A Few Words About A few words about...™ The Black Swan -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Nov 29, 2013.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
    Reviewer

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 1999
    Messages:
    9,262
    Likes Received:
    5,140
    Real Name:
    Robert Harris
    No reason to go over the history of the Fox nitrates again. Suffice to say, for the initiated, that we have what we have, and there is little else that anyone in the Fox archival team can do to make matters better.

    Henry King's The Black Swan, starring Tyrone Power and Maureen O'Hara, as photographed by the great Leon Shamroy, is but a shadow of itself.

    Color? Yes. Accurate color and densities? No.

    Viewable? Absolutely.

    Just don't expect anything proper.

    Skin tones are off, contrast blooms, shadow detail isn't.

    But The Black Swan, which won the Academy Award for Best Color Cinematography, is still a hugely entertaining pirate romp. The score by Alfred Newman doesn't hurt either.

    The story is from the pen of Rafael Sabatini, who was also responsible for Scaramouche, The Sea Hawk, and Captain Blood.

    Worth the $16 from Fox Connect?

    Absolutely.

    Image - 2

    Audio - 4

    RAH
     
  2. Dick

    Dick Producer
    Supporter

    Joined:
    May 22, 1999
    Messages:
    5,464
    Likes Received:
    1,504
    Real Name:
    Rick
    Hmmm. Will have to check my DVD again, as I seem to recall I was quite pleased with the color and whatnot. Oh, well, less than $10.00 for it and all the other Dec. 3 releases if purchased as a bunch on Fox Connect.
     
  3. EddieLarkin

    EddieLarkin Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2012
    Messages:
    989
    Likes Received:
    464
    Location:
    Yorkshire
    Real Name:
    Nick
    Was the DVD any more accurate? Caps at DVDBeaver suggest the colour, especially in skin tones, was quite a bit different.
     
  4. Lromero1396

    Lromero1396 Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2012
    Messages:
    640
    Likes Received:
    33
    I guess we get what we get. It's too bad Fox doesn't appear to be utilizing the studio nitrate prints at UCLA for the image harvests. Color would be perfect in that case.
     
  5. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
    Reviewer

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 1999
    Messages:
    9,262
    Likes Received:
    5,140
    Real Name:
    Robert Harris
    Color, but scanners are not set to harvest high contrast imagery. They really have no where to go with this, and are doing the best possible.

    RAH
     
  6. Adam Gregorich

    Owner

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 1999
    Messages:
    15,680
    Likes Received:
    675
    Location:
    The Other Washington
    Real Name:
    Adam
    Earlier this year Fox asked for your help to Voice Your Choice and pick the title from each decade you would most like to see released to Blu-ray. Over 42,000 people cast 80,000 votes.To thank Home Theater Forum members for their participation in the Voice Your Choice promotion, Fox has put together three bundles on Fox Connect with special pricing: 1) Buy all 8 titles on Blu-ray for just $75. 2) Buy the four first place titles for $40. 3) Buy the four second place titles for $40

    Here are the titles by decade:
    1930s: Jesse James (1st place), Call of the Wild (2nd place)1940s: Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1st place), Black Swan (2nd place)1950s: Carmen Jones (1st place), Desk Set (2nd place)1960s: North to Alaska (1st place), Undefeated (2nd place)
     
  7. Robin9

    Robin9 Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2006
    Messages:
    2,805
    Likes Received:
    830
    Real Name:
    Robin
    I wasn't pleased with DVD.

    When it was first released, I didn't know that Fox had junked their elements or that a really good disc was impossible. I was extremely disappointed. Now, thanks to Robert Harris, I understand why. I doubt very much if this new BRD will make me any happier. The film itself is no masterpiece and the main attraction would always be Shamroy's use of light and color. If that's not there . . . . . .
     
  8. Dick

    Dick Producer
    Supporter

    Joined:
    May 22, 1999
    Messages:
    5,464
    Likes Received:
    1,504
    Real Name:
    Rick
    I would love for Fox to do really well sales-wise on these titles, encouraging them to do this again in 2014. That's a lot of people voting... if all of them actually purchased the title(s) they voted for, Fox would do better with this than with Twilight Time licensing. And there must be a fair number of purchases from collectors who didn't vote.
     
    Lromero1396 likes this.
  9. Lromero1396

    Lromero1396 Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2012
    Messages:
    640
    Likes Received:
    33
    Well shoot, I already bought 3 of the first place titles and one of the second place as part of the 50% off sale several weeks ago. I guess I won't be getting the remaining 2nd place titles without having to rebuy The Black Swan.
    I certianly believe that they are doing their best. My question is, are we still getting better contrast from the CRIs (with their crushed blacks and all) than what we would theoretically get from an IB print?
     
  10. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
    Reviewer

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 1999
    Messages:
    9,262
    Likes Received:
    5,140
    Real Name:
    Robert Harris
    Last time I threaded a 35 dye transfer print through my Oppo, both the print and the Oppo were damaged. Had to send the player back to California, and was warned not to do it again.

    Or were you asking about projecting a print normally. Dye transfer prints had a wide range to them, good contrast as well as shadow detail. The Blu-ray has virtually no shadow detail.

    RAH
     
  11. Lromero1396

    Lromero1396 Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2012
    Messages:
    640
    Likes Received:
    33
    Based on your past few posts, what I've gleaned is that a 35 IB print wouldn't register as well on a scanner and in the digital realm as a CRI would, but if projected would outclass a print made from the restored digital files.
     
  12. David Weicker

    David Weicker Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2005
    Messages:
    2,359
    Likes Received:
    631
    Real Name:
    David
    I think the question was (or at least my question is), of the existing elements/prints of The Black Swan, do they have better shadow detail than the Blu Ray?
     
  13. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
    Reviewer

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 1999
    Messages:
    9,262
    Likes Received:
    5,140
    Real Name:
    Robert Harris
    No.
     
  14. Ray Faiola

    Ray Faiola Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2004
    Messages:
    57
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Ellenville, NY
    Real Name:
    Ray Faiola
    We were able to produce our original soundtrack CD from the original scoring sessions.

    [​IMG]
     
    davidmatychuk likes this.
  15. Reed Grele

    Reed Grele Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 1997
    Messages:
    1,612
    Likes Received:
    1,087
    Location:
    Beacon Falls, CT
    Real Name:
    Reed Grele
    Had a chance to watch this last night. For a disc with an image rating of only "2", I was still mightily impressed! How much more in awe would I have been were it a "5"? :)
     
    ROclockCK likes this.
  16. Robin9

    Robin9 Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2006
    Messages:
    2,805
    Likes Received:
    830
    Real Name:
    Robin
    Did you buy the original DVD? Are you in a position to compare the two discs?
     
  17. Keith Cobby

    Keith Cobby Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2013
    Messages:
    1,636
    Likes Received:
    780
    Location:
    Kent "The Garden of England", UK
    Real Name:
    Keith Cobby
    I had been looking forward to buying The Black Swan on blu-ray but am slightly put off by the reviews. I have got the German blu-ray of Against All Flags which has a superb image. Has anyone else bought both discs as I would be interested in how they compare.
     
  18. Reed Grele

    Reed Grele Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 1997
    Messages:
    1,612
    Likes Received:
    1,087
    Location:
    Beacon Falls, CT
    Real Name:
    Reed Grele
    No DVD to compare it to. Sorry.
     
  19. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
    Reviewer

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 1999
    Messages:
    9,262
    Likes Received:
    5,140
    Real Name:
    Robert Harris
    The two cannot be compared. Apples and raisins... AAF would have original camera negatives.

    Black Swan looks about as good as it can.

    RAH
     
  20. Keith Cobby

    Keith Cobby Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2013
    Messages:
    1,636
    Likes Received:
    780
    Location:
    Kent "The Garden of England", UK
    Real Name:
    Keith Cobby
    Thanks for your comments Mr Harris. I am reassured and will get on and order it.
     

Share This Page