Someone at Fox - please evaluate

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

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  1. Popcorn1

    Popcorn1 Extra

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    The Barbarian and the Geisha: First picture (of the movie projected on my home screen) is from the bluray, second is from a clip in a documentary. When I first watched the bluray I thought the movie looked way too blue, and found the colors looked much more natural in the documentary clips.

    Skintones are more natural, and John Wayne's clothes look black, not dark blue.

    Took these a while back. I think the documentary was on the Comancheros bluray...

    new.JPG old.JPG
     
  2. rdimucci

    rdimucci Stunt Coordinator

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    [SIZE=11.666666030883789px]Just look at the pale blue shirts on the first screen shot vs. the white ones on the second.[/SIZE]
     
  3. ahollis

    ahollis Lead Actor

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    I see a problems here. several comparison of titles are between Technicolor (ALL THAT HEAVEN ALLOWS) and Deluxe Color (DESK SET) and they can not be compared. Different film stock and different processing. Another problem is no one really knows what those fifties films looked like. Yes I read the statements that I've seen those films in Theatres for the last 30 years. Well the question I ask is was that from the original print run? I doubt it. I thought the laser disc was horrible for THE RIVER OF NO RETURN and the DVD was passable. I am much happier with the Blu-ray, also with the Blu-ray of THE INN OF SIXTH HAPPINESS. Off my soapbox now.
     
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  4. ScottGros117

    ScottGros117 Agent

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    River of No Return I think is a less-than-optimal transfer mainly due to what I *think* could be grain reduction in darker scenes. The color isn't like the previous DVD master, but perhaps it's a faded negative. Wasn't the DVD master made from YCM separations?

    I think we can all agree though that something needs to be done about The King and I, though. It looks entirely too blue, with other colors being weakened, and that's coming from someone who just watched the film for the first time.

    I haven't seen Carousel, Wild River or Desk Set on BD yet.

    Something I'd like to know: Are Fox's final graded digital masters checked against reference prints (if such prints exist)? It doesn't seem to me like they are based on what we saw. Maybe it's just an uninformed colorist.

    One thing Fox got right with the R&H Collection (aside from Oklahoma!) is State Fair. It's the best transfer I've seen Fox deliver from a nitrate Technicolor production. It looks closer to what I *assume* Technicolor would look like than any of the previous nitrate Tech productions they've released on BD.

    The trend seems to be a darker image with a blue wash and less vivid colors.
     
  5. JohnMor

    JohnMor Producer
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    Since I haven't picked up any of the particular blu-rays yet, I am going just on Chuck's comparison videos. To me, Desk Set looks vastly better on the blu than the previous HD master. The Inn of the Sixth Happiness looks marginally better on blu. But The King and I on blu is a mess. It REALLY needs to be redone. Sad.
     
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  6. ScottGros117

    ScottGros117 Agent

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    I just watched the comparison videos and I agree with you on Desk Set and Inn. Something seems off with Carousel, though. The blues are too teal looking and the color looses vividness. However, contrast seems better with the 2014 HD master. I'm going to watch the actual Blu and see how I like it, though.
     
  7. AnthonyClarke

    AnthonyClarke Screenwriter

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    Chuck deserves a huge vote of thanks for doing these comparisons.
    Even if we don't agree on the results, here at least is some evidence of the clear differences in remastering approaches.
    Without this hard work, we'd be working on anecdotal evidence at best.
     
  8. Doug Bull

    Doug Bull Advanced Member

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    My download is obviously very slow. Anybody else having trouble?
    Each one of Chuck's comparison clips indicates up to 20 minutes for me to download.
    I've given up looking at any.
    Shame, because I like his input on this forum.

    No wonder I shudder at any suggestion of physical media being replaced by streaming in the future.

    Doug.
     
  9. Robin9

    Robin9 Cinematographer

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    I have eyes; pretty good ones too considering my age. I also have a pretty good memory.

    The only title in your list that I have seen on Blu-ray is Wild River. I saw this film about ten times in the theater in the 1960s - different theaters, different prints - so I know roughly what it should look like. I am not in the slightest bit interested in how the BRD compares with a previous transfer. I am interested in how the BRD relates to what this film looked like when the prints were fairly new. The Wild River BRD is excellent.
     
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  10. Eastmancolor

    Eastmancolor Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the all the work Chuck. An excellent comparison of the previous HD and new Blu-ray versions.

    Personally I think the 2006 HD master of THE KING AND I looks quite good and it more closely matches the original era 16mm dye transfer prints color-wise. Also considering the 2006 HD master was made when the film was restored photo chemically from the 55mm original negative, I would assume it to be accurate. Some shots do look better on the Blu-ray, but unfortunately not many.

    Fortunately where Fox' library titles are concerned, there seems to be way more hits than misses. Hopefully THE KING AND I will be revisited down the road.
     
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  11. willyTass

    willyTass Second Unit

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    if not fox then someone who has the technical explanation

    something a bit more educational and informative than "they look correct". Too many of these Fox releases are provoking debate
     
  12. Michael1

    Michael1 Stunt Coordinator

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    "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."

    I think part of the source of the argument is that describing some of the new Fox transfers as "blue" or "bluer" or "too blue" in comparison with the older transfers is not really accurate, because the situation is more complicated than that. I do not own and have not seen ALL THAT HEAVEN ALLOW, but I own and have watched the BD releases of THE TEN COMMENDMENTS and WHITE CHRISTMAS. To me, the color in those movies looks gorgeous and perfect, nothing like the prolematic color on the new Blu of THE KING AND I (which we all seem to agree is the worst example) and some of the other new Fox releases.
     
  13. haineshisway

    haineshisway Producer

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    I'm not talking about The King and I. Limit the argument to Desk Set, which many people HAVE complained is too blue, which is not true and an insult to the transfer. But I also find Wild River, River of No Return, and Inn of the Sixth Happiness all to be better in their Blu-ray color.
     
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  14. McCrutchy

    McCrutchy Second Unit

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    Well, I have been collecting movies for over twenty years. I was lucky enough to see many movies in 35mm presentations, but I'll be damned if I can remember what most looked like. The memory plays tricks.

    Generally with color, I defer to those who know what they are talking about, because I know next to nothing. If these people (and there are very few of them) do not raise the alarm, then I am more or less satisfied, especially where it comes to the color of older films, a few of which pre-date me by a few months or more. :)

    What is frightening to me is when threads like this pop up, and the groupthink takes over, and suddenly everyone is saying that older video masters are more correct, when really, it's not possible for anyone to know if they are correct. And oftentimes, what looks obviously correct, because things look more "natural", or more how you would see them in reality, is actually incorrect.

    What logic tells me, beyond that the people to best decide this are those that have access to the original materials and notes on color timing, is that new technology gives studios the opportunity to present their films with a clarity, depth and color space that was not previously possible on home video before. It's also entirely possible, that certain decisions were made at the time of the production of these films, which obviously could not have anticipated that they would be presented on such a demanding format as Blu-ray. In these situations however, unless a director or some other trusted production figure is around to say what is right, I believe it's only proper to follow the original, intended color, regardless of how unnatural it may look in 2014 on a 1080p display.

    These films are after all, a product of their time, not ours.
     
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  15. ajabrams

    ajabrams Second Unit

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    Insult to the transfer or not, the skin tones and colors in the previous transfer of Desk Set look more correct to me. Especially the reds--look at the Christmas decorations and Kate's red coat in the last segment. My memories of seeing these films on the theater screen always include vivid reds -- not what I see in the BD transfers. That's my opinion and you are certainly entitled to yours -- but it doesn't make me "wrong."
     
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  16. JohnMor

    JohnMor Producer
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    And to me it's the complete opposite. The skin tones look MUCH better to me in the blu-ray; no longer brownish and jaundiced, but actually flesh colored.
     
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  17. bigshot

    bigshot Cinematographer

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    I thought Desk Set looked great on blu-ray too.
     
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  18. haineshisway

    haineshisway Producer

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    Me, too. If the gentlemen doesn't see vivid reds (and every other color) in the Blu-ray, then he should check his TV settings - I often think that's the biggest problem of all. It's always interesting that the "it doesn't make me wrong" comment always pops up. If someone prefers color that is not true to what the film should look like, but prefer their own personal color palette it does make them wrong - that's not a bad thing, I suppose, and it's a phenomenon of the home video discussion board era. No one sat in the movie theater and commented or even looked for grain, and we all understood what the color of 1950s films looked like, not necessarily that we have perfect memories, but that we remember the basics of the color palette of that era - and then there are a few folks who've either owned or had access to dye transfer prints and who've seen those prints repeatedly through the years.
     
  19. bigshot

    bigshot Cinematographer

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    In general, most movies on blu-ray look MUCH better than they did in theaters.
     
  20. Mark Booth

    Mark Booth Screenwriter
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    I don't own 'Desk Set' so I was going to refrain from commenting. But, holy cow, it's just about as afflicted with a case of the blues as 'The King and I'!

    In Chuck's comparison, go to 1:65... the actress's dress changes from purple (original HD master) to blue (Blu-ray). Figure out what color that dress is SUPPOSED to be and that will solve the riddle! My bet: purple!

    Mark
     
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