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HTF REVIEW: "King of Kings" (with screenshots)


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#21 of 63 Douglas R

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Posted February 11 2003 - 09:46 AM

Quote:
King of Kings was probably one of the Technirama films blown up to 70mm


Super Technirama 70 was not just a blow up from 35mm. By photographing horizontally, the 35mm film was printed directly onto 70mm film. Although not actually photographed in 65mm, Super Technirama 70 films such as King of Kings, Spartacus, El Cid etc have always been considered part of the "family" of genuine 70mm films.

#22 of 63 Rain

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Posted February 11 2003 - 11:29 AM

Quote:
...no film grain leads me to believe that there has been excessive digital cleanup...
I was thinking the same thing.

But how does one know for sure how grainy a film should be?

"Imagine all the people, living life in peace..." - Imagine by John Lennon

#23 of 63 RonDanto

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Posted February 11 2003 - 11:44 AM

Getting back to the aspect ratio,I would really like to know if the DVD is going to provide a wider image than the Cassette and Laserdisc did. I happened to catch part of
KoK on HBO this past Christmas and although they showed the film full frame the credits were wide screen and the
image was wider than both the laser and VHS.
RonDanto

#24 of 63 RolandL

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Posted February 14 2003 - 02:22 AM

GSET is clunky in a number of spots (though I for one would love to see it in its longer version of over four hours that would fill some gaps in the narrative)


You must be talking about the 262 minute version that the book Widescreen Movies lists as it's original running time. GSET premiered at 221 minutes plus a 15 minute intermission - http://cinerama.topc...previewfeb6.htm

Roland Lataille
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#25 of 63 RolandL

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Posted February 14 2003 - 01:29 PM

Getting back to the aspect ratio,I would really like to know if the DVD is going to provide a wider image than the Cassette and Laserdisc did.
Posted Image

The images to the left are from the DVD. To the right from the letterboxed VHS tape - (approximate from viewing on my Vidikron projector).

Roland Lataille
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#26 of 63 RonDanto

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Posted February 14 2003 - 01:41 PM

Roland,

Thanks very much for taking the time to answer my question.

RonDantonio

#27 of 63 RonDanto

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Posted February 15 2003 - 09:14 AM

I am very much impressed with what I see and hear about the "King of Kings" DVD. Can everybody jump on Warner Bros and ask for half-way descent packaging instead of the cheap
snap case. I went out and bought plastic sleaves for
snap case DVD's.

#28 of 63 Scooter

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Posted February 15 2003 - 05:14 PM

I have a few versions of this flick on various formats...loved it since childhood. I even have the original RoadShow release souvenir book...hardcover!

As for the age of Hunter...inside Hollywood the movie was jokingly referred to as:

"I Was A Teenage Jesus"

Interesting to note...Ron's screen grabs are nearly, if not completely, identical to the stills in the movie book I have.

#29 of 63 Ed St. Clair

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Posted February 16 2003 - 08:42 AM

Are you serious?
Roland Lataille, Those VHS shot's look fantastic.
I am off to see your site.
Thank's!

Did you notice the difference in film grain between the two formats?
Movies are: "The Greatest Artform".
HD should be for EVERYONE!

#30 of 63 Ed St. Clair

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Posted February 16 2003 - 08:48 AM

Just back from Roland Lataille site.
The captures off the DVD & LD should delight fans of this film, and OAR as well.
Thanks again, RL.
Movies are: "The Greatest Artform".
HD should be for EVERYONE!

#31 of 63 Randy A Salas

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Posted February 24 2003 - 06:13 AM

I think we often take for granted what goes into presenting a film of this vintage on DVD, especially one that looks and sound this good.

I talked to WHV's George Feltenstein, who produced the DVD (and the soundtrack CD and laserdisc before that), for my write-up about the DVD in tomorrow's newspaper. His comments, only the first of which did I have the space to include in the paper, illustrate the pains that he and his colleagues took to make the DVD something special:

On the DVD's six-channel sound:
Quote:
"The soundtrack was re-created from scratch. We went back to the original recording sessions and built a brand-new track, but of course only from original, genuine elements. You don't have any 2002 foley mixed in with 1961 music and sound. It's all pure, but it's a new mix that really takes advantage of the 5.1 sound on a DVD and that does ample justice to the talents of not only [Miklos] Rozsa and his wonderful score but also to [recording supervisor] Franklin Milton and the cracker-jack MGM sound department in the '60s."

On the discovery of heavy distortion in some channels:
Quote:
"The distortion in both this and 'Mutiny on the Bounty' (1962)--which is somewhere in the future [for DVD release]--for some reason, they were recorded with horrendous distortion in certain of the six channels. Three channels would be fine, and three channels wouldn't be. I was listening to this with my engineer, and I was just, `What? How could this be? This is not possible!' Because it was recorded at MGM and they had the finest engineers and people, and I just couldn't understand it. So I said maybe the mags went bad. So I went back home, and I listened to the laserdisc, which I had produced 12 years earlier, and sure enough, it's inherent in the original film, this distortion. We were just really puzzled. One of the thoughts we had was that it's possible that the sound reproduction capabilities at the time were more limited in frequency response so that you couldn't hear the distortion. But then we kind of figured that that wasn't the case, that they just blew out--they overdid it and didn't want to go back and do it again, maybe. They probably said, `Who's gonna know?' Indeed, only the real audiophiles might have noticed at the time, but nobody complained at the time of the film's release. But there was a 'King of Kings' CD done by Sony in 1990 when they had the license from Turner that was unlistenable because the distortion was so bad; they didn't bother to do what needed to be done in trying to make it work. We did that, and I'm very proud of what we've done."

He notes:
Quote:
"The people who really love to have widescreen 70-millimeter epics on their home theater via their DVD player are really going to have a lot of fun with this one!"

Randy A. Salas
DVD Columnist & Feature Writer
Minneapolis Star Tribune daily newspaper

#32 of 63 DaViD Boulet

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Posted February 24 2003 - 06:29 AM

Very cool. Thanks for sharing!
Be an Original Aspect Ratio Advocate

Supporter of 1080p24 video and lossless 24 bit audio.

#33 of 63 Robert Crawford

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Posted February 24 2003 - 07:15 AM

I watched this dvd over the weekend and Warner did a fine job overall with it. Except for a couple of scenes, the picture quality was excellent.




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#34 of 63 Eric Paddon

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Posted February 25 2003 - 08:14 PM

Just got through it. Picture and sound are excellent and a great release overall. But I noticed that as was the case with "Ben-Hur" Warners has used a different trailer from the one that was on the MGM LD. And once again, I find myself wondering if I should take up shelf space with the old LD for that reason alone (I really hate these kinds of dilemmas when its for something like this, but that's my history/archivist's mind at work).

#35 of 63 DeeF

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Posted February 26 2003 - 07:54 AM

I enjoyed watching this disk.

But at the risk of offending the dead, did anybody else find the sound of this movie a little odd?

The beautiful separated stereophonic score clearly displays distortion, as has been previously written about. But other movies of the time don't sound this noisy (I immediately listened to the disk of Ben-Hur, which sounds much better to my ears).

The narration by Welles and center channel just boom out, and in addition, most of the movie is looped, but without ambient noise, so the looping sounds very false, very isolated. Many of the looped lines appear out of sync to me, although this may have been true of the original movie. Some lines were dubbed by other actors, and some by the actor himself. I particularly found Siobhan McKenna's lines quite out of sync.

Overall, I thought the disk was splendidly prepared, so perhaps this is what the original movie was like. I still find it a bit odd.

#36 of 63 Randy A Salas

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Posted February 26 2003 - 08:26 AM

Quote:
Perhaps this is what the original movie was like. I still find it a bit odd.


Me, too. According to George Feltenstein, this is what the movie sounded like originally, and the DVD faithfully re-creates the original audio mix, he said.

I pointed out in our interview how odd the looped dialogue (used heavily partly because of the international cast and their many accents) was and how it dated the movie, and he agreed:

"The looped dialogue--and the lady who played Salome; I think she ended up marrying Nicolas Ray," he said with a laugh. "Brigid Bazlen was her name, and she ended up having an MGM contract for a few weeks after that. There are some things that date the film here and there," he added, "but it does have a refreshing viability."
Randy A. Salas
DVD Columnist & Feature Writer
Minneapolis Star Tribune daily newspaper

#37 of 63 RolandL

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Posted February 26 2003 - 10:36 AM

Quote:
"The distortion in both this and 'Mutiny on the Bounty' (1962)--which is somewhere in the future [for DVD release]--for some reason, they were recorded with horrendous distortion in certain of the six channels.


'The Greatest Story Ever Told' DVD looks very nice and shows the full 2.76:1 Ultra Panavision image - http://cinerama.topc...tdvdvslaser.htm . I wonder if the future 'Mutiny on the Bounty' and hopefully 'The Fall of The Roman Empire' DVD's will have the full Ultra Panavison image too.

Roland Lataille
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#38 of 63 Mike Quigley

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Posted March 01 2003 - 02:34 AM

I have only one question about this DVD -- is the final reel in stereo? On the widescreen Dolby Surround laser disc it was NOT, which was rather odd, since the pan and scan video tape was in stereo right to the end.

By the way, Brigid Bazlen (Salome in the film) did NOT marry Nicholas Ray. According to the Internet Movie Database, for a time, he was married to Betty Utey, who did the choreography for Salome's dance.

(And shame for spelling Miklos Rozsa's name wrong in the first message!!)

#39 of 63 Patrick McCart

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Posted March 01 2003 - 02:56 AM

Technically, The Fall Of The Roman Empire and Mutiny On The Bounty '62 can be exhibited at 2.55:1 on video.

2.76:1 definately would be nice, but neither film was to be shown at THAT wide of an aspect ratio. They framed everything to fit in the 2.55:1 aspect ratio due to theaters generally not having screens that wide.

Ben-Hur's DVD uses a 2.55:1 ratio print improperly masked to fake a 2.70:1 aspect ratio. Without those masks, you'd see the proper 2.55:1 aspect ratio. Not only that, but when downgraded to 35mm, the anamorphic prints retained the 2.55:1 aspect ratio.

#40 of 63 RolandL

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Posted March 01 2003 - 03:18 AM

I have only one question about this DVD -- is the final reel in stereo? On the widescreen Dolby Surround laser disc it was NOT, which was rather odd, since the pan and scan video tape was in stereo right to the end.


It's all is stereo.

Roland Lataille
Cinerama web site

 



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