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HTF REVIEW: The Fly - Collector's Edition



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#21 of 138 Steve Christou

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Posted September 10 2005 - 12:20 AM

Quote:
Powerdvd is the best program to make screenshots from a dvd.


I used to think that too, but I've tried a few others that were far better, WinDVD for one.

Quote:
Fear of the Flesh: The Making of the Fly. This is a new interactive documentary that runs 2hrs 42min with all interactive features


Wow! Over an hour longer than the film itself! Looking forward to checking it out.

I only wish Jeff Goldblum had joined Cronenberg on the commentary.Posted Image

Dave hören... auf, wille stoppen sie Dave... stoppen sie Dave... Mein gehirn geht... Ich bin gefühl es... Ich bin gefühl es... Ich bin ängstlich Dave... Guter Nachmittag. Ich bin ein HAL 9000 computer. Ich wurde funktionsfähig am HAL-Betrieb in Urbana, Illinois auf January 12 1992.


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#22 of 138 Joe:C

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Posted September 10 2005 - 12:34 AM

Didn't David Pryor mention in the other Fly thread that this was the same tranfer as the Fly/Fly II disc?

I can't wait to pick this up. The documentary sounds great.

#23 of 138 TonyDale

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Posted September 10 2005 - 01:41 AM

Nifty review of a dvd I'm looking forward to. However:
Quote:
there is quite a bit of fluff strands that mark the picture once and a while.

Was the cameraman knitting or making egg noodles in order for "fluff strands" to appear? Posted Image
We are just surrealist pilgrims, melting clocks in marble halls. . .

#24 of 138 TheBat

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Posted September 10 2005 - 04:49 AM

powerdvd does a better job then windvd.. windvd makes all of the dvds look like they are from a widescreen tv set, and powerdvd does it more proper.

JACOB

#25 of 138 Michael Osadciw

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Posted September 10 2005 - 07:50 AM

Tony

The fluff is from all of the tissue used to catch the flies that wouldn't leave the camera man's egg noodles alone. Posted Image

I watched an interesting show on flies the other week on one of those discovery channels...amazing little pests...and so disgusting too. Two things I can't stand in life: flies and centipedes. uuuugggghhhh Posted Image [shudder]

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#26 of 138 TonyDale

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Posted September 10 2005 - 08:22 AM

Michael, good thing you're not on the Eastern Seaboard, there's been a virtual infestation of centipedes this summer, from Georgia on up. . .I hate them, too.

As for that cameraman, maybe he should have been knitting between takes rather than chowing down on noodles.

Posted Image
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#27 of 138 Greg K

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Posted September 14 2005 - 09:29 AM

Sorry to jump in late on this (especially since I'm the maniac who's been yelling the loudest about this release...).


Quote:
This is a “fully restored” version of the film, I’m assuming from the original negative since most of the deleted scenes have been redone from the negatives. The resulting 1.85:1 picture is very satisfactory and much better from what we’ve seen in the past. The image is dim in its appearance to highlight the mood of Seth’s isolated loft/lab. Shadow detail is excellent and it needs to be for this film. I was very happy! Outdoor scenes and the interiors in Particle magazine don’t follow suit with the dimness, but rather offer a pleasant range of contrast.

There are still some problems though, but not big ones. Black specs still pop up every so often and there is quite a bit of fluff strands that mark the picture once and a while. I would also classify the overall image as slightly soft, but it has always looked this way. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still very sharp, but compared to other titles this is the impression I get. Thankfully, no edge enhancement is applied to make up for it, and halos or compression artefacts of any kind are not seen when watching this movie.

Strangely enough, the video and the audio of first few beats of the drum of the 20th Century Fox logo are missing from the beginning of the movie. I don’t have my original Fly DVD anymore, so can anyone confirm if it was the same on that disc? I can’t remember.

As noted, the transfer is identical to the 2000 Fly/Fly II Double Feature DVD.

And yes, the film has always started without the first beats of the Fox Fanfare (it's an edited version of the 1954 recording, I think, the same one that opened the 1958 version of The Fly, as well as Star Wars).

So, in terms of audio/video (with the exception of the new DTS and Spanish language tracks), this version is the same as the previous one.





Quote:
There are two documentaries; on is titled Fear of the Flesh: The Making of the Fly. This is a new interactive documentary that runs 2hrs 42min with all interactive features. A fly will appear on the screen and if you want to find out more you hit the “enter” button on your remote. The documentary has chapter stops and has titles all of the way through just to let you know what is about to be discussed. The information in the documentary is invaluable to any Fly fan as it features interviews from Goldblum and Davis, the original director before Cronenberg, as well as the writers and some people on Cronenberg’s crew. You’ll see lots of test footage, raw dailies, deleted sequences, as well as four different codas for the film, none which were used (THANK THE MAKER!!) The documentary is enhanced for widescreen TVs and is in Dolby 5.1. Unfortunately the picture quality is crap and this is surprising considering that HD is right around the corner and it seems to have been filmed with 4:3 480i video cameras. My home videos from the Yukon and Northwest Territories (Canada’s far north) on an SD 16:9 DVD camcorder look far better than this documentary – even the titles look worse than what I can assemble on my computer. So if there is something to grip about on this whole collection it would be this one only thing. But don’t let that take you away from the information presented here.


Early reports stated that the "interactive branching clips" would be on Disc 1 (and one could select the icons during the film), but this makes more sense.

Question: Is this a "talking heads" documentary (in which the interviewees do all the talking), or is there some kind of narration spread throughout?

Question # 2: FOUR DIFFERENT CODAS????? Four? I'd theorized there were at least two (Ronnie dreams of the butterfly baby alone in bed, and with Stathis in bed), but FOUR????????


Quote:
Next up are everyone’s favourite: deleted scenes. There are four deleted scenes as well as two extended scenes to show the editing process when pacing a movie. They include second interview (1.42), the infamous monkey-cat scene (6.58) [you can also view the storyboard and script separate from the video], Brundlefly vs. Baglady (script only – abandoned before filming), butterfly baby (2.25) [this is the L.A. screening version. The workprint is lost so this is reassembled from the original negative and a VHS dupe of the animation]. Some of the scenes are reconstructed from the original negative or are from the workprint, or from a bit of both.

The same applies to the extended scenes. These extended scenes also have an option for you to watch them on their own or with a “red box” around the parts that were excised to quicken the pace of the scene. The two extended scenes are reconciliation (2.59) and the poetry of steak (3.39). While there are probably many other small cuts like this left on the cutting room floor, they by no means change the direction of the story. They just add a few more sentences between important dialogue.


Questions: Are these scenes 1.85:1 (and thus, presumably, enhanced for 16 x 9 televisions)?

One issue made known to me is that the shot of Brundle amputating the insect leg was badly underlit when shot. How does it look on the DVD?

How do the scenes play? With the newly-added sound effects/music (taken from the completed film) put into the deleted scenes, do the scenes feel more "authentic"? Appearently, Cronenberg himself approved of the sound/music additions made to "complete" the monkey-cat scene...


I (and others) have often wondered just how long the monkey-cat/leg amputation sequence lasted. At nearly 7 minutes, that's a sizable chunk of screentime (The final cut of The Fly runs some 90 minutes). Nifty.

And it's logical that the version of the butterfly baby scene presented in the DVD's Deleted Scenes section (which shows Ronnie and Stathis in bed) is the one used for the LA test screening, since that's presumably the one that came closest to actually being in the final cut (as opposed to the other four. FOUR!!!! FOUR CODAS!!!! Wow.).


The "extended scenes" are a surprise, although I'm already 99% sure about what they are. "Reconciliation" is almost certainly an extension of the scene where Ronnie comes back after Brundle teleports himself (with more dialogue between them, including the closest to saying "I love you" Brundle and Ronnie get), and "The Poetry of Steak" would be an extension of Brundle's lesson regarding why the Telepods couldn't properly teleport the steak (and Ronnie's comment that Brundle can teach the computer about the flesh by reading it Naked Lunch). Cool.

Although (if the version of the script I have is any indicator) there were other scenes that had dialogue and little moments cut out, the selections included on the DVD are good choices, I think.




All in all, excellent review. I'm just jealous someone else got there first!

But there isn't much longer until this release is, well... released!

#28 of 138 Michael Osadciw

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Posted September 14 2005 - 05:01 PM

Hi Greg,

Thanks for your interest in this DVD. I can understand your excitement!

As far as the transfer goes, it's quite possible this is the same as the 2000 disc. I don't have my original on hand and it's tough for me to remember the details exactly, especially since I've changed my projector three times since so the video has been slightly different.

Quote:
Question: Is this a "talking heads" documentary (in which the interviewees do all the talking), or is there some kind of narration spread throughout?


There is music, clips from the film, and the interviews are cut up so we hear a little from one guy to the next. It's documentary style!

Quote:
Question # 2: FOUR DIFFERENT CODAS????? Four? I'd theorized there were at least two (Ronnie dreams of the butterfly baby alone in bed, and with Stathis in bed), but FOUR????????

Really, there are two different codas, but each of those have another version of it with slight changes that makes it entirely different even though it's shot pretty much the same way. I won't give them away. I'll let you have the fun seeing them!! (and waiting to see them!)

Quote:
Questions: Are these [deleted] scenes 1.85:1 (and thus, presumably, enhanced for 16 x 9 televisions)?

They are all 1.85:1 and widescreen enhanced and in DD2.0 Surround. Some are from the workprint so they look a little bland in comparison to Monkey-Cat, which looks perfect. In fact, it may look a little better than the film. Since this (and other parts of deleted scenes) were taken from original negative, that's why I thought the film may have gone through the same process...

Enjoy it when it lands
Mike
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#29 of 138 Travis Brashear

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Posted September 15 2005 - 03:35 AM

All right, I'll be the resident dumb ass--what in the sweet hell are "fluff strands"???
Ernest Hemingway once wrote, "The world is a fine place and worth fighting for." I agree with the second part...
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#30 of 138 Chris-F

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Posted September 15 2005 - 04:03 AM

I'd love to see a couple of screenshots of the deleted scenes, to check out the quality - what are the chances of this happening?

#31 of 138 TonyDale

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Posted September 15 2005 - 04:04 AM

what in the sweet hell are "fluff strands"???

Fluff is hand-dyed with rich, deep colors that flow seamlessly from one to another with no "whoops" spots of undyed yarn or overdyed bloches. The color saturation is full, and the subtleties are truly eye-catching.

The yarn is composed of a silky core with strands of "fluff" protruding at even intervals. The rayon core provides strength and a heavy, relaxed drape, while the strands conceal this core and give the illusion of fluff. The yarn feels soft and cool against skin.

what in the sweet hell are "fluff strands"???

OR. . .it's what you do with cooked pasta after you've drained it. . . Posted Image
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#32 of 138 Michael Osadciw

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Posted September 15 2005 - 04:11 AM

Ha ha...that's my ultra-technical term for what looks like a piece of hair on a frame of film...fluff, aka dust...

...very funny, Tony Posted Image

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#33 of 138 TonyDale

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Posted September 15 2005 - 05:08 AM

Ha ha...that's my ultra-technical term for what looks like a piece of hair on a frame of film...fluff, aka dust...


Dontcha just love technology? Posted Image
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#34 of 138 Greg K

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Posted September 15 2005 - 11:43 AM

Quote:
Hi Greg,

Thanks for your interest in this DVD. I can understand your excitement!

As far as the transfer goes, it's quite possible this is the same as the 2000 disc. I don't have my original on hand and it's tough for me to remember the details exactly, especially since I've changed my projector three times since so the video has been slightly different.


DVD producer David Prior confirmed that the transfer is exactly the same as the 2000 version.



Quote:
Question # 2: FOUR DIFFERENT CODAS????? Four? I'd theorized there were at least two (Ronnie dreams of the butterfly baby alone in bed, and with Stathis in bed), but FOUR????????



Really, there are two different codas, but each of those have another version of it with slight changes that makes it entirely different even though it's shot pretty much the same way. I won't give them away. I'll let you have the fun seeing them!! (and waiting to see them!)


So let me get this straight...there are four codas/variations of codas in the documentary itself, and one in the deleted scenes section (5 total?)? Or are there only 3 in the doc, and 1 in the D.S. section? Or is the one in the deleted scenes section repeated in the doc?

I think I can guess what the differences are, but I'll keep quiet for now (I'm sure at least two of these endings would have negated the possibility of a sequel--at least the premise the sequel was based on). At least my suspicion that Cronenberg filmed multiple endings that depended "on certain dynamics that have been established among the characters (as an old Fangoria quote of his indicated) has been confirmed. Reminds me of all the alternate content from Videodrome (Those alternate scenes, unfortunately, were not on the Criterion Videodrome DVD at Cronenberg's request. We Fly fans got REEEEEEAAAALLLLYYYY lucky on this one!).


Quote:
Questions: Are these [deleted] scenes 1.85:1 (and thus, presumably, enhanced for 16 x 9 televisions)?



They are all 1.85:1 and widescreen enhanced and in DD2.0 Surround. Some are from the workprint so they look a little bland in comparison to Monkey-Cat, which looks perfect. In fact, it may look a little better than the film. Since this (and other parts of deleted scenes) were taken from original negative, that's why I thought the film may have gone through the same process...

Enjoy it when it lands
Mike

Nifty. The monkey-cat scene has the most visually interesting stuff (the deleted Stage 4-B makeup, the telepods, the monkey-cat, etc.), so I'm glad it looks great.

As most of you may know, the deleted "second interview" scene was used as the basis for the first video of Seth Brundle Martin watches in The Fly II. The quality on that doesn't look so hot (And not just the full-frame footage used for on-set video playback of Eric Stoltz watching the tape--the closeup shots of the scene that were cut into the film itself don't look that great, either). How does that scene look on the new DVD, Michael? Did they go back to the negative, or is it from the workprint? Or both?

As I understand it, Fox did a HD transfer for the 2000 Fly/Fly II disc, which was approved this time around by Cronenberg and DP Mark Irwin with no changes. I'm not sure they went back to the negatives for that 2000 transfer....I'm pretty sure they just used a really good print (Or maybe the original interpositive?).


Anyway, thanks again for the great review and info, Michael. With three weeks to go, any more fun bits of info and teasers to drive us all crazy would be appreciated! Posted Image

#35 of 138 Michael Osadciw

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Posted September 15 2005 - 05:15 PM

Greg

The four codas can be found in the documentary as well as lots of other snippets of extended/deleted sequences not in the deleted scenes menu. There is one coda on its own in the deleted scene menu.

The 'second interview' is from a workprint, so its not quite up to par, but close.

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#36 of 138 Greg K

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Posted September 16 2005 - 08:41 AM

Thanks for the info!

#37 of 138 Greg K

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Posted September 17 2005 - 07:05 AM

A few other random questions, Michael (you've been very kind with your answers thus far, and I hope I'm not pushing my luck)...

1. Which Cronenberg script is included on the DVD? His very first revision of Pogue's script (circa Spring, 1985), or the final shooting script used during filming (late November, 1985)?

2. The DVD's specs finally prove that The Fly had both teaser and theatrical launch trailers. Which one is the teaser, the "new" one or the one released on the previous DVD ("There is a limit even to the imagination...")? I'm very curious about what the other trailer on the DVD features.

3. This is something I've wondered about before in the other Fly thread here at HTF...in all video/laserdisc/television versions of the film prior to the 2000 Double Feature DVD, there are several kinda cheesy synthesizer(?) "sting" effects heard at certain points in the film ("stings" heard when the Brundle sees the computer graphic of the fly in his records, when Brundle yells "STOP!" as Veronica comes to visit him after their one-month separation, and a "warble" sound that clues in viewers to Brundle's shadow moving on the lab ceiling above the unsuspecting Stathis before Brundle pounces on him from above). These effects do not appear in the 2000 DVD (only Howard Shore's lovely music can be heard in those scenes).

Do any of the audio tracks on the new DVD include these effects? Or were they NOT in the original theatrical release at all (they may have been added later on for some reason)?

4. You mentioned that one of the codas is repeated in the Fear of the Flesh doc. Are any other scenes from the Deleted Scenes section repeated there, also (I mean full scenes, not snippets and such)? Cuz that would seem a bit repetitive...repetitive...repetitive...

5. In Bob Burns' book, "It Came From Bob's Basement", several Fly artifacts are featured, including a Stage 4 Brundle head, Stage 5 Brundle hands and feet, a Stage 6 Brundlegfly puppet head, the inner Martin-in-cocoon puppet from Fly II, and a Martinfly maquette. Are there other, unseen relics in the "Brundle Museum of Natural History" featurette?

6. Are any unused/prototype Brundle makeups featured on the DVD (Cinefex # 28 indicated that there were several attempts to perfect the Stage 4-A makeup)? That would be nifty. I'm curious to see what the makeup test footage includes.

7. Are the green flashes of light that dart around the screen in the 2000 DVD's trailer and The Fly II's main titles (the only vestige of this in the final film is the light pulling back and turning into the film's logo) seen in the "Main Title" test footage? Or is that just the distorted opticals that gradually turn into the first shot of the Bartok party?

8. I really don't want to spoil things for myself (or others who don't know what it's about), but is the tone of the monkey-cat scene "crazed and alchemical" as Tim Lucas once told me? Does it play well in terms of the completed film's narrative?

9. Not asking how to access them or what they are, but did you find the Easter Eggs mentioned in the early DVD specs?


I'm trying reallllllyyy hard to not get overly excited about this, since there's still two or so weeks to go. I'm eagerly awaiting diving into this sucker (and Fly II, as well). A LOT of questions are gonna be answered by this, I think. I've gone about as a far as one can go with the available materials (magazines, press kits, etc.). It's gonna be great to see the Fly archives cracked open and to finally solve a few riddles I've been puzzling out!

#38 of 138 TheBat

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Posted September 17 2005 - 08:57 AM

now greg.. we are so close to the dvd release.. just a few more weeks.. I think we can hold it until then? right?

JACOB

#39 of 138 Michael Osadciw

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Posted September 17 2005 - 09:04 AM

Hi Greg

You don't really want me to spoil all of the fun for you now, do you??

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#40 of 138 Greg K

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Posted September 18 2005 - 05:34 AM

REN: Now, listen, Cadet. I've got a JOB for you. See this button? (Stimpy reaches for the button) DON'T TOUCH IT! It's the HISTORY ERASER button, you FOOL!

STIMPY: So what'll happen?

REN: That's just IT! We don't KNOW! Maayyybeee something bad?...Mayyybeee something good! I guess we'll never know! 'Cause you're going to guard it! You won't TOUCH it, will you?
(Stimpy salutes. Ren leaves.)

REN: Hehhh...hehhhh...hehhhh...hehhhh...
(Stimpy marches back and forth, starting at the button.)

ANNOUNCER: Oh, how long can trusty Cadet Stimpy hold out? How can he possibly resist the diabolical urge to push the button that could erase his very existence? Will his tortured mind give in to its uncontrollable desires?

(Announcer grabs Stimpy, forces him closer to the button.)

Can he resist the temptation to push the button that, even now, beckons him even closer? Will he succumb to the maddening urge to eradicate history? At the MERE...PUSH...of a SINGLE...BUTTON! The beeyootiful SHINY button! The jolly CANDY-LIKE button! Will he hold out, folks? CAN he hold out?

STIMPY: NO I CAN'T!!!EEEEEYAAAHHHH! (pushes button)



That about sums it up, I think.


Must....think....of....something....to....keep.... distracted....for....two....more....weeks....!!!!

Can't...lift...arm...or...speak...at...normal...ra te....

Heh.


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