I do not think that Sony screwed up that Superbit despite claims it was wrong. Why would Sony do that? And they must have been familiar with how it looked in theatres.

I also noticed in the scene where Dracula meets Mina on the streets of London for the first time, that there is some heavy digital artifacting in parts of that, and it certainly does not look like film artifact. Now, I know this was the last film made non-digitally so that surprised me. I also saw the same artifacts in the Lucy crypt scene.

If this was not one of my favourite films, I would not be wasting my time writing my viewpoint. I just wish Zoetrope and Sony could re-release this. The only way I can make certain things I should be seeing viewable, is by turning my Advanced Contrast Enhancer to " High " , Gamma to +2/+3 and Brightness to 61. Only then do I see all four drops, but colour-wise they still look different.

If Zoetrope/Sony assumed we would be watching this in a darkened room, then yes more detail can be seen. However, most of us cannot afford a controlled lighting home theatre and perhaps this should have been taken into account when the film was mastered. Plus, LCD'S do not handle dark rooms well and are the most popular viewing medium at the moment.
.
By the way, my room lighting is not bright by any means and my lighting is from behind the television.

Any feedback would be appreciated!!!!1
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post #607 of 763
Warren, skim through some of the thread, it's been discussed already. The problem with the BD isn't that it was mastered to look great on professional equipment, far from it. This thing doesn't look acceptable on any equipment because it's a **** transfer and encoding. You aren't alone in your dissatisfaction. It is one of my favorite movies too if only because of the photography, set design and music, so the BD takes away most of what makes the movie worth watching in the first place.
post #608 of 763
Quote:
Originally Posted by Strevlac View Post

Warren, skim through some of the thread, it's been discussed already. The problem with the BD isn't that it was mastered to look great on professional equipment, far from it. This thing doesn't look acceptable on any equipment because it's a **** transfer and encoding. You aren't alone in your dissatisfaction. It is one of my favorite movies too if only because of the photography, set design and music, so the BD takes away most of what makes the movie worth watching in the first place.


Thanks for the reply! You know what is strange, when I read the back cover of the BSD BD I thought I would be blown away. I did once own the DVD so was expecting a huge technological leap in terms of a better presentation. You would think Sony must have got feedback by now about the quality issues, yet it is still available to buy.

Too much misinformation on the web about this title too. Sony are no fools when it comes to film production and mastering ; and when they did the Superbit which was from a HD master as it says on the leaflet that came with the DVD, I assume they must have seen the original Answer Print. The film is owned by them.

Sony have inadvertently damaged their PR by not coming out and explaining why the changes are correct. If only Blu-Ray can handle a film like this properly as we are told, then why release a DVD version of the Special Edition?

This is the first film I own that in terms of history of presentation is like a conspiracy theory. This is the right version, no this the right version, no now this the right version. Sorry, but this now really is the right version!!!

Years ago when I bought the VHS, then DVD, then Superbit, I assumed I was being sold a good version. Otherwise we as consumers would never buy them. They all looked reasonably similar. And there was nothing wrong with them. I did not think I was watching Mary Poppins. I knew it was a romanticised horror film. The prologue alone made that perfectly clear on those previous versions and the story had the same impact . The earlier versions were not as bright as some may think.

Robert Harris says that previous versions were in tune with the limitations of technology at the time. I am not disagreeing with Mr Harris. I know he is an expert. If the film is indeed that dark, then for the general buyer who buys this, their home technology is inadequate to view it as intended. If I have to tweak my calibrated tv just to watch this, then I already have over-riden the director's intentions and have bastardised his film if you get my meaning.
post #609 of 763
i'm as bothered by the softness of this title as i am about the dark picture.
post #610 of 763
Quote:
Originally Posted by oleus View Post

i'm as bothered by the softness of this title as i am about the dark picture.

There were always soft shots in the film in certain scenes, from the beginning of its run in theaters. The movie is really Coppola's homage to the classic Hammer horror films of the 1960's. He used a variety of optical effects that would likely have been done in CGI today.
post #611 of 763
artifacts on the print suck no mater if your monitor cost 999$ or 9,999$!
post #612 of 763
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantom Stranger View Post

There were always soft shots in the film in certain scenes, from the beginning of its run in theaters. The movie is really Coppola's homage to the classic Hammer horror films of the 1960's. He used a variety of optical effects that would likely have been done in CGI today.

How does it compare to the image from the Criterion Colelction Laserdisc, which I have a preservation DVD of, along with the Superbit? Looked fine on my correctly calibrated 480p display but I'm never going to know until I get a 1080p or greater one. All I can tell is the already inherent greater detailing along with film grain. I watched it with commentary on so wasn't paying a scrutinising look at the picture. More because I was listening to the Criterion commentary and figured having a listen right afterward to the Collector's Edition one.
That said I'll give it another watch when I have a 1080p/greater display, after properly calibrated.
I guess bring on all of the rest of the Dracula films onto Blu-ray including the Hammer Production titles.
post #613 of 763
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray Rogers View Post

How does it compare to the image from the Criterion Colelction Laserdisc, which I have a preservation DVD of, along with the Superbit? Looked fine on my correctly calibrated 480p display but I'm never going to know until I get a 1080p or greater one. All I can tell is the already inherent greater detailing along with film grain.

The Superbit DVD shows a different color timing/contrast than the Blu-ray in many scenes. I haven't seen the LaserDisc version in many years, so that is best left for someone else to comment.
post #614 of 763
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantom Stranger View Post

The Superbit DVD shows a different color timing/contrast than the Blu-ray in many scenes. I haven't seen the LaserDisc version in many years, so that is best left for someone else to comment.

I dunno what DFNYC used for the basis of the picture for the Criterion LD to DVD preservation but even single-layered it looks great. Again I haven't viewed the film "properly" yet since my TV is only 480p and my current monitor has a resolution of 1280x1024 on CRT. I'll know how this and literally all of the Blus I own are supposed to look when I finally buy the 3D 1080p monitor, for TRON Legacy and PotC 4, after I get the computer I'm building finished. Of course I'll calibrate it correctly and leave off the noise reduction including EE/other bogus unneeded ****.
Again I can't literally scrutinise the video on the Blu-ray, yet.

(I'm beginning to loathe the current computer I'm using.)
post #615 of 763
Quote:
Originally Posted by kdssrugby View Post

I know this joke is made endlessly, but why won't this thread die? Can we put a nail (or a stake) through it? At least until a remastered copy appears.

First and foremost, I want to make it clear that I am not personally attacking anyone in Zoetrope, Sony or Robert Harris!!!!!!!!!!!! I merely want to give some customer feedback which I am entitled to do. I am discussing the art

I get your point of view kdssrugby, but I think the studio that released this has to be held accountable. I only recently went Blu Ray and bought this film. It is a film I have very fond memories of and had a huge impact on me when I saw it at my local cinema. As I am a recent buyer of BSD in BD format, I want to express my concerns to Sony. How can there be time limit on complaining about a product that I have only recently viewed in this format. It is still commercially available.

On my properly calibrated tv, it is the only film I own that has some scenes especially when Jonathan is exploring the castle that are so dark even watching in a darkened room.

Being a regular cinema goer, this is the only film that now looks way different to how it appeared in the cinema, VHS, DVD. How come every other movie I own looks so similar to how I saw it at the cinema except this one?

So when I initially watched BSD at the cinema, I should have walked out and asked for my money back, because it was too bright as we are told. Sorry Mr cinema manager but I want my money back as it does not look dark enough.
Believe me, the story did not suffer at all and everyone enjoyed it on it's theatrical run. It was scary.

And why did not Zoetrope inform us as early as 2002 that the Superbit was wrong without even mentioning the 1999 DVD?. They could have expressed their disdain. But, they kept quiet about it until 2007. So another 5 years 2002-2007 of watching an incorrect version by their standards? This Blu-Ray is ok for someone who has never seen this film before, but for those who are so used to seeing it a certain way for 15 years, it takes away from the whole experience.

It is almost as if I am being told that at the time I bought the DVD then Superbit, I should have hated the film in those formats. And if we all held out for an ultimate version then this film would not have done well on the home theatre market at the time. A Blu Ray was made because of this film's previous popularity. Sony are running a business, and would have seen that previous sales made this new transfer commercially viable.

Another point I want to raise is that if the new Special Edition DVD can handle the darker version, then so could previous DVD versions. It is the same technology after all. Sony could have easily put a message on the back of the DVD case from it's first incarnation saying that this film may appear dark but that is the way it was intended to be seen. Yet they chose not to with the DVD or Superbit.

A Blu-ray is there for improved picture quality that is all, and to more authentically resemble film element.

Maybe if I had a 100 inch screen would those darkened scenes be more discernable, but how many have that size.

The scene with the drops coming out of the bottle in the castle before Jonathan gets seduced by the vampire brides is ridiculously crushed. Only two drops register. But I said before, on the director's commentary, he refers to the droplets and there is an accompanying sound effect with each of the drops going up.

And the digitised black crush as well as artifacts. Ironic for a film shot with no digital effects. And how about the original burned in subs as an earlier poster pointed out. I don't remember computer generated ones on earlier versions.

Now onto Mr Robert Harris who I respect, admire his incredible knowledge and really enjoy his insights. Here is a quote Mr Harris gave to Dave Mack on Home Theater Forum 10/03/07 :

" As far as what something looked like when it played at one's local cinema in 1992...

One more time...

Local cinemas don't matter. They generally provide a visually corrupt image in terms of color, density, focus and content. On top of that, they generally run poor quality prints. Local cinemas are the worst places to attempt to judge film."


Mr Robert Harris should bear in mind that most of us see a film locally. If a local cinema does not matter than box office would suffer greatly as would the continued success of our cinema. In fact, local cinemas here in the UK brought in the lion's share of the UK box-office for Bram Stoker's Dracula. I remember how packed my local cinema was for that film on different days.

And as I mentioned previously, whatever films I saw at the local cinema looked the same on DVD. Remember, that nowadays films come to home video very quickly so memories are fresh so to speak. When Bram Stoker's Dracula came to VHS not too long after it's UK cinema run, it resembled what I saw in the theatre just the picture quality was not as good being video tape. And in my lifetime, I sometimes saw a film in the most expensive London cinema and then saw it again at the local theatre. And they looked identical in terms of quality.

As it is 3 out of 4 local cinemas in my area have closed now because of the lousy multiplexes and the multiplex wrongly publicising that the local cinema is inferior. So people in my area stopped supporting that beautiful local institution and jumped out of the frying pan into the fire. Gorgeous buildings too that have been gutted to make room for a nightclub or expensive apartments!

If local cinema " Does not matter ", then why do some famous British actors and a recent Oscar winner believe it does? The last local cinema left in my area which is the Cineworld in Hammersmith, London was almost closed down but a campaign was started to save it, and actors including Colin Firth want to save this local institution. Here is the link should anyone want to read it for themselves :
http://webcache.googleusercontent.co...w.google.co.uk

If this cinema in Hammersmith closes down, then I only have the multiplex left on a local level where the petrol pump attendant at my local Shell station also moonlights as a projectionist. He also was the cashier and served me my popcorn before he went to the screen the film!!!!

I live in London, but to go to a top of the range cinema in London's West End (Leicester Square ) is such a costly undertaking. A ticket per person is around close to $20 minimum, then parking is about $5 per hour plus cinema food and drinks adds on roughly $40 ( for 2 people ). So just for 2 people the cost is more than $100. Cinema never used to be that expensive to see a film, but now the modern multiplexes want to squeeze the viewer dry.

Under no circumstance am I implying that I am even remotely as accomplished or have anywhere near the same level of knowledge as Mr Harris in the field of cinema!!! I am just making an observation. We fans do our best to support the art form, and if we abstained from going to a local cinema because the film may be viewed as it was not intended then that would harm the film-maker and his ability to make future films.

Sadly the film industry in general only cares about the financial figures and I am assume that this reality would not be lost on a film director like Francis Ford Coppola.

I am maybe sticking my head out for the chop,but feel that being honest is the better option in my limited life-experience. And even the negative comments some people have given Bram Stoker's Dracula Blu Ray have actually made me think of this film more than any other. As they say, there is no such thing as bad publicity!
post #616 of 763
All I am asking Sony/Zoetrope is to release another edition of this wonderful film.
They can release it as 2-discs. One version could be the new darker version if that is how they really insist it should be. And the other could have a version something akin to the clips used in the version on the documentaries shown on the Blu Ray for those of us who have ingrained that version into our memories.

I should also have pointed out the documentaries were fantastic on the Blu Ray. Very insightful to a fan of the film.

And overall the Blu Ray looks fine but nowhere near as good as it could have been and looks inconsistent. Some of those darker crushed scenes look visually messy on an LCD and make me have to unnecessarily re-adjust my picture settings. So Sony/Zoetrope,if that is probably what a lot of people are doing especially with an LCD display, then maybe the dark version was premature to be released with today's technology. In the end, your vision of the film is being tampered with which defeats the purpose of your intentions. On an OLED display this probably would have worked out great because of a way higher contrast ratio and colour fidelity. But those displays are years away due to huge cost
post #617 of 763
Quote:
Originally Posted by WarrenD View Post

First and foremost, I want to make it clear that I am not personally attacking anyone in Zoetrope, Sony or Robert Harris!!!!!!!!!!!! I merely want to give some customer feedback which I am entitled to do. I am discussing the art

I get your point of view kdssrugby, but I think the studio that released this has to be held accountable. I only recently went Blu Ray and bought this film. It is a film I have very fond memories of and had a huge impact on me when I saw it at my local cinema. As I am a recent buyer of BSD in BD format, I want to express my concerns to Sony. How can there be time limit on complaining about a product that I have only recently viewed in this format. It is still commercially available.

On my properly calibrated tv, it is the only film I own that has some scenes especially when Jonathan is exploring the castle that are so dark even watching in a darkened room.

Being a regular cinema goer, this is the only film that now looks way different to how it appeared in the cinema, VHS, DVD. How come every other movie I own looks so similar to how I saw it at the cinema except this one?

So when I initially watched BSD at the cinema, I should have walked out and asked for my money back, because it was too bright as we are told. Sorry Mr cinema manager but I want my money back as it does not look dark enough.
Believe me, the story did not suffer at all and everyone enjoyed it on it's theatrical run. It was scary.

And why did not Zoetrope inform us as early as 2002 that the Superbit was wrong without even mentioning the 1999 DVD?. They could have expressed their disdain. But, they kept quiet about it until 2007. So another 5 years 2002-2007 of watching an incorrect version by their standards? This Blu-Ray is ok for someone who has never seen this film before, but for those who are so used to seeing it a certain way for 15 years, it takes away from the whole experience.

It is almost as if I am being told that at the time I bought the DVD then Superbit, I should have hated the film in those formats. And if we all held out for an ultimate version then this film would not have done well on the home theatre market at the time. A Blu Ray was made because of this film's previous popularity. Sony are running a business, and would have seen that previous sales made this new transfer commercially viable.

Another point I want to raise is that if the new Special Edition DVD can handle the darker version, then so could previous DVD versions. It is the same technology after all. Sony could have easily put a message on the back of the DVD case from it's first incarnation saying that this film may appear dark but that is the way it was intended to be seen. Yet they chose not to with the DVD or Superbit.

A Blu-ray is there for improved picture quality that is all, and to more authentically resemble film element.

Maybe if I had a 100 inch screen would those darkened scenes be more discernable, but how many have that size.

The scene with the drops coming out of the bottle in the castle before Jonathan gets seduced by the vampire brides is ridiculously crushed. Only two drops register. But I said before, on the director's commentary, he refers to the droplets and there is an accompanying sound effect with each of the drops going up.

And the digitised black crush as well as artifacts. Ironic for a film shot with no digital effects. And how about the original burned in subs as an earlier poster pointed out. I don't remember computer generated ones on earlier versions.

Now onto Mr Robert Harris who I respect, admire his incredible knowledge and really enjoy his insights. Here is a quote Mr Harris gave to Dave Mack on Home Theater Forum 10/03/07 :

" As far as what something looked like when it played at one's local cinema in 1992...

One more time...

Local cinemas don't matter. They generally provide a visually corrupt image in terms of color, density, focus and content. On top of that, they generally run poor quality prints. Local cinemas are the worst places to attempt to judge film."


Mr Robert Harris should bear in mind that most of us see a film locally. If a local cinema does not matter than box office would suffer greatly as would the continued success of our cinema. In fact, local cinemas here in the UK brought in the lion's share of the UK box-office for Bram Stoker's Dracula. I remember how packed my local cinema was for that film on different days.

And as I mentioned previously, whatever films I saw at the local cinema looked the same on DVD. Remember, that nowadays films come to home video very quickly so memories are fresh so to speak. When Bram Stoker's Dracula came to VHS not too long after it's UK cinema run, it resembled what I saw in the theatre just the picture quality was not as good being video tape. And in my lifetime, I sometimes saw a film in the most expensive London cinema and then saw it again at the local theatre. And they looked identical in terms of quality.

As it is 3 out of 4 local cinemas in my area have closed now because of the lousy multiplexes and the multiplex wrongly publicising that the local cinema is inferior. So people in my area stopped supporting that beautiful local institution and jumped out of the frying pan into the fire. Gorgeous buildings too that have been gutted to make room for a nightclub or expensive apartments!

If local cinema " Does not matter ", then why do some famous British actors and a recent Oscar winner believe it does? The last local cinema left in my area which is the Cineworld in Hammersmith, London was almost closed down but a campaign was started to save it, and actors including Colin Firth want to save this local institution. Here is the link should anyone want to read it for themselves :
http://webcache.googleusercontent.co...w.google.co.uk

If this cinema in Hammersmith closes down, then I only have the multiplex left on a local level where the petrol pump attendant at my local Shell station also moonlights as a projectionist. He also was the cashier and served me my popcorn before he went to the screen the film!!!!

I live in London, but to go to a top of the range cinema in London's West End (Leicester Square ) is such a costly undertaking. A ticket per person is around close to $20 minimum, then parking is about $5 per hour plus cinema food and drinks adds on roughly $40 ( for 2 people ). So just for 2 people the cost is more than $100. Cinema never used to be that expensive to see a film, but now the modern multiplexes want to squeeze the viewer dry.

Under no circumstance am I implying that I am even remotely as accomplished or have anywhere near the same level of knowledge as Mr Harris in the field of cinema!!! I am just making an observation. We fans do our best to support the art form, and if we abstained from going to a local cinema because the film may be viewed as it was not intended then that would harm the film-maker and his ability to make future films.

Sadly the film industry in general only cares about the financial figures and I am assume that this reality would not be lost on a film director like Francis Ford Coppola.

I am maybe sticking my head out for the chop,but feel that being honest is the better option in my limited life-experience. And even the negative comments some people have given Bram Stoker's Dracula Blu Ray have actually made me think of this film more than any other. As they say, there is no such thing as bad publicity!

No offense taken. When discussing local cinemas, which are notoriously bad here in the Colonies, I was referencing the need for perfection in projection -- as well as the absolute need for a print of the film which would be proper reference.

This is precisely how the BSD master was created. By matching to the final approved answer print. I am more than aware that many people have had problems with this release re: the reproduction of blacks and shadow detail.

Dependent upon your monitor -- plasma, LCD, LED/LCD, etc. -- you might wish to compare to other types, as it can play differently on different surfaces. Of course, resolution also comes into play.

Our service vehicle should arrive between 1 and 5. Should your monitor appear to be improperly set, charges may apply. Please have a representative above the age of 18 at home, and ready to cheerfully greet our technician.

RAH
post #618 of 763
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Harris View Post

No offense taken. When discussing local cinemas, which are notoriously bad here in the Colonies, I was referencing the need for perfection in projection -- as well as the absolute need for a print of the film which would be proper reference.

This is precisely how the BSD master was created. By matching to the final approved answer print. I am more than aware that many people have had problems with this release re: the reproduction of blacks and shadow detail.

Dependent upon your monitor -- plasma, LCD, LED/LCD, etc. -- you might wish to compare to other types, as it can play differently on different surfaces. Of course, resolution also comes into play.

Our service vehicle should arrive between 1 and 5. Should your monitor appear to be improperly set, charges may apply. Please have a representative above the age of 18 at home, and ready to cheerfully greet our technician.

RAH

Thank you for replying Sir!. I enjoyed the humour at the end and will turn down my advanced contrast enhancer as well as put my Gamma back to standard . That was good! I have a 1080p Sony Bravia so resolution is fine. But on top of the shadow detail issue on the Blu Ray of BSD, why could Zoetrope have not used the same style of burned in subtitles during the prologue and other parts of the film like they appeared in the original theatrical run. They added to the style of the film way better than the stylistically out of place computer generated ones we now have. Zoetrope cannot argue that those original burned in subs were not as the director intended. It is little things like that among others that add fuel to the controversy.

And in the end in my estimation, I think if many people as you say are having problems with this release and feel they are not getting the full benefit of enjoyment because of these issues, then could Zoetrope release another version?

Disclaimer! I am in no way advocating video piracy. To me video or music piracy as well as any other form is the same as stealing from a shop or individual, and I am on moral grounds opposed to it!. I am a firm believer that people should pay for what they are watching through legitimate sources like the film distributor!. But in reality I am aware of so many people who are willing to download be it music or film, and sadly that is the rule rather than exception. Because the impression I am getting on some of the posts that I read and from people I talk to back here in the UK, is that some people would within reason do anything to get hold of the older transfer that was shown a few years ago in HD on television. I myself am curious about this earlier transfer too.

And with the ease of creating copies with today's technology, would it not harm Zoetrope/Sony in terms of revenue loss. Because sooner or later someone will sell those copies knowing there is a black market for it. Or they could just put an earlier transfer HD television broadcast they recorded on a website to download for free.

We do not live in an ideal world and another release would most possibly serve Zoetrope's/ Sony's business interests to head this potential issue off!

It is just human nature, and the more people are told they cannot have something, the more they want it. And I am aware of your previous point about limitations of earlier systems. However, Sony/Columbia by releasing the earlier versions on VHS, LaserDisc, DVD and then Superbit inadvertently created a bigger problem for Zoetrope in 2007 in terms of how different the look now is and the negative reaction , which unfortunately is still a reality and has not gone away.

Had the internet not existed then this general dissatisfaction could have been more easily mitigated for Zoetrope/ Sony. But whether we like it or not, the internet has made the world smaller and harder to control.

So I politely urge the above companies to take some action. It will put an end to the controversy.

Best wishes!
post #619 of 763
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Harris View Post

No offense taken. When discussing local cinemas, which are notoriously bad here in the Colonies, I was referencing the need for perfection in projection -- as well as the absolute need for a print of the film which would be proper reference.

This is precisely how the BSD master was created. By matching to the final approved answer print. I am more than aware that many people have had problems with this release re: the reproduction of blacks and shadow detail.

Dependent upon your monitor -- plasma, LCD, LED/LCD, etc. -- you might wish to compare to other types, as it can play differently on different surfaces. Of course, resolution also comes into play.

Our service vehicle should arrive between 1 and 5. Should your monitor appear to be improperly set, charges may apply. Please have a representative above the age of 18 at home, and ready to cheerfully greet our technician.

RAH

What about a display projector instead of a monitor? I'll be buying a 3D 1080p monitor eventually and correctly calibrating it. Would you be needing the specifications for the computer I'm currently building including the monitor I'm eventually buying? It'll be my region-free, HTPC, video game and other projects computer tower.
No I'm not planning on using any noise reduction nonsense for the settings. I'm currently interested in only a handful of 3D films and obviously Avatar isn't one of them. Again until I have this monitor, I've never seen this title in full 1080p, just the Blu-ray still the same quality but 480p.
You bet I prefer film grain over waxy DNR/EE mess.
post #620 of 763
Important! I am making it clear that these views expressed are solely my own opinion and not in any way a definitive answer. After all I am an amateur when it comes to film. I want to discuss this issue from both my side and Zoetrope's so that there is a sense of fairness.

This may also inform film studios what some viewers experience, so they can bear this in mind when they master a film for home use. On learning more about film production, mainly thanks to the contribution of Mr Robert Harris on this and other forums, I wish to defend Zoetrope and their intentions, because I feel they have been unfairly criticised.

In some previous posts, some people have almost accused Zoetrope of unintentionally ruining their transfers. Nothing could be further from the truth in my falsely-modest opinion!!! If any company care's about film and it's history, then Zoetrope surely must be at the top of the list. I should also add Criterion too.

Now, because of some of the bad reactions I have read here and on other forums/sites, I think that by some people not choosing their words carefully have as a side-effect made Zoetrope/Sony dig their heals in further.

Right off the bat, I want to state that as I have heard Mr Harris say, one's home video equipment has a bearing on how a Blu-Ray will look, both in terms of quality and picture detail.

I think what has happened and why some people reacted negatively, especially with Bram Stoker's Dracula, is that even with a top of the mid-range 2009 Sony Bravia LCD model, the television cannot reproduce all the intricacies of the transfer. I know my HD set struggles with this film's visual complexity, especially in dark scenes.

Plus an LCD depending on where one is sitting will show different levels of brightness. I will explain in the next paragraph :

In my personal home video context, the problem I was having with the Blu-Ray of BSD, is that if I sit in the middle of the screen ( the ideal position ), the transfer looks too dark. If I sit to the left or the right of the screen, the transfer looks lighter and those parts in the movie that are hard to see, become visible almost as if I was watching the Superbit version.

So if I was watching this film with three people, whoever sits to the left or right of me would be seeing the film incorrectly. And the television I have is designed for up to four people sitting to watch it. The television is 32 inches and we sit about four to five small footsteps away from it.

So, I am admitting that rather than it being a problem with Zoetrope, it is clearly my tv and many other peoples tv's too as it is a popular brand of LCD. I could not even begin to imagine what a lesser brand than Sony, even though the resolution being 1080p would be like with this film

So it is the inherent technological disadvantage of an LCD screen that in my case is causing my frustration with the transfer.

Because of the way the original film of Bram Stoker's Dracula was made, this must have been a lot of work for the Zoetrope people involved in bringing it to Blu-Ray. This is a visually complex film and so many things have to be balanced,especially as no CGI was used.

I may be wrong, but this may have been harder to transfer than Lord Of The Rings. Why?, because Lord Of The Rings has so much CGI whilst BSD is organic/analogue all the way and more traditional/classic in terms of effect technique.

And from Zoetrope's perspective it is almost " Damned if they do and damned if they don't " dilemna in terms of public relations handling.

Ok, let me explain. If Zoetrope just released the older HD transfer, they would have been accused by some people of being lazy and not doing enough. Ironically, when Zoetrope matched the original answer prints, they got accused of tampering with the film and as such their hard work was overlooked. I am very sorry about this!!!

On reading some professional reviewers critiques of this transfer, a certain in my view dirty word " Demo Material " surfaces in the argument. I personally do not screen a film to show off my set-up. I screen a film because it is excellent and has a great story as well as drama quality. That would be the most pathetic and anti-art thing I could do, if I just used a film as an excuse to impress upon my friends the latest technology I have. A film is as much about the story, acting performances, musical score and artistry just to name a few aspects of it. Not all films are there to be compared to the dazzling technical glory of sci-fi or action films. Some of these reviewers I wonder if they truly understand the art form known as cinema.

Now I am no expert on the history of cinema and I certainly do not pretend to be either. But,people like me by being supportive help to pay towards the costs of the Bel Air mansions.

Hindsight in the words of John Lennon " Is a wonderful thing! ". If CRT displays were still in use and the only television format, things would have been easier for Zoetrope. But with the many differences in viewing perception of Plasma, Led, LCD and Projectors, and the constant changes in models, I assume this may have left a stone unturned so to speak in the testing of the movie before release in 2007. Now Sony being not just a film distributor, but also a television manufacturer should have picked up on this problem of industry inconsistency in terms of HD viewing formats i.e televisions before they distributed this film on Blu-Ray.

In finishing, had Plasma won the HD Television format war outright, like Blu-Ray defeated HD-DVD, we would be seeing this film correctly. I blame the television manufacturers with their over-hype of HD capabilities, and urge Zoetrope to release another transfer of BSD for the majority of us average equipment HD users. Not everyone has or will ever have the luxury of a " Ferrari " home set-up, and the common denominator has maybe a mid-range " BMW " if my analogy makes sense? Should a film not be enjoyed by all regardless of bank account size ?. Sometimes I am shocked by some peoples snobbery and denigration of others best they can afford set-ups. I come across this attitude in the UK a lot too. Cinema is to be enjoyed by all.

And this average level home equipment will be more of a reality in these tough economic times. With people losing their jobs, heavy debt burdens and the possibility of losing their home, they hardly are going to spend the equivalent of a year's mortgage payments on a television set as well as all the other accessories that go along with it.

It would be a reasonable compromise until television adapts to a unanimous technological format!! Oh, and please put back those wonderful burned in subtitles too!!!

Shouldn't film be about the art, story and not the elitism in some cases of what equipment I have or do not have.
post #621 of 763
Quote:
Originally Posted by WarrenD View Post

I think what has happened and why some people reacted negatively, especially with Bram Stoker's Dracula, is that even with a top of the mid-range 2009 Sony Bravia LCD model, the television cannot reproduce all the intricacies of the transfer. I know my HD set struggles with this film's visual complexity, especially in dark scenes.

It's hard to see you as anything other than an apologist when I get to this paragraph. And it's hard to keep reading the rest of your post after it.
post #622 of 763
Quote:
Originally Posted by WarrenD View Post

I think what has happened and why some people reacted negatively, especially with Bram Stoker's Dracula, is that even with a top of the mid-range 2009 Sony Bravia LCD model, the television cannot reproduce all the intricacies of the transfer. I know my HD set struggles with this film's visual complexity, especially in dark scenes.

I have seen the movie on both a plasma TV and through my JVC HD350 projector. It looks hopeless on both. There's massive black crush and the colours simply look absurd (certainly compared to the old superbit DVD).

The pictures in this thread says it all.
post #623 of 763
I agree, on my old rear pro and on my isf calibrated thx approved plasma it looks like ass
post #624 of 763
Wow.. that was just...

No comment.
post #625 of 763
Having never seen the film before the blu-ray, I thought it looked decidedly watchable on my Kuro... not particularly detailed and very dark, but it didn't scream "botched transfer" to me.
post #626 of 763
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deviation View Post

It's hard to see you as anything other than an apologist when I get to this paragraph. And it's hard to keep reading the rest of your post after it.


If it were possible in the English language to explain things in three words I would. In no way what I have written is it hard to read and the " Demo material " observation is a sad reality of a lot of film enthusiasts. They would sooner pop a Transformers eye-candy type film into the player than they would a revolutionary and exquisite piece of cinema. What is hard to read about that argument? And are you telling me there is no truth in that. The word film-lover is a misnoma. Most people only know about the populist films and give those less deserving but financially successful the greater time and coverage. Some confuse capitalism with cinema. You should at least give a person some respect whoever they are that they have gone to some effort to contribute whether you agree or disagree.

I may have a journalistic style of writing, but I am giving the subject matter the respect it greatly deserves whether it be Zoetrope or any other studio. At least it shows I care about what I am writing if nothing else.

The problem is that if one does not explain one's position properly then how will the studios understand what is wrong? I have been told that insiders read these forums so I write according to that assumption and put my best foot forward. Of course it is my opinion just like you have your opinion.
post #627 of 763
Hi Warren,

Thank you for your contributions to this forum and for your commitment to important pieces of cinema. That being said, I feel that perhaps in pursuing this commitment you are misunderstanding the intentions of other members of this forum. While you are correct in stating that there are many who prefer eye-candy and blockbuster style entertainment (see the PQ thread), there are also many individuals that care very deeply about preserving important films and the artistic intent that shaped them.

In my years on the forum I have had nothing but respect for members like Dvdmike, Dave Mack, and Phantom Stranger (among others) as they consistently advocate for the same thing (to repeat): preserving important films and the artistic intent behind them. In this regard they, and I, are not disagreeing with you.

Our concern with the blu-ray of BSD is with the radical change in colour timing that has been applied to it. This raises two questions: why did it take so long to correct? and how did previous versions get approved if they were so radically different from the original print? Additionally, the colour changes make important artistic choices pointless (like the writing sequences). Why bother showing the writing if it was barely meant to be visible. Similarly, much has been made of the torches on the castle wall appearing green rather than orange.

What we are arguing is for two things: for Francis Ford Coppola to say "yes this is what I intended" or (preferably) the reverse, and if this design change is revisionist in nature we would like the option to buy a version that maintains the original intent rather than the new (see the French Connection debate as an example of this attitude).

Without an answer from FFC, this is purely a speculative debate. However, by simply stating that the film is accurate and that complaints stem from poor quality displays, you are ignoring a wide range of alternative explanations that are equally logical and (I might add) reasonable.

Once again, thank you for your contributions, but it would be much appreciated if you could meet us half way.
post #628 of 763
Quote:
Originally Posted by kdssrugby View Post

Hi Warren,

Thank you for your contributions to this forum and for your commitment to important pieces of cinema. That being said, I feel that perhaps in pursuing this commitment you are misunderstanding the intentions of other members of this forum. While you are correct in stating that there are many who prefer eye-candy and blockbuster style entertainment (see the PQ thread), there are also many individuals that care very deeply about preserving important films and the artistic intent that shaped them.

In my years on the forum I have had nothing but respect for members like Dvdmike, Dave Mack, and Phantom Stranger (among others) as they consistently advocate for the same thing (to repeat): preserving important films and the artistic intent behind them. In this regard they, and I, are not disagreeing with you.

Our concern with the blu-ray of BSD is with the radical change in colour timing that has been applied to it. This raises two questions: why did it take so long to correct? and how did previous versions get approved if they were so radically different from the original print? Additionally, the colour changes make important artistic choices pointless (like the writing sequences). Why bother showing the writing if it was barely meant to be visible. Similarly, much has been made of the torches on the castle wall appearing green rather than orange.

What we are arguing is for two things: for Francis Ford Coppola to say "yes this is what I intended" or (preferably) the reverse, and if this design change is revisionist in nature we would like the option to buy a version that maintains the original intent rather than the new (see the French Connection debate as an example of this attitude).

Without an answer from FFC, this is purely a speculative debate. However, by simply stating that the film is accurate and that complaints stem from poor quality displays, you are ignoring a wide range of alternative explanations that are equally logical and (I might add) reasonable.

Once again, thank you for your contributions, but it would be much appreciated if you could meet us half way.

Thank you for that reply. Would I like to own both versions as in the original style I saw in the cinema and the new Blu-Ray that was matched to the answer prints? The answer is a resounding yes!!!, although I feel the Blu-Ray with it's darkness level is premature for today on the basis of what I argued in my earlier posts!!!! So I do see this debate from both sides of the fence just like with the Star Wars films in there original state. I still am a firm believer in director's intent because of freedom of expression.

And yes, the so many home versions like I wrote earlier have escalated this issue sky high. I believe the film studio back in 1992 Sony/Columbia should have made sure the release prints were exactly like the answer print. I was amazed to learn about the inconsistency of not all cinemas adhering to the same standard.

Sony/Columbia should have kept the integrity of the original intent correct from day one in respect of the dark answer print and put a clause in the contract to every cinema with each print, that under no circumstance tamper with the brightness. Example :" It is a dark film and is intended that way . You will be in breach should you tamper with these strict instructions ". I may sound crazy, but I am being retrospective.

I guess that at least these forums show the film studios that we care about what they do. That has got to be better than public apathy.

And on that subject, it is funny how major film studios are all ears when a film opens in the cinema and depend on our word of mouth and did we like it, but as soon as they have their money from us the door closes and we almost have become superfluous to requirement. I won't even go in to what happens at test screenings. They do back flips to please the audience and will even re-film a new ending should that be the consensus. By the way, I am not in favour of a mob/test audience over-riding a director's true wishes.

Changing topic slightly, How many newcomer directors would welcome the publicity a forum can give to their films. Dave Mack should get a cheque ( British spelling ) from Sony/Zoetrope for his inadvertent publicity on his posts and by making me and many others look into BSD with even greater attention.

I just wanted to make certain in my argument that I was not insulting Zoetrope/Sony. Imagine if you worked on this film for more than a year and someone came along to a forum and wrote off what you did in just two insulting words. If I was Zoetrope, I would feel insulted. Whether we like them or not, that company has been behind some incredible pioneering cinema and deserve a lot of good-will as well as benefit of the doubt. How is it in their interest to give us a bad product which would make no sense to us or them? And why would they want to do that, which also makes no sense? So I am a firm believer that anything we write that can be viewed on a forum like this publicly, should be as if we were writing for a national newspaper. We have to be objective as opposed to subjective. It does not help a cause like this or any other when some people cannot even be bothered to go beyond ten words yet they expect huge results. If I worked in a film studio, I would be thinking how many of these posts are really sincere and how many are plainly nasty intended for the film studio/Production company.

If we do not show respect, then how can we expect the same in return from any given film studio.
post #629 of 763
Wonder how the hi vision compares
post #630 of 763
"How many newcomer directors would welcome the publicity a forum can give to their films. Dave Mack should get a cheque ( British spelling ) from Sony/Zoetrope for his inadvertent publicity of his posts and by making me and many others look into BSD with even greater attention."

Thanks to this thread I just ran out to Best Buy and picked up BSD for a Saturday night screening on my 50VT-20 plasma. I will be so busy looking for floating blacks, black crush and 4 drops, I just might not notice Keanu Reeves' bad acting. I love this hobby!
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