Olive Films Blu-ray Release and Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Wade Sowers, Jan 7, 2013.

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  1. ThadK

    ThadK Stunt Coordinator

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    Like I said in my last post, I doubt anyone will be perfectly content with the Betty Boop discs.

    All of the jazz that started with that SNOW-WHITE laserdiscs comparison really only proved how the old releases had no standard in framing. The MINNIE THE MOOCHER on the Blu-Ray will be a UM&M print with TV titles—so no worries about a cutoff copyright anyway. Your VHS copy is also clearly cutting off the top of the Talkartoons and MPAA logos, too, so that transfer isn't true Movietone either.

    The Fleischer cartoons (like the Van Beuren cartoons) were made in the studio in Movietone because the studios were using it for their system of musical timing. (See this fantastic post by Steve Stanchfield for more info.) They were kind of done with "Academy safe" in mind because they knew NO theaters were using Movietone, but clearly didn't get it down until well into the '30s.

    Glad to hear that the CRY DANGER disc is good, probably my favorite Dick Powell noir.
     
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  2. JoHud

    JoHud Producer

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    Watched Sleep My Love and enjoyed it quite a bit. Don Ameche does a well done understated performance and Robert Cummings nearly steals the picture as the cunning yet flippant male protagonist. Keye Luke is also a very welcome presence in the sort of comic relief/sidekick that made him very memorable in the Charlie Chan movies. The Chinese wedding at the very beginning is also a who's who of Asian character actors or the era including a cameo of the well known character actor Willie Fung.

    The video quality in this one is very good using a reasonably clean, crisp source print with strong audio.

    Speaking of Charlie Chan, Victor Sen Yung best known as Son #2 plays a small but memorable serious role in Olive's other blu-ray release this week, Men in War which also looks very good in blu-ray. You can even clearly see the brand of cigarette the Colonel smokes near the end of the movie on the cigarette itself.
     
  3. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Yeah, I have to check out the Sleep My Love BD this weekend. As to Men in War, I was pleasantly surprised how good it looked on my display.
     
  4. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Several Olive titles currently on sale at Amazon.
     
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  5. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Thanks, Robert.

    Just picked up That Touch of Mink ($12.98) and Ironweed ($13.57).
     
  6. TheSteig

    TheSteig Supporting Actor

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    Sleep my Love is an terrific film, the PQ on it was good but at least to me it wasnt one of the mind blowing *holy cow!* revelations. Probably looks as good as it can be unless Criterion ever got a hold of it or something

    I really miss Scott Pecks presence to let us know whats coming up...it's been so quiet as far as their announcements and releases go...last year they were doing like 12 titles a month ! :)
     
  7. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    No, but it was good enough that I wished more of their releases looked that good.
     
  8. ABaglivi

    ABaglivi Stunt Coordinator

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    Sleep My Love is worth every penny. Performances are uniformly good and the Blu-ray is excellent.
    Thank you Olive!
     
  9. JoHud

    JoHud Producer

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    Watched Stranger on the Prowl and The Pawnbroker last night.

    The Pawnbroker is definitely superior in presentation, though that comes to no surprise given the the circumstances behind Stranger on the Prowl. As far as Olive transfers go, this one is another very good transfer which does the on-location setting particular benefit. It's also a very good Lumet-style drama that was in many ways ahead of the curve in Hollywood. It succeeds very well as a novel adaptation. The film is unique in the way it handles the source material yet just as hard-hitting.

    It's not hard to imagine that Rod Steiger's eventual Academy Award victory was at least partially influenced by his nomination being passed up for this film.

    Stranger on the Prowl doesn't fare as well as The Pawnbroker though it is also a lesser known film that is technically a foreign film. What we have presented on the disc is an English language version distributed through NTA, this NTA version being a reissue print of the original English distribution through United Artist. It's obviously not originally released through NTA because there's a noticeably jump cut and improvement in visual clarity once the opening cast and staff credits roll.

    Despite this, the video quality itself is pretty good and better than some other Olive films. There are plenty of scratches and film dirt to be sure but the film sharpness and clarity is there behind it. Audio is similarly rough--its good, but sometimes under some crackle and hiss. And this is all to be expected of a film this rarely screened, generally neglected and never on home video until now, plus being a second or third generation master from inception. The cards were already stacked against it, yet it is still easily watchable with reasonably decent audio. The best we'll likely ever get barring an extremely unlikely massive restoration or a pristine print turning up out of nowhere.

    Don't let the "English language version" aspect mislead expectations--this is in full English speech, not a spaghetti western style mixing of dubs and one or two real English speaking actors. All of the main actors appear to be speaking English, and pretty well too considering near everyone outside of Muni is native Italian. There is some smattering of Italian here and there (it is in Italy after all) but always just a line or two.

    The film itself is quite good for what it is. Anyone looking for a lost masterpiece or trying to stack it up with a similar film like The Bicycle Thief will likely be at least a little disappointed, but those looking for a solid B-genre film will likely be satisfied. I found the performances good all around including the child actor played by Vittorio Manunta. Paul Muni tends to be belittled because his strong theater background shows in this on-screen performances, yet I personally found found that his performance here was quite good, striking a fine balance between desperation and resignation. He also had some nice chemistry with Manunta. This film also sports some great on-location scenery of a post-war urban Italian city--a very fitting setting for this sort of film.

    The issue I had with the film was how the Italian (or the U.S. distribution company) handled the post-production audio. It's often poorly mixed with the dialogue and tends to begin and cut off abruptly. It sometimes has a tinny and intrusive quality that can take away from the experience. This is not an issue I had with Losey's Hollywood films. Likely a byproduct of the low-budget, scruffy nature of this production.

    Lastly it's kinda fascinating as the product of a recently blacklisted director. It has all the earmarks: foreign studio and production credits, fellow blacklisted writer, "greylisted" starring actor. Screenwriter Ben Barzman's own sour grapes as a blacklisted writer appears to seem through the narrative in parallel to Muni's vagrant "forgotten man" portrayal.
     
  10. Martin_Teller

    Martin_Teller Stunt Coordinator

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    What happened to No Man of Her Own? It was announced back in September but still doesn't have a release date. Did it get cancelled?
     
  11. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Several titles got pushed back into 2014 and that's one of them.
     
  12. ThadK

    ThadK Stunt Coordinator

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    As of this evening I can confirm the stretching issue, unless I'm missing something, has not persisted as of Vol. 3. Looks fairly excellent. Go buy it!
     
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  13. Keith Cobby

    Keith Cobby Screenwriter

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    I consider the blu-ray of Young at Heart to be very good and much better than I expected. Marvellous performances by Frank Sinatra and Doris Day and Ethel Barrymore steals each scene she is in. Now that Pal Joey and Young at Heart are out there is just High Society to complete my Sinatra musical hat-trick!
     
  14. Robin9

    Robin9 Cinematographer

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    Don't forget Ocean's Eleven is also out on Blu-ray; a very good disc too. And Olive have Come Blow Your Horn on BRD as well. I must buy that soon.
     
  15. Keith Cobby

    Keith Cobby Screenwriter

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    I have Ocean's Eleven and it is a stunning disc. I categorise this in the Rat Pack trio - Ocean's Eleven, Robin and the 7 Hoods, and Sergeants 3.
     
  16. Keith Cobby

    Keith Cobby Screenwriter

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    I also want 4 for Texas on blu-ray. I thought we were getting it from France but it is a false alarm - just a DVD.
     
  17. Dave B Ferris

    Dave B Ferris Supporting Actor

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    The two I'm looking forward to on 5/6 are "Johnny Come Lately" (Cagney) and "Love Happy" (Marx Brothers).
     
  18. bigshot

    bigshot Cinematographer

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    The Betty Boop cartoons on the third disk are cropped now, not stretched. Less visual information for your money!
     
  19. Ken_Martinez

    Ken_Martinez Stunt Coordinator

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    But they're closer to what an actual early 1930's audience would have seen, and were intended to see. That isn't in dispute.
     
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  20. MLamarre

    MLamarre Second Unit

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    I saw that all of the Paramount films that were released by Legend Films have gone OOP, I assume because their license expired. I'm curious if Olive plans to grab any of them and give them their first-time Blu-ray releases.

    There's some good ones in the group like Daniel (1983), Framed (1975), Hurricane (1979), Money From Home (1953), Phase IV (1974), The Pied Piper (1972), The Possession of Joel Delaney (1972), The Sender (1982), Villa Rides (1968), and Z.P.G. (1972).
     

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