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A Few Words About A few words about...™ The Elephant Man (UK Release) -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Dec 15, 2013.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Having sampled Studio/Canal's UK (open region) Blu-ray of David Lynch's The Elephant Man, I've come away blown away by the overall look and textures.

    This is a perfect Blu-ray.

    Rich, deep blacks that take on the look of charcoal. Full gray scale, perfect grain structure. It's all there.

    Audio is DTS-HD MA 5.1

    Great film. Magnificent Blu-ray.

    The Lawrence connection?

    Image - 5*

    Audio - 5

    Very Highly Recommended.

    RAH
     
  2. Mark-P

    Mark-P Well-Known Member

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    Hadn't realized this was out on Blu-ray. Do you have any idea if the earlier Optimum Blu-ray release from 2009 is identical? The Optimum disc is region A/B (no C) and is about £6 cheaper than the new Studio Canal release. I put both of them on my watch list, and if either one drops below £8, I'll buy it.
     
  3. Charles Smith

    Charles Smith Extremely Talented Member
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    Found it. And a nice one it is. But I looked for it, didn't already know it. As penance, I will order the Blu-ray post-haste.
     
  4. lark144

    lark144 Premium
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    Editor Anne V. Coates

    I too have been spending time & money exploring Region free titles at Amazon.uk, and I also found the visual quality of this disc magnificent. Although I saw THE ELEPHANT MAN at the Coronet in NYC when it opened, I don't really remember that much about the film. Though I loved Freddie Francis' cinematography, that manages to combine the phantasmagorical chiaroscuro of Piranesi etchings with the visionary clarity of Rembrandt, I think I was underwhelmed by the film itself, finding it a bit cold and withdrawn. Clearly I was a different person then. This time I cried all the way through. And yes, although it's a ridiculous thing to say, this could very well be one of the greats. Certainly this disc makes the best possible argument for the importance and simple emotional beauty of Mr. Lynch's film (and I haven't forgotten the contributions of ex. producer Mel Brooks and all the amazing artists of every scope who worked on this film and turned the very act of watching into such an emotional and life-changing experience, at least for this viewer.) What I especially liked this time through is how as the film develops one begins to treat the world of the physically deformed as normal, and the "normal" Londoners as deformed, most particularly in the way they treat other human beings..
     
  5. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Well-Known Member
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    I remember watching Anthony Hopkins summon up tears seeing what the Elephant Man looked like for the first time, and I was SO moved. I have never forgotten that moment. It's seared into my memory.
     
    ahollis likes this.
  6. JoshZ

    JoshZ Well-Known Member

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    Optmum was Studio Canal's distributor in the UK. The first Blu-ray release was branded as part of the "Studio Canal Collection." Studio Canal would issue literally the same disc in numerous countries through multiple distributors. Your choice of language on the main menu would determine which studio logos play before the feature.

    I'm sure that the new copy is the exact same disc in new packaging.

    I have the UK digibook from 2009. It's a lovely transfer overall, but I have a couple issues with it. A shot at the 14-minute mark with the first appearance of Merrick is far too bright. In previous video copies (VHS, Laserdisc and DVD), he was obsuced in shadow there, and you didn't get a good look at him until the big reveal in the hospital. That clearly seemed to be intentional, and is backed up by comments the director made in Chris Rodley's "Lynch on Lynch" book. In the newly-brightened shot you can see seams in the makeup prosthetics that were obviously not meant to be visible.

    The disc also has a hanful of shots (notably around the 15- and 25-minute marks) that look very dull and fuzzy, like really bad dupes (but they don't appear to be opticals).

    That said, these are nit-picks. It's otherwise a very nice-looking disc.
     
  7. JoshZ

    JoshZ Well-Known Member

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    Oh, and like all releases from the "Studio Canal Collection," the disc is authored wth deafening music over the main menu that's (no exageration) about 20 dB louder than the feature.

    I was always perplexed at how much Roger Ebert hated this film.
     
  8. Vincent_P

    Vincent_P Well-Known Member

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    Wasn't THE ELEPHANT MAN one of the Studio Canal titles that was plagued with the audio being at the incorrect pitch?

    Vincent
     
  9. Felix Martinez

    Felix Martinez Well-Known Member

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    I don't believe so, Vincent. I remember researching that quite a bit before I pulled the trigger on it. JoshZ can confirm.I think this is a VERY good blu-ray and have enjoyed it for years. Perhaps now with WB releasing Paramount product there might be a formidable domestic release.
     
  10. Oblivion138

    Oblivion138 Well-Known Member

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    I've had the StudioCanal Collection BD for a few years now. It is indeed a beautiful presentation, aside from one very fleeting (single-frame, I believe) video glitch. You have to have "fast" eyes to even notice it, I would reckon. But overall, yes, just a wonderful transfer of a wonderful film.

    Lynch is so underrepresented on BD here in the US...thank God for Region-free European imports!
     
  11. JoshZ

    JoshZ Well-Known Member

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    The HD DVD edition had the pitch problem, but the audio was fixed on the later Blu-ray. Same video.

    One advantage the HD DVD had was being region-free (for that format). The Blu-ray is locked to Region B.
     
  12. bigshot

    bigshot Well-Known Member

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    It appears that the upcoming version is Region B locked, so I'm assuming you are talking about the earlier Region A version. Just ordered it.
     
  13. JoshZ

    JoshZ Well-Known Member

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    There is no Region A version. The movie has only been released on Blu-ray in Europe and is locked to Region B. The disc RAH reviewed here is a repackaging of the 2009 release.
     
  14. Mark-P

    Mark-P Well-Known Member

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    According to reliable sources the 2009 Optimum Blu-ray is Region A/B locked, so only region C is left out in the cold.
     
  15. Oblivion138

    Oblivion138 Well-Known Member

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    I have the UK Optimum/SC release, and it works on my Region A player...good enough for me. :)
     
  16. Jari K

    Jari K Well-Known Member

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    I believe the extras in the UK BD are in SD. Are they in PAL?
     
  17. JoshZ

    JoshZ Well-Known Member

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    You guys are right, it's A/B. I was confusing it with the UK release of Eraserhead, which is B locked. Sorry about the confusion.
     
  18. JoshZ

    JoshZ Well-Known Member

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    As I recall, they're NTSC, but I would have to check again to say with certainty.
     
  19. Peter Neski

    Peter Neski Well-Known Member

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    I haven't seen these BR's ,But I always thought the Image even in the Theatre was a little too grainy ,So I guess that's the way It should look
     
  20. Oblivion138

    Oblivion138 Well-Known Member

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    I remember when I first got the BD, watching the scene where Tony Hopkins is walking down the street early on in the film, and the dog goes by...even though he was a rather small figure in the frame, I could see Hopkins smile and nod slightly to a passerby. From that moment on, I was quite in love with this particular transfer.

    Here's a screenshot from the scene in question: http://caps-a-holic.com/hd_vergleiche/multi_comparison.php?art=part&x=515&y=229&action=1&image=0&hd_multiID=821&cap1=12655&cap2=12663&disc1=1330&disc2=1331&lossless=#vergleich
     

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