Someone at Fox - please evaluate

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

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  1. ahollis

    ahollis Lead Actor

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    For years my mother always talked about the RED dress that Scarlet made from her curtains. When she and I saw the film in the 70's re-release she was appalled that they changed the color of the dress. I did not argue with her. :)
     
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  2. haineshisway

    haineshisway Producer

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    Your "bet"? You would be wrong - and therein lies the problem. Your "bet" is based on what exactly? I have to stop now. Seriously. :) Here's another riddle-solver. The brown leather chair. Funny that the brown leather chair is RED leather in the older master. Funny that.
     
  3. ajabrams

    ajabrams Second Unit

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    Not to beat dead horses (or cattle) but how do you know it was brown leather. It could very well have been red.
     
  4. haineshisway

    haineshisway Producer

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    Because it's brown in the 16mm dye transfer print, that's how I know. Yes, I've seen it - two weeks ago. Stop playing these games, seriously. Some of us do know whereof we speak, I'm afraid. This is such a bore. When's the last time you saw a red leather chair in an office in a 1950s color film? Or have you ever seen a 1950s color film projected properly, which is more to the point, I think. I must now go eat some sugar and a LOT of it. :)
     
  5. Vic Pardo

    Vic Pardo Screenwriter

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    Okay, I watched the clips that Chuck posted (thank you, Chuck!) and here's my assessment:

    THE KING AND I: the Blu-ray is darker, which makes it less acceptable to me, like they put a dark filter over the image. I like to see what's on the screen.

    THE RIVER OF NO RETURN: Blu-ray is definitely darker, definitely a hindrance. I prefer the original.

    WILD RIVER: the original HD Master is darker, the Blu-ray is an improvement. The only case like that in this bunch.

    DESK SET: the Blu-ray is lighter and brighter, but bluer in a way that doesn't seem right for a Fox Cinemascope movie from 1957. I prefer the original master.

    INN OF THE SIXTH HAPPINESS: Blu-ray is definitely darker and bluer, the original is preferable.

    CAROUSEL: 2006 is definitely preferable; 2014 is darker and bluer.
     
  6. JohnMor

    JohnMor Producer
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    I went back and watched that again, as the first time I was concentrating on the skin tones. Yes, the dress looks "wrong" in the blu-ray. Or rather it looks "better" to me in the old transfer. But the skin tones look better. Also, the colors are too hot in the old master, especially the reds that are bleeding. That also tells me there's something amiss in the older transfer.
     
  7. Nick*Z

    Nick*Z Second Unit

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    Dear Chuck:

    Many, MANY thanks for taking the time to do these comparative analyses. I have been saying for some time that Fox is having severe color issues with their scope titles, namely a severe bias toward the teal and orange palette. Desk Set and Inn of the Sixth Happiness are severely marred by this. Also, check out Twilight Time's The Blue Max - a frighteningly severe teal/blue strain. It's disgustingly awful.

    No one seems to be addressing it, as either they feel there's nothing to address, or they simply believe they've done the best they can with the elements they have. But isn't it interesting that the Fox titles on Blu-ray have recently dried up. Right after The Agony and the Ecstasy the flow just stopping flowing. Hmmm. Could it be someone at Fox actually woke up at the video master controls and realized the travesty that had been happening.

    While a lot of the video masters from previous transfers were hardly stellar - I still don't think Desk Set has been given its' due - the older transfers in many ways seem to look more authentic to the DeLuxe stock than the newer remasters. The teal slant IS NOT inherent in DeLuxe Color. Thanks, but I've seen a few of these projected from old 35mm anamorphic prints in a theater. Nowhere in these viewing experiences were ANY of these films ever as severely slanted to a teal bias as they have become on the Blu-rays.

    Now, we can debate what represents more accurate color until the cows come home. As I said, the previous Desk Set master is far too warm. But the new transfer has cooled and darkened the image in ways that are unacceptable. There are several solid barometers for color balancing. One - flesh tones (not too pink, not too ruddy orange). We all know what flesh looks like - and nothing that I see here makes it look natural. Second, whites should be WHITE - period!!! - not tinged (or in some cases tinted) teal/blue. Third, reference stills are available for consultation. Four, in some cases original costume swatches and/or fabric samples can be of use too.

    Finally, when white shirts or the whites of people's eyes look teal there's a definite problem with the video mastering - period! It doesn't take a colorist with a degree in photo-chemical color stock balancing and a 60 year backlog of film restoration experience to see something is decidedly remiss.

    Thanks so much for sharing with all of us here.
     
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  8. Cine_Capsulas

    Cine_Capsulas Second Unit

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    How do you know the darker version is the wrong one?
    What about movies that are intentionally dark, such as J. Edgar? Will you prefer a version with artificially boosted brightness, too?
     
  9. FoxyMulder

    FoxyMulder 映画ファン

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    I was going to quote someone but i won't but i will say this, I seriously doubt ANYONE can remember what a film looked like that they saw way back in the sixties, sorry that is pushing the limits of human memory, i don't care if you saw it fifty or a hundred times back in the sixties, it's too long ago to remember all the details, memories play tricks on us all the time.

    I also wonder how many here use calibration discs to set your television and projectors up and how many use professional ISF calibrators or do it themselves using meters and software ( which is just as good if you know what you are doing ) just using a calibration disc can mean your grayscale and colours are off, you need to use your CMS or it's likely the hue, saturation and lightness of the colours are off, for example red or blue or green may actually be under or over saturated, the hue and lightness could be off resulting in scenes looking less or more blue , lighter or darker blue or a differert shade than the colour is or a multitude of other issues, i speak from experience because i used to just use a calibration disc but you need a proper meter and software if you want those colours spot on, in the ballpark doesn't cut it when we are discussing these things.

    I see differences just from using my uncalibrated laptop to a calibrated plasma or projector, this has to be taken into account.
     
  10. ROclockCK

    ROclockCK Screenwriter
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    I have a vintage 50s/60s metal office desk in my garage John, which at the moment happens to be buried under too many storage boxes to photograph clearly, but it's that classic gun-metal grey...just as seen in the Desk Set Blu-ray. Although some metal desks of the period were a greenish-grey, they were never brown* as they appear throughout the 2006 HD master.

    As for that purple dress...isn't that the colour you get when you add too much red to blue? ;)

    * unless they were...uhm...actually made of wood.
     
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  11. haineshisway

    haineshisway Producer

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    I can't anymore. I just can't. Too many people assuming the previous transfers are right and somehow more reflective of the 1950s prints when they have no frame of reference for it. Let those who enjoy the incorrectly brightened and mis-colored transfers to their hearts' content. And I will thank Fox and enjoy the newer transfers and almost all but The King and I.

    As to the person who thinks The Blue Max an abomination. No. It is not. It is perfect. Finally.
     
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  12. AnthonyClarke

    AnthonyClarke Screenwriter

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    Now, someone with a really good memory may help with this.
    I love the new Blu ray transfer of another Fox title ..... Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. For me, the showstopper is of course Marilyn doing her 'Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend' number.
    And I'm wondering whether anyone here can remember from theatre screenings whether the pink of her dress is the electric pink of the very good DVD transfer, or the much darker and less dramatic pink of the Blu ray. My wife definitely prefers, and I do too, the electric pink of the DVD. But I have no way of knowing which is the 'correct' hue.
    I would think that this is such a famous piece of screen history that someone would have a good reference to the exact hue. I think it was called schiaparelli Pink after the famous designer Elsa Schiaparelli .. if true, that would be a good way of determining the correctness of that particular Blu ray transfer.
    The results between Blu ray and DVD are so different for that iconic scene that I'm surprised I have never read any comment about that.
     
  13. Nick*Z

    Nick*Z Second Unit

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    Fox's Blu-ray output has been a source of great frustration. The Gentlemen Prefer Blondes Blu-ray has other issues as well. Color really doesn't seem quite so extreme and the hot pink dress you refer to in Marilyn's iconic moment is fairly accurately rendered. The previous DVD looks to have bumped contrast by direct comparison. But the Blu-ray has been severely digitally scrubbed. Virtually no grain. True, Technicolor was a grain concealing process, but GPB is waxy.

    The King and I is a disaster on Blu-ray. Waaaay too dark and washed out and with the teal bias factored in. It in NO WAY replicates the original theatrical presentation or even the revival print shown at George Eastman back in the mid-1990's. RE: The Blue Max. If you think teal Nazi uniforms and the whites of George Peppard's eyes ought to be robin egg blue - calibration or no calibration, I can't make the blue white (and by the way, the Nazis wore gray, not teal) then I suppose you'll be satisfied with the rest of the titles mentioned in this discussion.

    Also, just look at some of Fox's other vintage scope titles that were released to Blu-ray before something decidedly began to go wrong in the video mastering department (Fox's own release of The Robe immediately comes to mind, also TT's Those Magnificent Men and Their Flying Machine, and, Love Is A Many Splendored Thing, plus Criterion's release of Fox's Bigger Than Life - NO teal bias, accurate flesh tones, bright, superbly contrasted image, exquisite color delineation and balancing) and then compare these vintage restorations with what you're seeing here and it becomes rather obvious someone is asleep at the controls or simply doesn't care what's going on.

    Again, I say this: isn't it interesting that after this latest wave of fiascoes came down the pipeline Fox's output went dormant? Clearly, there's a conversation going on somewhere up the food chain. What are they talking about? Well, I'd like to be optimistic and think it's about these transfers (also, what in the world they're going to do to salvage their pathetic MOD Fox Cinema Archive Collection - another travesty perpetuated by the same studio who gave us West Side Story with a fade out and moire patterns, and Cleopatra from less than ideal archived elements). It's really no surprise Fox has opened themselves up to ridicule on this message board. Their hi-def video output in vintage titles has been SEVERELY spotty at best.

    Other screw ups include Fiddler on the Roof, Much Ado About Nothing, The Greatest Story Ever Told and How To Marry a Millionaire. Fox's batting average in hi-def (removing new releases from the equation, of course) is pathetic and that's being extremely kind. Have they had their successes? Absolutely. But they have been fewer and fewer and much farther between. I really can't get excited about Fox Home Video's Blu-ray output or their MOD DVD program. All I can do is shake my head and think about who is minding the store. It doesn't seem like anyone with a healthy respect for classics, that's for darn sure!
     
  14. hanshotfirst1138

    hanshotfirst1138 Stunt Coordinator

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    Doubting they'll listen :(.
     
  15. Doug Bull

    Doug Bull Advanced Member

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    The actual hue of that dress before the Studio lighting and color timing came into play.
    After that? who knows.

    pink.jpg

    Doug.
     
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  16. ahollis

    ahollis Lead Actor

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    I use a calibration disc and do not have any problems with any of films except THE KING AND I. There is a bluer tint and it seems dark as does CAROUSEL. But this may be the way the film stock from Deluxe was used since both were CINEMASCOPE 55. I think the major problem is with the DELUXE Eastman film used and processed.
     
  17. haineshisway

    haineshisway Producer

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    The whites of Mr. Peppard's eyes are white and the blue of Mr. Peppard's eyes are blue - not gray as in the older transfer - Mr. Peppard had BLUE eyes, not gray. The uniforms on the older transfer lean to brown. Hmmm. The uniforms on the new transfer on my screen lean to gray. Hmmmm. And Fox had nothing to do with the transfers of Fiddler on the Roof or The Greatest Story Ever Told. A slight misperception on your part, and not the only one, I'm afraid. Oh, and here's a little something you wrote: "Never having seen The Blue Max in theaters I cannot state for certain this isn’t how the movie looked back in 1967; although I can’t imagine so heavy a slant toward teal ever being a part of The Blue Max’s original presentation.

    And I'm done.
     
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  18. lionel59

    lionel59 Supporting Actor

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    Good post Nick*z, however I think you meant to say "Criterion's BIGGER THAN LIFE...", not LARGER THAN LIFE, a very different movie starring Bill Murray and an elephant (!).
    By the way, with the possible exception of DESK SET, which may not be correct in either HD incarnation, I much prefer the earlier HD transfers. I have seen a 70mm print of THE KING AND I and a mint Magnetic sound 35mm print of CAROUSEL in my film-going past. The new Blu Rays are nothing like the films I saw in cinemas color-wise. Thanks for the post Chuck. Fox needs to address these issues ASAP or customers will lose confidence and look elsewhere. Fox Archives, Classic Fox films on Blu Ray.......three strikes and you're out!
     
  19. Nick*Z

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    I don't know what to add to my review of The Blue Max except that even with calibration the whites of Mr. Peppard's eyes register a pale robin egg blue in more than a handful of scenes, particularly interior scenes. Haineshisway is correct that Mr. Peppard's eyes - the centers at least - are blue not gray and register as such on the Blu-ray. No claim to the contrary was EVER made by me!!! I never said otherwise. But the German uniforms (which are GRAY) have all adopted a teal tint in almost all of the interior scenes and this is INCORRECT - period. Even Haineshisway admits the uniforms only "lean" to gray. That isn't the same as being gray, now is it?

    Haineshisway is right about one thing: Fox did not supervise the transfers on Fiddler, West Side, Ado, or Greatest Story. They merely are the distributors of MGM product. We can both agree on that even if the quality itself remains suspect.

    Finally, lionel 59 - thanks so much for spotting the Larger/Bigger Than Life mistake, since corrected in the original post. Sometimes the fingers type faster than the brain thinks. And yes, neither The King and I nor Carousel are anything like the theatrical viewing experience - sadly.

    It's equally as sad that all haineshisway extrapolated from my entire previous post was a two line quote from a review I wrote on my blog about The Blue Max. To reiterate for the group so there's no confusion (because I suspect his quoting me is meant to somehow diminish my remarks made herein in my previous post -shabby attempt at a smack down, actually) - I never saw that film projected theatrically nor have I made the claim ANYWHERE to have seen it such.

    However, the teal tint on that movie is NOT exclusive to ONLY The Blue Max and others I have seen theatrically like The King and I and Carousel look nothing like they did then on Blu-ray. This was my only point. Also, to stand behind Chuck's fine efforts in providing us the comparative analysis of before and afters. Very useful, even if some do not agree!!!
     
  20. Will Krupp

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    Just as a point of reference, I'm watching that scene on blu-ray as I type and, on my television, the dress is still very much purple, though it admittedly runs toward the blue end of the color rather than the red end. The color of the dress is gorgeous and doesn't look nearly as blue as it does in that clip (the back and forth between the master makes the dress look bluer by comparison but when watching it without the comparison it's obviously a rich, lustrous purple.)
     
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