A Few Words About A few words about...™ Titanic -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Aug 31, 2012.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    The word "epic," especially when used to describe a film, is almost as over-used as the term "restoration."

    With the history of the cinema going back 118 years, there haven't been all that many.

    One can consider Mr. Griffith's Birth of a Nation and Intolerance among the earliest from the U.S. Get into the 1920s and and one can consider productions like The Big Parade, The Ten Commandments, Ben-Hur, and then the decade of the 1930s with Gone with the Wind. Move up to the '50s and '60s, and Ben-Hur Makes another appearance. The Russian War and Peace. David Lean's films, Dr. Zhivago, Lawrence of Arabia and Ryan's Daughter. 2001: A Space Odyssey. Move onward and I'm not certain that Star Wars fits the category, but it may. I'm certain that more can be added to the list.

    To my mind, filmmaker James Cameron has made two. Most recently, Avatar, which, especially in 3D creates a world of its own that comes to life on the screen.

    His film Titanic, which was released in 1997 absolutely fits the category, and I've just had the opportunity to spend about forty minutes giving the new 3D Blu-ray a test drive.

    If I didn't already have the copy, I'd have already ordered after seeing what I just have.

    On the Indiana Jones thread, I used the term DRV, a possibly temporary phrase that stands for Digital Re-Visualization. Something that isn't a restoration, but certainly isn't anything that been seen or heard previously.

    And Paramount's new Blu-ray of Titanic fits that term perfectly.

    Photographed on S35/4 in Panavision, the new Blu-ray has been unmatted to 1.78, presumably to better fit the Imax screen (the real ones), and I would never have known that anything was changed had I not known that the original aspect ratio was wider.

    No problem here. For those who desire to see the film in 2.39, simply pop in Blu-ray disc three.

    I love the way that Mr. Cameron uses three dimensions. Nothing jumping in your face. Just a smooth natural recreation of the real world, and the techs behind this 3D conversion have performed that work beautifully.

    As a DI (the original was not), everything should match the digital master, and from my perspective it's absolutely glorious. Perfect in every detail.

    Audio, which was DTS on the original 70mm prints, is presented here in DTS-HD Master Audio, and it's perfect and huge with low frequency information to clean out your speaker system.

    The new release comes in three variants. A four-disc with the feature in 2D at a street price of $23, a four-disc adding 3D, for an additional $7, and a Collector's Edition, an Amazon exclusive, with lots of other stuff.

    My vote goes to the 3D at less than $30.

    Everything is done right here. The film is split into two discs, with data throughput usually running in the mid-30s. The third disc holds the earlier mentioned scope Blu-ray version along with some extras, while the fourth disc contains more extras. You'll have to schedule your time carefully to take in this entire set.

    As I was reviewing the content, I began to think about how price-friendly this set is. Had it come out at the $100 price point, it still would have been worth the price of admission.

    A magnificent film, brought to Blu-ray with absolute perfection.

    Image - 5

    Audio - 5

    Very Highly Recommended.

    RAH
     
  2. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    Looking forward to it even more now. Thanks for the review, RAH!
     
  3. Guest

    I'm looking forward to it, but I am not a fan of updating studio logos. I wish they would show their new logo first, then the vintage one. We had Titanic at the theater I worked at for six months, including midnight showings every weekend. I was so sick of it by the end of the run. It has been years since I have seen the film, but I am showing it at SkyDome Cinema at the end of the month so it's good to know it's a quality presentation.
     
  4. Kyle_D

    Kyle_D Second Unit

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    Forgive me if I'm mistaken, but I was under the impression that Titanic was photographed on 4-perf Super35 and the 16:9 presentation is not cropped at all, but simply presented open matte.
     
  5. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Anything is possible. Don't have ability to check at this time
     
  6. rsmithjr

    rsmithjr Screenwriter

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    This was my impression precisely. I remember comparing the 133 VHS to other forms of the film some years ago to check the AR and framing.
    Perhaps someone has more definitive information.
     
  7. Guest

    I thought only the special effects scenes were anamorphic.
     
  8. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Kyle is quite correct, and I had forgotten this point. Which makes sense toward the 1.78 looking pleasing.

    In response to Mr. Richard's comment, I believe that underwater material was taken 35/2.

    I must say, that seeing this film once again, especially 3D, I must raise my hat high to Mr. Cameron for an extremely difficult job, beautifully done. That said, I've also been able to sample Disney's new 3D Ghosts of the Abyss, which I'll cover separately, and which makes a superb companion piece. I also seem to recall, for those who understand A & B rolls, that Titanic, in its conformed negative format went out to something like an "L" roll. While this is unconfirmed, it would not surprise me.

    BTW, anyone wishing to really understand what is behind this film, without the trauma of being there, would be advise to pick up Number 72 of Cinefex, available from various vendors.

    RAH
     
  9. HagenBlaz

    HagenBlaz Agent

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    I'm debating whether to get the 2D or the 3D version of this. The 2D is presented in 2.35 while the 3D is 1.78. Either way I would be watching in 2D, as my projector doesn't do 3D. I have an Oppo 93, so I believe it should be able to play a 3D disc as 2D to a 2D projector.
    Does anyone know how well a 3D movie looks played as 2D? I've heard that some 3D movies have different brightness adjustments to compensate for the darkening caused by glasses, etc.
     
  10. Charles Smith

    Charles Smith Extremely Talented Member
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    Everything above sounds wonderful, from the rave review of the discs to what sounds like packaging choices that actually make some damned sense for a change.

    Went to the film a few times in its first few months, but except for catching a few minutes of it here and there on TV or on somebody's DVD, I haven't really taken it in since that first year. I was going to go to an IMAX showing last spring, but that plan got overtaken by one thing or another. So, day one purchase. This is great news.
     
  11. David Weicker

    David Weicker Cinematographer

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    The 3D set comes with the 2D version (but no DVD).
    3D Set:
    Disc 1 - Blu-ray 3D Movie- Part One
    Disc 2 – Blu-ray 3D Movie- Part Two
    Disc 3 – Blu-ray Movie + 3 Filmmaker Commentaries
    Disc 4 - Blu-Ray - Special Features with Never Before Seen Footage
    2D Set:
    Disc 1 - Blu-ray Movie + 3 Filmmaker Commentaries
    Disc 2 – DVD Movie- Part One
    Disc 3 – DVD Movie - Part Two
    Disc 4 - Blu-Ray - Special Features with Never Before Seen Footage
    So buy the version you want. Basically, the packages are the same - you either get 2 DVDs or 2 3D-BluRays. The 2D movie and the Extras are in both.
    David
     
  12. Moe Dickstein

    Moe Dickstein Filmmaker

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    This is so disappointing. I saw the 3D IMAX presentation at Universal City, and was shocked to see a film I know by heart with mattes opened (and underwater and FX Shots cropped).
    The framing just always feels wrong to me when I see super 35 films shown at 1.33 and 1.85 that were framed best for 2.35 theatrical presentations. Especially Titanic which is both one of my favorite films of all time and one I saw over 30 times in original release theatrically, 3 times opening day alone (that's a long story)
    I consoled myself that I would at least see the 2.35 3D when I bought the disc. But I guess not. 2.35 is just better compositionally in my mind, and Cameron has always been only too hapy to open up the mattes for home viewing. Yes, he has the right to do what he wants, but I still have the right to be frustrated over it.
    I'm very glad to hear the image will look as great as it did in IMAX, and to see the new special features (still no Ed Marsh doc it seems, though - that will be pretty epic if it were to be completed, since many of the choice interviews and bits were embargoed for it's use and don't show up on the "pods" we have now) but if JC ever deigns to release a 2.35 + 3D version, I will happily buy again and add it to my VHS, LD, DVD and earlier BD copies.
    And yes, I do have that issue of Cinefex too, I second the recommendation, as well as Paula Parisi's in depth book on the making of the film.
     
  13. HDvision

    HDvision Screenwriter

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    Titanic was indeed Super 35, the IMAX presentation is open matte, with some SFX work done to erase any props previously hidden by the mattes. The 2.35 3D version was shown in theaters thought, I catched up the press screening, along with about 12 fellows, in a theater than can hold 1200. Looks like "journalists" aren't interested in old films they have already seen even converted to 3D, except when it's Star Wars (there, the theater was full)




    Quote:

    Here's an overview of the difference in formats (do not pay attention to the colors, the full aperture version is a video shot snapped in front of a computer screen, not the final, color graded image)

    Original theatrical ratio 1999 DVD - about 2.24:1

    [​IMG]


    Full aperture restoration 2012 - about 1.72:1 (the 3D final version is reframed to 1.77:1)

    [​IMG]

    The new doc seems, to me, made in parts from the ashes of the "lost" doc from the 2005 release, with brand new interviews, but also clearly interviews from 2005 spliced in. It's excellent and I'm not sure we are missing anything from the previously "lost" version. Laurent Bouzereau is doing a fine job putting these together. Leonardo is still missing from the doc, thought. Many of the promos for this set on youtube, looks excerpted from the new doc.
     
  14. Moe Dickstein

    Moe Dickstein Filmmaker

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    Maybe I'm reading something into your use of "restoration" of the full aperture, as if it's something to be desired. More image is not always better. I guess I am just a snob when it comes to 2.35. I use that ratio to make my own films in whenever possible because 1.85 and similar just feel pedestrian and bland. Framing and composition are so important to the art of cinema, and just opening up mattes to get rid of black bars is saying that none of that really matters.
    As to the doc, well if there is a new doc, I'm sure that LB got access to whatever Ed Marsh was working with so that the "gems" we missed last time around will be on view. That was the excuse last time around, that JC didn't want to put the full doc out without Leo, but there were also rumblings that he just was unhappy with how unvarnished a look at the production it was.
    I'd put Ed Marsh's "Under Pressure" up as one of the best making of docs of all time, I enjoy it far more than the film it's about (The Abyss). As accomplished as Mr. Bouzereau is, I can't help but wonder what we'd have gotten.
    I know I sound grumpy, but I'm still very much looking forward to this release.
     
  15. DP 70

    DP 70 Supporting Actor

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    I brought the USA version in London the image and sound are fantastic i did notice when i saw this in 15/70 the THX logo and TAP info has been removed from the original version, i saw this in 70mm DTS at the Odeon L Square and in 70mm DTS THX in screen 7 at the Warner cinema across the road
    There is a THX logo at end of the credits as with Alien, still a fantasic film.
     
  16. HDvision

    HDvision Screenwriter

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    "full aperture" was the word used by the people doing the conversion, as seen on their promo material. Do not read too much into it, it just means it's the full aperture upon which they do their work, which is then matted down to whatever ratio is shown in theaters.

    Regarding the doc, it doesn't go into detail of every bit of the problems making the film, it's more of a general look. But then you know, everything has been written about what happened and how hard it was. What will be left is the success the hard work made possible, not the shenanigans behind the scenes.
     
  17. FoxyMulder

    FoxyMulder 映画ファン

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    I believe the 3D version of any film will be brightened up and that's if it has an option to play it in 2D, but why bother in the case of this release as they are including the original 2D version, do you just dislike the framing of the 2D version. ?
     
  18. JamesNelson

    JamesNelson Second Unit

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    If they do, they really shouldn't. It goes against the philosophy of the 3-D BD spec, which is that the storage medium should be agnostic in regards to the playback medium. Dark 3-D presentations are attributable to the current state-of-the-art in 3-D display devices. This will improve over time. If 3-D media is "tuned" to current hardware limitations, it will quickly become antiquated as hardware improves.
     
  19. FoxyMulder

    FoxyMulder 映画ファン

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    Spears and Munsil are releasing a 3D calibration disc soon, it's about time too as calibrating in 3D is possible but you have to use the meter and have it look through the glasses you use, regarding brightened up 3D movies on blu ray and hardware limitations, i think by the time it improves they will be onto 4K and selling these films to us all over again.
     
  20. Moe Dickstein

    Moe Dickstein Filmmaker

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    I think I may be in the minority, but I prefer the depth aspect of 3D to anything popping out, it lets me feel that I am looking into a world and things that pop out take me out of the effect in a way.
    I don't believe you can play the 3D version of any Blu without a working line of 3D gear. The HDMI flags will give you an error message, at least they did before I got my system properly hooked up.
     

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