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

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Mar 24, 2014.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Far better looking than Hatari!, and with a bit of digital work that doesn't appear to have been necessary, Howard Hawks' second to final work, El Dorado (1966), is a fun experience in the Hawks / Wayne canon.

    Color and sharpness are generally superb, along with a quality densities and black levels.  Seems lit up like a whore house on the 4th of July, but that may be the way it was originally shot.

    A quality film, with young James Caan in a fun role playing the young 'un to Mr. Wayne's older gunfighter, and Mr. Mitchum around to trade barbs.  A treat.

    Image - 4

    Audio - 5

    Recommended.

    RAH

     
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  2. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    There is a funny story that Caan tells about the filming of the film in which Duke kept getting Caan in trouble with Hawks. Finally, Caan had enough of that crap and attempted to take a swing at Duke. Fortunately, for him, Mitchum grabbed him before the punch landed and said to him "hold on there Hoss" you don't want to do that.
     
  3. Billy Batson

    Billy Batson Cinematographer

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    I was wondering just what this would look like, there's some people on another site reporting this as a major travesty. Well my Blu-ray arrived a few days ago & I was very pleasantly surprised, it may look a bit too pristine, but I'm very happy with the picture, colours, detail & greyscale all A1, if only Rio Bravo looked as good.
     
  4. OliverK

    OliverK Cinematographer

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    Rio Bravo may not be perfect but it looks like film. El Dorado looks like ... something else. As RAH has pointed out the overzealous digital tampering doesn't appear to have been necessary and I wish there was more of a backlash when studios smoothen their releases like that in order to at least try to stop it. I am getting especially tired of Paramount doing this to several of my favourite westerns - first it was The Man who shot Liberty Valance now it is El Dorado.
     
  5. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    But, the general public likes the non-film look. :rolleyes:
     
  6. Persianimmortal

    Persianimmortal Screenwriter

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    I saw one comment on that other site which described Rio Bravo as one of the worst titles on BD, and compared it to a poor quality public domain release. Which of course is absolute nonsense. But with comments like that, is it any wonder that studios take the safe route by removing obvious grain.Anyway my copy of El Dorado is winging its way to me as we speak; a 4/5 from RAH for image quality gives me confidence that I'll enjoy the look of the movie as much as its content.
     
  7. OliverK

    OliverK Cinematographer

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    That is 100% correct but the general public does not buy Blu-rays :rolleyes:

    Kidding aside, I am not sure that they even care with movies that would have moderate grain like El Dorado, plus most of them do not watch "that old stuff" anymore and have switched to streaming.

    Or how about a message on screen before the movie starts: We have stopped using excessive sharpening, DNR and grain reduction for our Blu-ray releases - please use your Blu-ray player and/or TV and/or AV receiver to achieve as much additional sharpening/DNR grain reduction as you desire.
     
  8. OliverK

    OliverK Cinematographer

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    Education would seem preferable in that case, do you have a link to the discussion?

    In the end it does not make any sense to have more grain in a new production like American Hustle than in an old one like Liberty Valance or El Dorado and last I looked there weren't too many complaints about the grain in American Hustle.
    Or as an example for a Paramount movie I remember that Iron Man came out with normal and visible grain when Paramount would use even more sharpening and DNR for its catalog titles - does not make much sense to me.
     
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  9. Persianimmortal

    Persianimmortal Screenwriter

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    I hate linking to that other forum, but the comments are in this thread, and include these gems from one guy:
    Not sure much can be done to prevent comments like this through education. People in that thread tried to correct the guy but he remained adamant. Anyway I'm not trying to bash a specific user, the point is that all it takes is a handful of these sort of ignorant opinions on forums and Amazon reviews to get back to the studios, and they quickly seem to decide to play it safe by pandering to the lowest common denominator.
     
  10. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    The problem with Rio Bravo and The Searchers is not grain, but that the color was off. Hopefully, Warner will release these two titles again with the proper fixes.
     
  11. OliverK

    OliverK Cinematographer

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    I know that guy :D

    If the studios really read this kind of stuff in forums they will also release the other comments and then it will be fine again. at least that is what I hope for.

    As Robert wrote there is a perception that the general public likes clean artificially sharp pictures but I am not sure how many of these guys actually buy into classic Blu-rays. Most will be happy with some form of streaming to their Ipad or something equally horrible.
     
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  12. Mark Booth

    Mark Booth Screenwriter
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    I watched 'El Dorado' on the big 110" screen in the Booth Bijou Garage Theater on Saturday. I had no serious quibbles with the image quality and I enjoyed the movie immensely! I'm sure I saw the movie when I was a young teenager, because I remembered bits and pieces. But this is the first time I've owned a copy of my own. Highly recommended!

    Mark
     
  13. Charles Smith

    Charles Smith Extremely Talented Member
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    One minor quibble/question here:

    Is anyone else seeing the Main Titles as window-boxed? I checked back with the previous release ("Centennial Collection" DVD) to see if that was the case all along, and they're not window-boxed there. Why would that be introduced to this transfer now?

    FYI, my screen is set to no overscan, and everything except the Main Titles reaches the edges of the screen just fine, as per normal.
     
  14. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Only the studio can answer your question as this has been a problem, mentioned many times beforehand by RAH in his "A Few Words" threads.
     
  15. JoshZ

    JoshZ Second Unit

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    I'm hesitant to ask what "lit up like a whore house on the 4th of July" means, in terms of video quality. :)
     
  16. Mark Booth

    Mark Booth Screenwriter
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    For whatever reason, this seems a somewhat common occurrence with older films. I'd be curious why this is done but my guess is that it's done to prevent the loss of opening titles text due to overscan on some sets.

    Mark
     
  17. Mark Booth

    Mark Booth Screenwriter
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    I was wondering if Robert has any personal experience in that area? :)

    mark
     
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  18. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Hollywood productions during the era were generally over-lit. I have no way of knowing if the disc is accurate to filmmakers' intent, but sequences such as that in the stable, which one might believe would have been dimly lit, and set for heavy shadow, are bathed in light. To answer the query below, while I have no real experience in the area of whorehouses being lit up like the 4th of July...

    I have seen the entire run of Deadwood, and would use that as an example.

    My intent was to signify a great deal of light, where one might not expect as much.

    RAH
     
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  19. Jacksmyname

    Jacksmyname Second Unit

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    Just watched my DVD copy of this a few days ago. One of my favorites from The Duke
    since I was a kid. While my DVD is certainly pretty good PQ wise, this is a title I'll double dip in a heart beat.
     
  20. OliverK

    OliverK Cinematographer

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    I can't deny that this question was also on my mind!
     

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