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PILLOW TALK - Way to go, Universal!

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Chuck Pennington, May 1, 2012.

  1. Chuck Pennington

    Chuck Pennington Well-Known Member

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    I first saw PILLOW TALK cropped and scanned on AMC back in 1992 when I was in 7th grade. I loved it. I went on to get the widescreen Laserdisc, which was a revelation at the time. I've had at least 3 different DVD releases, each (save for the cropped and misframed one) an improvement over the last.
    And now the Blu-ray. I paid $29.99 for it at Best Buy today, more than I've paid for a Blu-ray outside of Twilight Time titles. I was curious about just what kind of work had been done on it as it has a lot of opticals and split-frame scenes that have always appeared terribly dirty and grimy.
    If every Blu-ray release of a vintage film got the kind of attention that PILLOW TALK received, then there would be cause for celebration. PILLOW TALK on Blu-ray is incredibly colorful and far sharper than I ever thought it would be, even the Doris Day close-up filtered shots. Contrast is strong but whites never bloom, and there is a stability to the image that one could easily take for granted if one had never seen the film before on any of its previous video releases.
    The optical shots have been degrained and cleaned to a degree, and it is a welcome change. Sometimes the switch to a shot where and optical is going to appear is close to seamless, and even when it isn't, those transitions are wonderfully smooth. The entire film has a light dusting of grain, be it natural or not, but it isn't in the least bit distracting.
    The sound is remarkably clean and strong as well, be it mono or not. Voices are crisp and clear, and there are sound effects and other subtle sounds that have never sounded so clear to me. No muffling or noise on this track at all.
    I don't think much of the bonus featurette and commentary track carted over from a prior DVD release, and the trailer is still the mucky standard definition one that we have seen before.
    I don't really like these book-style releases, as they show up ever fingerprint the moment they are opened. And with all the touting of "digital copy" as a bonus feature, is that "digital copy" ever in HD? Not in my experience, though I can't understand why.
    Anyway, I just wanted to let you guys know that I thought PILLOW TALK was the real deal on Blu-ray. I can't wait to show it to my boyfriend this weekend - he's never seen or heard of it.
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  2. JoHud

    JoHud Well-Known Member

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    Sounds great! The only qualm I have had from a 2012 Universal release were the "cleaned up" opticals in To Kill A Mockingbird. Those were more of a distraction than an improvement. I hope the opticals shots in this film are handled with more care.
     
  3. Mark-P

    Mark-P Well-Known Member

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    I'm dying to get this, but I'm waiting for a better price. Perhaps they'll do a disc-only release later on.
     
  4. moviepas

    moviepas Well-Known Member

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    My copy of Pillow Talk in Blu was shipped from USA this week but I have seen footage on some Universal featurettes on a disc I got a couple of days ago in the post.

    I guess they will do Lover Come Back which I sort of liked better as a film, all the more because I had won tickets on the radio for the family when the film was new and I was still a kid. We went to what we called an Intermediate session then being late afternoon in this ornate late 1920s movie-house downtown that was made later into a twin. It had a ceiling that was of a star-studded night scene and there were statues all over the place. The twin console Wurlitzer Pipe organ was probably still there but is now about 11 miles away in a hall near my home but never heard it there. The film was rather bright and happy considering the dismal weather outside that night and we came into the city via a train service. Never get a car space in a fit then as now.

    With this film was a Universal short subject that must have been a 2-reeler as a travelogue made in Tokyo. The showed the people getting kicked into the overcrowded peak time trains, some sumo wrestler stripping off on the way home and doing his thing on a vacant block and scenes in a night club. A patron of the nightclub was obviously American in what we call a suit coat and on the pocket he had a Warner Bros emblem. Never heard of or seen this film since. Any clues???

    By the way, the featurettes I watched last night on the Blu Ray Buck Privates(1941) list many titles they say are coming restored on Blu Ray/DVD soon. The titles were too quick to note fully and I was by this time too tired to pause and note them down.
     
  5. Chuck Pennington

    Chuck Pennington Well-Known Member

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    The restoration featurette included with PILLOW TALK actually addresses that issue pretty well.
     
  6. Will Krupp

    Will Krupp Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the great link Chuck! Mmmmmmm but PILLOW TALK looks good enough to eat with a spoon! Thanks for the great caps as well. You've just moved it into my "gotta have it" pile (damn you!)

    Watching that featurette though, I admit to having concerns. Obviously, I'm all for restoration but some of what they're doing is bordering on downright revisionism. Stabilizing the natural camera weave of Meryl Streep and Robert Redford walking in Out of Africa? Yikes, it looks as though someone is more concerned with showing off their fancy new software than anything else. I applaud their overall efforts but sometimes people can get "overzealous" in fixing problems that aren't really problems (I fee the same way about "fixing" the increased grain in the optical zooms in MOCKINGBIRD) to begin with but, oh well. You take the good, you take the bad.....

    Thanks again Chuck (my wallet is angry with you though)
     
  7. Mark-P

    Mark-P Well-Known Member

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    I agree with you, Will. The camera weave in Out of Africa was part of the original presentation even if it may have been a failure of the cameraman to hold the shot steady, and the optical zooming on To Kill a Mockingbird would always have enlarged the grain, so yeah that's revisionism. Even with the flicker in some of the old movies that was due to faulty shutters, they are fixing something that was always part of the original presentation. I guess it's a fine line because it's all stuff that the original filmmakers would have fixed if they had had the ability to do so, but still...
    But using digital tools to eliminate scratches, tears, dirt, hiss and bring back color is all terrific!
     
  8. haineshisway

    haineshisway Well-Known Member

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    Those opticals are very different than the Pillow Talk opticals - the To Kill a Mockingbird are BLOW UPS/opticals and no they shouldn't have really done anything to them because they were never going to look good no matter what and leaving them be would have been the best approach.
    Pillow Talk's opticals are opticals not blow ups and making them more of a piece with what's before and after them seems fine - they would have done it back then had they been able - and although I don't judge anything from screen caps, the opticals above look very sharp and so whatever they've done has not lost the detail.
     
  9. JoHud

    JoHud Well-Known Member

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    Oh, gotcha. Having not seen the film, I assumed optical shots referred to in the title post were blow-up opticals. Thank you for the clarification. I happily rescind my previous reservation.
     
  10. haineshisway

    haineshisway Well-Known Member

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    I'm hoping to have it tomorrow and I'll report back. Very excited.
     
  11. JohnMor

    JohnMor Premium
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    Just finished watching. Wonderful blu ray, visually and aurally. The extras are what they are, but Universal did a GREAT job on the feature. Can't wait for the Uni Monster sets later this year.
     
  12. Billy Batson

    Billy Batson Well-Known Member

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    Great movie, TV used to have a lot of fun with the split-screen when they panned & scanned it!
     
  13. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Well-Known Member
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    I'm looking forward to it, too, when I can find it for a better price. It was always my favorite of Doris' sex comedies not only for the bright writing but also due to the legendary Thelma Ritter. Even though many like Lover Come Back more (and it was the bigger hit at the box-office), Pillow Talk remains my favorite. It was also the first movie I ever saw at a drive-in.
     
  14. Charles Smith

    Charles Smith Extremely Talented Member
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    Yes, one of many such films I was taken to drive-ins for with the family. A quintessential example. Really looking forward to it.
     
  15. moovtune

    moovtune Well-Known Member

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    I hesitate in spending $30.00 for a Blu-Ray title also and would never spend that for a recently made film - especially if I'm paying for a DVD copy and a digital copy as well, that I'll never use and don't want. But at the same time, in a title like this we want the studio to spend the time and expense to restore these classics back to their original glory - but don't want to pay any extra to help them pay for it?
     
  16. JohnMor

    JohnMor Premium
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    According to the flyer in my Pillow Talk set, all these digi-books, blu-ray & dvd combos are for a limited time only, which I wasn't aware of. So I'm sure there will be single disc blus of the titles before too long.
     

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