A Few Words About A few words about...™ Babel -- in BD & HD

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Mar 4, 2007.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Paramount has been slowly and methodically bringing their productions into the high definition home video world.

    And it would seem that as a function of their deliberately paced work, that the quality of the software coming from their systems, initially in HD, and shortly thereafter in BD, has been extremely high.

    Since last July there have been 17 HD, followed by the same BD titles. A Director's Cut of Payback arrives in April.

    Their latest release, Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu's Babel, adds yet another gorgeously adapted motion picture to the HD/BD home theater world.

    Babel has been acknowledged as brilliant filmmaking by virtually every reviewer and feature writer around the world, which is proper, as Babel is a world class production, created in many parts of the world.

    The different looks and styles of the four interconnecting stories may have been a nightmare to bring to high definition, but the final result shines, replicating the vision of the filmmakers as many of us saw it on film.

    Babel is an extraordinary production, which has been meticulously ported into the high definition world by Paramount.


    Babel comes Extremely Highly Recommended. Babel is a "keeper," and a film worthy of addition of a quality home video library.

    RAH
     
  2. Steve Tannehill

    Steve Tannehill Ambassador

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    I think my favorite scene--and future demo scene of high-definition video and audio--is where the girl joins her "friends" at the club, and we go in and out of her silent perspective. Some of the laser/fog effects are like you are there.

    Eye candy aside, this was also a story that stuck with me for many, many days. While I am glad that The Departed won for Best Picture, I honestly thought Babel would take home the statue.

    Robert, can you comment on the film stocks used in the different segments? I understand that the Morocco segment was shot on 16mm.

    As always, thanks for the review!

    - Steve
     
  3. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    "Prieto used four of Kodak’s 16mm film stocks in Morocco to help differentiate Richard and Susan’s story from the boys’. “[EXR 100D] 7248 was our favorite — its grain texture was visible, and to me it seemed the most like 5289 — but, as with 5289, I discovered it had just been discontinued,” he says. “We looked all over the place and were able to secure just enough of it for the Americans’ story. I didn’t want the Moroccan kids’ story to be as grainy, so I used [EXR 50D] 7245, which has a finer grain, for those day exteriors, [Vision2 250D] 7205 for day interiors, and [Vision2 500T] 7218 for a couple of night interiors and a day-for-night shot.”

    As always, I recommend a subscription to the ASC magazine, American Cinematographer, the one magazine to which I've been constantly subscribed since my college days. It's a small investment that pays off continually.

    Go here for the complete article:

    http://www.ascmag.com/magazine_dynam...abel/page1.php

    RAH
     
  4. PerryD

    PerryD Supporting Actor

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    I thought there was a missed opportunity in this scene. What would have been really cool is if they left the .1 sub signal on during the silent scenes. Certainly in real life, deaf people can feel the thumping bass in a dance club.
     
  5. Paul Hillenbrand

    Paul Hillenbrand Screenwriter

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    Agreed! Kept thinking my subs weren't calibrated (turned up enough) during the silent dance club scene.

    Paul
     
  6. Paul.S

    Paul.S Producer

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    Damn fine movie.

    AGI has done a commentary for both of his previous pics (and the Amores Perros commentary is particularly interesting IMO), so here's hoping that as special an SE as this pic deserves is produced and released HD sooner than later.

    (Thanks goodness for e-tail: that $39.99 list price is a little stiff compared to the DVD prices we've gotten used to.)
     
  7. Andrew Bunk

    Andrew Bunk Screenwriter

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    While I liked the look of the film and the BD, I have to say this film did nothing for me emotionally.

    I really wanted to like this, but in the end it just felt too labored.

    I did like the performances of the Japanese police officer and the father.

    Overall, no way IMO this deserved to be a best pic nom when something like Children of Men wasn't.
     
  8. Yumbo

    Yumbo Cinematographer

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    Was it 3 or 4 stories?
    I didn't like too much either. Dance scene was creative with sound design intro to September song. I knew what it was quite early. Is it an actual mix of the song?
     
  9. Brent T

    Brent T Second Unit

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    My wife and I watched Babel on HD-DVD this past weekend and noticed that some of the sub-titles would be shown at a very high rate of speed. So fast that we could not even read it.

    Has anyone else ran into a similar problem ?
     
  10. Andrew Bunk

    Andrew Bunk Screenwriter

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    I seem to remember reading some posts about subtitle issues with Babel on HD-DVD over at AVS.

    I had the Blu-Ray-no problems with it.
     

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