A Few Words About A few words about...™ My Fair Lady -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Nov 2, 2011.

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  1. Ransom Stoddard

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    Oh please. A mediocre release of a 50 year old film that would have sold maybe a couple thousand of copies is not a nail in any coffin. :rolleyes:
     
  2. GMpasqua

    GMpasqua Screenwriter

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    The average (mass) consumer doesn't care about quality control


    The studios want the Downloads - it means more money for them and less costs - of course it's not pratical to build a home video library on downloads, or any library for that matter - the costs of discs, printing and paper now become the consumers costs unless everything is store electronicly (Boy, you better have a good back up system)

    Downloads are really for those who just want to watch the film once and move on, those who could care less about quality and don't want to be bother storing product after veiwing. We have become a disposal society - Books, CDs, Video, People
     
  3. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Really quite simple. The industry is moving from Blu-ray, which is a high resolution format, to downloads, which are far lower resolution for both image and audio.

    My point is that high quality is no longer worth the expense for only Blu-ray. HD broadcast is 50% resolution at best. Downloads decrease from there.

    Where DI data is available, beautiful Blu-rays can easily (and economically) be formatted and struck for distribution. But one needs to look beyond My Fair Lady, and the message at least from Viacom and CBS seems to be that if a very major asset is not viewed as worthwhile for Blu-ray, then we're already past the point of no return, at least for classic product.

    RAH
     
  4. GMpasqua

    GMpasqua Screenwriter

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    All I want is a disc somewhere
    Far away from the average fare
    Transfered by those who care
    Oh, Wouldn't it be Loverly

     
  5. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    As I noted above, for a limited time, you can look to Sony, Fox, Criterion and Blue Underground.
     
  6. GMpasqua

    GMpasqua Screenwriter

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    This is what the general population call an elementary education

    "My Fair Lady" / Audrey Hepburn? this title is probably amoung the top 20 most popular selling films from the 1960's
    This title has grossed so much money CBS did a full restoration in 1994

    More people probably own a copy of MFL than most of the films released in the past ten years will ever bring in in the future (and really is anyone going to buy "the Hangover" 50 years from now?)

    move your bloom'in arse and go back to you iphone where you can really enjoy the lastest flicks the way the were meant to be seen
     
  7. GMpasqua

    GMpasqua Screenwriter

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    The truth is that films such as "My Fair Lady" and "West Side Story" will sell many copies on blu-ray, and more people will base their options of classic films on blu-ray based on these titles (Yes, hundreds of thousand more will base their options on classic blu-ray titles from purchasing "In Cold Blood" which breaks box office/home video records every year )

    As a result they might decide - what's the point and stick with their DVDs. Of course the younger generation is clueless and only cares about the immediate future. Little do they even realize film won't last if it is not maintained. If you support crap that's all they'll offer - why go the extra distance if you don't have too







    (I happen to think "In Cold Blood" is an excellent film, but I do know it is not a strong seller in the overall classic catalog)
     
  8. Ransom Stoddard

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    Considering I much, much, much prefer the 1938 version and I would rather slam my hand in a car door than watch The Hangover I rebuke all accusations of being a modern simpleton. :P
    Maybe if they released great Hepburn movies like Roman Holiday and Sabrina and not the mediocre ones like My Fair Lady and Breakfast at Tiffany's more people would be interested? :P
    The fact is a format success will be down to new releases.
    And from these charts it's clear that Blu-ray is pounding DVD in terms of both units sold and revenue:
    http://www.the-numbers.com/dvd/charts/weekly/thisweek.php
    http://www.the-numbers.com/weekly-bluray-sales-chart
    Clearly DVD is not the way to go anymore.
    As for downloads I don't know the figures but I don't anyone who downloads movies with any great frequency, and I know that downloading a 10GB for every movie I want to watch would kill my Internet.
     
  9. GMpasqua

    GMpasqua Screenwriter

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    "My Fair Lady" and "Brealfast at Tiffany's" are Hepburns most popluar films

    You are entitled to your opinon, but honestly the world seem to disagree with you

    Why are you even reading this thread is you don't like the movie?

    a modern simpleton
     
  10. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Thank you for the explanation, Robert.

    I understand your point that from your insider's perspective the lack of care given this film for its Blu-ray presentation is an indicator that we may be seeing the beginning of the end for quality Blu-ray treatment of catalog titles (if I've understood you correctly).

    But I guess what I want to know is if the PQ of My Fair Lady on blu is significantly better than the PQ of the last DVD? It must be, right? I would suspect there are scenes of revelatory detail and beauty which would make fans of the film quite pleased. And you said in your OP that the audio is "very good."

    I believe Blu-ray is quite definitely a format for the general public--something of which I'm reminded more and more often as I find myself in media retailers and general retailers and continue to see Blu-ray sections get larger and larger and the groups of people viewing those sections getting more and more plentiful (much like what I remember when DVD usurped VHS). Product prices (both software and hardware) continue to become more affordable for the general public creating a greater accessibility and the "Joe Six-Pack" cited often around this board of enthusiasts has seemed to realize that his new, big flat screen display is capable of putting out a lovely image.

    As an enthusiast, I wish upon wish that I could read here that someone with your expertise and knowledge was thrilled with the treatment given this film, but maybe I fall more into this category you describe:



    One of the things I would hope to get out of this thread, but maybe I need to wait for the official HTF review, is if this blu-ray release of My Fair Lady is "good enough" (all things being subjective) that I should add it to my collection.
     
  11. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Certainly "good enough" as long as you don't mind it looking like problematic film less the proper resolution.
     
  12. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    From the Worst Laserdisc of 1992 and 1993 to Not the Worst, But One of the Most Disappointing Blu-Rays of 2011.

    What happened to the people at CBS who hired you to restore the film in the first place? What happened to the all of the people who cared about preserving movies? I know they still exist and work in the industry, yet they seem to have no clout whatsoever.
     
  13. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    I don't mean to be thick, but I am having a hard time understanding your nuance.

    "Problematic film with less than proper resolution" doesn't sound like something acceptable (let alone "thrilling") to the average viewer. Or, like something that would garner a "recommended" critique.
     
  14. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    You'll have to view this to understand. As long as there is no need for anything other than a very average image the disc is fine. On top of that there has never been a Blu-ray release with the field problems that are seen on this one.

    I can also guarantee that many people reading this thread will come away with the oft repeated "It looks far better than the DVD." And it does.
     
  15. GMpasqua

    GMpasqua Screenwriter

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    Mr Harris,

    With all due respect. you should change your post and not recommend this disc

    I recommend the oysters, they're delicious, but you may get sick to your stomach after eating them
     
  16. GMpasqua

    GMpasqua Screenwriter

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    Mr Harris,

    How does the "My fair Lady" blu-ray compare in picture quality to other Roadshow films from the same ear which were released to blu-ray earlier this year:

    "It'a a Mad, Mad, Mad,Mad World"
    "The Bible"
    "Fiddler on the Roof"
    "Grand Prix"


    and dare I say
    "The Greatest Story Ever told"



    How does it compare with Paramount's other classic releases "Once Upon a Time in the West" and "Breakfast at Tiffanys"?
     
  17. Powell&Pressburger

    Powell&Pressburger Screenwriter

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    This is obviously the BLU release we've been dealt by CBS/ Paramount for My Fair Lady, but I can safely say it won't be the last. I have faith that maybe in years time we will see a re-issue (with better cover art) and possibly derived from a 65/70mm print?

    I mean to be able to re-issue it again and to boast of an all new transfer from different film elements is always a good selling point, and from what Robert Harris has said, it isn't as if it has been killed by the dislikes of DNR as much as just poor judgement on specific film elements used/ and not used. So it isn't unwatchable, we just don't have the WOW factor?

    Maybe a new anniversary edition for 2014?
     
  18. GMpasqua

    GMpasqua Screenwriter

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    Well, no offense to Mr Harris, but he did not recommend "It's a Mad, Mad Mad Mad, World" and tore the disc apart in his assessment while almost everyone else found the transfer to be one of the best this year (with a few minor exceptions amoung the opening credits/overture)

    Mr. Harris has very high standards, but we need to actually see this disc (or a least some screen shots) before getting too upset. For all we know the disc could look very good, maybe not "The Ten Commandments" good - but Paramount did a digital transfer of that film for theatrical showings and spent a lot of time and money on it. Paramount also owns "The Ten Commandments" they do not own "My Fair Lady"



    Frankly, we got "My Fair Lady" "Scrooge" "Little Big Man" and "Straw Dogs" all in the same quarter - all CBS product - before we got many of Paramount's top classic films. Eyebrows raised?

    For all we know, the way Hollywood and the corporate world change ownership nowadays, CBS and Paramount might not be in bed very much longer and Paramount decided to release a quick version before they lose distribution rights.

    Being that all four films came out in the last 6 weeks also may lead one to believe that. "Scrooge"? really? Wasn't that a big surprise? and why was it a surprise?

    hmm, let's see:

    "Scrooge"
    __________________________________________________________________________________

    ("Romeo and Juliet" "Sunset Blvd" "Shane" "Chinatown" "Roman Holiday" "Raider of the Lost Ark")




    I do not work at Paramount. I know nothing about any mergers or splits - it's all speculation in jest - do not base your stock purchases on my train of thought
     
  19. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    No offense taken. Here's what I had to say about Mad World:







    "This is a favorite film, which I found at a physical Walmart location, after going on line and per their website being told that it was on-line only, and sold out.



    First and foremost, having now spent over three hours with techs from Oppo and Anthem, the sync problem is almost fixed, and will get fixed the rest of the way via offset on the Anthem. What I was originally seeing, an advance of almost two frames, is now

    down to under one, which is fine.



    I have no idea why this occurred, nor do any of the techs. These things just happen, and I apologize for any concerns.



    To the technical.



    Aspect ratio is around 2.65 or thereabouts, which is terrific.



    Appears to be from a 65mm element, but with the Main Title sequence prepared for 35mm printing. A bit of fade shows on the sides of the dupes, but nothing of concern, as the problemhas been corrected and is not serious.



    Color is very nice. Contrast a bit too high, with intrusion on shadow detail.



    Nice clean-up, with occasional minus density, helping the film look, which is very nice.



    Quality audio.



    Those who are holding out for a Roadshow version might consider that the $10 investment gets you the film that everyone loves at a bargain price.



    Lastly, let me make the point again, as the word restoration has been used, that this version of the film, outside of some dupe sections, really needs no

    restorative work. The film was shot on 5250 and 5251, which had superb resistance to fade, and all is well.



    Recommended.
     
  20. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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