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Diamond Men DVD: Horrible Transfer-Great Film


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#1 of 15 OFFLINE   John Macri

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Posted February 16 2003 - 01:10 PM

Just watched "Diamond Men" with Robert Forster and Donnie Wahlberg last night. I couldn't believe the atrocious quality of the opening moments. At first I thought it was a surreal flashback or dream sequence, but the following scenes were no better. Bad VHS-quality soft focus, and over saturated colors made it a struggle to watch.

I managed to resist ejecting it, and the great writing and acting made it a worthwile couple hours. A really nice ending wrapped everything up neatly. Coming off his performance in "Band of Brothers", Wahlberg has developed into a really fine actor, and Robert Forster continues the fine work he exhibited in "Jackie Brown". A realm gem of a film with a pathetic transfer that makes this DVD a rental-only. What a shame.

#2 of 15 OFFLINE   Benson R

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Posted February 16 2003 - 03:23 PM

I second the fact that it was a great film. There is nothing wrong with the transfer though. This was a low budget film. This is how it looked in theaters. Its unfair that an independent film gem like this has to be compared to the high budget dvd releases. I would recomend this as a blind purchase except for the fact that the price for this is a little steep considering the only real extra is the director commentary.
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#3 of 15 OFFLINE   John Macri

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Posted February 17 2003 - 02:48 AM

We'll have to disagree on the assessment of the transfer, but it may be due somewhat to the type/size of viewing equipment. On my Toshiba 50H82 HDTV & progressive Panasonic player, other low-budget films look fine (Tender Mercies) or superb (Savior). Low budget is no excuse for bad film quality. Diamond Men is possibly the worst transfer of any recent movie I've viewed and it's obvious no consideration was made for DVD viewing.

I could not in good conscience recommend this as a purchase unless viewed on a small TV or PC monitor...

#4 of 15 OFFLINE   Jonny P

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Posted February 17 2003 - 04:55 AM

I blind purchased this DVD based on all of the great reviews I had heard from people like Ebert and Roeper. I liked Forster in Jackie Brown, so I thought I would like this.

I simply could not watch more than a half hour or so because this transfer looked like a really low budget movie from the 60s. At first I thought that was what the director was going for, and maybe it was, but when I listened to his commentary, he commented that this or that scene really turned out sharp and detailed because of a particular camera they had used.

I couldn't see it. Granted, I may be a picture snob because of the DVD format, but the blurriness in this version was something akin to the graininess in the Republic version of Highlander (which was apparently THX certified).

Beautiful transfers and good sound are the reason I buy DVDs. We have seen them do decent jobs with other low-budget/indie films like Reservoir Dogs.

In all honesty, the deleted scenes on Diamond Men looked better.

My purchase was probably a mistake.

#5 of 15 OFFLINE   Benson R

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Posted February 17 2003 - 08:00 AM

On a side not I purchased this at best buy for 23 dollars. I assumed the list price was 27 and did not give it a second thought. After looking on the internet I realized the list price was 25. I am quite angry that best buy did not price this 5 under list price which I thought was standard especially considering it was the first week it was available. The price is not a mistake because it is the same on their website which also shows the list price as $25. I will be buying all my future dvds at circuit city which is down the road.
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#6 of 15 OFFLINE   Dave Scarpa

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Posted February 17 2003 - 12:58 PM

I wanted to at least give this a rent Forrester's good and Wahlberg's been outstanding lately (Band of Brothers, boomtown) but alas none of the rental stores in the area have it.
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#7 of 15 OFFLINE   Rob Willey

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Posted February 18 2003 - 09:30 AM

I've been anticipating this title for a long time. The local Ballbuster only has the VHS. Given these "reviews" I guess I won't be blind purchasing the DVD. Now I don't how or when I'll be able to see this intriguing film.

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#8 of 15 OFFLINE   David Brashear

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Posted February 25 2003 - 07:12 PM

I don't have the dvd, so I can't comment on the quality of the transfer, but I watched a 35mm print of Diamond Men in class tonight - Anyone interested in the film should make an effort to see it, the story and the performances are outstanding. It certainly looked low budget though, so the dvd transfer may not look very polished as a result. One question, is the dvd widescreen?

#9 of 15 OFFLINE   Page

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Posted February 26 2003 - 03:58 AM

One question, is the dvd widescreen?


Yes, it's widescreen. (And anamorphic, in case you were wondering.)

I also thought that the transfer looked soft, but pretty much stopped thinking about it as I became more engrossed in the film. (I watched it on a 55 inch RPTV which has been ISF calibrated.)

#10 of 15 OFFLINE   Benson R

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Posted February 26 2003 - 05:42 AM

I think there is nothing wrong with the transfer. This film just never looked that great to begin with. Also I think the opening of the film looks particularly bad.
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#11 of 15 OFFLINE   John Macri

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Posted February 26 2003 - 06:37 AM

FWIW: I would only purchase this fine film for viewing on my 32" TV. It definitely looks too bad to watch on my 55" HDTV...

#12 of 15 OFFLINE   SteveGon

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Posted February 26 2003 - 06:40 AM

I rented Diamond Men last week. Posted Image on the movie, Posted Image on the transfer. I would gladly purchase this disc if the transfer were better. As it is, no way. Posted Image

#13 of 15 OFFLINE   Michael Reuben

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Posted April 05 2003 - 07:59 AM

I did not see the film in theaters, but the transfer is clearly a problem. It's not a question of low-budget origins; the transfer simply lacks the resolution that DVD is capable of displaying. The deleted scenes and the trailer (hidden under the Lion's Gate logo) look better because they come from a higher-resolution source. I suspect that the transfer was not made from film; it's only slightly better than the Manhunter director's cut transferred from 1" VHS.

Great film, though.

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#14 of 15 OFFLINE   Mario Bartel

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Posted April 05 2003 - 07:52 PM

Quote:
The deleted scenes and the trailer (hidden under the Lion's Gate logo) look better because they come from a higher-resolution source.

The same problem afflicts Lion's Gate's release of The Grey Zone. Hmmmm.
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#15 of 15 OFFLINE   James Edward

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Posted April 06 2003 - 03:03 AM

I also loved this film. Robert Forster can really play the understated role as good or better than anyone out there.

I agree it did not look so good, but in some strange way I felt the look suited the material. It took about 15 minutes till the story overrode any PQ issues.

I have to add that since I had not heard of the film until seeing it on the shelf, perhaps I did not expect anything out of the transfer. Therefore, no disappointment. Unlike SW Attack of the Clones, in which the PQ, IMO, did not match the pre-release hype.
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