Curse of the Jade Scorpion - sound format?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Greg Robinson, Feb 15, 2002.

  1. Greg Robinson

    Greg Robinson Stunt Coordinator

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    I almost picked this up today, but stopped when I read the packing as it displayed sound as being Dolby Digital MONO. Is this true? Assuming it was a misprint, but nonetheless - does anyone own the DVD and can you confirm the sound format? Also, how is the movie? I like most of Woody's work and this looked promising. Thanks!
     
  2. Douglas Bailey

    Douglas Bailey Second Unit

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    The film -- like, I believe, every other Woody Allen film -- was released theatrically in mono. So the disc is an accurate representation of the director's intentions.

    Allen is simply not much enamoured of stereo or surround. Maybe it's because a lot of his chosen source music is in mono. Maybe he feels that stereo surround distracts the audience's attention from what's on the screen. Maybe he (like Kubrick) feels that mono gives the most consistent soundfield for every listener in every cinema. Or maybe he has his own reasons.

    Bottom line, though, is that you shouldn't let the mono sound put you off the DVD. As far as I know, there is no other sound mix for the movie.
     
  3. ChrisMatson

    ChrisMatson Cinematographer

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    I think that every Woody Allen movie and DVD is in mono.
     
  4. rutger_s

    rutger_s Supporting Actor

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    Woody Allen just prefers that his films be presented in mono. Allen believes that surround sound has no place in comedy and that mono is just fine.

    So all of his films on DVD(even the newer Small Time Crooks & Curse of The Jade Scorpion) are mixed for mono presentation.
     
  5. PatrickL

    PatrickL Second Unit

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    I think there's just one recent exception to the "Woody Allen film = mono sound" rule, but it must be one of the very few I don't own yet. "Deconstructing Harry" perhaps?
     
  6. rutger_s

    rutger_s Supporting Actor

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    Deconstructing Harry is presented in mono.
     
  7. PatrickL

    PatrickL Second Unit

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    rutger s, I stand corrected. (DVDEmpire lists it as Dolby Digital Stereo, which is probably where I picked up the misinformation)
     
  8. Rob W

    Rob W Supporting Actor

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    People get confused because they see the Dolby Digital logo and assume it means stereo. All his films are mono, and the Dolby Digital ones only take advantage of Dolby's noise reduction but are still mono mixes.

    To answer your second question, I have been a Woody Allen fan since the classic United Artists days and have seen almost all of them in theatres. This is easily the worst film he has ever made. It is a very sad and pathetic effort from a tired old man. It actually depressed me to watch it.

    I strongly recommend a rental before you buy.
     
  9. Robert_eb

    Robert_eb Supporting Actor

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    I liked the film but it's certainly not his finest effort. There are quite a few scenes that are very funny.
     
  10. Blaine Skerry

    Blaine Skerry Second Unit

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    The three audio choices on CURSE OF THE JADE SCORPION are English Mono, French Mono, and Spanish Mono. I, too am/was a big fan of Woody's film through the 70's and 80's but I have to agree with Rob W on this one.
     
  11. Gabe D

    Gabe D Cinematographer

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    I actually liked the movie quite a bit, although the May-December(of next year) romance between Woody Allen and Helen Hunt was kind of creepy.

    But addressing the original topic, the mono sound is fine- good, even. (Mono isn't always bad.)
     
  12. Rob Lutter

    Rob Lutter Producer

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    The reason both Stanley Kubrick and Woody Allen preferred mono to stereo was for the presentation of their films... they wanted you to see it as they saw it in the editing room. They set up the sound to the lowest setting (1 speaker) so that everyone, whether with seven-speaker surround sound or a 1 channel mono tv speaker will hear the same thing (what the director wants them to hear).
    (At least that is how I understand it)
    [​IMG]
     
  13. Derek Duncan

    Derek Duncan Stunt Coordinator

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    Although it might not count, because it's not a comedy. Wild Man Blues was in stereo.

    Derek
     
  14. Jason Whyte

    Jason Whyte Screenwriter

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    Rob's description is pretty much dead on. Bear in mind, Kubrick's "Eyes Wide Shut" was mixed for Dolby SR-D, DTS and SDDS because he felt that most, if not all theaters could support his sound ideals.
    What's interesting is that Curse of the Jade Scorpion was not only mono, but Dolby SR-D encoded mono, DTS encoded mono, even SDDS encoded mono! One thing I like about that is the clearer resolution and no soundtrack damage.
    "Wild Man Blues was in stereo."
    Wild Man Blues was not directed by Woody Allen.
    Jason
     
  15. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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  16. Mark Walker

    Mark Walker Cinematographer
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    I love most of Woody Allen's films, and I don't
    think this is his worst film. That moniker should
    be bestowed (in my opinion) on Celebrity,
    which is the only Allen film I know I will never have
    the desire to revisit.
    I liked Curse of The Jade Scorpion,
    but it very very lightweight. Personally, I think
    Allen should stop acting in his films, unless he
    casts someone else in the lead.
    Bullets Over Broadway is a recent highpoint
    for a reason: We got John Cusack as the embodiement
    of the "Woody Allen character," and it worked brilliantly.
    I loved Deconstructing Harry,
    but pairing up Allen with Elizabeth Shue as his
    love interest was much more "creepy" than Helen Hunt.
    Mark
     
  17. PatrickL

    PatrickL Second Unit

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  18. Mark Bendiksen

    Mark Bendiksen Screenwriter

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    I really wish Woody would occasionally reconsider his "mono only" rule. Movies like Manhanttan and Sweet and Lowdown would sound great with at least a stereo soundtrack.
    [​IMG]
     

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