An Apollo 13 Query...

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Adam Scott, Jul 10, 2006.

  1. Adam Scott

    Adam Scott Stunt Coordinator

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    With this two disc Anniversary Edition that was released, boasting a "much-needed remaster," from Universal (the one with the IMAX version on Disc 2), does anyone know if the Dolby Digital track on this remastered version is up to par with the now out of print DTS edition Universal had put out for this film? I have heard that the DTS mix for Apollo 13 was one not to be missed, as most of Universal's DTS tracks pack a mighty wallop, but on the other hand, I have also heard that the DTS version contains a horrendous video transfer....I want the DTS track, and I'll order the out of print version from Amazon/CDNow.com if need be, but I am wondering if the Dolby mix on this two disc edition is up to par.

    Thanks in advance! [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  2. Doug Schiller

    Doug Schiller Supporting Actor

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    Not likely.
    It was suspected that some of the early DTS releases were "cooked" and Apollo 13 was one of them.
    Jurassic Park DTS LD is another classic example.

    The Anniversary edition has DTS on the IMAX version and even that mix doesn't come close to the original DTS version.

    All my opinion of course. [​IMG]
     
  3. Adam Scott

    Adam Scott Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks a lot Doug!

    Indeed, I realize the IMAX version contains a DTS track, as I caved and bought that two-disc edition tonight from Best Buy, for $9.99; now, it concerns me that you say even that track does not come close to the sound of the original DTS Universal release....oh no....

    Does anyone have any other insight on the DTS sound on the IMAX cut of the Anniversary Edition?...I'd like to know before I open this up so I can return it if need be and order the out of print original DTS release. Is it really that different of a track as Doug suggested? [​IMG]
     
  4. Joseph Bolus

    Joseph Bolus Cinematographer

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    Adam:
    I would go ahead and open and enjoy the Anniversary Edition. What you heard regarding the video quality of that first disc is absolutely true: The transfer is riddled with EE and other compression artifacts. IMO, no matter how good the DTS sound on that disc is its still not worth owning. (For the record the DD 5.1 sound provided for the Anniversary Edition is not too shabby.)
     
  5. Adam Scott

    Adam Scott Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks so much for your reply, Joseph! It is much appreciated. Now here is something to ponder on this Apollo 13 release; I am absolutely estatic about a full bitrate overcooked DTS track from the discontinued release, yet what you tell me confirming the video quality of those original Universal releases turns me off more and more.....indeed, I am sure this new remastered transfer on the theatrical version disc of the Anniversary Edition looks great (it made Home Theater's top video quality discs list) yet I am so turned off the Dolby mix as I know what kind of shenanigans Universal can pull when releasing two separate mixes of a film in separate editions (Jurassic Park is a great example) and I have a feeling, as Doug suggested before you, that the DTS track from the riddled-with-video-problems prior release sounds downright awesome, so I am stuck...

    Hmmmm....how about that IMAX version on this new cut....any other thoughts on that version's DTS audio? [​IMG]
     
  6. Joseph Bolus

    Joseph Bolus Cinematographer

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    Adam:

    While I own the Anniversary Edition I've only viewed the 2.35:1 transfer on the first disc. The 1.66:1 IMax version of the movie is missing about 20 minutes worth of character development which I consider essential to the enjoyment of the movie.

    If it helps, I recently read a review of the HD-DVD version of the movie and that reviewer stated that the DTS audio track included with the Anniversary Edition sounded better than the Dolby Digital-plus soundtrack on the HD-DVD disc.

    Here's a link to that review:
    http://hddvd.highdefdigest.com/apollo13.html
     
  7. Bryan Beckman

    Bryan Beckman Second Unit

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    My feelings exactly.

    I've only sampled one scene from the IMAX version, that being the shuttle launch. Of course, the soundtrack sounded a bit more spacious and rumbly than the DD5.1 track, but I really have no interest in watching a cropped film with a truncated running time unless three events occur: (1) I snap from excessive exposure to black bars from all my years of watching films in OAR, and begin buying all of my DVDs in "full frame" or "full screen" only; (2) I absolutely, positively HAVE to watch "Apollo 13," but I have exactly two hours to do it; and (3) I invest in an eight-story tall IMAX screen. Okay, so I wouldn't mind having (3) happen. [​IMG]

    For those reasons, the IMAX version is a worthless film extra for me, even though I'm fairly partial to DTS. I used to have the older DTS version, but sold it a few years ago. I didn't notice the flaws in PQ back then, but I don't know if those are entirely Universal's fault. Apollo 13 was one of the first flicks to hit DVD, and MPEG-2 compression has come a long way since then.

    I'd love to have DTS on the "real" version of the film. But frankly, I've got several other discs in my collection with much better DTS tracks, at least to my ears. So I'm not agonizing over it.
     
  8. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    Have you also considered the HD DVD version?
    Or are you simply NOT into that format (yet)?


    Cees
     
  9. Mark-P

    Mark-P Producer

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    Truncated...Yes. Cropped...No. Apollo 13 was filmed in super35 and the Imax version simply opens up the frame to 1.66:1.
     
  10. Adam Scott

    Adam Scott Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks again Joseph for your guidance; I believe I did read that review on the HD DVD release, but I'll check in a little while....I have heard similar things from other people regarding the unenjoyable IMAX release and its character development problems; if the DTS track was aggressive enough for me, I would probably look past the edited version of this film and watch that IMAX cut....
     
  11. Yumbo

    Yumbo Cinematographer

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    I listened to both the original Dolby and DTS.

    The DTS had crackling during launch - enough to pu tme off.
    The DD was pretty much the same. Picture seemed ok at the time.

    Am deciding between Anniversary or holding off until HD. Frustratingly.

    I JUST SAW THAT THEY ARE RELEASING YET ANOTHER EDITION ON 22/8/06!
    Collector's Edition, nothing different from original, and MORE expensive than Anniversary.
     
  12. Adam Scott

    Adam Scott Stunt Coordinator

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    "I've only sampled one scene from the IMAX version, that being the shuttle launch. Of course, the soundtrack sounded a bit more spacious and rumbly than the DD5.1 track"

    Thanks Bryan; these were the kinds of things I was wondering about....but as spacious and rumbly as Universal's ORIGINAL DTS pressing of this title?

    "For those reasons, the IMAX version is a worthless film extra for me, even though I'm fairly partial to DTS."

    I am VERY partial to DTS, and can clearly hear the difference on many titles when released separately especially (of course, those are separately prepared mixes most of the time, a la Gladiator and Saving Private Ryan, but you know what I mean...) and so that is what is making me wonder about the DTS track on the IMAX version....if it is as aggressive as the original DTS pressing, which you get to below....

    "I used to have the older DTS version, but sold it a few years ago. I didn't notice the flaws in PQ back then, but I don't know if those are entirely Universal's fault. Apollo 13 was one of the first flicks to hit DVD, and MPEG-2 compression has come a long way since then."

    Agreed about the compression, and the audio would be more important to me anyway, so I am curious as to how you felt the DTS audio was on that older version you sold; any lingering memories on the track....if it was "hotter" than the one on the Anniversary Edition IMAX cut?

    "I'd love to have DTS on the "real" version of the film."

    Me too....and that is a HUGE issue for many fellow DVD reviewers I know who bashed Universal for coming out with this Anniversary cut with a remastered picture but dropped the DTS track and dumped it on the IMAX version....thats a real head scratcher to me, but Universal is INFAMOUS for doing mysterious things like this, as they put DTS tracks on the likes of Meet the Parents and Along Came Polly, yet no DTS on barnstormers like Van Helsing and Dawn of the Dead....

    "But frankly, I've got several other discs in my collection with much better DTS tracks, at least to my ears. So I'm not agonizing over it."

    This concerns me as I was told and heard that Apollo 13's original DTS track was one of those overcooked, ultra-aggressive first generation DTS mixes that was simply not to be missed, so this is a big issue for me...

    Thanks for the discussion!
     
  13. Adam Scott

    Adam Scott Stunt Coordinator

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    Cees,

    I have not bought into the high definition formats yet as I dont think enough bugs have been worked out of the technology (the Toshiba hardware problems; audio level issues, etc.) and I was not that impressed with the blu Ray demo of 50 First Dates that I witnessed...plus, I just have SO MUCH invested in the current standard DVD format that I cannot financially justify replacing my collection...

    Do you think standard DVD will eventually go the way of VHS or can we continue buying with confidence?
     
  14. Adam Scott

    Adam Scott Stunt Coordinator

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    "I listened to both the original Dolby and DTS."

    Of the original Collector's Edition separate releases, or the tracks on this Anniversary Edition?

    "The DTS had crackling during launch - enough to pu tme off."

    Now THIS concerns me....the DTS track on the IMAX version of the Anniversary Edition....or of the first release?

    "The DD was pretty much the same. Picture seemed ok at the time."

    I am assuming you are referring to the original Collector's cut as you mentioned "at the time"....

    "Am deciding between Anniversary or holding off until HD. Frustratingly."

    And so you are contemplating buying into the HD technology any time soon? I am frustrated just from contemplating the standard DVD versions!

    "I JUST SAW THAT THEY ARE RELEASING YET ANOTHER EDITION ON 22/8/06!
    Collector's Edition, nothing different from original, and MORE expensive than Anniversary."

    Do you mean 2/8/06? Are you sure about that date? I dont think that makes sense; and if they are releasing ANOTHER version, that is simply ridiculous....in standard def no less....
     
  15. Harold Wazzu

    Harold Wazzu Supporting Actor

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    If you do buy the older version you run the risk of dvd rot being a problem. Some people are experiencing problems with early Universal discs, Apollo 13 being one of them, where they just stop playing all together.
     
  16. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    Adam,

    Owners of the Toshiba HD-A1 are raving about that machine and earlier problems seem to have fixed by the downloadable firmware upgrades (you should go and take a look in the HD areas of this forum!).

    I think standard DVD will eventually go the way of VHS, yes.
    On the other hand: because of the format war you cannot say for certain that we have a successor. But although I still buy standard DVD, it's not "with confidence".
    And if you can afford it and if you're not afraid of some experimenting - purchasing a HD-player is an interesting idea. [​IMG]


    Cees
     
  17. Adam Scott

    Adam Scott Stunt Coordinator

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    Thank you for the heads up about this, Harold; I have heard about this problem with early Universal discs...I was one of those people who bought -- and this was not a rot problem -- the early pressings of Jurassic Park DTS which had the defective LFE track and had to get the corrected copy direct from Universal's marketing people....yet, with regard to Apollo 13, I am wondering if a copy I will buy through, say, Amazon (the out of print DTS edition) will experience the rot problem right from the start....
     
  18. Adam Scott

    Adam Scott Stunt Coordinator

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    "Owners of the Toshiba HD-A1 are raving about that machine and earlier problems seem to have fixed by the downloadable firmware upgrades (you should go and take a look in the HD areas of this forum!)."

    Yes indeed I have looked at that area of the forum; I would not be so interested to download a fix to a machine I paid 500 bucks for, but thats just me!

    "I think standard DVD will eventually go the way of VHS, yes."

    Wow...this is what I was afraid of hearing being that I have TREMENDOUS, ridiculous amounts of cash invested in the current format; I cannot see replacing this entire library any time soon...it would just be personally financially impossible....do you REALLY think standard DVD will be COMPLETELY and utterly obsolete given the popularity it has?

    "On the other hand: because of the format war you cannot say for certain that we have a successor."

    Indeed; I for one am DEFINITELY -- and I have my mind made up about this right now -- not buying into ANY high definition format until one is declared the dominant "winner;" there is no way I am buying two players, a blu Ray deck and an HD deck, and buying different titles on different formats....forget it. I will wait it out for now.

    "But although I still buy standard DVD, it's not "with confidence"."

    Hmmmm....interesting and again a little disheartening as I hear something like this from a fellow home theater addict like yourself; I am continuing to purchase standard def DVD at an alarming rate to make a dent in my massive want list, yet get so afraid when I hear rumors of standard discs going the way of the do-do bird...

    "And if you can afford it and if you're not afraid of some experimenting - purchasing a HD-player is an interesting idea. [​IMG]"

    Well, as I said, I want to see who prevails in this format war as I do not want to buy two new decks for two different formats right now.
     
  19. Adam Scott

    Adam Scott Stunt Coordinator

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    Well, fellas, I returned from Best Buy just now and need to report that I have exchanged the Apollo 13 Anniversary Edition for the barebones edition of SPEED, which I wanted for a while now because of the DTS track on that title...both were $9.99....I was just alarmed with all the talk of the DTS mix on the IMAX version not sounding as great as the original DTS release and the IMAX version really cutting the story apart and on and on....I think if I really want this title, I will take my chances ordering the out of print DTS edition even though there are chances of rot and the horrid video transfer I am hearing about. I'll keep you guys posted...

    Any further comments or thoughts on the Apollo 13 audio mix new or old, please continue to share! Thank you everyone.
     
  20. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    Adam,

    The same with me ( > 2500 DVDs).
    And I also think that the investment is safe: players playing the discs will exist for decades to come. The quality of the image (which is still superb, generally) will not diminish. A DVD will never start looking like a VHS, all of a sudden.

    So, it will *eventually* go the way of the dinosaurs, but let's say: not in our lifetime.

    That said: I'm looking at the new formats with great interests and if I lived inside the US, I'm sure I would already have acquired one of those HD DVD players (my first Toshiba, back in 1997 costs me just over $500 too + importing costs). It seems to play (and upconvert) standard DVDs beautifully, so it would in fact be an enhancement to my existing library.

    (Well, I'm not living in the US. but in Europe, but I'm still looking into possibilities to get one of those machines. [​IMG] )

    So, the bottom line is: while I think that a new format may be arriving, I'm not sad at all about my investment in DVD.


    Cees
     

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