Inferno: THE HTF ADDICT 3D ADDICT REVIEW

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Ronald Epstein, Aug 19, 2014.

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  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    [​IMG]
    What can I say? I love 3D! From the moment I began watching 3D content in my home I quickly discovered that I needed more content. I suspect that those of you just purchasing your first 3D hardware will acquire the same ferocious appetite. That's why I became the HTF 3D ADDICT. I personally love images that pop off the screen and come inches away from your face without becoming overly gimmicky. However, I certainly appreciate the nature documentaries that offer beautiful depth and separation. These are not necessarily reviews of the film themselves. I am not going to concentrate on story or supplements -- you can find the 2D reviews elsewhere on this forum. My job is to let you know exactly what kind of 3D experience to expect from the titles that are being released. As I will be receiving a handful of new product from the studios expect to see more title coverage.





    [​IMG]
    I N F E R N O


    Studio: Panamint
    Product Release: August 10, 2014
    Ratio: 1.37:1
    Audio: Mono
    Running Time: 83 minutes
    Rating: N/A

    [​IMG]
    On A Scale 0-5

    Overall 3D Presentation Rating: 5
    3D Separation: 5
    3D In Yo' Face Factor: 2



    In 2010, when newly introduced displays allowed the 3D experience to be taken
    into the homes and the first wave of Blu-ray releases surfaced, many were
    disappointed to find that none of the classic films from the 50s era were getting
    any representation.

    For fans like myself who have been eager for a look at many of the 52 3D releases from
    the format's golden age, it has been a rather painful wait that has required an exercise of
    patience. To date, the major studios have only released a small handful of popular titles
    and others are slowly finding their way to the collector via smaller labels. One such label,
    Panamint Cinema (one of the Uk's longest standing producers of archive DVD and Blu-ray
    discs) has finally made Twentieth Century Fox's, Inferno, available to the collector.

    msg-396771-0-38148400-1408474759_thumb.jpg


    Filmed in 1953 during the initial theatrical boom of 3D, Inferno is an American film noir
    drama directed by Roy Ward Baker. The story concerns business tycoon Donald Carson
    (Robert Ryan) who falls off his horse, breaks his leg, and is left to die out in the Mojave desert
    by his scheming wife, Geraldine (Rhonda Fleming) and her lover, Joseph Duncan (William
    Lundigan). The story constantly switches between the the two lovers attempting to cover
    their tracks, believing they have succeeded in their efforts and Carson struggling to find a
    means to survive just one more day.

    Since having the pleasure of being introduced to classic 3D by none other than Bob
    Furmanek, I have sort of gone into the mindset that I need to own everything from that
    era that gets released to Blu-ray. That can be a dangerous thing as I am not quite sure
    how good most of those films really are. As I purchase these films blindly, I get the feeling
    that at some point, I'm going to get burned. Though Inferno is considered a B-Movie, I don't
    consider it a second-rate film by any means. In fact, I was quite surprised how much I enjoyed
    this film, immersing myself in its shady characters and story of one man's fight for survival
    against all odds. One of the most interesting facets of watching Robert Ryan in those desert
    scenes is the ability to hear his inner thoughts aloud, which I thought added a very unique
    perspective to the story.

    msg-396771-0-23710100-1408474884_thumb.jpg

    Inferno was originally lensed in 3D by Lucien Ballard (Berlin Express and True Grit). It was
    restored six years ago by the late Daniel L. Symmes. In speaking with 3DFilmArchive's
    historian, Bob Furmanek, I was informed that there was some confusion at Fox over which
    version to supply and they almost delivered a poor-quality anaglyphic master. Fortunately,
    Bob and his fellow 3-D historians, Greg Kintz and Jack Theakston, stepped in and were able
    to insure the correct HD restoration master was used for the Blu-ray.

    Mr. Furmanek has informed me that this release is particularly gratifying for him given the
    fact that he received a phone call from a very grateful Roy Ward Baker in November of 1999:

    Quote
    (You can read the complete article here)

    msg-396771-0-91070900-1408474824_thumb.jpg

    So how does Inferno look in 3D Blu-ray? In a word, "stunning!" Obviously, a lot
    of care was put into a restoration effort that has cleaned up as much surface dirt,
    abrasions and print damage as possible, while revealing an exceedingly well-detailed
    image that allows the Technicolor to translate itself across the screen with all its
    intended vibrance. There's a scene late in the film where the scheming lovers
    are conversing in a living room. Fleming is wearing a blue dress and Lundigan is
    wearing a blue suit. It's rather astonishing to see the luxurious and richly saturated
    colors within that scene. In fact, I don't think you'll see Fleming's hair more vibrantly
    red than it looks in this transfer. Fortunately, the film retains what I imagine is its
    original intended look with just the right amount of background grain.

    The 3D itself is quite amazing as well. One of the tests I like to do to gauge the
    strength of 3D imagery is to take off my glasses and see how intense the image
    blur is. In most 3D films made today, there's not a significant amount of blur which
    generally means poor separation. Inferno has a very intensified blur level and when
    wearing eyewear, you really get the sense of highly pronounced depth. This is the
    level of dimensionality I have come to expect from films of this period where rooms
    have the feeling of spaciousness and distant objects seem to go on forever in the
    background. You just don't see this level of realism in any of the upconversions
    that seem to be the staple of Hollywood 3D films of present day.

    Blatant pop-out gimmickry is pretty much non-existent here. There is an attempt
    late in the film to throw a lantern towards the audience, but it never lunges itself
    outwards. However, interestingly, the brim of Robert Ryan's hat does seem to
    poke itself outside of the screen on one or two occasions.

    msg-396771-0-85844000-1408474970_thumb.jpg

    While watching the 3D Blu-ray presentation of Inferno, you will probably notice
    some "warts" in the background associated with the limitations of the restoration,
    but trust that these anomalies are ever-so-noticeable and hardly retract from the
    spectacular transfer. Additionally, I noticed no ghosting/crosstalk whatsoever.

    The film's original three-channel stereophonic sound no longer survives. The
    provided mono track is sufficient, providing dialogue that is coherent.

    Both the 3D and 2D versions of the film are contained on a single Blu-ray disc.
    Included is the film's original theatrical trailer; Pat Boone interview with Rhonda
    Fleming and an Illustrated Booklet.

    Our friends from 3DFilmArchive have provided, for this release, the original teaser
    trailer with Rhonda Fleming, which has not been seen anywhere since the summer
    of 1953. Bob Furmanek also sent some production history and data on the film for
    the booklet's liner notes.



    CONCLUSION

    msg-396771-0-42954500-1408475040_thumb.jpg

    For those of us salivating over getting our hands on golden age classic 3D, Inferno
    certainly is a worthy purchase. The film is a fantastic representation of what the era
    had to offer: a great matinee story and breathtaking 3D photography that brings a sense
    of realism to the home screen that is not often matched in present day. What more could
    you ask for?

    I would like to share this original poster artwork that Bob Furmanek was kind enough to send me:

    [​IMG]


    Inferno Blu-ray available for sale through Panamint Cinema.

    Images are for illustrative purpose only and not representative of the picture quality of this disc.

    Equipment

    Samsung PN64F8500 display professionally calibrated by Gregg Loewen, Lion AV
    Oppo BDP-93 3D Blu-ray Player
    Denon 3311CI Receiver
    Atlantic Technology H-PAS AT-1 fronts, 4400 center; 4200 rear side and back speakers
    SV Sound Subwoofer
     
  2. Timothy E

    Timothy E Supporting Actor
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    I concur with your review, Ron. I received my disc over the weekend.

    I was fortunate enough to see this film at the Hollywood 3-D Expo not so long ago, and I think the presentation on this Blu-ray disc is even better than the theatrical presentation. (I know both are sourced from Dan Symmes' material, but it really looks better on my Panasonic display than it did in the theater.)
     
  3. Adam Gregorich

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    Is their any plans to release this here in the US either Fox, Twilight Time or ??
     
  4. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    I received my BD today and it looked fantastic in 3-D.
     
  5. docquest

    docquest Auditioning

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    This movie is a prime example of using 3D to enhance the story. When Robert Ryan is thinking about his precarious situation he looks over the edge of the canyon he is in and the you can see the true depth of how high he actually is as a rock is show going off the edge and falls below. The big fight scene in the flaming cabin is great too. A majority of that fight footage looks like the actors were uncomfortably close to the flames. I wonder if they complained about how dangerous it must have been to film. A really fun film. Hopefully there's more 3D classics coming from panamint.
     
  6. Todd Erwin

    Todd Erwin Cinematographer
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    I had the pleasure of viewing the restored DCP at the Downtown Independent, in 3D, on a double bill with Dark Country, the night after the 2012 HTF Hollywood Meet, and it looked incredible.
     
  7. RJ992

    RJ992 Second Unit

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    Apparently not. Which means I can't have a copy either.
     
  8. MikeDE

    MikeDE Stunt Coordinator

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    I really hope someone steps up and releases this in the US.
     
  9. docquest

    docquest Auditioning

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    If you have a US Region A panasonic BDT110 player (probably alos works on the BDT210 and BDT310 as well) it works with this region B 3D bluray via a remote trick:

    - Insert a disc and wait for the "Wrong Region" screen to appear- Press Stop- Press 1 and the number "1" should start blinking in the upper right corner. Press the "OK" button while 1 is blinking. You may have to try this a few times, as it usually doesn't work the first time. Try pressing OK on the first or second blink and it should work.- Disc should boot to the discs main menu or start playing the movie

    I was pleasantly surprised that I didn't need to buy a region free player to enjoy this classic in glorious technicolor 3D. Looking forward to more classic 3D from panamint in the future.
     
    Lou Sytsma likes this.
  10. Todd Erwin

    Todd Erwin Cinematographer
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    Ron - somewhat off topic, but wondering which 3D glasses you are using with your Samsung Plasma?
     
  11. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Producer
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    I think it was Bob Furmanek who mentioned in one of the other threads that Twilight Time has tried to license this from Fox without success, but that Fox hasn't made any movement on releasing it themselves either.

    If you ever go region-free, this disc is a great place to start. In my opinion, the quality of the presentation and packaging are equal to the nice packages Twilight Time puts out.
     
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  12. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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  13. rayman1701

    rayman1701 Second Unit
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    Watched this over the weekend, what a fantastic film and beautiful presentation. The depth was just amazing. Man do more classic 3D on disc!
     
  14. Dick

    Dick Producer
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    Yup, this is the best-looking 3-D presentation of a live action film in my collection, inclusive of recent titles. Almost zero ghosting (again, why is DIAL "M" FOR MURDER so bad in this respect -- even though many viewers say they have no problem with it -- when INFERNO, HOUSE OF WAX, CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON and MAN IN THE DARK look so awesome? Isn't it possible the problem is not just my Panny plasma?). Great color saturation. Engaging story, too. Wow! Sure hope more of this stuff comes our way.
     
  15. John Maher_289910

    John Maher_289910 Supporting Actor

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    There is no ghosting on DIAL M FOR MURDER. There is, however, some instances of haloing, also present on the 2D print, as well. They aren't the same thing.
     
  16. Tina_H_V

    Tina_H_V Supporting Actor

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    Thanks for this heads-up, Ron!!!! I plan on adding this to my BD 3D to-get list today!!!!!! :) :3dglasses:
     
  17. RolandL

    RolandL Producer

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    Hi Ron,

    Thank you for the great review.

    You might want to update it with the news that a region free edition will be available in November (see email from Panamit Cinema below).

    Dear RolandYou will be pleased to learn that Fox have agreed to "Inferno" being produced region free.Release date has not been set, but will be sometime in November.Spread the word.Best wishesRussell
     
  18. Dick

    Dick Producer
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    Well, John, that is entirely dependent upon what you are using for a monitor. The Panny plasma I own presents a tremendous amount of ghosting (not haloing) on DIAL M, and other owners of plasmas have said the same. Oddly, though, HOUSE OF WAX looks pretty decent. Both are from Warner. INFERNO looks great on my set. Most 3-D looks great on my set. DIAL M is almost unwatchable on my set. Go figure.
     
  19. bluirv

    bluirv Stunt Coordinator

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    I watched my copy of Inferno 3D tonight and was impressed as most of you were.

    This title makes a great 3D demo since the film uses both natural exteriors as well as interior scenes within the same film.
     
  20. RolandL

    RolandL Producer

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    Panamint is having a 1/2 off sale till 10/5. $25.54 USD including shipping to the US for Inferno. Enter new50 code at checkout.
     

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