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

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Mar 16, 2012.

  1. DeeF

    DeeF Screenwriter

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    I did see this movie in 1974, although I was in high school at the time, so my memory might be faulty. Is it possible the current transfer for the bluray has too much color, too saturated? I recall the original being an overall sepia look, like a black and white noir film that happens to be in color. The current version has too much color -- note the very blue sky when Jack checks out the water supply.
     
  2. Lord Dalek

    Lord Dalek Cinematographer

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    While Gary's fallen way off the porch lately with his evaluations, there's still a fair amount of detail and grain in those caps that I might agree with him this time.
     
  3. nyguy2046

    nyguy2046 Extra

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    I also remember reading more than one interview with Polanski where he said that in addition to the more old-fashioned lighting that Cortez was going for, an equally big component of why he was replaced was that he was taking FAR too long to light each setup. Alonzo, being a younger and more adaptable DP, did not have this problem.
    Shame about the disc. One of my favorites, and it so deserves flawless treatment at this stage of the game.
     
  4. Richard--W

    Richard--W Banned

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    Yes, that's essentially it, but who gave the photos to Ida Sessions in the first place?
     
  5. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Chris: Welcome to the HTF! [​IMG]
     
  6. nyguy2046

    nyguy2046 Extra

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    Thank you! Have read the reviews and threads for quite a while and decided to join in and participate in the forums finally. This site is really a boon to film lovers and clears up so much bad information propagated by well-meaning but often under-educated other blu-ray sites/blogs. I am preaching to the choir, but thanks for the welcome!
     
  7. haineshisway

    haineshisway Producer

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    You are quite incorrect and yes your memory is playing tricks. The film always had blue skies and it's one of the things I liked most about it, that Polanski and company didn't do the cliche of "golden" and "sepia" in a film about the past. They shot it so it looked like LA actually looked back then - and believe me, that was not sepia. The very blue skies don't have too much color - they are exactly right.
     
  8. Douglas Monce

    Douglas Monce Producer

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    Jake did when he reported the findings of his investigation.
    Doug
     
  9. Douglas Monce

    Douglas Monce Producer

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    Almost more remarkable than Cortez being replaced by Alonzo, is the fact that Phillip Lambro completed score (apparently the trailer makes liberal use of his music) was rejected by Robert Evans, and Jerry Goldsmith's now iconic score was written and recorded in 10 days!
    Doug
     
  10. Trentrunner

    Trentrunner Stunt Coordinator

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    If memory serves, Chinatown is set in 1937. It was released in 1974. It is currently 2012.
    So more time has passed between the release date and now than between the release date and the year the film is set.
    Nostalgia ain't what it used to be. Where's our Chinatown?
     
  11. Richard--W

    Richard--W Banned

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    Jerry Goldsmith under pressure could do remarkable things.
    Evidently Stanley Cortez had to be replaced. In his interview, he's very proud of his work on the film, and he takes being replaced very, very hard. It's really sad. But other interviews with the film makers at the AFI indicate why it was necessary. Very sad.
    Perhaps we can infer that, but it isn't shown, nor discussed in the film.
     
  12. Kenneth_C

    Kenneth_C Second Unit

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    It may not be discussed, but it makes perfect sense.
    Jake is hired by "Mrs. Mulwray" (Ida Sessions) to track Mulwray. He finds the "love nest" and takes the pictures. He would then turn them over to her, as that's the "proof" she has paid for.
    And as we saw in the opening scene with Curly, handing over photographic evidence of infidelity is Jake's stock-in-trade.
     
  13. Lord Dalek

    Lord Dalek Cinematographer

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    Not going to be made... thanks "The Two Jakes"!
     
  14. Richard--W

    Richard--W Banned

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    Chinatown is your Chinatown.
    To paraphrase a blurb applied to a noted minstrel, Chinatown is the Chinatown of every generation.
     
  15. RKR1970

    RKR1970 Agent

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    With mastering and restoration divided up into two groups inside the Balaban Building, the person who left in September and the people now running restoration didn’t have anything to do with the new "Chinatown" master. Paramount’s mastering department handled it.
    Sad to say he was their only hope. "Raiders Of The Lost Ark" and "Samson And Delilah" are the final two films he supervised.
     
  16. Douglas Monce

    Douglas Monce Producer

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    Well Jake never suspected that anything was wrong until Faye Dunaway shows up. So its fairly obvious that the case went just like any other he had been hired to do. He reported his findings to his client and gave her the evidence. Even when the pictures showed up in the paper he wasn't suspicious, thinking it was just a vindictive wife getting revenge on her cheating husband.
    Doug
     
  17. Douglas Monce

    Douglas Monce Producer

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    My understanding is that Chinatown had been prepared for release on blu-ray a number of years ago, and it was the whole thing with Polanski being arrested that put the brakes on the release. I don't know if this is the same master or not, but that would have been 3 or 4 years ago.
    Doug
     
  18. Douglas Monce

    Douglas Monce Producer

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    I would say that the closest thing to our Chinatown might be L.A. Confidential. But James Ellroy is no Robert Towne when it comes to plot, story and dialog.
    Come to think of it if you are saying where is our classic murder mystery set 30 years before...I would say the closest thing would be Zodiac.
    Doug
     
  19. Richard--W

    Richard--W Banned

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    Zodiac doesn't operate in a larger context, if you know what I mean, the way Chinatown does.
    I like Zodiac, but it doesn't have the same internal rot, nor the same black lacquer heart.
    I don't think we can infer that Jake gave the "love nest" photos to Ida Sessions when she was impersonating Mrs. Mulwray. He says in the barbers he doesn't know how the photos got in the paper, but if he gave them to her, he'd know it was her. There's something missing.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  20. Douglas Monce

    Douglas Monce Producer

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    I don't think anything else CAN be inferred. Who else would he have given them too? In fact because she is the one who hired him, and because of client confidentiality she is the only one he could have given them too. Surely Mulvihill, or Polanski as the "midget" didn't show up at his office and claim the pictures.
    I think the comment to the barber was a little bit of Jake "lying a little" and while strictly telling the truth. He knows that Ida (or rather her employer) gave the photos to the press, but he has no direct knowledge of it.
    Doug
     

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