A Few Words About A few words about...™ 2001: A Space Odyssey -- in BD & HD

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Oct 24, 2007.

  1. Dan Lindley

    Dan Lindley Second Unit

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    Carlo,

    Mine arrived from Amazon today, and my order was fairly recent (last two weeks or so, maybe less. Standard delays for super saver shipping, but here it is!).
     
  2. Seppo

    Seppo Stunt Coordinator

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    Seems like they're all in stock at Amazon.com finally. I have an order at DVD Pacific, but only "A Clockwork Orange" has been filled so far.
     
  3. JeremySt

    JeremySt Screenwriter

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    I picked mine up at my local hastings for $19.99. Too bad my 50" plasma is boxed up. Moving! It did look fantastic on my 36" tube. [​IMG]
     
  4. PatWahlquist

    PatWahlquist Supporting Actor

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    Hi, guys,

    I just posted my enthusiastic review of the Blu-Ray. While I was watching it, I noticed the follwoing and I'm wondering if anyone else is noticing this (quoted from my review):

    "When I went back to do some close inspection of the image, I noticed what appeared to be some type of dirt on the print during the Dawn of Man sequence. If you look closely at the lighter parts of the images, such as the light sky above the mountain ranges, you will see some light smearing on the image. At first I thought I had some dirt on my screen or the lens of my projector, but the dirt remained once I cleaned both of those. When you jump to the space station scenes, which are very light and would show this dirt easily, it is absent. Therefore, I believe this is dirt that is part of the original negative of the scenes for the dawn of man sequence. "

    I didn't see it on the first viewing, but once I got up on the screen it's pretty obvious. I haven't seen this mentioned on any of the other online reviews.
     
  5. RickER

    RickER Producer

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    Pat, I noticed this as well. I read in one of these threads that what your seeing is the reflective paint on the wall that the background plate was shown on. If you look at it, it does look like paint, from a roller. Sorry, i dont remember the thread, or who said it. But thats why the leopards eyes glow too!
    Oh, and i watched on a 50 inch Tosh plasma. The Blu-ray disc looked amazing!
     
  6. PatWahlquist

    PatWahlquist Supporting Actor

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    Makes sense, thanks! Also answers the question I had about the eyes, but my interpretation was far more metaphysical than that!
     
  7. Douglas Monce

    Douglas Monce Producer

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    Rick it right. It looks to me to be an uneven application of the 3M reflective material on the front projection screen. (this is the same stuff that makes stop signs glow) All of those ape shots were done in a studio in England. The background plates are actually large format still photographs that were taken in African and front projected into the scene.
    Doug
     
  8. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    I must say I'm honestly a bit perplexed by the image quality of this HD DVD/BD of 2001.

    I saw a 35mm print of this film a couple of years ago at a restored theater in NY and the print was *** RAZOR SHARP ***. It almost felt like your eyeballs were "cut" watching those blazing white ships drift through that midnight black space.

    On the DVD, all the space shots (and all others) appear slightly softened on the edges to my eyes. I was expecting this 1080p disc to look as sharp (I don't meen edge-halo sharp, just analog sharp) as the 35mm print I had enjoyed.

    Has anyone else with good familarity with the clarity/sharpness of the projected print felt this? Naturally, the fact that RAH is singing the praises of the fidelity of this transfer is causing me to wonder if my impressions of the 35mm print that I saw were remembered incorrectly... or perhaps I was seated far enough away from the screen that the viewing angle was narrower to produce a "sharper" impression?
     
  9. RickER

    RickER Producer

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    You have a pretty big projected screen dont you David?
    It looked great on my plasma. But then again it looked better than my LD or that crappy, very dark MGM DVD.
    I only WISH i could have seen it on a movie screen.
     
  10. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    I viewed it both on my 720P DLP projector (106") and my friend's 1080p LCOS projecto (110"). Don't get me wrong, the image was very good, and very "film like" in many ways, but not quite as sharp as I remember from film.

    Also, in the turning spokes of the space-station, I saw a "twitter" along the edge that didn't seem to be a film-orgin artifact. Has anyone else noticed that? Note that we're watching a properly rendered 1080p image on the 1080p projector (and I noticed this also at 720p).
     
  11. Douglas Monce

    Douglas Monce Producer

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    I didn't notice any "twitter" or aliasing on the space station, but then I've only got a 47" TV. It might be more visible on a large projection screen.
    I've never actually seen this film in the theater so I don't know about the sharpness of a 35mm print. I suspect in comparison with 35mm prints from 35mm negatives it looked very impressive and fairly grain free and that may have been your point of reference for the super sharp look.
    This after all was the whole point of VistaVision as Paramount really had no plans for it to be projected in the horizontal format beyond a few theaters in LA and NY. But the 35mm prints from VistaVision were said to be a big improvement on standard 35mm / 35mm prints.
    Doug
     
  12. DonovanCampbell

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    Super Panavision actually, including the effects shots.
     
  13. Douglas Monce

    Douglas Monce Producer

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    Yes but he was talking about a 35mm release print.
    Doug
     
  14. OliverK

    OliverK Cinematographer

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    Hello Dave,
    good to meet each other on the forums again [​IMG]
    From what I have seen so far with regard to 65/70mm movies out on DVD and HD the detail of these movies is always below what can be seen on the very best discs available in either format. This certainly is not due to a lack of detail in the original negative and what you say indicates that RAH is unfortunately correct when he says 6k scans are not what Warner usually does for their large format stock. From watching Mutiny on the Bounty, Battle of the Bulge and Grand Prix I would say that none of these come close to making full use of the available resolution in the original camera negative. If they did these would be among the most detailed movies available in the HD format but sadly they aren't.
    Still I am happy these came out at all - Warner is the only studio doing something worthwhile about movies in large format so far. We also have to take into account that most of the movies we call classics are movies that sell in very limited numbers and 2001 might very well be the first of the released classics that earns Warner not only prestige but also money. So we cannot expect them to pay unlimited amounts of money for the best transfers and masters money can buy when we look at things from the business side.
    Oliver
     
  15. Douglas Monce

    Douglas Monce Producer

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    At HD resolution (1080) the difference between 35mm and 70mm should not be discernible. There just isn't enough resolution to be able to see that level of detail.
    Doug
     
  16. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    Hey Oliver! Thanks for chiming in. Got some widescreen reviews waiting for you whenever you're ready. [​IMG]
    Hey Doug,
    part of the problem with "large format" films in the past is that the *scanning equipment* used to digitize the 65/70mm elements hasn't been up-to-snuff. Just take a look at the Ben-Hur DVD... another disc that received a great deal of praise despite some apparent inaccuracies to the source. Even in pathetic 480p resolution, you can see that the older DVD, scanned from a 35mm print (on equipment optimized for 35mm) looks MUCH more detailed than the newer DVD scanned from 65mm on "inferior" telecine gear (by inferior, I mean gear not optimized for large-format). It's not that DVD can show you the difference between the resolution of 35mm and 65mm camera negatives. It's that DVD can show you the difference between a scan from a device optimized for the film it's scanning (or not). Same with HD.
    There are a few devices out there than can do a high-fidelity digital capture from large-format elements but they are $$$ to use and Warner has not used them in the past.
    What I'm seeing from this BD/HD DVD looks like high-frequency information has been rolled off. Trust me, the 35mm print I saw was RAZOR SHARP... it was shocking. This HD image looks "soft" by comparison, which suggests to me that WB may have indeed scanned a 65mm source, but done so with gear not optimized for the task. Either that or they used a 35mm print but may have filtered it to ease compression demands given the somewhat average low-bit-rate of the VC-1 codec used to compress this title. WB has been tailoring their authoring for 30 GB which may or may not have a slight negative impact on image/sound quality depending on content... but I have noticed that in general the VC-1 WB BDs tend to look less sharp/detailed in comparison to high-bit-rate AVC titles by Sony/Disney (with a few exceptions of course). That general trend causes me to be suspect whenever I see VC-1 used at a low bit-rate.
    I'd love to hear more input from someone familiar with what went into this actual disc. Does anyone really know what source/method WB used to get this image?
     
  17. DonovanCampbell

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    Yes, but you mentioned VistaVision, so I was just correcting that.
     
  18. Douglas Monce

    Douglas Monce Producer

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    According to Robert Harris the 65mm ON was in pretty bad shape so unless they did a full restoration I have my doubts about them using it for this transfer. I suspect this transfer comes from a 35mm element.
    Your right about the soft quality to 65mm transfers to home video. However having said that, all things being equal even with the best transfer possible in both 35mm and 65mm, I'm not sure you could tell the difference at HD resolution.
    Again 2001 looks very sharp on my system, but its only 47 inches so I'm not seeing the same thing that you are on a large screen.
    Doug
     
  19. Douglas Monce

    Douglas Monce Producer

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    Right. But I was talking about VistaVision for live action photography in the 50s and 60s, not its later application for visual effects. In other words the reduction printing of VistaVision to 35mm was said to produce a shaper more detailed image than a 35mm to 35mm release print. The same should be true of a 65mm to 35mm reduction print.
    Doug
     
  20. OliverK

    OliverK Cinematographer

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    Doug,
    I am not so sure what elements they used to arrive at that transfer, but it seems we don't get the same level of detail as in the best films available on HDM and of course this is a bit of a mockery given the fact that 2001 could rival the best of the best in terms of detail if state of the art technology was used.
    Regarding 35 vs 65mm I think you got my argument the other way around. I do not think that for HDM 35mm sourced movies have to look less detailed than those shot on large format. I wanted to make a point that they don't have to look WORSE than stuff shot on 35mm which is what they do at the moment.
    Oliver
     

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