A Few Words About A few words about...™ Men in Black -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Jun 26, 2008.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
    Reviewer

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    Having had my fill of problem transfers this past week, I moved to what I hoped would be more stable ground -- a new Blu-ray from Columbia / Sony.

    For a film over a decade old, Men in Black looks surprisingly good.

    The color process seems stable, with only an occasional shot or two having flesh tones taking on an odd alien quality.

    Dirt is amazingly not a problem, as I'm certain the print used to make this disc would have been run many times.

    I perceived no obvious tears, finger prints or scratches.

    The audio is called Dolby True HD -- apparently some early form of what we know today as stereo.

    There are tons of extras on this Blu-ray, but the information that I was seeking was not included.

    Doing an on-line search however, I learned that this very early "stereo" was actually an array of machines recording audio on sets of wax cylinders, each 46" in length.

    Six of them in line.

    All held together and kept in sync, as far as I can tell, with bicycle chains.

    This works quite well, as when someone speaks... Mr. Jones, for example, the sound appears to come out of his mouth, and also to a certain point seems to follow him around on the screen.

    Blacks seem rich, film grain, which was apparently laid on to the original negative by hand in those days, isn't overbearing, and is actually quite pleasant.

    Color is rich and looks like the film that I recall seeing lo those many years ago.

    Whatever Columbia's team has done here, the restoration work is brilliant, and as I said...

    This does not look like a film THAT old. One would never know that it was highly flammable.

    Men in Black is Highly Recommended... for a film of its age.

    RAH
     
  2. Douglas Monce

    Douglas Monce Producer

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    Mr. Harris is feeling whimsical today! [​IMG]

    Thanks for the review.

    Doug
     
  3. Zack Gibbs

    Zack Gibbs Screenwriter

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    LOL, indeed an interesting approach. I haven't picked this up yet but I'm looking forward to it.
     
  4. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    ....well. no wonder some of the fleshtones look alien. I noticed unusual skitones on some of the flippers too. The way Sony has been going, it's getting hard to badmouth 'em, damn....I need a new whipping post.
     
  5. john a hunter

    john a hunter Supporting Actor

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    Must be all those fumes from splicing cement. Oopps, showing my age!They don't use that anymore.
     
  6. JohnS

    JohnS Producer

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    I just came back from EMA 2008,
    I was very pleased with their presention of BD Live and showing us some of the extras on the BD.
    It is a very nice Blu-ray.
    and will be buying this tomorrow morning.
     
  7. Bleddyn Williams

    Bleddyn Williams Supporting Actor

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    LOL! Nice to hear some good news this week! Mine finally showed up last night, so this has me looking forward to it greatly.
     
  8. Dave H

    Dave H Producer

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    Sony has been doing things right for a while now - particularly using very little to no DNR on their releases. Some people could learn a thing or two from them. I just received MIB in the mail the other day and will be watching it soon - always a fun movie. Always nice to read RAH's comments!
     
  9. Lyle_JP

    Lyle_JP Screenwriter

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    Could be the fumes from the nitrate prints. Don't smoke in the booth! [​IMG]

    (yes, I know they've been using acetate "safety film" for decades now)
     
  10. Geoff_D

    Geoff_D Supporting Actor

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    Thanks Mr Harris. It's always nice to see that irony is alive and well in the US of A. [​IMG]
     
  11. Brad M

    Brad M Second Unit

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    I finally got around to watching this and noticed that it is maybe a bit too clear. (Not really possible, I know) You can see the studio walls in the opening desert scene. When K says the line, "When did they let you out of jail?" and when he says, "Hand me that head" you can see the walls of the studio in the background. I wonder how many other things will pop out as time goes by.
     
  12. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Brad. I think someone is gonna show up at your door and treat you with one of those flashy thingies.
     
  13. Brad M

    Brad M Second Unit

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    Ha! That's funny. Well, gotta go, some FBI agents are on the porch...
     
  14. Brian Borst

    Brian Borst Screenwriter

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    Does this has to do with the clarity, or with different framing from the SD? I'm definitely going to check for it on the SD, I love these kind of errors.
    Reminds me of a bit in Jurassic Park (a great film, but riddled with mistakes) when the car gets thrown upside down by the T-Rex, you can see a potted plant and a stage light clearly in shot [​IMG].
     
  15. Brad M

    Brad M Second Unit

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    I don't know Brian. It's the first time I've watched the movie in HD and on a real TV. If it was on the DVD, I never noticed but didn't have the same set-up so I could have easily missed it.
     

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