A Few Words About A few words about...™ The Great Escape -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, May 8, 2013.

  1. John Hermes

    John Hermes Screenwriter

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    It's good the price is low because, to me, the softness is disconcerting. You guys don't have to agree, but that's how I feel. The McQueen motorcycle scene is the way I wish the whole transfer looked. That's nice.
     
  2. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    I'm not sure how much they could do about the softness.
     
  3. widescreenforever

    widescreenforever Stunt Coordinator

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    There are Two Amazons .,.. ( The .com and .ca ) I bought from Amazon Today ( .ca) and their price is $14.99 I do not expect to get a discount ..... :(
     
  4. haineshisway

    haineshisway Producer

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    Well, let's be specific, shall we? What softness are you speaking of? If the motorcycle sequence looks good, what specific scenes don't? Once we know that, we can address this very specifically.
     
  5. John Hermes

    John Hermes Screenwriter

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    Geeze, I spot checked it the other night and was disappointed in about every sequence other than the motorcycle scene when switching chapters. I'm not the only one on the internet who thinks it's not so great. I have a 120" 2.35 scope screen and a sharp DLP projector. I just got in The War Wagon, Two Mules For Sister Sara, and Rooster Cogburn on BD from Europe and those films are crisp compared to The Great Escape - no contest. I've watched a lot of DVDs and Blu-rays in my days (and had 16mm and 35mm film collections). Like I said before, you don't have to agree with me, but to my eyes, the vast majority of The Great Escape is soft. The color and contrast are nice but leaves much to be desired in sharpness.
     
  6. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Not trying to be a smart ass, but is that really surprising as almost every BD release has its share of critics despite what the majority may think of it.
     
  7. haineshisway

    haineshisway Producer

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    the point was there are a lot of very long opticals in The Great Escape and they have always been soft. There is absolutely nothing to be done about them - as has been stated already, one of the opticals goes on for the entire length of a rather long sequence. Additionally, several sequences were shot with heavy diffusion filters - those have also always looked softer than the scenes that weren't shot that way. If you'd said the entire thing was soft, you'd have no response from me even if I disagreed, which I do. But they can't suddenly make one sequence sharp - I think what you will find should you actually do something other than spot check (especially if you are chapter hopping - almost every chapter stop is an optical) you will find there are many sequences in the film (like all the non-opticals) that have the same exact sharpness as the motorcycle scene. You are not really being fair when you make a post as you did initially, only to come back and say you haven't actually run the entire transfer.
     
  8. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    These sequences have long been documented as always being soft so I don't understand why some people keep bringing them up. One of the things I can always remember about this film going back to the 60s was how the 4th of July sequence looked different in comparison to when they first arrived at the compound. Now, that's not to say this film couldn't look better if more monies and effort were spent getting it to look its best on BD. Furthermore, those with large screens of 120" or more do get the shorter end of the stick when it comes to viewing many BDs on their HT equipment. In many cases, bigger doesn't necessarily give you a better viewing experience. I've always said that companies preparing these titles for Blu-ray releases, do so while utilizing much bigger screen sizes than what they're currently using for the most part during the BD preparation process.
     
  9. Lromero1396

    Lromero1396 Supporting Actor

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    True. This release just says different things to different viewers a bit more than most others.
     
  10. John Hermes

    John Hermes Screenwriter

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    I ran enough of it to give it a fair shake. I know about opticals and the rest. Read Michael Reuben's recently expanded review of the video quality over at Blu-ray.com: http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/The-Great-Escape-Blu-ray/47102/#Review I just don't agree with you on this one. Sorry.
     
  11. John Hermes

    John Hermes Screenwriter

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    A film might appear sharper on a smaller screen, but I'll take my 120" any day. Funny...those Universal's I spoke of looked fine. :)
     
  12. ahollis

    ahollis Lead Actor

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    Not sure your comparing apples to apples here since there are two different companies and different in how they care for their library titles.
     
  13. FoxyMulder

    FoxyMulder 映画ファン

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    Heres the thing, those Universal titles have had some grain management and sharpening applied to them.
     
  14. John Hermes

    John Hermes Screenwriter

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    Whatever, they look a helluva lot better than TGE and not artificial in any way. I've had my say here. Stalemate.
    Perhaps MGM should have a look around at the other companies.
     
  15. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Funny how we're that other site, yet we allowed their name to be mentioned here in full view of everybody. Am I reading this right, RAH is now the substitute expert in place of Kaiser to justify Michael's review? I prefer no namedropping in published reviews especially ones that has been further edited two weeks later. Sorry, if that might come off as a criticism of Michael Reuben's review, but I think it's a valid point in my opinion. Furthermore, I hope other reviewers refrain from that practice as I'm looking to read what they think and not justification of their stated opinion. This shouldn't be some great controversy, but just stating my perspective on published reviews in general.
     
  16. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Robert,

    Not necessarily in defense of Mr. Reuben, but there are some reviews that really necessitate updates, and a sort of continuum (nice wine by the way).

    This entire Great Escape experience has me thinking in terms of multiple platforms.

    Rather like an old GM X body. Whether you were driving a Chevrolet Cavalier or a Cadillac, you were driving essentially the same vehicle with a different body and interior. Same adequate engine. Same horrific brakes.

    This to me is The Great Escape. I agree that the film was scanned as 4k origination. Accurate.

    And then they built a Cadillac and a Chevy.

    Whether one came before the other, or they were concurrent is irrelevant. But from what I've heard about the DCP, and have seen on the Blu-ray, these are two very different animals -- handled in two very different ways.

    While I'm told that the DCP is a quality representation of the the original elements, the Blu-ray has gone down a different assembly line, and it's a Chevy.

    We look. We learn. We cogitate. And like Mr. Reuben, where necessary, I'm constantly updating. If not in my original review, certainly in this extended version.

    Can the Blu-ray of The Great Escape look better than it does. I'm now thinking yes. Very yes.

    Is it problematic? Will people be dissatisfied with it as it stands. No. I think it's fine for it's purpose.

    Should MGM do more this way. I'd not recommend it.

    RAH
     
  17. haineshisway

    haineshisway Producer

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    I have to say, I'd need to see the DCP myself to accurately judge - certainly I do not trust any other eyes but mine, and most who've seen the DCP have only seen screen caps of the Blu-ray, which renders their opinions completely pointless.
     
  18. haineshisway

    haineshisway Producer

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    I don't have to read MIchael Reuben's new version of his review - it doesn't interest me in the least. What interests me is that you say you ran enough of it to give it a fair shake - is that what you call "spot checking"? If you thought the motorcycle scene looked fine, all I'm telling you is that every single non-optical sequence and every sequence not shot with diffusion filters, looks just like the motorcycle scene, so how you've given it a fair shake I'm not quite understanding. Again, if you hit the chapter button to go scene to scene then you most certainly have not given it a fair shake because, as I pointed out every chapter stop in the film is an optical. If you watch the entire transfer (and why wouldn't you) you will find many sequences that look just as the motorcycle sequence does. That is my point. If you've made up your mind and "spot-checking" a transfer is enough for you, then I think the discussion is probably at a standstill.
     
  19. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    I'd say 80% of the film looks like the "motorcycle" sequence. And yes, you're absolutely correct. If one does a chapter review, each will generally begin with a printer function. Nailed it.

    RAH

    RAH
     
  20. John Hermes

    John Hermes Screenwriter

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    I watched several minutes into each chapter. Like I said, I know about dissolves and fades. I know enough to get past the optical to begin to judge quality. I'm 61 years old and have been actively into film for over 40 years. Can't someone disagree politely here or is that not permitted? If you're open-minded, read his updated review, sir. You're being your usual overbearing self.
     

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