The Time Machine (1960) coming to blu-ray next year

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Noach Kowalski, Nov 29, 2013.

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  1. schmenz

    schmenz Auditioning

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    I have not seen the laserdisc version, unfortunately.

    The film, from 1960 until its recent dvd incarnation, was left untouched and those last, lovely moments of the score which begin when Alan Young says, "He has all the time in the world", were altered. It is difficult to describe what they did but if you have by chance a VHS copy still you could compare that with the dvd. It is a subtle change and some might not notice it, but it certainly affects the final moments. Without getting too technical, and reminding you that I am not a trained musician, it appears that when they re-mixed the music track for the dvd release they cut the opening bar of that lovely "Filby's theme piece and then inserted in its place another, later bar from the piece. Simply, they were not paying close attention to the original mix when they did the re-mix.

    It may seem like a small point but it takes away the "sadness" from that final music. When a re-recording of that score was done on CD back in the '80s they duplicated exactly the music as it was in the film and it was gorgeous. When they did a recent CD recording of the original soundtrack a few years ago they used the new, incorrect re-mix from the dvd. A great pity.
     
  2. Tommy R

    Tommy R Second Unit

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    I still own a VHS copy and will compare it to the DVD when I get a chance. I never noticed that from the multiple times of watching the DVD, and I've seen this film MANY times before the DVD came out. One thing I did notice on the DVD was a slightly different sound when George hears the rats in his living room in the 1917 scene. Like you mentioned about the end scene, it would be hard for me to explain without doing a fresh comparison, but no matter I have always hoped that Warner would include an original mono track for this film.
     
  3. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    TTM_LD.jpg

    I dug out my MGM laserdisc. The image above is not mine, I wish mine was autographed. But its the exact same disc.

    I played the DVD first, right at the point when Filby says; 'He has all the time in the world' to get a reference on the closing score.

    Then I played the laserdisc. I figure the laserdisc is derived from the same master used for the commercially available VHS tape at the time. I fast forwarded to the same spot. As Filby leaves George's house, the strings swell up for the closing notes, then as the lights go out in the house windows, you hear the final note rise upwards, then crossfades as the final theme plays with the closing credit.

    As far as I can tell, the music sounds identical. And I did it twice. Either I am not hearing what you are hearing, or my laserdisc is not from the same source as the VHS tape. To me, the strings do not sound cut off or missing anything.

    This laserdisc by the way has a date of 1992 MGM UA Home Video. The DVD has a copyright date 2000 Turner Entertainment and Warner Home Video.
     
  4. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
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    That laserdisc offered me many happy hours of entertainment. For awhile I was having a weekly laserdisc movie night for my friends (who had only VHS and couldn't get over the increase in quality that laser offered - North by Northwest blew them away). The MGM laserdiscs seemed to be the most popular and those films the most requested.
     
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  5. ROclockCK

    ROclockCK Screenwriter
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    And the image kick was only part of it Matt. Although certainly a major step up in quality, with letterboxing revealing frame details never visible on TV or tape, like many other fans in those days I was watching a monitor that could hardly be considered home theatre class in terms of size :

    [​IMG]

    For most of my own Laserdisc guests, just as 'eye-opening' (or rather 'ear-opening') was the uncompressed audio, digitally reproduced. I only had modest though well imaged outboard Front L-R and Rear Surrounds (thanks to a THX Theatre Alignment tech in the Toronto area), but in the late 80s, few movie fans even had that rudimentary setup. And the audio on some of those LDs was just outstanding (a recurring fave on that count was The Abyss).

    This was a period when I also saw a lot of classic musicals for the first time because of the great restoration work being done by Turner/Feltenstein for MGM. And also thanks to LD, my interest in film scores and composers deepened considerably. As you noted, the remastered Herrmann score for NxNW was a major contributor to the "blow away" success of that disc.

    Of course, post-DVD many fans and collectors now dismiss Laserdisc as a clunky legacy curiosity, but during those nascent years of home video, the arrival of a new disc was actually akin to an "event"...and one that I rarely ended up experiencing alone. In those days, it was not uncommon for friends and associates to nag me about street dates for new releases...even folks who didn't own an LD player would show up at my doorstep unannounced with a bottle of vino plus some LDs they'd rented.

    We've come so far, and yet those were very good years for shared movie re-discovery.
     
  6. Dick

    Dick Producer
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    Since the laser days, cell phones and everything in their wake came into being, and we as a culture began to grow exponentially self-absorbed and disconnected. I, too, used to have groups of people over for laser disc viewings. But, even though I now have a 55" plasma, 3-D and Blu-ray, it is much harder bringing a group together anymore. The end of yet another era.
     
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  7. ROclockCK

    ROclockCK Screenwriter
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    Yes, let's talk about cell phones Dick...my Xperia Z is 1080p fercripesake! I've never tried outputting its video to an HD display, but to think that a mobile device (and Sony's model is not unique in this capability) could achieve such quality...unimaginable even 5 years ago! Of course, that technology hasn't caused the drift away from shared home video viewing - I think that particular ship sailed during the DVD era when the flood of content and computer viewing options increased multi-fold. But we are definitely cocooned more than ever it seems...

    Which is why I'm always warmed by any home theatre "events" I read about here (such as Reed Grele's recent IAMMMMW showing)...those who still bother to put some reel 'show' in 'showmanship'. As you say, it's just harder to arrange such events these days...it seems everyone is so busy...and, in the 'Net age, more often than not too far away from each other.

    Ah well, for all of its limitations, Laserdisc was certainly a golden age. ;)
     
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  8. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    I certainly hosted a few small gatherings back in the day! Today everyone is able to enjoy a much higher resolution display and content on larger screens and it's not a niche like laserdiscs anymore. I used to buy laserdiscs at a local mom and pop shop, The Laserdisc Exchange. They were great, you could buy new and preorder upcoming releases. They had used ones too and in great shape. When DVD came out, they included those too. But in 2001, they could not compete against the onslaught of online vendors. So unfortunately, they closed. When I played The Time Machine last night, It was amazing to see how much better the DVD looks! Color and sharpness of the DVD blew away the laser. And the laserdisc was smearing a little. Not to put down the good old days of laser.I enjoyed a great number of Criterion laserdiscs. So any thoughts on the question of the music brought up above? I don't have the soundtrack myself and I've collected a lot of soundtracks. This one passed me by.
     
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  9. schmenz

    schmenz Auditioning

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    Hello Nelson:

    Interesting note. It brings up the question as to when the re-mix was done. If you are saying that the laser and the 2000 dvd are identical then the re-mix must have been done earlier than even I thought.

    Regardless, it certainly WAS changed, particularly in that end section. When Russell Garcia re-recorded his score in the mid-1980s for a cd release he played it exactly like it was in the original 1960 release. The recent cd release of the original tracks uses, as I said earlier, the new re-mix.
     
  10. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    I wish I could hear what you are describing. I heard a final note at the end. But it wasn't so much cut off, but the mix of the final The End card comes in and drowns out that last note. I could still hear the final note. Is that what you mean?
     
  11. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    My curiosity got the best of me and I found a CD with a 1987 release date of The Time Machine. It's from GNP Crescendo and is an original motion picture score composed and conducted by Russell Garcia. I haven't found, yet, the original recording, but I did grab the Crescendo disc. Unless the Crescendo disc is the actual score from the film with the remix you speak of.
     
  12. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
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    Yes, I was using a 32" CRT to show the lasers back in the day. Small by today's standards but quite a nice sized TV for its day. The lasers looked very good on it. Now, on our larger digital sets, they do tend to look soft, smeared, and genuinely underwhelming on most titles. But when I get in the mood for Raintree County or the roadshows of Hawaii or The Alamo, I'm still glad I have the technology.
     
  13. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Matt, I had a Sony 32" XBR set back in the day!
     
  14. ahollis

    ahollis Lead Actor

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    It was funny in that the sound almost over powered the picture. I finally broke down and purchased a 60" rear screen. Things were better then. Now I have a 10' x 6' screen and front HD projector. Now things are equal. That was what laserdiscs started for me.
     
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  15. schmenz

    schmenz Auditioning

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    Nelson:

    The Crescendo CD you bought is the 1980s re-recording I referred to. Mr Garcia was called in to do a new recording of his score for CD. These were not the original music tracks but a brand new recording with a new orchestra. But the end piece of music we are taking about was done exactly like it was in the original 1960 release, note for note.

    The MGM dvd of that film that I bought some years ago does not use the original mix; it has the re-mix. But the old MGM VHS tape I have, which I bought in the 1980s, has the original, correct mix which Mr Garcia duplicated exactly for the 1987 Crescendo CD. Again, this Crescendo release from the '80s is a new recording of the score; when the actual "soundtrack" cd was released some years back it uses the new re-mix.

    If by chance you still have the old VHS, which has the original, correct mix, compare it with the Crescendo CD and you will see that the finale music is identical. Then compare it with the newer dvd you have (which, I presume, is the same one I have) and you should be able to see the re-shuffling of the music that was unfortunately done.
     
  16. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Thanks Danny,I was really curious about the actual film score too that includes all the other elements in the score itself and found the new release too over at Film Score Monthly. So I ordered that too to compare. The site has some of the tracks available for preview on that score. The ending track is available to hear and it sounds like the film version as you said.All I have is the laserdisc and the only existing DVD release as reference. So those of you with the VHS tape can enjoy the original mix. It would be interesting if someone here was actually in the theater in 1960 and heard the original score and remembers it. Perhaps we can use a time machine to go back and hear it. :)
     
  17. Tommy R

    Tommy R Second Unit

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    There's an early 80's LaserDisc at my dad's house that I grew up watching, but don't know if he still has a player hooked up. I might just try to find a VHS counterpart of that era, if I can find one cheap enough, since my only VHS is the '92 one.
     
  18. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Danny, I listened to the Original Soundtrack score CD this evening and I thought it was great! I'm glad I have this edition with all the sound effects included. I then listened to the last track from the 1980's re-recording that Garcia did for Crescendo. I did listen to a few seconds of the main title track too and was amazed he was able to recreate the score so exactly. As for the last track, I did a quick listen. To me, it's a very subtle difference, but I think I hear what you mean. There is a sense of melancholy as it ends. But to me, it does not sound like a remix at all. It sounds like some subtle variations in notes and how they are held. I will do a more serious listen later with headphones. But that's my first impression.I'll give the new release from Film Score Monthly a lot of credit for releasing what sounds like a complete score with such high quality fidelity. My first impression with the Crescendo release was that it wasn't as good fidelity wise. But I didn't really listen that closely or as long to that disc. I'll listen again when I have a little time. I will give you that the re-recording of the ending does have a very sad feeling to it compared to the one used in the film score. As to whether it was remixed as you think Danny, I guess I'm not going to really know if that happened or not. And I know you believe that is the case. I'm glad I was able to grab both versions! So thanks for making me aware of it.
     
  19. haineshisway

    haineshisway Producer

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    There is a lot of misinformation here. I believe that despite GNP calling it a "new" recording, it was the original tracks. That's why the other poster says it sounds so similar - it is the same.

    The FSM CD couldn't use whatever "remix" you're talking about - it was taken from the original score tracks, the original recordings, not some film remix and not anything to do with the film and the way it's mixed. Frankly, I think your mind is playing tricks on you - have you actually listened to the VHS and DVD together, back-to-back or are you relying on some old memory?
     
  20. Douglas R

    Douglas R Cinematographer

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    Yes, I always wondered - or should I say had my suspicions - about that recording (I only ever had the LP). For one thing of course, it didn't identify an orchestra.
     

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