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A few words about... Syriana -- in High Definition

A Few Words About

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#1 of 16 OFFLINE   Robert Harris

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Posted June 30 2006 - 03:46 PM

Syriana is my 25th HD title. I currently have no BD software, nor a BD player. While BD may come around, and Sony certainly has the technological abilities to bring the pieces together, it simply isn't ready for prime time, and should have been held off the market until at least the majority of the technical problems were worked out. HD is in a far superior position, and although I have no means of decoding the HD tracks, and play them ported to DTS 7.1, everything else seems to be running smoothly. An upgrade for my Lexicon will shortly solve the audio shortcoming. For my 25th HD DVD, Syriana couldn't be more suitable. An incredibly densely scripted political drama, Syriana forces you to keep up with the storyline, plots and sub-plots. Close your eyes for a moment, and you can find yourself lost. After seeing the film theatrically, and then on standard resolution DVD, I find the HD version a technical marvel. Each and every bit of resolution, density, color and shading that was in the 35mm print via the 2k DI is found and translated via the HD disc. One a strictly technological basis, one of the attributes of the system that I'm finding myself enjoying more and more is the ease and simplicity of the new HD menu interface. Things couldn't be easier. For those still holding out for perfection... We're there. Very Highly Recommended. 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 16 OFFLINE   Steve Tannehill

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Posted June 30 2006 - 05:01 PM

I could not agree with you more. Thanks for the recommendation! I missed the movie in theaters; it finally showed up yesterday from Amazon (no joy on Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, though--maybe next week). The story is complex, but tight. It will take a second viewing, and maybe a few manipulations of the remote control, to fully understand it. I avoided the temptation to pause and go back while watching the movie for the first time. I think I need to watch Stephen Gaghan's adaptation of Traffik next. - Steve

#3 of 16 OFFLINE   Walter Kittel

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Posted June 30 2006 - 08:06 PM

Watched this last week and could not agree more. One of the better films I've seen in recent months, and an outstanding presentation on HD DVD. This title and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang are harbingers of continued great work from Warner Bros. with regards to contemporary film releases on HD DVD.

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Fidelity to the source should always be the goal for Blu-ray releases.

#4 of 16 OFFLINE   CaptDS9E

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Posted June 30 2006 - 11:05 PM

I watched KKBB last night, and plan on Syriana today. I have to say WB's last few Day and Date titles have been pleasant surprises movie wise

#5 of 16 OFFLINE   DavidDTS

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Posted July 01 2006 - 11:51 AM

Thanks Robert. It's because of your previous [rave] reviews that I too purchased a Toshiba and love every bit of it (tech flaws and all). I hope HD trumps BR in the end.

#6 of 16 OFFLINE   Robert Crawford

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Posted July 01 2006 - 12:29 PM

Which is why this format war is bad for consumers because it has led some of us to choose sides in this matter and thus, caused consumers on opposite sides to engage in endless and fruitless internet arguments about which format is better while hoping the other format loses the war. Crawdaddy

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#7 of 16 OFFLINE   Edwin-S

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Posted July 01 2006 - 12:58 PM

What it has led to is "side choosers" who will give a less than transparent HD DVD transfer a "pass". The same people will then post into a Blu-ray thread and state that "BD is not ready for prime time because it does not make every film, regardless of age or source, look as good as or better than the very best HD DVD transfer. BD, apparently, is not allowed to have less than "totally transparent" transfers while HD DVD can. I am not aiming the comment at you because I have not seen you engage in the practice; however, others have. This is as far as I will take it because my comment is in no way related to the qualities of SYRIANA. I just felt that I could respond to your comment since it is also off topic.
"You bring a horse for me?" "Looks like......looks like we're shy of one horse." "No.......You brought two too many."

#8 of 16 OFFLINE   Robert Crawford

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Posted July 01 2006 - 01:11 PM

Apparently, you have forgotten the negative HD DVD reviews of "The Perfect Storm", "The Fugitive" and "Full Metal Jacket" by several members. At times, I think people let their alliance to one format or the other get the best of them. Some of these people don't even own a player of either format so their opinion or comments carry little weight with me.

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#9 of 16 OFFLINE   Edwin-S

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Posted July 01 2006 - 02:09 PM


I probably fall into that category, since I do not own either format. I have been able to finally see both formats in operation: demo discs only unfortunately. Not that I would consider that that increases the weight of any commentary. Posted Image Anyway, no more side comments. Enjoy your HD copy of SYRIANA......I sure wish it was me. Out.
"You bring a horse for me?" "Looks like......looks like we're shy of one horse." "No.......You brought two too many."

#10 of 16 OFFLINE   Robert Harris

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Posted July 02 2006 - 02:02 AM

A demo disc is generally not worth the material into which it is pressed. The current problems with BD are precisely why many Broadway plays open out of town, takes weeks or months for re-writing, and to get the bugs out, and then make the move to the big time. From what I understand BD's current capapcity is still limited, there are problems with the CODEC, something about which I understand little, and the latest, which I'm not even certain that I believe, is that BD cannot support anything that is not widescreen. As I noted in another thread, the fact that an 87 minute film may look great on BD, does not prove anything. Not to hijack my own thread, but BD as a format -- and a format which hopefully will eventually live up to its own massive publicity -- should not yet be in the marketplace. If Sony's BD were a new airliner, would you willingly fly it? As a family man, I'd bet that Howard Stringer would not. Eventually possibly, but not yet. 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


#11 of 16 OFFLINE   Ed St. Clair

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Posted July 02 2006 - 12:52 PM

RAH, When you say "a demo disc". are you talking about a demo disc or a HT fans favorite disc (film or movie) to demo from? Thanks.
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#12 of 16 OFFLINE   Robert Harris

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Posted July 02 2006 - 01:44 PM

When I refer to a "demo," I'm referring to a disc that contains selected demo sequences.

"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


#13 of 16 OFFLINE   Pete T C

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Posted July 02 2006 - 01:55 PM

I read a lot about this movie and it just seems too much like political propaganda/conspiracy theoryish for me. Gonna skip this one.
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#14 of 16 OFFLINE   Robert Crawford

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Posted July 02 2006 - 11:47 PM

Excuse me, but this is the High Definition Software area so if you want to discuss the background of this film in-depth then please, do so in the appropriate forum. Thank you.





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#15 of 16 OFFLINE   Mark Zimmer

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Posted July 05 2006 - 03:17 AM

I liked the transfer on this very much; it really conveyed a sense of oppressive heat in the desert sequences.

#16 of 16 OFFLINE   Chris S

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Posted July 05 2006 - 03:34 AM

Saw the film in the theaters and it looked gorgeous! It does have a stylized look at times but the desert scenes were just amazing. I have no doubt based on that experience that this would be a very good HD DVD disc to demo for friends and family.
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