International SAMSON AND DELILAH, WAR AND PEACE and JOHN PAUL JONES from Spain

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Ed Lachmann, Sep 25, 2013.

  1. Ed Lachmann

    Ed Lachmann Supporting Actor

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    Just received a BD order from Amazon Spain and am amazed at the quality of two out of three of them. The SAMSON AND DELILAH is a true revelation, super sharp and colorful and so much better than the standard DVD that Paramount put out about a year ago. I'm still rather angry about that because now I have an $18 frisbee to toss around the house. I can't imagine what bonehead over there made the decision not to offer a blu-ray option right from the get-go. The BD is available from Japan, Germany, Denmark and Spain but, of course, not America. The King Vidor WAR AND PEACE is also visually stunning, and a much better film that many of the "critics" who are married to the Bondarchuk version would admit. Oscar Homolka simply rules as General Kutuzov. The VistaVision image, like that of THE TEN COMMANDMENTS BD fills the screen, but no black bars. I would imagine that it must be slightly cropped, but the image is just gorgeous nonetheless. I would highly recommend both. There's been complaints about the HATARI BD that was released by Paramount at the same time as the above two. I can't imagine anyone not being delighted with these, though. Sadly, JOHN PAUL JONES is not an official studio release and it has been DNR'd to death. It almost seems as it comes from an old video master of some sort that the "restorers" went to work on and with little real success. It is advertised a 50 year anniversary digitally restored edition. The halos around the images and waxy look do detract from the viewing experience, so beware of this one. I just hope that the studios continue to put out these joyful American historical and biblical epics in foreign markets because, God knows, they obviously don't give a rat's buttocks about letting us Americans buy them in our own country.
     
  2. Lromero1396

    Lromero1396 Supporting Actor

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    What is wrong with Hatari specifically? If it's DNR, then no sale.
     
  3. Ed Lachmann

    Ed Lachmann Supporting Actor

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    I'm not sure, but check out Well, Paramount, you blew it for HATARI! in the blu-ray posts. Haineshisway describes the blu-ray as having "simply no detail in the transfer, it's soft and kind of ugly-looking". I don't have this BD, but the two I'm writing about above look fantastic, so I'm a bit puzzled as to what went wrong with HATARI, since I intended to pick it up in the future, as well.
     
  4. John Hermes

    John Hermes Screenwriter

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    Thanks, Ed. It's always good to get some opinions. I have S&D (plus El Dorado and Hatari!) pre-ordered from Germany. I think the only one of us who has seen Hatari! so far is Haineshisway, and he says it's soft with no detail. I'm going to get it anyway. It has to be better than the poor DVD and is one of my favorite JW films. I received Exodus from Australia this week and the quality is quite nice. I have The Cardinal on its way now from Germany. It's good we have other countries releasing these neglected movies.
     
  5. Ed Lachmann

    Ed Lachmann Supporting Actor

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    Good to hear from you, John. I think I'll pick up HATARI, too, as it is a film I enjoyed so much in the theater as a youngster. I must say, kudos to Paramount for putting these out. I hope they continue down this path in the future. I have the German EXODUS and thought it looked really good, as well. Also, will be ordering THE CARDINAL along with ANNE OF THE INDIES and THIEF OF BAGDAD. Just wish that Warners would start releasing some of their neglected classics overseas, as they seem unwilling to do much here in America.
     
  6. Billy Batson

    Billy Batson Cinematographer

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    Very much looking forward to buying, Samson & Delilah, El Dorado & War & Peace. Thinking about these & other catalogue release this year, it really hasn't been a bad year, a lot of interesting releases.
     
  7. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    Since my replacement Orei finally showed up, I need to make sure this one works better than the original one.

    I also have a quite good Hatari(Russian R2). I might buy the Hatari BD if it gets cheap enough.
     
  8. Billy Batson

    Billy Batson Cinematographer

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    I just ordered the Spanish Samson & Delilah from Amazon UK Marketplace, £16.25 delivered, I don't think that's too bad at all.
     
  9. Eric Bodnar

    Eric Bodnar Auditioning

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    I received my copy of SAMSON AND DELILAH from Japan and agree it's a stunning image - almost as good as THE TEN COMMANDMENTS. Even though I have a region-free player I wanted this region A edition because I thought my parents - who haven't gone region-free - might like to see this at some point. S&H is costly however, and roughly five dollars more than the cost of the movie. Despite having no extras I think the purchase was worth it and classic film lovers should rush to add it top their collection. The five minute destruction of the temple, which highlights the movie's finale, is one of the most spectacular sequences ever filmed - even by today's standards. I agree that it should have received a U.S release and I also believe film critic Mike Clark was spot-on in his assessment that "there is, of course, no ball Paramount can't drop when respecting it's own library."
     
  10. Mark-P

    Mark-P Producer

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    And why would you imagine that? VistaVision's native aspect ratio is 1.5:1 and recommended to be matted to 1.85:1, so the 1.78:1 of the Blu-ray would simply be a slight opening up of the frame, no cropping.
     
  11. Sumnernor

    Sumnernor Supporting Actor

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    May I state that both films of "War and Peace" by King Vidor and Bondarchuk are both good but different films. I dislike the term "married to". Both should be treated as differed films. The King Vidor film is with Audrey Hepburn is good but very short whereas the Bonedarchuk film is much longer and is "in the spirit" of Tolstoy's War and Peace which is not the case of the King Vidor film. The main disadvantage of the Bondarchuk film is that there is no good NTSC version in the US
     
  12. Ed Lachmann

    Ed Lachmann Supporting Actor

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    The Ruscico NTSC version is probably as good as we'll see of the Bondarchuk WAR AND PEACE for now, sadly. I read that the original elements are currently residing in Ukraine and that there is some political problem in getting to them. Still, there are nice prints around that some intrepid releasing company might use for a nice BD transfer. Had hoped that Artificial Eye would have gone that route with their release of a few years ago. I'm happy that you also appreciate the King Vidor version and can see its merits. My comments were meant only as a personal reaction to particularly nasty comments by haters I encountered recently who claimed that the Vidor film was so much garbage. Sadly, from what they posted it seemed obvious that they had actually never seen it. My feeling is that both films succeeded wonderfully, but in different ways and that this new colorful BD is a joy to experience.
     
  13. Sumnernor

    Sumnernor Supporting Actor

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    Might I say that the UK Bondarchuk WAR AND PEACE while Amazon UK states reg 2 it really is reg 1-6. That is why I said earlier that they are 2 different films. Both are good in their own ways.
     
  14. Billy Batson

    Billy Batson Cinematographer

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    Well I received the Samson & Delilah Blu, & just to echo what others have said, it does look stunning (in a way that a modern film just can't do). I don't know why it hasn't been released with a lot of fanfare - maybe it will when it gets an America release. Now I just need, The Greatest Show On Earth from Paramount & Unconquered from Universal to complete my little DeMille Blu collection.
     
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  15. Wade Sowers

    Wade Sowers Second Unit

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    The German Region Free Blu of SAMSON AND DELILAH arrived at my door in Seattle for a total cost of US$20.12.
     
  16. RolandL

    RolandL Producer

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