A Few Words About A few words about...™ The Quiet Man -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Jan 22, 2013.

  1. OliverK

    OliverK Cinematographer

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    I'd say it is a respectable effort if Olive paid for everything themselves, less so if Paramount paid the bills. To correct the registration issues might have been out of the question with the budget given but I get the impression that other parameters could have been handled better with little to no additional costs. Compared to what could have been and in my opinion it is still a respectable effort from an independent entity that is not the rights holder, much better than what we have seen from the latest Cinerama releases or earlier from El Cid and Fall of the Roman Empire, all of which are far far away from their previous glory.
     
  2. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Where does this leave The Quiet Man, as a film, if original and asset protection elements are used incorrectly, and no new viable digital elements are produced?
    There is little rationale for additional future work to be performed, as this is only going to get done once.
    Do we really see The Quiet Man being a part of a 4k release? The reality is that it's an ugly stepchild, and surviving under the Viacom umbrella.
    The library is best sold to some entity that cares, and has the funds to see that it survives.
    This is a film that won the Academy Award for Best Color Cinematography in 1952, and deserves far better treatment than it is getting.
    There are no excuses.
    RAH
     
  3. Randal Gist

    Randal Gist Agent

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    Well, though imperfect, it may be, I am looking forward to seeing the new blu-ray of The Quiet Man. It is one of my favorite films and has to be better than the mushy mess my DVD copy is. That Mr. Harris is correct in his conclusions about the deficiencies of the present scan, I have no doubt. But I am afraid that this will be the best we will get for some time--the business marketplace being what it is. One can hope for a new scan with the proper registration will be performed, but it is unlikely to happen anytime soon.
     
  4. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Agree totally, which is why, warts and all, I gave it a "recommended."
    RAH
     
  5. haineshisway

    haineshisway Producer

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    It is a curious paradox (to quote El Gallo) that transfers such as this get a complete pass (less so on this board than on others where they are RAVING simply because it's a quantum leap over a horrible DVD), always with the caveats "It's a good effort" or "It may not be perfect, but I can live with it" while other really nice transfers get nitpicked to death about a mark or scratch or some edge enhancement that isn't really there or DNR that really isn't there (mistaking each for things that are inherent in the production photography or opticals) with nary a hint of "It's a good effort" or "It may not be perfect, but I can live with it." Why is that? This is only one of John Ford's greatest films and one of the most beautiful color films ever made. Why should it be given a pass and other much more stellar transfers be given the nitpick or worse treatment? It baffles me, but then I'm easily baffled :) This transfer should have and could have been perfect - it's okay, it's a gazillion times better than a pathetic DVD version - but I suspect if Mr. Harris hadn't said what he'd said, it would be getting more raves here just because it's miles ahead of its DVD counterpart. I'm happy to have it look decent, but I'm also annoyed that it doesn't look perfect or even near-perfect in terms of contrast and color density.
     
  6. Peter Neski

    Peter Neski Supporting Actor

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    For who don't want the Cardboard outer sleeves,just buy the disc at a Barnes and Noble store(not web site) Since the remove them most of the time
     
  7. Patrick Mason

    Patrick Mason Stunt Coordinator
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    I suspect that expectations tend to be different when dealing with a major studio versus a small distributor. Also, there is some goodwill in seeing someone like Olive at least obviously making an attempt (whatever your opinion of their methods or results) when there are Mill Creeks out there.
    For a title like The Quiet Man, which has been treated like a public domain title's latrine since the advent of the term "digital", it's hard not to feel some relief at seeing it picked up and brushed off a little. I think there is a lot to like with this transfer, even if it has a certain harshness and registration issues. I hope Olive continues to refine their process, but I can credit them for performing a cleaned-up 4K scan with no unseemly digital tampering.
    When it comes down to it, this presentation was transporting, and I spent a wonderful evening in Innisfree.
     
  8. JoeDoakes

    JoeDoakes Cinematographer
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    One reason that I (and maybe some others) are uneasy with some of this criticism is that, on a relative basis, I think that Olive deserves a lot of credit. They have produced much better releases of the films they licensed than ever were available before and, in many cases, they are releasing films never on DVD or even VHS. From my perspective, when they are finished, they will have released all of John Waynes non-PD Republic films, a John Ford gem like The Sun Shines Bright, a couple of Alan Ladd thrillers, DeMille's two versions of The Buccanneer (even though the 1938 version is DVD only), an oddball comedy like It's In the Box, and maybe Secret of the Incas. All of that has been on my wishlist for years. As you hint at in your post, the real problem is Paramount. It's not preserving its library correctly, it seems to have largely given up on restoration, and when it does keep a title and release it (It's a Wonderful Life), it often fouls it up. Given that 2012 saw Universal do a terrific job in at least some cases (Dracula, Frankenstein, Shadow of Doubt, Jaws), if anyone wants a worst studio of the year, Paramount should be a leading contender.
     
  9. JoeDoakes

    JoeDoakes Cinematographer
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    Criterion put Godzilla in a cardboard box, and when I look through that section at my local B&N, it really stands out.
     
  10. JoHud

    JoHud Producer

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    In this case, my expectations for Olive aren't exactly high. Their best discs are usually transferred elsewhere rather than in-house (some Paramount's, Bavaria's Twilight's Last Gleaming) and I also think previously poor Republic home video transfers such as the Artisan/Lionsgate discs and the bulk of the transfers provided by Netflix make the Olive efforts look that much better in comparison. Also, it seems that Olive is releasing more of the Republic library to home video this past year than Lionsgate or Artisan did during their entire 10+ year licensing period and they do seem to care about getting. In this case, flawed but tolerable transfers are preferable to ignoring the library as a whole Still, it is certainly disappointing that exceptional Republic features weren't given the lavish treatment they deserved. Would it have killed Olive to give titles like The Quiet Man and High Noon full restorations? They apparently have the capabilities given their interview last year, and these titles are certainly among the best known and highly honored features in the Republic library. Otherwise, the Republic titles are a mixed bag, though they're usually pretty decent. I can't recall a really bad one akin to, say, Universal's Family Plot though that might be putting the curve a bit too low and forgiving.
    The Olive slipcovers are shrink wrapped onto the blu-ray case like the Kino slipcovers, so I don't think B&N would bother with it. In this case, the recycle bin is the better choice for those who don't want it.
     
  11. Everett Stallings

    Everett Stallings Supporting Actor

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    Yes, and I would like a return to info inserts! Need to at lease have chapter stops listed for musical numbers!!!
     
  12. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    One major problem with this release, is that it desperately needed some digital tampering.
    RAH
     
  13. John Weller

    John Weller Stunt Coordinator

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    I strangely take this as an endorsement, I think because I'm OTT about digital tampering. I'm weird, I know!
     
  14. haineshisway

    haineshisway Producer

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    By digital tampering he is not talking about what you're talking about, John. Every transfer today is digital and all of them have "digital tampering" including the best of the best. Dirt removal? Digital. Scratch removal? Digital. Proper alignment of an image? Digital. He's not talking about edge enhancement or dnr
     
  15. John Weller

    John Weller Stunt Coordinator

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    Ah I see. My mistake. thanks!
     
  16. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    To be absolutely clear, a digital image harvest provides a bunch of zeros and ones in a raw state.
    In order to attain a quality image, they must be digitally maneuvered.
    In order to attain a quality image, that stands up to the original appearance of a film, they must have even more digital maneuvering.
    All of this for good, and none for evil.
    Raw Technicolor-based negatives look nothing like an actual Technicolor print.
    The trick is getting it there.
    And that trick, if performed by the right magicians, is not as difficult to do as it might seem.
    RAH
     
  17. RobHam

    RobHam Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm gutted that this turned out to be Region A locked, but that's a separate issue. Blu Ray has another couple of years left as a viable format before its sales probably start to dwindle into specialist territory. The major studios have already reasoned that there's not enough time to process and release everyone's favourite catalogue title in this format, so are rushing to issue licencing agreements to smaller publishing houses to get their back catalogues out on a physical HD format. Olive are one of the smallest of these publishing houses yet in recent months have attained high profile with their releases of BIG movies, High Noon and The Quiet Man amongst them - both these titles have garnered encouraging reviews across the www, with the exception of this site. Now here's the question - should we be encouraging or discouraging of Olive's output, and what is the goal for our efforts? Is it Benjamin Spock or live short and wither?
     
  18. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    My personal perception of Olive is a bit multi-faceted.
    They have licensed some wonderful catalog titles.
    They need to spend a bit more money on said titles to make them truly Blu-ray ready. I'm not referring to tens of thousands of dollars, but
    rather three to four per title.
    They release too many titles too quickly, at prices which disallow many consumers from purchasing the number of titles they might like to purchase.
    I fall into this category, and pass on titles that are not essential. I'm betting their sales numbers are not where they'd like them to be.
    When it comes to the big titles, they don't seem to do their homework. Whomever is prepping their masters, see that they're done correctly
    the first time. That's something relatively easy to do.
    The answer may be to release fewer titles, perfect the big ones to garner great reviews across the board, and supply HTF with screeners, so that,
    good or bad, their titles can be properly represented.
    They seem to play favorites, supplying screeners to those sites which give them positive notices. While supplying screeners to HTF staff may not
    get them better reviews, it would get them more (always honest) coverage.
    RAH
     
  19. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Olive indeed has its problematic releases, but thank God for them. Otherwise, so many of my favorite films wouldn't even be out on BD or DVD for me to enjoy as my ledger of years on this earth isn't as thick as it once was. Crawdaddy
     
  20. John Weller

    John Weller Stunt Coordinator

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    the only Olive I have any concerns with is Colossus Of New York, due to the sound being out of sync.
     

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