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A Few Words About A few words about...™ From Russia with Love -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Oct 19, 2008.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    For the second installment in the Bond series, following the success of Dr. No, the budget received a major bump, expanding exponentially the abilities to create high quality entertainment.

    Set-pieces were bigger, and the entire production far less roughly hewn. This is both good and bad for the present Blu-ray, and our discussion must once again turn to grain. With the removal of grain as it existed on the original Eastman negative by the Lowry Digital system, everything is now exposed -- sharp, crisp and crystal clear. And in some instances, possibly not a good thing.

    Within the first ten minutes we run slightly amuck in digital cleansing.

    Two examples: There is a huge set encompassing the chess game with huge painted ceilings. In the Blu-ray it appears for the first time that the ceilings and walls are unstable, and possibly a matte painting. With a grained imaged, this would most likely not be noticeable. And that would have been the way that it was planned.

    When we first meet Lotte Lenya, who plays everyone's favorite nanny, Rosa Klebb, we are treated to a couple of close-ups of the actress, then in her mid-60s. With a bit of the original grain and the slight softening of the image via the original dye transfer printing process, we wouldn't be staring at her heavy makeup. But as an image harvested from the original negative, and then de-grained, yielding an even sharper image...

    Though most of the film, this isn't a problem, and the resultant image is pleasing, and all is well.

    As I noted in regards to Dr. No, the Bond films were never looked upon as "art," so a bit of image manipulation, where it doesn't take one of the film may not matter.

    A pretty, sharp, fully detailed and certainly a clean and grain-free image courtesy of Lowry Digital. From Russia with Love is Recommended.
     
  2. PaulDA

    PaulDA Well-Known Member

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    I predict "my childhood has been raped"-style complaints (not from me though--I've come to appreciate the difficulties of going from one medium to another, as well as understanding that perfection is illusory at the best of times). One of my favourite Bond films and books, so it will definitely be added to the collection.

    Would you say the problem issues are reasonably isolated or are they consistent through the whole film but vary in apparent intensity (just out of curiosity)?
     
  3. Carter of Mars

    Carter of Mars Well-Known Member

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    It is a matte painting and I noticed it long before the Lowry transfer.
     
  4. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    This is not a problem of any great relevance. It is something that merely diminishes the illusion at times. Things that should have been transparent in projection are no longer. Possibly too much of a good thing in certain cases.
     
  5. Jonathan Kaye

    Jonathan Kaye Well-Known Member

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    Although, in the original novel Klebb was seen wearing heavy makeup at one point, so one could argue that that was a deliberate artistic choice back in 1963.[​IMG]
     
  6. RobertR

    RobertR Well-Known Member

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    I never knew Lotte Lenya was a musical star until I read about the basis for the lyrics to the song Mack the Knife. [​IMG]
     
  7. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Well-Known Member
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    Check out my review of THE 3 PENNY OPERA here to read about perhaps her most iconic role in musical theater.
     
  8. Osato

    Osato Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the interesting insight Robert!

    I am looking forward to seeing From Russia With Love on blu ray!

    "Red wine with fish."
     

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