A Few Words About A few words about...™ The Adventures of Robin Hood -- in HD-DVD

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Sep 28, 2006.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    This is one of the classics for which I (and possibly a few others) have been waiting.

    How precisely would all of the 2k restoration work done by Warner Bros. translate to the shiny new HD-DVD discs?

    The answer is interesting, and more complex than one might assume.

    When a 1937 three-strip production entitled The Adventures of Robin Hood was released in April of 1938, the new Technicolor process was really still in its infancy. You could count the number of completed productions and not reach double digits.

    Prints struck during the original era were softer than one might expect due to the technology of the process, and while they looked magnificent on screen, with rich velvety textures, and a faux sharpness as a result of contrast, they were still soft.

    As I understand the facts, most of the original negatives survive, while certain reels do not, which necessitate the use of dupes.

    Viewing the film on HD-DVD almost seven decades later, a line in the Variety review of the time still rings true.

    "It is cinematic pageantry at its best."

    And the words to describe The Adventures of Robin Hood in HD?

    Unlike your grandfather's Robin Hood.

    The disc has been rendered sharper than ever seen before, with a full palette of rich hues, striking trademark Technicolor blues and reds, and a grain structure that could not be more perfect for the era.

    With what was earlier a second disc's worth of extras, the HD version has now been upgraded with three-strip shorts and Looney Tunes in HD that have color that almost appears to drip off the screen.

    This is a DVD that will serve as marker and cause of action for many of those waiting to head into the new format.

    What a DVD!

    The Adventures of Robin Hood in HD comes with the Highest Possible Recommendation, and should have a huge "RAH Approved" sticker on its packaging.

    It doesn't get any better than this.

    Congratulations to all involved in its creation!

    RAH
     
  2. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Watched it yesterday and thought it looked great. I still have to watch the bonus material on the disc.




    Crawdaddy
     
  3. dkny75

    dkny75 Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks Robert, I always look forward to a few words about.....

    Now I'm just waiting on Amazon to get around to shipping me a copy.
     
  4. Frank Ha

    Frank Ha Second Unit

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    Wow. I believe this may be one of the highest praises from Mr. Harris for a DVD that I have read. Now I am truly excited. Thank you Mr. Harris for "your few words about" Robin Hood (and the many other films you've commented on).

    I've learned to be patient about receiving DVD's here. It can take a while sometimes. But, this is going to put my patience to the test. Maybe I'll give "The Searchers" another spin or two while I'm waiting [​IMG].
     
  5. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Mr. Harris, your praise of this presentation rocks my personal boat. Very compelling. Thank you.
     
  6. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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    I watched this last night and was completely blown away. I thought that the SD DVD was impressive, but this high-def transfer leaves it far behind. Holy smokes, what a completely smashing release by WB of a fantastic classic film. This kind of quality and presentation is what HD-DVD is all about IMO.
     
  7. Roy Johansen

    Roy Johansen Extra

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    This is one fantastic release! I finally gave up on Amazon -- with no shipping date in sight, I cancelled my "Robin Hood" order and picked it up at Best Buy. Breathtaking colors and sharpness, all those extras, Looney Tunes in HD... it just doesn't get much better than this!
     
  8. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    I had previewed Robin Hood yesterday in my office, but viewed it in its entirety last night on a larger system.

    It only gets better, as the image holds up to magnification beautifully, yielding a version of The Adventures of Robin Hood as it was previously unable to be seen.

    RAH
     
  9. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    It's an amazing presentation, with the costumes just popping off the screen, from the chainmail (incredibly hard to render in SD DVD) to de Havilland's sumptuous gowns to Rathbone's crazy quilt primary color tunic. And the cartoons in HD, you may think you've died and gone to heaven!
     
  10. Ed St. Clair

    Ed St. Clair Producer

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    Thank you, I been looking forward to reviews for this release.
    Your's is the first I've seen Robert (was on DVD Basen, yesterday, no such luck).

    BTY, I thought this was a 4K restoration, wrong again?
     
  11. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    May have been 4k, but I doubt that the image contains 4k information. I can confirm.
     
  12. Ed St. Clair

    Ed St. Clair Producer

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    The HD DVD would not be 4K, I just thought I remembered the restoration being 4K.
    Thanks for your reply, Robert.
    Always a pleasure!
     
  13. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Restoration work on Robin Hood was performed at 2k resolution.

    RAH
     
  14. Steven Simon

    Steven Simon Producer

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    Thanks for the info Robert... I bought this disc 3 days ago. Will watch this weekend....
     
  15. Hayes Preston

    Hayes Preston Stunt Coordinator

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    Got this one release day.

    I am confused, what's up with the black bars one the sides, I thought HD DVD was supposed to be anamorphic ([​IMG] )

    Seriously though, holy cow, this one's a winner!!!! One of my favorite movies, it looks soooooo good, and Bugs and Daffy in HD WOW!!!

    Haven't made my way through all the extras, but I will,

    Again, 100% agree with RAH (FWIW) if you have an HD DVD player you owe it to yourself to get this disc. If you don't have and HD DVD player, you owe it to yourself to get one and then get this disc.
     
  16. Scott Calvert

    Scott Calvert Supporting Actor

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    Yup, agreed.

    Anyone heard any rumbles about other 3-strip technicolor classics coming to HD? Meet Me In St Louis would be a great one for Christmas
     
  17. Ed St. Clair

    Ed St. Clair Producer

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    Thanks.
    My badd!
    WB = 2K
    Lowry = 4K (now)

    This is how badd my memory is;
    I thought Citizen Kane was 2K, its 1K
    &
    I thought Singing in the Rain was 4K, its 2K.

    Although, I may have been right thinking Casablanca was 4K, can't find out for sure (you know the web!).
    I had thought AoRH was done by LDI, hence the 4K mistake, it does look like AoRH did go to Lowry for cleanup, then as Robert stated was done in house at WB with their "Ultra Resolution" which as RAH posted, gave us the HD DVD & the SD DVD, 2K restoration.
    Whew!
    Thanks for the "class".
     
  18. ppltd

    ppltd Producer

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    Just finished viewing my copy of Robin Hood, and I honestly can not remember it looking this good.

    Also, it has a very robust selection of special features. I am normally not a viewer of SP's on a disk, but Warner put together one heck of a list of them. It was fun watching the old WB cartoons. I miss em at the theater......

    Thomas Eisenmann
     
  19. cjplay

    cjplay Auditioning

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    [​IMG]

    Robert,

    This is very flattering, but I know (as well as you) that great masters make great compressions, so hats off to Warner Mastering. We just did the compression. They did the hard stuff!

    Cjplay.
     
  20. Jeff(R)

    Jeff(R) Second Unit

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    Cjplay,

    It's great to see another industry insider here. [​IMG] Welcome to HTF.

    Jeff
     

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