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Universal's Spartacus

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Brent Avery, Oct 23, 2006.

  1. Brent Avery

    Brent Avery Supporting Actor

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    So far no one out this way seems to be getting any copies on release day. I tried finding out if Best Buy, Target or Circuit City in Bellingham, Washington will receive any copies and it doesn't look good. guess I may have to use Amazon. Basically, anyone have a chance to check it out yet?
     
  2. AaronSCH

    AaronSCH Second Unit

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    Well, according to Amazon, 12 Monkeys, Spartacus and The Thing shipped on-time today so you can probably expect them to hit retail as scheduled this week. By the way, this is the best ship date so far for my pre-ordering. I think Amazon may have a better handle on demand now.... It is a no-brainer with free shipping and their 10% discount...each of these HD DVDs come in just under $18.00
     
  3. David Coleman

    David Coleman Supporting Actor

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    This is probably my most anticipated review. I count SPARTACUS as one of my top 3 films.
     
  4. DeeF

    DeeF Screenwriter

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    I picked it up this morning, at Best Buy in New York.
     
  5. Michael Boyd

    Michael Boyd Second Unit

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    Looking forward to a Robert Harris review on this one of course. Thought I saw someone on AVS who wasn't too happy with the transfer. My copy is in the mail anyway, but always curious to hear more opinions - especially a Robert Harris opinion.
     
  6. Brent Avery

    Brent Avery Supporting Actor

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    Yes, that AVS reviewer thought it was the least appealing of all the older films on HD, describing it as soft, and flat looking. However, a link in one of the posts to a another review site thought it looked pretty good overall. We'll know soon enough after a good cross section of viewers share their thoughts.
     
  7. Ken Koc

    Ken Koc Screenwriter

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    After the amazing 65mm transfer for the HD GRAND PRIX, I was anxiously awaiting SPARTACUS.
    After watching SPARTACUS HD , I must say that I am very very disappointed with the transfer. Very Grainy and dirty...I thought I was watching the SD version.
    What happened? It almost reminds me of the OKLAHOMA debacle of last year.
     
  8. Michael Boyd

    Michael Boyd Second Unit

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    I just watched The Break Up. I liked the movie but that one looked like ass to me. Grand Prix was amazing. Wonder if something is up with Universal discs in gerneral. They seem to get worse reviews. Army Of Darkness comes to mind.
     
  9. Michel_Hafner

    Michel_Hafner Supporting Actor

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    Well, reports are piling up the Spartacus HD-DVD is a big disappointment. Will we see Mr. Harris' first HD-DVD thumbs down? Stay tuned...
     
  10. David Sal

    David Sal Stunt Coordinator

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    I believe Mr. Harris offers his "a few thoughts" only when it's a good disc. Maybe his silence would speak the words. Or, he could always reply to this discussion.
     
  11. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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    Since Mr. Harris was responsible for the restoration of "Spartacus", I think he'll probably chime in on the quality of the HD-DVD, or lack thereof as the case may be.
     
  12. DeeF

    DeeF Screenwriter

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    The transfer isn't bad at all. It looks high-def, as much as The Searchers and everything else.

    My biggest beef about it is the color, which was always wrong with the Universal version of the movie. It's too red.

    I prefer the Criterion version, which I believe Mr. Harris helped to correct color timing.
     
  13. Hayes Preston

    Hayes Preston Stunt Coordinator

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    This has been one of my most anticipated releases of the fall, and I have to say that I am dissapointed, not incredibly, but still dissapointed. With previous HD DVD's (Searchers included) I was pretty wowed when popping in the disc. However, I had to load up the SD Criterion Spartacus to make sure I wasn't seeing htings last night.

    The HD DVD looks better than the SD Criterion, however, the margin is less than most other HD DVD's show over their SD counterparts.

    The print looks (to me at least) excessivley grainy, now I am not one who thinks all grain on DVD or HD DVD is necessarily bad, but Spartacus is grainy to the point of being distracting. The HD DVD also shows signs of dirt and scratches (most of which are also present on the SD Criterion) The HD DVD does show a better color pallet than the SD DVD.

    I too am interested in hearing from RAH regarding this HD DVD.

    H
     
  14. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    ...'an I was thinking a bit orange....

    The thing that struck me is how uneven the film looked last night. It looked purr-dy good in most spots but there were many dark scenes that had sheets of noise. Many of these scenes were solo close-up's of characters faces. It seemed like there were more weak scenes in the last quarter of the film...?

    The restoration, as listed, in the film credits says 1991. It looks like it needs another round to me. I hope Robert Harris can comment about this....

    It doesn't look like Universal has near the commitment Warner has to restoring classic films, so far.
     
  15. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    I have this disc and will watch it tonight, but I think expectations level on night scenes and excess grain will be an issue for many when it comes to watching a classic film in the HD format.




    Crawdaddy
     
  16. DeeF

    DeeF Screenwriter

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    I didn't make myself very clear.

    I don't know that Spartacus needs "restoring," again.

    Universal's DVD of it differs from Criterion's, mostly in the color timing (and the voluminous extras on the Criterion!)

    I think (though I may be speaking out of turn) that Mr. Harris helped Criterion on their disk. The Universal version didn't utilize Mr. Harris.

    This Universal transfer seems to have been used for the new HD-DVD, which is a bit of a shame, since the Criterion color is better.
     
  17. Scott Calvert

    Scott Calvert Supporting Actor

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    I believe both Universal and Criterions DVD of Spartacus are sourced from the same HD transfer and the Criterion tweaked the color in the video domain.
     
  18. DeeF

    DeeF Screenwriter

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    My point is still valid. This new Universal HD-DVD of Spartacus looks like the DVD — the colors aren't as good as the Criterion DVD.
     
  19. Michel_Hafner

    Michel_Hafner Supporting Actor

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    If the color separations are still around and in good shape a new round of digital restoration would indeed help the film. The separations can be scanned and digitally combined. This removes the color fringing and eliminates at least one additional film generation. Less noise/grain, more detail. And far better possibilities to tweak color shot by shot, even object by object.
     
  20. DeeF

    DeeF Screenwriter

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    I've now watched the entire movie on HD-DVD. Much of it looks terrific. There are some scenes, though, that do seem overly grainy, as if they were not transferred correctly.
     

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