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

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Oct 12, 2008.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Brian DePalma's 1976 psychological horror film, Carrie, is one of those productions that continues to stand the test of time.

    And will continue to do so in style, thanks to the new M-G-M (distributed by Fox) Blu-ray.

    The most important point that I seek in viewing a Blu-ray release is transparency to the original film, and in this release M-G-M and Fox have raised the Blu-ray stakes in doing something that should be simple, and doing it very, very well.

    They have reproduced Carrie precisely as film on Blu-ray. Everything about it is dead-on perfect, down to its representation of Ms. Spacek, one of the most natural beauties of the era, and the incredible translucency of her skin tones.

    This Blu-ray has it all. Great image, faithfully reproducing the original. For audio we have lossless, in the form of DTS HD Master Audio, as well as the original monaural recording.

    A big tip of the hat to M-G-M and Fox for one of the most film-like Blu-ray releases of 2008.

    Perfect. Simply perfect!

    Highly Recommended.

    RAH
     
  2. Paul Arnette

    Paul Arnette Well-Known Member

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    Excellent news. I was disappointed by the lack of extras and, of course, pricing on this catalog title, but I'm a big fan of this film and am happy to hear the important parts (audio/video) have been handled correctly.
     
  3. ScottR

    ScottR Well-Known Member

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    Some of the whites looked blown out on the SD. This is especially noticeable during the Prom Scene where the fire isn't hardly orange and yellow but stark white (there is a shot of this in the documentary on the SD where the colors are darker.) Was this a stylistic choice on the part of DePalma?
     
  4. Travis Brashear

    Travis Brashear Well-Known Member

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    I am loathe to take issue with another one of your reviews, but this statement is patently false. Great picture and/or audio aside, all of the worthwhile and interesting bonus features from the Special Edition SD-DVD have been inexplicably and unnecessarily dropped. I fully understand, as a film preservationist, where your chief interests lie, Mr. Harris; nonetheless, I find it gravely disappointing that you would give a Highly Recommended grade to a title that gets two-thirds of what it should deliver right only to fall so hopelessly short for the final third. I beg of you, sir, please send a message to the studios along with the rest of us who care to make Blu-ray's total superiority to SD clear to the unconvinced masses--great video and audio is only part of the equation. Dropping bonus features that are readily available on lesser media MUST BE STOPPED immediately and forever!
     
  5. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Please, go right ahead and take issue. While I much prefer Blu-ray discs to be all-inclusive, and not drop additional quality programming, my basic premise is always the feature film itself.

    Carrie is a BD-25 / single layer disc, and works well that way. To add additional material, which would have been of interest, the disc would have been forced to a 50. My commentaries relate to the film, and unless something is a special edition, and done properly and with quality, I'm quite happy to simply have a good looking film.

    For the record, I have several films in my library that need multiple copies to bring together a myriad of extras. I would much prefer otherwise.

    As a final thought, had I been in charge of putting this together, and locked to a BD-25, I would have dropped the Special Features entirely, which is the trailer and "return to feature," (a new special feature), and just gone with the main programming.

    RAH
     
  6. Travis Brashear

    Travis Brashear Well-Known Member

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    Please justify why a title of this caliber would ever need to be "locked to a BD-25" or why, if it did have to be so locked, the selling price is a mind-warping $39.95? C'mon, Mr. Harris, I'm not saying to not give credit where credit is due but there is far too much awry with this release, regardless of its video and audio quality, for it to ever truly be deserving of a Highly Recommended rating...
     
  7. Keith Paynter

    Keith Paynter Well-Known Member

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    It may be sufficient enough for me that the film looks like film, when blu-ray titles like RoboCop and Patton have no excuse for passing into the hands of the public the way they did. I am far more interested in the film than filler supplements. Give me a solid commentary or a watchable making-of documentary that can be enjoyed more than once, and I'll reconsider (Blade Runner held in shining example...)

    Sorry, I have to side with Mr. Harris on this one...
     
  8. Mike Williams

    Mike Williams Well-Known Member

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    I see no reason why people must "choose sides" when the studios are clearly wrong. If they didn't see the need to go out and shoot new documentary footage and interviews, that's fine, but to not include additional bonus features that already exist is, in my view, unforgiveable.

    For Blu-ray to have touted in the beginning that they were superior because they had more room to fill and then to continually and seemingly increasingly put out films on Blu-ray that would have room to spare on HD-DVD is also unforgiveable.

    The fact is, there is NO REASON why a film must be locked to a BD-25. And so what if the movie is "forced to a BD-50"? Could not the film had benefitted as well from the extra space?

    For those that don't care about bonus features, don't watch them. No one is forcing you. But for those of us who do care, don't prevent us from having them, because the film is the important thing. Of course it is. And with BD-50 Blu-ray discs, there is absolutely no reason why the films can't be done right and the bonus features included as well. They're not mutually exclusive.
     
  9. MatS

    MatS Well-Known Member

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    glad to hear the pq and aq are top notch on this release .....

    .... but I have to agree with Travis that price must be considered when determining the overall value/recommendation of a release

    39.98 is a rediculous list price for this catalog release
     
  10. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    I still think there is a capacity issue with BD-50 production lines which is why certain titles are relegated to BD-25.

    Unless I'm mistaken, nobody here are studio management folks and are involved in the decision-making process so I don't understand how HTF members are preventing you from having bonus features?





    Crawdaddy
     
  11. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    I agree, I won't be buying this title at that $27.95 which is much too high for a catalog title with limited bonus material. By the way, the SD DVD with the same coverart is $7.99 at Amazon. I don't mind paying extra for high definition video and lossless audio, but $20 is just too much.




    Crawdaddy
     
  12. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Certain releases are set up as 25s simply to not go to the extra cost and production positioning of a 50. There is no benefit to Carrie (the film without extras) to go to a 50.

    As far as the $40 list price on Fox product, this seems to a rather intransigent position. For whatever reason, those that have created the number must feel that if the consumer wants / needs a particular disc, they're going to purchase, without consideration of price, and those who decide to turn down their offer will be few.

    Do I agree with the strategy? No. And it appears that neither do the other majors, when it comes to discs without a great deal of new material.

    Probably the worst comparison that can be made is the Blade Runner Blu-ray from Warner -- 5 Disc set with a myriad of extras -- at the same list price, and streeting at $19.95.

    For those, like myself, that can live without the extras if necessary, best bet is to wait for a 50% off sale at Amazon.

    Other than that, one can hope that the powers that set prices at Fox see the Blu light.

    RAH
     
  13. Jay Gregory

    Jay Gregory Well-Known Member

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    So anyone who wants bonus features can get them, plus a "digital copy," for only an extra 8 bucks.

    Thanks, MGM! Everyone wins!
     
  14. Bleddyn Williams

    Bleddyn Williams Well-Known Member

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    Agreed. This week I picked up The Omen from Amazon. Another catalog title with very nice PQ, but offering not only all the existing extras, but even some new ones.

    If you're going to put a $40 retail, be sure that everything is there! I can only justify picking Carrie up when I can find it really cheap. If they had put everything they had on there, I'd have been content.
     
  15. Robert George

    Robert George Well-Known Member

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    Absolutely. BD-50 production capacity has been increased with even more expansion planned. However, the untimely death of HD-DVD accelerated the demand for Blu-ray (hardware and disc capacity) much faster than originally anticipated. All Blu-ray companies have been in "catch up" mode for months and some parts of the industry will not actually "catch up" for quite a while.
     
  16. Mike Williams

    Mike Williams Well-Known Member

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    Why, Robert, how very literal of you. Did it ever occur to you that maybe I'm not only speaking to the regular HTF members, but also the studio personnel that we do know drop in from time to time? Perhaps I'm simply countering one man's voice that says, "We don't care about bonus features. ALL we care about is the film," with another voice to say that person's voice isn't the only one that represents their consumers.
     
  17. Travis Brashear

    Travis Brashear Well-Known Member

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    Exactly; I was hoping Mr. Harris would have been willing, knowing his clout in certain important circles, to at least concede that CARRIE and its fans are deserving of more than "just" great picture and sound. That the standard of the SD release should represent the lowest bar for the Blu-ray release, not a superior overall offering. I guess it's not to be, but take note, any powers that be at Fox/MGM that may be reading...I am part of a healthy segment of the Blu-ray buying public who would have bought this in a heartbeat, had it been done right in total but, as it is, will not be buying at any price--certainly not 40 obscene dollars!
     
  18. Dave H

    Dave H Well-Known Member

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    The Key to purchasing Fox titles is patience.

    FRYS.com
     
  19. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Well-Known Member

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    I respectfully disagree. Everyone has a right to want what they want, but Mr. Harris has to concede nothing.

    What is Mr. Harris known for? Putting together superb extras on DVD/BDs? Creating interactive content? Making BD-Live features?

    No.

    He is a film restorer, and a respected one [perhaps the most respected one] at that.

    With that hat on, and coupled with the new Whipping Boys of HD media: DNR and Grain Removal (taking over former DVD Whipping Boy Edge Enhancement) I can fully understand RAH's position.

    People want to know now that what they're getting home on BD is as close to a film experience as possible, particularly with older, classic films with real grain structure. In light of that, his recommendation of "perfect" should not need apology.

    Now we are all privy to the pre-release information and can see for ourselves that some SE features are missing. So yes, it is appropriate to bemoan that if it's important to you, but to ask RAH to concede anything is inappropriate. I want him to keep using his critical eye for the things that he is an expert at: the look of film, and to keep telling us how the BD releases compare to that.

    I can figure out if extras are important to me on my own, I don't need his eye for that.
     
  20. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Did it ever occur to you that the studio personnel already know these things, but other circumstances prevent their inclusion on certain releases? I encourage members to keep bringing up the issue of little or no bonus material to the studios here, but not every member feels the same way about them as the actual quality of the video and audio presentations are more important to those members. If Robert Harris or any other member wants to comment on the quality of certain BR releases then they should feel free to do so without being subjected to demands of others that inclusion of bonus material should influence what they have to say on any release.

    By the way, having bonus material, lossless audio and reducing their catalog pricing on Blu-ray has been told to Fox directly by members of the HTF Staff for a year now and we will continue to press those issues for our membership, but we also recognize that other factors are involved here.
     

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