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

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Aug 3, 2012.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Martin Scorsese's 1973 Mean Streets is all about emerging talent. A low-budget affair, that works on talent and chutzpah. Dark, brooding, and a portent of things to come, it finally arrives on Blu-ray looking reasonably as it did on film. Dark, occasionally under-lit, and grainy.

    And here's where, at least technically, the Blu-ray shows some of it's deficits.

    The image harvest seems to be fine, revealing everything that's on the film, but the grain sometimes has an odd look to it. Possibly something in compression, that didn't quite work out.
    Nothing terribly problematic, but it's there.

    If you're a Scorsese fan, this is a must-have Blu-ray. If you've just discovered him, via any of his latest projects, prepare yourself to visit the roots of the artist.

    Image - 3

    Audio - 4

    Funky grain attributes aside, Recommended.

    RAH
     
  2. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    RAH,

    Do you happen to know if the film stock used on this film and it being low-budgeted would affect the funky film grain you noted?







    Crawdaddy
     
  3. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    It would have been shot on standard Eastman 5254, unless some foreign stock was imported. And no, there are no funky grain problems with the stock. It would be processing. And again, nothing untoward, simply reporting what I'm seeing.

    Just sayin'

    RAH
     
  4. Kurosawa

    Kurosawa Active Member

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    The French release, which I own, looks very good. Clarity and color are excellent, with no evidence of excessive grain removal. Audio is outstanding. It's a bit pricey (15 Euros plus exorbitant shipping), but these attributes, coupled with its correct opening (narration over black vs. over cgi Warner logo noted in the US release), make it the clear choice for avid fans of the film who have region-free players (it is Region B-locked).
     
  5. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    I'm not a fan of replaced logos.
     
  6. Powell&Pressburger

    Powell&Pressburger Well-Known Member

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    I can't even watch this because the voice over occuring during that new WB logo is awful. In fact the Voice over never even was on the Saul Bass logo.. if was in the darkness only.... I would rather have no logo than the US release. Will keep the US disc for the commentary track only.


    The film from previous release... not sure if the Saul Bass logo preceded the film theatrically or if it started with the black background.

    I prefer this...



    Even so what WB's did for the BLU release is really going to far, this is more than replacing a logo.
     
  7. Peter Apruzzese

    Peter Apruzzese Well-Known Member

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    This is a case where I'm very happy that my projector has a picture "mute" button on the remote. I can start the film with a black screen and open the shutter at the point where the picture itself goes to black after the new logo.
    They really need to stop replacing the original logos with new ones, or at the very least put the new logo before the original one.
     
  8. Powell&Pressburger

    Powell&Pressburger Well-Known Member

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    I hate that they are spending time and money to replace the logo's from the 1970's and the 1980's. Which ever suit made this decision doesn't deserve to even work at the company.
     
  9. Rob LoVerde

    Rob LoVerde Active Member

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    Thank you for the review, RAH.
    Sounds like we can be (almost) completely happy.
     
  10. TheVid

    TheVid Well-Known Member

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    I've got the French blu-ray version, too, and the color tone has a filtered look not on the US Warner blu-ray. I believe the French disc looks more like the theatrical prints I've seen, and it's the version I prefer to project.
     
  11. Jon Hertzberg

    Jon Hertzberg Well-Known Member

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    I'm with you all the way. I manage to bug the Warner Archive Twitter feed about this every once in a while; they hint that more vintage logos may be coming...hopefully, a policy change is in the works.
    My video tributes: here, here, and here.
     
  12. Powell&Pressburger

    Powell&Pressburger Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for that Info. Good to know. I may have to follow them on Twitter also.
     
  13. Moe Dickstein

    Moe Dickstein Filmmaker

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    The two worst examples of replaced logos (IMO) are both due to this silly WB policy.
    Barry Lyndon, where the Saul Bass WB logo is timed so perfectly to the opening music, as of course every detail would have been overseen by Mr. K.
    and
    Dolores Claiborne, where due to the timing differences of the Columbia and WB logos, we end up with a lengthy black slug between the WB shield and the Castle Rock logo that wasn't there theatrically and on the original video issues through Sony.
    I understand their wish to show shiny new logos, but the example of Universal on the Paramount Hitchcocks is the one to follow. Put your new logo on, then let the film play out as it was seen the day of release, logo and all.
    I haven't seen Mean Streets yet, but it sounds equally as bad.
     
  14. Oblivion138

    Oblivion138 Well-Known Member

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    I actually skipped the Warner logo when I first played the Mean Streets BD (as I tend to do whenever I see a new CG logo on a film of earlier vintage), and when it had passed, and I pressed Play, I was somewhat taken aback to find that I was already in mid-voiceover. Replacing the logo is one thing...but why the hell would they actually alter the body of the film in this way? It wasn't as if the voiceover originally played over the Saul Bass logo...it played over blackness. So even if they're replacing the Bass logo with the new CG shield, why not let the logo play out before beginning the voiceover? This is just a really weird decision on someone's part.
     
  15. WinstonCely

    WinstonCely Well-Known Member

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    Is there anyway to contact Scorsese or his offices to let them know that they've altered the content of his film? I know that he may not have sole rights over the distribution of his early films, maybe he has no say in what they do, but he could call on his fans to boycott the release since it's not the way he intended it to be.
    I'm not buying this release until they fix what seems like a major mistake. I mean, no one could be that arrogant to think they know better and to deliberately alter what Scorsese created, right?
     
  16. Jon Hertzberg

    Jon Hertzberg Well-Known Member

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    A friend works in Scorsese's office. Will see if she can get this information to him.
     
  17. Powell&Pressburger

    Powell&Pressburger Well-Known Member

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    Something tells me someone has told him... but I know he loves the work of Saul Bass and would rather have his film follow the classic logo, but of course more harmful than that was the whole sound editing of the opening over the new logo that never belonged over any logo. I doubt we will get a re-issue unless WB ever does a special anniversary edition release.

    Still would love After Hours from WB on blu. The film is just genius.
     
  18. Jon Hertzberg

    Jon Hertzberg Well-Known Member

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    I know that they take these things seriously in Scorsese's office. The same friend pointed out a MEAN STREETS / Blu-ray-related posting on my site, which Scorsese's assistant printed off to give to him. I haven't heard if he read it and / or what he thought about it.
     
  19. Jon Hertzberg

    Jon Hertzberg Well-Known Member

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    double post
     
  20. Powell&Pressburger

    Powell&Pressburger Well-Known Member

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    That is awesome. I have complained enough about if on this thread and another thread related to original logos and even put in a link for a youtube posting of the original opening. Posts were also put in over at www.blu-ray.com under the Mean Streets thread. I think I complain more than anyone else when logos are completely changed etc. It is nice that Scorsese takes film so seriously esp the preservation of the original intent and I think he would feel the nostaglia of seeing the films with their original logos really are much more in tune with the film, than no offense that nice rendered pristine CGI WB logo.

    Other have stated we wouldn't care so much if they followed Universal's choice to just put the NEW logo preceding the film but they consider the film the original release logo as it starts. this is how it should be done. Meanwhile WB's are just spending extra money changing films for no real reason. IMO. I think they try to hard sometimes. :)

    I don't mean to bash them so much I know the negatives sometimes out weigh the positives. I think what they seem to be doing with the upcoming BLU release of Little Shop Of Horrors is really above and beyond what I ever expected the film to have. Sure the cover art isn't the greatest but to be able to choose between the original theatrical cut and the newly restored original ending is wonderful. Some may laugh but aside from the Hitchcock, Lawrence, other sets coming out this fall Little Shop of Horrors is a crazy good release!
     

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