Someone at Fox - please evaluate

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Chuck Pennington, Jun 14, 2014.

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  1. Cine_Capsulas

    Cine_Capsulas Second Unit

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    Nobody has properly answered Robert Crawford's question yet.

    All you can come up with is "I have eyes" or "it's obvious, don't you see?".
     
  2. haineshisway

    haineshisway Producer

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    I've answered it. They don't know what's accurate. There is praise given to other transfers of that era from other studios that, if you did the exact same thing Chuck Pennington is doing, go back and forth between a new and old transfer, would yield the exact same results. So, does that automatically mean the earlier home video transfer is the accurate one because - well - because someone prefers that kind of color because - well - because they do?
     
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  3. WilliamMcK

    WilliamMcK Second Unit

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    I'll answer the question... Nobody ever said the earlier HD transfers were correct, the only thing anyone has said ... and as many of us have said it as have denied it... is that the new transfers look ugly. If the new transfers are indeed accurate (and I don't believe they are, anymore than Mr. Kimmel believes the old ones were), then it might have behooved Fox to explain that an over-all teal blue look and brownish-green skin tones were the principle colors of the Fox palette in the 1950s. BTW, I think the Criterion blu-ray of ALL THAT HEAVEN ALLOWS is absolutely gorgeous... deep reds that are completely missing from all the Fox transfers! In fact the Criterion disc looks in no way like *any* of the Fox transfers, except perhaps in the blue leaning towards teal... but it in no way takes over the image.
     
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  4. Dick

    Dick Producer
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    Biff, I don't think Bruce ever said he thought the original HD transfers were accurate. But going beyond that, Chuck's post was enlightening. The deep reds of THE KING AND I have been reduced to a dull brown. It would be wise and proper of Fox to at least offer replacements of this Blu-ray. They would not be setting a precedent. DreamWorks replaced GLADIATOR and SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, and even Fox replaced PATTON. This was not an inexpensive set, and I am extremely disappointed that it contained this pretty obvious screw-up.
     
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  5. Michael1

    Michael1 Stunt Coordinator

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    "Unfortunately the messengers are frequently attacked in forums like this and elsewhere and that is a shame."

    Yes, sad but true. I'm glad that, at least in this thread, the voices of reason seem to be drowning out the others. A couple of other points:

    1) The word "accurate" is almost meaningless in a situation like this, as no one today has any way of knowing exactly how a 60-year-old film was intended to look by its creators in terms of its colors and hues. But, again: Even if you ONLY judge by the flesh tones, which are probably the best basis for comparison, the older HD transfers of these films look more "accurate" in terms of the color.

    2) Although I agree THE KING AND I is worse than the other BD transfers in this regard, I don't think there's a HUGE difference between it and the others, and I certainly don't agree with those who say THE KING AND I is the only BD transfer with a significant color problem.
     
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  6. John Maher_289910

    John Maher_289910 Supporting Actor

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    I have no way of knowing if those previous HD masters are accurate, but I know the current BD releases of CAROUSEL and THE KING AND I are not. I have seen these films, multiple times in theaters, over the years, since the 1950s, and I can assure you, they never had a blue tint. Not ever, until this release. The previous masters are more appealing, to my eye, regardless of their accuracy. Not to mention, the BDs are cropped on all four sides.
     
  7. haineshisway

    haineshisway Producer

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    I'm going to exclude the two musicals from my comments and let my comments just be in regard to the other comparisons, none of which look better or correct in their earlier incarnations, most especially Desk Set. Having owned an IB print in 16mm I do know what that color should be like and it's correct on the new transfer (or close to it) while it is in no way correct on the old transfer.
     
  8. haineshisway

    haineshisway Producer

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    If you think All That Heaven Allows is gorgeous, I'm not sure how you can find any of the bluer masters for the Fox titles (excluding the musicals) not correct. I could take the old Criterion DVD transfer of Heaven and do just what Chuck Pennington did - would you then assume the older transfer is more accurate? Because All That Heaven Allows is BLUE and hugely so - and that's fine.
     
  9. Douglas R

    Douglas R Cinematographer

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    It's certainly interesting to see those differences. i have no idea what the original theatrical showings looked like although during the '50s I never thought much of Fox's DeLuxe colour films - to my child/teenage eyes they always seemed less vibrant compared to films from other studios. The only one in the above examples which I saw theatrically was THE INN OF THE SIXTH HAPPINESS and I see that Sky Movies in the UK are showing the older HD transfer. But I far prefer that older version to the obvious blue tint of the new Blu-ray which frankly, just looks wrong - and I have to say that goes for all the other examples as well, regardless as to what is supposedly "correct". Just my subjective opinion of course.
     
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  10. Michael1

    Michael1 Stunt Coordinator

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    "If you think All That Heaven Allows is gorgeous, I'm not sure how you can find any of the bluer masters for the Fox titles (excluding the musicals) not correct. I could take the old Criterion DVD transfer of Heaven and do just what Chuck Pennington did - would you then assume the older transfer is more accurate? Because All That Heaven Allows is BLUE and hugely so - and that's fine."

    Because it's not really -- or not entirely -- a question of how "red" or "blue" a transfer is, and whether that makes the transfer more "accurate" or not. Again, there are various criteria and sources one could use in arguing what's more "accurate" color in the sense of what the creators wanted. But if the overall color on a transfer is off, judging by the flesh tones and other hues that are obviously wrong, I think that's a strong basis for someone feeling that the bluer masters of the Fox titles (as you put it) are not correct.
     
  11. haineshisway

    haineshisway Producer

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    And someone could take the position (not me) that the overtly blue transfer of Heaven Allows and the orange-ish skin tones is somehow wrong. I don't think it is, but if you compared it to the previous transfer it most certainly would be.
     
  12. ROclockCK

    ROclockCK Screenwriter
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    Indeed Bruce. That would be this thread, and this post.

    And Desk Set is a perfect example of what is wrong with previous video incarnations (HD or otherwise), not because its original film elements were afforded some exceptional level of protection, but because Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea was. Producer Irwin Allen's well-documented practice of culling clips from his movies for his TV series - sometimes using* whole sequences as the FX-anchor for an episode - directly resulted in Voyage being one of Fox' most carefully preserved Adler era 'Scope titles...ironically, now one of our best surviving reference points for Color by Deluxe during that period.

    Just look at any of those office shots in the legacy HD transfer of Desk Set...file cabinets and desks which would later show up - accurately and logically - as a cool 'gun metal grey' in Voyage, are not only warmer, but actually 'brown' in the 2006 HD master! So I agree with yours and RAH's assessment of the Desk Set Blu-ray; this is a ground-up improvement over previous video transfers, thus a rather unfortunate example to include among these comparisons, because it so spectacularly disproves the point.

    * ...and reusing...and reusing...and reusing...
     
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  13. haineshisway

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    Thanks for the links back to that thread - and I'm glad someone sees the reality of at least Desk Set.
     
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  14. Billy Batson

    Billy Batson Cinematographer

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    Well a bit too warm is more colourful than a bit to cold, & if you think the new transfer is as bad as the old one, then we're not seeing the same thing, in fact we're living on different planets (I just can't for the life of me see how anyone could think that). We'll have to agree to disagree.
     
  15. haineshisway

    haineshisway Producer

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    I don't even understand a word of what you just wrote. I am saying clearly that NEITHER transfer of The King and I is correct, color-wise. If I'm missing your point, please illuminate me.
     
  16. Billy Batson

    Billy Batson Cinematographer

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    Oh I'm sure you understand the odd word here & there. You posted that the new transfer is as bad as the old transfer ("it's as wrong as the new transfer"), which I find amazing, but that's you. We're so far apart it's not worth arguing about. Do you understand that?
     
  17. haineshisway

    haineshisway Producer

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    No, could you explain it more clearly :) Because I didn't say the new transfer is as bad as the old transfer. I said what you quoted: "it's as wrong as the new transfer" - and it IS as wrong. Neither is correct, color-wise. Do you understand that? Never a good idea to quote and then still put words in someone's mouth that they never used. I think your definition of "warm" and mine are different. Warm to me means leaning towards browns and oranges. I don't find anything cold about the Desk Set transfer - it has great and perfect color - the whole spectrum. I don't find anything "cold" about the Carousel Blu-ray either. And I have excluded the two musical comparisons from my comments anyway because I want to concentrate on the other comparisons.
     
  18. ROclockCK

    ROclockCK Screenwriter
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    Yeah, and FTR I was referring only to that Desk Set comparison. I haven't seen The King and I on Blu-ray yet, but many of its caps do look off, especially anything leading or tailing optical dissolves.

    As for The River of No Return, again the OP's clip was taken from the title sequence optical, so that could never be bang-on given the vagaries of 50s dupe stocks. FWIW though, and not the least bit scientific, but I live about 30 miles down mountain from where this picture was shot, and even in the opticals those old Rockies are better represented via Fox' remastered Blu-ray, especially in motion*.

    Ditto for Inn of the Sixth Happiness, and yet again, we're looking at more opticals! In any case, the 2006 HD master simply seems dingier to me, whereas the output from the Blu-ray on my Bravia XBR danced rings around what was shown in these clips. Of course, this 3-year old laptop isn't calibrated like my set, so maybe it's that.

    Carousel, I'm not familiar with the title, so no opinion.

    * Even on a grey day, nothing can beat the real thing.
     
  19. haineshisway

    haineshisway Producer

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    No, for me, both River of No Return and Inn of the Sixth Happiness look much more accurate than the old transfer for all the reasons you state and more. It's like blue has become the demon child of the people who frequent boards, but the hatred of it is mostly wrongheaded because a simple look at All That Heaven Allows or The Ten Commandments or White Christmas will tell you all you need to know. Or, to keep this with Fox - the new transfer of The Blue Max, which, for the first time EVER on home video looks absolutely as it should - why? Because it's not taken off a fading Internegative with what Billy calls "warmer" color. The BLUE Max has blue and steel gray - and the proof is right there where it should be - in Mr. Peppard's blue eyes, which on the transfer used for the German Blu-ray, are some indeterminate color. Mr. Peppard had the bluest eyes of any film actor save for Paul Newman.
     
  20. ROclockCK

    ROclockCK Screenwriter
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    At roughly 0:49 we see one of many 'lightning rod' shots for the colorist choices in Inn of the Sixth Happiness: when Gladys enters the den of Sir Francis to return his missing book.

    So what do folks think the light brown haired and blue-eyed Ingrid Bergman would have been wearing during that scene? Would her blouse have been unambiguously teal-coloured (as in the Blu-ray), or a drab, quasi-military grey-green (as in the 2006 HD master). This is not a trick question; I do not know*.

    Anyone have a non-faded production still showing the actual colour of her blouse during that scene?

    * But this was the late 50s after all, so my guess is that the star of this picture would have been showcased by a little splash of complementary-coloured costuming...especially during the pre-China portion of this film.
     

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