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A Few Words About A few words about...™ Quo Vadis

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Robert Harris, Oct 28, 2008.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    There is an extremely important distinction between a three-strip Technicolor production being digitally recombined using the Ultra-Resolution process and then being put through further meticulous digital clean-up, and a photo-optical / photo-chemical recombine of the three records.

    While the former yields a final result with perfect (or near-perfect) tracking and overlay of the three records and very clean final result, the result of the latter can have registration problems caused by splices, damaged perfs or dupes, as well as the occasional YCM dirt that comes with the territory.

    While WB's new DVD (strangely the film arrives in some foreign territories in Blu-ray in November, but not domestically) is the best looking rendition of the film yet to hit home video, it is not an Ultra-Rez product, as stated on the packaging. That said, the recombine is very good for the majority of the film and only occasional UR might have been necessary.

    The image is sharp, with color that serves as a great reminder of precisely how great three-strip Technicolor was as a process, as well as how close this release stands in replicating that look -- or should I say, looks.

    I've seen prints from both the original release as well as later printings, and while some had a slightly warmer shading, others had pure Technicolor reds, purples and whites.

    This transfer stands somewhere in between, probably more reminiscent of the later dye transfer prints, with a bit of warmth, and yet a purity in the whites when necessary. Flesh tones are rich and smooth and the costumes always vibrant.

    The audio is also a treat, as Quo Vadis contains one of the great scores, probably the granddaddy of scores when it comes to the Roman epics of the '50s and '60s. To put it simply, the score by Miklos Rozsa is one of the greatest to be heard on any film. A stellar classic score. As a side note, the original overture and exit music are returned.

    While I'm distressed that we're not receiving the Blu-ray, with its higher profile color standards and resolution, this will suffice for the time being.

    Recommended.

    RAH
     
  2. ahollis

    ahollis Well-Known Member

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    This is wonderful news about the release. I had read a disappointing review somewhere else, but you have not and could never steer me wrong with your recommendations. Great news about the overture and exit music being restored, I had hoped this would be the case. This one of my favorites and still have the laserdisc. I will however wait for the Blu-ray to arrive sometime next year, hopefully, but the wait will now be harder.
     
  3. Joe Caps

    Joe Caps Well-Known Member

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    I will be more than interested to hear the sound. Previous transfers always had second rate sound. It sounded as if an originla optical track had been transferred to mag and had been badly noise gated along the way.


    Sadly, it sounds as if warners STILL has not restored the intermission and the intermission music.
     
  4. Mike-D

    Mike-D New Member

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    I will be more than interested to hear the sound. Previous transfers always had second rate sound. It sounded as if an originla optical track had been transferred to mag and had been badly noise gated along the way.



    I wonder if anyone at Turner/Warner remembers today---or has paperwork that indicates---that in the 1970s in various dubbing rooms, the MGM Sound Department was pulling old archival 35mm release prints with optical tracks from the vaults and making new transfers of the tracks with Dolby Noise Reduction to make new masters and replace some of their older tracks on films for which they were making new repertory prints.

    I wandered through the mixing rooms on several occasions and saw them doing this with, I think, MRS. MINIVER, among others and I asked them what was going on with such an old title. They explained that this was an ongoing process and that whenever the regular salaried sound department staff had down time from current work, they'd just run through more reels of archival stuff on their list and clean it up with the Dolby. (I hope this has been indicated on the newer master negatives and that they're decoding the Dolby properly.)
     
  5. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Well-Known Member
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    Where did the intermission occur in the film? The break between the DVDs seems abrupt, but it could just be because there is no audio transition.

    Regards,
     
  6. Mark-P

    Mark-P Well-Known Member

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    Why would Warner Brothers state it is Ultra-Rez on the package if it is not? Oh yeah, silly question. I forget that the guys who write the notes on press releases and package specs are completely out of touch with what is going on in the restoration labs.
     
  7. David_B_K

    David_B_K Advanced Member

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    Probably the one at DVD Talk, by the reviewer who "doesn't get Robert Taylor".
     
  8. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Well-Known Member
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    To be fair, all the press releases have ever claimed is "...a meticulous photochemical restoration especially for its premiere DVD issue...". Only the DVD box says "Ultra Resolution".

    Regards,
     
  9. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    I can't wait until next Easter to have this title on Blu-ray.





    Crawdaddy
     
  10. Douglas R

    Douglas R Well-Known Member

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    It's not easy to spot. The intermission occurred at around the 1:38 mark where Robert Taylor is riding in his chariot towards the flames of burning Rome, having just killed and evaded the two soldiers chasing him.
     
  11. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Well-Known Member
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    I, too, am looking forward to it. It's rather torturous to wait for this, GIGI, and AN AMERICAN IN PARIS on Blu-ray. Maybe one of these days, there will be enough manufacturing plants to handle day/date releases of vault title special editions as well as new films.
     
  12. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Well-Known Member
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    The disc break comes a few scenes before that. The second disc begins with the scene between Robert Taylor's Marcus Vinicius and Patricia Laffan's Poppaea where she attempts to seduce him and threatens him if she ever sees him with Lygia again.

    Regards,
     
  13. willyTass

    willyTass Well-Known Member

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    the Blu ray version from germany arrives in a few weeks.
     
  14. MatthewA

    MatthewA Well-Known Member

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    They say absence makes the heart grow fonder. Not to mention all the perennials that are coming to BD next year, which hopefully means I'll never have to buy them again.
     
  15. OliverK

    OliverK Well-Known Member

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    Next Friday to be precise - I am looking forward to it [​IMG]
     
  16. willyTass

    willyTass Well-Known Member

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    amazon germany has started shipping the Blu Ray

    EDIT: Blu Ray arrived today : it says Dolby Digital Deutsch 1.0 ; DD english 1.0 ; DD Spanish 1.0; DD French1.0 ; Dolby Digital Italian1.0

    Subtitles German, English, Portugese, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, Italian, swedish, Korean, Chinese

    Ill check tonight and see if there's no dreaded forced subbies. 1.33: 1 ratio "duration 174 min". Its a BD 50 disc
     
  17. Daniel BARBIEUX

    Daniel BARBIEUX Well-Known Member

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    Does the german blu-ray includes French audio and French subtitles ?

    This title along with "An American in Paris" and "Gigi" will be available on 26th november 2008 in France.

    Daniel.
     
  18. willyTass

    willyTass Well-Known Member

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    The Blu ray also states "Neue digitale Ultra-resolution". It aint.

    No forced subs

    Plays on my region B ps3 and region A player

    1080p24 encoded

    Grain left in . Colours look nice. There are a few scenes where some colour bleeding was obvious. I think most will be content with the transfer. Not thrilling , but nice.
     
  19. OliverK

    OliverK Well-Known Member

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    I got the Quo Vadis Blu-Ray today and it is certainly worth the wait for members who own a Blu-Ray player. This is another strong classic release from Warner and while the use of the ultra resolution process would have helped with some scenes I understand that there might have been budgetal constraints that led to it not being used.

    Whatever the budget was it was put to good use as neither DNR nor ringing nor grain reduction get in the way of the picture on this Blu-Ray version of Quo Vadis - I am very happy [​IMG]
     
  20. willyTass

    willyTass Well-Known Member

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