Soldiers of Fortune

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by younger1968, Sep 18, 2013.

  1. younger1968

    younger1968 Cinematographer

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    I purchased Soldiers of Fortune when it came out as it look interesting. However, the quality is very poor as it does not look like they did much cleaning up of the film as they converted it too DVD. I have other black and white shows and they seem to stood up better. I welcome anyone thoughts and/or suggestions.
     
  2. smithbrad

    smithbrad Screenwriter

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    I would think very few of the independents (like Timeless) have the budget to clean up much of anything they release. It really just comes down to the condition of the source they are provided. And in this case, the prints for Soldiers of Fortune weren't all that great. Especially, when you consider some of the better quality prints they have received for some of their more recent releases (e.g., Peter Gunn, Tombstone Territory).

    I picked up the set when first released because I liked John Russell in the Lawman series. But after watching the first episode, I wasn't all that impressed. That was a couple of years ago, so I don't recall off hand if it was the production value or the quality of the prints that bothered me the most.

    Fast forwarding a couple of years, this past summer we took a trip to visit relatives in Florida. Before leaving I grabbed a couple of titles off the shelf with known video quality issues to take along for periodic viewing on a portable DVD player. Soldiers of fortune was one of the titles. I'm not sure if the stories just got better, I developed a liking for the two main characters, or the video became less of a distraction, but I came to enjoy the series. I got through the first two disks while on the trip, and I recently pulled it back out to watch the remainder on a small TV screen when using an elliptical for exercise.

    The nice thing about the show is that it isn't saddled in one location. The storylines and locations are pretty diverse from episode to episode (at least so far, I am on disk 3 of the 5). And I've come up with an approach to watching that minimizes the video quality issues.
     
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  3. younger1968

    younger1968 Cinematographer

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    Hi Brad, Soldiers of Fortune is a very good show! I like the plots and the acting, especially John Russell! I just had issue with the quality of the pictures as they are poor. Yes, the dvd said they did their best, but I have to wonder if more could have been done.
     
  4. JoeDoakes

    JoeDoakes Cinematographer
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    I remember reading from one guy who said that he had made vhs copies of some 16mm prints he had of the show, and they wound up on the set several generations removed from the original. Lots of people like this show despite its problems. Maybe one day it will be streamed in better quality.
     
  5. smithbrad

    smithbrad Screenwriter

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    Yes, I think more could have been done, but just not by Timeless. It is just outside their budget and not of high enough interest to the studio. Something like Soldier of Fortune probably hasn't been in syndication since before studios transferred titles to tape masters. As a result, this would have required going back to the original film elements. Timeless most likely received old 16mm prints to work from, and this was the quality they received.
     

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