A Few Words About A few words about...™ Stanley Kubrick Collection -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Jun 2, 2011.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    I'm not at all certain what the words "Limited Edition" mean on the cover of this release.

    Possibly a printing of 211 copies, some missing certain discs, forever after to be known as the "incomplete" edition?

    Regardless of marketing sizzle, this is the stuff that dreams are made of.

    Eight feature films, plus A Life in Pictures and O Lucky Malcolm on an additional disc, presented at perfection or very close, from one of the greatest filmmakers to ever have his work projected on the silver sheet.

    Stanley Kubrick.

    Every one a unique film experience, the value of which would be untold.

    But here, it works out to just over $13 per title, with a nifty little book thrown in for good measure.

    For those who are just now upgrading to Blu-ray, this is the buy of the century. For those who already have purchased Dr. Strangelove, 2001, A Clockwork Orange, Full Metal Jacket and Eyes Wide Shut, Mr. Kubrick's entire output from 1962 - 1999, you'll probably want to add Barry Lyndon and Lolita to your libraries.

    To specifics, every one of these titles has been meticulously brought to Blu-ray. Aspects ratios are correct, although some mary still argue at Barry Lyndon's 1.78.1...

    Color, densities, black levels, audio...

    Everything is correct as SK would demand it to be.

    For those who do not yet have a Blu-ray player, this is a great reason to move up. No need to wait for Star Wars, or Indiana Jones. Be ready for them when they come. These are the thinking people's films. Great stories, beautiful imagery. Everything in its place.

    While I don't understand why this set didn't arrive three years ago, and why things were handled as they were, it's certainly a step i the right direction.

    One of the greatest compendiums of film ever released.

    For those, who for whatever unconscionable reason, have never seen SK's work this purchase will change your lives.

    Extremely Highly Recommended.

    RAH
     
  2. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Producer
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    I thought there were nine films in the set - or are we just pretending the Spartacus disc isn't in there since the disc technically isn't on par with everything else included*?

    (*not that I would have a problem with that)
     
  3. cafink

    cafink Producer

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    Wow. Considering the source, I can't imagine how it would be possible to praise a release any more highly.
     
  4. stephen la

    stephen la Stunt Coordinator

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    thanks Mr. Harris.
    Is eyes wide shut in 1:33? the original dvd was that way, but when the bluray came out it was 16x9 I think.
    I just wondered if this bluray of eyes wide shut is any different than the original bluray that came out a few years ago thanks.
     
  5. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Producer
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    It's the same disc that was released before - so 16x9.
     
  6. MLamarre

    MLamarre Second Unit

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    So this set is great with the exception of the lousy Spartacus transfer?
     
  7. Jay G.

    Jay G. Agent

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    All the discs are the same as what was previously released on Blu-ray, with the exception of Lolita and Barry Lyndon, which didn't have a previous Blu-ray release.

    The aspect ratios are "correct" in the sense that they are the original widescreen theatrical aspect ratios for all the films, allowing for a slight opening up of The Shining, Full Metal Jacket, and Eyes Wide Shut from 1.85:1 to 1.78:1 (16:9), and excepting the Barry Lyndon 1.78:1 aspect ratio, which has been highly debatable recently (there's a lot of evidence that suggests its OAR is 1.66:1).
    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/forum/thread/311684/a-few-words-about-barry-lyndon-in-blu-ray
     
  8. Icaro

    Icaro Extra

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    Some doubt for ACO...
    http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1313469&page=3
     
  9. Russell G

    Russell G Fake Shemp
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    My set arrived yesterday, and I have one complaint. Well, other then the lousy transfer on Spartacus that I watched last night. My complaint is: Why do they not list the special features anymore onthese bluray sets? It's really annoying! They basically have two books that they could of listed the features in, but all you get is a back cover blurb (on throw away card) saying "featuring trailers, behind the scenes and more!" I want to see if anything from the previous DVD version of this boxset (the one that included Dr. Strangelove before the last remasters came out) is missing on this so I know I can get rid of it.

    Harumph!

    Not a deal breaker of course! Thanks for the review RAH, now I have to sit down with the rest of the films :)
     
  10. John Dirk

    John Dirk Second Unit

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    It's nice to see this finally reach the market but Kubrick's films are so cerebral that I am still thoroughly enjoying my standard DVD's. I see no compelling reason to buy the BD's, but that's just me.
     
  11. Craig S

    Craig S Producer
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    Quote:

    All of these films are greatly improved on Blu, but in particular if you actually saw even a few seconds of the stunning hi-def transfers of 2001: A Space Odyssey or Barry Lyndon I guarantee you would eat those words.
     
  12. John Dirk

    John Dirk Second Unit

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    Thanks Craig;

    I would love to eat those words, so I guess I'll have to at least give it a look.
     
  13. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Producer
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    John Dirk - I think I understand what you're saying. If a film has real substance to it, as opposed to being a film that's simply about spectacle and explosions, as long as the edition you already own allows the message to come through, it's acceptable. I certainly agree with that sentiment. As much as I would love to replace every single DVD I own with a nice, shiny, 1080p Blu-ray disc, it would be too much of a project to do all in one fell swoop. On a budget, one has to pick and choose what demands an upgrade, and what's still acceptable on DVD. And the DVDs that have been done really well still look pretty darn good today. While I'd love all the Kubrick Blu-rays and will one day get them, if I felt like watching "Dr. Strangelove" on a whim later tonight, I'd have absolutely no qualms about putting on the DVD. On the other hand, and I admit this is somewhat perverse, I only have Iron Man on DVD and if I watch it again, it'll probably be worth renting or buying the Blu-ray to see it. I'm in no way suggesting Iron Man is the better film, but simply saying, there are more "surface" thrills to be had with an HD copy of a popcorn movie like that than most of the Kubricks, where the brilliance isn't just about what resolution you have the film in, it's about the message. There's more detail to be found in the HD versions (it's very clearly readable either in HD or on a 35mm print, that when Gen. Turgidson doesn't want to let the Russian ambassador in because he might see the big board, that as he grabs his stacks of binders and pulls them close to his body, one says "World Targets In Megadeaths" - fantastic little gag that can be lost in SD resolution), but the cerebral nature of the films is preserved in no matter what format one sees them in.

    Now, that said, "2001: A Space Odyssey" is always worth seeing in the highest quality version available each and every time, when possible. I try to avoid watching it at home because nothing compares to a 70mm print of it, but the level of detail in the Blu-ray is astonishing and well worth at least a rental next time you feel like seeing that movie.
     
  14. stephen la

    stephen la Stunt Coordinator

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    thanks Flynn, I mean Josh
     
  15. John Dirk

    John Dirk Second Unit

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    Hey Josh - Thanks for expounding wonderfully on my point. I love all film fare. The popcorn flicks are great for what they are, and as you alluded, the HD formats are excellent at bringing them to life. It's also worth noting that not all films with stunning visual affects are properly classified as popcorn flicks. Bladerunner is a perfect example of this as are many of the Star Trek films in my opinion.

    Kubrick's films are just so engaging that I find myself completely lost in the dialog. Every time I watch Strangelove I get about halfway through before I even realize it's in B & W. Spike Lee's "She's Gotta have It" provokes the same response, as do many of Quentin Tarantino's films. I certainly hope to get my hands on this box set one of these days, but for the reasons stated previously, there's no real hurry.
     
  16. Jeff Adkins

    Jeff Adkins Screenwriter

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    EWS is even worse. It looks nothing like the 35mm prints I saw of the film during it's initial theatrical run. The prints were extremely grainy, but the Blu-ray is a smoothed over mess.
     
  17. Josh Steinberg

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    Agreed, Jeff. EWS theatrically may have been the most beautiful thing I've ever seen - the way they pushed the negative a couple stops to get that very grainy, dreamlike texture was so perfect. To be fair, I don't know how much of the Blu-ray not looking like that has to do with the image being seen at home on a much smaller screen, but I was surprised that there wasn't more of a trace of it to be found on the BD compared to the DVD. The BD is certainly watchable and by no means terrible, but it just doesn't look like the movie I saw opening day back in 1999.

    John Dirk - I don't know if you've ever seen Dr. Strangelove theatrically, but that was definitely a movie I had first fallen in love with on videotape. When I finally did get to see a theatrical screening, I was really amazed at all of the tiny details Kubrick and Ken Adam worked into the production, details that don't really show up so well on the DVD. That might be a film at least worth a look on Blu-ray because if you pay attention, there are all sorts of great little things that completely enrich the experience. (That's also a film that's a lot of fun to see with a full audience, to really hear people laughing at all the right things at the right time.) And Spartacus should be brilliant in HD if only Universal had done a better job - I hope there's a Criterion down the line, because that DVD is one of the very best they've ever done in my opinion.
     
  18. Icaro

    Icaro Extra

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    EWS is even worse
    also compare to The Gladiator 1st edition,
    and then ?




     
  19. Russell G

    Russell G Fake Shemp
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    Weird. I remember EYS looking great in the theater, but not super grainy at all. Film grain yes, but not excessive. I'll be curious to watch it in this boxset when I get to it. I'm watching them in order.
     
  20. Jarod M

    Jarod M Stunt Coordinator

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    The party scene was swimming in grain.
     

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