This Is Cinerama 60th Anniversary Blu-ray/DVD Review

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Timothy E, Sep 23, 2012.

  1. NY2LA

    NY2LA Screenwriter

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    Still not arrived here. I feel like Charlie Brown on Halloween.
     
  2. lukejosephchung

    lukejosephchung Screenwriter

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    Yeah...he sounds so pathetically sad every time he says.."I got a rock!!"
     
  3. Charles Smith

    Charles Smith Extremely Talented Member
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    Wow. Are all the Flicker Alleys mailed from L.A.?
     
  4. NY2LA

    NY2LA Screenwriter

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    That's where they're based. It's a VERY small company. When you call them they just say "Hello." Tuesday it sounded like they were just getting around to packing all their orders. (you would think they would have started packing them at least a week ago and had them ready to drop-ship, but nooo) I got an email saying it was shipped on Wednesday, but no further tracking info. You should be able to get first class anything from one zip code to another in LA within 48 hours. They didn't. They are also being sold at the ArcLight gift shop next to the theatre which is slowly becoming a starbucks, and the line to buy any store merchandise items goes on forever as people order grande latte mochafrappachino extrafoam, and TICKETS for the movies!
     
  5. ahollis

    ahollis Producer

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    I received an email from Flicker Alley on Monday saying that it was mailed. Got it Friday so that was about four days.

    Actually NY2LA, your not getting any sympathy from me on not receiving them yet. You got to see THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF THE BROTHERS GRIMM.
     
  6. NY2LA

    NY2LA Screenwriter

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    :P :D
     
  7. Bob Furmanek

    Bob Furmanek Insider
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    LOL!
     
  8. Timothy E

    Timothy E Supporting Actor
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    I attended a Cinerama screening yesterday of The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm at the Arclight Theatre in Hollywood, California. I had never seen the film before and it was a treat to see on the big screen, since it is the only known print with all 3 panels relatively intact. Star Russ Tamblyn was in attendance, and he brought along 2 of his West Side Story costars, Rita Moreno and George Chakiris.

    I did not know ahead of time whether we would see an original Cinerama print with all 3 panels or merely a composite print, and I was pleased to have the opportunity to see the film in all of its Cinerama glory. Admittedly, the presentation did not proceed without any technical difficulties, but they were relatively minor, and this was pretty much expected by anyone with an understanding of the Cinerama process. For an excellent detailed account of the screening, see post #517 in this thread on The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm: http://www.hometheaterforum.com/t/290862/smileboxed-the-wonderful-world-of-the-brothers-grimm-will-it-ever-make-it-to-bluray/517#post_3981838

    David Strohmaier was in attendance as well, and he spoke to me briefly about the upcoming restorations of other films being remastered and presented on Blu-ray and DVD in the near future. Among them is South Seas Adventure, and he indicated that they have had the opportunity to scan original negatives on some of these films, rather than limited to a composite print, as they were on the Flicker Alley release of This Is Cinerama. This is terrific news since it means that those releases have the potential to be of even higher quality than This Is Cinerama.
     
  9. lark144

    lark144 Stunt Coordinator
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    I love this thread, and I love reading what everyone has to say. I received my copy of THIS IS CINERAMA on Friday, and have been watching the disc over and over in stunned admiration, not to mention heartfelt appreciation to Mr. Strohmaier & Flicker Alley for making this remarkable piece of film history available again. For me, the form of Cinerama was in itself the content, and though THIS IS CINERAMA may present scenes that may initially appear prosaic, such as gondola rides and water-skiers, by using that three camera, curved screen presentation, the film is really about visual perception in time and space, and as such could be seen as a precursor of such avant-garde filmmakers as Hollis Frampton, in the pretext of a crowd-pleasing travelogue. (One of Hollis Frampton's most important early films, SURFACE TENSION, has a long section where, in single frame exposure, the camera travels across the Brooklyn Bridge and up Broadway to Central Park, which brings to mind the concluding section of THIS IS CINERAMA.) However, for a fascinating take on THIS IS CINERAMA not as an icon of widescreen cinema technology, but as a intensely personal work by one of the great Pioneers of American film Merian C. Cooper (GRASS, KING KONG), I recommend Dave Kehr's review in last week's NY Times:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/23/movies/homevideo/new-on-dvd-this-is-cinerama-and-windjammer.html
     
  10. jeffsultanof

    jeffsultanof Extra

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    I can only agree with everyone who is thrilled with these two releases. i received my copies of both This is Cinerama and Windjammer on Saturday and am thrilled. True, the copies are not perfect, but given what David had to work with, and since this was a labor of love, both films stand as symbols as what can be done with a little persistence and a lot of love. I can't worry about what modern audiences think of these films; they are a product of their times, and should be seen that way. They are history lessons in motion pictures as well as records of the sights and sounds of their subjects 60 odd years ago.
    Needless to say, I will be buying all of the Cinerama releases as they become available. I pre-ordered these two, so I saved $20.00.
    Something else nobody mentioned as yet: When I opened the priority mail envelope, an extra copy of the program of TIC fell out. I wondered about this, initially thinking that the program had been left out. No, there was a program already in. Upon examination, the program in the package had a major printing error, with the pages totally out of order, and page numbers on the bottom right corner of the page. The 'extra' program was correct and was not paginated. Did this happen with anyone else?
     
  11. Charles Smith

    Charles Smith Extremely Talented Member
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    Yes, and thanks for the heads up on that! I'll check the two out tomorrow when I'm wide awake.
     
  12. cinerama10

    cinerama10 Second Unit

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    The color looked washed out - I trust the bluray will be superior.When will it be released on bluray?
     
  13. cinerama10

    cinerama10 Second Unit

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    I too was bored with TIC when I saw it when it was originally released. Windjammer however is my favorite of all the 3 strip films (out of ten seen) and the least dated.It is great to see that there is still an interest in Cinerama after if was virtually forgotten about for over 30 years.Shame that the owners of the negatives never gave a damn about them and they suffered water damage etc in the way that they stored them and they copyright was alllowed to lapse.The cost of even restoring one of the films would be massive.I doubt that it will ever happen.
     
  14. NY2LA

    NY2LA Screenwriter

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    What film are you talking about?
     
  15. ahollis

    ahollis Producer

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    Thanks for the heads up. I set the empty packaging down to throw away, but after reading your post, I checked and sure enough another copy of the booklet was enclosed. If not for you it would have been in the garbage.
     
  16. Virgoan

    Virgoan Second Unit

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    "This is Cinerama" is a time capsule of the United States only 7 years out of World War II. While the opening roller-coaster sequence is a dazzler, the susequent sequences are more curious, to me, than anything negative. The lengthy Cypress Gardens sequence was just the ticket for audiences that had not yet, but would soon be, taken to the roads of the United States in search of out-of-the-ordinary sights and experiences. Cypress Gardens was one of the most popular spots in the early-mid 50s, and possibly well into the 60s. What is very telling about the popularity of the attraction is the reaction of the appreciative crowds watching the aquatics. Also interesting is the variety of shots and the movement of the camera (for the sake of consistency, I'll refer to the three cameras as a single unit).
    In other sequences there is a tendency for the camera to remain a static observer of sights...like the festival scenes in Spain. We are pretty much locked into our seat and cannot get as much close-up detail as we have learned to expect. Ditto the La Scala opera sequence in Milan. There is great beauty in the presentaiton of the opera (Aida?) but we're well back in the audience and we don't have opera glasses. It goes on and on to take in the spectacle, but the detail, in SmileBox, just doesn't pop for me. Am anticipating a different look when I watch the DVD.
    Whenever there is action on the screen...including the movement of the camera...things are quite different. All the aerial photography is stunning, although we don't get nearly as much as we (read that "I") wanted to see. I can't believe the makers of the film could not have given us a grandly spectacular view of San Francisco rather than a spartan view of the bay with the city off in the distance to the right of the screen. A swoop into and around the city would have been as dazzling as it was for similar looks at New York and Chicago.
    A truly spectacular moment was when the cameras approached and took in the Grand Canyon. I kept waiting and wondering if I had my hopes too high...but the camera delivered.
    The sound is really terrific, and the featurettes are informative and made me appreciate all the more the accomplishment of the restoration workers. It's a piece of film history I never thought I'd experience. Thanks to all.
     
  17. jeffsultanof

    jeffsultanof Extra

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    Well, that's one of the things this forum is all about, right?
    Everyone who buys this from Amazon or in a store needs to check this out. I wonder if copies were re-called. Anyway, bravo to Flicker Alley for correcting this.
     
  18. ahollis

    ahollis Producer

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    For several years my family visited Cypress Gardens every summer while we visited retired grandparents near Orlando. As I grew up my interests went from the speedboats to the girls on the skis and lounging around bringing lively color to the walk through the gardens. They were truly the prettiest of all flowers. Watching the CG segment on THIS IS CINERAMA brought back many memories. There was a Cinerama Sign stating they filmed there, and this almost 10 years after the film was released. I have never seen the film until Thursday night on my on Bly-ray player. Now to sneak it into one of our big screen theatres early one morning and see what if it looks like on a 48ft screen. I may be truly in heaven.
     
  19. NY2LA

    NY2LA Screenwriter

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    Still have not received the DVD/Blu Rays. Flicker Alley says I should have had them next day.
     
  20. DP 70

    DP 70 Supporting Actor

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    Did anybody see Its a Mad Mad Mad Mad World in 70mm the other day.
     

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