A Few Words About A few words about... Sleepy Hollow -- in High Definition

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Jul 24, 2006.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
    Reviewer

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 1999
    Messages:
    9,196
    Likes Received:
    5,008
    Real Name:
    Robert Harris
    Tim Burton's Sleepy Hollow, a 1999 production, appears to have been mastered from a film element to 1080p HD. As such it should not be compared to other productions that are sent through the DI process, thereby yielding a digital element to take directly to video mastering.

    That said, as one of Paramount's initial offering of high definition DVDs, Sleepy Hollow magnificently represents the brilliant cinematography of Emmanuel Lubezki in a home theater format.

    While a terrific piece of entertainment on all counts, it is Mr. Lubezki's work, which looks akin to the three-strip Technicolor productions of the 1930s and early 1940s, which still used the silver key image to both add contrast, control the black level and tone down color, which is also a star of this film. To the best of my knowledge, the process was last used by John Huston in Moby Dick (1956).

    There isn't a great deal more that needs to be said here.

    Paramount has hit the ball out of the park with Sleepy Hollow. If the point to be achieved is to replicate the look of the film, they have done it to perfection.

    On a purely graphics driven note, I also feel that Paramount has the best looking package design, with the jacket broken down into three parts, all elegantly against a silver background, as well as the graphic design of the actual disc, which has the printed area beautifully offset against a surrounding silver border, emblazoned with the words "Paramount High Definition."

    While some have recently wondered what has been becoming of Paramount Home Video, that particular question has now be answered.

    Paramount, as the third studio to join the ranks of the HD supporters, has not only hit the ground running, but has served up one of their first films to absolute perfection!

    Extremely Highly Recommended.

    I cannot wait to see what the later releases, based upon DIs look like.

    Stay Tuned.

    RAH
     
  2. Paul Arnette

    Paul Arnette Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Messages:
    2,616
    Likes Received:
    0
    Robert,

    Thanks for your impressions. This was the only initial Paramount title I wanted to buy, so I'm glad to hear it looks fantastic.
     
  3. Harminder

    Harminder Second Unit

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2003
    Messages:
    462
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thank you for the first impressions Robert. Although this movie was good, it's not something I'm going to buy immediately on HD-DVD. Right now, the only Paramount HD-DVD I'm really looking forward to is We Were Soldiers.

    I'm glad to hear that Paramount did a great job on the HD-DVD case and disc itself. It's the little things that can really impress us sometimes. [​IMG]
     
  4. Dave Mack

    Dave Mack Producer

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2002
    Messages:
    4,670
    Likes Received:
    4
    Wonderful review, Mr. Harris!

    [​IMG]
     
  5. DavidDTS

    DavidDTS Agent

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2006
    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks Mr. Harris,
    in my opinion it's only your reviews that have really been echoing the voice of the current HD owners. The others seem to go out of their way to remain impartial to BR (for what reason, who knows)
     
  6. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
    Reviewer

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 1999
    Messages:
    9,196
    Likes Received:
    5,008
    Real Name:
    Robert Harris
    To DavidDTS...

    I'm also impartial to BD. Although I haven't liked what I've thus far seen, at least some problems may be linked to the way that the Samsung unit is handling signals.

    While I'd certainly be happier if there was a unified format, one has to give BD the time to get their act together, and past their initial problems. At that point, of necessity, I'll be adding a unit to my system.

    As far as impartiality, it would seem to behoove those who report on line, be it via reviews or commentary, to simply report honestly, and to remain impartial.

    RAH
     
  7. Michel_Hafner

    Michel_Hafner Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2002
    Messages:
    982
    Likes Received:
    109
    I remember the HD on HBO had issues with erasure of white lines/dots/buttons on black clothes when in motion. Does the HD-DVD still show this artifact?
     
  8. Scott Calvert

    Scott Calvert Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 1998
    Messages:
    885
    Likes Received:
    2
    Michel, I watched this last night and noticed no such phenomenon (looked fantastic, btw).
     
  9. Dave Mack

    Dave Mack Producer

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2002
    Messages:
    4,670
    Likes Received:
    4
    Scott, any digital noise, artifacts? There's a thread over at AVS where someone swears that the disc was disappointing and has these issues.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Scott Calvert

    Scott Calvert Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 1998
    Messages:
    885
    Likes Received:
    2
    The only "artifact" I noticed was a veneer of relatively fine film grain. My set is calibrated extremely well, so I dunno what it would look like with all the settings running at 11 (which is what I suspect many of the detractors have their sets running at).

    I'm pretty jazzed at this release, it almost feels like owning a 35mm print of the film.
     
  11. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2000
    Messages:
    6,917
    Likes Received:
    749
    Location:
    Salinas, CA
    Real Name:
    Matthew

    Well you must have adjustable gravity at your house! [​IMG]
     
  12. Dave Mack

    Dave Mack Producer

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2002
    Messages:
    4,670
    Likes Received:
    4
    THAT would be cool!

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Randy_M

    Randy_M Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2000
    Messages:
    695
    Likes Received:
    30
    Location:
    Peoria, AZ
    Real Name:
    Randy Margolis
    This appears to be out of print in Blu-Ray - Hopefully, it will return now that Paramount in on board with the format.
     
  14. BrandonH

    BrandonH Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2005
    Messages:
    78
    Likes Received:
    0
    I just got my HD-DVD of this one yesterday and played it last night.
    I sau some grain and to set the noise reduction to medium then the picture was perfect.
    Great camera angles and cinematography.
     
  15. andrew markworthy

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 1999
    Messages:
    4,769
    Likes Received:
    11
    My uncle used it in a company promotional film he made for Mullards (in case the name is unfamilliar, they made valves and other electrical components, and were a subsidiary of Phillips) in the 1960s, but I don't think that really counts!


    Have had Sleepy Hollow on HD for a while and I love it. I think the trouble is that because the look is so non-standard, it's led several reviewers astray into finding 'faults' with the transfer that are intentional features of the film. I think the idea of making the film look like moving aquatints was excellent - going for garish colours would have been just so wrong in this movie.
     
  16. PaulDA

    PaulDA Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2004
    Messages:
    2,677
    Likes Received:
    80
    Location:
    St. Hubert, Quebec, Canada
    Real Name:
    Paul
    Glad to see it is so highly recommended by Mr. Harris. It's among the titles I have in transit (shipped to my parents in the US to get free shipping--awaiting their next visit with impatience as there are almost 20 titles waiting for me).
     
  17. Dave H

    Dave H Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2000
    Messages:
    5,543
    Likes Received:
    168
    I have the BD version and watched it not too long ago (ISF'd 60" SXRD A3000 and Panasonic BD30) and thought it looked very good and extremely filmlike. The film grain present is normal and really added to the "feel" of the movie IMO.
     
  18. Ray_R

    Ray_R Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2004
    Messages:
    1,559
    Likes Received:
    1
    I suggest you read the following link.[​IMG] (It's not from me but I figure I might as well pass along the correct information.)

    Lyris Lite :: Film grain is not your enemy

    At least it retains the film grain. Unlike alot of people's abohorrent reactions to it, I PREFER film grain!
    I'm hoping in Robert Harris' next "A Few Words About..." he'll comment about WHY replicating film grain from the master is actually beneficial instead of being a detractor.

    EDIT: Also forgot to mention this is one of the titles I sold on DVD to upgrade to HDDVD. Prolly going to purchase it from DeepDiscount if they're still pricing it for $9.98. Although last I checked every Paramount HDDVD title was marked back up to $22.08
     
  19. Stephen_J_H

    Stephen_J_H All Things Film Junkie
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Messages:
    5,144
    Likes Received:
    640
    Location:
    North of the 49th
    Real Name:
    Stephen J. Hill
    This is a great transfer and the DTS track, while not HD or HD MA, is quite lovely.
     
  20. Ray_R

    Ray_R Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2004
    Messages:
    1,559
    Likes Received:
    1
    From DVDCompare.net
    • R0 America - (Paramount)

    • Commentaries:
      Audio commentary by director Tim Burton
    • Extras:
      "Behind The Legend" - featurette (30.00)
      "Reflections On Sleepy Hollow: Cast and Crew Interviews" - featurette (11.23)
      Teaser
      Theatrical trailer
    • Subtitles:
      English HoH, English, French, and Spanish
    • Aspect Ratio:
      1.85:1
    • Picture Format:
      1080p 24fps
    • Soundtrack(s):
      English Dolby Digital Plus 5.1
      English DTS 5.1
      French Dolby Digital Plus 5.1
      Spanish Dolby Digital Plus 5.1
    • Case type:
      Amaray (Keep) Case
    • Notes:
      1080p transfer, using VC-1 compression.
    Is the DD+ track full bitrate for it? At least it doesn't use MPEG2 codec which should only be still used for SDDDVD.[​IMG]
     

Share This Page