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A Few Words About A few words about...™ A Room with a View -- in HD & BD

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Jan 6, 2008.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    When one thinks of a "Merchant Ivory" production, there are few that might come to mind that are more perfect in every detail than A Room with a View.

    This twenty-two year old production is quintessential Merchant Ivory.

    Previously available in a two disc SD set, it is can now be added to one's library in either high definition flavor in an absolutely magnificent rendition.

    Color, shadow detail and definition are all in top form.

    Room with a View is a winner of three Academy Awards, two of which, costume design and art direction, may be seen graphically in this release.

    A magnificent film, released in high definition on disc that befits the quality of the film.

    Highly Recommended.

    RAH
     
  2. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Well-Known Member
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    I love the film, and I got the BD as a Christmas gift, so I'll be looking forward to watching it soon.
     
  3. Paul_Scott

    Paul_Scott Well-Known Member

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    I've been championing this release since I got in in October. I've seen plenty of reviews criticizing it as yet another example of "a bad transfer/ poor HD/ unremarkable..." etc etc.
    Not only is this the best (far and away) the film has ever looked on a home video format- the fixed the PAL audio pitch issue with the SE DVD release.

    One of my favorite releases from last year and an HD DVD I will always treasure.
     
  4. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Well-Known Member

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    Anyone reading this thread who hasn't yet upgraded and is getting gleeful with delight shoudl bear in mind that because of the soft-focus nature of this film, it's not the 1080p "wow" experience of many other "HD Upgrades" you may have encountered before. What the HD medium does is enable you to see on your projection screen what literally looks like projected film... a soft-focus, film just as it was intended to look. Beautiful, yes. But not the sort of "eye candy" that makes most on-line reviewers pass out 5 stars.

    I say this because I've read other reviews that really criticized the video, and despite my modest expectations when I first got the disc I wasn't as impressed as I hoped to be: it didn't look significantly better on my 720p set than my remastered 16x9 DVD copy. But after viewing on my friend's 1080p display the "film like" quality and fine details started to shine through despite the soft-focus presentation, and that's when the experience went "SNAP!" in my brain: this wasn't the same kind of linear progression in sharpness/detail that we usually experience when we go from DVD to HD... it was more subjective; what happened was that despite still being very soft-focus for an HD picture, the whole experience transformed from one of "great video" to "projected film". That's a sublime experience to have in the privacy of your own personal screening room. Enjoy and savor the delight...
     
  5. Paul_Scott

    Paul_Scott Well-Known Member

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    exactly! Most people are happy with video blown up large- fewer appreciate the subtleties of a film like transfer.
    I wasn't initially over-impressed with this one either on first glance in comparision to the DVD. The more I watched it though, the more more it sunk in how 'purer', and consequently more immediate, the HD experience was.
    I put the disc in now, and I don't see anything wrong with it- and I actually don't see it as being 'soft focus'. It is quite crisp and clear to me- It isn't hyper crisp, contrast boosted, and cartoon color graded which are what makes it seem merely 'quaint' in this era of new to HD releases.

    It looks like even in the Blu-age, I'm going to continue lamenting the fact that people aren't buying titles for the film and appreciating the overall experience, so much as buying discs as an excuse to watch their equipment.
     
  6. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Correct. RwaV looks like cinema.
     
  7. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Well-Known Member

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    Well said. Hopefully forums like this and others where conversations like this are taking place can help expand the sentiment of "film like" appreciation.
     
  8. Chris S

    Chris S Well-Known Member

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    I completely missed this release. Thanks for the "few words about..." it because I'll definitely be picking it up.
     
  9. Craig S

    Craig S Premium
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    I just picked this up a couple of days ago, and despite it being a "soft-focus" kind of pic (which I knew), I still got a "Wow" out of the HD version. It really is an impressive transfer.
     
  10. Dan Hitchman

    Dan Hitchman Well-Known Member

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    Does the Blu-ray version have PCM or TrueHD audio?

    Dan
     
  11. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Well-Known Member

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    Sadly just the lossy DTS-HD.

    BUT, it sounds MUCH MUCH BETTER than the audio on the DVD... and without the PAL speed-up as the DVD was frame-rate-converted from a PAL 25p master and the BD is blissfully native 24p. I reviewed this disc at dvdfile and really enjoyed adding it to my collection.
     
  12. Stephen_J_H

    Stephen_J_H All Things Film Junkie
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    I just popped in the HD DVD to take a look at the transfer and concur: it looks like film. You can see variations in grain from scene to scene, and the detail actually does "pop" in many of the outdoor scenes. An excellent transfer of an excellent film.
     
  13. 24fpssean

    24fpssean Well-Known Member

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    This is an old post, I know, but couldn't help adding: this is a fine disc. Saw the film upon its initial release and another screening a few years ago and this disc looks really gorgeous, very watchable. The sound is more powerful than my Braveheart disc, oddly, or ironically, and enough film grain has been preserved throughout. Nice commentary, too.

    Only two things bug me about it: 1. the window boxing of the title cards used throughout the film detracts from the flow of the narrative, and 2. wasn't this film shot and released in UK flat 1.66:1? On the BD it is of course 1.78:1 but looks to me to be very tight at the top and bottom, with characters heads nearly leaving the screen at certain points. I understand that window boxing is necessary to keep the title cards from getting cropped by overscan but my HD television has no overscan and therefore the title cards jump back jarringly each time they appear, surrounded by acres of black. It would be nice just to finally be able to view a movie the way it was intended, rather than accept all of these "home video" compromises!
     

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