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America´s Sweethearts - Digital Bits vs. DVDFile

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Chris Stone, Nov 13, 2001.

  1. Chris Stone

    Chris Stone Agent

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    while DVD File rips the picture quality apart giving it 2.5 stars (must a a new low for a new Columbia Title) Digital Bits gives it an A rating - what is going on ?
     
  2. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Nothing personal against DVD File, but even
    my reviews of picture quality differ than theirs.
    Here is a quote from my posted review a few
    weeks back....
     
  3. Joel C

    Joel C Screenwriter

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    I also had some problems with the image. Fleshtones looked unnatural and fine detail was lacking. Also, I noticed quite a bit of edge enhancement. However, I was much less critical than DVDFile. I gave it a B-.
    ------------------
    Joel
    woemcats@hotmail.com
    "Look at me, I'm dancing crazy!"
    digitallyOBSESSED
     
  4. PhilipG

    PhilipG Screenwriter

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    DVD File's review was by Wayne Rowe.
    'nuff said? [​IMG]
     
  5. JohnS

    JohnS Producer

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    I think DVDFile also had a problem with Heartbreakers, stating something like the flesh tones were way unnatural.
    I thought the transfer was pretty solid.
    ------------------
     
  6. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    quote: DVD File's review was by Wayne Rowe.
    'nuff said? [​IMG] [/quote] Yeah, that explains it. He's the main reason I stopped reading DVDFile. (The other was their treatment of the false report that Escape from New York was being altered by MGM. Notice how they've never managed to produce the John Carpenter interview on which they were claiming to rely?)
    Too bad. It was once a good site.
    M.
    [Edited last by Michael Reuben on November 13, 2001 at 08:22 AM]
     
  7. Ben_S

    Ben_S Agent

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    That's the reason I've stopped visiting the site as well.
    [Edited last by Ben_S on November 13, 2001 at 08:50 AM]
     
  8. Deane Johnson

    Deane Johnson Supporting Actor

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    Having recently spent hours in the service menu of my front projector trying to get the adjustments optimum (they still aren't), I'm thinking that different display devices will react differently to various DVDs.
    A transfer that might look oustanding on my display due to my specific adjustments might look bad on yours, and vice-versa. Flesh tones are, of course, the worst to get perfect.
    So, I might have my adjustments in such a manner that America's Sweethearts will look less the good, and you may have your internal adjustments in such a way that it will look great. Then we try a different DVD and the opposite becomes the case.
    I've come to this conclusion by reading technical reviews of DVD picture quality, then looking at them on my display. Some look better than the review, some look worse than another by the same reviewer. I've also monitored on a CRT at the same time as projecting and discovered that some DVDs track with my adjustments better than others.
    I'm thinking that the various display devices do not track all DVD mastering efforts in a linear fashion.
    Deane
     
  9. Mark Bendiksen

    Mark Bendiksen Screenwriter

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  10. GlennH

    GlennH Screenwriter

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    I don't know if it's true in this case, but some reviewers are starting to seriously deduct "points" because of excessive edge enhancement, while others totally ignore it.
    Columbia Tristar does usually have very nice transfers but some of them do suffer from excessive enhancement, ringing, whatever you want to call it.
     
  11. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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  12. Doug Schiller

    Doug Schiller Supporting Actor

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    I have felt DVD File's have been pretty accurate. They are very detailed in their criticism.
    Once Digital Bits gave Die Hard III an A for video, well...
    As others have said, read as many reviews as you can. That should give you a good idea.
    As far as not visiting the site anymore, what sites do you visit? That and maybe DVD Review seem to be the last of the full content, daily updated sites. I wouldn't know what to do without it.
    Doug
    [Edited last by Doug Schiller on November 13, 2001 at 01:18 PM]
     
  13. Dave H

    Dave H Producer

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    I like DVDFILE's site/reviews and how they are often the first site to review a disc. However, I do believe they are too critical in their video judgments.
    Digital Bits is more accurate I believe, but their reviews are too few and sporadic.
    [Edited last by Dave H on November 13, 2001 at 01:22 PM]
     
  14. CliffS

    CliffS Auditioning

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    In defense of DVDFILE (of which I am no longer a part of)-
    "I don't know why there is a difference of opinion
    other than the equipment that these discs are being
    reviewed on."
    Or the level of experience between the reviewers or... just plain differing human opinions. What one reviewer might see and lock onto might slip right by another reviewer. It is a human business after all.
    Wayne Rowe has been reviewing titles for DVDFILE for over a year now, and (and this a big AND that most people don't really bother to ask about) not only is he using a Toshiba high def set and Sony 9000ES progressive player, his set has been ISF calibrated to ensure accuracy. So having the equipment is only half the effort. Using it to its full potential also helps.
    I'll also take issue with this comment:
    "DVDFile also didn't like the transfer of WILLOW.
    I thought it was one of Fox's absolute best catalog
    transfers."
    And here's the video portion of DVDFILE's Willow review in it's entirety-
    "Presented in a brand-new, THX-certified 2.35;1 anamorphic widescreen transfer, Willow looks mighty good. Unfortunately, I've never been a huge fan of the film's visual look, which I find to be rather murky and dark and lacking in vibrant colors. While this new transfer is a noticeable improvement over the previous laserdisc and VHS releases, it retains the film's rustic, dank look, so may not be as eye-popping to those used to today's more clean visual styles.
    That said, just about every aspect of this transfer is mighty nice. The print is near-pristine, with little in the way of blemishes or defects to distract, and even grain is surprisingly minimal. A few of the effects shots involving mattes and composites are a bit dirtier, but the cleanup job on this transfer is really most impressive. Colors are again very subdued, though the occasional splashes of rich amber hues, midnight blues and deep reds can be striking. Colors are clean and never bleed or smear, and blacks are spot on. Contrast is also very good even in darker interiors, with strong shadow delineation except for a few slightly muddy and soft shots. And unlike the recent Phantom Menace transfer, edge enhancement is thankfully minimal at best, and I noticed little in the way of compression artifacts. A very nice presentation."
    Where in these two paragraphs does it say that he didn't like the transfer of Willow? He actually seems very happy with it while pointing out that he thinks the look of the film is well represented.
    Reviews are something that DVDFILE has always taken very seriously, and although there have been a few misses over the years, the site's overly critical eye has been intentional. We didn't care to be reviewers who simply extolled the virtues of every disc without careful scrutiny. That doesn't really help anyone. If a problem is sighted in a disc that most people won't even notice, great, it's better than expected. But rather that than have someone buy a disc only to be disappointed by items the reviewer thought too insignificant to detail.
    The biggest problem with DVD reviews right now is that there are just too many of them. Once every Randy, Oliver and Nathan decides to call himself a reviewer, it weakens what others do and creates an improper balance of experience vs. enthusiasm. Just because someone calls his or her self a reviewer doesn't make it so. It has taken individuals and sites years to build credibility only to have it mocked when someone else "decides" they're a reviewer now. Obi is a wonderful example of this. He and I might disagree occasionally, but I have a hell of a lot of respect for him and he's EARNED it. Todd's another example of someone that I deeply respect and feel that in this case, it's just a differing opinion.
    Regarding the rumored Escape From New York alterations, Peter was quick to try and get answers about the rapidly circulating issue and posted this info on the 17th of October:
    "Yesterday, we reported on an alleged news item quickly spreading around the Internet regarding possible digital alterations to the upcoming DVD special edition of John Carpenter's Escape From New York, due sometime next year, MGM has responded to the story and stated that it is not true. Reportedly director John Carpenter was quoted as telling Fangoria magazine that the DVD would be reedited following last month's terrorist attacks on 9-11. But according to an MGM spokesperson, "We have no plans nor did we ever have any plans" to alter or change Escape From New York in any form. Neither John carpenter's office nor Fangoria magazine confirmed this alleged story, so we can chalk this one up to just another Internet rumor."
    Furthermore, if you think that Escape From New York never had plans (or at least discussion) regarding alterations (as MGM claims), you'd be deluded. ALL of the studios went into sensitivity overdrive after September 11 with everyone evaluating their properties in the wake of the attack. I find it impossible to believe that DreamWorks hasn't decided to alter their cover artwork for Antz to remove the Twin Towers or that Columbia/TriStar will include the shot of the towers in their scene selection menus for The Muppets Take Manhattan once each of those discs goes to a repress. There may not have been plans to alter Escape From New York, but you can bet your ass there was talk of it. Point being, it was a rumor that Peter quickly got an answer to and taking repeated issue with it without reading the entire story doesn't make much sense, but it's probably easier.
    Cliff
     
  15. LukeB

    LukeB Screenwriter

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    What about the Wonka press release is a hoax, we called and talked to the VP and he knows nothing about it?
     
  16. Matt Butler

    Matt Butler Screenwriter

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    Ive always thought DVDfile was the best and remains the best. Ive met Peter Bracke a few times now and talked with him quite a while and find him and his site to be very respectable.
    I dont care who you are but we all make mistakes. Yeah he got a hold of the EFNY rumor and reported it but he did the right thing and dug further and found out the truth. So he jumped the gun and scared the crap out of us. Doesnt this happen to us all? Doesnt it happen on TV everyday?
    As far as reviews go:
    Dont read one review and base your opinion off that. Thats not enough to base ones solid opinion on. What if you bought a disc after reading a good review; and you thought it looked like shit and find tons of reviews that agree with you? How many love/hate threads regarding SW EP1 were there?
    If you dont mind my saying leave dvdfile alone. Theyre doing just fine.
     
  17. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Cliff,
    First of all, my apologies. I wasn't the only
    person to totally misunderstand the review posted
    on DVD file.
    This was posted under my WILLOW review....
    quote:
    DVDFILE were just a little less enthusiastic
    regarding the video and sound
    [/quote]
    This was the reason why I posted what I did.
    Second,
    I totally disagree with you about the onslaught
    of new reviewers on the net. Just because there
    were people doing it first and longer than others
    doesn't make them more credible or professional.
    I'm not too fond of the fact you are blatantly
    putting down reviewers -- including (if I am
    to read between the lines) -- myself.
    Finally,
    I agree that Peter Bracke and DVD FILE are class
    operations. I check that site daily for information.
    ------------------
    [​IMG]
    Ronald Epstein (pronounced like the English "Ronald Epstein")
    Circa 2000
    Home Theater Forum Administrator
    All forum questions & to get on our private forum mailing list (new members)... Email: hometheaterforum@home.com
    Problems with the webpage or site? Contact WEBMASTER
    Email Packy packy@hometheaterforum.com
     
  18. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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  19. Steve Tannehill

    Steve Tannehill Ambassador

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  20. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    I think finding a good reviewer is like finding a good restaurant. Everyone's got their likes and dislikes, and I try to find reviewers with likes that are similar to mine.
     

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