A Few Words About A few words about...™ Pride and Prejudice -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Apr 18, 2009.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    I've always found it interesting to see the prices that 1st and other early editions of literature bring on the world market, and it seems that the major works of Jane Austen are high on the list.

    While a decent 2nd edition of Pride and Prejudice will go for $10 - 15,000, a first in very good or better condition can easily head toward the $100,000 mark. As a comparison to this 1813 first edition, consider Henry Fielding's Tom Jones, considered by some to be the first true English novel.

    While P and P was apparently published in a first of 1,500 copies, Tom Jones was an immediate sell-out in 1749 at 2,000 -- with an additional 1,500 published from the same type (albeit re-set without errors) a few weeks later. A nice first of Tom Jones will run anywhere from $5 -10,000.

    What does that tell us? Probably something more to do with followers of Ms. Austen than English literature in general.

    But I'm reminded that this piece is about the new Blu-ray of the BBC presentation of 1995 at 5 hours, 23 minutes of Ms. Austen's work. Which is about the amount of time really necessary to tell the story with fully developed characters.

    This is great television, and a superlative upgrade from the standard definition version. The BBC has done the right thing with P and P, going back to the foundation, in this case the original 16mm negative, as the basis for the Blu-ray, as their work has paid off in spades.

    What we have appears to my eye as a Spirit image harvest, with occasional bumps at either splices or notches, but overall a glorious presentation of an extremely high quality show.

    16mm shot correctly and with an image properly harvested can yield beautiful results, especially when the dirt which seems to rule the roost in 16mm is wiped clean.

    Everything about this presentation is of the highest caliber.

    Highly Recommended, especially for those who can enjoy the film with their first edition nearby.

    RAH
     
  2. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    Well Robert, I'm missing that 1st edition, but I do love the thought. I'll settle for a glass of Sherry, followed by Port during the third act.
     
  3. Ray H

    Ray H Producer

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    Good to see this release get Robert Harris's approval. I probably won't be picking it up anytime soon (cash problems, do I really need it?, etc. [​IMG]). But it's a terrific miniseries and the past releases have looked awful. It's very reassuring to know there's a good quality version of this series available.
     
  4. Mark Walker

    Mark Walker Cinematographer
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    Edited to remove ill-advised information. [​IMG]
     
  5. GlennH

    GlennH Cinematographer

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    Mark, I'm confused. I think the BD is 1.78:1, like the DVD SE, no? (Note: the DVD SE box was incorrectly labeled 2.35:1).

    I bought the BD, but don't currently have a BD player available to watch it on.

    I should also say that I had the original 4:3 DVD, then sold it and got the 16:9 SE DVD. The framing of the 16:9 seems okay to me.

    The DVD Beaver comparison illustrates some differences, and the significant PQ improvement:

    http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film2/DVDRe...ce_blu-ray.htm
     
  6. Mark Walker

    Mark Walker Cinematographer
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    GlennH,

    Thanks for the link. The images at the link look great. None of those are the scenes that seem like Hannibal and sliced off the top third of someone's cranium to eat their brians ala the film "Hannibal."
    And it is clearer to me now how the framing has changed and it is seeming
    more likely that because the framing on the initial DVD was so compromised
    in the first place maybe the top and bottom didn't look as odd to me as they do now.

    Still, look at the scene with the whole family with Lydia standing up and how much of the top of the image
    is removed in the Blu-Ray compared to the original 4x3 DVD. Look at the bookcase in the background.
    It is that difference of "head room" that in some scenes makes the head cropping go from what
    we usually see (mid to upper forehead) to cropping in odd places, like right above the brow,
    which seems like a poor place to crop to.

    I only have a stand alone Blu-Ray player and not one in my PC, but I will attempt to take some photos,
    thought I cannot compare it to the original DVD anymore.

    Go buy the Blu-Ray, no worries. Everything else is amazing. Truly the image quality is spectacular and the
    cropping is only odd in a few places, but it left me wondering if the cinematographer had been taking a cat nap
    when framing the scene.
     
  7. lukejosephchung

    lukejosephchung Screenwriter

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    [​IMG]The local Costco is selling this title at $28.99...scarfed up my copy there last week! RAH rocks!
     
  8. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Thanks for another fine review, RAH. [​IMG] And thanks also for the DVDBeaver link showing some comparison screen caps. [​IMG]

    Have never seen this much acclaimed BBC miniseries before -- and do very much enjoy various Austen-based films albeit mainly the Hollywood-ized ones so far -- so I'm looking forward to seeing the BD I just scored today for just $15 from the nearby street vendor here in downtown Manhattan. [​IMG]

    _Man_
     
  9. PattyFraser

    PattyFraser Second Unit

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    RAH, what on earth happened to the scene a few minutes from the end when Darcy says "I've been a selfish being all my life and so he would have continued to be but for ...? Suddenly the PQ goes bad--almost as if it were suddenly standard def for about a minute or two. No one else (except my sister who had noticed it, too) has mentioned this. I'm thinking there is also a post on the Blu Ray.com comment re: this title that asks "what's up with that...". What happened there?

    Otherwise, the PQ, etc. is excellent. A very enjoyable BD.
     
  10. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    While I find the image quality to be good for the most part, I too question the framing of many scenes which lobotomize the characters. I bought the BR after reading RAH's comments and viewing the DVDBeaver captures, which appear to present more of the side of the frame than the 4:3 version, yet scenes such as the crossing of the bridge in the first or second installment, plus numerous other occasions have entire heads cut off, and nothing of substance in the lower frame. There are also several instances where compression artifacts are evident, with background window panes hovering above the image, or trees freezing and shifting (episodes 4 and 5 particularly).


    Edited by Jeff Ulmer - 7/22/2009 at 04:56 pm GMT
     
  11. Reagan

    Reagan Supporting Actor

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    Been watching this with the wifey the past few nights and want to comment on the audio. It's ony two channel stereo (and I say "only" with tongue planted firmly in cheek), but it's uncompressed and it sounds fantastic.

    My favorite picture quality revelation was when a still picture was photographed and used as an establishing shot (only happened once, in the first or second episode). On a television broadcast, a variety of picture quality issues would have hidden this shortcut, but on blu-ray, it stands out. Good stuff.
     
  12. Richard Gallagher

    Reviewer

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    It's now $19.99 at Amazon.
     
  13. Chris Brunner

    Chris Brunner Second Unit

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    Does anyone know what's the deal/differences with the NEW version of this Movie on BD that arrives this week? I just bought the old BD version to give my wive for Mother's Day, and, this morning, I see a new re-issue is due on Tuesday.

    Thanks.
    C
     
  14. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Chris,

    The new release has reportedly been restored. It will be interesting to see the improve quality over the 2009 BR release.

    http://www.blurayfreak.com/2009/04/pride-and-prejudice-extensively-remastered-for-bluray.html




    Crawdaddy
     
  15. Arnie G

    Arnie G Supporting Actor

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    It was already restored before the last release
     
  16. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Re-mastered would be the word. Restored would denote something problematic with the actual film elements.
    They have selected a different element for transfer, in this case the OCN, and have created a new master.

    RAH
     
  17. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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  18. Paul Penna

    Paul Penna Supporting Actor

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    Amazon has a release date of Tuesday April 27 for a standard DVD release, but I haven't located anything about a newer BD issue. The referenced article at bluerayfreak.com seems to be referring to the 2009 BD, which was indeed sourced from the OCN.
     
  19. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Here you go.

    Pride and Prejudice (1995 Restored) (A&E Home Video)
     
  20. Paul Penna

    Paul Penna Supporting Actor

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    Ah, thanks. Granted Amazon descriptions can be dicey, but going by that, the difference as listed is that the new one is 1 rather than 2 discs, and 1.33:1 rather than 1.78:1. The word "remaster" doesn't appear.
     

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