A Few Words About A few words about...™ Khartoum & Zulu -- in Blu-ray

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

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Twilight Time has released two large format productions on January 22, which with large format being as rare as hen's teeth is quite the coup.Zulu, a 1964 production, directed by Cy Endfield, was photographed in Technirama. Interestingly, the main credits reference Super Technirama 70, which points toward the negative used for the 35 reduction being that produced for 70mm printing. Most large format films had multiple main title sequences -- generally at least one for large format printing, and another for 35mm.Zulu is one of those Blu-ray that will look fine from a nominal distance, but has a slight bit of ringing, and is slightly sharpened. The sharpening was probably not necessary.All other image properties are proper.The other production, Basil Dearden's Khartoum (1966), was shot in Ultra-Panavision 70. And appearing to be sourced from a 65mm element, the imagery in Khartoum is superior to that of its release-mate.Both films make it obvious that their roots are large format cinematography. Khartoum was photographed by Edward (Ted) Scaife.Both films have, as their central focus, huge battles, both of which are quite extraordinary set-pieces. This, set against the politics of the Empire.While I've always had a slight predilection toward Khartoum, Zulu may be the better film. And for those who enjoy Zulu, the next stop should be the prequel, Zulu Dawn.Both films are huge productions, which use large format to the fullest degree.While I wish that the stereo on both was discreet in place of matrixed, the audio on both is requisitely full, crisp, and as designed - big.Zulu Image - 3.5Audio - 4.0KhartoumImage - 4Audio - 4Both are Recommended.RAH

     
  2. EddieLarkin

    EddieLarkin Supporting Actor

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    Even the colour?
     
  3. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Didn't have a problem with the colour. It was of a constant and single palette.

    RAH
     
  4. davidHartzog

    davidHartzog Cinematographer
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    I thought Khartoum looked pretty good. I stuck with the UK release of Zulu.
     
  5. Eastmancolor

    Eastmancolor Stunt Coordinator

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    I scanned thru KHARTOUM last night and thought it looked quite lovely. Excellent color and really nice detail. Looking forward to watching it in its entirety this weekend.

    Sounded very nice too, even without the original mix being available.

    Being a film collector of yore, I can remember seeing 16mm prints of this title going for $400 or more around 20 years ago. And most of the prints were flat 1.33 for TV! It's amazing what you can get nowadays for $30!
     
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  6. ahollis

    ahollis Lead Actor

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    Watched KHARTOUM last night and thoroughly enjoyed it. I give it a thumbs up on transfer and sound. I saw this in its original release when I was around 10 (Eastwood Mall - Birmingham, AL). The ending stayed with me for years and I was always talking about it. It's still disturbing but not as terrifying as it was for a boy of 10.
     
  7. JohnMor

    JohnMor Producer
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    So true. It's amazing how jaded and entitled many of us have become when it comes to what we want for very little money. I'm usually more than delighted with what I've gotten for my money in my dvd and blu-ray collections. Things I never dreamed of owning when I was younger. And in MUCH better quality than there was back then. We take so much for granted today. Too much.
     
  8. Dave B Ferris

    Dave B Ferris Supporting Actor

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    Hey John, I know you hang out on the TV board, too, so you know there is a poster there who is often accused of being "blunt"; but on some level I can understand why somebody who put in years and years and years of "sweat equity" as a "tape trader" would look at the rest of us and say "you guys really have it easy these days".
     
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  9. Richard Gallagher

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    Back in the day when laserdisc was the premier medium for home video, most titles were priced at $39.95 MSRP and box sets were $79-$100 or more. Twilight Time Blu-rays are bargains by comparison.
     
  10. David_B_K

    David_B_K Advanced Member

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    I think I paid $69.99 for the Criterion laserdisc of Zulu when it was first released.
     
  11. zoetmb

    zoetmb Stunt Coordinator

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    Way back in 1959, Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine used to offer a 50-foot 8mm silent version of The Phantom of the Opera (and I suspect a pretty poor quality print) for $4.95 (or for $5.95 in 16mm). That works out to about 4 minutes of footage, depending upon the projection speed. That $4.95 in 1959 is $39.63 today and that $5.95 for the 16mm version is $47.63 in today's dollars. All for what amounts to a poor quality silent trailer.

    IIRC, back in the 1960s, decades old very used 16mm prints of b-movies used to cost around $200 from places like Peerless-Willoughbys. Using 1965 as the baseline, that's $1479 per movie in today's dollars.

    Not to mention how much laserdisc and early VHS movies used to cost. A $35 laserdisc in 1980 is $99 in today's dollars.

    Yes, we've gotten very spoiled (including myself). There are times when I hesitate to spend even $13 on a BD.
     
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  12. Persianimmortal

    Persianimmortal Screenwriter

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    On a price-per-inch basis, there's no comparison - Laserdisc was a bargain compared to Blu-ray. $39.95 for a 12 inch disc versus $30 for a measly 4.7 inch disc? Forget about it. Twilight Time needs to either increase disc sizes, or lower their prices.
     
  13. ahollis

    ahollis Lead Actor

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    Should there a smiley face at the end of this post or are you serious? I much rather spend $30.00 on Twlight Blu release that is widescreen and fills today's screen than $39.00 on widescreen non-anamorphic laser without the detail and if over two hours long you had to change discs.
     
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  14. Richard Gallagher

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    I'm pretty sure that was tongue in cheek.
     
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  15. ahollis

    ahollis Lead Actor

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    Thanks. I was hoping so. But sometimes you just don't know.
     
  16. ROclockCK

    ROclockCK Screenwriter
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    That was my BIG larff for the day! I want a t-shirt. :D
     
  17. Persianimmortal

    Persianimmortal Screenwriter

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    That's it, I'm off to Blu-ray.com where my valid points regarding Twilight Time's unconscionable business practices will be better appreciated.
     
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  18. ROclockCK

    ROclockCK Screenwriter
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    Are you off in a snit? Or a huff? ;)
     
  19. BJQ1972

    BJQ1972 Stunt Coordinator

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    He seems to have spat his dummy out and left in a fit of pique!
     
  20. DP 70

    DP 70 Supporting Actor

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    Hi Mr Harris , What makes you think Khartoum was sourced from a 35mm scope element?many thanks.
     

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