A Few Words About A few words about...™ Halloween -- in BD

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Sep 17, 2007.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    I spend some time with two new high definition releases this evening. One in HD, the other BD, and together they will do more to help continue the chasm between the two formats than to move toward any resolution, as they are both superb.

    Anchor Bay, now a part of Starz Home Entertainment, probably has the record for more different and redundant releases of the same film, via serial numbered special collector's editions, multi-disc editions and varied anniversary editions than any other home video publisher. Anchor Bay has been the multiple dip champion of the home video world. Their quality see-sawed up and down throughout the years, and one never knew precisely what a disc was going to look like.

    So it was with Starz initial lineup of Blu-Ray, high definition product.

    In this case, placing one of the most important independent horror productions into the marketplace in their very first foray into the BD marketplace is a gutsy move.

    The great news is John Carpenter's Halloween has arrived full-blown and running on all 12 cylinders in a beautiful Blu-Ray edition that leaves little future concern about how Starz is going to handle their product in the high definition marketplace. They're doing just fine.

    Out of the gate, they have created a gorgeous BD DVD that will most assuredly by snapped up by horror aficionados everywhere.

    With beautiful imagery, superb color rendition and crisp, sharp blacks, Halloween looks unlike it ever has in the past. I did note a couple of errant video lines, but they may have been a decoding problem. I'm not going to be the naysayer and gripe about grain that isn't there, as the home video audience doesn't seem to care about how closely a DVD compares to the original film, and I don't know what cinematographer Dean Cundey's intentions were.

    What seems to matter is that the resultant disc is clean and pretty.

    And Halloween is both very clean and very pretty.

    I don't have to tell this audience that it's also a superbly crafted low budget horror film, that has spawned numerous byproducts.

    For their first shot over the bow, Starz has shown that they are fully capable of terrific quality for next-gen software.

    Halloween is Highly Recommended.

    RAH
     
  2. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    I'm so happy to hear that. [​IMG]

    RAH, can you confirm that the mono soundtrack isn't on it?
     
  3. Paul_Scott

    Paul_Scott Lead Actor

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    does the film on Bd have the 'fresh waxed linoleum' look that the Untouchables, another remarkably grain free,very pretty, inky black looker did?

    the several reviews I've seen for this one so far have all been very enthusiastic, to say the least. At this point the thing that would most concern me (besides Mr Harris' passing allsuions to grain reduction) with this one and Dawn would be- is there any noticeable EE?
    I thought Dawn already looked incredible on sd, and EE would be the only thing I can think of at this point that would trip up the HD version.

    Also, no review yet has commented on the color timing with this particular release.
     
  4. Dave Mack

    Dave Mack Producer

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    Thanks Mr. Harris! Sounds fab!

    Will you be reviewing "Bram Stoker's Dracula"...?

    One of my faves. Highdefdigest just gace it a VERY mediocre review unfortunately for video and audio.
    I saw it in the theater a few times and recall it being grainy, not supersharp etc... Basically it looked like a slightly older film, not some superclean digital thing.

    [​IMG] d
     
  5. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Halloween does not look like Untouchables, which appeared to have high frequency information affected.
     
  6. JonZ

    JonZ Lead Actor

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    I think Im going to cry.
     
  7. Dave Mack

    Dave Mack Producer

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    [​IMG] Thanks.


    I would love it if you got a chance to spin Dracula.
     
  8. Nick Graham

    Nick Graham Screenwriter

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    Horrorview on Blu-Ray.com just posted his two cents:

    Well, I watched Halloween AND Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn last night, and I can safely say that these are the absolute best transfers I have EVER seen of these films. The blacks in Halloween are luxurious, with no softening of details in the shadows, razor sharp definition (you can read street signs as though you were standing on the bloody corner), and a definite improvement in color correction over the DIVIMAX edition/debacle of a few years back. Absolutely gorgeous in every sense of the word, and the uncompressed audio is superb and immersive...

    but...

    Not nearly as pretty and loud as EVIL DEAD 2!!

    OH MY STARS AND GARTERS!

    Raimi's film, while occasionally a victim of its own budgetary restraints, looks unbelievable. My jaw hit the floor during Ash's initial possession scene (where he's flying through the trees backwards. LOL). Once again, razor sharp, heretofore unseen detail, beautiful blacks, deep reds, and vivid blues. And the sound....oh dear Lord, the sound...

    Rattling floorboards, not just in the onscreen cabin - I'm talking about the ones in my house! LOL. Crisp and clear, without a hint of distortion.

    I'm going to check out Dawn and Day tonight after the Red Sox inevitably lose yet another game in the standings to the hated Yankees...
     
  9. Don May Jr

    Don May Jr Stunt Coordinator

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    I guess the big question is...

    Has the blue lighting, present in the original Dean Cundey approved DVD version of HALLOWEEN from Anchor Bay Entertainment, been restored properly?

    In the later ABE "DiviMax" version, all the blue lighting was timed-out, which was a huge mistake (the DiviMax version was a new transfer done and NOT approved by Cundey). Hopefully, the blue lighting has been properly restored to the Blu-Ray disc, otherwise the release will be a huge disappointment for me. (fingers crossed)

    And, speaking from experience (I have viewed some of the original HALLOWEEN 35mm negative trims that we currently have in our possession), the blue lighting was certainly intended to be there.
     
  10. Paul Arnette

    Paul Arnette Cinematographer

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    Don May Jr., you've hit the nail on the head. If it hasn't, no amount of detail is going to make up for my disappointment.
     
  11. Cassy_w

    Cassy_w Second Unit

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    OK, does this have the original mono mix or not? Some say yes and some say no. Which is it?
     
  12. Jordan_E

    Jordan_E Cinematographer

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    This one, along with JAWS, has been at the top of my must-have on HD list, and it sounds like I will not be disappointed! Warm up the popcorn machine, October is almost here and Halloween will be played many, many times!
     
  13. JonZ

    JonZ Lead Actor

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    Don,
    According to horrorview in Nicks post

    "and a definite improvement in color correction over the DIVIMAX edition/debacle of a few years back."
     
  14. Don May Jr

    Don May Jr Stunt Coordinator

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    Understood, but the color timing of the DiviMax version was off on more than just the blue lighting. If memory serves (and it sure has been failing of late), even the "fall palette" color timing was off on the outdoor scenes as well and, since the review doesn't specifically say that the blue tinting was corrected, I just felt the need to ask. The timing on the Blu-Ray version could certainly have been improved in other ways than the blue lighting.

    I have just heard, from someone close to the ABE folks, that, yeah, the blue tinting has indeed been corrected, but I've yet to see it for myself. I am extremely excited by the news of HALLOWEEN being presented in high-def in the proper color timing and I can't wait to get mine. (Amazon, please hurry up and ship it!)! LOL!
     
  15. Jeff Adkins

    Jeff Adkins Screenwriter

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    FYI: All the Starz/Anchor Bay titles are confirmed to be region free.
     
  16. Nick Graham

    Nick Graham Screenwriter

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    My copies of the four Anchor Bay titles should hopefully be waiting for me when I get home from work Friday. I'll do some comparisons with my ye olde 2 disc LE with the Cundey approved transfer and post my thoughts (though I figure someone might beat me to the punch).

    Of course, if someone would like to send me a Blu-Ray drive and an HDCP compliant video card, I would be happy to post actual screenshots galore [​IMG]
     
  17. Brian-W

    Brian-W Screenwriter

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    Damn! Was hoping Halloween was running on 16 cylinders [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  18. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Brian-W...

    Think Green!

    12 cylinders with twin turbos is enough to get one comfortably from one place to another, while 16, although elegant, might be considered overkill.

    RAH
     
  19. Brian-W

    Brian-W Screenwriter

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    12 cylinders and thinking green? Don't let the tree hugging hippies hear that!

    16 cylinders (sound wise) is the equivalent to looking at a 4k film scan. Sure 2k film scans suffice, but 4k can be oh so much better [​IMG]
     
  20. David Ruiz

    David Ruiz Second Unit

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    I couldn't possibly be the only person on here that's insanely disappointed that the original Mono track is not included on this Blu-Ray edition!

    The fact remains that although the 5.1 mix on the Blu-Ray version is uncompressed (yes, a very good thing indeed), it is still what I would consider, one of the worst audio tracks in the entire universe.

    Normally, I'm extremely against making a 5.1 mix out of a Mono track (I like the original sound) but the fact that they screwed up the audio so badly on the 5.1 track should be enough to make any Halloween fan not want to buy the disc.

    Let's not forget that the 5.1 mix has the sound effects and the music out of sync! If you go back and watch your Limited Editions with the 5.1 track and the Mono track, you can instantly notice what I'm talking about.

    On the 5.1 track, you hear Michael stabbing his sister way before he actually does and you hear her hit the floor, while she's being stabbed. The mono track is the only track where the stabbing and the falling down is in sync.

    Also on the 5.1 track, you hear the beautiful music in the classroom (where Laurie first sees The Shape) far before the time it's supposed to play. Again, watching the scene on the DVD, you'll notice that the 5.1 track has the music out of sync, whereas the mono track, has the music right where it should go.

    So although we get an uncompressed 5.1 mix, with all the things wrong with the mix, we should have Anchor Bay give us the correct Mono track uncompressed as well.

    I am deeply saddened by this release and I seriously hope I'm not the only one. Halloween is and always will be my favourite movie of all time and it deserves much better than this. [​IMG]
     

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