A Few Words About A few words about...™ Oklahoma! -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, May 7, 2014.

  1. AnthonyClarke

    AnthonyClarke Screenwriter

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    We had a very good HD broadcast of this a couple of months back here in Australia and I really enjoyed this admittedly lightweight escapist movie which would look spectacular on the big screen. If I caught it in the cinema I've forgotten it .. and afer all, as a movie per se it's not as memorable as say Oklahoma or Carousel. But it wouldl certainly be a worthwhile addition to the Blu ray archive if only for young Shirley, who gives my beloved Shirley Jones a run for her money!
     
  2. Techman707

    Techman707 Second Unit

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    Fortunately, the DVD version of "AtWi80Days" isn't bad, but it appears that it was scanned from a 35mm anamorphic Technicolor IB print, which is why the color is good. But like "Oklahoma". it would be great to see a Todd/AO scan.....and hopefully done as well as the Todd/AO of "Oklahoma". ;)

    In my own case, I have end stage emphysema and realize that I'm not going to be around for many of the Blu-rays I've been waiting for. However, there's NO EXCUSE for not already having done films like "Around the World in 80 Days". It probably should have been done BEFORE "Oklahoma".

    I just read an article where Sony was complaining that Blu-ray sales have dropped "sooner" than they had anticipated. It's been their plan all along to sell you nothing more than a "streamed movie". If they do that, it's the last dollar of mine (and collectors like me) they will ever see.

    The bottom line is that the people making these decisions need to be REPLACED by people that have "some" knowledge of the industry and its history. HOPE THEY SMARTEN UP SOON! :blush:

    Here is the article about Sony: http://www.theverge.com/2014/5/1/5670786/sony-earnings-adjustment-impairment-charges
     
  3. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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  4. AnthonyClarke

    AnthonyClarke Screenwriter

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    Thanks Robert .. that's a really informative article and it's illuminating to read Fox's view on treatment of grain!
    Hope you enjoy 'Carousel' too .....
     
  5. zoetmb

    zoetmb Stunt Coordinator

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    Sony's statement was really just a message to Wall Street: don't expect big growth in Blu-ray going forward. Believe me, Sony or any other company doesn't care what the delivery method is one way or the other. They just want the money. But Sony makes these pronouncements and then doesn't necessarily follow through. Last year, they announced that they were considering getting out of the consumer TV business altogether or simply licensing their brand to someone else. But that didn't happen and this year, Sony is making a big push with 4K sets. On the other hand, Sony did abandon the mini-disc, SDDS theatrical audio and in the U.S., SACD, when sales didn't pan out.

    The fact is that Blu-ray is not doing as well as it should be at this time in its life. The name of the game for any public company CEO today is "shareholder value" and if one media or business doesn't work, they'll move on to the next. And Sony is a company that hasn't made profits in years.

    Thru 4/19 in the U.S., Blu-ray is only 1.66% ahead of last year in dollars and 5.84% ahead in units. And it's only doing that well because of Hunger Games and Frozen. Almost every week was behind last year. As compared with DVD, Blu-ray has only a 32.5% dollar share and a 21.9% unit share. At this time last year, Blu-ray was 24.88% ahead of 2012 in dollars.

    Considering how fast prices have fallen on both players and content, it's surprising that Blu-ray hasn't done better. Who would have thought that were would be many titles, even decent titles, under $10 at this point? And players well under $100 that don't just play Blu-ray, but stream all kinds of other content.

    But I think the still poor economy, competition for leisure time, the many ways one can view media today, the fact that many younger people feel perfectly comfortable watching movies on small screens, the demand for other types of multimedia content (YouTube, etc.), the fact that short windows and low media prices (Redbox) have, IMO, made movies seem less important and far more disposable, combined with a lot of shoddy product hitting theaters, have all conspired to make many people feel that they simply don't need the higher quality that Blu-ray brings.

    So like a radio station that changes from our favorite format, the fine restaurant that goes out of business, the independent bookstore that goes under and that great music club that closed and became a fast food restaurant, we have no one to blame but ourselves. If we bought the product, it would survive.

    Having said that, I don't think there's any chance that Sony is getting out of the Blu-ray business. I think that the level of sales simply means that they'll be fewer restorations, extras, special features and deluxe packaging for catalog titles. It will be business as usual for new releases.
     
  6. Techman707

    Techman707 Second Unit

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    It seems like you have taken BOTH sides of the issue, so you could NEVER be wrong. -LOL :P

    The prices of Blu-ray movies have been ALL OVER THE PLACE. I'm not sure whether it's companies like Amazon that are causing it, however, when they will sell the Rogers & Hammerstein Blu-ray set on one day for $73.99 and the next day charge $179.99, it makes you wonder what the "right price" is?

    While Sony might not care whether they sell you a Blu-ray or stream it to you, and even if you "think" the quality of streaming is as good as a Blu-ray (which IMHO it is not), in order to see all "your" movies (I almost slipped and said "films"), you are now dependent on a THIRD PARTY for service, speed and ultimately, the overall quality.

    If the sales of physical media isn't keeping up with expectations, I will stick with my original statement that they (the film companies and Sony in particular) need to FIRE the people that have been determining what films will be scanned, restored and released on Blu-ray (or even DVD in some cases for that matter). Sony had a treasure trove of films as a result of their Columbia purchase. So what did they do? They sold off what I believe are some of the best films of the last 5 decades. What were they thinking when they sold off, just to name a few, films like "Pal Joey", "Picnic" and "The Way We Were"? While available in DVD (for less money than streaming), why haven't they released "A Man for ALL Seasons" in Blu-ray? It was a best picture winner. While not filmed in 70mm, I ran a 70mm LG blowup that looked beautiful when it came out. It was a great picture! Other companies have also dropped the ball. Fox gave away (sold of course) films like "Love is a Many Splendored Thing" and could have released other films like "Peyton Place" on Blu-ray. MGM/UA finally released "In the Heat of the Night". While it was also a best picture winner, MGM looked like they were going to keep it a secret. The Blu-ray was a single disk and they didn't see fit to even insert ANYTHING about the film in the case.

    These were just a couple of films off the top of my SENILE head. If some real thought was given to the whole situation, I think everyone would agree that the film companies today have NO IDEA of what they're sitting on top of money wise.

    And then finally, as they move the theatrical run closer to the release date for DVD's, they're destroying what's left of commercial exhibition. Once they kill the theatrical run, they can kiss DVD, Blu-ray or streaming sales goodbye. The ONLY VALUE films have (at least for collectors) is their performance in theatres. Take that away and there is no difference between that and a made for TV movie. With a few exceptions, WHO BUYS THOSE? :blink:
     
  7. Yorkshire

    Yorkshire Screenwriter

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    In other words, if it wasn't for Blu-ray Disc (whose supporters rarely buy SD DVDs anymore), the physical sales market would plummet by a third.

    They must be thinking 'thank heaven for Blu-ray Disc'!

    Steve W
     
  8. Keith Cobby

    Keith Cobby Screenwriter

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    It is extraordinary that A Man for all Seasons hasn't been released.
     
  9. Techman707

    Techman707 Second Unit

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    That's because all the shots are being called by people that know NOTHING about films.

    Another film that comes to mind (I have it as a SD DVD) is "Irma La Douce". Even Jack Lemmon is dead already! At 80 years old, are they waiting for Shirley MacLaine too? :(
     
  10. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    I watched the Todd-AO disc today and I loved it. Besides watching a young and beautiful Shirley Jones in it, my next favorite character from this film has always been Eddie Albert. His character always cracked me up.
     
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  11. Hollywoodaholic

    Hollywoodaholic Edge of Glory?

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    I watched the Todd-AO last night in honor of my late mother's birthday (she loved the R&G musicals). Wow. Just an unbelievable presentation. Going through the cornfields in the opening (not in the Cinerama version) was 3D it was so clear.

    Compare the look of this film on BD to so many movies shot digitally today, such as all David Fincher's stuff and that digital stuff just looks dingy and murky. No one would ever want to inhabit those frames, whereas one frame of this just transports you completely.
     
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  12. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    That's how it looked to me too along with the buggy ride.
     
  13. AnthonyClarke

    AnthonyClarke Screenwriter

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    Yes, Oklahoma is total immerson. And Shirley Jones just glows with such young beauty. Her voice-over commentary on how she got the role is one of the best on disc, up there with her wonderful voice-over on Carousel.
    But as for voice-overs, my favourites are George Sidney on The Harvey Girls but the Oscar goes to the director/screenwriter duo on Criterion's Charade.
     
  14. Doug Bull

    Doug Bull Advanced Member

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    For what it's worth, the review of the set with caps is now available over at Bluray.com
     
  15. Mark Booth

    Mark Booth Screenwriter
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    Jeffrey's review of 'The King and I' is definitely too lenient (which he suggests some might say). The constantly shifting color palette makes the film very unpalatable. A 2.5 (at best) video rating would be more like it.

    Conversely, I feel it was a little too tough on 'State Fair' and 'Carousel'. And there's simply NO reason that 'Oklahoma!' should receive anything less than a 5.0 for video. If Jeffery's 4.5 rating for video is an average between the TODD-AO version and the CinemaScope version, than they should be listed separately.

    I sure hope Fox decides to fix the problems with 'The King and I' before the standalone release in October. And, if Fox does, I sure hope they decide to offer free replacements for those that purchased the set.

    Mark
     
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  16. John Maher_289910

    John Maher_289910 Supporting Actor

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    No one seems to mention the screw-up of the day-for-night (dusk) scene which follows the Entr'acte in OKLAHOMA! It's pure daylight on the Todd-AO release, which is wrong. Is it the same on the Cinemascope version, or is it correct on that? I don't have the set, but I saw that scene.
     
  17. rsmithjr

    rsmithjr Screenwriter

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    I noticed it immediately and several have mentioned it.

    The incorrect timing on the "buggy ride" scene after the intermission is a serious problem for the story. This scene was foreshadowed in two ways: 1) the bright and cheerful "Surrey With the Fringe On Top", and 2) the dark and ominous "Out of My Dreams Ballet" just before the intermission. The first half ends with dusk falling and Judd waking Laurie to tell her it's time to go to the party.

    Now the buggy ride to the party looks like a total jump cut: it is DAY TIME!

    Every 70mm print, 35mm print and previous home video incarnation of this scene has reasonable color timing on this scene; the Blu-ray gets it wrong.

    I think the key problem with this entire set, plus many older titles, is that no one remembers the films or takes the time to do the research. In the case at hand, the negative obviously looks like daylight, so the color timer printed it that way. No fuss, no mess, but it is wrong.

    However, the Oklahoma! image is, overall, one of the triumphs of the Blu-ray format, absolutely beautiful. The buggy ride color timing is the only complaint that I have.
     
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  18. Mark Booth

    Mark Booth Screenwriter
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    I just checked and that scene is very bright (broad daylight) on the CinemaScope Blu-ray as well! Then I checked my THX DVD version of 'Oklahoma!' and it has proper lighting (looks like dusk) as they ride away from the house after the Entr'acte.

    I suspect the scene WAS filmed in daylight hours and darkened in post. Then someone missed readjusting during restoration.

    Another OOPS by Fox!

    Mark
     
  19. JoshZ

    JoshZ Second Unit

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    Don't confuse licensing a title for selling it. Sony still owns the three films you mention, but has licensed them to Twilight Time for distribution on Blu-ray for a period of three years. Sony can still distribute the movies in other media (DVD, streaming, TV syndication, etc) or sell them on Blu-ray overseas. After three years, even the domestic Blu-ray rights will lapse back to Sony.

    You may still not care for this strategy, but the sad fact of the matter is that Blu-ray catalog title sales are in the toilet right now. Regardless of artistic merit, films like these don't sell well on Blu-ray. Had Sony released them, copies would be lingering unsold in $5 Walmart bargain bins right now. That's not a scenario that appeals at all to Sony. By licensing them off to smaller distributors, Sony makes a modest profit up front and the titles get released on Blu-ray for the small fan bases that want them.
     
  20. Techman707

    Techman707 Second Unit

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    I'm well aware of the different licensing agreements. When you say that "Blu-ray catalog title sales are in the toilet right now.", while correct, it is companies like Sony that flushed that toilet. I can assure you that the titles that Twilight got would NOT have wound up in Walmart's $5 pile. If they used their DVD release sales as a barometer, they're making a BIG mistake.
     

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