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Blu-ray Review HTF Blu-ray Review: Halloween (1978)

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Michael Osadciw, Sep 23, 2007.

  1. Michael Osadciw

    Michael Osadciw Well-Known Member

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    Blu-ray Disc REVIEW



    [​IMG]
     
  2. RobertR

    RobertR Well-Known Member

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    If you read this thread you'll know that's not the case.
     
  3. Michael Osadciw

    Michael Osadciw Well-Known Member

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    OK...so before I get beat up to hell over this statement I WILL stand behind it. My reasoning is that the colour timing of this release is very close to the old discs - and compared to today's standard on DVD - those discs look like hell - full of compression artefacts, dirt, grain, and overpumped with red/orange and blue. This Blu-ray edition has the warmth of the old DVD, but it's not overdone. It has the night blue of the old DVD, but it's more subtle and not as white as the 2003 Divimax.

    This is a spectacular Blu-ray disc of this movie. Now the pickiest people can cry all they want about this technicality and abandon the BD while the rest of us enjoy Halloween in high def without thinking twice. The question I put to you is: how do you know that the so-called Cundey version released years back wasn't botched and kept "hush hush?" Do you really know his true intentions?

    I prefer the look of this disc. It seems middle ground and much more enjoyable, and for all you know it could be the way as intended. Some discs are released and should be avoided because they are messed up and should have never passed QC. But this isn't one of them. I think you'd be foolish to cry foul on Starz and abandon this release. You aren't doing yourself any favours.

    Mike
     
  4. CRyan

    CRyan Well-Known Member

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    Well, I am EXCITED! Thanks for the review!
     
  5. Michael Elliott

    Michael Elliott Well-Known Member

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    My friend got a review copy of this so I checked out a few scenes at his house and I think it looks great but it's worse than P&S due to the color issues. Having seen the film from a real 35mm print, this color issue might not bother some but it's certainly not the way the film was meant to look. This color issue is a lot worse and kills the atmosphere and mood of the film IMO.

    There have been countless interviews with Carpenter in countless magazines over the past thirty years and the color of this film is something that gets talked about quite often because, as many think, the color helps add to the film. Every comment he has made on the matter makes it clear that it should look like the mid-West in the fall and not CA in the summer. These scenes didn't bother me too much but the ending IMO is ruined by this lighter color. The scene with Laurie trying to break the glass to exit the house is way too light/bright and even Myers' white mask against the dark backdrop doesn't look right.

    I don't think it's as bad as the second SD release but I have to wonder why they did such a half and half job on it compared to those two SD releases. AB's quality has been slipping the past three or four years so it's really no shock this disc has been released, IMO, with mistakes.
     
  6. TravisR

    TravisR Well-Known Member

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    Botched? So he gave the thumbs on the transfer (without any of the blues) and after that apporval, someone at AB just decided that his view on the look of the movie was wrong and added blue without his consent? That seems pretty unlikely.

    As Michael said, the color has been talked about by Carpenter and Cundey over the years and the Cundey approved release is the one that matches what they've talked about for three decades. I'm not militant enough to boycott the release (from all the reviews, there's certainly good things about it) but that doesn't make the color correct either.
     
  7. Jim_K

    Jim_K Well-Known Member

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    I'm sorry but I stopped reading at that point. How do you expect anyone to take you seriously when you say the color timing issue is worse than pan & scan?
     
  8. Michael Osadciw

    Michael Osadciw Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Jim for the support. This release is just fine - it's a nice half way point. Think about it - Cundey supervised and colour timed old uncleaned print at a digital workstation.

    For 2003 Anchor Bay probably went right back to some other print and cleaned it up to death (as it has obviously been done) much better than whatever Cundy worked with, because that transfer in my opinion looks like shit and I don't care if the colours are "more correct." Any work Cundey did on a DI off the old print is non-applicable now to this new cleaned-up job for the 25th Anniversay release. They'd have to get Cundey in to do it all over again. So now, with this HD transfer of that cleaned up print, it appears some alteration has been done as a half way point. Heck, for all we know that original Cundey job could have been done in standard def and would never get a chance to be on HD (and given the amount of line twitter, that's highly likely - and it's not like Anchor Bay was rolling in dough to do HD transfers for everything - wasn't that the point of their Divimax in later years? To transfer the DVD from an HD source?)

    ...and regarding how it is "pretty unlikely" that the old Cundey transfer could have been botched - you are right, it's probably unlikely, but never say never - for all we know Cundey could have played with it to his vision and then after he went home from the job someone could have screwed it up as it went to DVD. When it comes down to it, we just don't know anything!
     
  9. Dave Mack

    Dave Mack Well-Known Member

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    Ok, tripod. Canon camera in FULL manual mode. Same exposure setting, same time, same iris, EVERYTHING identical, raw, untweaked pics.


    [​IMG]
    Cundey THX transfer....



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    Blu ray version.....



    another....



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    Cundey THX version....



    [​IMG]
    BD version


    another....



    [​IMG]
    Cundey THX version



    [​IMG]
    BD version


    another...



    [​IMG]
    Cundey THX version



    [​IMG]
    BD version


    one more


    [​IMG]
    Dean Cundey THX dvd



    [​IMG]
    Blu Ray




    Same input on PJ using HDMI splitter. camera in manual mode with identical settings for both.

    It's not me, boys.... And at least in these night shots, seems like the DVDtalk guy doesn't know what he's DVDtalking about!


    Gonna load up more in a sec. The daytime scenes were definitely tweaked. Much closer to the Cundey but still not exact. Kind of in the middle.

    give me a sec...



    The, "Hey jerk! Speed KILLS!" scene....


    [​IMG]
    Dean Cundey THX



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    BD version (NICE additional detail!)



    and last but not least, the divimax DVD



    [​IMG]


    So it looks like the new BD is somewhere in between the GREEN of the divimax and the more fall-like Cundey at least in the day scenes.
    But the night ones, especially the scene in question above, to me look like the divimax. Now, the divimax was NOT totally devoid of blues. In many scenes at nite like when the shape is watching Annie through the kitchen window, the blues outside are identical to the cundey transfer. It's just some scenes in question.
     
  10. Michael Elliott

    Michael Elliott Well-Known Member

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    I don't put one evil over another one but this color issue is just as bad as colorization to me. If people are going to worry about info being missing on a 1.85 or 2.35 then they should be just as worried that the entire color is drained from a film that gains a lot of its power from the beautiful use of color. A big deal has been made about Warner and their color issues with THE SEARCHERS, WIZARD OF OZ and various others and this here is in the same boat.

    However, we all know this isn't going to be the last release for this title so perhaps they'll get it right the next time.
     
  11. Vincent_P

    Vincent_P Well-Known Member

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    Robert Harris was able to work from existing HD master tapes with improper color timing on both SPARTACUS and LAWRENCE OF ARABIA and do tape-to-tape color corrections on them so they had the correct color timing on their respective DVD releases (the Criterion release of SPARTACUS, and the SuperBit version of LAWRENCE). Cundy need not have been personally involved with this BD version of HALLOWEEN directly at all- all Anchor Bay/Starz had to do was make a tape-to-tape color-correction pass in HD using the admittedly superior (in terms of detail, image clean-up, etc.) "DiviMax" master, but re-timing the colors to match the 1999 Cundy approved standard definition version from 1999. Then we'd have the best of both worlds- the cleaned-up and detailed DiviMax transfer in full HD glory but with the same color values that Cundy approved and personally supervised back in 1999.

    Vincent
     
  12. Michael Osadciw

    Michael Osadciw Well-Known Member

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    Vince...yes, but, that still wouldn't be Cundey's hands doing the tweaking! It's some other guy/girl trying to match it and s/he might by off by two shades of red/blue! Isn't this what everyone is griping about??!!

    I'm done now. I'll enjoy my high def release of Halloween too. [​IMG]

    Mike
     
  13. Dave Mack

    Dave Mack Well-Known Member

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    I do agree that the transfer is indeed stunning and the daytime scenes all seem pretty close to the Cundey release. It's just CERTAIN night scenes in question. But knowing AB, now Starz, there will be a double dip SOMEWHERE down the line.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Vincent_P

    Vincent_P Well-Known Member

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    Oh, you're really stretching it, Michael.

    The point is, and always has been, that the 1999 THX DVD transfer was personally supervised by Dean Cundy and he took a hands-on role in the color timing. If Dean was busy and not able to actually supervise the color timing of the BD release, then the 1999 master could have- and should have- been used as a reference for what his intended color timings were. People are not "griping" that he wasn't personally at the controls, they're griping that the folks who were at the controls ignored his intentions.

    I'm sure the BD looks detailed and stunning, but it clearly doesn't look the way Dean Cundy intended it to look. And not for nothing, but your dismissive comments re: the original mono sound mix in your review speak volumes for where you're coming from.

    Vincent
     
  15. Dave Mack

    Dave Mack Well-Known Member

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    The newer remixes also had really synthesized, cheesy sounding, (like keyboard sound FX level quality that would be embarassing for a one dollar Target sound FX cd) additional lightning sound FX put in during the drive to the clinic scene. Stands WAY out from the original old school sound FX from the original track.
     
  16. Michael Osadciw

    Michael Osadciw Well-Known Member

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    Nice cheap shot, Vince...but I totally don't feel insulted.

    Why are you even here in this forum that embraces new technologies if you are just going to crap on the thread, and on me for that matter? Go and watch an old mono pan & scan VHS tape of the film and you'll be much happier.
     
  17. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Gents,

    Let's remain objective and polite to each other, please.
     
  18. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Yes, let's remain calm here.

    As far as the BRD, I'm buying it despite some misgivings about color timing.





    Crawdaddy
     
  19. Jim_K

    Jim_K Well-Known Member

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    My pleasure Michael. I don't know that the 99' version was screwed up but it wouldn't surprise me if Cundey did some revisionism by jacking up the color timing. The only real experts on this film are Carpenter and Cundey and who's to say they'd fess up to any tinkering anyway.

    As for the dubious claims I've read around the net from moviegoers who remember the level of blue tint way back in 1978.............well I just don't put much stock in someones 30 year old memories. Not to say they're outright lying but peoples memories (especially this old) tend to be the most unreliable sourse of evidence there is.
     
  20. Dave Mack

    Dave Mack Well-Known Member

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    True. Remember when so many people clearly "remembered" seeing Star Wars "episode IV A NEW HOPE" back in 1977 and swore that that was ALWAYS there in the title...?
     

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