A Few Words About While we wait for A few words about...™ Lawrence of Arabia -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Jan 23, 2011.

  1. Bobby Henderson

    Bobby Henderson Stunt Coordinator

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    If I was going to watch Spartacus today in a movie theater environment, particularly in d-cinema, I would want to know a lot of the particulars about what went into the release. Is it being shown in 2K near HDTV resolution or 4K? How was the DCP encoded? Is it given a generous bit rate or severely compressed (there is a very wide margin of what can be done with JPEG 2000 image encoding).

    I was fortunate enough to watch Spartacus in 70mm back in 1991. I was still in art school at the time and none other than Robert Harris (and my film history teacher Gene Stavis who passed away recently) organized a special presentation for SVA students at the Ziegfeld theater. Robert Harris had a couple short spools of 70mm film showing examples of the difficulties rebuilding a 70mm print using black and white separation elements (if they don't line up perfectly they look like an anaglyphic 3D movie or something).
     
  2. OliverK

    OliverK Cinematographer

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    RAH may comment on the status of the DCP of Spartacus in more detail but there was a screening in a German cinema and it was a 2k DCP and did not look very good which probably means similar to the Blu-ray or HD-DVD version. If this DCP will be shown in AMC theaters I would hope that many people walk out of the presentations and complain about the lousy quality. Or we might be in for a surprise and Spartacus has been done justice after all these years with a new 4k DCP? In that case bring on the Blu-ray!I watched it in 70mm three times - once in red (faded), once in slightly greenish tones and once with excellent colors but that print had its share of pops and scratches. Obviously with digital in the best possible case one would want to constantly show a quality that approximates a screening of a good 70mm print but without the wear and tear.
     
  3. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Producer
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    That's pretty much what I'm expecting it to be, so I'm probably going to pass on seeing it. I can't imagine people walking out, though. I think for a large segment of the general public, older films are expected to look "bad", because they're, well, old. It can be hard to convince people that it's a bad-looking copy of a good-looking film, and not the other way around. People might even like the bright, not-at-all-film-like look of the Blu-ray - it probably looks "new" and "modern" to a sizable chunk of the audience.

    On the other hand… I think it was in 2003 that the Film Society at Lincoln Center had a 70mm festival, and they ran a 70mm print of Spartacus. I saw that and "2001: A Space Odyssey" back to back that afternoon, and they were both spectacular. It wasn't on a particularly large screen, but it was still very enjoyable. (I remember walking away from that wishing Kubrick had made more large format films, because I could have sat in that chair all day and night looking at those images.)

    P.S. Bobby - that's an awesome story - I was first introduced to Spartacus by my middle school's Latin teacher, but alas, my introduction did not come with a 70mm screening introduced by RAH :)
     
  4. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    I was unaware that we had lost Gene. A great gentleman. I recall driving up the East Side Drive in Manhattan about a dozen or so years ago, and seeing Gene, in his wheelchair, doing what seemed to be about 10 mph in his wheelchair on the access road.

    He will be missed.

    RAH
     
  5. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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  6. Michel_Hafner

    Michel_Hafner Supporting Actor

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    Wow. I really should watch my BD of Valley soon.
     
  7. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    She will be 94 this year.
     
  8. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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  9. goalieboy82

    goalieboy82 Extra

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  10. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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  11. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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  12. OliverK

    OliverK Cinematographer

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  13. Stefan Andersson

    Stefan Andersson Second Unit

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  14. goalieboy82

    goalieboy82 Extra

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    i dont have a blu ray player yet (will ask for one for christmas). also if i would to get a blu ray player, would i need to get a new tv (my hd tv is from 2004).
     
  15. goalieboy82

    goalieboy82 Extra

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    i got the dvd about 2 years ago.
     
  16. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Producer
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    Do you know what kind of inputs your current TV has? Does it have HDMI? All BD players have that connection, and it's the easiest and best for picture quality. If your TV doesn't have HDMI, it probably has component inputs (3 RCA-type cables for picture, and two for audio) -- the picture isn't quite as good as HDMI, but is still leaps and bounds above SD quality. Not all BD players have component outputs but there are plenty that do.

    Bottom line, you most likely will not need a new TV to enjoy a BD player. You might not get everything that Blu-ray has to offer with your current set, but you should be able to add a Blu-ray player and improve the picture quality you're getting on what you already do have.
     
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  17. OliverK

    OliverK Cinematographer

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    As it is from 2004 it may not yet have the HDMI connector but you definitely have the option to feed it via component and with a bit of luck it may even have a DVI input that you can connect a Blu-ray player to. Better to check for that before you get a player as many players do not have component outputs anymore but with DVI you may not need them anyway and that will broaden your choice of players.

    In the long run you will benefit from a new 1080p capable TV, these have gone down in price a lot and even in substantial sizes do not cost a fortune anymore.
     
  18. Vahan_Nisanain

    Vahan_Nisanain Supporting Actor

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    Is Robert Harris reading this thread? I have a question for him.

    When you were restoring Lawrence of Arabia, some of the dialogue was re-recorded for the missing scenes. Some by the original actors, others by soundalikes. Why was this done for LOA, but not for the missing dialogue in It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World? Was it because they were able to find most of the original dialogue for those scenes in 6-track tape form?
     
  19. JoshZ

    JoshZ Second Unit

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    Even if the player does have Component outputs, current regulations require that any video played through an analog connection must be downgraded to standard definition quality. Only early generation Blu-ray players were capable of transmitting high definition through Component. That was taken away with the "analog sunset." As such, he wouldn't see much benefit over DVD until he gets a new TV with HDMI.
     
  20. OliverK

    OliverK Cinematographer

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    I forgot about that myself as I haven't used component for anything but Muse LD for ages!

    In any case I am pretty sure that this was not in effect in 2012 so it might be a good idea to look for a player that started selling in 2012.

    On the other hand with a TV from 2004 there is a chance that he will have an HDCP capable DVI or even HDMI input whch would enable him to get just about every player on the market - at least in theory that is.
     

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