DVD Review HTF REVIEW: The War of the Worlds (1953) - Special Collector's Edition (Recommended)

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Scott Kimball, Oct 28, 2005.

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  1. Sam Favate

    Sam Favate Producer

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    The inclusion of the Orson Welles radio program makes this a very cool disc with excellent extras. I'm very pleased at the job Paramount did with it.
     
  2. Kevin M

    Kevin M Producer

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    I have the Wells radio broadcast on CD from Radio Spirits and I have to say that they have a much better recording than is offered on the DVD, at least they seem to have cleaned up the scratches a bit more than the DVD version, plus the fact that you can't FF or RW is a bit of a pill, but nonetheless the fact that it is offered at all is great and makes for a very interesting supplement, much like the two radio offerings on both A Christmas Story & The Third Man...very interesting reference material for films IMO and one that I would like to be used more often on films where it is relevant, particularly with classic films when radio was a much bigger part of the entertainment industry and movie/radio tie-in's were more common.
    Just offer some chapter stops or the ability to scan through in the future, sometimes you need to turn off a DVD player in the middle of listening to these and the "resume" feature doesn't always work with these types of audio menues on DVD's.
     
  3. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

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    That's a valid point. What is the reasoning behinnd omitting this? Does it cost them more money? That fact they decided to include it says they thought it was of value. But it seems as if they just "threw" it on the disc.
     
  4. Daniel Bakken

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    Wires or not, the picture it excellent. I think that the stock footage of the flying wing was cleaned up. It was dirty and scratched up before.
     
  5. Mattias_ka

    Mattias_ka Supporting Actor

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    DaViD Boulet, How do you think the old LD compares to this DVD in sound and picture? I know you have a rather good player for this.
     
  6. BrettB

    BrettB Producer

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  7. Steve Christou

    Steve Christou Long Member

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    [​IMG] [​IMG] Great stuff! [rant]"Sylvia!"[/rant]
     
  8. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

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    Reader's Digest, eat your heart out.
     
  9. RickER

    RickER Producer

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    Thats the perfect version for those that...dont want the wires to show! [​IMG]
     
  10. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

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    According to either the commentary or doc you can see Woody Woodpecker in this scene in the tree top. I can't see him, can you?
    [​IMG]

    So I decided to enlarge the area of interest and get a better look. You be the judge.
    [​IMG]
     
  11. GregK

    GregK Screenwriter

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    Last night I had a chance to sit down with my youngest daughter and finally watch WAR OF THE WORLDS on the 105" screen with surround sound. At first my daughter was slightly irked it wasn't that "other" WOTW feature due out on DVD soon. But she gave it a chance and ended up jumping in all the right spots. Afterwards she admitted it was a pretty good watch "for one of Dad's older movies". [​IMG]

    LD / DVD Comparisons

    Later that night I decided to compare it to the deluxe edition laserdisc and was surprised at the various differences between the two, visually and sonicly. The timing on the laserdisc was certainly darker, which I felt conveyed the night scenes better when compared to the DVD. Sorry guys.. I have to dig this old shoe up again- I was shocked at how apparent those wires are on the new disc! Yes, the wires are apparent on the old LD, but one has to be really looking for them most of the time. When I cranked up the contrast and brightness on my older laserdisc, guess what becomes more apparent- You guessed it..the wires! The improved detail on the new DVD may also make them a bit more more obvious, but the change in the evening timing sequences should not to be dismissed and plays as a major factor.

    Video wise, the new DVD does have it's advantages of course. There's more detail over the older LD transfer. And the DVD's color, while more subdued, is cleaner thanks to DVDs 4:2:0 component video. Previous film nicks and scratches are now gone, especially during the Air Force jet & flying wing scenes. Let's see .. remove all nicks & scratches from 2nd hand footage, but ignore the wires which are now more obvious than ever. Hmmmm.

    Moving on to the audio...

    I was surprised to discover the 2.0 Surround on the DVD is a different mix compared to what was available on the previous LD. Using the Dolby Pro-Logic II movie mode, some random comparisons reveal the following-

    During the very brief B&W intro the LD is completely mono (ie: center channel directed) then switches to surround/stereo in perfect sync with the color title. The DVD has the music and effects in stereo for the B&W intro.

    The LDs opening credits music sound a bit thin and hallow compared to the DVD's, which in turn sounds fuller and also has a better low end.

    Dialog typically sounds a bit cleaner on the DVD. But the occasional laserdisc directional dialog sometimes used when a character was off-screen is absent on the DVD remix, with dialog now firmly fixed in the center.

    While the LD can have an aggressive surround presence at times and has a wide front stage, for the most part the mix tends to stay up front. The DVDs mix frequently places music and Martian sound effects in all of the channels.

    So which re-mix is best? Perhaps it's somewhat a matter of taste. If I had my ideal choice, obviously I'd love to have the original L/C/R 3.0 mix, but that appears to be long gone...
     
  12. TonyD

    TonyD Who do we think I am?
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    "achoo"
     
  13. Ed St. Clair

    Ed St. Clair Producer

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    Carl Denham: Oh no, it wasn't the resolution. It was contrast that showed the wires!
    Wonder how this will look (darker, lighter, or the same) in HD?
    Like the idea of the opening soundtrack changing from mono to stereo, sounds (ha, ha!) impressive.
    The Woody Woodpecker screen capture looks more like Jar Jar to me!
     
  14. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    Sounds like the LD looks like the previous DVD (they used the same master for both). Did you read my comments earlier about the contrast being the biggest "issue" that changed with the new disc(ie, not image detail).

    Great to hear that the audio on the new DVD compares favorably...how often does *that* happen with a LD/DVD comparison... [​IMG]
     
  15. Todd Robertson

    Todd Robertson Second Unit

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    The bunnies are hilarious! [​IMG]

    I'm a two-faced wench. I grew up with this film. I can remember seeing it on TV in the early 70's and yes, I saw some wirage. Not as much as now...but I saw them. Did not bother me then....don't bother me now. BUT....if I had a version where the wires were removed from sight...I'd enjoy that also. Hey, as long as I have wires in one and no wires in the other....I feel full.[​IMG]
     
  16. Kevin M

    Kevin M Producer

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    Just when I get out of the wires...they PULL ME BACK IN! [​IMG]
     
  17. Bob Furmanek

    Bob Furmanek Insider
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    For those suggesting they digitally remove the wires, would you also like them to smooth out Kong's fur to remove any animation artifacts in the new master?

    I said it before and I'll say it again: original 35mm dye-transfer Technicolor prints were timed much darker in the night scenes. The CRI which created new printing elements in the early 70's is where these scenes were first printed lighter, and they've been (incorrectly) timed that way ever since.
     
  18. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    Well Bob, so which is it?


    If that's true (which is what I've suspected) then the modern presentation is not in keeping with the intensions of the director and the original projected effect.

    So then...wouldn't it stand to reason that we fix the problem? Digitally obscuring (the word I've chosen to use rather than "remove") the visible special-effects artifacts is one way. Darkening the overal image to hide shadow detail in some scenes (which was how the original prints did it) is another method. If we know that what we're seeing now is NOT right, then why are we so opposed to suggesting ways to restore this image to more closely resemble its proper appearance?

    My first choice would be to correct the timing so that the scenes are darker...which in addition reducing the "distraction" of the effects mechanics would give a more foreboding feeling to the film. Right now the look of the image is beautiful, but it's "pretty" where it might be better to be more menacing...


    BTW, I'm very satisfied with this gorgeous DVD effort and pleased as punch to have it. But it's good to have this discussion...maybe when this title surfaces on Blu-ray the presentation might benefit just that much more because of it.
     
  19. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    BTW, Great documentary! This and the stereo audio make this purchase an easy recommendation...

    [​IMG]



    Only if audiences watching those original prints projected during the film's debut never would have seen them...and the "digital" modifications I'd make to the restored image would only go so far as to mimic the appearance of the effects artifacts in the original projected prints...no more...no less.
     
  20. Peter Apruzzese

    Peter Apruzzese Producer

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    To me, the best way to honor the intentions of the filmmakers is to return those night scenes to their original timing.
     

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