A Few Words About A few words about...™ In the Heat of the Night -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Jan 15, 2014.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    I really like imparting good news.

    The new Blu-ray of Norman Jewison's 1967 Best Picture, In the Heat of the Night is okay news.

    Let's begin with the very good. Color looks superb, with decent but not great shadow detail -- some will say it's an old film -- and nice blacks.

    The image, overall, is a bit twitchy. Nothing untoward, but a bit twitchy.

    Image has more than a bit of an electronic look. I don't know if the film was taken from separation masters or not, but it has that look around hard edges.

    Audio is generally superb in a DTS-HD MA 5.1 mix, that add just enough ambiance to the sound to make to come alive. The original monaural mix is not included.

    The bottom line is that if one sits at a proper distance, the Blu-ray will look very pleasing. Or as John Wayne might have said, "That'll do."

    One of the great films, and essential for any serious home theater library. Mr. Poitier is incredible, and watching him play against Mr. Steiger is an absolute treat.

    Image - 3

    Audio - 5

    RAH
     
    Yorkshire likes this.
  2. Dr Griffin

    Dr Griffin Cinematographer

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    Steiger is fantastic! Robert, do you think anything could have been done to improve the image?
     
  3. Yorkshire

    Yorkshire Screenwriter

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    Thanks for the typically honest and balanced review.

    Any comment on what a 'proper distance' would be?

    Steve W
     
  4. Michel_Hafner

    Michel_Hafner Supporting Actor

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    One where you can resolve about 480p of detail? :lol:
     
  5. Brian Dobbs

    Brian Dobbs Ambassador

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    What's your take on the horizontal stretching (compared with the DVD)?

    DVD
    [​IMG]

    Blu-Ray[​IMG]
     
  6. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    My take is that something could be amiss. Most noticeable when the subject is slightly angled. Not sure what's occurring, but it goes along nicely with the slightly electronic look, in a odd way taking me back to the wonderful nostalgia of the kinescope era.

    RAH
     
  7. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    I received a PM that a definition for the word "twitchy" has been questioned over at BD.com.

    By "twitchy," I refer to the fact that all new image harvests are rock steady. Whether via pin-registration or stabilization.

    ItHotN is not a stable image. Watching virtually any sequence, one can see the field move horizontally in tiny jolts, as if the scanner is having a problem with its gate or movement, and is unable to hold the film element steady.

    Have no idea what the problem was.

    As I noted, extraordinary film. Okay Blu-ray.

    RAH
     
  8. Rob Mac

    Rob Mac Stunt Coordinator

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    I didn't really notice it in my first glance at the blu-ray, but the 40th anniversary SD DVD has the "twitch"
     
  9. trajan

    trajan Screenwriter

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    This is a great looking bluray. Buy it!
     
  10. Eastmancolor

    Eastmancolor Stunt Coordinator

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    As I recall there were color issues with the original negative and so the Academy, with MGM, pulled the separation masters and made a new negative. At least that's how I remember the story about a decade back.

    Which might indicate why there could be some movement printed in, as this may source from an HD transfer with a little bit of age on it, made from a dupe negative.
     
  11. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Your recall makes sense, as I'm seeing a sep look.The extant dupe neg may be fine as a base source. A new scan and a bit of digital hand-holding might go a long way.RAH
     
  12. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
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    I watched my DVD of this film last night. This was the very first DVD release, and even in it, I could see scenes which I might have labeled "electronic" or "digital" looking and a wide variance in color density. But black levels were pretty impressive for this ancient DVD, and even with the nicks and blips on the transfer, the movie had no trouble drawing me in.
     
  13. Richard Gallagher

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    I'm still waiting for my Blu-ray. Fox Connect e-mailed me that they were shipping it via UPS, but they sent me a USPS tracking number. The tracking shows that it's been in Kearny, NJ since January 11:

    January 17, 2014 , 4:31 pm
    Processed through USPS Sort Facility

    KEARNY, NJ 07032

    January 12, 2014
    Depart USPS Sort Facility

    KEARNY, NJ 07032

    January 11, 2014 , 10:48 am
    Processed through USPS Sort Facility

    KEARNY, NJ 07032


    I hope it hasn't been run over by a mail truck!
     
  14. Robin9

    Robin9 Cinematographer

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    I watched my DVD a few weeks ago and I thought it looked good. I'm not sure from reading this thread that it's worth upgrading to the BRD.
     
  15. willyTass

    willyTass Second Unit

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    it isn't
     
  16. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    To me, it was.
     
  17. JoHud

    JoHud Producer

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    This certainly did look like it was sourced from a dupe that was artificially sharpened up in places, giving it an "electronic" look in spots. While this movie probably wasn't shot on the best stock, I'm sure a much better HD transfer could have resulted had a company like Sony handled it.

    My guess is that this blu-ray used the same source transfer that was used for the remastered 40th anniversary DVD. Reminded me of similarly mediocre transfers we got from MGM before they declared bankruptcy.

    I agree that the blu-ray is a mixed blessing. Some scenes look very good, while others not so much. Definitely room for improvement here.
     

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