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

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Oct 6, 2012.

  1. bgart13

    bgart13 Screenwriter

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    Ben
    That's a really boss story! I'm envious... :D
     
  2. Mark Oates

    Mark Oates Supporting Actor

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    Veining from the parchment. Let's use the correct technical terms. ;)
    (If anybody's interested) :D
    Illustrated manuscripts were prepared on calfskin or goatskin parchment with the finest quality being vellum. In preparing the writing surface for the ink, it would be abraded with pumice and then treated with a preparation of lime (Calcium Hydroxide). A certain amount of veining was inevitable due to the nature of the material and the finer and lighter the veining would have been an indicator of the quality of the parchment. Parchments could be wiped by abrasion and reused (called Palimpsests).
     
  3. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Very interesting. Thank you! The term palimpsest has been used recently for on line gathering of postings, has it not?

    RAH
     
  4. JohnMor

    JohnMor Producer
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    Oh, sure! Try to justify the scrubbing! You must be a shill working for the monks!

    (Seriously, Mark, that is fascinating! Thanks! )
     
  5. Kevin EK

    Kevin EK Producer
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    Not to spill ink on someone else's parchment, but my full review of the set is now up.

    You may find the Complete Review here.

    It's a tiny bit longer than the usual review.
     
  6. Neil S. Bulk

    Neil S. Bulk Screenwriter

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    Mr. Harris, I read your overview and I don't see The Invisible Man. ;)
     
  7. Larry Sutliff

    Larry Sutliff Cinematographer

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    I'm sorry to see that there are problems with the PHANTOM transfer, as it's one of my personal favorites(if far from the best movie in this collection). I've seen other HD transfers of 3-strip Technicolor with registration problems(QUO VADIS comes to mind), but it was never enough to take me out of the film watching experience. Hopefully I'll feel the same way about PHANTOM.
     
  8. Guest

    Larry, I know everyone will have different opinions, but I thought Phantom looked great on my setup. I am sensitive to registration problems, and didn't notice any.
     
  9. Larry Sutliff

    Larry Sutliff Cinematographer

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    Good to hear, Eric! I'm not quite so sensitive to those problems, so I hope I find myself enjoying this transfer. The old DVD looked like it wasn't from a true Technicolor print, so just the fact that Universal used a real Technicolor source for the Blu-ray is good news to me.
     
  10. David_MSP

    David_MSP Stunt Coordinator

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    Mr. Harris,
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this release. The one question I'm having a hard time finding an answer to is whether the SD extras on the UK release are in 480p or 576p. I have ordered the UK release as well and am looking forward to it arriving in the next day or two. Thank you in advance for any light you might be able to shed on this.
    Regards,
    David
     
  11. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    As everything is played via BD, the discs play fine in the US. Not certain what conversion machinations data may have passed through.
     
  12. David_MSP

    David_MSP Stunt Coordinator

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    That's great to hear! Thank you very much!
     
  13. MichaelEl

    MichaelEl Stunt Coordinator

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    My impression is that most DVDs of early 3-strip films show registration problems. It's therefore no surprise the same problems show up on Blu-Ray, since the Blu-Ray is generally created from the same film elements as the DVD. The question is whether the studios are holding back on better quality prints. If the only choices are going back to the original Technicolor matrices or correcting misregistered sequences digitally frame-by-frame, then it's likely these problems will never be fixed. My guess is PHANTOM and most other early 3-strip films will always exhibit registration problems on home video, since better prints are unavailable (or unobtainable) and the studios are never going to pay millions of dollars for a proper restoration.
     
  14. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Three-strip Technicolor films did not have registration problems. They never did.

    Improper conversions to Eastman dupes can have problems, but should not.

    No uses matrices to do anything. The scanning elements are negatives and masters.

    A print is not the problem. The problem is human error and a lack of desire to get it right.

    And millions of dollars are not in discussion.

    Simple.

    RAH
     
  15. Jack Theakston

    Jack Theakston Supporting Actor

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    Not in shooting, but in processing and printing, they absolutely did. Uneven shrinkage (due to the drying of the negs in separate stages), misaligned splices, and good old fashioned pin mis-registration caused quite a bit of registration issues in the early films, which is why you'll see fringing in certain shots of IB prints of titles like WIZARD OF OZ and ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD that were never fixed until they were brought into the digital realm.
    The new composite print of PHANTOM, which was overseen by Scott MacQueen, did not have any issues of registration. I don't know where this came up on the Blu-Ray.
     
  16. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    While splices could create single frame anomalies, registration was usually not an issue. When it was, it was generally well hidden by the low resolution of the prints. And by "prints," I referring to original runs. Most shrinkage problems arrived decades down the line. And nitrate as a base, was far fewer problems than safety.

    RAH
     
  17. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    I viewed Phantom in its entirety yesterday and though it looked good for the most part, I could see the registration problems RAH and Kevin noted. I don't know if I would have picked up on that issue if I wasn't looking for it throughout my viewing. Also, after watching this version of Phantom of the Opera, it reminded me why I used to fall asleep watching this film at night during my childhood viewings of it. This is by far my least favorite of the films in this boxset. I rather they included Son of Frankenstein or some other horror title.
     
  18. Paul Penna

    Paul Penna Supporting Actor

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    I did some extensive sampling of Phantom, via my JVC DLA-HD350, projecting the image to about 8.5 feet wide. I noticed the occasional misregistrations, but overall I'd term them mildly annoying, certainly nothing even approaching those in, for example, the Warner Dodge City DVD. I pretty much agree with your opinion of the film as a piece of entertainment. It's gorgeous to look at, which counts for a lot with me, but I'm pretty sure I'll only watch it in its entirety with Scott MacQueen's commentary playing, which my sampling indicates is fascinating.
     
  19. DavidJ

    DavidJ Producer
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    Thanks RAH the "words" and Kevin for your review. I'm still waiting on my set to arrive from the UK, but my anticipation has now been heightened.
     
  20. Guest

    Well, tonight is the big night! I'm showing "Frankenstein," "Bride of Frankenstein," and "The Wolf Man" at SkyDome Cinema. It warms my heart that so many people are excited about coming over..this will be my biggest audience yet! And for 70-80+ year-old films!
     

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