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Gladiator: Extended Edition


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#1 of 96 OFFLINE   Geoff_D

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Posted August 25 2005 - 03:15 AM

Well, a copy of this just dropped on my mat (R1, natch). I've spun the Battle Of Carthage sequence and, sadly, I could hear noticable distortion in the centre speaker throughout the scene. FYI I don't have a 'reference' set-up, only having mediocre speakers partnered to a Yamaha amp - and I've never even held a SPL meter. Posted Image

At my regular listening level, David Hemming's booming introduction sounds great. But when the 'battle' starts and Maximus starts barking out orders, Russell Crowe's dialogue sounds very ragged, as do the more intense audio effects. There is a clear distortion that I'm picking up here. I've not watched the rest of the film, but I can't see this issue spontaneously clearing up...

Is it the end of the world? No. But to get this poor a representation of the audio, given the all-conquering audio tracks that featured on the previous release, is very disappointing.

Yes, we shouldn't be over-analysing every single aspect of a DVD release, and most complaints about the quality of releases border on churlish (Robert Harris was right to have a moan about this in one of his recent posts), but this is a poorly handled audio mix on what should be an even more enjoyable version of a cracking film.

I've yet to get stuck in to the extras, and no doubt they'll be worth the price of admission if they're up to Charlie de Lauzirika's usual standards, but it looks like I'll be sticking with the original edition, dts-es and all, for watching the film in future.

#2 of 96 OFFLINE   Dannie

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Posted August 25 2005 - 03:16 AM

so how do u get to the easter egg on disc2? without having to just skip to title10?

#3 of 96 ONLINE   Robert Crawford

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Posted August 25 2005 - 05:03 AM

Well, a copy of this just dropped on my mat (R1, natch). I've spun the Battle Of Carthage sequence and, sadly, I could hear noticable distortion in the centre speaker throughout the scene. FYI I don't have a 'reference' set-up, only having mediocre speakers partnered to a Yamaha amp - and I've never even held a SPL meter.

Would you have heard the distortion if you weren't specifically listening for it? Without carefully listening for any distortion, I played the dvd from beginning of the film until the ending and I didn't notice any distortion, however, everybody's level of listening sensitivity is different.






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#4 of 96 OFFLINE   Carlo Medina

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Posted August 25 2005 - 05:15 AM

As I said in the last thread:

Point out specifics for me (and those of us who have both) to listen to when we get a chance to A/B.

Simply saying there's "distortion" - what does that mean? Is it overcompressed? Is it clipping? Is it crackling? Is it just a different soundmix that you're not used to hearing? Is the problem with the vocals or effects or both? Where do you hear it?

Some time in the next week I'll get a chance to really sit down and A/B it. Last night I spun just the Carthage scene and it sounded fine to my ears (NAD T763, MB Quart QLS1030 mains, 330 Center, Energy eXL16 rears, eXL-S12 sub, calibrated with AVIA and Rat Shack SPL meter).

Tell me what to look for.

Here's a FICTIONAL EXAMPLE--"when Maximus says "Single column! Single column!" it sounds better/worse and explain (i.e. can't hear it as well in the new version)

Or if you're comparing effects sounds (i.e. sword clashes, loud booms, etc.) give time codes and tell us what to listen for. "At 1:45:40 there's a sword fight and the clang is more sharp/audible/pronounced on the old disc than the new."

Now I'm not saying any of the above happened, but that's what I'd like as far telling me what to look for. Otherwise I can spin up that chapter on both discs and, to be honest, I bet if a bunch of you came over and I blacked out the picture and covered the receiver and DVD player (so you couldn't see the DTS flag come up or tell which disc was playing), at least half of you wouldn't be able to tell the difference (and yes for any Los Angelenos this is a serious invitation, PM me).

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#5 of 96 OFFLINE   Andrew Bunk

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Posted August 25 2005 - 06:19 AM

I am going to spin this on Saturday and I will note any timecode the distortion appears at if I hear it.

I wouldn't say I have a "top of the line" system, but I am using an Onkyo THX 7.1 receiver with Infinity Betas, and my center channel is larger than most I've seen. So it's better than my previous HT in a box, which was also Onkyo. I will most likely try it on both systems in the key scenes.

Can't wait to see the extended cut.
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#6 of 96 OFFLINE   Timothy Alexander

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Posted August 25 2005 - 06:25 AM

Quote:
so how do u get to the easter egg on disc2? without having to just skip to title10?


On the second disc, go to chapters, then highlight "Credits" and press right. A medallion on the side will light up red.

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#7 of 96 OFFLINE   Russell G

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Posted August 25 2005 - 06:42 AM

Quote:
Here's a FICTIONAL EXAMPLE--"when Maximus says "Single column! Single column!" it sounds better/worse and explain (i.e. can't hear it as well in the new version)


I heard a little distortion at louder than standard listening levels, and at below listening levels, mostly on the line you quoted above. I would describe it as staticy/crackly, like when a radio is not quite tuned, and more pronounced on the fist "Single", never to the point of makeing the dialog unintelligable. Check out the closed thread for my system details, I can't remember the model, it was a HT in a box from Panasonic.

I played the scene looking for it, I haven't had the pleasure of sitting down and enjoying the film. I would call it a knit-pick, alot of movies with as aggressive a sound stage as this (and it did seem more aggressive from my memory of the previous editions DD track, although I have not A/B it) have similar "distortions" and don't get called out on the rug like this is. If this is as bad as the audio gets, a subjective opinion, I can live with it. But it is there for those of you with finely tuned ears.

I am going to be playing this on the weekend at my Dad's place on a referance system with Totem speakers set up by factory, so I should be able to chime in with an update if it replicates, if I actually notice it while watching the movie.

#8 of 96 OFFLINE   Harold Wazzu

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Posted August 25 2005 - 09:18 AM

I just listened to it myself, Carlo listen to that whole Battle of Carthage and listen for Russell Crowe's dialogue after the battle starts. I found crackling/distortion in much of his dialogue once the action started.

Would I have noticed this if I wasn't listening for it? Probably, it was pretty pronounced in my system. But in no way would it cause me to not buy the dvd.

As far as the extra material inserted into the film, I found alot of it very interesting.

The extras should keep me busy for a week if not more.


#9 of 96 OFFLINE   Carlo Medina

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Posted August 25 2005 - 09:26 AM

See that's weird. As I said, I haven't A/B'd the two discs yet but I did spin the Battle of Carthage chapter last night and did not find distortion or crackling in the dialogue (my equipment is listed in my other post above, and I have my NAD doing the DD/DTS decoding, not my Panny RP91 DVD player which I forgot to list).

Again, time permitting I'll listen to it again. But you seem to say the whole dialogue of that scene is distorted and upon listening last night I didn't find that to be the case. Will check again though.

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#10 of 96 OFFLINE   JoshB

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Posted August 25 2005 - 12:21 PM

Has anyone else had a chance to watch the 3 hr. doc yet?

I watched about 90% this past weekend, and its outstanding. Certainly one of the best I have ever seen about the making of a film. Everything is covered, and pretty much everyone you can think of regarding the project is there as well. You would think that a film of this size would have its problems, but I never imagined to what extent as this doc reveals (story development, effects, locations, sets,tigers, etc)

I think this really gives you a pretty indepth look at Ridley Scott. The work that he does, and his commitment to he craft are astounding, and if more director's applied even a tenth of the creativity, motivation, and vison as him, we would not have the lack of quality that we see in so many films these days.

The documentary alone is worth buying this set, and I havent even looked over disc 3 yet.
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#11 of 96 OFFLINE   Dave H

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Posted August 25 2005 - 02:00 PM

The digital bits review mentioned very slightly better video. For those of you who have watched the new disc, what do you think?

#12 of 96 OFFLINE   Tim Glover

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Posted August 25 2005 - 03:13 PM

To be fair, there are other titles with some distortion too but are considered "reference" dvds. The EE of ROTK during one of the extended scenes...I think it's inside the paths of the dead and the skulls cracking. Audible distortion in left surround channel. Still a reference dvd by nearly all accounts.

I haven't seen this new Gladiator dvd but just wanted to point out that even some reference dvds have flaws.

#13 of 96 OFFLINE   TonyD

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Posted August 25 2005 - 03:19 PM

gonna pick this up at least only for the extra material.
i'll watch the longer cut just for curiosity.

but i expect to stick with the regular dts-es cut for the future.

btw, timothy wondering why you would spoiler the egg directions.
you arent giving anything away except for how to access whatever is contained there.
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#14 of 96 OFFLINE   Ryan L. Bisasky

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Posted August 25 2005 - 04:35 PM

question, on the tv spots, is the super bowl commercial on the dvd?
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#15 of 96 OFFLINE   Dannie

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Posted August 25 2005 - 07:05 PM

i pressed right while highlighting the credits option. the medalion isnt lighting up

#16 of 96 OFFLINE   Martin Jeeves

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Posted August 25 2005 - 11:33 PM

This is a GREAT set and the video is atleast as good as the original 2 disc set. The commentary is good and the documentary is very exhaustive and informative. The audio is by and large very good but there is without a doubt some distortion in a couple of scenes. I have listened over and over to the "Battle of Carthage" scene and I hear it every time. I first heard it when I wasn't even "trying" to hear it. On my reference system at normal listening levels it was very noticeable as a crackling in Russell Crowe's orders. It's a shame and it is annoying but I would NOT let it spoil your enjoyment of this great set. The extended cut makes an already great film... even greater!
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#17 of 96 OFFLINE   Andrew Chong

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Posted August 26 2005 - 02:06 AM

I'm very happy to own this beautiful set. So far, I've watched the extended version of the movie and the supplements on the third disc as well as sampled a little of the audio and text commentaries; I look forward to viewing the documentary soon as well as hearing and reading the commentaries.

After my first viewing of the extended version and although I appreciate some of the connections the additional footage makes (for instance, the increased symbolism of wheat? grain) I currently prefer the theatrical version. Perhaps after subsequent viewings together with the new commentaries, I'll change my mind. I've had similar initial feelings about the extended versions of other movies.
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#18 of 96 OFFLINE   Ray H

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Posted August 26 2005 - 05:11 AM

Has anyone watched the film with the "Are You Not Entertained?" trvia track yet? Something funny during the end credits: the trivia track explains why there is no DTS track and even tells us the Extended Edition's average bitrate and how much adding the DTS track would've lowered it! Posted Image
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#19 of 96 OFFLINE   Kevin M

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Posted August 26 2005 - 06:41 AM

That's hilarious Ray! Charles D (I assume) obviously knew what stale old battles the non-inclusion of DTS would bring out of the woodwork around the HT community. Posted Image Posted Image
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#20 of 96 OFFLINE   Bill Williams

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Posted August 26 2005 - 06:59 AM

I've already dropped a not-so-subtle hint to my wife that I want this particular DVD for my collection. With my birthday coming up next month, I believe I'm going to get it! Posted Image Posted Image
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