A Few Words About A few words about...™ The Searchers -- in High Defintion

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Aug 22, 2006.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    With virtually as much controversy stirring about Warners' digital restoration of The Searchers as to the proper means of handling the situation in Iraq, I can report that I've finally been able to view the film in HD DVD.

    With slightly richer colors, blacker blacks, additional shadow detail, and six times the image resolution, the HD version of the film is not only a winner, but will be one of the films that spurs many to step up to the plate and purchase their HD player.

    The skies in this DVD tend to track the original look of the negative. What this means is that blue skies go from a wispy off white to a rich Eastman blue, without hitting the overly saturated trademark Technicolor dye transfer look. As such, the film replicates what was on the original negative, now faded, and the preservation masters from which it was digitally derived.

    Resolution-wise, I'm seeing detail that I don't recall from 16mm prints. My memory of 35mm is so untimely that it is of no value. As an example, something that I noted for the first time, is the clarity of Mr. Wayne's CSA belt buckle.

    With the exception of a bit of day for night that I've noted in the past at the very end of the film, what I'm now seeing in HD is nothing less than a near miraculous re-working of the film elements into something not only quite representative of the production, but a stellar home video achievement.

    While there will be those who long for the unnatural look of the dye transfer skies, this HD DVD, with its more natural look is a home video treasure, not to be taken lightly.

    Highly Recommended.

    RAH
     
  2. DeeF

    DeeF Screenwriter

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    Yippee! I wholeheartedly concur. I've watched it 3 times now since getting it on Sunday.
     
  3. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    Can't wait to add this HD DVD to my viewing list!
     
  4. willyTass

    willyTass Second Unit

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    and if you can't get it from DVDempire or Amazon, DVDpacific.com have it in stock
     
  5. TonyD

    TonyD Who do we think I am?
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    anmazon finally shipped mine
     
  6. Ricardo C

    Ricardo C Producer

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    This is what I was waiting to hear [​IMG] Order's been placed [​IMG]
     
  7. Roger Rollins

    Roger Rollins Supporting Actor

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    I got it on Tuesday...and have watched it three times since then. The first by myself, the 2nd and 3rd with friends who were aghast at the exceptional quality and viewing experience. Tonight marks the 4th I will have watched it this week. I still am in amazement. Simply spectacular.
     
  8. Ed St. Clair

    Ed St. Clair Producer

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    WoW
    I'm glad there where many negitive rumblings about this title, pre-release.
    I would prefer to be safe, than sorry!
    However...
    that's quite a turn around!!!
    Thanks for "a few (more) words about" The Seachers, RAH.
     
  9. Ken Koc

    Ken Koc Screenwriter

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    The Searchers HD cannot be found anywhere in Chicago. Very frustrating.
    My last resort Best Buy said they wil not be carrying that title.
     
  10. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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    I've got to agree with Roger and RAH - The Searchers looks simply SPECTACULAR on HD-DVD. I also have the SD 50th Anniversary Ultimate Collectors Edition DVD and it's absolutely a night and day difference.
     
  11. Steve Tannehill

    Steve Tannehill Ambassador

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    Although they had it online...

    - Steve
     
  12. willyTass

    willyTass Second Unit

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    Just received mine a few hours ago here in Australia.

    Skimmed through certain scenes on a Sony High Def CRT KVHR36m31 (american xbr910)

    If it was restored from 3rd generation elements you'd never know as it's on a par with just about every other HD-DVD title I've seen.

    That scene where John Wayne rides horseback over the frozen lake will give anything by Lowry Digital a run for its money. Bravo Warners!
     
  13. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Sep Masters are second generation, but still carry with them a host of problems.
     
  14. Jordan_E

    Jordan_E Cinematographer

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    I've been, without success, looking for this title over the weekend. I have only 3 places within decent driving distance and struck out 0-3. Looks like I'll have to go the online route, as I want to have this one in my meager collection.
     
  15. DeeF

    DeeF Screenwriter

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    If anybody's really desperate, I saw another copy of this at the store (in NYC) I bought it at last week. I could go buy it and send it to you.
     
  16. Paul_Scott

    Paul_Scott Lead Actor

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    I can only surmise that the frustrated distribution for this title is what is keeping threads about the disc from ballooning to gargantuan proportions in record time.
    I finally sat down to watch it last night in full, and what a collossal treat.
    Its easily the highpoint of the format for me at this point, and likely to remain so for some time- and honestly, when I take into account my affection for the film itself, its probably the best home viewing experience of anything I can ever recall.

    the color issues do take some getting used to from memories of eariler video presentations- most notably in the slightly jaundiced look to facial hues- but these all invariably pale when you see the the spectacular longshot vistas and the levels of detail that extend far into the background. I get short of breath just thinking about it. Any negatives are so far outweighed by the positives that they seem almost totally inconsequential by the final fade to black.

    and to see Natalie Wood in HD..oh boy. I can't wait for The James Dean films to show up...or Splendor In The Grass.
     
  17. DeeF

    DeeF Screenwriter

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    I completely agree Paul. By the way, I've seen Splendor in the Grass broadcast on HD-Net (or Showtime).
     
  18. Larry Sutliff

    Larry Sutliff Cinematographer

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    My copy finally shipped from Amazon today! [​IMG]
     
  19. Roger Mathus

    Roger Mathus Supporting Actor

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    Larry, when did you place your order at Amazon? I placed order on August 10 and still no ship notice.
     
  20. Steve Tannehill

    Steve Tannehill Ambassador

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    I ordered on 8/21, during a brief window that someone here said it was showing up available for preorder. According to UPS, it is out for delivery, but I'll believe it when I see it.

    Amazon has been really bad recently on consistency with their HD releases. I preordered Spy Game/Bone Collector back on 7/15, and they still have not shipped--even though they were both released last week and the site says they are both available. I have Amazon Prime, and selected "ship as items become available" when the order was originally placed. I should have had them Thursday of last week. So I emailed customer service, and they are now in the "Items shipping soon" state with an estimated delivery of 9/13.

    This was a part of a bigger order of the Fall Universal titles. If they weren't $7 more expensive at Best Buy, I would cancel the order and get them there. Best Buy, for once, had them on street date.

    - Steve
     

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