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

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Feb 16, 2009.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Amadeus, director Milos Forman's Best Picture of 1984 is not the film being released by WB on this new Blu-ray. This Director's Cut is a different film, which shares much of the same footage.

    I had never seen the DC of the film, and was looking forward to the experience, but decided against it.

    Somewhere between the film element and the Blu-ray this particular Amadeus has been turned to something odd and Patton-esque. Not necessarily soft, certainly clean, but with virtually no feel of film or cinema whatsoever, this Amadeus is an unwelcome surprise.

    For those who like the music, close your eyes and you'll be fine.

    My overall feeling about the release is that had less been done to the video master, it may have been a roaring success. As it is...

    Not an especially good day for Warner Home Video, who incidentally, may have had nothing to do with the transfer.

    RAH
     
  2. Brandon Conway

    Brandon Conway captveg

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    It's a bit sharpened and edges towards the "waxy" Patton look upon closer examination, but I suspect Warner did the best they could with the master approved by The Saul Zaentz Company.

    I thought it was still an exceptional experience, and quite superior to the DVD from 2002.
     
  3. zackscott5

    zackscott5 Stunt Coordinator

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    Wow! This news made me put this from my Must Buy list to Rent it on Netflix first! Thank's Mr. Harris!
     
  4. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Blu-ray MUST be superior to a DVD or the format should close up shop.

    That is irrelevant. The salient factor is how good can it look on Blu-ray, which should be like film.

    If is doesn't, it fails! These discs are not selling for $2.99. Perfection is easily attained.

    Scan the film. Don't make changes.

    RAH
     
  5. PaulDA

    PaulDA Cinematographer

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    I asked this in the A History of Violence thread, but it could apply here too:

    As a matter of practically (I fully understand the refusal to endorse a release in hi-def when compared to its source material and how good it could be), if one wanted this title and did not have it in any other format (recorded on DVR, SD DVD or, in a generic case, VHS), would the recommendation be A) get the BD if you really want this movie and don't want to wait because it's better than any other available format, despite the significant flaws it suffers from or B) don't get this under any circumstance because not only does it look bad on a "big screen" but even on a small monitor, it looks bad.

    If I understand correctly, Patton could fall under option A) while Gangs of New York would fall under category B). If this makes sense, would Amadeus fall under Category A) or B)?
     
  6. Eric F

    Eric F Screenwriter

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    Unfortunately this isn't likely to happen, not in these days of CG over hand drawn animation, where every studio thinks the consumer wants the product to look crisp and shinny.

    I will be buying it if only for the amazing soundtrack (and it doesn't hurt that it's on sale at Best Buy this week for $14.99).
     
  7. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Purchasing an NG title sends a bad message, and the message should be that if one creates garbage, it will not sell.

    Again... buy a used DVD and enjoy the show, which used to be a decent film.

    RAH
     
  8. Brandon Conway

    Brandon Conway captveg

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    As one who bought Patton and Amadeus but passed on Gangs of New York, I personally would say buy it if you love the film and want to watch it at any point within, say, the next decade, because frankly speaking, the odds of a new BD of Amadeus within that time frame is slim to none.

    Mr. Harris certainly has his own line in the sand in regards to category A and B.
     
  9. PaulDA

    PaulDA Cinematographer

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    I will certainly take that under advisement for A History of Violence. As for Amadeus, I'm afraid the low price I saw this morning on Amazon (while browsing for books for my work) was too tempting and I'd not seen your comments, so it's on its way. I have held back on Gangs of New York (though that film is one that interests me from a professional standpoint as an historian who works with historical feature films--I rely on the local rental copy at the moment and, based in part on your comments, I will continue to hold back on that title).
     
  10. Ed St. Clair

    Ed St. Clair Producer

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    Glad RAH is outright dismissing this release.
    I'm waiting for the TV & DC , isolated score, & w/o DNR/EE release anyway.
    Hope it comes B4 I die.
    GREAT movie!!!

    Here is another review of the problematic video presentation:
    Blu-ray.com - Amadeus Blu-ray Review (Director's Cut)
    "Overzealous post-processing. Not only has digital noise reduction (DNR) been applied to the transfer, but edge enhancement has been peppered in to compensate for its ill-effects. While the artificial sharpening does firm up object edges (at the cost of injecting distracting halos into the proceedings), it fails to conceal the waxy close-ups, hazy textures, and intermittent motion smearing caused by the noise reduction."

    EDitEDbyED:
    I feel at fifteen bucks this is a ripoff.
    (IMO)
     
  11. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Let's take this one a step further. As an Academy Award Best Picture, the Blu-ray of Amadeus is best re-called, re-scanned and re-issued without all of the extra processing that went into this disc.

    Make it simple. Just release the film on Blu-ray without cleaning it up.

    RAH
     
  12. Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Producer

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    Wow, this sounds like complete garbage. Sony got raked over the coals for letting a garbage transfer of The Fifth Element out on BD. Maybe the online HT community should be doing the same to whoever was responsible for this mess. The responsible parties should own up, recall this disc, and do the job right.

    This format is still in a developing phase and such poor quality transfers will do nothing to encourage people to upgrade to BD. The brag was that films on BD would look like film. It is about time these studios started living up to that mantra, especially with the prices they are charging; although, normally, 14.99 could not be considered a high price, in this case it sounds like it is.
     
  13. Brandon Conway

    Brandon Conway captveg

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    IMO, there can always be a better presentation down the line. Give it enough time, and even the best HD transfer of a film in 2009 will be inferior in every regard to the 2020 home video release.

    The question then becomes, as Mr. Harris puts it, could there have been a better presentation today. If the answer is ever "no" (and I'd argue that 90% of all titles released have that answer), the question then rightly becomes "at what point is that less than perfect transfer enough of a problem to dissuade a casual viewing?"

    The last part can only, ultimately, be answered by each individual for themselves after their own viewing. As seen with the Patton discussion, this forum is gonna be evenly split down the middle, probably along the same lines.
     
  14. Brandon Conway

    Brandon Conway captveg

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    The comparison between the original release of The Fifth Element and this release of Amadeus is, IMO, completely unwarranted. The Fifth Element was a significantly worse transfer by comparison.

    If perfection is 100, I'd put The Fifth Element at 40-45 and Amadeus around 80-85.
     
  15. Carter of Mars

    Carter of Mars Stunt Coordinator

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    Is the sound still too loud, like the DVD?
     
  16. Brandon Conway

    Brandon Conway captveg

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    In comparison to what, John?
     
  17. Larry Sutliff

    Larry Sutliff Cinematographer

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    I watched this the other night, and was impressed with it. I'm surprised by Robert's comments, I didn't see the dnr at all. A couple of scenes were soft, but I assumed that was a byproduct of the original elements. I'll have to watch it again with a more discerning eye.
     
  18. Felix Martinez

    Felix Martinez Screenwriter

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    This is so, so very disappointing to read. Depressing, really.
     
  19. Carter of Mars

    Carter of Mars Stunt Coordinator

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    The previous DVD was about 10db over reference level if I'm not mistaken.
     
  20. Michael Osadciw

    Michael Osadciw Screenwriter

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    nice. i love the honesty here. I'll save my $$$.
     

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