A Few Words About A few words about...™ The Man Who Knew Too Much -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Oct 25, 2012.

  1. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
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    This is utterly and thoroughly horrible. The worst news I've read in a long time.
     
  2. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Looks like this title is first in line for my personal viewing.








    Crawdaddy
     
  3. David_B_K

    David_B_K Advanced Member

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    As the Blu has been deemed 'unwatchable', I have to ask: is there a 'watchable' version of this title on home video? It's not a huge favorite of mine, which is why I don't have a version of it. It seems all the previous versions have been criticized. Is the Blu worse, or the same? I'd like to have a version that is at least watchable.
     
  4. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    What may be unwatchable to some, but might not be so with you.






    Crawdaddy
     
  5. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    The Blu-ray is the worst incarnation of the film on video.

    Better to have left it.

    Biggest problem is that we could lose the film.

    RAH
     
  6. David_B_K

    David_B_K Advanced Member

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    Wow. So this film is in danger of ending up like THE ALAMO?
     
  7. JohnMor

    JohnMor Producer
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    How does this happen? How can something unwatchable get as far as actually being released? This is terrible news, especially the potential of losing the film, which is obviously far more urgent than a bad blu-ray. That would be inexcusable.
     
  8. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    I can only give you my feeling.

    Corporate constraints as opposed to the desires of those doing the technical work. Keep in mind that Universal is not a segregated entity, but a part of a larger group of corporations, inclusive of General Electric and Comcast.

    One would have to know who is pulling the budgetary strings for an accurate answer.

    RAH
     
  9. Douglas R

    Douglas R Cinematographer

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    I've got a broadcast HD version and I don't consider it unwatchable.
     
  10. rsmithjr

    rsmithjr Screenwriter

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    The best version of TMWKTM that I have seen is the 1985-86 LD from Universal when the 5 Hitchcocks were released. This version is far more watchable than the more recent DVD's IMHO, which have some of the worst EE that I have ever seen.
    I will be comparing the new Blu-ray to the LD.
     
  11. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Excellent point. If it was up to the people in direct control of the elements, every title would be done right as these people love film and generally respect film history. However, in the corporate setting, you have those pushing down their budget goals who have little regard to film and its history.






    Crawdaddy
     
  12. JohnMor

    JohnMor Producer
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    I understand that point to a degree, but this was taken further into something that makes no business sense at any level. The order comes from corporate that they want to do a blu-ray set of "The Masterpiece Collection." The people in charge of the elements should have responded (and possibly did), "Family Plot and The Man Who Knew Too Much cannot be done as they would be unwatchable. Recommend only releasing the remaining "top 3" i.e. Rear Window, Vertigo and The Birds instead. Save X amount of dollars by not preparing and releasing the others." Or, "Spend Y amount of dollars to make the 2 titles acceptable on blu-ray and add that to the budget for the boxset." Instead they spent Z amount of money to put out 2 titles that are unwatchable and will make no purchaser happy. It makes no business sense to spend money on a product that can't be watched. Either save the money and forgo the releases or spend the extra to make it a valid product. But to spend anything and produce nothing is never good business. (Of course, by "nothing" I'm referring to only the 2 worst titles here, not the entire set.)
     
  13. Spencer Draper

    Spencer Draper Stunt Coordinator

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    Damn. And to think I thought that Uni might have actually taken a step or two to help the condition of what is unfairly becoming a lesser regarded film. This looks like similar color as was on the master used for the atrocious 2005 MC DVD. (Which I hated.) The original 2001 DVD seems to be from the old master and must have come directly from one of those "lost Hitchcock" prints due to the extreme amount of wear. But then again, that's the best I've ever seen the film look on video sadly.
     
  14. Scott Calvert

    Scott Calvert Supporting Actor

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    I just finished this and it's far more than watchable. I'm at a loss to understand the ire directed at this one. It's not as good as Vertigo but it's not that much worse. What exactly is so wrong with the color? There is some wavering but 90% of the time it looks really good. There's occasional dirt but I don't really see it as that big a deal. There are dupey looking shots but they've always been that way. Resolution is great and it's obviously a newer transfer.
    I can understand having issues with the film elements from an asset protection perspective but as a piece of home entertainment software this BD is quite nice.
     
  15. Robin9

    Robin9 Cinematographer

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    Thank you for that. Judging by some of your other posts, you are much fussier, much more demanding about picture quality than I am. If this BRD is good enough for you, then it will probably be good enough for me too. I think I'll buy it when it is available individually.
    In the days, long ago, when quite a few of Hitchcock's films were not available for public viewing, there was an "underground" circuit of movie theaters which occasionally showed films in breach of copyright. The prints were, of course, usually in very poor condition. I saw The Man Who Knew Too Much in this way in the early 1980s. The print was excellent with beautiful color! I couldn't believe my eyes.
     
  16. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    I hate to say this, but it's true in my opinion. Most people will probably be happy with these two titles in question and most likely don't even know some are questioning the quality of them. People are going to judge the watcheability of these discs with their own eyes and on their HT equipment which is quite different than RAH or Kevin.







    Crawdaddy
     
  17. Moe Dickstein

    Moe Dickstein Filmmaker

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    Just out of curiosity, Crawdaddy, is there ever a disc that you found unacceptable?
     
  18. JohnMor

    JohnMor Producer
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    Well, actually, both of these posts are somewhat encouraging to me on a personal level re: TMWKTM. I only have a 50" display and I'm a bit more forgiving about most things (i.e. I could actually watch The Longest Day and not be bothered by the scrubbing. I saw it, but it didn't stop me from enjoying the dic.) But it doesn't change the fact that it shouldn't be this way at all, period. Plus, even Scott found Family Plot awful. That's another Hitch I enjoy revisiting fairly often. Actually I enjoy revisiting all the titles in this set at least annually except for Topaz.

    Scott how would you compare TMWKTM blu to the FP blu?
     
  19. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Sorry, but anyone who can accept (or enjoy) the Blu-ray of MWKTM is a candidate for aged fish and three week-old milk.

    Watching this film and enjoying it, is rather like taking a walk on a spring day, being attached by wasps,
    and continuing to enjoy the spring breeze.

    This is not what one pays for with currency of the realm and enjoys doing so.

    Two hogs for MWKTM. Don't think so.

    RAH
     
  20. haineshisway

    haineshisway Producer

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    It's easy to like something when you don't know what it should really look like - that's been my experience. From Mr. Harris's description, the color seems to be off quite a bit, but if you don't know what that color should be then sure it's easy to enjoy it. To me color that's off is as bad as grain scrubbing, edge enhancement, wrong aspect ratios, and any other things that people on boards are usually up in arms about. But the color is usually the first thing that gets a pass - The Searchers being a prime example. Wow, look how sharp that is, they said, and they were right. They just forgot the part about "look how yucky yellow that is." I get it, though - unless you know what the color is supposed to look like then the response is always, "It's not so bad, it looks good, what's wrong with the color?"
    Someone posted her about the skies being all brown in the marketplace scene and how that seemed accurate to them. I don't think so and I'm sure Mr. Harris would agree.
     

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