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

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Sep 7, 2012.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    John Badham's WarGames (1983), is an extremely entertaining thriller, with a teen aspect. It worked in 1983, and it plays well today.

    This is an interesting film, that fits well into Mr. Badham's overall work. As the director of Saturday Night Fever, Dracula, Blue Thunder, Bird on a Wire, et al, you know you're going to get something worth watching.

    The new MGM via Fox Blu-ray is quite good looking with audio in DTS-Master. Grain structure looks very appropriate, shadow detail, blacks, etc. all appear fine. Facial tonalities appear to have a decided red push, with various characters appearing as though they'd just come of the beach. I've a feeling Mr. Fraker didn't design it to be seen that way.

    A fine film, on a quality Blu-ray, that aside from the red push, is...

    Image - 3.5

    Audio - 4

    Recommended.

    RAH
     
  2. JohnS

    JohnS Well-Known Member

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    Another good movie from the 80's.
    Glad to hear your take on this Robert.
    I'm still waiting for my copy to come in stock at Amazon. (just a few more days)
     
  3. Dave H

    Dave H Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, Robert. I've been very tempted to grab this for $7.99 this weekend at Best Buy.
     
  4. Moe Dickstein

    Moe Dickstein Filmmaker

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    I believe the directors exact words were "that is not how we would have timed the color".
    Our theory was that since many of the actors were quite pale, it seems someone felt the need to bring them up which then made others resemble George Hamilton.
    Mr. Harris uses the scene with Broderick, Eddie Deezen and Maury Chaykin as an example. Broderick's character should be pale from his indoors lifestyle, and in giving him a regular flesh tone, Chaykin goes very very tan.
     
  5. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Pity they didn't go to the filmmaker for timing. Might have made things far too easy. I presume it was timed by someone who had never even seen the film before.

    RAH
     
  6. Moe Dickstein

    Moe Dickstein Filmmaker

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    Or at least by someone with a phobia of albinos...
    Like so many of these things, it would have been a tiny fix. I should pass along that while the timing is not correct, the director does feel that they stopped short of making it something unwatchable, so consider this flawed but barely acceptable for viewing (in terms of color timing). In other areas, such as clarity he was very happy.
     
  7. Adam Gregorich

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    Thanks. Despite the spray on tans, I'll pick this up for $7.99, especially since everything else looks good. I loved this movie as a kid. Bring on Red Dawn and we are good to go!
     
  8. Dave H

    Dave H Well-Known Member

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    Moe,
    Just trying to understand the process - why would the director give his opinion after the fact rather than before the color timing was completed? Thanks.
     
  9. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    I can answer that one. Someone has to have the foresight to bring the filmmaker into the loop, and ask advise. One would think that would be easy.

    And respectful.

    RAH
     
  10. Lord Dalek

    Lord Dalek Well-Known Member

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    The first few seconds of the audio commentary somehow got cut from the anniversary dvd. Anybody know if that's been fixed?
     
  11. JoshZ

    JoshZ Well-Known Member

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    Interesting that you put Bird on a Wire in the "worth watching" category. :)
     
  12. Bryan^H

    Bryan^H Well-Known Member

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    I adjusted the color setting on my tv for this one(certain scenes had actors resembling a tomatoe) and it helped a little to bump it down a few notches. It is mostly the NORAD scenes that are affected. Like Mr. Harris noted though, take away the 'red push' and it is still a decent looking Blu-Ray. I'm still happy with what I got.
     
  13. Moe Dickstein

    Moe Dickstein Filmmaker

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    Bird on a Wire is somewhat forgotten today, but it did do over 100 million during original release, which was a big number back in 1990... There are some very fun moments in it and it could definitely use a Blu upgrade as the current DVD is very poor port of the LD transfer and not anamorphic.
     
  14. JoshZ

    JoshZ Well-Known Member

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    I have only the haziest of memories of watching this movie on cable back in the day. I don't recall being too impressed with it, but I suppose I'd be open to re-evaluating it. I do remember the controversy over its homophobic stereotyping, though, which would probably only seem even more uncomfortable today.
     
  15. Moe Dickstein

    Moe Dickstein Filmmaker

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    I suppose it depends how PC you are. I thought it was just silly and funny.
     
  16. Lee-c

    Lee-c Well-Known Member

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    I noticed the same thing in the Lord of the Rings Extended Edition set on Blu-ray. I had read in some reviews of the set that while the Fellowship of the Ring definitely had the colors changed, that the color timing appeared untouched in the second two films. Well, I've seen all 3 and the faces look quite reddish in the other films now, as well, very noticeable. And they didn't look that way before this set, so they have been messed with, and it's quite distasteful. They should have just left them fair and natural as they had always been, it was perfect before.

    I really wish they would quit doing this in home video releases of films, whether WarGames or any other. Having said that, it's been a long time since I've seen the movie, and the Blu-ray sounds of overall good quality and it would be fun to see it at this level of detail/resolution for the first time. So I might get it.
     

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