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A Few Words About A few words about...™ A New Leaf -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Oct 7, 2012.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Elaine May's A New Leaf (1970), looks like a typical 1970 production. A bit flat, with open bright lighting.

    There has been a fan base for this film, and no decent home video release in decades.

    Olive's Blu-ray of the Paramount film is a decent, but lackluster catalog title.

    Occasional dupes, which I presume were in place originally, aren't terribly problematic. Grain seems natural, and color is occasionally bland. But that's the film.

    What is a bit disturbing here, is Olive's choice, once again, to not digitally clean their HD master, which could easily have been made far better. The titles, which are against a black background, are riddled with constant minus density. Just not pretty, especially when one is viewing two layers of dirt. One of the original negative, and another on the IP.

    Image - 3

    Audio - 5
     
  2. JoHud

    JoHud Well-Known Member

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    I think this was the last major 70s Walter Matthau feature left unreleased. Couldn't wait to pick this one up. Of the 60s, there's still The Secret Life of an American Wife left unreleased and Goodbye Charlie in which he plays a supporting role.
    I also though it just looked decent and while I don't think the film was visually all that great to begin with, there was some room for improvement.
     
  3. theonemacduff

    theonemacduff Well-Known Member

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    Depends on what counts as a "release." Charley Varrick, a personal fave of mine since I saw it in a second run house a year after its theatrical release, has only been released on DVD, sfaik, in an open-matte version, i.e., full frame, where in the theatre it was 1.85:1. I don't count that as a serious release. Universal did the same thing with another great film, which I also refused to buy on DVD, Fred Schepisi's Iceman, and they did it again with Freidkin's Sorcerer. So I don't count those as serious releases, eccentric that I am. What I would really like to see, of course, is Charley Varrick on blu ray. I like smart films about smart people doing jobs they know how to do, and doing them well. Even if they are bank robbers.
     
  4. ChristophNestel

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    This new presentation leaves a lot to be desired in terms of claryfying the myths about Elaine Mays long-lost director's cut. It would have been a good opportunity at least to solve the most important question unanswered so far: Is the original 3-hour rough-cut/director's cut and/or its elements still in existance somewhere today?In terms of the film in its present form I can say it's a hilarious comedy and great fun to watch. The studio cut works fine until the last 20 minutes, when it's just totally unbelievable und unmotivated that Henry changes his mind and saves Henrietta. At least there would have been a need in more properly preparing this end in the editing process.Thus, one could only make up minds what might have been. But the idea of Henry being a twice-time killer getting away with it (against the production code) definitely reveals the possibility of an even better film just simplyfied and softened in its dark tones by Paramount.Does anybody know more? Has anybody ever had the possibility to ask Elaine May about the whereabouts of the missing footage?Will we ever get answers to these questions:1) Does Paramount have Elaine Mays original 3-hour rough-cut still in its vaults?2) Did perhaps Elaine May herself save and store elements of her original cut?3) Did Olive at least ever try to get hold on the director's cut and approach Elaine May in contributing to the release?
     

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