A Few Words About A few words about...™ Halloween 35th Anniversary -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Sep 22, 2013.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Seems as though we've been receiving special editions of John Carpenter's original 1978 Halloween in Anniversary Editions since at least as far back as 1980, but probably not.

    I have no idea how many numbered limited editions have come through the Anchor Bay gates.

    A home video perennial, released on laser, DVD and Blu-ray, may finally be close to making fans happy.

    Let me state at the outset that I've never researched Halloween.  I have no idea what the true and accurate colors should look like.  I would also presume that there is no extant color answer print that can be used as reference.

    The best that we get, after past releases scorned by active fans of the film, for re-evaluated color and densities, is a new version, based upon a new scan, and supervised and approved by DP Dean Cundey.

    I'm going to presume that everything is as it should be.

    As a Blu-ray, to my eyes, it looks just fine.

    Now re-imagined in Dolby TrueHD 7.1, which can also run properly at 5.1, fans have the ability to discuss whether the monaural is truly the original or a new creation.  I'll not go there, as I have no idea.

    All that I can relate, is that the experience of viewing and listening to this latest incarnation, is a positive one.  And creepy and frightening as ever, and finally worth the upgrade.

    Great film.

    Image - 5

    Audio - 5

    Recommended.

    RAH

     
  2. Michael Elliott

    Michael Elliott Lead Actor

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    Which makes you think that this Cundey approved transfer would look like the previous Cundey approved transfer. It's strange that the history of this film has given us so many different looking pictures while most other "giants" of the genre from this period pretty much look the same every time out. Yes, there are a few minor differences in terms of the quality but it seems that only HALLOWEEN comes out looking different with each new released. As I said in the other thread, we will eventually get another Blu-ray release of this title and I'm positive it will yet again look different. Obviously I haven't seen this release but what's funny is that last year's theatrical re-release featured yet another looking print, which had fans scratching their head as to what was "correct."
     
  3. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    My hope (based on nothing) is that Cundey got the 'playing with a new tool' thing out of his system with the 1999 DVD and this disc represents something closer to the original.
     
  4. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    I really doubt that he was ever in that situation. In my perspective, the problem may come from no viable reference.

    RAH
     
  5. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    I'm making that judgment based on literally nothing but my own guess so it's not a fair 'accusation' to make. However, the colors on the transfer that he OK-ed in 1999 are so markedly different from how the movie looked before or since that it seems like a solid guess.
     
  6. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    You're not the only one making accusations without any evidence to support them.
     
  7. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    This is not meant as a negative question, so please don't take it as such.

    But where did you see the film, and under what conditions. The only viable reference would be an original print, run at the time of release.

    Nothing else matters, certainly not home video.

    Please keep in mind that viewers remember films looking far differently than they actually may be. For that reason, and actually for all proper restorations, we seek out the original print (hopefully, dye transfer) for which the DP has signed cards, as final approval.

    I cannot tell you how many people came forward after the Godfather(s), stating, with absolute certainly, that we had the "look" wrong. Memory, poor projection, poorly produced prints and a myriad of other things all come into play.

    I'll always go with the DP, followed by the director, for reference when nothing with true color (or black & white) survives.

    RAH
     
  8. Michael Elliott

    Michael Elliott Lead Actor

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    Robert, you have a great knowledge of film and in various threads you have talked about what you saw in the theater decades ago. I'd say certain films had a major impact on you just like they would have on countless other film buffs out there. I'd say the evidence is with those who fell in love with this movie in 1978. Now, I'm always the type to ask how someone can remember something like color from a memory of 35-years-ago but I think a lot of people have connections with films and just remember. The mind does play tricks but I think enough people love this movie and have seen it enough to know whether something is "off."

    Now my problem is zero and my mouth should probably be shut since I'm not buying this but.....

    The last release was "sold" to us and we were told that the transfer was correct. Now, we're being fed something else. There are two things with this release. It's either the wrong color or its the right color. If it's the right color then I'm happy fans will be getting the definitive release. If it's the right transfer then these fans are also owed an apology for being told that the last wrong transfer was correct.

    Every single release of this film has been different and each time the buyer has been told what we're seeing is correct. We've had countless experts, fans, film buffs, filmmakers and so on telling us what is right or wrong with the transfers. There's been one debate after another. Obviously with each one looking different there's an issue of which one is correct. Again, if this is the correct one then congrats to Anchor Bay and the fans. Will just have to keep this thread close to us when that next release comes and it looks different.
     
  9. moviebuff75

    moviebuff75 Supporting Actor

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    Each time we are told we are getting the original mono track, but the sound effects vary with each one. Which is correct?
     
  10. Michael Elliott

    Michael Elliott Lead Actor

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    Then isn't there a problem when he signs off on two different transfers and both of them look completely different????

    You are correct when you say home video should be thrown out the window but all the controversy originally started when those who did see the picture in 1978 and later noticed that the home video releases were off.
     
  11. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    If I knew Mr. Cundey I ask him, but I don't.

    Who actually knows the reality of things?

    RAH
     
  12. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    I haven't seen an original print and I know you can't use previous video releases as a guide but my question is why does the cinematographer have two fairly distinct color choices for the same movie? For what little screencaps are worth, I'm fairly pleased with the look of the new disc so I'm not complaining as much as wondering which is and isn't the original look of the movie.

    In the end, he's the DOP and I'm more than willing to go with his choices but, like I said, I'm just wondering why he's had two distinct looks for the movie.

    EDIT: I typed too slow and my questions were already asked.
     
  13. JohnMor

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    I think the bottom line is that this is how Cundey wants the film to be seen now. How he preferred it when he supervised the 1999 dvd transfer is irrelevant today. As far as personal preferences, people should just spin the disc they like the look of the best. I know what I saw in the theaters countless times in 1978, and the re-releases in the fall of 1979 and 1980. But whether a particular disc matches it exactly or not won't stop me from enjoying this film. The differences aren't that extreme.
     
  14. Michael Elliott

    Michael Elliott Lead Actor

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    I think people are running out of things to say about the movie so perhaps the new looking transfer on the 40th Anniversary collection will feature a feature-length documentary on the various looks of the film has had throughout its home video life.
     
  15. Dave H

    Dave H Producer

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    The last Blu release was not approved by Cundey. It appeared to have stemmed from the Divimax DVD master (which was also not Cundey approved) with further color changes.
     
  16. Michael Elliott

    Michael Elliott Lead Actor

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    Did Anchor Bay say the last release was incorrect? I'll admit that I've lost count of them.
     
  17. Dave H

    Dave H Producer

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    The only two (digital) home releases which were stated to be Cundey approved are the THX DVD and this new Blu release. It's logical to assume the other releases were not otherwise they would have surely been advertised as such.

    Now, I cannot speak for the LD....anyone?
     
  18. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    The LD jacket doesn't specify if John Carpenter (who did do a commentary for it) was actually involved with the transfer.

    This is going out on a limb but Criterion used to make digest-sized catalogs with all of their LDs and I think it actually specified when it was Director-approved. If any one has one of those laying around, it may answer if Carpenter gave the thumbs up to the LD.
     
  19. BIANCO2NERO

    BIANCO2NERO Agent

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    Well, any DOP other than Vittorio Storaro ... one of the great artists of celluloid who has some very unfortunate ideas about translating his vision to home video ... :huh:
     
  20. Michael Elliott

    Michael Elliott Lead Actor

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    So if Cundey approved the THX DVD then it makes you wonder why Anchor Bay went into a different direction with any follow-up release.

    Then you have to wonder why that approved opinion/vision has yet again been altered.
     

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