A Few Words About A few words about...™ Alien Anthology -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Oct 22, 2010.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
    Reviewer

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    I'm going to clean up this thread a bit to make it easier for those visiting for the first time.

    With apologies to those who posted in the thread, I've either eliminated or edited those posts which no longer
    made sense in light of the top post changing. Hopefully you'll forgive the action. The intent is to clear up any
    misunderstanding that the discs themselves are problematic.

    On friday my copy of Alien Anthology arrived. As I've been fully aware of the amount of work that
    Fox has been putting into the release between working with elements, and bringing in Charles de Lauzirika
    to produce the myriad of special features, I couldn't wait to get it up and running in my home theater.

    That's when hardware problems struck. My favored Blu-ray player, an Oppo 83 came up with bad responses when
    I attempted to run the long version of Alien and then with Aliens. While the introductions ran properly, scaling was
    off the boards, with about a 500-600% zoom. The zoom could only be dealt with by finding workarounds.

    I then tried the same disc in a 3 year old Panasonic, and got precisely the opposite results, incorrect intro
    and correct feature.

    As I wasn't certain whether it was a problem with the disc, or with the players, I later tried the disc in three
    more players, a Samsung, a PS3, and a JVC. All worked flawlessly.

    Let me say it loud and clear, there are no problems with the discs, only with certain players.

    The lesson here, is that some of the manufacturers are not keeping up with what the studios are doing, and
    I'm especially disturbed about Oppo, which I feel gives me the highest quality image that I've found anywhere.

    There is a promising Oppo firmware update on line, which I've not been able to get to run, and will be speaking with
    them tomorrow, as it's still listed as a beta -- not something that one would wish to depend upon.

    Now that I know that the discs themselves are fine, I've been using a workaround to get them properly on screen until
    we can solve the Oppo problem.

    Having read Bill Hunt's piece on The Bits, and he also had an Oppo problem, I can concur with his feelings.

    In the fewest number of words possible, this is a phenomenal set, that deserves the A++ that Bill gives it.

    My hat is off to Charles de Lauzirika for yet another job done with class, elegance and perfection. Here is a man
    who loves film and what he does.

    I've had 35mm prints of both Alien and Aliens, and have seen Aliens in 70mm. What I can easily tell you about the set is that both Alien and Aliens are the best that I've ever personally seen, with audio that will test even the largest home theater's amps and speakers. Detail, black levels, color, densities and all else are letter perfect.

    The discussions on line regarding director James Cameron de-graining Aliens comes down to miscommunication. It appears that some of the heavier grain has been
    massaged, but the film looks like film, and better than it ever has.

    As an aside to the Oppo debacle, I can tell you that viewing scenes from Alien and Aliens zoomed up some 500%, show that these are discs that will look superb on high end home theater projection setups of the largest design. I'm referring to screens well up to 20 feet in width and more. This speaks volumes about the efforts that went into creating these masters.

    I have not yet had a chance to even begin going through the layers of information and extras in this set, as the width and breadth of material contained is huge.

    From my experience, Alien Anthology appears to be the most complex set ever attempted.

    As a Blu-ray Event, It is a benchmark in all areas, and portends to be the Best Classic Release of 2010. This is the one to beat.

    It is Extremely Highly Recommended.

    RAH
     
  2. TheBat

    TheBat Producer

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    I remember having problems playing the first alien movie dvd from the 9 disc set. my panasonic 80 could not play it in DTS for either the directors cut or theatre version.. the panasonic 85 plays fine, but without DTS audio.

    Jacob
     
  3. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    This is not a good sign. Many of us are having issues playing the Twilight Zone Season 1 blu ray set. Interesting thinking that the problems Mr. Harris is having could be caused by the anti piracy.

    It will be interesting to see what happens this Tuesday. Thanks for the heads-up.
     
  4. robbbb1138

    robbbb1138 Second Unit

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    The Digital Bits is supposed to have their review up tonight too. If they don't have any issues, is it safe to assume that the problems here are hardware related?
     
  5. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    My PS3 has been solid so far, here's hoping that it handles these discs when they arrive!
     
  6. Brad Vautrinot

    Brad Vautrinot Stunt Coordinator

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    I just cancelled my order with Amazon until this problem is resolved.
     
  7. TonyD

    TonyD Who do we think I am?
    Supporter

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    I bet it does.
     
  8. Zack Gibbs

    Zack Gibbs Screenwriter

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    Likely the firmware updates just aren't ready yet across various players. It is still pre-release after all. Discs have been out in the wild for weeks now, and this is the first issue I've read of.

    ---

    PS3's have always played everything you could throw at them. Having one as a backup player would be an excellent idea.
     
  9. Nkosi

    Nkosi Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the heads up Mr. Harris.

    Jacob, I'm like you- I've always had problems with the first disc (Alien) of the 9-disc dvd quadrilogy set never playing correctly. That's a major reason why I can't wait to get my hands on the blu-ray- to be able to watch the first film in one piece! lol

    Here's hoping these issues are resolved quickly.
     
  10. Guest

    The picture on Alien looks good in the screen captures I have seen. I'm not understanding something about the cropping. The first dvd release contained more picture than the second. And now the blu-ray has been cropped even further....why is there such a difference and why do we keep losing more picture?
     
  11. TheBat

    TheBat Producer

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    bill hunt has his review up. he did have a problem with the oppo. he also had a solution to the problem as well.
    glad to know that I was not alone with the first alien disc from the 9 disc set.

    Jacob
     
  12. HDvision

    HDvision Screenwriter

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    I'm having a problem, when I play the alternate OST soundtrack audio tracks (or for that matter, the actual music separarated soundtrack) for Aliens, there's a title card on screen during all the movie with the indication of the track I'm listening. Right there full in the middle of the screen. It won't go away until the track stops.
    Can anyone confirm this ? (My set is R2)
     
  13. Ron-P

    Ron-P Producer

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    I was going to order the egg set, then I decided that it was a waste so I was going to order the box set but after realizing the age of these I need to see and hear them first so I'm going to wait for the rentals. I just cannot drop a near Franklin on something sight unseen (and heard). The good news is while other players have had issues in the past both my Sony machines have never once had a single issue with ANY blu-ray disc. I'll guess the same will hold true with these.
     
  14. HDvision

    HDvision Screenwriter

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    The bonuses are reframed into 1.77 (original shot in 4/3). Since the PS3 does not upscale 480p from BD, the documentaries now look a bit ugly.

    That's just the negative aspect, the movies look spectacular. I didn't have a reframing problem on the films as Mr Harris mentioned, on my up to date PS3 with latest firmware.
     
  15. shazzerman

    shazzerman Agent

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    I watched "Alien" last night. I'm no expert, but the transfer was top class, particularly the audio - really immersive. The colour is a lot better than the dvds, and there is definitely an improvement in PQ in terms of detail (you can see this even in the computer readout shots; also, I remember smiling to myself when I noticed a clear improvement in detail during Brett's search for Jonesy). I switched between the theatrical and director's cuts this morning, with no problems arising (using my PS3). Today, I am going to tackle "Aliens": if only Cameron's sometimes cringe-inducing dialogue was de-"grained" as well...
     
  16. BethHarrison

    BethHarrison Second Unit

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    Fox seem to put BD+ copy protection on everything. I have trouble getting The Robe to play on my Kogan player, which I beleive was the first disc Fox released using BD+.
     
  17. oscar_merkx

    oscar_merkx Lead Actor

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    Hi

    I am waiting for my R2 copy to arrive and report back.

    I read Bill Hunt's review which is very thorough as expected.

    Well done to Charlie for raising the bar for special editions of classic movies.

    Cheers
     
  18. Steve Christou

    Steve Christou Long Member

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    I've just had a look at Alien from the anthology set, thankfully no problems playing the disc on my Philips player. It's the UK Blu-ray release I have here, my nephew managed to get his already while I'm still waiting for my set to be shipped from Amazon UK. I'm a huge fan of the film, watched it a number of times at the cinema on it's original release and have never seen it look so good, I skipped to the "space jockey" scene and it looked amazing, so much detail on display, and the colours... oh I'm tempted to watch the entire film but I'll wait until my copy arrives this week.

    Now for a peek at Aliens...
     
  19. Jim_K

    Jim_K Executive Producer

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    Can't wait for this to arrive!!

    I'm really interested to see how Aliens looks now given that Cameron toned down the heavy grain.
     
  20. Steve Christou

    Steve Christou Long Member

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    Despite Cameron saying Aliens has been "de-grained" there is still grain on screen, ironically grainier than Scott's Alien which had very little grain that I could see. Aliens looks fantastic but of the two I'd pick Alien as the better transfer. The only extras I've checked thus far were the isolated scores, perfecto.
     

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