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A few words about... The Professionals


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#1 of 13 Robert Harris

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Posted April 17 2005 - 02:29 PM

It isn't often that I get a chance to view a new release directed by one of my favorite filmmakers, the extremely literate Richard Brooks, and starring one of my favorite actors, Burt Lancaster, along with Robert Ryan, Lee Marvin and Woody Strode.

This beautifully written film has been given a new anamorphic treatment by Columbia, requisite with the quality of the film. Its also nice to have access to the stereo tracks.

For those who have not experienced The Professionals, this is one of the most literate classic westerns of the 1960s, and comes highly recommended.

My only caveat is a desire to see higher quality supplementary material, in terms of featurettes, as opposed to more of the same "cookie cutter" quickie material from the Bouzereau camp.

With so many fine documentarians available to do this sort of work, I'm saddened by the quality of the "made for DVD" material taking up digital space. This isn't so much a matter of budget, as getting someone involved who truly loves film more than turning out minutes of fill.

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


#2 of 13 TravisR

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Posted April 17 2005 - 02:33 PM

You're probably right about the supplements but my enjoyment of the movie makes up for my dissapointment with the lack of more in-depth materialPosted Image

#3 of 13 Mike Frezon

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Posted April 17 2005 - 03:23 PM

Quote:
This beautifully written film has been given a new anamorphic treatment by Columbia, requisite with the quality of the film.


Am desperately looking forward to adding this to my ever-expanding queue of films-I-need-to-see.

There's Jessie the yodeling cowgirl. Bullseye, he's Woody's horse. Pete the old prospector. And, Woody, the man himself.Of course, it's time for Woody's RoundUp. He's the very best! He's the rootinest, tootinest cowboy in the wild, wild west!


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#4 of 13 Reed Grele

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Posted April 17 2005 - 03:43 PM

DVD Beaver has a comparison of the previous 2000 release, and the current 2005 one. Aside from the slight cropping issue with the new release, which one is closest to the film makers intentions in regards to color?

#5 of 13 Robert Crawford

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Posted April 17 2005 - 04:49 PM

For those who have not experienced The Professionals, this is one of the most literate classic westerns of the 1960s, and comes highly recommended.

Well stated! I thought this latest dvd a big improvement over the previously released dvd in both, video and audio presentations.





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#6 of 13 ArthurMy

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Posted April 17 2005 - 06:13 PM

Bouzereau's "work" here is especially shameful - I know he's thought of as the top guy, but I cannot watch his stuff anymore.

#7 of 13 Robert Crawford

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Posted April 17 2005 - 07:47 PM

With so many fine documentarians available to do this sort of work, I'm saddened by the quality of the "made for DVD" material taking up digital space. This isn't so much a matter of budget, as getting someone involved who truly loves film more than turning out minutes of fill.
I didn't mind the featurettes that had Claudia Cardinale and Maria Gomez in them, since all of the male actors are dead except Jack Palance and based on an video excerpt I've seen with him recently, he appears to be losing it.

Anyway, I wished they did have a film commentary and I thought Richard Brooks did one on a previously released LD? Also, it would've been nice if they had a documentary about the influences this groundbreaking film had on other films that have followed its storyline blueprint over the years.
Aside from the slight cropping issue with the new release, which one is closest to the film makers intentions in regards to color?
Yes, I would like to know RAH's opinion about the issue of color which we've been talking about in this thread. I'd watched this film three times during it's original theatrical run and I don't remember it having the same color tones of the first dvd release. Anyhow, on this latest dvd release, the coloring is more vibrant and pleasing to my eyes.





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#8 of 13 John Hodson

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Posted April 17 2005 - 08:09 PM

Fluff or not, and I haven't watched them yet but I'll take your word for what I guessed would be pretty lightweight extras, having any extras at all is a step in the right direction for Sony and their classic movies and I for one welcome the move.

I guess sales of this DVD will be pretty vital in determining what direction they take next with their newly burgeoning back catalogue classics.
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#9 of 13 Robert Harris

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Posted April 17 2005 - 11:31 PM

I'm unable to commnet on precise color for this film, as, while I've seen prints, I have no idea what may be considered reference.

With both Mr. Brooks and Mr. Hall no longer with us, one can only guess, aside from flesh tones.

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


#10 of 13 Simon Howson

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Posted April 18 2005 - 01:23 AM

It would be interesting to hear if Columbia asked for Hall's input during preparation of the HD master that the DVD was made from. That is assuming that Columbia made the HD transfer before his death of course... Somehow I doubt it :-(

I enjoyed listening to Hall talk on the commentary for Butch Cassidy, he mentions that he didn't get to do timing on that film, and goes on to say during day for night shots that he feels it is too bright...

Recently I watched the DVD of JUBAL (which I really enjoyed). I noticed that many day for night exteriors were very bright. Generally interiors in that film are very dimly lit, some really nice anamorphic cinematography, so it is possible that the exteriors were made slightly brighter to accentuate how dark the interiors are.

But I do wonder what process studios go through now to ensure that day for night sequences are transfered accurately to video to preserve the original intent of those particular shots? I guess it is easier if they have a decent original print handy so they can see how those shots were timed? But apart from that it seems that some day for night shots come out very bright.

#11 of 13 Robert Harris

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Posted April 18 2005 - 02:03 AM

If a tonal range is going to be "adapted" for home video, it will be night scenes, be they day-for-night or actual night shooting.

One of the things that I never look forward to are broadcasts of "Vertigo," for which the ending is brightened. The problem is that there is nothing to "brighten," as there is no information in the blacks.

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


#12 of 13 Ken_McAlinden

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Posted April 18 2005 - 07:34 AM

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One of the things that I never look forward to are broadcasts of "Vertigo," for which the ending is brightened. The problem is that there is nothing to "brighten," as there is no information in the blacks.
I saw a 4:3 panned and scanned broadcast of Vertigo a few years back, the master of which had to have been created since the restoration due to the stereo music and foley, that had all of the colors blown out and super saturated to the point of smearing a lot of the detail. I couldn't watch it to the end to see what they did there, though. I threw my laserdisc on well before that point. Posted Image

I couldn't figure out whether there was a problem in the broadcast chain somewhere or if someone actually wanted it to look that way.Posted Image

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#13 of 13 Robert Harris

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Posted April 18 2005 - 01:41 PM

Sadly, someone wanted it to look that way. It had to fit some entity's technical specifications.

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






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