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A few words about... Sleepy Hollow -- in High Definition

A Few Words About

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21 replies to this topic

#1 of 22 OFFLINE   Robert Harris

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Posted July 24 2006 - 02:22 PM

Tim Burton's Sleepy Hollow, a 1999 production, appears to have been mastered from a film element to 1080p HD. As such it should not be compared to other productions that are sent through the DI process, thereby yielding a digital element to take directly to video mastering.

That said, as one of Paramount's initial offering of high definition DVDs, Sleepy Hollow magnificently represents the brilliant cinematography of Emmanuel Lubezki in a home theater format.

While a terrific piece of entertainment on all counts, it is Mr. Lubezki's work, which looks akin to the three-strip Technicolor productions of the 1930s and early 1940s, which still used the silver key image to both add contrast, control the black level and tone down color, which is also a star of this film. To the best of my knowledge, the process was last used by John Huston in Moby Dick (1956).

There isn't a great deal more that needs to be said here.

Paramount has hit the ball out of the park with Sleepy Hollow. If the point to be achieved is to replicate the look of the film, they have done it to perfection.

On a purely graphics driven note, I also feel that Paramount has the best looking package design, with the jacket broken down into three parts, all elegantly against a silver background, as well as the graphic design of the actual disc, which has the printed area beautifully offset against a surrounding silver border, emblazoned with the words "Paramount High Definition."

While some have recently wondered what has been becoming of Paramount Home Video, that particular question has now be answered.

Paramount, as the third studio to join the ranks of the HD supporters, has not only hit the ground running, but has served up one of their first films to absolute perfection!

Extremely Highly Recommended.

I cannot wait to see what the later releases, based upon DIs look like.

Stay Tuned.

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 22 OFFLINE   Paul Arnette

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Posted July 24 2006 - 03:28 PM

Robert,

Thanks for your impressions. This was the only initial Paramount title I wanted to buy, so I'm glad to hear it looks fantastic.
Universal Blu-ray Discs I will not be buying while they're offered only as Blu-ray + DVD 'flipper' discs:

The Jackal
, Out of Africa, and Traffic.

#3 of 22 OFFLINE   Harminder

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Posted July 24 2006 - 03:55 PM

Thank you for the first impressions Robert. Although this movie was good, it's not something I'm going to buy immediately on HD-DVD. Right now, the only Paramount HD-DVD I'm really looking forward to is We Were Soldiers.

I'm glad to hear that Paramount did a great job on the HD-DVD case and disc itself. It's the little things that can really impress us sometimes. Posted Image

#4 of 22 OFFLINE   Dave Mack

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Posted July 24 2006 - 09:11 PM

Wonderful review, Mr. Harris!

Posted Image

#5 of 22 OFFLINE   DavidDTS

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Posted July 25 2006 - 02:13 AM

Thanks Mr. Harris,
in my opinion it's only your reviews that have really been echoing the voice of the current HD owners. The others seem to go out of their way to remain impartial to BR (for what reason, who knows)

#6 of 22 OFFLINE   Robert Harris

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Posted July 25 2006 - 02:33 AM

To DavidDTS...

I'm also impartial to BD. Although I haven't liked what I've thus far seen, at least some problems may be linked to the way that the Samsung unit is handling signals.

While I'd certainly be happier if there was a unified format, one has to give BD the time to get their act together, and past their initial problems. At that point, of necessity, I'll be adding a unit to my system.

As far as impartiality, it would seem to behoove those who report on line, be it via reviews or commentary, to simply report honestly, and to remain impartial.

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


#7 of 22 OFFLINE   Michel_Hafner

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Posted July 26 2006 - 05:52 AM

I remember the HD on HBO had issues with erasure of white lines/dots/buttons on black clothes when in motion. Does the HD-DVD still show this artifact?

#8 of 22 OFFLINE   Scott Calvert

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Posted July 27 2006 - 02:09 AM

Michel, I watched this last night and noticed no such phenomenon (looked fantastic, btw).

#9 of 22 OFFLINE   Dave Mack

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Posted July 27 2006 - 07:46 AM

Scott, any digital noise, artifacts? There's a thread over at AVS where someone swears that the disc was disappointing and has these issues.

Posted Image

#10 of 22 OFFLINE   Scott Calvert

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Posted July 27 2006 - 08:35 AM

The only "artifact" I noticed was a veneer of relatively fine film grain. My set is calibrated extremely well, so I dunno what it would look like with all the settings running at 11 (which is what I suspect many of the detractors have their sets running at).

I'm pretty jazzed at this release, it almost feels like owning a 35mm print of the film.

#11 of 22 OFFLINE   MatthewA

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Posted July 27 2006 - 09:01 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Calvert
I'm pretty jazzed at this release, it almost feels like owning a 35mm print of the film.

Well you must have adjustable gravity at your house! Posted Image

Enough is enough, Disney. No more evasions or excuses. We DEMAND the release Song of the South on Blu-ray along with the uncut version of Bedknobs and Broomsticks on Blu-ray. I am going to boycott The Walt Disney Company until then.


#12 of 22 OFFLINE   Dave Mack

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Posted July 27 2006 - 10:34 AM

THAT would be cool!

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#13 of 22 OFFLINE   Randy_M

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Posted February 23 2008 - 02:01 AM

This appears to be out of print in Blu-Ray - Hopefully, it will return now that Paramount in on board with the format.
My DVDs

#14 of 22 OFFLINE   BrandonH

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Posted February 23 2008 - 03:20 AM

I just got my HD-DVD of this one yesterday and played it last night.
I sau some grain and to set the noise reduction to medium then the picture was perfect.
Great camera angles and cinematography.

#15 of 22 OFFLINE   andrew markworthy

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Posted February 23 2008 - 03:50 AM

Quote:
To the best of my knowledge, the process was last used by John Huston in Moby Dick (1956).
My uncle used it in a company promotional film he made for Mullards (in case the name is unfamilliar, they made valves and other electrical components, and were a subsidiary of Phillips) in the 1960s, but I don't think that really counts!


Have had Sleepy Hollow on HD for a while and I love it. I think the trouble is that because the look is so non-standard, it's led several reviewers astray into finding 'faults' with the transfer that are intentional features of the film. I think the idea of making the film look like moving aquatints was excellent - going for garish colours would have been just so wrong in this movie.

#16 of 22 OFFLINE   PaulDA

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Posted February 23 2008 - 04:21 AM

Glad to see it is so highly recommended by Mr. Harris. It's among the titles I have in transit (shipped to my parents in the US to get free shipping--awaiting their next visit with impatience as there are almost 20 titles waiting for me).
Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes time, and it annoys the pig.

#17 of 22 OFFLINE   Dave H

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Posted February 23 2008 - 11:34 AM

I have the BD version and watched it not too long ago (ISF'd 60" SXRD A3000 and Panasonic BD30) and thought it looked very good and extremely filmlike. The film grain present is normal and really added to the "feel" of the movie IMO.

#18 of 22 OFFLINE   Ray_R

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Posted April 21 2008 - 10:31 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrandonH
I just got my HD-DVD of this one yesterday and played it last night.
I sau some grain and to set the noise reduction to medium then the picture was perfect.
Great camera angles and cinematography.
I suggest you read the following link.Posted Image (It's not from me but I figure I might as well pass along the correct information.)

Lyris Lite :: Film grain is not your enemy

At least it retains the film grain. Unlike alot of people's abohorrent reactions to it, I PREFER film grain!
I'm hoping in Robert Harris' next "A Few Words About..." he'll comment about WHY replicating film grain from the master is actually beneficial instead of being a detractor.

EDIT: Also forgot to mention this is one of the titles I sold on DVD to upgrade to HDDVD. Prolly going to purchase it from DeepDiscount if they're still pricing it for $9.98. Although last I checked every Paramount HDDVD title was marked back up to $22.08

#19 of 22 OFFLINE   Stephen_J_H

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Posted April 22 2008 - 04:11 AM

This is a great transfer and the DTS track, while not HD or HD MA, is quite lovely.
"My opinion is that (a) anyone who actually works in a video store and does not understand letterboxing has given up on life, and (b) any customer who prefers to have the sides of a movie hacked off should not be licensed to operate a video player."-- Roger Ebert

#20 of 22 OFFLINE   Ray_R

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Posted April 22 2008 - 02:32 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen_J_H
This is a great transfer and the DTS track, while not HD or HD MA, is quite lovely.
From DVDCompare.net
  • R0 America - (Paramount)

  • Commentaries:
    Audio commentary by director Tim Burton
  • Extras:
    "Behind The Legend" - featurette (30.00)
    "Reflections On Sleepy Hollow: Cast and Crew Interviews" - featurette (11.23)
    Teaser
    Theatrical trailer
  • Subtitles:
    English HoH, English, French, and Spanish
  • Aspect Ratio:
    1.85:1
  • Picture Format:
    1080p 24fps
  • Soundtrack(s):
    English Dolby Digital Plus 5.1
    English DTS 5.1
    French Dolby Digital Plus 5.1
    Spanish Dolby Digital Plus 5.1
  • Case type:
    Amaray (Keep) Case
  • Notes:
    1080p transfer, using VC-1 compression.
Is the DD+ track full bitrate for it? At least it doesn't use MPEG2 codec which should only be still used for SDDDVD.Posted Image


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