A Few Words About A few words about...™ Public Enemies -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Dec 9, 2009.

  1. Bobby Henderson

    Bobby Henderson Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2001
    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    45
    Zack, if that's really the case then why don't the fans of video allow the video to stay looking like video? If video is so great, why are they trying to make it look like film? Why not leave the video footage in its native wide-gamma RGB form? Even Public Enemies was post processed to some degree to mimic the film look -even though it fails to do so worse than many other digitally-originated movies.
     
  2. Douglas Monce

    Douglas Monce Producer

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2006
    Messages:
    5,514
    Likes Received:
    12
    Mann's interest in using digital seems to be less about a particular look, but rather the ability to crank up the gain, and shoot in low light conditions with little or no augmentation by the DP. A perfect example of this style of working is the parking garage roof scene in Miami Vice. I haven't yet seen Public Enemies, but I suspect he is doing the same thing here. Personally I wouldn't shoot that way, but its not my film. As to movies being shot on HD not looking like traditional films, I've seen many that I didn't know were shot digitally until after the fact. Get Smart is a perfect example, Zodiac would be another. Zodiac in particular with its emulation of 1970s film stock, in my opinion proves the old notion, it’s not the equipment you have, it’s how you use it.

    Doug
     
  3. Bobby Henderson

    Bobby Henderson Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2001
    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    45
    Get Smart is a "digital" movie that didn't work as well as others on mimicking the film look. I didn't know anything about its production work flow, but the first time I saw the movie I knew it had been shot electronically rather than exposed on film. Zodiac is a much better example of digital photography pulling off the film look convincingly.

    Miami Vice isn't a good example of digital done well. Many have complained about all the "grain" prevalent throughout much of the movie. I think some of that extra artificial grain was added to make the various noisy high ISO, low light shots look more consistent with each other. Overall, the image quality was pretty terrible, a noticeable step down from Collateral.

    Film has a disadvantage of not having a sexy buzzword like "digital" to attach to it. Nevertheless at this point motion picture film camera systems still do a better job of capturing imagery than video cameras. I think the video cameras would have a better edge on the competition if the footage was allowed to retain its full RGB gamut range.
     
  4. Brian Borst

    Brian Borst Screenwriter

    Joined:
    May 15, 2008
    Messages:
    1,137
    Likes Received:
    0
    Because there are people that don't like the look of video, and want it to resemble film more. So you get a spiral going on. People want it to look like film, the filmmakers change it to look like film, and so people are wondering why the filmmakers change it to look like film.

    As is the case with the latest Harry Potter movie, people want the filmmaker's version of the movie, as long as they like it.
     
  5. urbo73

    urbo73 Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    May 12, 2009
    Messages:
    126
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think you are not understanding the point. You don't like the film. That means nothing really. Eli said it best in post #9 above. I completely agree. Either you get it or you don't. Fine either way, but no need to talk about how you prefer film over video, how video "doesn't work" (when it clearly does for many), etc. I happen to think it works brilliantly and the movie is one of the top 5 I've seen this year. If it doesn't work for you, that's fine. But don't draw conclusions about what works and doesn't in general. IMHO, you didn't get the film and focused on the visual elements. I suggest you read the ASC cover on this film. Digital also allowed, among other things, for the DP to use slower zoom lenses for that "personal"/up-close/etc. style which is one of the reasons I like the movie.

    I suppose you don't care for Fincher's digtial video films either then - Zodiac, Benjamin Button? Or is it that you just don't like Mann's style? You said video doesn't work, so I'll assume the former. And in that case, you are missing out on some very good films IMO. Mann could have done many things. However, he does what he likes, not what you like. And it works. Miami Vice was not bad because of the way it was shot, but because the film was bad IMO. Stop focusing so much on the medium, understand the medium, and enjoy the film.
     
  6. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2000
    Messages:
    4,684
    Likes Received:
    25
    Location:
    Knocksville, TN
    Real Name:
    Rachael Bellomy
    Originally Posted by Bobby Henderson

    I watched Public Enemies again last night and tolerated it's look much better seeing it at a larger size. I cannot recall playing a DVD or BD on my 32" bedroom set that came off worse. Just the same, it's a homely movie. It even looks ugly when they're out at the racetrack on a sunny day.
     
  7. esl88

    esl88 Auditioning

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2009
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  8. Douglas Monce

    Douglas Monce Producer

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2006
    Messages:
    5,514
    Likes Received:
    12
    Does Get Smart really look all that different from say, Enchanted which was shot on film? Not really. At this point the "Digital" look has much more to do with the way the color timing on the DI is done than how the images were captured originally.

    Doug
     
  9. Douglas Monce

    Douglas Monce Producer

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2006
    Messages:
    5,514
    Likes Received:
    12
    But his is the strange part, because film is looking less and less like film. The Pirates movies for example. Shot on film, but after all the processing, doesn't look much like film to me. Again I think much of this has more to do with the over use of color correction tools in the DI process than anything else.

    Doug
     
  10. Zack Gibbs

    Zack Gibbs Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2005
    Messages:
    1,687
    Likes Received:
    2
    Agreed, and I hate it. I used to blame the advent of digital grading (and still do ultimately), but it's also just the style of the times. "The Dark Knight," which was at least partially processed photochemically (for the IMAX footage), looks fantastic in "The Dark Knight Prologue." The finished film didn't look bad to be sure, but they certainly washed away some of it's raw beauty IMO.

    When I think of Mann's current use of HD cameras, I always think of a Miami Vice shot with the two mains on a rooftop, a storm covered Miami skyline in the background bursting with lighting. It embraces video 100% and it looks fantastic.
     
  11. Vincent_P

    Vincent_P Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2003
    Messages:
    1,871
    Likes Received:
    205
    The 35mm prints of THE DARK KNIGHT were timed photo-chemically. The film didn't undergo a DI (aside from the IMAX version, were the 35mm material was scanned and converted to IMAX), although the IMAX footage was scanned and then recomposed for 35mm anamorphic framing.

    Vincent
     
  12. esl88

    esl88 Auditioning

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2009
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yeah, the IMAX/Blu-ray version looks very different from what was shown in theaters. IMAX tends to overdo it a bit with their DMR work.
     
  13. skyscraperfarms

    skyscraperfarms Auditioning

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    "To me the use of HD took the film out of its time era and gave it a look that just didn't sync with the subject matter"


    Are you high? If this movie was true to the time period it would be in black and white and most likely with no sound. People in the past didn't veiw the world through blurred lenses. Their vision of the world through their eyes looked exactly the same as you and me see things(if you have 20/20 vision) and HD makes things very close to reality.

    This movie was very hard to watch, I could not get past the inconsistencies of the films used. It made it impossible for me to keep my attention. If it was all grainy it would've been better or all HD clear it would've been fantastic. Another extremely bad judgement to top of the horrible career of Michael Mann.
     
  14. cafink

    cafink Producer

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 1999
    Messages:
    3,043
    Likes Received:
    36
    Real Name:
    Carl Fink
    You registered on the forum to ask Robert Harris whether he's high?
     
  15. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
    Reviewer

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 1999
    Messages:
    9,351
    Likes Received:
    5,282
    Real Name:
    Robert Harris
    I'm confused by this comment. If the "movie was true to the time period" it could well have been in three-strip Technicolor
    and certainly would have been sound. Directional audio was only two years away.

    RAH

     
  16. Richard--W

    Richard--W Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2004
    Messages:
    3,527
    Likes Received:
    167
    As a dedicated fan of Michael Mann's work, I'm disappointed in PUBLIC ENEMIES. Shooting on digital media undermines the story he is telling. His aesthetic choices undermine the story he is telling. The steps he takes to tweak the digital media are tantamount to placing an artifact between the viewers' eyes and the movie. If Mann wants to take nostalgia out of the story, there's other ways of doing it with 35mm film. It looked like a flared and muddy mess on the big screen, and it looks like a flared and muddy mess on the rental. I like to play with new toys, too, but Mann is taking this digital obsession too far. I wonder if he has not lost his mind.

    My disappointment in PUBLIC ENEMIES extends to the casting. I know something about these people, but even if I didn't, it is painfully obvious that Johnny Depp and Christian Bale, among others, are utterly miscast. Sure they are good actors and deliver at the very least highly professional performances, but they are dramatically, emotionally, physically, and personality-wrong for the parts. I know this will be misunderstood by some of you, but I think Mann needs to start casting American actors in American roles. All Warren Oates and Ben Johnson had to do to play the same characters in the 1973 film was to show up for work. They were authentically cast and they delivered natural, easy authentic performances. Depp (an American / European) and Bale (a Brit) have to work at it, yet their performances are as inauthentic as the digital media in use.
     
  17. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2001
    Messages:
    5,979
    Likes Received:
    33
    Location:
    The BK
    Real Name:
    ManW
    Watched this on rental a week or so ago, and it gave me the impression that I was watching some sort of experiemental Dogme 95 "film".

    It just did not work for me -- and I'm glad I didn't do the blindbuy on this one.

    _Man_
     
  18. Yumbo

    Yumbo Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 1999
    Messages:
    2,227
    Likes Received:
    0
    Just finished watching this for New Year's Day.

    Sound seems unbalanced, but I noticed that it was more 'realistic'. eg. when they're escaping the jail, voices from inside the car, and heard from outside the car. Gunfire was fine. Deliberate perhaps.

    Picture was fine, watching at 185" - no EE, murkiness etc.
    Seems people need more calibration or different equipment.

    I LOVED THE SCORE...seemingly out of place. Interesting how Zimmer was involved.
    Kudos to Mann.
     
  19. Bryan^H

    Bryan^H Producer

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2005
    Messages:
    3,751
    Likes Received:
    755
    I thought the same thing watching it in the theater. I'm sure it was deliberate.
     
  20. EricW

    EricW Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2001
    Messages:
    2,308
    Likes Received:
    0
    finally got to watch this movie. i liked it.

    the digital parts were so smooth, it made it look like i had Frame Interpolation switched on, which i hate... i actually had to switch off the 24 hz on my PS3 to compensate.
    with regards to shooting a period piece with moderns techniques, doesn't that actually do more to draw you INTO the period? i mean, if they'd shot a 70's movie with added grain like Planet Terror / Death Proof, all that does is constantly remind me that i'm in 2009 (or 2010) watching an experience that took place along time ago. if they shoot a period movie with modern ultra detailed cameras, that would do more to bring me into the period. like Benjamin Button. in my opinion anyways.
    still, i'd prefer the movie to be completely digital over back and forth, which i think was just as much for effect than lighting. i remember a restaurant scene which had 2 cameras, one on Depp and one on the Red Hamilton character. one was extra grainy and one was totally clear. back and forth. now THAT takes my out of the scene. it's like those acid shots in Tony Scott's Domino which i hated.

    also i'm surprised that totally-fake over-the-counter scene was left in, where Depp's face seemed super-imposed over someone else jumping over the desk in the bank robbery sequence.
     

Share This Page