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FALL ROMAN EMPIRE / EL CID BLU-RAY

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Ernest, May 27, 2012.

  1. Ernest

    Ernest Well-Known Member

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    Fall of the Roman Empire and EL Cid are available in Blu-Ray from Amazon U.K.
    Video: 1080P/24
    Region Code: "B"
    Audio: DTS HD MA 5.1
    Both Blu-Rays are a big improvement over the DVD's versions available in Region 1. The Blu-Rays reveal very deep blacks, vibrant colors and much more detail than shown in the DVD versions. The audio is very good more of a complete surround sound than contained on the DVD. Both titles are well worth the upgrade to Blu-Ray.
    Remember is you are interested in these two titles as well as Alexander the Great and 1492 Conquest of Paradise on Blu-Ray you will need a player that allows you to manually change the Region Code from "A, B or C".
    I will review 1492 when I receive the Blu-Ray from France later this week.
     
  2. Robin9

    Robin9 Well-Known Member

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    Well, I'm glad you liked them. I was disappointed. I agree they are better than the DVDs but that's not enough for me as the DVDs weren't anything special.
    I hope that someone somewhere eventually releases the Bronston titles on Blu-ray in the same quality as the King Of Kings BRD. (Now that's a real Blu-ray disc!)
     
  3. John Hermes

    John Hermes Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I thought the picture was soft on each.
     
  4. ricktech12

    ricktech12 Well-Known Member

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    1492 is actually region free but apparently some kind of hertz issue with Blu-ray players that are "NTSC" only won't play it, your Blu-ray player needs to be able to play PAL and NTSC discs. It works on LG, Panasonic model Blu-ray players that have NTSC, PAL playback. Apparently there is a German Blu-ray being released in September for the film that might play in any Blu-ray player if it's region free.
     
  5. David_B_K

    David_B_K Advanced Member

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    I have the UK Blu-rays both El Cid and Fall of the Roman Empire. Rather than say they were a "big improvement", I think I'd say they were a "modest improvement" over the DVDs. I'd have to check, but I do not remember the sound on the El Cid Blu-ray to have any more "surround" than did the DVD. Obviously, these Blu-rays are from the same masters as the DVDs. The modest improvement is simply due to higher resolution and bitrate of discs derived from those masters. Because I enjoy both films, I sprang for the modest improvement the Blu-rays offered and do not regret it.
     
  6. Ernest

    Ernest Well-Known Member

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    I agree with everyone's comments these titles are an improvement from their counterpart DVD's but far from reference Blu-Ray. We all must realize there is a very small market for catalog titles and the studios will release them at their least expense. Many of these titles, El Cid, FotRA, 1492, Alexander the Great are not available in Region A Blu-Ray and probably never will be. The Europeans like period pieces as shown by how well Alexander and Troy did there compared to the USA. The US market likes romantic comedies which do so so business in Europe.
    I have not yet received 1492 but the video is in 1080i/50 so I suspect it will be like the others better than the DVD but not up to Blu-Ray standards. That is okay I will be happy with that small improvement. All of my Blu-Ray players are region-free and include a 128mb converter for PAL to NTSC with no speedup.
     
  7. rsmithjr

    rsmithjr Well-Known Member

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    King of Kings was owned by Metro, hence Warners now handles the title and it gets their excellent treatment.
    The other films were in a limbo. I understood that they found 70mm negatives of the other Bronston films at the Rank labs in England, hence we still have these films in their original road show versions, but I suspect that the path for the films has not been as easy as King of Kings has enjoyed.
    The only one of the Bronston films that has significant economic value is El Cid, although all of them have their merits. I especially like Fall of the Roman Empire, which in many ways is better than Gladiator, which told the same story and won Oscars in the process. [The producers of Gladiator even bought the remake rights!]
    I was not pleased by the "Miriam Collection" DVD and have been reluctant to buy a region-free Blu-ray player for the UK region B versions.
     
  8. ricktech12

    ricktech12 Well-Known Member

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    1492 has a shot at a USA release, it is about the discovery of America and Ridley Scott directed it. The problem is both Columbus films tanked in 1992 and the studios probably have no confidence in releasing either film on DVD or Blu-ray they probably envision poor sales. So I think 1492 got lumped into being a bad film, box office failure but it is actually a very well done vision by Scott, wether you believe his vision or not the film is gorgeous and deserves a USA release at some point in the future but Paramount won't license it out for some reason (if they indeed have the rights for the USA market). There has been talk of Scott doing a 4 hour Directors cut but he is always so busy and that was muttered several years ago so it probably won't ever happen. Also talk of a rights issue in the USA with the international co-production but for all we know it's just Paramount sitting on this catalogue title.
    Interested in your review for the France blu.
     
  9. OliverK

    OliverK Well-Known Member

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    Circus World has been released in France and looks pretty good, so it can be done.
    The other two are among the worst large format releases out there on Blu-Ray they look very similar to Spartacus on Blu.
    That is why I always cringe when somebody recommends them - yes they are better than the DVD, but this is about the only good thing that can be said about their picture quality.
     
  10. Richard V

    Richard V Well-Known Member

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    I recently saw an HD transfer on MGM HD, or SONY HD movie channel (or one of the other satellite HD channels) of 55 Days at Peking and it was a MAJOR improvement over every other DVD release that I've ever seen, so I'm thinking that a bluray release for this movie is possible, even if not economically feasible.
     
  11. JoeDoakes

    JoeDoakes Premium
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    Was 55 Days at Peking ever released on DVD in anything other than a Korean version?
     
  12. Richard V

    Richard V Well-Known Member

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    There are Spanish and French versions I think. I believe mine is a Dutch version, which is still very good, but the Satellite HD channel version was excellent.
     
  13. Ernest

    Ernest Well-Known Member

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    The site listed the video as 1080i/50, the international interlaced standard, and the region as "B". My players play all regions as well as 1080i/50. When I receive the French version of 1492 I will confirm the region.
     
  14. Douglas R

    Douglas R Well-Known Member

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    Where did you hear that 70mm negatives were found at Rank? The UK and the other European Blu-rays of EL CID and FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE obviously derive from the Miriam Collection mastering and I'm sure those were not from 70mm negatives.
     
  15. OliverK

    OliverK Well-Known Member

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    Can you please tell us where you saw it?
    I only know that TCM aired it a few times but all of the TCM programming is apparently upconverted SD.
     
  16. OliverK

    OliverK Well-Known Member

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    They were from low contrast 35mm elements that probably were scanned to HD resolution and heavily denoised/degrained - quick and cheap.
    To my knowledge all 4 Bronston movies that were once with Rank should be in good shape but so far the only one of those that has received a quality transfer is Circus World.
     
  17. Billy Batson

    Billy Batson Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I wonder if the original negs are still around somewhere? About 14 years ago I was doing some tests on El Cid, they'd found the b/w seperation dupes (35mm anamorphic), probably made for insurance purposes, There was Fall & Circus World there as well. What we did was real heath robinson, each strip onto a digibeta, & then combined them through a mixer, didn't look too bad considering (but not good!). If they were given the Warner Ultra-Resolution treatment, then they might pass muster.
     
  18. FoxyMulder

    FoxyMulder 映画ファン

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    The Warner ultra resolution process is for 3 strip technicolor and aligning the three color elements for a sharper more detailed image, it wouldn't be used for 70mm productions like these, not even for the 35mm elements that they only seem to have.
     
  19. Billy Batson

    Billy Batson Well-Known Member

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    Oh I think they would, it's a system for an exact line up of three elements (which may have shrunk & warped over the years), 3 strip Technicolor & I'd think it would work just as well with b/w seperation masters. I understand that the original negs of The Searchers were too faded to use, I'm wondering if they used the b/w seps for that.
     
  20. Richard V

    Richard V Well-Known Member

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    I believe it was MGM HD channel on Direct TV. Don't remember for sure, I remember it was the "roadshow" version with opening, entre act, and closings intact. Perhaps it was TCM, and I am mistaken about the HD transfer, but it looked spectacular compared to the heavily edited, washed out prints I have seen in the past.
     

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