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A Few Words About A few words about...™ The Professionals -- in Blu-Ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Jun 11, 2008.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Last week was not a particularly happy one here at A Few Words... headquarters.

    Viewing Patton on a decent size home theater screen left me with the feeling that we're headed for troubled territory with more people who don't know how to use DNR, and lop off all of the high frequency information in their golden quest to eradicate grain and achieve cleanliness.

    And I was ready for more of the same with The Professionals.

    I was truly hopeful that The Professionals, created by some of the top talent in the business c. 1966, would survive the onslaught of well-meaning grain rapers and turn out to be at the very least...

    viewable.

    It wasn't.

    I recall viewing a borrowed 35mm dye transfer print in the very room that I now view home video fodder. It had great color, wonderful rich shadow detail and blacks, and a comfortable table of grain moving gracefully over silken smooth high resolution images.

    Allow me to be short and to the point.

    The new Blu-Ray DVD of The Professionals from Columbia / Sony isn't just "viewable." It doesn't just get by as a new Blu-Ray release.

    Not by a long shot.

    Everything that was so woefully wrong with Patton, which held 2 1/2 times the information -- two and one half times! --

    is so brilliantly correct with The Professionals.

    It has taken on the look of a true 35mm print.

    I firmly believe that were they together in a room viewing this disc, Mr. Brooks, Mr. Lancaster, Mr. Marvin, Mr. Ryan, Mr. Strode, Mr. Palance, Mr. Bellamy and Mr. Jarre would be thrilled with the representation of their film as carried by the tiny, yet powerfully miraculous Blu-Ray disc.

    Allow me to firmly make my point.

    Everything that Patton does to harm the image of Blu-Ray as a system is turned on its head by The Professionals.

    This is a true reference disc for films of the 1960s.

    It shows clearly the image capabilities of the Blu-Ray system.

    The men and women behind the creation of this release are the new video Professionals.

    Blu-Ray poster child?

    Add one more to the wall.

    The Professionals is a great western; a great film...

    and a truly superb Blu-Ray disc.

    "What's the trick, then?"

    The trick General Patton, is to look like film, to allow actors to act, to look human, and not look like wax dummies!

    And The Professionals succeeds in spades!

    I couldn't be more thrilled!

    My only hope is that whatever entity did the "clean-up" work on Patton can get a copy of this disc quickly, will watch it, and learn from it.

    Extremely Highly Recommended.

    RAH
     
  2. Jrf2

    Jrf2 Well-Known Member

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    Sold! In my view, this is one of the best scripted westerns of all time. Brooks is at his peak here. Thanks Robert!
     
  3. Douglas Monce

    Douglas Monce Well-Known Member

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    Two words. THANK YOU SONY!


    Okay it's three words.


    Oh and thank you Mr. Harris.

    Doug
     
  4. OliverK

    OliverK Well-Known Member

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    I am so happy about this - The Professionals was aired in HD in Europe and it looked very promising, as did two other Columbia titles that I had the opportunity to watch, I am sure we are in for more treats from Sony.

    Now don't ask me how that one Fox title looked that I saw there [​IMG]
     
  5. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    Heh, heh, heh. Ordered!

    Thanks, RAH! "Few", but brilliant words. [​IMG]


    Cees
     
  6. Mark Anthony

    Mark Anthony Well-Known Member

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    Mr Harris, thanks for your review. i seem to remember a problem with the previous DVD release in the day for night scenes, have these been corrected for this release?

    Regards

    M
     
  7. Chris S

    Chris S Well-Known Member

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    You had me going there for a bit! I was about ready to head off on the "colorfu" rant I've been trying so hard to keep at bay. [​IMG] Thanks for the review and thanks to Sony for doing this release right!
     
  8. Bleddyn Williams

    Bleddyn Williams Well-Known Member

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    Can't resist - another must-buy! [​IMG]

    Disappointed to say I can't find it at either DeepDiscount or DVDplanet, who are having their 20% off sales.
     
  9. Paul Hillenbrand

    Paul Hillenbrand Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the words Mr. Harris.

    Because of them, "The Professionals" has been ordered.[​IMG]

    Paul
     
  10. PaulDA

    PaulDA Well-Known Member

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    Damn. Now I have to add another title to my "blu" list. And I don't even have a player yet.
     
  11. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    So it only took RAH's seal of approval before others decided to buy this great film on Blu-ray?[​IMG]






    Crawdaddy
     
  12. CraigF

    CraigF Well-Known Member

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    ^ Not for me! I like this one a lot, definitely one of my favorite westerns. Time to retire the SD it sounds like.
     
  13. PaulDA

    PaulDA Well-Known Member

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    RAH approval has not yet steered me wrong (and I haven't seen this one before, so it will likely be a blind buy unless I can find a rental copy first).
     
  14. Michel_Hafner

    Michel_Hafner Well-Known Member

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    Added to my shopping list.
     
  15. Paul Arnette

    Paul Arnette Well-Known Member

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    I watched this movie for the first time Wednesday night, and I throughly enjoyed it. As mentioned previously, there are some really great lines in this movie, and I found the story to be very engaging as well. Of course, it doesn't hurt that Lee Marvin is in the film, as he is one of my favorites. I sure wish Warner Bros. would put Point Blank on Blu-ray Disc.

    My only complaint about this release would be the ugly computer-generated subtitles, and the fact that they aren't placed within the frame. The placement isn't a huge deal to me, as I don't have a 2.35:1 screen or anything, but I feel for those who do, and I thought one of the advantages of BD was the ability to change the location of subtitles, but either it has never been taken advantage of, or I don't know how to do it.
     
  16. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Well-Known Member

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    A gorgeous presentation of a great Western. Is there a filmmaker working today (other than maybe Sidney Lumet) who would have the confidence to construct a masterly sequence like the assault on the hacienda? All that tense deliberate build-up with no dialogue? Would the studio execs leave it alone? Would audiences sit still for it? I don't know, but for me it still works.

    M.
     
  17. Walter Kittel

    Walter Kittel Well-Known Member

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    I believe his name is Paul Thomas Anderson. [​IMG]

    But yes, it is a great sequence in a great film. Really happy to hear that folks are watching and enjoying this film. I had a great experience watching the Blu-ray release last week.

    - Walter.
     
  18. Paul Hillenbrand

    Paul Hillenbrand Well-Known Member

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    It astounds me how a 42 year old movie can be preserved as well as this film looks. Either that or a near perfect restoration.[​IMG] Wonder if it was in someone's perfectly climate-controlled private collection?[​IMG]

    Paul
     
  19. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Well-Known Member

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    If you're thinking of the opening sequence of There Will Be Blood, I wouldn't call them comparable. That's right at the beginning, when you're introducing the central character and his world. What's so impressive about that sequence is that I think a lot of people don't even realize nothing's been said for the first 10 minutes or so.

    The hacienda assault in The Professionals is a different proposition. It's well into the movie, everything's been set up, and it comes at the point when the film is building toward a hight point and everyone worries about losing the audience. Also, once the audience gets used to hearing main characters talk, contemporary filmmakers worry when they're silent for too long. (Nicolas Cage refers to this in his commentary on The Rock.) It's been a while since I've seen Blood, but my recollection is that, once Daniel starts talking, he rarely shuts up. [​IMG]

    M.
     
  20. Richard Gallagher

    Richard Gallagher Well-Known Member
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    I can speak only for myself, but the assault sequence is so riveting that I didn't even take notice of the fact that there is no dialogue.
     

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