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

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, May 12, 2010.

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  1. Dick

    Dick Producer
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    Back to SPARTACUS, the topic of this thread. Mr. Harris has several times opined that it is unlikely anyone isgoing to spring for the needed restoration of this title. For whatever reason, Universal apparently does notdeem this a worthy subject for such an expenditure. Yet, it kicked ass at the box office when first released,and has from what I can see done very well through all of its myriad video releases. Perhaps a prior poster was correct when he said that is the very reason the studio hasn't put in the effort or money to make the titleright -- why should they, if the product they release continues to sell. Therefore, it is really our fault. The consumer's fault. Not enough copies of the Blu-ray were returned, and not enough complaints made directly toUniversal (as opposed to posts on forums such as this). It's like politics -- if you don't vote, you get theadministration you deserve.
     
  2. Steen DK

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    With all due respect to RAH, he has often missed edge enhancement too. Some people just don't see it. This is one of the major reasons I don't trust a review that isn't accompanied by caps. What's the use of the reviewer telling me that there's no EE if he's one of those who don't see it?
     
  3. Kevin EK

    Kevin EK Producer
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    I wouldn't say that it's anyone's "fault" that Universal hasn't re-issued Spartacus. I think it's just a matter that Universal wanted to release the 50th Anniversary edition themselves, without having to license it to Criterion, and they simply didn't handle this properly. The edition they released was not shunned by the general public - instead, there have been many people who picked up the Blu either from the 2010 release or from its inclusion in the WB Kubrick Blu box. I doubt there have been that many more sales from the 2012 repackaging or the "Best of the 60s" repackaging. I would view the latter two ideas as ways to move additional discs in their inventory.

    While I respect and follow the idea of "voting with our dollars" in choosing to buy this product and not buy that one, I don't know that this approach would somehow push Universal into completely redoing a title. That is, not unless you could convince EVERYONE not to buy the product. If you had a general public response of everybody refusing to buy that Blu of Spartacus, then yes, Universal would need to take some kind of action to address it. But if it's just a few thousand people around the country commenting on message boards, it becomes a different matter. In some cases, various studios have addressed complaints. Fox redid Patton. Universal did exchanges for the glitch on the Back to the Future DVDs, as well as for their redo of Out of Africa. CBS addressed issues with the TNG S1 Blu-rays. This one hasn't been given that response, and I'm as frustrated as anyone else here about it. But the only real impact I can have by choosing not to buy something I find to be substandard is the fact that I'm not buying it. And that's an individual choice we all can make. As for the complaints, I'm sure that many were made, by the very same people who post on the boards. And Universal was certainly aware of the reviews, which publicly took them to task. They're more than aware of the problem. The issue is simply whether they wish to invest money in making another Blu-ray. And that's a choice we don't get to make for them.

    The issue with Edge Enhancement is that people argue about it all the time. For some people, it's not as obvious of a factor. For some people, it's extremely obvious and throws them right out of a movie. Some systems make enhancement more obvious to the eye. The thing with our discussion here is to note that when it's been raised, it's also been disputed in many cases.

    As for screencaps, I simply don't find those images to be reliable indicators of what I will see of moving images on my own plasma. There's the factor that movies are not still frames, since they exist in motion. There's the factor that you never know what the source is of the various screencaps. There's the factor that the image itself has usually been compressed and converted before being presented on a page for your perusal. Past that, you have no way of knowing what the settings were on the display from which the screencap was taken. All of that together makes it difficult for me to use caps as a benchmark.

    Again, this isn't an issue with people disagreeing with a review, or noting different things about picture quality in a release. The issue is that there are very few experts in any field. Most of us are laypeople, albeit enthusiastic ones. Reviews should be seen as a reflection of that, unless you're specifically reading something like RAH's "A Few Words".
     
  4. FoxyMulder

    FoxyMulder 映画ファン

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    The only reason a good system would make it more obvious to the eye is if it's sharpness or contrast control is set wrongly and too high, people wouldn't argue about it if there wasn't something there to argue about in the first place.
     
  5. JoshZ

    JoshZ Second Unit

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    There are photographic artifacts that can easily be mistaken for edge enhancement. See the comments about Giant in the James Dean Collection thread.
     
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  6. FoxyMulder

    FoxyMulder 映画ファン

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    Not by me there isn't, i have never mistaken those sort of things for edge enhancement.
     
  7. Kevin EK

    Kevin EK Producer
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    Malcolm makes a good point that it's important to have your HDTV properly calibrated. I agree with that practice and have done so, as I expect have many participants on this forum.
     
  8. Steen DK

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    Erm, a screen cap is not a photograph of a screen. (I tried explaining this to Haineshisway years ago on a different forum, and I don't think he ever understoond what I meant.) You put the disc in the drive, you fire up whatever program you use to play the disc, you hit the "take snapshot" key. The settings on the monitor are, in this case, completely irrelevant.
     
  9. Persianimmortal

    Persianimmortal Screenwriter

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    Yes, a screencap if done correctly is an unaltered frame grab direct from disc, not a picture taken off a screen. If the Blu-ray software is set up correctly, the image should be a pure sample of the original data, especially if saved in lossless format such as PNG to prevent further compression artifacts.However the resulting image must then be viewed on a PC monitor (or TV if you transfer the cap to a USB drive or SD card for example and show it on your screen that way). Which or course means that your display's settings are a factor as to how you interpret the screencap. This is particularly true for computer monitors which are rarely calibrated or accurate.I can see both sides of the screencap debate, as both have valid points. It's true to say that screencaps - if taken correctly and viewed on a calibrated display - can be a reasonable indicator of image quality. But it's also true to say that viewing any particular still frame off a BD is not going to show you precisely how that movie will look in motion, nor the overall image quality of the film. Anyone can take most any BD and pick particular frames that look better or worse depending upon what agenda they're trying to push. Finally, a screencap can't do much for someone who has minimal knowledge of how a film is supposed to look (like me). It can't tell you in absolute terms whether the BD is faithful to the original look of the movie. This is the biggest problem area. Too many people make incorrect judgment calls from screencaps due to a lack of knowledge.
     
  10. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Which is why still photographers were standard issue on sets for at least 90 years, as opposed to doing frame captures from a Blu-ray. I still prefer cutting up 70mm prints.RAH
     
  11. FoxyMulder

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    I am resisting the urge to talk about screencaps, it seems to annoy some people.
     
  12. Peter Apruzzese

    Peter Apruzzese Producer

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    Why not start a dedicated thread here to discussing them? People can participate or avoid and that way other threads can point to it when it comes up.
     
  13. FoxyMulder

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    I was joking with my post, if someone wants to start up such a thread i may participate, i may not, to be honest at this point i'm actually fed up discussing my viewpoint on screencaps so would more than likely just avoid such a thread.
     
  14. andySu

    andySu Cinematographer

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    I came across this that looks pretty neat.

     
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  15. FilmCrazy

    FilmCrazy Auditioning

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  16. andySu

    andySu Cinematographer

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    ^Oh, wow some good titles showing there. Only wish the local cinema in home town was still geared up for 70mm. Its all digital now and has no means of real showcase 70mm films.

    International what and where is showing In-70mm?

    http://www.in70mm.com/now_showing/
     
  17. haineshisway

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    I understood exactly what you meant. You take the snapshot and others view the snapshot on a whole variety of devices and see different things. You can tell me until the cows come home that you're looking at it and it's a perfect representation of what's on the disc, while twenty others will tell you that it looks nothing like what's on the disc. You really don't have to reference me every time you post, you know. You've made your points and I and others have made ours. I, of course, would not have responded to this at all had you not invoked my name. Just make your post without invoking me - that would be ever so nice and you can converse with the person who actually posted about how a screen cap was of no value to them.
     
  18. Steen DK

    Steen DK Stunt Coordinator

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    Thank you for responding to an eight month old post.
     
  19. Steen DK

    Steen DK Stunt Coordinator

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    Alas, that is not the only problem. We had a great cinema in Copenhagen that would occasionally show 70mm films, but unfortunately they've "upgraded" their screen to one of those silvery/highly reflective ones in order to show (BLARGH!) 3D films - and this means that even 2D films look terrible, with massive hotspots and a very un-even picture. It is very sad. And another good reason to curse the 3D fad into Hell where is belongs.
     
  20. FoxyMulder

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    It's strange, sometimes i get a notification of new content having been posted on a thread, i visit the thread and lo and behold there is no new content, well now there is as i have just posted this, a great classic STILL waiting to be remastered on blu ray.

    I'm not holding my breath while i wait patiently for this one to be done right. :huh: :angry: :D
     
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