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DVD Reviews

HTF REVIEW: Hello DOLLY! (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED)



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#1 of 31 OFFLINE   DaViD Boulet

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Posted September 01 2003 - 06:45 AM


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#2 of 31 OFFLINE   Peter Apruzzese

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Posted September 01 2003 - 07:57 AM

Nice, thorough review! It sounds like Chace Labs (or some similar outfit) did their dirty work on the sound; they did the same thing to the Universal DVD of the 1931 Dracula and utterly ruined the track by removing not only the optical noise but the room tone as well! Say NO to excessive noise reduction, studios!

One correction:
[quote] From what I understand, Fox utilized a new 60mm print for this DVD that was exhibited at the Egyptian Theater not long ago. [quote] That would have been a 70mm print that was exhibited theatrically. The camera negative is 65mm.

Read the blog (please): www.bigscreenclassics.com


#3 of 31 OFFLINE   Robert Harris

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Posted September 01 2003 - 08:03 AM

DaViD... AFAIK, Dolly was transferred from a 65mm interpositive. RAH

"All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. This I did." T.E. Lawrence


#4 of 31 OFFLINE   DaViD Boulet

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Posted September 01 2003 - 09:09 AM

Thanks. I'll make necessary edits to reflect the 65/70mm. RAH, can you comment on the left-side picture information issue? Is that indeed where the mag audio track would have gone? I'm wondering if the framing differences between the DVD and LD might have something to do with them having been transfered from two difference film sources (like 35mm for the LD and 65mm for the DVD) or if both in fact came from 65mm sources and the differences in framing are just part of the normal tolerances in cropping for projection.
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#5 of 31 OFFLINE   TedD

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Posted September 01 2003 - 11:30 AM

The mag tracks go on both sides.... Looks like another candidate to merge the LD audio with the DVD video.... (Already did that with Showboat) Ted

#6 of 31 OFFLINE   Robert Harris

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Posted September 01 2003 - 12:01 PM

This could easily be a situtation of setup on a new piece of transfer equipment, in which one transfer exposed or did not expose several THOUSANTHS of a inch more or less picture area. That is all that we're talking about here. Many transfer techs stay a bit inboard of the framelines to avoid dirt. And, yes, TedD is quite correct that the mag tracks go on both sides. Can anyone tell us what the one VistaVision production was which was created with 6 track mag stereo? A unique format, RAH

"All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. This I did." T.E. Lawrence


#7 of 31 OFFLINE   SteveP

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Posted September 01 2003 - 12:01 PM

All the DOLLY laser discs were mastered from 35MM material.

I believe THE TEN COMMANDMENTS was the only VistaVision production with six-track magnetic stereo.

RAH--Still waiting for your HELLO, DOLLY! review on The Digital Bits.

#8 of 31 OFFLINE   Paul Linfesty

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Posted September 01 2003 - 12:14 PM

David, In answer to your question, yes the image was soft at times with medium and close-up shots in the 70mm print I viewed at the Egyptian Theatre last fall. All distant shots were beautifullly focused, so I assume this was a production choice. The DVD shows this well. The Egyptian showed a DTS soundtrack replicating the original Todd-AO sound track (special venue DTS) with L-LC-C-RC-R-Surround). Robert, I think you are referring to Williamsburg - The Story of a Patriot.

#9 of 31 OFFLINE   Andy_G

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Posted September 01 2003 - 12:22 PM



"The Story of a Patriot"

What do I win Posted Image

BTW: What is the 1994 "restoration" they speak of here?:

http://www.history.o...._restored.cfm#

#10 of 31 OFFLINE   DaViD Boulet

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Posted September 01 2003 - 01:20 PM

Thanks RAH. Good to know that the framing differences I'm seeing are withing "normal" tolerances. The differences I saw between the LD and the DVD were indeed minor and this was my suspician.

Thanks Paul for commenting on the theatrical image. Have you seen the DVD projected or displayed on a large scale to simulate the same effect? I'm glad to hear you feel it compares favorably. I was really quite impressed with the picture of this disc.

Ted, I've already been plotting on how to "merge" the AC-3 from the laserdisc and the video from the DVD and create my own custom "perfect" copy of Hello Dolly! My Partner thinks I'm insane but I knew at HTF I'd find fellow souls who understand. Posted Image So you've already accomplished this admirable feat with another title? What did you do/how did you do it?

dave Posted Image
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#11 of 31 OFFLINE   DeeF

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Posted September 01 2003 - 03:02 PM

David, I'm not sure why your DVD equipment will not show the left side of the image. My TV: a Fujitsu 50" Plasma My DVD Players: Panasonic RP-82, and Bravo D1 On both players, the Hello, Dolly! disk shows the full YONKERS sign, and some greenery to the left of the sign. The RP-82 is connected to the Fujitsu using component cables, and the Fujitsu has a scaler, the AVM, which does create some overscan, so if I wanted to view all the way to the left, I have to move the Horizontal center point +5. But if I don't do this, I can see the right side of the Y in YONKERS. But the Bravo D1 is connected to my Fujitsu over DVI, with perfect pixel mapping. It shows the very extreme left of the picture, with the YONKERS sign fully visible and even more scenery on the left.

#12 of 31 OFFLINE   BBbrowd

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Posted September 01 2003 - 03:26 PM

David, I was just thinking the same thing! - Wouldn't it be great to merge the sound of the LD with the picture of the DVD! ha! I sure wish we could. As much as I love the DVD, I really miss the bigger, brassy sound of the LD. Unfortunately, the two versions are probably going at different speeds and would be out of sync.

and ... Wow, DeeF, you see the full Yonkers sign AND some greenery on the other side of it?? I only see "NKERS". I did notice that throughout the entire film I don't see as much on the left as I did on the LD.

Dave, if you find a way to create the Ultimate definitive Dolly, I'll send you chocolate covered peanuts ( unshelled ) for the rest of your life.

By the way, I've noticed yet another different take on this DVD as compared to the LD. During Barbra's "Before the Parade Passes By" when she is running down the walkway, and right before the scene cut to the marching band, she lifts her hand up and holds her hat down on her head as she runs on the LD. On this DVD version she never holds her hat at all.

Ok, back to Dolly. ( yeah, I've been watching some of it at least once a day. Posted Image ) ....and rumor has it that Jefferson watched "Put On Your Sunday Clothes" seven times in a row the other day.
Chris

#13 of 31 OFFLINE   DeeF

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Posted September 01 2003 - 03:35 PM

But these alternate takes are disturbing. Are we not seeing the actual movie as originally projected? Or was the LD wrong? I'm convinced, having watched "Put On Your Sunday Clothes" at least seven times, that it is an homage to Judy Garland and MGM. Barbra sings "All Aboard," the train, the chorus dancing, and the music arrangements are all reminiscent of two of Judy's famous numbers, "The Trolley Song," and "On the Atcheson, Topeka and the Santa Fe."

#14 of 31 OFFLINE   Roger Rollins

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Posted September 01 2003 - 04:24 PM

[quote] I'm convinced, having watched "Put On Your Sunday Clothes" at least seven times, that it is an homage to Judy Garland and MGM. Barbra sings "All Aboard," the train, the chorus dancing, and the music arrangements are all reminiscent of two of Judy's famous numbers, "The Trolley Song," and "On the Atcheson, Topeka and the Santa Fe." [quote]

This may be no coincidence. The associate producer of DOLLY was Roger Edens, who also served in the same capacity on both ST. LOUIS (without credit) and HARVEY GIRLS. Edens was a genius (whose brilliance remains largely unappreciated), and whose multiple talents are musically evident all through the picture. Further, Lennie Hayton, DOLLY's co-musical director served in the same capacity on both of those MGM classics.

Sadly both Edens and Hayton died shortly after DOLLY was released.

#15 of 31 OFFLINE   SteveP

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Posted September 01 2003 - 04:47 PM

Forgot about the "Williamburg" VistaVision movie.

I guess TEN COMMANDMENTS had four-track mag stereo prints

#16 of 31 OFFLINE   DaViD Boulet

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Posted September 02 2003 - 12:53 AM

[quote] I'm not sure why your DVD equipment will not show the left side of the image.

My TV: a Fujitsu 50" Plasma

My DVD Players: Panasonic RP-82, and Bravo D1

On both players, the Hello, Dolly! disk shows the full YONKERS sign, and some greenery to the left of the sign.

The RP-82 is connected to the Fujitsu using component cables, and the Fujitsu has a scaler, the AVM, which does create some overscan, so if I wanted to view all the way to the left, I have to move the Horizontal center point +5. But if I don't do this, I can see the right side of the Y in YONKERS.

But the Bravo D1 is connected to my Fujitsu over DVI, with perfect pixel mapping. It shows the very extreme left of the picture, with the YONKERS sign fully visible and even more scenery on the left.
[quote]
Dee,

Thanks so much for your post. This is JUST the sort of feedback I *live* for in these review threads.

I am using a Panny rp91 and so is my friend with the Sony 10HT. In both cases we're going component 480P to the display.

Also using the same Pioneer CLD-99 LD player in both instances so in both cases the DVD and LD sources are identical. There's a possibility that the rp91 is indeed introducing it's own overscan into the signal...many DVD players do this to some degree.

I'm very pleased to find that on your system you've got that picture information on the left of the frame...especially when running DVI from the Bravo. This is naturally the future of digital video (DVI connection). It's certainly the way I'll drive my forth-coming digital projector and so it's the "reference" connection by which others should be judged.

I appreciate you sharing your comments and I'm editing my review to reflect your findings.

THANKS! Posted Image

BTW, those of you noticing all these different takes...now I'm going to have to go back and compare again...I distincly remember Dolly holding onto her had when running down the sidewalk on the LD (from the bazillion times I've watched it) before the scene-change to the parade. But now I'll have to double-check that against the DVD to make 100% sure of the difference. Are you really sure the two are so different? Someone posted earlier that the LD was sourced from the 35mm print and RAH confirms that the DVD is sourced from the 65 mm interpositive. Maybe this accounts for various changes...the 35mm version may have some alternate shots?

-dave
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#17 of 31 OFFLINE   Robert Harris

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Posted September 02 2003 - 12:58 AM

The 1956 Ten Commandments was monaural. Paul got it. But then again, as a professional, these are items well stored in his memory banks. Patriot is still in the works. RAH

"All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. This I did." T.E. Lawrence


#18 of 31 OFFLINE   TonyDale

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Posted September 02 2003 - 01:15 AM

Posted Image I only see "ONKERS." Is that anything like "I see dead people like Jimmy Durante?" Posted Image

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#19 of 31 OFFLINE   Adam_Reiter

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Posted September 02 2003 - 01:56 AM

Rockin review as always, David. Thanx for reviewing it for me. There is no way I could of poured that much heart and soul into Hello Dolly. I am glad it was reviewed by a REAL fan!

#20 of 31 OFFLINE   Greg_M

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Posted September 02 2003 - 09:02 AM

I was one of the lucky few who saw the 70MM screening last October at the Egyptain, and recently veiwed the DVD. "Hello, Dolly!" may not be one of the best films ever made (it's not) but it is one of the best looking films ever made (that's for certain). The DVD is pretty close to the way the film looked on the big screen. I saw the film a while back in a 35mm print at the State Theater in Pasadena and the image was pretty close to the laserdisc release (with the exception of numerous scratches and fading color) but OAR was about the same. The 70MM print wasn't as wide. Correct me if I'm wrong (I'm sure somebody will) but aren't 70mm prints usually projected at 2:20 to 1, where as their 35mm versions come closer to 2:35 to 1? I expected the 70mm print to have less information of the sides, and it did. The 70mm print was much more colorful than the laserdisc, much more colorful. After seeing the film I put the Laser on and in the park scene ("It Only Takes a Moment") the laserdisc had mostly grey grass, where the 70mm print had a true bright spring green - like the DVD. The print was truely spectuaclar. The only way to really appreicate the efforts that went into this film is to see it in 70MM. When Streisand came down the stairs in her gold beaded dress the result was dazzling (I can't think of any other word for it) The DVD and the laserdisc (which is one of the best laserdisc's I've ever seen) can't even come close to replicating this particular image. There was no film grain - none. The film was very sharp, so sharp you felt you could reach into the screen and pull the characters right out. This was true for MOST of the scenes. Their were instances though when the film was soft - Very soft. When Streisand sings her intro to "Before the Parade..." it reminded me of the vasaline filters Warner used to hide Lucy's age in "Mame" So I would have to say the DVD is pretty close to the print screened. Especially love the fact there is No edge enchancment ( why does edge enchance exist in the first place? ) The sound at the Egyptain was directional, When Walter Matthau and Tommy Tune first appeared their voices each came from diferent sides of the screen and as they moved around so did their voices (my home set up isn't equipted to do this so I couldn't say how close the DVD is sound wise. The sound on most laserdiscs has always sounded better then their DVD counterparts. Laser had better sound. The making of short seems to produce a sharper image on my set when it sticks to the behind the scenes material where as the actual film prints used in the doc are soft and fuzzy. The behind the scenes footage looks more like the film like did on the big screen. AMC ran the English "Dolly" trailer that is on the DVD, but they ran it with a 2:35 to 1 Aspect ratio (I have it taped on VHS) The spanish trailer looks like the correct OAR, it's possible the trailer was also set to theaters in 1:85 to 1 which is the one FOX used, but they could have used the 2:35 version since it is out there, and in my opinion looks better. All this for For $9.99. So why can't all DVD's look this good and cost this little?





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