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Anyone pick up the new Chaplin collection today?


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#1 of 21 OFFLINE   Russell G

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Posted March 02 2004 - 12:15 PM

This is supposed to be out today. I plan on getting it later in the month. Wondering if anyone can comment on it, does it have the same PAL speed up problems that the 1st set had?

#2 of 21 OFFLINE   Brian PB

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Posted March 02 2004 - 01:20 PM

According to this review from digitallyOBSESSED.com, the PAL-to-NTSC conversion is just as problematic in this second wave of R1 Chaplins.

Glad I bought the R2 "complete" box (although it doesn't contain The Chaplin Revue, so I guess it's not so "complete" after all).


#3 of 21 OFFLINE   Michael Elliott

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Posted March 02 2004 - 01:28 PM

I plan on picking up the set tomorrow if Best Buy has it in stock and at a good price. I didn't have a problem with the first set so there's no reason to stay away from this one. TCM is having a Chaplin marathon every Wednesday this month as well.

#4 of 21 OFFLINE   Brian PB

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Posted March 02 2004 - 01:42 PM

I'll have to disagree with you there, Michael. I originally bought the first R1 set, and sold it due to the significant blurring of the image (which is not present on the R2). Granted, I watch my DVDs on a 75" screen, which might be magnifying this effect, but I suspect the PAL-to-NTSC conversion artifacts will be bothersome to a great many people with large screen setups. Also, I don't consider myself to be hypercritical of DVD-derived images, but the first batch of R1 Chaplins were extremely disappointing to my eyes. Warner really screwed over the folks in Region 1 with the Chaplin series. What's sad is that it could've been avoided quite easily (albeit at a higher cost for WB).


#5 of 21 OFFLINE   george kaplan

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Posted March 02 2004 - 02:01 PM

Well the fact that an 87 minute film like Modern Times plays in only 83 minutes is a problem for me, and I will be sticking with my current crop of Chaplin dvds and bypassing the PAL speedup.
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#6 of 21 OFFLINE   Derek_McL

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Posted March 02 2004 - 08:00 PM

Does anyone know if the First National shorts are going to be released in region 2 ? The review referenced by Brian on them mentions the PAL to NTSC ghosting problem saying you'd be better getting the PAL R2s but that isn't an option for those shorts, at least in the UK. It seems really strange to me to release PAL to NTSC transfers in R1 yet not release anything in the region where we have PAL TVs ! They've also been shown on Sky cinema but no DVD yet ! Also I happened to read a review on Digitally obsessed of The Blot which looks like another PAL sourced transfer with some ghosting. This disc from Milestone is a Brownlow restoration. Does anyone know if the Brownlow restoration of IT with Clara Bow has been released ? It was supposed to come at the end of last year but was delayed till 2nd March. Has anyone seen that disc and does it exhibit some ghosting too ?

#7 of 21 OFFLINE   Roger Rollins

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Posted March 02 2004 - 11:24 PM

Warner is not really at fault here. They are merely the distributor of these Chaplin releases. These Chaplin releases were prepared by the French company MK2 who are the "official licensees" of the Chaplin estate. From what I have gleaned from comments on other websites, Warner complained to MK2 about the poor PAL to NTSC conversions, but MK2 refused to acknowledge that there was a problem, no less correct it.

#8 of 21 OFFLINE   Herb Kane

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Posted March 02 2004 - 11:54 PM

I received my box last week and just last night I watched The Kid. While I don't have anything to compare the film to, I must say that I was impressed with the image quality... it certainly exceeded my expectations and that's on a 96" screen.

There was also talk of scenes being cut or missing (and I'm not sure on what titles, if any), so someone please chime in with any information relating to that.

I hope to have the review complete within the next day or two.

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#9 of 21 OFFLINE   John Hodson

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Posted March 03 2004 - 12:58 AM


No! Really? Posted Image

I was happy enough with box 1 on my miniscule 32" TV (and I really, really tried to find fault with it Posted Image ), so I've gone ahead and ordered box 2.

Looking forward to your review Herb Posted Image

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#10 of 21 OFFLINE   Mark Zimmer

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Posted March 03 2004 - 03:05 AM

"It" also streeted yesterday. I haven't seen the Milestone version, however, having just reviewed the Kino one (which is very good) a few months ago. Thought I'd let someone else from digitallyObsessed! take a crack at this one.

Edit: But it seems there are no takers, so I'll be reviewing it (or It) next week anyway. Posted Image

#11 of 21 OFFLINE   MarkBourne

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Posted March 03 2004 - 04:51 AM



The Chaplin Revue has long been a point of bother for Chaplin fans for that reason among others (e.g., some scenes in the reissue were assembled from Camera B takes that differed sharply from the original versions). The physical alterations made for The Chaplin Revue are at least as irksome as the voice-over narration he added to The Gold Rush.

If you have the First National films in their original form, pre-The Chaplin Revue, hang on to them.

That's not to say that the PAL-to-NTSC conversion problem doesn't still exist in this Volume 2 set, but we need to see other films in the box to make a fully qualified assessment. I received the set last week for review and I haven't yet been at all bothered by it (but then, it didn't faze me at all in Volume 1 either).

#12 of 21 OFFLINE   Mark Zimmer

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Posted March 03 2004 - 08:56 AM

Thanks, Mark. The semi-amusing side effect of the PAL speedup on Chaplin Revue is that it's actually closer to right than a proper NTSC conversion would have been, due to the stretch-printing! Posted Image

But yes, the correct answer IMHO is go with David Shepard's compilation The First National Collection and skip The Chaplin Revue altogether.

#13 of 21 OFFLINE   Michael Elliott

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Posted March 03 2004 - 10:03 AM

I've watched the first set countless times since first getting them last year and I've yet to see any of the problems. I watched them on a 20" 4:3 set, a 50" widescreen set and a 80". I've read countless posts all over the net but I personally don't see any issues nor has anyone else I've watched them with. If I pause the screen and go frame by frame, then I see the ghosting but watching the movie all the way through, I see nothing. It's strange because if you read all these posts it seems 50/50 to me when it comes to opinions. Some see major flaws while others see wonderful transfers. I've seen the Image releases and I personally thought these Warner discs were a hundred times better. I'd even say MODERN TIMES was one of the best transfers out there. However, like I said earlier, I didn't notice any ghosting unless the image was paused. I'm not sure how much this has to do with equipment or if my eyes just aren't paying attention to something I'm missing. As for the PAL issue, this here doesn't really bother me either. Perhaps I'm used to watching PAL discs but I don't notice the speedup anymore. Another "controversial" thing is the edits but again, I don't mind these too much. I'm still curious to why Chaplin cut the films but I've yet to have anyone give me an answer. I just saw THE KID (original cut) earlier this year so I'm looking forward to Chaplin's alternate cut. I know what was cut and I've got the feeling I might prefer this newer version. Again, I think the debate is 50/50 and I'm sure the same results will come from this second set. When I bought the first collection I still owned the Image discs but sold them right after viewing the Warner set. I can still buy the Image discs of the titles in this second collection but I'm going to stick with Warner. THE KID, plus the new documentary, is on TCM tonight so I can't wait to see how much better the film looks.

#14 of 21 OFFLINE   MarkBourne

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Posted March 03 2004 - 10:21 AM

I'm with Michael. Throughout the Volume 1 set I could spot the ghosting only when I step-framed, obviously not something I'm prone to do while simply enjoying the movie. Otherwise I'd never know it was there, though I was never sure whether that suggested a flaw in my eyesight or if when it comes to persistence-of-vision my brain's a bit slow (it's been said in other contexts). Likewise the speed-up, which to my eyes is so slight as to be unnoticeable. So I'm in a quandary over how to address the problem in my reviews, other than to report that some viewers have spotted it and are bothered by it (like UFOs Posted Image).

The same's true with the Volume 2 set so far. Modern Times still holds pride of place as the most beautiful print/transfer, but so far the Volume 2 films I've viewed are mighty damn fine and the boxed set is an essential library item.

That said, I'd snap up David Shepard's First National editions in a heartbeat, if only to get those films' original cuts and camera angles.

#15 of 21 OFFLINE   MarkBourne

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Posted March 03 2004 - 11:44 AM

Heh. Happy accidents indeed. By the way, MarkZ, I continue to be impressed by your and others' reviews at digitallyobsessed.com. It's one of my few gotta-read review sites because so often the writing is as good as the reviews are thorough, a rare combination. (John Sinnott at DVDTalk, and Walter Chaw and Bill Chambers at filmfreakcentral.net also spring to mind. And Savant, natch.) Your coverage of the silent classics is splendid.

#16 of 21 OFFLINE   Matt_P

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Posted March 03 2004 - 12:29 PM

As my colleague Mark Zimmer indicated, the problem still exists. I've reviewed a title from each set (The Gold Rush, A King in NY / A Woman of Paris), and both have exhibited PAL to NTSC blurring. It's been noticeable to me, but these transfers are still quite good, especially The Gold Rush. BTW, everyone, be sure to congratulate Mark on his 700th review for dOc! Congrats, Mark!

#17 of 21 OFFLINE   Patrick McCart

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Posted March 03 2004 - 03:53 PM

I can correct the PAL speed-up on my laptop using WinDVD... so I might get it eventually. It's not on my priority list, though... I already own the Image editions of The Circus (V2), The Great Dictator (V1), City Lights (V2), Modern Times (V1), and The Gold Rush (V1).

#18 of 21 OFFLINE   Derek_McL

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Posted March 03 2004 - 09:18 PM

Remember here I'm talking about the native PAL versions but I too was very impressed with the transfer of Modern Times, really despite the cut to the nonsense song it blows the previous version out of the water. Everything else looked as good as I've ever seen it with the exceptions of The Circus and City Lights though they were still above average for silent films. The Circus was the poorest transfer while City Lights as indicated at DVD Beaver isn't as good as the Image as well as lacking the Carl Davis re-recording of the score. I found that a bit disappointing.

#19 of 21 OFFLINE   MarkBourne

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Posted March 04 2004 - 04:57 AM

700?! Yes, congrats! Jeez. By my quickie calculations, that represents almost two months straight of non-stop, round-the-clock, no-bathroom-breaks movie-watching.

#20 of 21 OFFLINE   MarkBourne

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Posted March 04 2004 - 05:00 AM

Damn. I guess I should feel fortunate because I can't see it (for whatever reason), but it's a shame that the blurring remains a technical reality and that it's a real bother to some viewers.




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