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DVD Reviews

HTF REVIEW: The Martin Scorsese Collection (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED).

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#41 of 73 OFFLINE   ScottJH


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Posted August 18 2004 - 12:43 PM

For anyone that hasn't picked this up yet, Buy.com has it for $39.49 including shipping.

#42 of 73 OFFLINE   Martin Jeeves

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Posted August 18 2004 - 11:17 PM

Got this set yesterday, and my discs are all "misty" and "cloudy" within the disc itself. Anyone else notice this? Anyone have any problems with the discs?

#43 of 73 OFFLINE   Reagan


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Posted August 19 2004 - 03:52 AM

More of my comments on the GoodFellas DVD... The good... The trailer is anamorphic widescreen. The not so good... The movie's audio appears to be slightly out of sync at some parts (e.g., the wedding scene). Anyone else notice this? I hope I'm wrong. -Reagan
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#44 of 73 OFFLINE   Jim Blackie

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Posted August 20 2004 - 01:16 AM

Just got mine yesterday... please let this NOT be true! I'll check this evening.
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#45 of 73 OFFLINE   Britton


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Posted August 20 2004 - 02:30 AM

I didn't notice any problems with the audio synching.

#46 of 73 OFFLINE   Joe D

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Posted August 24 2004 - 07:40 AM

I'm a huge Scorsese fan, but I've never been able to watch After Hours. Holy cow, what a great movie. I had a great time watching it.

#47 of 73 OFFLINE   Estevan Lapena

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Posted August 24 2004 - 06:52 PM

picking this set up for my Birthday. Haven't seen After Hours or Who’s That Knocking At My Door but for 49.99 Canadian, I can't go wrong!

#48 of 73 OFFLINE   Paul Strilka

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Posted August 24 2004 - 11:56 PM

I have been enjoying this set. "After Hours" looks great. Nice grain left in the picture- it looks like film- not clean video. I love it. Anyone else a bit upset as to the commentaries? In the past- Criterion's "Taxi Driver" and "Raging Bull" Scorsese delivered brilliant insight into the process of making the films- very technical. It was an entertaining film school lecture. I can listen to them over and over. For some reason he doesn't seem as excited on these discs. You don't really learn anything new and he almost never comments directly on individual scenes. Most commentaries these days are a waste of time. Besides Kevin Smith- Scorsese seemed like the one director who liked to do them and did them well. The thrill is gone.

#49 of 73 OFFLINE   Simon Howson

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Posted August 25 2004 - 12:33 AM

I am so happy to have this Scorsese box. I had a Region 4 copy of Goodfellas which was in a snapper case, and the disc was a flipper (it was one of the first batch of DVDs released in Australia, before many of the authoring places had the capability to make dual layer discs). I had purchased the original version of Mean Streets region 1 blind because I was desperate to see the film. I was happy with the film, but VERY unimpressed by the quality of the original DVD. I got my copy of the set yesterday for about AUD$50 from DVDSoon.com. The first thing I did was put in the new SE version of Mean Streets and was happy to see a HUGE improvement in the image quality. It seems to me the original version was transferred from a rather crappy print, and was woeful in some places. I am not saying the new version is perfect, but it contains so much red most scenes look a bit out of focus which is part of the massive charm of the film ;-) I started listening to Scorsese's commentary, about the first twenty minutes and I have to say I am really happy with it. I have since watched some other extras from the box, such as the After Hours doco. For AUD$10 per disc this is my bargain of the year (maybe that or the Warner Hitchcock set due out in a few weeks, I ordered that for AUD$85). I am very much looking forward to sitting down to watch After Hours, I have previously watched it twice, both times on very badly worn ex-rental VHS tapes that I bought for I think $4 or $5 each. Even at that price the quality was so poor I effectively ripped myself off. But I just wanted to see all Scorsese's films so badly! Now I have an excellent DVD copy, AND a new widescreen TV to play them on. I couldn't be happier. To top it all off, I wake up this morning and read that now MGM have plans for a Scorsese set, with SE versions of New York, New York and Raging Bull! (I already have Boxcar Bertha, and Last Waltz SE, but it doesn't matter!) I am a big fan of New York, New York, but again, I have only watched it twice the fist time on a worn rental VHS, and another time I taped it off the TV. Both times it was the longer version, around 2 hours 40 from memory, with the "Happy Endings" sequence. I am aware that there was a pretty decent deluxe laserdisc version of this made during the early 90s. I am hoping that MGM include the commentary track used on this laserdisc and perhaps include another newer commentary track. An interesting thing about the film though is that Scorsese wanted to shoot it in Academy ratio. After all, it is about the sort of pre-CinemaScope era musicals. Yet I think the studio made him protect the image for 1.66:1. It will be interesting to see in the era of widescreen TVs if Scorsese window boxes the film to 1.66:1. Or has it transferred full frame, or mattes it down further to 16:9. It is a tough choice given that rapidly 16:9 is becoming THE standard TV aspect ratio. I wonder which way Scorsese will go, given his intention was for the film to be roughly 4:3? I wouldn't mind 4:3, but it seems to me that 1.66:1 is a decent compromise. Lastly, regarding Raging Bull. This film is indeed due for a new transfer. I had the pleasure of seeing a new 35mm print last year. That was of amazing quality, FAR superior to my DVD. This is one of those WOW films that plays much differently in a cinema. Yet we still need a decent quality DVD and there is much room to move in that direction Additionally the 2 disc edition of Raging Bull I have (region 4) is cropped on the left hand side by about 5 - 10% where as the right hand side is perfect. I have compared the DVD to frame enlargments in some of my film text books and whoever transferred it made some big mistakes. So Raging Bull SE would be great with a new transfer of the film, even supervised by Chapman/Scorsese, and the Criterion commentary would be great. But it doesn't seem Criterion license their commentaries, so maybe a new one will have to do. Lastly, I would love to hear the Scorsese/Schrader commentary for the Criterion Taxi Driver laser disc. It is sad it isn't on the other wise great Columbia DVD. Sorry for writing so much, all this new Scorsese material has got me psyched.

#50 of 73 OFFLINE   Andrew Chong

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Posted August 25 2004 - 01:36 AM

No need to apologize, Simon. Your enthusiasm is infectious. It's good to know that MGM is considering a set as well. Too bad they couldn't have timed it closer to Warner's effort. Nevertheless, whatever MGM and Scorsese can come up with is something to look forward too.

#51 of 73 OFFLINE   MattHenderson



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Posted August 25 2004 - 12:18 PM

Hey Gil, great review of "Mean Streets!" I completely agree with you, it's one of Scorsese's best movies. Anyone looking to just buy "Goodfellas" should reconsider purchasing the whole set for this one title, and also for "After Hours." One small quibble - the voiceover at the beginning ("You don't make up for your sins in church. You do it in the streets... The rest is bullshit and you know it.") - that's actually Scorsese talking, not Harvey Keitel! Man am I looking forward to seeing the new transfer. Unfortunately I ordered from Amazon along with "I Vitelloni" and "Videodrome" so I have to wait another couple of weeks before I get my Scorsese fix. But I'm really looking forward to the "Raging Bull" and "New York, New York" special editions. Are "Boxcar Bertha" and "The Last Waltz" for sure going to be the same discs already out there? And what about Scorsese's short films and other works, like "Italianamerican?"

#52 of 73 OFFLINE   Simon Howson

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Posted August 25 2004 - 05:11 PM

I was just speculating. Consider that The Last Waltz SE is a pretty comprehensive disc. I doubt they will change it. The restored transfer is very good quality. Box Car Bertha is bare bones, so perhaps they may add a commentary. The quality isn't very good, but you know it was just a cheap film I don't think even Corman realised that Scorsese was going to go on to be one of the most important American film makers, so the film was probably stored poorly. You know they just wanted to make a quick buck at the drive ins, I don't think they would think anyone would want to study it outside of that context :-) I read some where early this year that Criterion were considering doing a DVD with lots of Scorsese's shorts. I have only seen The Big Shave, I would love to see all the others. Criterion did a laser disc ages ago. So maybe they have the rights to some of them still?

#53 of 73 OFFLINE   Paul Strilka

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Posted August 25 2004 - 11:43 PM

The criterion laser of Scorsese shorts is a gem in my collection. It includes "The Big Shave" as well as, "Italianamerican" and "American Boy: Steven Prince". It does not include the early student shorts- "It's Not you Murray" or "What's a Nice Girl". I have seen clips from "Murray" it has a Goodfellas feel to it. Wise guy in a smart suit, quick edits, etc. The documentary on Steven Prince is amazing. It's also a film Tarantino must have seen many times. He blatantly stole the story about the girl who OD's and used it in "Pulp Fiction". It's a shame more people are not aware of this.

#54 of 73 OFFLINE   Simon Howson

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Posted August 26 2004 - 02:07 AM

There are tapes of Italian American that go on ebay. In weaker moments I have considered bidding on such tapes. But I know I will always want good quality copies eventually. I just hope Criterion do have such a DVD in the works. After that and the MGM set it would potentially mean that every single Scorsese film would be available on DVD. The trouble is, the film elements of each of these films is probably in poor condition. I hope Scorsese goes the whole way and has the films themselves restored, so that high resolution digital archives can be made so that in 40 years there are high quality copies available. I was pleasently surprised when MGM went all out for The Last Waltz, I mean it isn't ever day that a rock concert under goes a full restoration.

#55 of 73 OFFLINE   Reagan


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Posted August 26 2004 - 02:30 AM

Earlier I wrote about GoodFellas:
Good news... Last night I checked the audio sync at the start of every chapter and am relieved to say that with one minor exception (crushing of the glass at the start of the wedding scene) there isn't an audio sync problem. I swear last week I heard more problems than just that one, but it must have been some temporary equipment problem because I couldn't find them last night. Moreover, no one else has noticed a problem. So that's that. My favorite movie ever finally got the treatment it deserves on DVD. -Reagan
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#56 of 73 OFFLINE   James W. Johnson

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Posted August 28 2004 - 02:42 AM

I watched After Hours last night, the PQ and SQ were alot better than I expected! A++++++

#57 of 73 OFFLINE   Magnus T

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Posted August 28 2004 - 08:39 AM

Just finished listening to the crooks and cops commentary track on the Goodfellas DVD. Does anybody know why they bleeped out Morrie's name? Seemed kinda odd that former FBI agent Edward McDonald had no problems mentioning his real name, yet WB did. Anyway, I kinda liked the commentary track. I was surprised of how few gaps there was on the track and how willing Henry Hill was taking about all the stuff.
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#58 of 73 OFFLINE   Keith M.

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Posted August 30 2004 - 02:44 AM

Im not sure what kind of system was used when reviewing Goodfellas SE, but on my 100" stewart screen w/ FP, I saw alot of distracting specs and a huge scratch that split the screen in half for about 1-2 secs during one scene. This presentation does not deserve such a high video score of 4.5/5. This is far from reference quality. I own both releases, and dont see much improvement at all. The biggest plus is the elimination of the flipper. The audio was also a letdown. It was described as being "relatively forward" and "exceptionally bold". In my opinion, this is ALL it was. It sounded like a badly mixed mono track being played through a megaphone. So again, your score of 4/5 is really too generous. Yes the soundtrack content is great, but the mix was awful. I agree this version is the one to get. But the only real reasons to upgrade are due to the elimination of the flipper and the extras.

#59 of 73 OFFLINE   Keith M.

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Posted August 30 2004 - 08:34 AM

Alexandr P: Huh?

Talk about a thread crap...Who are you talking to?

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#60 of 73 OFFLINE   Mark Klaus

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Posted August 30 2004 - 09:00 AM