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A Few Words About A few words about...™ High Plains Drifter -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Oct 21, 2013.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    As Universal has a penchant for "branding," they've released Mr. Eastwood's High Plains Drifter, in not only a 40th Anniversary Edition, but also as 1970s - Best of the Decade.

    Naturally, had the new Blu-ray release just been offered as High Plains Drifter, I'd not have purchased a copy.

    As Mr. Eastwood's second directorial effort, the film still works as well as it did 40 years ago, meaning that it's a simple tale, good vs. evil, but with a few '70s touches thrown in.

    The very good news here, is that the Blu-ray, from Universal, looks and sounds superb. While I have no idea what processing may have been used, the final result looks very much like a dye transfer print of the era -- actually the very end of the era -- and that's a good thing.

    Beautiful color, densities, black levels, all comfortably met.

    The audio, in DTS-HD MA 5.1 is a nicely balanced 5.1 from what I presume to be the stems, for just a bit of depth.

    Image - 5

    Audio - 5 (Didn't check to see if the original mono was included)

    Recommended.

    RAH
     
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  2. JohnMor

    JohnMor Premium
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    I was planning on holding out until we got a "Welcome to Lago, now go to Hell" edition, but I'll have to seek out the Best of the 70's edition. Not interested in the Anniversary edition since it's neither a 50th or a 75th.
     
  3. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    The 40th and '70s are one and the same. Single Blu-ray, and double special excitement!RAH
     
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  4. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    One more thought. As I was watching this, I had the feeling that captured in this film, was virtually the entire set of "western" character actors of the era.
     
  5. JoeDoakes

    JoeDoakes Premium
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    As it sounds like Universal nailed the transfer, I was wondering why you only gave this release a "recommended" and not a "highly recommended." Personally, I think it's one of Eastwood's best films.
     
  6. JohnMor

    JohnMor Premium
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    Yes, I know. I was trying to be funny. :(
     
  7. JohnMor

    JohnMor Premium
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    I love the set built at Mono Lake. It is so stark and looks so different from the standard back-lot Western town. It really helps immeasurably.
     
  8. Scott Merryfield

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    I watched this last night -- a huge improvement over the old SD-DVD transfer. And kudos to Universal for improving their BD disc authoring, as I wasn't forced to skip through trailers, ads, and the Universal logo over and over again while trying to load the movie. It's the first time I can remember not cursing them while trying to launch a movie on this format.
     
  9. Persianimmortal

    Persianimmortal Well-Known Member

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    Sounds good to me, I'll be picking up a copy tomorrow. It's been a long time since I've seen this movie. I just watched the man with no name trilogy over the last three nights, so it's good timing :)

    As for this whole "anniversary" thing that suddenly seems to have picked up marketing momentum, it is, as RAH has alluded to, just plain silly. Does anyone really care whether a film is being released on Blu-ray exactly 40, 50, or X number of years after its cinematic debut? It's sad to hear people talk about how they expect a film to be released on blu on a particular anniversary. I sincerely hope films aren't actually being prioritized for release based on this notion.
     
  10. TravisR

    TravisR Well-Known Member

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    Of course not but when the studio misses the Xth anniversary then it's a slap in the face to the movie and its fans because they ignored it.
     
  11. Bob Cashill

    Bob Cashill Well-Known Member

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    Those 70s-themed slipcovers Universal uses are hideous. Into the garbage they go, fast.
     
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  12. Persianimmortal

    Persianimmortal Well-Known Member

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    Really? I'm genuinely curious: do fans honestly care whether it's an "anniversary" of a movie's release? Do you not enjoy a movie and celebrate its existence at any time, rather than on particular days, like a Birthday? There are movies that I really enjoy, but couldn't give a flap about whether the studio celebrated their creation on anniversaries.

    I guess I'll never understand how traditional fans think.
     
  13. FoxyMulder

    FoxyMulder 映画ファン

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    I don't think that way but i know the studio folks do, so i am waiting patiently for Roman Holiday, looks like they could miss the boat though.
     
  14. TravisR

    TravisR Well-Known Member

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    Just to clarify, I don't care what anniversary a movie is hitting in a particular year. My point was that some fans want it both ways. When it's a year that doesn't end in 5 or 0, anniversaries are meaningless and the studio should just release the movie as soon as possible. When it is a year that ends in 5 or 0, they need to release it then because it's an anniversary year and not commemorating that is an insult.
     
  15. nealg

    nealg Well-Known Member

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    Just picked this up at Target for $9.99.
     
  16. Persianimmortal

    Persianimmortal Well-Known Member

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    And my point is that I can't begin to understand how this line of thinking even works. An insult to the fans, or the movie itself, because a movie's anniversary isn't celebrated? Are we talking about a twelve year old child, or a film?
     
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  17. mikeyhitchfan

    mikeyhitchfan Well-Known Member

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    Personally, I don't care for anniversary releases..OK maybe a 50th or 75th is a big deal. I do like Digibooks, though, and they seem to double dip anniversary releases that way.

    Back to the film..I love it and Universal hit a home run on this release!
     
  18. FoxyMulder

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    To understand it you have to look at the marketing department in these studio's and how they think, it is frustrating that one has to wait for an anniversary year before a film gets released, i think they feel the market is so small for some movies that an anniversary year may help sales, remember some titles are selling only a few thousand copies and that is perhaps an explanation for the anniversary year thing.
     
  19. Tom St Jones

    Tom St Jones Well-Known Member

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    As soon as I bought my copy and took it home, I took the disc out of the case it came in and placed it in the 1998 DVD case (first edition with the old theatrical poster art cover. The Blu-ray cover, minus slipcover, with it's new version of the old artwork is ok, but this is better).
    The Blu-ray appears not to contain the original Mono (restored or otherwise). A little disappointing but I can live with what we have.
    I think there was an anamorphic version of the movie released on DVD as part of an Eastwood westerns compilation, which may have contained a mono track, but I'm not sure about this.
     
  20. Chuck Anstey

    Chuck Anstey Well-Known Member

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    I think you are missing the point of the disappointment. It isn't that fans want it both ways. It is the studios themselves that drive up the expectation that a film will be released on a major anniversary because they make such a big deal about it when they do and have held up movies to wait for one. Given studios' marketing likes releasing on anniversaries with 25 and 50 being the biggest, if some film you have been impatiently waiting to be released on blu has a 25th or 50th anniversary come and go with no release, it is just a big sign that the movie will likely never get released. This is especially true of "lesser" works that don't have a broad appeal and really do need that extra "X anniversary" to get a group of consumers that might be on the fence about it to decide to buy it. Sometimes the "X anniversary" is just to remind some consumers of the "good 'ol days" of film making or simply nostalgia. Other times it is simply to infer in the consumer's mind that the studio did something extra for this release to make it special as opposed to just an ordinary release even though they didn't.
     

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