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WHV Press Release: The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (Blu-ray)

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Ronald Epstein, Dec 15, 2009.

  1. Jason Charlton

    Jason Charlton Ambassador

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    My understanding is that this is not necessarily true. The Dolby HD format does compress the audio stream more - resulting in less disc space occupied by the lossless track, HOWEVER, it's not backwards compatible with older equipment, so a second, lossy Dolby Digital track must be included alongside the Dolby HD track, thus negating some of the data storage benefit.

    DTS-HD MA, on the other hand, is a "core + extension" format which includes the lossy DTS track as the core (for backwards compatibility) and a residual stream which describes the differences between the original track and the lossy version. Consequently, Blu-Rays with the DTS-HD MA audio track don't require any additional digital surround tracks in order to comply with the Blu-Ray spec (which specifies that at least one Dolby Digital (AC-3), DTS, or PCM track be included).

    In the end, it's not as clear cut which audio format is "more efficient" in terms of disc space - there are simply too many variables at play.
     
  2. rich_d

    rich_d Well-Known Member

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    Agreed. Netflix for me. Let's face it, if they released the EE first on blu-ray or even at the same time, they wouldn't get much sales for the original releases ... so of course they are releasing them first ... for the suckers and those that actual prefer the theatrical releases.

     
  3. Douglas Monce

    Douglas Monce Well-Known Member

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    As was discussed in another thread, the Theatrical version of the films sold much better on DVD than the EE, even after the EE were released.

    Doug
     
  4. Guest

    I hope these aren't as bad as people are saying they are. Apparently, the versions on HD cable were better and less filtered. I am staying optimistic.
     
  5. Brandon Conway

    Brandon Conway captveg

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    They aren't as bad as the online hysteria would lead you to believe, IMO. Trust me, there's a lot of false assumptions out there right now, as well as expectations being far too high for what the films themselves are capable of. To quote the digital bits' Jeff Kliest:

    "I would say that many sites, without seeing the sets or reading any reviews but ours, or looking at screenshots, have unrealistic expectations as to how good the movies can look in the first place. They were shot Super35 and very guerilla (over hill over dale, hauling cameras up mountains) with a pretty dreary pallete."

    http://forum.blu-ray.com/3071990-post9734.html

    And:

    "What I can say is that PJ personally approved the final Blu-rays. New masters, if I recall were run around this time last year"

    http://forum.blu-ray.com/3067031-post12771.html

    And:

    "Got it direct from a reliable source in a position to know at the time it was happening last year. Believe me, LOTR has been remastered.....a lot in the last 5 years, due to..ummm. differing opinions. The final Blu-ray compression has been vetted by PJ, and that's good enough for me. LOTR looks messy period, always has, and Super35 certainly didn't help anything. Had they shot the movies in 70mm this wouldn't be a problem, if they can haul IMAX up Everest, they could have made it work"

    http://forum.blu-ray.com/3067659-post12773.html

    And Penton-Man states:

    "I will say in the meantime, FOTR will never look as good as film 2 and film 3 for at least a couple of reasons, one being that TT and ROTR were slightly SHARPENED during the DI process with a new tool -and FOTR was not. If memory serves, FOTR is about 70% DI and 30% photochemical -from which an edited film master was then made."

    http://forum.blu-ray.com/3066790-post12768.html

    And Peter Jackson has even been public about his approval of this release. http://www.blu-ray.com/news/?id=3849

    "I've seen the Blu-ray as they sent it to me to approve and I looked at the film and it looks fantastic on Blu-ray but I don't know the date [of release]."

    Of course, when I pointed this out on blu-ray.com, it was suggested that Peter Jackson was inadequate in his approval or lying to the public:

    "I dont know what his "approval" process was exactly and neither do you, but it is painfully obvious it was lacking..............do I need to link the comparison shots again? Those shots say it all..........do you really think he would approve this? I dont, and that is why I question just how involved he was with this "approval"." - Todd Smith http://forum.blu-ray.com/3071511-post4918.html

    So, now that we have the concept that Jackson may be lying to us all, I kindly pointed out the following:

    "Well, I can only go by the man's word. Either he's lying, or he approved them as he described. In either scenario you'll have difficulty getting through to him in a meaningful manner, no? If he's lying, he won't care about your complaint because he doesn't care about the films transfer to begin with (which is why he lied about it). If he's telling the truth then he's satisfied with the blu-rays and your complaint falls on similarly deaf ears. Personally, I'd bank on the latter."

    http://forum.blu-ray.com/3071573-post4928.html

    Personally, I think it likely that Mr. Harris will shortly comment on these films. I predict him recommending the set, albeit with some *slight* reservations about the *slight* DNR (mostly on FOTR). In other words, pretty much what Bill Hunt stated in his review. However, if anything, he'll be able to provide some insight to the process to bring the films to Blu, especially as he usually has good information along those lines with Warner releases. If anything is amiss he won't hold back, as we all know. Of course, if he gives a positive approval, I suspect those calling for the heads of Warner execs over this "botched and shameful" release will plug their ears / cover their eyes regarding Mr. Harris' comments anyway, just as they have Jackson's.

    Of course, if you were Warner Bros., wouldn't you listen to Peter Jackson and his producers who gave their approval over the fringe online community that is crying out for vengeance? I know I would...
     
  6. Douglas Monce

    Douglas Monce Well-Known Member

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    I find this statement intersting, because I always felt that Fellowship was by far the best looking of the 3 films. The other two suffer from what I call "Early DI tool syndrome". Meaning they had the tool so they used them, sometimes injudiciously. 2 and 3 just look like the image was played with WAY too much and look unnatural. I much prefer the relatively clean film like look of Fellowship

    Doug
     
  7. Brandon Conway

    Brandon Conway captveg

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    That's an interesting take, Doug. What I think it *may* mean is that WB "massaged" the FOTR image for this release in order to adjust for this disparity in the initial process back 8.5 years ago. Under the approval of Jackson and the film's producers, of course. Which may be disliked by certain home video, er, personalities, but again I ask: If the makers of the film sign off on the Blu-ray (approval, along with Jackson's own opinion of them looking "fantastic") what else should Warner be expected to do?
     
  8. Douglas Monce

    Douglas Monce Well-Known Member

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    Oh I'm sure that they were sharpening the film for the theatrical release along with trying to tone down the grain of super 35 a little. There was a lot of that going on in the early days of DI. Of course Jackson knows what the films are supposed to look like and if he says this is it then so be it, I just don't particularly like that look in 2 and 3.

    Doug
     
  9. Brandon Conway

    Brandon Conway captveg

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    Just to be clear: you aren't one of the personalities I was referring to.
     
  10. Xylon

    Xylon Well-Known Member

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    I just finished watching all three back-to-back-to-back.

    Mediocre.

    As expected _______, etc. of the blu-ray format and crappy HD picture quality comes out of the woodwork to defend it.

    Just like Dark Knight, Gangs of New York, Star Treks, T2:Skynet and Gladiator to name a few all I hear are the same excuses. Makes me wonder if they are even educated enough to distinguish between high definition and crappy definition or just marketing people.

    When the Extended Edition gets release I hope that we get a new remaster that will easily be superior in picture and sound over DVD and any HD broadcast out there.
     
  11. rich_d

    rich_d Well-Known Member

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    Douglas,

    Not to be harsh, but if I thought that first run dvd sales mattered when discussing second dip - second format - first and second version video sales and marketing tactics to pull in the most bucks from consumers, your post would be interesting and applicable - but it does not matter.


     
  12. TravisR

    TravisR Well-Known Member

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    I can't believe that there's a release of a beloved film series and the self-appointed authorities are complaining about the quality on them. This has got to be the first time that that's ever happened.
     
  13. Douglas Monce

    Douglas Monce Well-Known Member

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    If you had read what I said, the theatricals continued to outsell the EE even after they were released. I never said I expected the EE editions to sell more units in total than the theatricals. But even after the EE came out, the theatricals were selling more units. You would think that after a new product came out there would at least be a spike in sales.

    Doug
     
  14. Jarod M

    Jarod M Well-Known Member

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    RAH originally was pleased with Patton. For all we know, PJ was viewing the BD on a small monitor, like RAH with Patton. And do we even know if he viewed all three movies, or just briefly looked at the ROTK disc?

    There's a story here, and as usual it doesn't seem like professional reporting is being done to determine what happened with this release.
    Here's what we need to know-
    1. Were new masters used for all three movies?
    2. Why would an older HD version of FOTR appear to be more detailed than the Blu-ray version. And along those lines, was DNR/digital filtering used on these releases?
    3. Is it true that FOTR has a softer appearance than the other two movies because that is the way the movies were originally produced? How is this possible when the movies were essentially shot at the same time in roughly the same locations?
    4. Why do the Moria flashback scenes in The Two Towers have different color timing, etc., than the same scenes in FOTR?
    5. Will this video quality be identical to the upcoming EE releases? In other words, should we not expect any future upgrades because this is as good as the movies can look?
    Now, I said professional reporting. This means have somebody from Warner go on record and answer these questions, NOT SOME UNNAMED "RELIABLE SOURCE." These are actually very easy questions that someone who worked on this project should be able to answer, and I can think of legitimate answers for the questions that would assuage even the harshest critics.
     
  15. Brandon Conway

    Brandon Conway captveg

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    RAH originally was pleased with Patton. For all we know, PJ was viewing the BD on a small monitor, like RAH with Patton. And do we even know if he viewed all three movies, or just briefly looked at the ROTK disc?

    One can only go by Mr. Jackson's statement. "I've seen the Blu-ray as they sent it to me to approve and I looked at the film and it looks fantastic on Blu-ray but I don't know the date [of release]." I highly doubt he would have looked at only one of the films. And I know that the film's producers were also involved in approving the release. We can look for conspiracy theories, but common sense seems to me to be that if they are being asked to approve something and care at all about the films they'll do their due diligence. If they don't care about the film and took shortcuts in their approval than logic suggests they won't give a damn about things like DNR.

    1. Were new masters used for all three movies?

    Jeff Kliest has already stated as much. I doubt we'll hear otherwise from Mr. Harris.

    2. Why would an older HD version of FOTR appear to be more detailed than the Blu-ray version. And along those lines, was DNR/digital filtering used on these releases?

    I think this may be the biggest question. There was this exchange with Jeff Kliest on blu-ray.com:

    42041: "it seems downright strange that Fellowship would line up pixel-for-pixel with a broadcast that's apparently from several years ago"

    Jeff: "It's conceiveable, but DI is DI, so it would line up "pixel for pixel""

    3. Is it true that FOTR has a softer appearance than the other two movies because that is the way the movies were originally produced? How is this possible when the movies were essentially shot at the same time in roughly the same locations?

    TTT and ROTK got a budget boost and had additional footage shot for them once FOTR was a hit. And, as discussed before, they used new tools for TTT and ROTK to achieve the DI, which was only done for ~70% of FOTR. So, yes, the original production possibly has a notable influence here.

    4. Why do the Moria flashback scenes in The Two Towers have different color timing, etc., than the same scenes in FOTR?

    Well, for starters, they're different films with different color timing, followed by completely different scenes with different purposes. I haven't checked the 2002-2003 DVDs, but this may have always been the case.

    Then there's the issue of different tools for DI again.

    5. Will this video quality be identical to the upcoming EE releases? In other words, should we not expect any future upgrades because this is as good as the movies can look?

    Possible. The answer should be interesting.

    Now, I said professional reporting. This means have somebody from Warner go on record and answer these questions, NOT SOME UNNAMED "RELIABLE SOURCE." These are actually very easy questions that someone who worked on this project should be able to answer, and I can think of legitimate answers for the questions that would assuage even the harshest critics.

    It's unlikely that we'll ever hear from someone at Warner directly. The best we'll probably get is Mr. Harris feeding us insight from his sources. There's several reasons for this. First, non-disclosure agreements. Second, when it comes to corporations anyone speaking on their behalf needs formal permission to do so. Third, the studios know that a formal statement won't satisfy the more extreme crowd, even if they have legitimate reasons why the release looks the way it does.
     
  16. rich_d

    rich_d Well-Known Member

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    No, I think it's you that needs to read what I said. However, if you wish to share how I wrote or insinuated that YOU expected EE editions to sell more units in total than the theatricals, quote chapter and verse ... I'll wait.

    Further, please share this great info on unit sales that you referenced. I don't believe Warner/New Line shares that information. Perhaps you can prove me wrong. Or are you going off some "estimate" put together by some dude in his mom's basement?

     
  17. Brandon Conway

    Brandon Conway captveg

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    Rich, the sales data Doug references can be found in Jesse Blacklow's post here: http://www.hometheaterforum.com/forum/thread/298921/lotr-bluray-extended-cut/0#post_3671501


     
  18. Douglas Monce

    Douglas Monce Well-Known Member

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    You clearly have no ability to carry on a civil conversation. Enjoy talking to yourself.

    Doug
     
  19. Dennis Palla

    Dennis Palla Member

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    For me, the more LOTR the better! I'll be waiting for EE versions. (Unless, of course, I succumb to an Impulsive Impatient Inclination. I'm sure you've heard of this, soon to be AMA listed affliction.)
     
  20. Jarod M

    Jarod M Well-Known Member

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    First of all, Mr. Kliest is not a Warner/LOTR representative, so the validity of his information/source can be called into question. Second, he stated that new masters were created, not that he was specifically told that these Blu-ray discs were all sourced from new masters.


    This seems really odd to me. It's not like this was ever a low budget production-originally set at $300 million, I believe, with money being saved by shooting in New Zealand. I understand how effects shots/rough environmental conditions could lead to a softer picture in certain scenes. But could the "new tools vs. old tools theory" really explain what is going on here? Or are there other reasons that play a more significant role?

    They might technically be different films, but it is just one story. This difference poses an interesting question, regardless of the discontent for the Blu-ray releases. Maybe it was a stylistic choice for the flashback to look different. Or maybe they goofed.

    You act like promotional interviews by studio employees and talent are never done. But if the studios prefer such secrecy, I don't see how they can complain about the resulting Internet speculation about alleged issues with their product. Do we have to wait for an entity like the New York Times to do a story on the matter?
     

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