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Just because some classics are on dvd in Region 2 doesn't make them good quality!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Robert Crawford, Aug 18, 2001.

  1. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Well, since I received my new Malata dvd player, I got in the mood to buy some more Region 2 dvds. I chose some film classics such as the original King Kong, Fort Apache, She Wore A Yellow Ribbon, and The African Queen. Well, my super vhs copies off my satellite looks better than both Fort Apache and She Wore A Yellow Ribbon dvds. Also, the special feature on King Kong with footage from the film in the feature looks much better than the actual dvd presentation of the film. Now, The African Queen wasn't that bad but it too needs some major restoration as do the other three films. It was strange seeing RKO releases being a Universal release but that's overseas film ownership for you. I've read that King Kong has been restored by Warner so hopefully, in 2002 they will release a Region 1 dvd. However, both John Wayne films are in bad shape with lack of detail, film grain, scratches, and in the case of Yellow Ribbon the technicolor is badly faded.
    So I guess what I'm saying is that even though some classics are on dvd in other regions, they are not good dvd presentations and are in serious need of restoration so in which case it might be best to not buy them and just wait for Region 1 releases.
    Crawdaddy
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  2. Dan Brecher

    Dan Brecher Well-Known Member

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  3. Roger Mathus

    Roger Mathus Well-Known Member

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    Robert, are you referring to R2 as in Europe or the R2 Japan releases? There are a lor of classics in Japan, but many are of poor quality. I have learned, however, what labels to trust. One of the biggest problems I have encountered is high contrast in the old B&W titles that masks far too much detail. I don't think that any of the classics are receiving any restoration in Japan.
     
  4. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Roger,
    I was referring to European versions, which are also not restored.
    Crawdaddy
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  5. Roland Wandinger

    Roland Wandinger Well-Known Member

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  6. Gunnar Syren

    Gunnar Syren Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure why you have to drag regions into it. I would say "Just because something is available doesn't make it good quality". That goes for any region.
    Check reviews before you decide if it's worth buying or not.
    Some R2 releases are better than their R1 equivalents. Some titles that are available in R2 but not in R1 are excellent (Hong Kong Legend releases come to mind).
     
  7. Dave B Ferris

    Dave B Ferris Well-Known Member

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    Crawdaddy, I have always enjoyed reading your posts on classic films. I also own a R2 copy of 'She Wore A Yellow Ribbon'. Mine was manufactured in France (I ordered it from Amazon's French Web site), and I was pretty pleased with the quality, with the lone exception of a sequence where a red thread was visible on the print.
    If, after your experience, you are still willing to try another R2 classic, I suggest 'Out of the Past' or 'The Narrow Margin', which I also ordered from Amazon's French web site. Again, I was pleased with the quality of 'Out of the Past' -- I thought it was better than the domestic LD. (BTW, the best way to search for 'Out of the Past' at Amazon's site is by using the name 'Mitchum', because to find the film by the title, you would need to know the exact French translation.)
     
  8. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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  9. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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  10. Dan Brecher

    Dan Brecher Well-Known Member

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    quote: This comparison is in my eyes worthless since T5E is released by a indy in Europe![/quote]
    I didn't highlight the article to specificaly target that Fifth Element comparison. I linked to it for the excellent information found within the first few paragraphs regarding how a number of R2 transfers are often done, though since you mention it, independent labels releasing DVDs is again, often cause for concern in regard to the quality of materials used to make the transfer along with the attention given to making the transfer.
    Dan (UK)
    [Edited last by Dan Brecher on August 22, 2001 at 05:47 AM]
     
  11. Ted Todorov

    Ted Todorov Well-Known Member

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    When you start on your other region adventure, also keep in mind that there can be multiple releases of vastly differing quality within the same region.
    The canonical example is Citizen Kane. Bad DVD in R2 U.K. (lousy film elements), excellent DVD in R2 France (first rate, restored film elements and good extras). There are many other considerations ranging from forced (French, German, etc.)subtitles on English language films, to lack of English subtitles on non - UK DVDs of foreign language films.
    The informed consumer however, can find that R2 (and other regions of course) are full of treasures.
    Ted
     
  12. Gunnar Syren

    Gunnar Syren Well-Known Member

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  13. Roland Wandinger

    Roland Wandinger Well-Known Member

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  14. Dan Brecher

    Dan Brecher Well-Known Member

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    I think the article sets out to destroy that myth, yes, Roland. I know a lot of R2 lovers who just insist that, because its PAL, its always going to be better.
    Dan (UK)
     
  15. Roland Wandinger

    Roland Wandinger Well-Known Member

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  16. ChristopherM

    ChristopherM Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the warning, Roland, I was thinking of picking up that French DVD of "Cat People". Guess I'll wait for another edition now.
    So, I wonder if distributors of shoddy products realise the damage that they do to their future sales?
    Some time ago, here on HTF, a US studio rep said that "Citizen Kane" was not in a fit state to be released and would have to be restored. About a week later the UK edition appeared in the shops. Needless to say I didn't buy it, and I made a mental note to treat future releases by that UK distributor with a degree of caution.
    Similarly, some of the early UK R2 releases by Entertainment in Video (EiV) were absolte travesties compared to their R1 New Line counterparts. I even got refunds on "Last Man Standing" and "The Long Kiss Goodnight" because the transfers were so bad. (For the record, the US transfer of "The Long Kiss Goodnight" is also better than the Canadian one.) Although I've read that EiV has improved, I still import New Line editions rather than risk buying EiV again.
    Finding the best version can be a real pain, though. I bought both the French and Dutch editions of the movie "Nirvana" before I discovered the definitive Italian edition (and in DTS, no less).
     
  17. Gunnar Syren

    Gunnar Syren Well-Known Member

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    Just thought I'd mention that DVD_Basen indexes DVD reviews in regions 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.
    So you can always check there and see if there is one or more links to reviews for the DVD you're interested in.
    They did have a link to a Franch review of La Feline (The Cat People). I speak almost no French at all, but even so I could tell that they had given it 5 out of 10 for both picture and sound, and that would have been enough for me to have second thoughts about buying it.
    Still, you have to be careful with reviews, too. I checked the two British reviews for the R2 Citizen Kane. One said that it looked good, the other said that it looked bad. So take everything with a grain of salt...
    /Gunnar
    PS There seems to be some dispute over the domain name dvd-basen, so if you can't access it, try later. It's been on and off for me...
     
  18. DonaldB

    DonaldB Well-Known Member

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    I'd like to second Gunnar's recommendation of DVD-Basen. It's an indispensable site that I seem to consult daily.
     
  19. Roger Mathus

    Roger Mathus Well-Known Member

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    Found "Boy With Green Hair" in Japan Region 2. Avoid this one. I bought it and doubt that I can watch it. Bad print, high contrast, poor color.
     
  20. Roland Wandinger

    Roland Wandinger Well-Known Member

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