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The Stepford Wives - Transfer Quality


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11 replies to this topic

#1 of 12 Brent Avery

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Posted July 17 2004 - 11:05 AM

I seem to have a habit of purchasing a dvd I am not familiar with and THEN checking it out on Amazon. This particular dvd release apparently is very grainy - and seeemingly there is an earlier release that is actually better in regard to video quality - I noticed a 25th Anniversary "Silver Edition" - is that the better of the two? Then again, maybe the one I have really isn't that bad and somebody posting on Amazon is too picky. Any thoughts on this? Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

#2 of 12 CraigF

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Posted July 17 2004 - 12:38 PM

I will be watching the newest release of this later tonight. As far as I know, it's the same release as the 25th Ann. release from Anchor Bay, supposedly the same transfer at least. It's the *first* AB transfer (the one before the 25th) that is garbage, and this is the best R1 DVD one there is. I presume you're asking because you haven't opened your disk yet? I can let you know if it's half-decent.

Oh yeah, be wary of those amazon reviews, sometimes they are not relevant to the specific product/version, but are for the content in some other incarnation.

[What do you think of those tabs on the case? Seem pointless to me, what with the 3 security stickers anyway. Maybe I'm missing something...]

#3 of 12 EricSchulz

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Posted July 17 2004 - 12:52 PM

I recently rented this from Netflix and the transfer was horrendous! It was grainy and "contrasty" (is that a word?). Some scenes were overly dark. I am not sure if this is inherent in the original film or not, having never seen it before. I am not sure which release Netflix has in stock, though.

#4 of 12 CraigF

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Posted July 17 2004 - 01:12 PM

I read around a bit, and grainy and contrasty were common complaints about the 25th transfer, so I expect it here too. I don't see a re-mastering/cleaning-up of this, it was never a really popular movie. I'd guess, for now, they're putting the $$ into the remake.

Edit: OK, watched it. Yes, there is generally a LOT of grain visible. In some scenes it is "overwhelming", but in many others it's hardly visible, and I couldn't figure out a correlation with lighting. That's on the fly, I was paying more attention to the story. The grain didn't bother me much, except at the beginning.

There are a few scenes that are really contrasty, totally unrealistic looking. A good example is when Joanna and Bobby are in the drugstore. By "contrasty", imagine going into any image editor and cranking the contrast way up, so that some colors almost glow and others appear very muted. It's hard for me to see how they couldn't have at least *tried* to correct this. The dark outside scenes are also pretty bad, but there isn't a whole lot where it's really bad though.

Another note: this is the oldest movie I can think of offhand that has massive amounts of blatant "product placement", even in the dialogue. It is even worse than a current film for that. In this film it is slightly needed as part of the story, but not to the extent it was done (I really notice it because I hate it). The problem with copious PP is it really dates a film, though it does create a sense of familiarity/identity with contemporary audiences.

#5 of 12 Brian W

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Posted July 18 2004 - 10:22 AM

My opinion is that this was not filmed with the highest level of cinematography, it has that 70's "Tuesday Movie of the Week" or a 70's made for television quality. I imagine this transfer pretty much represents what was seen in theaters when it was released. However, I agree that Paramount could have given this a better digital mastering. Depending on your equipment and display, you can minimize the excessive grain which seems to be enhanced by this transfer. I managed to calibrate to give it a more film like look and am satisfied this about as good as it ever looked.

#6 of 12 CraigF

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Posted July 18 2004 - 01:48 PM

After posting, I got to thinking that the obvious contrast problems in a few scenes (I don't mean the dark ones) actually *were* repairs. They are so strange-looking that it's hard to believe they looked like that when the film was new...the psychedelic era was over. So I'm guessing somebody did a real quickie fix on them...who knows how bad the source looked.

#7 of 12 Steve Phillips

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Posted July 19 2004 - 02:51 AM

I've never seen a better print.

#8 of 12 Brent Avery

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Posted July 19 2004 - 07:40 AM

I was in between movies and snuck in 30 minutes or so - just enough to give me an idea on the overall video quality - and thought it looked above average and sometimes amazingly good - I cannot speak on how well outputting a DVI signal to the front projector being used helps but if it is really bad nothing can improve the picture when viewed on a 100" screen, every flaw is painfully obvious. One scene that was amusing - the parking lot at the super market were the store employee was helping one of the wives back out - they seemed to prefer Ford Torino station wagons - more product endorsement? It was good for a laugh for some reason. Thankyou everyone for your input, it is much appreciated!


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#9 of 12 Ric Easton

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Posted July 19 2004 - 08:20 AM

I just picked this up today! Sorry to hear the PQ is lacking. Still, it wasn't a bad price, so thems the breaks I guess!

#10 of 12 CraigF

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Posted July 21 2004 - 01:53 PM

The PQ didn't bother me, I've seen plenty worse, was just trying to be straight about it as not being pristine.

Finally got around to watching the Blue Underground interview extra. I though it was pretty good, short but very informative. That seems to have been a *very* troubled film, on and off the set. Lots of personal stuff. Enough so that it was very clear in the participants' minds even 25 years after the filming.

#11 of 12 Douglas Bailey

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Posted July 21 2004 - 04:47 PM

Quote:
That seems to have been a *very* troubled film, on and off the set. Lots of personal stuff.
With regard to at least one of the troubles, you can read original screenwriter William Goldman's side of the story in his excellent book Adventures in the Screen Trade.

(Actually, if you use Amazon's "search inside this book" to search for the word "Nanette", you can probably read the key section, pp. 205-6, for free.)

In essence, Goldman does think that the decision to cast Nanette Newman as one of the Wives compromised the rest of the film. But the worst thing he says about Newman personally is that "a sex bomb she isn't", and he also calls her "a good actress" and "attractive". His memoir isn't quite the insult-laden hatchet-job that Bryan Forbes seems to be suggesting in his section of the documentary.
"Self-discipline isn't everything. Look at Pol Pot."
—Helen Fielding, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason

#12 of 12 Josh Steinberg

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Posted July 21 2004 - 05:12 PM

Quote:
[What do you think of those tabs on the case? Seem pointless to me, what with the 3 security stickers anyway. Maybe I'm missing something...]


I work in a video store, and trust me, I love those things. We have people who come in who try to quietly slice open the packaging and slide discs out into their pockets. Those tabs makes it harder on them. To date, I don't think we've had any discs stolen out of cases with those tabs.





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