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A Few Words About A few words about...™ A History of Violence -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Feb 16, 2009.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    A History of Violence from David Cronenberg is a fine film, and after setting aside Amadeus without fully viewing it, I moved on to AHoV.

    Here we go again. This is a New Line release, and once again, WB may have had little to do with the video transfer, but what we have is another failure.

    Colors are pretty. The film element is clean. But again, it takes on the plastic look of Patton. Virtually all detail is gone. Not a good thing, especially for a film which deserves far better.

    While I can heartily recommend the film, I cannot accept the quality of the Blu-ray disc.

    RAH
     
  2. Ken Groulx

    Ken Groulx Well-Known Member

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    Disappointing, to say the least. Especially since it probably doesn't have enough of a fan base to be revisited any time in the near future. Thanks for saving me $25 bucks though...

    Ken.
     
  3. Southpaw

    Southpaw Well-Known Member

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    Yup, saved me from buying it as well. Sorry Warner but when you don't do a film justice by producing a faithful transfer, you don't get my hard earned dollars.
     
  4. TravisR

    TravisR Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the headsup, RAH. Like Ken said, it's even more unfortunate that it'll be years before this title gets a re-release.
     
  5. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Allow me to state again, that these films do not go through Warner, they are distributed by Warner, which has little or nothing to do with the way that they look.
     
  6. PaulDA

    PaulDA Well-Known Member

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    As a matter of practically (I fully understand the refusal to endorse a release in hi-def when compared to its source material and how good it could be), if one wanted this title and did not have it in any other format (recorded on DVR, SD DVD or, in a generic case, VHS), would the recommendation be A) get the BD if you really want this movie and don't want to wait because it's better than any other available format, despite the significant flaws it suffers from or B) don't get this under any circumstance because not only does it look bad on a "big screen" but even on a small monitor, it looks bad.

    If I understand correctly, Patton could fall under option A) while Gangs of New York would fall under category B). If this makes sense, would A History of Violence fall under Category A) or B)?
     
  7. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    An odd question. Both Patton and Gangs are impermissable, and should be melted down and made into plastic forks.

    For History, the answer is simple. Do not purchase this title on Blu-ray. Purchase a used copy of the standard def, as nothing is gained in Blu.

    RAH
     
  8. PaulDA

    PaulDA Well-Known Member

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    My question was based on (possibly misremembered) comments from you, I believe, regarding your initial viewing of Patton on a small (30 inch, if I recall correctly) monitor seeming reasonably good whereas it became unacceptable on a large (again, if I recall correctly, 50 inches plus) screen. On the other hand, your comments about Gangs of New York offered no mitigation whatsoever, so I took that to mean that there were limited circumstances wherein Patton might be okay on an individual basis (though its release in its current condition could not be endorsed as a matter of principle) whereas there were no conditions under which Gangs of New York could be remotely tolerable (at any screen size). If I'm misremembering such nuances, I apologize.
     
  9. Dion C

    Dion C Well-Known Member

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    Warner may only be the distributor of these titles, but Warner isn't exactly some no-name, no-influence party that's just thankful to have a play in the game.

    It's Warner. It's a phone call, a meeting, a memo: "Hey, New Line, your shabby transfers are costing you -- and us -- sales. Our more demanding customer base is making a fuss. How about throttling back on the Madame Tussauds Wax Museum grain strip?"

    It's not like New Line's gonna tell Warner to like it or lump it and hang up the phone.

    It's Warner.

    And, yeah, I'll be passing on this title, too -- a title I would have otherwise purchased, as I'm a big Cronenberg fan, have the SD, and was keen on picking AHoV up.

    So thanks for saving me the money, New Line. Or, if it's Warner reading, feel free to pass the message on to your friends at NL next time you see them.
     
  10. Craig S

    Craig S Premium
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    What's sad about this is that it used to be you could count on New Line for superior SD packages and transfers. The LotR Extended Editions, now over 4 years old, are STILL the standard, IMO, for overall excellence in DVD releases.

    With the collapse of the company last year, and its subsequent absorption into WB, I'm guessing the people who were responsible for NL's glory years are probably no longer there.

    This does not bode well for the release of the LotR theatrical editions on BD supposedly coming late this year. If they hose up LotR they will make a whole lot of people very, very upset.
     
  11. Mark Cappelletty

    Mark Cappelletty Well-Known Member

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    Um, this IS Warner, guys. The last real movie that the old-school New Line Home Video department worked on -- as far as I know -- was DARK CITY. All of NL Home Video's operations are run through Warner Bros. now. Unless this transfer was done prior to last June, it's Warner Bros' baby.
     
  12. Brandon Conway

    Brandon Conway captveg

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    The most likely scenario. These things are at times years in the process.
     
  13. Felix Martinez

    Felix Martinez Well-Known Member

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    I saw this a couple nights ago and I agree 100%. Thank goodness I Netflixed it.

    Perhaps the WB Blu-ray folks were let go or reassigned and the New Line crew have taken over the shop...?
     
  14. Joseph J.D

    Joseph J.D Well-Known Member

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    Now this is just sad......I was looking forward to picking up this disc too. I guess my upconverted SDVD will have to do as I assume that the Alliance version (The Canadian distributor of this film) is the same New Line disc. Well, at least you saved me some cash to use on a disc that's more worthy Mr. Harris.

    I really hope that New Line do not screw up LOTR......I would be extremely upset if that happens!!!! [​IMG]
     
  15. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Interesting, but I disagree with you about Patton in that extreme.





    Crawdaddy
     
  16. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    This transfer might have been done prior to last June. I think we'll all be surprise as to how many titles are done and in the pipeline.





    Crawdaddy
     
  17. Bleddyn Williams

    Bleddyn Williams Well-Known Member

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    Once again a title which would have been a no-brainer for me has become a "no sale" because of stupid processing. What's the point of buying a Blu-ray that I won't be happy with because I can see plain as day its not right?

    "Better than the DVD" is not good enough.

    Robert's comments about how many more titles are done and in the pipeline means a "wait and see" policy is the only way to go with Warner released titles.
     
  18. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    I'm not so sure it's only Warner.
     
  19. Paul Arnette

    Paul Arnette Well-Known Member

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    Oh, it most certainly is not only Warner; however I think the sheer volume of titles Warner releases when compared to the other studios Blu-ray Disc offering means they're going to get called on the carpet more. Additionally, they seem content to release New Line's problematic transfers, which will only compound the issue.
     
  20. Josh Dial

    Josh Dial Well-Known Member

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    Count me in as another disappointed non-buyer. I have better dsics to spend my money on, and the DVD will suffice.

    Thanks, as always, for the review, Robert.
     

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