THE MAGIC SWORD (1961) DVD - What A Bust!

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Dick, Aug 12, 2005.

  1. Dick

    Dick Producer
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    Someone who added their personal review to the NetFlix comments column said "This new MGM disc is the real deal, though. Freshly transferred and 16X9 enhanced it's never looked better." Better than what? It's like viewing the movie through Saran Wrap smeared with Vaseline. Shame on Sony for apparently not even glancing at this pending MGM library title before spilling it out in to the public. This was one of my favorite Saturday Matinee movies and, cheesy as it is, remains Bert I. Gordon's finest hour. Sure, the color runs rings around the public domain copies out there, but the blurriness of the picture negates anything good about it. On a 46" screen it is unwatchable. The "reviewer" must have watched it on his 7" portable.
     
  2. Eric Huffstutler

    Eric Huffstutler Screenwriter

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    Dick,

    That is a case in point I have tried (as well as others here) to make about the Average Person watching DVDs. I know...I know... this is the Home Theater Forum but still, a LOT of people reading these threads have only a 27" tube to watch them on. They look fine there but try to zoom in on a non-anamorphic print, forget it. Me, I fall into the category of the average Joe who has a small set to watch movies on... no amplifiers, nothing.

    Don't diss us because we too enjoy DVDs and even more so the extras as we are not as particular about the prints as someone trying to view the movie on a 10-foot screen. It is us "average" people who buy the majority of DVDs so manufacturers cater to us hence print quality issues.

    Oh don't get me wrong. I too have a discerning eye for picture quality even on my $180 television... just not as much so as someone with a $10,000 setup.

    Eric
     
  3. Dick

    Dick Producer
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    Eric - I certainly mean no disrespect. I owned a 32" direct view for twelve years and only two months ago purchased a 46" widescreen. However, there is no doubt in my mind that this particular release would look blurry (not just soft, mind you, but blurry) on a 27"-32" set. If anyone has seen this on a set like that and can contradict me with a rave review, I will humbly admit I was wrong.
     
  4. Bob Furmanek

    Bob Furmanek Insider
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    I recently saw this on a 27-inch set and it was blurry. I later saw it projected on a 6 foot screen and it was un-watchable. They obviously did not try to adjust the focus when they were transferring the film element.
     
  5. Eric Huffstutler

    Eric Huffstutler Screenwriter

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    Then that sounds like an authoring problem and should be recalled. Has anyone contacted MGM to see if they are aware of this problem? I am surprised that they would put anything out that wasn't transferred from an original negative or print so should not be out of focus unless someone fell asleep at the wheel while remastering the source.

    Oh, and BTW Dick... how was the transition of watching DVDs on a 27" to a 42" ? I am thinking of going that route too but afraid that most movies non anamorphic will look like crap. Does the set compensate in some way for sharpness with oversampling or comb filters?
     
  6. walter o

    walter o Supporting Actor

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    Their DVD of WHO'LL STOP THE RAIN is almost out of focus for the first 20 minutes!
     
  7. Dick

    Dick Producer
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    I love the Toshiba (46HX83). For color anamorphic discs it is like watching something at the multiplex (only better focus and color renditions). Sharp, bright, not a trace of scan lines. Breathtaking.

    There are drawbacks. Rear projection sets seem to have an inherant difficulty rendering black and white without a slight but annoying pink and green tint across the picture area. The contrast is terrific, black levels great, but that tint... it can't be eliminated regardless of player or monitor setting (I even tried masking a quarter inch of the green and red lenses as suggested by other owners - this helps but doesn't get rid of the problem totally).

    Also, yes, any flaw in a non-anamorphic disc will be flagrantly apparent on a bigger screen. I have quite a few such DVD's, and most of them look acceptable to actually very good - never as good as anamorphic, but good. Conversely, many discs you could easily tolerate watching on a 27" or 32" set, however, you will be considering selling on eBay once you switch to large rear projection. THE SOUND OF MUSIC, for instance, is now horrific, and I am praying Fox will make me happy with their impending release.

    And, of course, THE MAGIC SWORD. What a travesty. Yes, I think I will contact SONY/MGM/WHOEVER and see if I can raise a little hell about it.
     
  8. William Miller

    William Miller Stunt Coordinator

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    The Magic Sword DVD is pretty good. Not an award winner. But it's O.K.
     
  9. Thomas T

    Thomas T Cinematographer

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    Regarding large screens (46") vs. smaller screens (27"), when I go to the movies (yes, I actually see movies in theatres), I've never liked sitting close to the screen, always preferring to sit in the back of the auditorium.

    I have a 31" monitor but when seeing films on a friend's big screen TV, I always get the headache I get when watching a movie from the first 5 or 6 rows in the theatre (sometimes when I arrive late, I have to take whatever seat I can get).

    Am I the only one?
     
  10. Bob Cashill

    Bob Cashill Cinematographer

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    Alarmed to read this, I spot-checked my MAGIC SWORD DVD, watching entire segments and bits and pieces here and there, and was relieved to find that it looked fine on my modest 27" Wega in 16:9 mode. Soft, perhaps, but not blurry, and better than I have seen it previously, my old full-frame LD included. Of course, the Wega is a Sony product, as is the MAGIC SWORD now, so maybe they only work in tandem.[​IMG] Not to make light of the problem, however.
     

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