Blu-ray Review Journey to the Center of the Earth (1959) Blu-ray Review

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Matt Hough, May 3, 2012.

  1. Jon Lidolt

    Jon Lidolt Stunt Coordinator

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    Granted there are horrid transfers that should never have been foisted on us: we all remember Spartacus and Patton as prime examples. But the bulk of the Blu-rays that are churned out these days are so much better than most of the release prints that I used to show when I ran a rep cinema here in Toronto. I often ended up with prints that were warped, laced with splices, scratches, missing frames and fading or faded color. Not to mention how difficult it was to get stereo prints (this was in the mid 70 to 80's). We're incredibly lucky in this age of the Blu-ray to have the luxury to complain about perceived flaws in our copies of Journey to the Center of the Earth. It looks very much the same now as it did for most audiences in 1959. Truth be told, even better in many respects: few viewers got to hear it in 4-track stereo or were lucky enough to see a brand new, unblemished print that was actually shown in focus. I think some us have simply lost our sense of perspective on this matter. If 99% of a transfer looks great, can't we overlook the few minutes that don't meet our impossibly high standards?
     
  2. Guest

    Excellent post, Jon. The first time I saw "Journey" in a theater, in 1972, it had turned completely pink. I wasn't too upset because I was finally seeing it in CinemaScope, but recalling that screening makes me appreciate the quality of the Blu-ray all the more.
     
  3. umr1

    umr1 Auditioning

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    I own this Blu-Ray and the DVD while not a reference transfer it is a huge improvement in audio and video. If you are a fan of this film I recommend this disc.
     
  4. TonyD

    TonyD Who do we think I am?
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    Hi Jeff welcome to Home Theater Forum.
    Have fun here it's a good place.
    I agree about the disc . Not great but still miles above the other versions available and worth the purchase.
     
  5. Pirate King

    Pirate King Auditioning

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    I am very happy with my Blu-ray of Journey. It's not perfect, but I believe the transfer is quite good. Audio is also very good. For fans of this classic film, the Blu-ray is a significant improvement over the DVD. Yes, 35.00 is expensive for one movie, but for me, it is a bargain.... having one of my favorite films.
     
  6. Scott-S

    Scott-S Cinematographer
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    I was looking to order this on Amazon yesterday and I noticed it was not available (except from 3rd party at $85).
    Was this a limited edition? Was there a problem with it? Was demand higher than they expected?
    I was a bit bummed.
     
  7. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Scott,

    It was limited and it completely sold out within the past month.
     
  8. Scott-S

    Scott-S Cinematographer
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    Wow. guess I should have acted earlier. :(
    Thanks for the info.
    Now I have to decide.... Should I pay the $85 or hold out for another release that might not happen for a long time?
     
  9. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

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    I watched part of this the other night in HD on one of my DTV channels. It lookd beautiful. Brilliant color and had plenty of HD detail.
     
  10. lukejosephchung

    lukejosephchung Screenwriter

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    This is an object lesson in "you snooze, you lose", Scott...Twilight Time's blu-ray releases from Fox & Sony are ALL limited edition pressing runs of 3,000 copies only. If they sell out, as they did here, along with "Mysterious Island" and the original "Fright Night" BD's, you're at the mercy of third-party sellers like E-Bay. You have my sympathies for missing out..."Journey" is a GREAT disc with a near-perfect transfer of the original Cinemascope image with directional 3-channel stereo sound in DTS-MA-HD.
     
  11. iDarren

    iDarren Stunt Coordinator

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    Actually, sharpness is not excellent throughout. This looks really soft at 100 inches. Some shots are OK, and I think once they go underground it improves, but there is a LOT of softness in this transfer.
     
  12. iDarren

    iDarren Stunt Coordinator

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    My thoughts also.
     
  13. JoHud

    JoHud Producer

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    Considering Fright Night currently goes for $100+, it may be wise to pick it up now.
    However I'd recommend buying JTTCOTE from an Ebay seller instead. On in particular is selling it $70 and a few others cheaper if you are willing to risk bidding.
     
  14. john a hunter

    john a hunter Supporting Actor

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    Four track, please This is one of the few films of this era that actually maintains its original surround/ effects track.
     
  15. Bryan^H

    Bryan^H Producer

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    I watched this with my brother the other night. On his 58" Plasma, the picture was quite breathtaking. Wonderful film that I need to own on Blu. I'll break my rule just this once, and track down a copy on E-Bay.
     
  16. Keith Cobby

    Keith Cobby Screenwriter

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    I am one of the 'lucky' 3000 as this was an essential purchase for me. It is a step up from the DVD but it is undeniably soft and I was a bit disappointed in the picture quality.
     
  17. Bryan^H

    Bryan^H Producer

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    Soft, but beautiful.
     
  18. RolandL

    RolandL Producer

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    The long range shots are quite soft but the closeups are a lot better. I watched it with a projected image of 11.5 ft wide.
     
  19. Joseph Goodman

    Joseph Goodman Stunt Coordinator

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    Do the separations that this film was restored from have focus issues? It's not unheard of for separation masters to have been printed out of focus (as RAH has said about the seps for "The Alamo", for example), which could account for the soft look of the transfer and resultant Blu-Ray.
     
  20. Lromero1396

    Lromero1396 Supporting Actor

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    It's a possibility, but keep in mind that the OCN was faded and worn beyond restoration (by 2002 standards, the OCN could probably be used today). The seps each have 2 generations of grain. One from the neg and one from the sep. Combined, that makes for 6 layers of grain in addituon to the grain from the internegative created from the seps and the IP from the interneg that was used to create the HD master. Even though the last 2 are modern stocks, the grain and softness from the seps is still pretty intense. That would explain the softness I think. I'm just using the restoration information on the DVD since I'm presuming that the same master was used for the BD because of the image cropping on the bottom edge. Old Fox HD masters from the DVD era on other CinemaScope titles also exhibit a sort of noisy softness caused by HD-level scanning's failure to accurately replicate grain. I do not own the BD and do not plan to due to cost. I evaluated the image quality upon initial release and was not impressed. It would have been great to have that freaking awesome lossless soundtrack and isolated score, but since the UK cut and alternate scenes were not included and Fox didn't bother to do a commentary with the surviving cast, I passed. An audio upgrade was not worth $35 (or more like $80 now). Plus, Fox should have released this title themselves. As the TT sales have proven, there certainly was demand. EDIT: Apparently some members on this forum have posted that it is a 2010 HD transfer. I have my doubts about that- unless the studio did a really sloppy job of it with all the cropping on the bottom edge.
     

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