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A few thoughts about....THE TOWERING INFERNO SPECIAL EDITION (with Photos)


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#1 of 67 Ronald Epstein

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Posted April 24 2006 - 10:59 AM



I can still remember at the age of 11, going to a small theater
outside of the Garden State Mall in Paramus to see Irwin Allen's
production of The Towering Inferno. At that time, I had
never heard of Irwin Allen nor seen his prior success, The Poseidon
Adventure
. It didn't matter! It was simply an amazing
experience to see this huge blockbuster disaster film on the big
screen, and since that day, I have always treasured this film more
than any of his others.

I was ecstatic to hear that Fox was giving Special Edition treatment
to both The Towering Inferno and The Poseidon Adventure.
I received both today, and immediately was interested in seeing how
much the studio improved upon the original release.

I started by watching the original DVD that was released back in
1998. At first glance watching the opening credits, I thought the
transfer didn't look half bad....that is, until I popped in the new
Special Edition. What a significant improvement! You would never
realize how muddy the transfer and audio of the original release was
until you saw this new transfer. There is a great sense of improved
clarity and natural coloring.

Here are some screenshots OLD and NEW...













As you can see, the improvements are not just subtle ones. This
new transfer looks significantly better.

Here's a look at the menus from Disc One and Disc Two...




I must add that Fox did a tremendous job with the Special Features
on this DVD.




I quickly browsed through the material on Disc Two and found
myself immediately involved with the featurettes. The one I liked in particular
was an original Nato Presentation Reel that basically has a camera
following Irwin Allen onto the Fox lot, into his Production offices, and takes
a look at some of the early pre-production that is being put into the
release of the film. It's also sort of funny to see this reel presenting
some scheduled Irwin Allen projects that never made it to release.

There are also some really terrific featurettes that I saw as a kid
on television. One of the featurettes takes us through a carefully
choreographed filming of the climatic scene in the observation banquet
room where everyone has tied themselves down to tables and posts.

There's all kinds of material here to wade through including storyboard-
to-film comparisons, still photo galleries and even 30 extended/deleted
scenes.

I gotta even give credit to the studio for using the film's original
poster art for the cover. This is something you rarely get from the
studios these days, and it is certainly a welcome addition here as I
had always loved that poster.

I haven't even scratched the surface of this Special Edition DVD for
the mere fact that it was more important for me to provide all of you
with an early look and and a hearty recommendation that this is one
title worth double-dipping for.

Ronald J Epstein
Home Theater Forum co-owner

 

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#2 of 67 Dale MA

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Posted April 24 2006 - 11:15 AM

Those screenshots are amazing, really looking forward to receiving this and The Poseidon Adventure. It's nice to see that Fox has really put some effort & thought into this release... Posted Image

Thanks for the write-up Ron!

#3 of 67 Paul_Scott

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Posted April 24 2006 - 11:37 AM

yeah, i still love this one too.
it's popcorn done right.

thanks for the early heads up! I've had the R4 version for several years now, and while its 16:9 enhanced, the image is still lacking. in fact, i wouldn't be surprised if it were just an upconvert of the 4:3 lbx transfer- not to mention that the audio is only a thin sounding 2.0.
It's going to be great to finally have a decent copy of this (and Posideon) available.
about the only thing that was beyond reproach on the R4 was the jacket art which was also the original one sheet art utilized on the new SE here (never realized it was going to be slipcased- nor that the design we originally saw was only on the slipcase- very pleasant surprise to see them use the full original art here- although i actually do dig the slipcase modded art for a change).


'bout the only thing that keeps me from getting too excited is the fact that we have finally entered the HD on disc age. I'll definitely be picking this one up in the next couple weeks, but that won't keep me from looking forward to getting a definitive HD version of it down the line.

#4 of 67 Jordan_E

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Posted April 24 2006 - 12:17 PM

And the double dipping continues for me! But I don't mind for certain movies and this is one of them.
And you believe, at heart, everyone's a killer...

#5 of 67 Lee Bombard

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Posted April 24 2006 - 03:13 PM

Anyone have any feedback on the Poseidon set yet?

#6 of 67 Ronald Epstein

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Posted April 24 2006 - 10:31 PM

Lee,

We are still going through a huge transition here and I may
be confined to working on our new main page throughout the
next day.

I'll see if I can find some time to start another thread and post
screenshots of the OLD and NEW release of POSEIDON.

I won't have time to really watch it in depth, but I can at least
*perhaps* give it the same coverage I gave INFERNO.

Ronald J Epstein
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#7 of 67 Robert Crawford

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Posted April 24 2006 - 10:46 PM

Ron,
I remembered seeing this film for the first time on Christmas Day back in 1974.




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#8 of 67 Tino

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Posted April 24 2006 - 10:53 PM

Btw Ron, that theater that you saw this in, the RKO Century Triplex next to the Garden State Plaza, just closed it's doors forever.Posted Image
It's gonna be a hell of a ride. I'm ready. .

#9 of 67 Lucas Anderson

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Posted April 24 2006 - 10:59 PM

I first saw this movie when I was 6 years old. I remembered the scenic elevator scene for a long time. I also remember William Holden's large black rimmed glasses. I can't remember what scared me the most Posted Image There was a magic about The Towering Inferno that disaster movies today simply don't have. The acting was fantastic (loved Richard Chamberlain as the token bad guy), the costumes and sets were the epitome of 70s gawdiness. It was wonderful. Now 'Inferno' still sits in my top 20 - simply because it has so many wonderful aspects of movie making that cannot be found anymore.

Thank you very much Ron - the DVD looks awesome. Fox have done a magnificent job this one. Can't wait for it to arrive in two weeks.

#10 of 67 MarcoAD

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Posted April 24 2006 - 11:22 PM

Great preview/review! The 9th of May is a nice little release day with this coming out, Poseidon Adventure & Earthquake. Hopefully Poseidon & Earthquake get the same transfer quality.
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#11 of 67 JohnPM

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Posted April 24 2006 - 11:58 PM

I know the two leads had quite a debate over billing, but in the end, it seems to me that McQueen just mops up the floor with Newman. Steve's performance and appearance has a timeless quality, while Newman seems locked in a tacky seventies time warp (especially with that dreadful wardrobe!). Great movie!

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#12 of 67 Steve Christou

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Posted April 25 2006 - 12:53 AM

One of my favorite disaster films, saw it a couple of times in the cinema back in the mid-70's and saw it one last time on the big screen on a rerelease in 1980. I'm also a big fan of The Poseidon Adventure, I'll be ordering both special editions soon.

Open spoiler to see John Berkey's stunning poster art for The Towering Inferno.

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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#13 of 67 Tony Scello

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Posted April 25 2006 - 12:54 AM

Ron...thank you for a great first look and your impressions on this new DVD. Like you, I saw this film when I was young and it has captivated me ever since. Fox had indicated that there were "rights issues" for many years that prevented them from working on special editions for this and The Poseidon Adventure and I was starting to lose hope. Apparently, the tie-in with the new remake of Poseidon was enough of a motivation to get the rights issues cleared up for this DVD special editions. It looks like the long wait was worth it. I can't wait to get my hands on this one (and the Poseidon SE).
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#14 of 67 Jason_V

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Posted April 25 2006 - 01:14 AM

Steve, that poster is absolutely gorgeous. It's replacing something else as my wallpaper when I get home tonight.

#15 of 67 Steve JD

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Posted April 25 2006 - 08:28 AM

I hope the deleted scenes are in their 2.35:1 OAR.

#16 of 67 Ignacio

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Posted April 25 2006 - 10:37 AM

What about the DD 4.0 mix?

Is it a new mix from the original magnetic stereo stems or is it the same mix from the old DVD (which was labeled as DD 5.1)?

#17 of 67 oscar_merkx

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Posted April 25 2006 - 04:31 PM

awesome
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#18 of 67 RobertSiegel

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Posted April 25 2006 - 05:14 PM

Ron...any comment on the sound compared to the last one? I sure hope there is a new sound mix, this sounded awesome in 70mm, with its 6 track stereo, and the laserdisc and dvd soundtracks were terrible. The great Williams score was so bad compared to the FSM release from the music masters. Is Poseidon finally in stereo?

Classics on Blu-ray is what it is all about!


#19 of 67 Lucas Anderson

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Posted April 28 2006 - 09:44 PM

Here is another review of the DVD

http://www.dvdtalk.c...ad.php?ID=21395

#20 of 67 Craig S

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Posted April 29 2006 - 04:22 AM

For those who don't hang out in Coupons & Bargains - Amazon is running a deal now where you can get both of the new Towering Inferno & Poseidon Adventure SEs for a grand total of $20.98 - AND that's eligible for free shipping. That's a whole lot of 70s disaster goodness for not a lot of coin!

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