HAMMER FILM BLU-RAYS IN THE U.K. ... getting closer to the Holy Grail (DRACULA, 1958)...

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Dick, Jul 28, 2012.

  1. John Hodson

    John Hodson Producer

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    So, if we were guessing - just suppose - what's your guess as to what's going on here Robert?
     
  2. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Someone didn't ask the right questions going in.

    RAH
     
  3. Eastmancolor

    Eastmancolor Stunt Coordinator

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    If this Blu-ray was sourced from an interpositive, which was made from an internegative that was made from color separation masters, that would at least account for some of the softness in the image. Look how many generations of film elements this thing went thru to get to where it is, also taking into account that those elements don't look like they were made terribly well. Having seen some of the other Hammer titles on Blu-ray of late, CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN was definitely a let down. Not bad by any means, but really mediocre.
    Contrast levels are definitely too harsh, with blown out whites, especially in the early reels. As far as the aspect ratio goes, I read what was written in the Hammer blog and I do kind of see what they're driving at with the framing of some shots, but I can't imagine this film was shown hardly anywhere, if anywhere, in 1.37. They would have composed for widescreen while filming by this point.
    Still, I can live with the extra space at the top of the frame on most shots. I just wish the disc looked better. I would give it a 6 out of 10 and I think that's being generous.
     
  4. Bob Furmanek

    Bob Furmanek Insider
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    If all that you read about the OAR debate was on the Hammer blog, you should check out what seems like 40 odd pages of "discussion" in the Aspect Ratio Thread.
    The thread still hasn't recovered!
     
  5. Bob Furmanek

    Bob Furmanek Insider
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    Jim: have you ever handled 35mm film?
    Just kidding. I thought your name was familiar. Nice to see you here!
     
  6. haineshisway

    haineshisway Producer

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    I believe either in this thread or another, the wise Mr. Harris has made a post saying that this film, if transferred from the correct elements, could look as good as it did the day it came out. I believe him. As to inherent softness - not a chance - sharp as a tack is what it should be and certainly what it isn't. Six out of ten is being more than generous - I'd give it a 0 out of 10 because the color is a joke and it's disgusting looking. Other than that, I guess it's just dandy.
     
  7. Mark Oates

    Mark Oates Supporting Actor

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    I consider myself chastised.
     
  8. Eastmancolor

    Eastmancolor Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi Bob. Thanks for the kind words. I've been on the forum for awhile now, I just rarely post anything. As Ollie once said "I have nothing to say." Well, usually.
     
  9. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Please don't. Merely saying...

    Nothing personal.
     
  10. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    As Mr. Furmanek knows, if and when Mr. Harwood adds his thoughts to this forum, they should be taken seriously.

    RAH
     
  11. Eastmancolor

    Eastmancolor Stunt Coordinator

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    And thank you too Mr. Harris for your kind words. Two glowing comments in one day. Something tells me the rest of my weekend is just going to be crap. :D
     
  12. Mark Oates

    Mark Oates Supporting Actor

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    Your patience is appreciated, Mr H. From the outside, the workings of the DVD and Blu-ray world are mysterious and arcane. Insights are a treat as otherwise we're left with speculation that may be educated but ultimately ill-informed. I am at best an enthusiastic observer of the industry, peeking through a keyhole - at times a Yale one - at a larger world.
     
  13. John Hodson

    John Hodson Producer

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  14. RobHam

    RobHam Stunt Coordinator

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    Good article John - it's swung me away from re-purchasing any Hammer on BD at least for the time being.
    These days I view the Hammer DVD's I have with wistful nostalgia - being ten years old again and having the willies scared out of you by being allowed to watch late night television for the first time. With the more critical eye of an adult 40 years later, most of Hammer's output (with the exception of the Terence Fisher directed films) seem rather silly.
     
  15. Richard--W

    Richard--W Banned

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    That's a good summary of all the reports I've been reading.
    How very disappointing.
    A couple of people at Hammer don't know what they're doing.
     
  16. haineshisway

    haineshisway Producer

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    Most of the article is fine save for the part about vivid color in The Curse of Frankenstein - I wonder if the viewer is simply colorblind.
    But the fact that Hammer or anyone else would call The Curse of Frankenstein's transfer "restored" is hilarious. What restoration? It's a bad transfer off a bad element and it's been stated here too many times that this film could look as great as it did back in 1957 and without a fancy shmancy restoration.
     
  17. Cant Sleep

    Cant Sleep Auditioning

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    I am that viewer, and I must say it's an interesting debate about the colour. After the Leicester screening of the film in July, I reported that it looked washed out. And my initial viewings of the blu-ray left me with the same impression. So when I read some reviews that mentioned the strong colour, I thought 'what?', and I went back and took another look.
    I was surprised to see that, for the most part, colours were actually quite vivid. I think it was the bleached faces (faces being an obvious point of focus when watching a film) and the undeniable softness of the image that left me with the impression that I was watching a film with washed-out colour.
    The screenshots that accompany the review at Cathode Ray Tube are a pretty decent gauge of the colour on the new discs (I'm not sure whether, as a new member, I'm allowed to post a link, but a search for "Cathode Ray Tube"+"Frankenstein" should get you there). I think there are some very nice reds, greens and blues there.
    If anyone disagrees, though, you won't catch me mounting too rigorous a defence, because this is definitely a disappointing transfer and the worst Hammer 'restoration' to date.
     
  18. Richard--W

    Richard--W Banned

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    Cathode Ray Tube:
    http://www.cathoderaytube.co.uk/2012/10/british-cult-classics-curse-of.html
     
  19. John Hodson

    John Hodson Producer

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    Posted on the Hammer blog, re: the Rasputin The Mad Monk audio, Hammer say: "This will be our first and only comment on the issue...":
     
  20. bgart13

    bgart13 Screenwriter

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    [​IMG]
     

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