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DVD & Blu-ray Reviews
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CINERAMA HOLIDAY Deluxe Combo Blu-ray/DVD ReviewBlu-ray
- Studio: Other
- Distributed By: N/A
- Video Resolution: 1080P/AVC
- Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
- Audio: English 2.0 DD, English 5.1 DTS-HDMA
- Subtitles: None
- Rating: Not Rated
- Run Time: 2 Hrs. 9 Min.
- Package Includes: Blu-ray, DVD
- Case Type: Amaray
- Disc Type: BD50 (dual layer)
- Region: ABC
- Release Date: 11/02/2013
- MSRP: $39.95
The Production Rating: 4/5This is the complete roadshow version of Cinerama Holiday, complete with overture and intermission. You have to give the people at Flicker Alley credit with preserving the showmanship of Cinerama. The presentation begins with an image of dark velvet curtains covering a curved movie screen, which is a simulation of the screen at the Cinerama Dome in Hollywood. As the overture concludes, the curtains draw slowly back to reveal a black and white introduction in Academy aspect ratio, after which the screen changes to color and triples in size as the curtains draw back fully to show the widescreen aspect ratio of Cinerama.
Cinerama Holiday is a travelogue of sights and sounds in the United States and Western Europe. The travel vignettes are joined together by a narrative in which a Swiss couple, Fred and Beatrice Troller, travel to the United States while an American couple, John and Betty Marsh, travel to Switzerland and France.
Cinerama Holiday, like the other Cinerama travelogues, makes for more interesting viewing now than it did in its own time. Anyone who wants to see Paris, San Francisco, Las Vegas, New York, or other cities as they actually appeared in 1955 is not likely to get a better idea of those locations from any other films than by watching Cinerama Holiday. I never had the chance to visit downtown Las Vegas in 1955 or hang out poolside at the Desert Inn but now I have a very good idea of what it looked like thanks to this film.
For those unacquainted with the Cinerama process, some explanation is in order. The Cinerama films were shown originally in special theatrical venues equipped with curved 146° film screens. As the emerging medium of television seemed to threaten the livelihood of theater owners in the early 1950s, new processes like Cinerama, Cinemascope, and 3D were created to bring audiences back to the movie theaters. Cinerama was one of the initial efforts to recreate the full range of human vision on a big screen, and consisted of 3 projectors running 3 adjacent panels of film simultaneously that was intended to appear as one wide image when illuminated on the 146° wide screen. Cinerama Holiday was the second Cinerama travelogue to be released in this widescreen process, the first being This Is Cinerama.
Video Rating: 4.5/5 3D Rating: NA
Cinerama Holiday is presented in a 1.85:1 aspect ratio in the Smilebox format, which recreates the appearance of a Cinerama presentation on a flat screen by having the far side panels of the screen elongated to simulate the curved appearance of the 2.59:1 aspect ration on a 146° screen.
The producers of this restoration had better materials to work with than they did for the wonderful restoration of This Is Cinerama. For Cinerama Holiday, the original negatives for all 3 panels were digitally scanned and restored. The 3 separate strips of panels were then matched up digitally and the join lines of the 3 strips were blended and minimized.
The join lines in this presentation have been minimized, but not eliminated. In many sections, the partitions are invisible whereas in other scenes the join lines are perceptible from color fading at the edge of the panel strips. The color fading at the edges has been enhanced to make the joins less apparent. This is in no way a criticism but offered simply as an observation. As Leonard Maltin comments in the special features, the perceptibility of the join lines is part of the charm of a Cinerama presentation.
Colors appear much more vibrant and true than they did in the restorations of This Is Cinerama and Windjammer, which probably owes in part to the superior condition of the film elements for Cinerama Holiday compared to those other films. Likewise, fine detail is excellent, and definitely an improvement over This Is Cinerama(which actually appeared very good in its digital restoration).
Audio Rating: 4.5/5The English DTS-HD 5.1 audio is excellent. There is no audible hiss perceptible as there was in This Is Cinerama. Dialogue has clarity and depth. Dynamic range is excellent, and the soundtrack is rich during musical interludes as well as during the narration.
Special Features: 5/5The special features include all of the following:
Cinerama Holiday Breakdown reel(14:20): This is the original interstitial footage that was projected in the theater anytime there was a breakdown in any one of the three projectors. It consists of John and Betty Marsh appearing in a projection booth and narrating some home movie footage.
Cinerama Holiday At The Dome(5:43): This is footage with Leonard Maltin of the presentation of the film at the Cinerama Dome in April 2013.
Return To Cinerama Holiday(21:35): Betty Marsh and Beatrice Troller reminisce about this film made 48 years earlier.
Betty’s Scrapbook(11:10): Betty Marsh in 2013 reviews her scrapbook made during and after filming of Cinerama Holiday. This scrapbook was considered lost until discovered recently by film researcher (and HTF member) Roland Lataille.
1997 Cast Interview(22:05): Writer Waring Jones and original cast members Betty and Jim Marsh, and Fred and Beatrice Troller appear in this interview footage from 1997.
Deleted Scenes(8:25): This is an excerpt from the documentary Cinerama Adventure featuring original footage deleted from Cinerama Holiday.
Bob Bendick’s 8mm Home Movies(15:13): This footage was shot behind the scenes during filming in France and Switzerland.
Newsreel Footage(2:26): Regarding the premiere of the film.
Remastering A Widescreen Classic(12:53): Restoration director Dave Strohmaier and others discuss the source materials and demonstrate the scanning of the original 3 panels of footage and remastering in restoring the film.
Behind The Scenes Slideshow(7:30): This is a presentation of stills from the film.
Also included is a beautiful 24 page replica booklet of the original souvenir program for Cinerama Holiday. The DVD includes the same content as the Blu-ray on a flipper disc with the film on one side and the special features on the other side.