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A Few Words About A few words about...™ Fright Night (1985) -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Dec 8, 2011.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    There used to be a bit of a visceral thrill to putting a Blu-ray disc in a player and wondering what the quality would be like.


    I don't mean this in a nasty or demeaning way, but Columbia / Sony, has stolen that bit of "pleasure."


    When superlative Columbia quality continually translates into its licensed product, that era of wondering what something will look like is at an end.


    The thrill is gone.


    And it becomes very obvious once the first frames of original photography of Tom Holland's 1985 Fright Night hit the screen.


    The image harvest and uncompressed audio are boringly perfect.


    Fright Night is a sweet little film. It's one of those horror productions that my son used to refer to as "funny-scary" when he'd request bedtime entertainment. The artwork on the laserdisc was another story. That was down and out, plain old "scary."


    This is a wonderfully fun film from the '80s, with the leads playing serious roles with wonderful twinkles of fun in their eyes. It's for folks who grew up on the horror classics and all the legends and minutia that went with them. Roddy McDowall, one of my favorite actors of all time (if you've not seen him in How Green Was My Valley, you're deprived) is wonderful as a washed up B movie actor, relegated to introducing horror and sci-fi films on TV. Chris Sarandon plays his role to the hilt.


    Anyone who has not experienced the original Fright Night needs to spend 106 minutes with it, and just have fun.


    If I had a rating system in stars, or dots, codfish, or whatever, the image quality of this disc would have a images filled. As a Blu-ray image, probably because it's based upon a new 4k image harvest from a perfect IP, it's perfect, and by that I mean 100%.


    A wonderful little film, that remains great fun, on an absolutely perfect Blu-ray disc. Since I have one, and it appears that Ron Epstein has another, that leaves 2,998 in the wild. Don't let this one get away.


    Worth the price of admission?


    Yes.


    Recommended.


    RAH
     
  2. TonyD

    TonyD Who do we think I am?

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    In spite of my many previous protests I'm having a hard time fighting this one off.
     
  3. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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  4. Charles Smith

    Charles Smith Extremely Talented Member
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    2,996 -- and as I've already posted in Ron's thread, it's a blind buy. Looking forward to my 106 minutes.
     
  5. dana martin

    dana martin Well-Known Member

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    make it 2995 and counting got mine in the mail today
     
  6. TonyD

    TonyD Who do we think I am?

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    It might be the ambien talking but I think I'm going to go for it tomorrow. And grab one. I watched a few Minutes on Crackle and i guess it wet my appetite for the blu.. Maybe I won't remember. Well ambien says good night.
     
  7. lukejosephchung

    lukejosephchung Well-Known Member

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    Just ordered mine, Robert, on your and Ronald Epstein's enthusiastic endorsement...
     
  8. moonchild69

    moonchild69 New Member

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    I enjoy Fright Night very much as a movie but from my experiences reviewing this debut on blu-ray from Twilight Time i am undoubtedly taking back about the quality as a whole. The film restoration/transfer is it's best attribute. But to say that it ranks as being a perfect restoration i would say there are plenty of elements of the film to improve upon. The over all presentation is soft. The 5.1 dts-hd ma re-mix of the original dolby stereo track is really where the blu-ray falls to just above an average release. Most of the sound stage is mixed only to the front center channel, surrounds are not enveloping, and the .1 LFE channel is rarely ever used. There are no special featurettes or makings of the movie to speak of other than an isolated score. TT has also forget to implement a most important navigation feature that 99% of blu-rays include. Scene selection/Pop Menu is missing. Charging a premium price of $30 and issued as a limited edition release i would have expected Sony/TT to exceed fan's expectations. I am in awe at wondering what a real special edition release of Fright Night could have been.
     
  9. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    To begin at the beginning, Fright Night is not a "restoration" of any sort.


    It is not, because there is no need.


    There is a perfectly good OCN. The 4k image harvest was from an IP, which is fine.


    There could have been a number of extras, had TT the permission to add them, which I'm not sure their agreement provides. But had extras been added, the economics of the release would have forced the price into the stratosphere. By that I mean into the area of about $80 per Blu-ray.


    As to the audio, I presume it would have come from the original 4-track, from which the Dolby encoded would have been produced. AFAIK, there would have been no .1 LFE channel.

    You may be more attuned to the audio of the film, but I can tell you generally a 5.1 derived from a 4-track, should be a very transparent affair. I was so enamored of the image quality, I probably tuned out the audio. Occasionally when examining a release, I run MOS. Not in this case, however.


    RAH
     
  10. Bleddyn Williams

    Bleddyn Williams Well-Known Member

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    Despite my misgivings about the price, I am sorely tempted to get this one. My biggest fear is that when Twilight Time have sold theirs, Columbia will turn around and issue a regular blu with the extras they're sitting on.
     
  11. Michael Allred

    Michael Allred Well-Known Member

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    An alternate review : http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/Fright-Night-Blu-ray/25032/#Review
     
  12. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    I generally agree with Mr. Kauffman's assessment, with the exception of image quality, which I would rate (in his arena) as five Bs. People rate image quality in different ways. Mine remains how closely it represents the look of the film, as film. For example, if something is shot poorly, it can still receive a 5 or whatever. I'm seeking transparency to the original.


    RAH
     
  13. moonchild69

    moonchild69 New Member

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    Wow, Michael. I did not know that TT were actually a sponsor on this form. I have been posting back and forth to a few other forms on the FN release and my general consensus is that there are many sponsors, employees, and supporters of TT assigned to these forms to make sure consumers and fans think that the release is of the best quality and more then justified for the premium price. The sponsors go on to say that there are no other authoring studios that could have done such a stellar job on the picture transfer to blu-ray like TT has and that we all are so fortunate to own this release. Fright Night is one of my favorite horror movies, but i am afraid what i have bought into is purely just an over priced little bit better than average wanted to feel special limited release of the film! I am pretty sure that only the diehard fans of FN will even consider purchasing this average release with no extras.
     
  14. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Michael,


    I am getting tired of you disrupting this forum with your

    less than positive input.


    It's going to stop immediately, I promise.


    Nobody on this forum is doing Twilight Time any favors by

    giving Fright Night a glowing review. Neither Robert Harris

    nor I are going to put our own personal reputations on the
    line to write what you refer to as review full of "hyperbole"
    to support a company we associated ourselves with.


    We also associate ourselves with Fox and Paramount,

    who are also INSIDERS on this forum and I can tell you

    that I have personally written some rather negative things

    about both studios from time to time as has Mr. Harris.


    All our reviewers are instructed to be honest with their
    assessments even if it means they have to pan the disc

    and publicly call out a studio for having a bad transfer.

    We align ourselves with the studios and bring them on as

    insiders here so they can read and communicate with the

    membership when they want. They consider this forum

    to be a valuable marketing tool. However, they absolutely

    realize that we are not here to praise product that does not

    meet the critical standards our members expect.

    You find one reviewer on a competing website who has

    a less-than-perfect review of this disc and you start pointing

    fingers at Robert and I for trying to hype up this release for

    the benefit of trying to sell discs?

    Neither Robert nor I are going to put ourselves in a bad

    position by highly recommending a title like this to our
    membership and then have them come down on us for
    not being honest. Personally, I am not going to sit here

    and be responsible for luring our members into buying a

    $40 disc if I felt the product didn't look absolutely great.


    Fright Night looks great! You heard it from me, you
    heard it from Mr. Harris. If you want to go by the review

    of someone else, so be it. Don't sit here and question

    our integrity for praising the quality of this title.

    I try not to make it a point to publicly point fingers at
    someone who is being problematic, but your accusations

    and aggressively negative behavior here is not appreciated.
     
  15. haineshisway

    haineshisway Well-Known Member

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    The original audio for this film was 2.0 stereo. How much rear-channel activity do you suppose there was in that? For me, as long as the audio replicates what the original mix was, that is all I want or need. What was done after the fact is of little interest to me. "The overall presentation is soft" - did you see this film in the theater during its original run? If so, you would know that this transfer is perfect and perfectly replicates the look of the film - in fact, it betters it as the release prints were obviously not of the generation used for the transfer, but several away. You cannot sharpen (without resorting to artificial means) that which is inherently not sharp like today's films. That was the 80s - stock, diffusion, etc.
     
  16. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    I posted this in my original review....


    Anyone who has the original DVD release needs only

    to compare it to this new Blu-ray transfer to see the

    night to day difference.


    I have seen this film so many times on DVD that I

    knew what transfer has looked like and was immediately

    jolted by how much it has been improved upon.
     
  17. haineshisway

    haineshisway Well-Known Member

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    And you are absolutely correct. This release looks better than the release prints did - I don't know what anyone else could want or expect. Mr. Crisp is the berries - he really knows his stuff.
     
  18. Scott Calvert

    Scott Calvert Well-Known Member

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    The days of $10 BDs will soon come to an end. No one is buying them. Best Buy even has those huge $5 barrels now, with BDs tossed in like so much landfill material. Do you think anyone is really making any money on these? Pressed BDs of most catalog titles as a mass-market product is doomed. No question about it. If you think otherwise you have a rude awakening coming to you. Boutique labels with higher price points and streaming are the future. Sony has been routinely putting out BDs sourced from state-of-the-art 4K scans with little or no discernable digital finagling after the fact. Fright Night and Mysterious Island even have the original mixes and original poster art on the packaging (minus the title font for Fright Night). That's all I want from the movies I buy and if I have to pay $25 or $30 to a boutique label to get it, fine.
     
  19. MatthewA

    MatthewA Well-Known Member

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    The more I think about it, the more I think that some of those titles would be better off in the hands of niche labels, especially after the train wreck of My Fair Lady. I have mixed feelings about Twilight Time's model but in this economy and with the contempt that current management of many studios seem to have for back catalogs becoming more painfully obvious to me, it's better than nothing.
     
  20. moonchild69

    moonchild69 New Member

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    Ronald, how can your review on Fright Night be unbiased when you and robert gave perfect ratings on it's picture quality. I agree that the video quality is very good but not without obvious flaws. Blu-ray.com has an open minded review that stresses upon film quality issues with some accuracy i must say. This release of Fright Night is by no means an overall great quality release that warrants a $35 premium price tag. The audio and lack of extras pretty much stresses that case wholeheartedly. What i really bought into is a little but better than an average release. How can a successfully standard back catalog studio title be so much when any consumer can buy A-listed blu-ray movies everyday from $15 to $25 with even better quality performances.
     

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