A Few Words About A few words about...™ My Cousin Rachel -- in Standard DVD

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Robert Harris, Sep 11, 2011.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    It seems as though the Twilight Time label, which releases licensed product from both Columbia and Fox, serves much the same purpose as Warner's Archive label of products, especially now that Warner's more recent fare are derived from new transfers, original elements, along with a bit of clean-up.


    And this is a very good thing, as without TT, we might not be seeing the releases they support.


    My Cousin Rachel is one such title. A quality project, based upon an important novel, and with a very interesting cast of leads and supporting players, inclusive of Richard Burton in his first American role -- he already had several UK productions to his credit.


    This is an interesting film for many reasons. In one case, I'd make a comparison to Black Narcissus, as both were essentially studio bound productions, using variations of painted backdrops, rear projection, matte work, etc. The difference is that while Black Narcissus had the magic of The Archers, My Cousin Rachel worked within the Fox studio production system. What this means is that while BN is virtually transparent, the backdrops in MCR are far more obvious.


    Directed by Henry Koster, who spent a great deal of his time at Fox, doing many of their A pictures, and beautifully shot by Fox contract DP Joseph LaShelle. Check out his credits -- Hangover Square, Fallen Angel, Doll Face, Foxes of Harrow, Cluny Brown and Laura -- and you'll see why this film looks as it does.


    And then, of course, there's the score by Franz Waxman.


    Possibly best defined as psychological, gothic, noir, My Cousin Rachel holds a myriad of twists, turns and surprises, and a much more layered performance from lead Olivia de Havilland than one might surmise at first glance. My initial reaction when I first saw the film years ago, was that she was still playing Melanie Hamilton.


    I was very wrong. And most of the subtleties that one finally understands must have come from direction.


    Twilight Time's standard definition DVD is a very good looking affair, that made me wish I was viewing Blu-ray.


    I'm hopeful that as the series of releases takes off, that DVD will be left behind with Blu-ray coming more to the fore.


    Once again, a limited edition of 3,000 units.


    As an aside, and as a bit of trivia, can anyone give me the connection of this film to It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.


    Recommended.


    RAH
     
  2. Thomas T

    Thomas T Cinematographer

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    With all due respect, as one who has zero interest in blu-ray, I hope this never comes to pass! I have no problem with standard DVD and blu-ray co-existing side by side but to wish one is "left behind" and supercede the other because you personally favor it seems, well ..... http://www.thecinemascopecat.blogspot.com
     
  3. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Sorry to hear that, but I hope high definition becomes the standard for everything as it allows films to be shown in the best video presentation.
     
  4. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    By the way, I want more affordable high definition televisions along with BR players so everyone can afford to have them.
     
  5. Thomas T

    Thomas T Cinematographer

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    Well, since the physical format, whether standard or blu, is dying a slow death as dowloading and streaming becomes the norm and the standard of the future, it's a moot point. As the CD market slowly fades away as people download their music on their ipods so goes home entertainment. I think even the most ardent blu-ray supporter now realizes that blu-ray will never have the mass acceptance that VHS and DVD had and that it will remain a comfortable and profitable niche item as will standard DVD as long as there are blu cheerleaders like Mr. Crawford and standard fanboys like myself.. Thank God for the MOD, I say. I shudder to think the state of classic and catalog cinema the last couple of years without it. http://www.thecinemascopecat.blogspot.com
     
  6. Bob Cashill

    Bob Cashill Cinematographer

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    "As an aside, and as a bit of trivia, can anyone give me the connection of this film to It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World."--Both based on du Maurier stories? :) I give up, but I bet it's more obvious than I think. DVDs, Blus, MODs--I love 'em all, though by necessity, as the first market declines for catalog titles, I've been buying more of the other two. That said I've been scooping up a number of older DVDs on Amazon Marketplace, mostly titles unlikely to be reissued on Blu. And that's the dilemma--not everything will cross over to the promised land of streams and downloads, just as not everything crossed over to VHS, LD, and DVD. (And there are some region-free titles on Blu unlikely to appear here on Blu or on DVD.) You're pretty much obliged to keep a toe in all the waters, until the waters dry up. Thomas T, you sound like me a year ago. I was gifed an HDTV, and at Christmas my wife bought me an affordable Blu-ray player with streaming capability. "Changed my life," as they say. DVD is fine--until you see the same title side by side on Blu. Amazon is for example offering a cheap DVD/BD twofer of ThE GAUNTLET, not the most stylish flick. The DVD looked scuzzy, as I thought the movie must have looked--but the Blu-ray revealed a vastly improved image, the image that was always there, but buried. And it's hardly the only instance. If you were to take the plunge (and now's a good time, as the BD players and discs come down in price) I know you'll see the benefits of coexistence from both sides.
     
  7. Thomas T

    Thomas T Cinematographer

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    Bob, several friends have taken the blu plunge and I've seen blu films. I just don't like the digitized look of them. I saw a few minutes of Gone With The Wind on blu and I was appalled. It looked so artificial in the way I'd never seen it before and I've seen pristine theatrical prints and they didn't look like that. I wish all blu owners and fans well and hope they get their favorite films in blu but please stop trying to convert us athiests to the blu ray God! http://www.thecinemascopecat.blogspot.com
     
  8. Bob Cashill

    Bob Cashill Cinematographer

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    Blu-ray.com on the GWTW BD: "Warner has done itself proud with this release and I doubt there will be any major complaints from even the most demanding viewers." Most, but not all. :)
     
  9. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    You like the digitized look of standard def, but not of quality Blu-ray. Are you here to join in a serious discussion or to offer links to your blog?


    RAH
     
  10. Thomas T

    Thomas T Cinematographer

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    I apologize if you find my opinions distasteful and not serious, Mr. Harris. I certainly don't expect my opinions to be popular with everybody. Standard DVD doesn't look digitized to my eyes. There are a few of we heathens left including Susan Sarandon whose quote "Don't get me started on hi-def. I hate it. It makes movies look like video games" I've quoted here before. I'm genuinely sorry you have a difficult time tolerating such "heresy". My blog link is automatic in just about every internet site I'm involved with. In fact, some automatically ask for your "home base" when you register. But your "below the belt" remark was cutting and I am suitably humbled. http://http.//www,thecinemascopecat.blogspot.com
     
  11. Chuck Pennington

    Chuck Pennington Supporting Actor

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    To be honest, I think Ms. Sarandon may have seen one of those HD displays that converts films to 60fps and makes them look VERY odd indeed. Proper 24fps in 1080p is really terrific.
     
  12. Brian McHale

    Brian McHale Supporting Actor

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    When you increase the resolution of a digital image, you actually decrease how "digital" that image looks. If someone think that Blu-ray looks more "digital" than Blu-ray, it either means the disc they're watching has source material that is "digital" looking in nature, or it means that there is something going on in the setup, such as motion processing on a 120/240 Hz LCD TV (which can be turned off and probably should be turned off if you want to see your films look like "film"). I can understand someone feeling that DVD is "good enough" depending on various factors such as how close they sit to their TV, the size of their TV, their eyesight and their financial situation. However, to state that DVDs look better than Blu-ray because they don't look as "digital" is kind of hard to comprehend. While it can obviously vary from disc to disc, there is no way that a good Blu-ray will look more digital than a DVD of the same movie; in fact, it will look more film-like, while the DVD will appear to be more digital.
     
  13. Adam Gregorich

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  14. mdnitoil

    mdnitoil Supporting Actor

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    Wow, what started as a simple "let's not leave DVD completely behind" thread has really turned into a pile of poo. Considering that catalog blu isn't exactly doing gangbusters business as evidenced by statements made by WB and the fact that Sony is farming out their product to a boutique label, I don't think there's much concern about DVD being left behind.
     
  15. Thomas T

    Thomas T Cinematographer

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    I certainly didn't intend a blu vs. standard catfight to break out so when personal attacks start showing up, it's time to gracefully (too late?) remove myself from the ring. http://thecinemascopecat.blogspott.com
     
  16. Adam Gregorich

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    There are a lot of people in Hollywood who as they start to age dislike HD for other reasons. Like the guests who canceled or wouldn't go on Leno for a long time after they switched to HD broadcasts. With the exceptions of some poorly authored discs, watching Blu-ray on a properly calibrated screen blows away the DVD presentation. I would argue that it is much more film like since Blu-ray can resolve grain and fine detail where DVD can not.

    While you are completely entitled to your opinion Thomas, I think you need to give BD another shot. While you can dislike it from a cost, needed equipment or some other standpoint, if you look at a good proper Blu-ray setup there is no way you should be able to dismiss it as less film like that DVD based on what it on the screen or coming out of the speakers.


    I think that was RAHs way of pointing out that including it in posts or your sig is against HTF rules (specifically rule 6). The rule does allow for exceptions to be made with owner approval so I would encourage you to seek such approval.
     
  17. JoHud

    JoHud Producer

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    Unless Fox starts a large remastering program, or responds with the success of this program, I think most of the titles Twilight time will be getting will be using standard definition masters. So far, they had to contend with one letterboxed film and the upcoming The Left Hand of God wasn't even available to Twilight Time with a high-definition master. From current announcements from Twilight Time, it looks as if most of the Fox blu-rays they will be making available will be from titles already on retail DVD (I'm guessing more deep catalogue titles from their Cinema Classics line). I don't mind just having DVDs available only as far as their new-to-DVD titles go, as long as they don't accept anymore widescreen features that are letterboxed-only.
     
  18. Mark Collins

    Mark Collins Cinematographer

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    Thomas I hope this does not mean you will stop giving your opinions. I have enjoyed the discourse on blue versus dvd. I am not here to convert anyone but I do want express my opinion. I have a Samsung LCD bose speakers. The cost for Bose is very high and I wish I had just bought a much cheaper speaker set up. You can buy blu ray players for under 50 bucks at Wal-Mart. I have another tv in the bedroom which has a HD converter but there is a place on the converter where you can hook up one of those cheap BD players. Let me say this once more. The converter box will take a blue ray player!!! So if you have that set up you can get a BD player. I have to say again how much I love BD films. The Robe blew me away as did the Egyptian and Quo Vadis. The other thing is you can put your dvds in a blue player and they will up grade. I was shocked at how great my dvds looked on the BD player. I watched Marilyn Monroe sing Diamonds Are a Girls Best Friend and I saw things I never saw before with the dvd upgrade. It was really cool. I thought GWTW looked fantastic and please give it another shot. Best Buy now has a small section for dvds and huge BD section. I thought just like vhs. and dvd in the store. When dvds sales went up the same thing happened with VHS. I have had ever darn issue of GWTW. I started in the beta days collecting. I then switched over to vs. I remember my first Dvd Sleepy Hollow that blew me away. Please do not write off blue ray Thomas. I also want to state I have many dvds which I have no intention of buying in BD format. I just want the many classics to come out in BD. I love Twilight Time it release’s movies to the fans who really want them and never would of come out of the Fox Vault. Please do not write the forum off Thomas I have enjoyed reading all your posts on the subject. What I do not understand it why this subject is not in a separate thread? I myself go back to when the first recorders came out. I was afraid to hook up the machine because it might cause problems with my TV. I just had to put my opinion out here becuse I do love BD films. Someone should start a thread about 3D. Here is where I will not follow the pack and purchase a TV and you have to have a player. Best Buy asked me to sit in front of the the 3D sets and watch. I was not that impressed. Please Thomas do no write BD off that is all I am saying and again want to state how much I enjoyed your posts
     
  19. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
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    I have been assured by Twilight Time's Nick Redman that this is simply not the case with The Left Hand of God. The film will be issued on standard definition DVD, but the master was not standard definition.



     
  20. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Speaking of personal attacks, please, refrain from calling me a Blu cheerleader as I consider that title as being meant in a negative connotation.


    I have over 5000 standard dvds in my personal video collection with 200+ of them being from the Warner Achive Collection alone including the 24 titles I just bought from WAC in the last six weeks or so.

    I will continue to buy titles whether in standard or high definition format because I'm film buff and it's my desire to have all of my favorite film titles on disc. Sure, I would like all of my favorite films to be made available in high definition and it become the standard. However, I am also a realist that believes that scenario is not likely to happen for various reasons.








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