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Silence Of The Lambs SE: How is the bass??


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15 replies to this topic

#1 of 16 John Stockton

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Posted August 23 2001 - 12:35 PM

Hi according to DVDFile the bass on the new SOTL DVD is not as deep and powerful as the old versions, despite having a dedicated .1 channel for the first time. They specifically mentioned that the scene where Clarice goes to meet Lector for the first time lacks in the low end compared to the other releases. I was wondering how everyone else feels about this. On your setup, does the new disc offer inferior bass??

Thanks

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[Edited last by John Stockton on August 23, 2001 at 07:40 PM]

#2 of 16 Greg_Y

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Posted August 23 2001 - 12:50 PM

I just got finished watching this. The bass in the scene you mentioned is definitely not as pronounched as in the 2.0 mix on the Criterion disc. I watched the first 20 minutes of each disc, then watched the rest of the film on the MGM disc.

I won't say which is "better" or which is "correct" since I'm not in the know as to how things should be. But the difference is definitely there. Otherwise, however, I didn't notice that much of a difference in soundtracks (I'd say I prefer the 2.0 mix but that could be just my personal bias for Criterion.)

The transfers, on the other hand, are night and day. Almost literally as the MGM disc is much brighter than the Criterion disc. It's much cleaner and detailed too. I don't think the debates between the two transfers, in both the video and audio departments, will be settled any time soon. For now, I'm keeping both discs.

#3 of 16 Deepak Shenoy

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Posted August 23 2001 - 12:58 PM

Does anyone remember seeing the movie in the theater ? I saw it during its original release, but I don't remember what the colors looked like. I have been so used to the Criterion disc that when I popped the MGM disc in, the colors simply did not look right.

Of the 3 DVD incarnations of the movie, I wonder which one most closely resembles the theatrical presentation. The colors on the MGM disc are definitely cooler, and the image is brighter than the Criterion version. The image definition
and picture clarity is definitely better on the MGM, but the look of the movie is considerably different if you are used to the Criterion disc.

#4 of 16 Perry Sun

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Posted August 23 2001 - 01:53 PM

I'm in total agreement with DVDFile.com in terms of their less-than-stellar assessment of the low-end. And the particular sequence Peter mentioned is a standout example, where in the previous 2.0 version there's a poignant, background rumbling that is simply to be desired in the new 5.1 version.

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#5 of 16 Dwayne

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Posted August 23 2001 - 02:02 PM

I haven't had time to compare the sound yet. As to which transfer is correct...the Criterion is the only disc that has the distinction of having the transfer supervised and approved by Tak Fujimoto, the film's DP.

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#6 of 16 Michael Reuben

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Posted August 23 2001 - 03:28 PM

Quote:
the Criterion is the only disc that has the distinction of having the transfer supervised and approved by Tak Fujimoto, the film's DP.
There's an existing thread comparing the MGM and Criterion versions. According to one participant, Tak Fujimoto also approved the new MGM transfer.

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#7 of 16 Ken_McAlinden

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Posted August 24 2001 - 02:23 AM

Quote:
Does anyone remember seeing the movie in the theater ? I saw it during its original release, but I don't remember what the colors looked like.
I saw it twice upon its initial release, and the warmer & darker Criterion transfer is the one that best represents how I remember it. To be completely fair, though, the statute of limitations on my color memory is probably considerably less than 10-1/2 years, so maybe I'm just delusional. Posted Image

Regards,

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Ken McAlinden
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#8 of 16 Shane Martin

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Posted August 24 2001 - 02:25 AM

The PCM Laserdisc track is better than the 2.0 mix and the 5.1 track. Of course you didn't expect that Posted Image

#9 of 16 Michael Reuben

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Posted August 24 2001 - 02:51 AM

Quote:
The PCM Laserdisc track is better than the 2.0 mix and the 5.1 track.
Which LD, Shane? The original full-frame release, or the Criterion LD? I have both, and as I said in the other thread (link above), I'm impressed at the way the 5.1 track reveals layers of detail not audible in either of the PCM tracks.

It's true that neither track on the new DVD has the thudding bass found in certain parts of the Criterion LD. But I never liked that aspect of Criterion's mix.

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#10 of 16 AdrianJ

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Posted August 24 2001 - 03:02 AM

I think unless someone has seen Silence of the Lambs in the theater recently, that our memories are just too unreliable to tell which disk represents the theatrical version better. That said, I'm keeping both disks.

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#11 of 16 Guy Martin

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Posted August 24 2001 - 03:15 AM

I saw SOTL last fall at the Virginia Film Festival with Anthony Hopins introducing the screening himself! The print was in pretty good shape with only a few speckles and dirt. And to my mind it was very, very close imagewise to the Criterion, ie relatively dark and muted (save for the scenes with the red filter). I haven't seen the MGM release though so I can't compare the screening to it. But the Criterion was definitely closer than any previous video incarnation I've seen, including the Image DVD.
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#12 of 16 Ken_McAlinden

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Posted August 24 2001 - 03:28 AM

quote:
I think unless someone has seen Silence of the Lambs in the theater recently, that our memories are just too unreliable to tell which disk represents the theatrical version better[/quote]Actually, depending on where the print came from, a recent showing might not be that representative anyway.

The safe conclusions are:
  • The new release is occasionally brighter and almost always colder (bluer) than the Criterion
  • Detail does not seem to be as significantly improved as one would expect on a 16:9 transfer, but is certainly no worse (probably due to the more pronounced color gradients of the warmer Criterion transfer creating "apparent" detail)
  • The 5.1 remix is very close to the original 2-channel mix. It is certainly not a significant downgrade because of one scene that lacks low-end. There are other scenes that benefit from improved clarity with the discrete mix.
  • The extras are highly complementary with little overlap save some of the deleted scenes & still frame art.
I am happy to own both (actually I have the Criterion on laserdisc and DVD in addition to the new MGM release), but will be watching the Criterion DVD when I just want to see the film. Your mileage may vary.

Regards,
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Ken McAlinden
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[Edited last by Ken_McAlinden on August 24, 2001 at 10:30 AM]
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#13 of 16 Shane Martin

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Posted August 24 2001 - 04:08 AM

I own the Criterion laserdisc if that helps. Perhaps I'm so used to the PCM sound.

#14 of 16 John Stockton

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Posted August 24 2001 - 09:26 AM

I saw this film several times during its theatrical run. I cannot comment on the picture, but the sound recorded in Dolby SR certainly had an impressive bass. The scene where Clarice is on her way to visit Lector for the first time, was over whelming with low frequency. Of course it helped that I saw the film in an HPS-4000 sound system theatre, known for its exceptional bass reproduction, among other things.

I wonder if this is a case like Jurrassic Park DTS DVD, where the earlier version was lacking in bass and then fixed in the new version. I thought this being the first 5.1 audio for SOTL, that we will be treated to some very powerfull bass, but it does not seem so...Oh well, maybe next time.

By the way According to www.thebigpicturedvd.com the new disc has better bottom end punch than the old versions. Posted Image

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[Edited last by John Stockton on August 24, 2001 at 04:46 PM]

[Edited last by John Stockton on August 25, 2001 at 08:42 PM]

#15 of 16 Ken_McAlinden

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Posted August 24 2001 - 09:32 AM

quote:
By the way According to www.thebigpicturedvd.com the new disc has better bottom end punch than the old versions[/quote]As I [almost] pointed out above, it all depends on which scene you are comparing. The "descent" scenes leading up to the first Lector meeting are an example where the new mix has less bass activity. Some of the instances where the LFE channel is employed have more.

Regards,

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Ken McAlinden
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[Edited last by Ken_McAlinden on August 24, 2001 at 04:34 PM]
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#16 of 16 Pete Calderwood

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Posted August 24 2001 - 09:34 AM

Another thing SOTL fans may want to consider is that the Criterion version features the proper color balance supervised by the film's Cinematographer, while the new MGM DVD features a cooler, less accurate color balance. Basically, you will have to decide whether you want the presentation that has the most accurate colors or the cleanest/sharpest presentation, in addition to any soundtrack issues that may arise.

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