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

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

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Thom Eberhardt's Night of the Comet is an interesting take on the potential end of the work, along with, also potentially...

    zombies c. 1984.  This is a fun film, but I've never been totally certain what it's about.

    Catherine Mary Stewart, you'll remember her from The Last Starfighter, along with her sister (Kelli Maroney) take on the bad dudes.

    A low-budget affair, that works, unfortunately doesn't look great on Scream Factory's Blu-ray.  Whether the cause is an older telecine, or a problem with what appears to be an IP, the imagery is overall quite soft, making me double check that it was actually shot on 35, and not based upon de-grained 16mm.

    I'll go into internet speak here and state loudly, that it appears better than the DVD, and I'm certain far superior to the old VHS.

    Color is fine and stable.  Grain structure and overall resolution are lacking.

    Image - 3

    Audio - 4

    RAH

     
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  2. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    I hadn't seen this movie in probably 25 years and basically blind bought this disc and I was pleasantly surprised by the movie. It's certainly a cheesy 1980's movie but not in the crappy I'm-laughing-at-it type of way. The movie and its characters have a real sense of fun and that helped make for an enjoyable teen/horror movie.
     
  3. FoxyMulder

    FoxyMulder 映画ファン

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    I'm keeping hold of my VHS.

    On a more serious note that is disappointing, i don't really want to spend money on disappointing releases these days.
     
  4. cineMANIAC

    cineMANIAC Cinematographer
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    Nostalgia plays a big factor in many of my decisions to purchase movies from my childhood and NOTC is no exception. The only difference with this film is I actually still enjoy it. For a zombie comedy, It's smothered in a kind of "sweetness" that's tough to shake, featuring very likeable characters and a cheesy but endearing soundtrack. This is one of my absolute favorite Blu-rays.
     
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  5. Kyrsten Brad

    Kyrsten Brad Screenwriter

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    Brad here. One of my biggest favorites movies since I first saw it on late-night cable back in my college days. Sure Catherine Mary Stewart was beautiful but I got it real bad (and continue to this day) for the lovely Kelli Maroney (and she's still gorgeous to this day as well). Kelli has a fan page on FB if you're interested.

    I bought the DVD a few years ago but when Scream Factory released the Blu-ray last year, it was a Day 1 Purchase for me.
    I found the blu-ray PQ fantastic but I'm easy to please in that regard.

    Pics attached of Kelli.
    The fourth one is of my wife Kyrsten who as you can see bears a nice resemblance to Kelli. Little wonder why I married her.

    1517498_10151802461320950_703900597_n.jpg
    IMG_3275.JPG
    Kelli_Maroney_Today.jpg
    Kyrsten_BlueDress.jpg
     
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  6. FoxyMulder

    FoxyMulder 映画ファン

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    She does look strikingly like her from the first two pictures, especially the first, are you sure you didn't actually marry Kelli. :D
     
  7. Ethan Riley

    Ethan Riley Producer

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    I got it day one. I thought it looked pretty much the way it always looked. Maybe they used cheap film stock. Could have been an upscale from the dvd. Who knows. I wasn't disappointed or surprised at it. The blu is worth it for the commentary alone.
     
  8. Vincent_P

    Vincent_P Screenwriter

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    I see the bolded explanation thrown around a lot. Kodak and other motion picture film suppliers did not offer cheap, lower-quality discount film stock. Budget dictated how much film a production could buy and pay the processing fees for, but there weren't any "no frills" film stocks that were somehow lower in quality than what everybody else was using. Very low budget affairs might have purchased short-ends (unexposed film stock left over from other productions), but it was still the same film that everybody else was using.

    Vincent
     
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  9. Andrew Pierce

    Andrew Pierce Stunt Coordinator

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    More often very low budget affairs would use 16mm film stock and blow it up to 35mm for exhibition. 16mm is in fact far cheaper than 35mm. IMDB says this one has a 35mm negative, so not in this case.
     
  10. Vincent_P

    Vincent_P Screenwriter

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    Yes obviously 16mm is cheaper than 35mm, just like 35mm is cheaper than 65mm. As you point out, this was shot in 35mm, so that isn't the issue here. The 35mm film that was used to film NIGHT OF THE COMET would be of the same quality as the 35mm film used on any other production of that era, regardless of budget. A lot of people seem to believe that there were "discount", lower-quality cheap 35mm film stocks that lower budget movies used, and that has never been the case. That was the point I was making.

    Vincent
     
  11. chas speed

    chas speed Second Unit

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    I read the original negative was destroyed, but I thought the disc looked ok.
     
  12. David Weicker

    David Weicker Cinematographer

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    I understand what you are saying, but I have a question.Based on reading RAH's comments on various threads, he has stated that film x used stock 1234, and film y used stock 9876. I took this to mean that manufacturers were constantly changing (and hopefully improving) the physical film. And knowing how corporations work, not every studio would be using the same stock at the same time.Isn't it possible that a budget studio might be using last year's stock, or a discontinued or problematic stock (that the majors had passed on)? One that the manufacturers sold (liquidated) to them at a lower cost?
     
  13. Vincent_P

    Vincent_P Screenwriter

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    That's always a possibility, David- one thing to consider, though, is that the "new" stocks aren't always better! In some cases, cinematographers/filmmakers prefer the older stocks, too (EYES WIDE SHUT is an example- Kubrick and his DP prefered the look they got via push-processing Kodak's previous 500 ASA filmstock vs. a newly-introduced "improved" version, so Kodak agreed to continue making as much of the previous stock as needed for Kubrick's film).

    But yes, it's always possible that a production bought up a supply of an older,discontinued filmstock.

    Vincent
     
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  14. Lord Dalek

    Lord Dalek Cinematographer

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    IIRC, this was one of the earliest US films from (the rather short lived) Atlantic Releasing so they may not have had access to the best lab at the time.
     
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  15. brap

    brap Stunt Coordinator

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    Has anyone ordered this from Scream Factory lately? I am wondering if it still comes with a slipcase.
     
  16. trevanian

    trevanian Stunt Coordinator

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    Kodak wasn't the only game in town back then. I remember screenwriter Joe Doherty laughing about the film grain bubbling and gurgling along all through a film he wrote around 1990 called STEEL AND LACE, and I'm pretty sure that shot on AGFA stock, though it might have been Fuji - no, WRATH OF KHAN was Fuji.
     
  17. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    When the price dropped in 2015, I purchased it with the slipcase from Amazon.
     

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