A Few Words About A few words about... Lethal Weapon -- in High Definition

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Jun 25, 2006.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Shane Black's script for Lethal Weapon was at the top of the industry news in 1987.

    The news almost two decades later is that Warner's new High Definition release of Lethal Weapon is yet another perfect transfer and release in the new format. If there is a 1080i problem here, I'm not seeing it.

    The image, which is screen-filling at 1.78:1 has the stability, color definition and overall resolution of a film print when viewed from a nominal distance. I take that back. It has better image stability than a film print.
    Grain structure is perfect, as can be measured by the high contrast main title sequence running over high speed negative footage shot over L.A. at night. The difference between the foreground lettering and background film element tell the entire story. Everything is at it should be.

    What a pleasure to be able to view this crowd pleaser in full HD resolution.

    I couldn't be happier with this release, which comes Very Highly Recommended.

    RAH
     
  2. Steve Blair

    Steve Blair Second Unit

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    Thanks for the review Robert. I'm picking this gem up on Tuesday!
     
  3. Steve Tannehill

    Steve Tannehill Ambassador

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    Hopefully my preorder will be early enough at Amazon to get it soon. I'm still waiting on Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang.

    - Steve
     
  4. Pete T C

    Pete T C Second Unit

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    I heard the transfer is not the "Director's Cut." True? And if so, how much am I missing? [​IMG]
     
  5. Ed St. Clair

    Ed St. Clair Producer

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    Thanks for the VHR, Robert!

    Anyone, which cut of the film is this?
    DTS?
    Thanks.
     
  6. JohnS

    JohnS Producer

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    theater version, no DTS
     
  7. Dave H

    Dave H Producer

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    Is this another a 1080i master 'faked' to 1080p? Just asking since it's a catalog title.
     
  8. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    I thought Warner pulled those from future releases like this week's release of Lethal Weapon?




    Crawdaddy
     
  9. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    My opinion (full review at http://www.digitallyobsessed.com/sho...w.php3?ID=8746 ) is that this is one of the worst HD-DVDs released yet from a video standpoint. The grain is very sparkly and poorly compressed in the night sequences, and there's almost zero shadow detail. Things are very murky indeed, and such material is usually HD-DVD's long suit. Day sequences and brightly lit ones look very nice, and for once Murtaugh's suit isn't a mess of shimmer and moire. It's a step above the 1997 DVD but not a very big one.

    I don't have any firm information as to whether it's a 1997 HD transfer, but considering the way it looks I wouldn't be in the least surprised.
     
  10. MichaelPR

    MichaelPR Second Unit

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    I will be picking this bad boy up!
     
  11. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    It sounds like there is a definite difference in opinion especially if you're saying this release is not much better than the 1997 dvd release. I might have to get this disc, even though I prefer the DC of the film.[​IMG]





    Crawdaddy
     
  12. Jordan_E

    Jordan_E Cinematographer

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    I will be getting this one, for sure.
     
  13. Dave H

    Dave H Producer

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    Robert, as far as I understand, there has been no statement from Warner (or any studio) about not using these kind of masters. I do know, however, the issue has been brought to their attention.
     
  14. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Well, you usually wouldn't get such a statement anyway, these type of issues are handled internally by the studios most of the time. You would probably be surprised how similar PQ stuff was resolved without any of us knowing about them.




    Crawdaddy
     
  15. Joseph Bolus

    Joseph Bolus Cinematographer

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    Here's another viewpoint on this transfer from Peter M. Bracke at the "High-Def Digest" site:

    http://hddvd.highdefdigest.com/lethalweapon.html

    He seems to think it's "not a home run", but *is* a "good-looking presentation of a film almost two decades old." In particular, he stated that
    "Blacks are rock solid, and contrast quite good. The image does pop quite often, especially some of the night scenes, which can look nearly three-dimensional. Sharpness is also not too shabby, though a bit soft most of the time. I was almost impressed with the lack of any pixelization -- for a transfer minted from a print that's somewhat inconsistent, I noticed no blocking or other motion artifacts, even on the grainiest scenes or those with a lot of fast action. "
     
  16. BrandonJF

    BrandonJF Second Unit

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    I finally gave up on Amazon and last week's WB titles. If they have Lethal Weapon at BB tomorrow, I'm just gonna pick it up there. If you pre-order Lethal Weapon today, the estimated ship date doesn't even stick the street date as it usually does with pre-orders. It puts it out in July (like Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and Syriana). Since they still have yet to ship last week's titles, I'd be surprised if this week's makes it out anytime soon.. But, I'm just theorizing. They weren't doing too bad up 'til last week.
     
  17. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    I can wait if the difference in price is too much. I can buy Lethal Weapon from amazon for 17.99 with free 2 day shipping, what's the price BB is charging?




    Crawdaddy
     
  18. BrandonJF

    BrandonJF Second Unit

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    It will end up being $24.99 plus tax at BB.

    Buy.com seems to be doing better (based on last week) than Amazon. I have heard reports of last week's titles shipping from there. Prices are comparable and they have a $5 off $50 promo that automatically gets applied to the cart... at least, it did when I checked it out this morning. Free shipping would probably result in about the same wait, though.
     
  19. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Amazon still offers the best deal so far for me. I might not have Lethal Weapon this week, but I can buy it from Amazon for $8.50 cheaper than BB.

    As for Buy.com, I haven't try them since the early days of dvd.
     
  20. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    My views on Lethal Weapon in HD, are not based upon the film looking like an HD demo disc, but rather, looking very much as the film did in 35mm.

    RAH
     

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