Does anyone else watch color Blu-rays in black-and-white?

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Dick, Nov 24, 2012.

  1. Dick

    Dick Producer
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    I love black.and white. I prefer it to color. Generally, though, I will always watch a film intended to be seen in color in color. Simply turning the color level down to "zero" does not make most films look as though they were shot in b&w -- gradations are wrong, shadow detail is lacking, contrast can be poor.
    However, I make a few exceptions. Some of the Blu-rays (and DVD's) that have been released look so crappy in color due to flucuations in flesh tones, irregular saturation and just bad color timing, that they actualy improve (for me) if I view them in black-and-white. This is not to say that a remastered edition will not finally emerge that licks the bad color issues, and that I won't drop my b&w viewing of them.
    Here are the few color movies that I prefer to watch without the color on current Blu-ray transfers:
    THE DIRTY DOZEN
    VON RYAN'S EXPRESS
    THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH (1956)
    I just wondered if anyone else does this, or if you would all consider this blasphemous (but even if you did, I would watch them that way regardless). I think it's a less egregious practice than adding crappy, pasty-looking color to a black and white film!
     
  2. Moe Dickstein

    Moe Dickstein Filmmaker

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    I did that once.
    Brokeback Mountain just seemed to work perfectly without color making the mountains so pretty. It's the same thing when you go from The Last Picture Show to Texasville, two other McMurtry projects.
     
  3. Persianimmortal

    Persianimmortal Screenwriter

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    It's possible that some films may have more of a dramatic impact in B&W, but I definitely prefer color. I recently watched quite a few classic B&W films, and although they were great, I found it quite refreshing to return to color again soon afterward.
    Interestingly, in recognition of the fact that B&W can improve certain movies, my Blu-ray copy of The Mist comes with two discs: one with the movie in color, the other in black and white. While I don't consider The Mist any sort of cinematic masterpiece, obviously director Frank Darabont knows the impact that B&W can have, enough to issue two versions of his film on BD.
     
  4. Robin9

    Robin9 Cinematographer

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    If the color as presented in a BRD is seriously wrong, it may well be preferable to see a film in black and white. At least that way you will not be angered by the sloppy work of the disc's producers.
    Quite differently, I once read a magazine interview with John Frankenheimer around the time French Connection 2 was a new film. Frankenheimer said that he had watched the rushes in black and white and that they were sensational. Anyone who has French Connection 2 on disc might try that experiment.
     
  5. Charles Smith

    Charles Smith Extremely Talented Member
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    I have to admit that's an intriguing idea, watching Texasville in black and white.
     
  6. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Producer

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    Never done this, no plan to start. For some strange reason, I like to watch movies as they were originally created...
     
  7. Douglas R

    Douglas R Cinematographer

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    Exactly. It's just as bad as advocating to to see a black and white film colorized and it was bad enough having to put up with very many years of having to see color films on black and white TV.
     
  8. Dick

    Dick Producer
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    They were not, I would wager, created to have color shifting and pasty flesh tones due to bad transfers or poor reproductive elements. As I said, if better transfers come along, I am ready and willing.
     
  9. TonyD

    TonyD Who do we think I am?
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    No, never have, never will. Doesn't really make sense to me.
     
  10. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Producer

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    And color films weren't created to be seen in B&W - what's your point?
     
  11. Dick

    Dick Producer
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    Each to his own, Colin.:)
     
  12. Moe Dickstein

    Moe Dickstein Filmmaker

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    Texasville is very interesting if you take almost all the color out, not b&w but just very desaturated
     
  13. Greg_D_R

    Greg_D_R Stunt Coordinator

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    I watched the black and white version of The Mist, and I do prefer it to the color version. One reason is that CG and compositing in general blends better with the surrounding footage in black and white.
    This is an interesting topic. The disagreeable responses are understandable from film buffs, but the thing is, it's not hurting anyone. Why not give it a try? You might see something about the composition of a shot that you didn't notice before.
     
  14. TonyD

    TonyD Who do we think I am?
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    Nope.
    Also the Mist was filmed fir b&w as well as color so not really the same as just turning off the color on a movie and watching it.
     
  15. jra166

    jra166 Extra

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    It is for this reason I actually prefer to watch the Star Wars Prequels in Black and White.... Also makes them feel "older" than the original trilogy. To take this a step further, I've enjoyed watching them as silent films and just listening to John Williams in the background, but that is another conversation for another day. :D
     
  16. Persianimmortal

    Persianimmortal Screenwriter

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    I thought watching Jar Jar Binks with the sound turned off was mandatory.
    Anyway, funnily enough, I was watching The Shadow tonight on DVD, and a few minutes in the first thought that crossed my mind was to see what it would look like in black and white. I have to say it looked reminiscent of an old noir film in B&W, and the look suited the movie. But I tend to agree with others here that, generally speaking, if the movie was released in color, it should be watched in color.
     
  17. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
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    When I got Legends of the Fall on laserdisc and first watched it, I had a faulty S-video cable, and the color wasn't coming through, so I first watched it at home in black and white. I can't say it wasn't still very effective, but I sure did miss that wonderful color cinematography.
     

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