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A Few Words About While we wait for A few words about...™ The Rodgers & Hammerstein Collection -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Apr 11, 2014.

  1. Doug Bull

    Doug Bull Advanced Member

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    I think I'll name our parcels Johnny Fedora and Alice 'Blue' Bonnet.
    They'll travel together, possibly fall in love and then go their separate ways once they reach Melbourne. :)
     
  2. AnthonyClarke

    AnthonyClarke Screenwriter

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    Or will it be 'Brief Encounters'?
     
  3. Moe Dickstein

    Moe Dickstein Filmmaker

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    Hopefully they will be. It improves the 3-D which is the main motivation behind it.The only problems I had with 48 FPS Hobbitt was when they were speeding up or slowing down footage. The native 48 material was wonderful.
     
  4. PaulaJ

    PaulaJ Supporting Actor

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    I've reviewed the set too and my reaction is much like many others here.

    I didn't look at SOUTH PACIFIC or THE SOUND OF MUSIC since they're the same as earlier releases.

    STATE FAIR -- given the state of the elements of Fox's older films, I think it looked pretty good, a little on the ruddy/brownish side and maybe a little dark but not disturbingly so.

    OKLAHOMA! -- Cinemascope. Fine with me, looks like the DVD but in Blu-ray. Todd-AO. Todd-OK!!!! Spendiferous. Just like I remember from the TCM festival although now (sadly) on my small (compared to the TCL Chinese screen) TV. I really think 20th Century-Fox should release this in theaters for a few days, like a long weekend. I think it would be a bit hit.

    CAROUSEL -- way too dark. Objects in shadow turn into formless blobs. Also, coloring too blue and gold, like THE KING AND I.

    THE KING AND I -- I didn't watch all the way through, I mostly concentrated on the opening scene and the coloring of Deborah Kerr's dress. ;) Or thought that would obsess me, but along with the dress and its randomly transforming hues, I was also highly annoyed by the weird gold push given to skin tones and the woven baskets on board the ship. Rex Thompson's shiny hair has the same ugly gold highlights. On the DVD, everyone's skin looks normal and the baskets are realistic beige-light brown colors but all that is gold on the Blu-ray. What's not gold is blue or blue-ish. On the DVD, Kerr's dress is blue-gray and stays that way throughout the entire opening sequence from the ship to the palace, except during the longshot walk to the palace, where even on the DVD it looks blue. But it's back to its normal blue-gray once inside the palace. On the Blu-ray, the dress is various hues of blue-gray while on the boat, then blue during the walk, then very gray when they arrive at the palace, and once Anna meets the king, the dress becomes progressively bluer! It's the darndest thing. :) The only other scene I watched after that was the banquet/"House of Little Thomas"/"Shall We Dance"/capture of Tuptim sequence where I was relieved to see that Kerr's famous champagne ball dress stayed the same color throughout, though there were shots especially towards the end of that sequence that looked sourced from a different element with noticeably poorer detail.

    So what's going on with 20th Century Fox and The King and I???? (And Carousel too.)
     
  5. CMNash

    CMNash Stunt Coordinator

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    As I continue the Rodgers and Hammerstein fest, I've now made it through Oklahoma! (Cinemascope 35mm version) and Carousel. The Cinemascope version definitely doesn't compare to the Todd-AO version. You can tell that more love and care went into the Todd-AO version. In the Cinemascope version, grain is sometimes quite large or very apparent, especially when looking at the sky. That's just the nature of the format. The contrast and detail isn't as great as the Todd-AO version. In general, the picture is watchable and presented decently in this set. The only problematic part is the title sequence. Thanks to Bruce who pointed out that the low resolution problem with the King and I are due to the fact that they are opticals, I've begun to notice it in Oklahoma! The title sequence isn't very representative of the rest of the film. Furthermore, there is quite a bit of dirt built into the titles. Thank goodness the titles for the Todd-AO version was done on a black background. It was a little funny that they recycled the disc menu from the Todd-AO version, especially the overture and title music.

    As for Carousel, this presentation seems a tad bit darker than what I remember from previous viewings. However, it didn't really pose much of problem on my set. There is a small number of scenes where strong shadows were rendered almost solid black (e.g. some sections of "June is Bustin' Out All Over"), but controlling lighting during a sunny midday shoot seems a bit difficult for a large space. But I was extremely pleased with how crisp the image was with a great amount of fine detail. Also, major thumbs up for the isolated score; it sounds really good. It's definitely worth a listen for those interested in analysing Richard Rodgers' music or in focussing on Alfred Newman's control of the orchestra.

    Now onto State Fair.
     
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  6. Mark Mayes

    Mark Mayes Stunt Coordinator

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    I just can't believe that Anna's hair net in "Shall We Dance" was ever meant to look like dripping blue icicles. I saw a beautiful print of this at the Academy once and don't remember the color looking anything like this.
     
  7. CMNash

    CMNash Stunt Coordinator

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    By the way, does anyone know if isolated score or ME tracks exist for Oklahoma!? I was a little surprised that King and I and Carousel had them, but none for Oklahoma!. I would have love to study closely Robert Russell Bennett's expanded orchestrations.

    I was also slightly disappointed when South Pacific and The Sound of Music both appeared on blu-ray without isolated scores.
     
  8. KPmusmag

    KPmusmag Supporting Actor

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    Yes, but the difference is the blue used in "Hello Young Lovers" is actually a lovely shade of blue - not this awful washed out grayish blue that pervades this blu-ray. Just wanted to make that distinction because the blue in "Hello Young Lovers" on the blu-ray is not pretty like it should be. I know "pretty" is a subjective term, but see the intended blue as a highlight; it wasn't the main color of the scene. In addition, there should be a stark contrast between Anna on the terrace and the very warm inside of the room behind her, and on the blu-ray, the background is cold and devoid of warmth.

    Skewer me for screen grabs if you will, but I feel so passionately about this. This cap is from the SD DVD; look at the warmth in the background; Deborah's hair is red; her skin tone is warm; the blue lighting is a pleasing blue and is a highlight, not a color scheme ( and thanks to Mark B for inspiring this comparison).

    Ksd.jpg

    Now a similar shot from the blu-ray - cold background, Deborah's hair is an odd shade, not quite red, not sure what it is; her skin is cadaverous; the background is cold, the ladies exhibit no warm colors.

    Kblu.jpg

    This blu-ray seriously needs to be redone.
     
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  9. KPmusmag

    KPmusmag Supporting Actor

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    The Sound of Music does indeed have an isolated score; it is intermixed with Robert Wise's commentary. He stops speaking when musical cues begin. Choose audio track #7.
     
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  10. CMNash

    CMNash Stunt Coordinator

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    Argh! Thanks, Kevin, for pointing that out. I can't believe it that I've been missing it all this time. It was done exactly the same way on the THX mastered DVD. I have no clue why I didn't make the connection.
     
  11. Mark-P

    Mark-P Screenwriter

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    I've noticed that The King and I uses long-cut optical dupes where entire scenes are dupes. This is why in one scene Anna's pinstriped dress will be blurred into solid blue and then then the next scene will cut back to the original negative with razor-sharp gray pinstripes. It's a side effect of scanning original elements which reveals the disparity between the camera negative and dupes.

    On the other hand, I noticed that for Oklahoma! the optical dupes only last for the duration of the optical effect and then immediately snap back to the original negative. You can see the slight hiccup every time it cuts in and out of the optical effect.
     
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  12. Mark Booth

    Mark Booth Premium
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    I can live with the few slight hiccups in 'Oklahoma!'. In 'The King and I', it's more like throw-up, not hiccups! I guess many of us just didn't notice them as easily in previous low resolution presentations (before the Blu-ray, the only place I'd ever seen the movie was via broadcast TV many years ago).

    Fox should be embarrassed by this release of 'The King and I'. I'd have preferred the set contained the second disc for 'The Sound of Music' and not included 'The King and I' at all if this is the best Fox can do. In fact, I'm very tempted to send 'The King and I' through the shredder, move the SOM 2nd disc over from the anniversary set, and call it a day.

    Mark
     
  13. KPmusmag

    KPmusmag Supporting Actor

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    Glad to help! In fact, it goes back to the THX laserdisc from 1993. One of the great laserdisc packages! It was thrilling! Also came with a gold CD of the score with much of the underscore. Old news now because of later releases on CD with underscore etc, but a real treasure at the time.
     
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  14. Mark-P

    Mark-P Screenwriter

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    Hey Mark, I think you should screen it at the Booth Bijou. I think you'll be surprised to find out that most of your guests will not be nearly as critical of it as you are. Personally I think it looks very nice and couldn't be happier to have it in my collection. :)
     
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  15. Gary16

    Gary16 Supporting Actor

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    I agree. I watched both "Oklahoma" and "King" tonight and an happy with both. The long dupes are obvious in King and unfortunate but that's how many films were cut back then. I'm using a JVC 4k xenon projector on a 10.5 foot wide screen with a viewing distance of about 14 feet. I know we can't all agree but I'm very happy. Sound is excellent too on both although I do agree that OK has a lower recorded level.
     
  16. bryan4999

    bryan4999 Supporting Actor

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    The blu-ray of K&I reminds me of the time back in the late 1970s when the red gun went out on our family's color TV; everything had an odd blue tint to it. Either that or 2-strip technicolor where all the colors looked a bit muted and odd.
     
  17. KPmusmag

    KPmusmag Supporting Actor

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    Yes, this K and I blu-ray is for the chipper, but don't stop there. Write to Fox Video and to Ted Chapin at The Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization. He's the Pres. Let him know. I have. His email is Tedc@rnh.com. He wrote a very passionate article about how happy he is with the Todd-AO Oklahoma! blu-ray. He needs to know, if he doesn't already, how awful the blu-ray of K&I is. If anyone knows whom to contact at Fox, let us know.

    http://www.rnh.com/blog/2014/04/Historic-Restoration-for-the-film-OKLAHOMA-

    I am sincerely happy for those who are pleased with this K&I blu-ray. But I ask you: if you have the DVD from 2005, do an abc comparison of a few scenes and see if you really think the blu-ray captures the lovely color of this film. If you choose only one scene, choose "Getting to Know You"; the warm colors of the children's costumes are very telling. Prince Chulalogkorn is wearing an outfit of a very specific lavender shade that is simply obliterated in the blu-ray. Other children and wives have warm shades of orange and red that are dismal on the blu-ray.
     
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  18. MarkW2

    MarkW2 Agent

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    Blu-ray.com still says the set comes out on May 6th. I wonder if that means it will no longer be an Amazon exclusive on the 6th. I'm waiting for the price war to begin on this so I can afford it.
     
  19. AnthonyClarke

    AnthonyClarke Screenwriter

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    Thanks Kevin for those really illuminating pics from K & I highlighting the blue-rinse problem.
    I think your two examples really spell out the difference between the original intended blue levels in some scenes, and the apparently awful blue-rinse which seems to have been applied to this transfer. My copy is en-route but I am sure your grabs are accurate, since they match so many other comments.
    Anyway, I should be able to view it myself in five or six days .. and in the meantime, I'll practice on how to boost brilliance on my Epson projector in advance for 'Carousel's arrival ... I've never once in four years had to adjust the settings so this is brand-new territory for me!
     
  20. MarkW2

    MarkW2 Agent

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    Will someone please post screen caps of Carousel? This is the title I've waited for. I cannot wait to see this blu-ray. I've never thought it was done justice on home video. The picture and sound always seem a bit distorted. Can't wait for reviews on this!
     
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