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"The Robe" and "Demetrius and the Gladiators" are now a wow!


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#1 of 235 RobertGr

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Posted March 07 2007 - 04:30 PM

Having had the chance to work with Fox on their recent 2 disc set of the Classic "Miracle on 34th Street" I must say they are really stepping up to the plate on their classic releases. They are a joy to work with and their dvd product is giving Warners a run for their money in the classic release area. I must relay two great Fox discs that really deserve some attention especially since we are approaching Easter time and prime viewing time for them.

I just received THE ROBE and DEMETRIUS AND THE GLADIATORS the price I paid was outstanding for these two films and I was VERY AMAZED by the quality. Both films look like they have gone through restorations, although there are some speckles etc both transfers are vibrant and offer a clarity I have not seen on the previous home video versions of the film.

I have of course seen the reviews from when the films were both originally offered on dvd but these two discs are really and improvement.


On THE ROBE I have often seen complaints that the film was problematic with grain and soft focus, I think it was partly due to it being the first film shot in Cinemascope. I fact I have seen Herb Kalmus's (founder of Technicolor) remarks when the film was released to theaters saying he was not happy with the clarity of the film saying that he realized it had issues and needed to be worked on for future scope technicolor releases.


The two discs have redone covers featuring new artwork on white backgrounds. They are really worth a look and totally a great purchase!

Best

#2 of 235 Simon Howson

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Posted March 07 2007 - 07:10 PM

I had no idea these were new transfers! I wouldn't mind a better looking copy of The Robe, it looks like hardly any of the film is from the negative, the copy I have is very grainy with lots of blemishes. Maybe they did a digital clean up?

#3 of 235 Joe Caps

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Posted March 07 2007 - 10:51 PM

Do not believe this.
About a year ago, Fox did a series of religous thmed films but ONLY with new covers. NONE of them are new transfers. All of themn were already very good transfers.
The Robe hasw problems and always will because the material is not in good shape but the current dvd transfer is the best picture and sound for this film EVER on video. The same for Demetrius.

#4 of 235 RobertGr

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Posted March 08 2007 - 01:15 AM

I do believe they are restored masters, if you look at the first reviews of the dvd's especially with DEMETRIUS which was released to get exposure from the success of GLADIATOR with Russell Crowe was getting on dvd the reviews said the image was okay but no knock-out. I have also recently seen another forum on the web saying it was a new restoration that seemed to be slipped into the market without fanfare.

Hopefully Robert Harris can weigh in if he knows if the title was restored. THE ROBE though should not be knocked for being grainy as again Herbert Kalmus had the same remarks upon the film's release in 1953 so evidently it was a problem getting Technicolor in sync so to speak with Cinemascope's technical newness!

I also have the laserdiscs of both and the dvd's are the best I have seen these films look on home video. I got the same impression watching these films as when I watch MGM/Warners laserdisc of EASTER PARADE the colors remind one of the vibrant hues of Easter eggs it kind of brings the feeling of Easter to mind. I paid about $7.00 for DEMETRIUS and $11.00 for THE ROBE from Deep Discount and both were worth every cent!

: )

#5 of 235 Douglas R

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Posted March 08 2007 - 02:48 AM

RobertGr - It sounds as if you never had these DVDs when they first came out but are judginhg them on reviews of the time. If you have not compared them yourself, then how do you know that the current DVDs are improved?

#6 of 235 RobertGr

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Posted March 08 2007 - 03:43 AM

Douglas R

Totally correct on your part, but on DEMETRIUS the disc was issued first in 2001!!!! Six years ago!

"The anamorphic Technicolor picture is widely variable in quality. Several of the reels seem to be completely lacking in yellow, while others look just fine. Speckling is observed throughout, though no major frame damage was seen. In the arena scenes, there is considerable moire effect, and edge enhancement is visible throughout. On occasion skin tones are highly reddish. Blacks are rather lacking in strength throughout. The image is occasionally unstable, jittering briefly after reel changes. In all, the picture generally has a dated appearance and is not terribly attractive."


Above review excerpt from the Digitally Obsessed from 2001 shows concerns during reel changes and tints that are off. Well the disc I saw yesterday is stunning and these concerns seem non-existant on the dvd I watched.

I am going to call FOX today and see if the films indeed have been worked om I think the new masters were done for THE FOX MOVIE CHANNEL.


Best

#7 of 235 RobertGr

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Posted March 08 2007 - 04:25 AM

I did get a chance to call FOX and a source was very gracious in relaying that DEMETRIUS indeed is a restoration which was done in 2005, on THE ROBE although it could not be confirmed as to what was done it was said work was done on the film. I would again say both dvd's are wonderful and really shine on dvd. I was very happy with the restoration which look stunnng when compared to previous versions!

#8 of 235 Arnie G

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Posted March 08 2007 - 07:43 AM

I'm completely confused Posted Image
I've got my own Toto

#9 of 235 gushin

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Posted March 08 2007 - 08:35 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arnie G
I'm completely confused Posted Image
So am I.

#10 of 235 ScottR

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Posted March 08 2007 - 08:48 AM

I was under the impression that these were simply repackages. The Bible: In the Beginning was another title in the "collection." In fact, the chapter inserts, disc art, and menus are exactly the same.

#11 of 235 RobertGr

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Posted March 08 2007 - 09:01 AM

Nothing to be confused about, the situation is that DEMETRIUS AND THE GALDIATORS was restored and THE ROBE did underog restoration on some level. Both discs were remastered evidently without fanfare. Both discs look GREAT especially at the prices they can be bought at via some e-tailers especially with Easter time around the corner.


My impression is the restorations were done as FOX is upgrading their entire library thanks in part to their wonderfully realization that classics sell on DVD and also FOX MOVIE CHANNEL is a great venue to show these classics restored.

Their film archives and Home Video Dept are cooking with gas indeed, hence CHARLIE CHAN, MR. MOTO, ALICE FAYE, WILL ROGERS, MICHAEL SHAYNE etc and we the consumer are the ones whom are enjoying the TLC their film library is being handled with!

: )

#12 of 235 Joe Caps

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Posted March 08 2007 - 11:32 AM

Braving the winter cold, I went to the local Best Buy and Walmart as I had seen the other day theyhad both received these discs with the new covers.

1. I bought the discs with new new covers when they first appeared over a year ago.

2. I bought TWO more sets of these discs today - one at each store.

The only difference is that one disc -The Robe - how new fox vid logos and promos that were not on the other discs. then the film started and it is exactly the same transfer. It looks good now, it looked good back then but itis not new.

all Demetrius were exactly the same.

It would be odd for fox to spend muchmoney remastering, re-encoding a disc master - and NOT tell anyone about it.

#13 of 235 Neal K

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Posted March 08 2007 - 11:43 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Caps

It would be odd for fox to spend muchmoney remastering, re-encoding a disc master - and NOT tell anyone about it.

Apparently it didn't cost them anything to lie to RobertGr about it though!

#14 of 235 RobertGr

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Posted March 08 2007 - 12:42 PM

Joe if you bought the discs a year ago than it is safe to say you got the remastered discs. If you read my post I was told DEMETRIUS was restored in 2005 if you bought disc last year it seems you got the new disc.. Does not take a rocket scientist to figure that what you should have done is get the original disc release from 2001 or 2000 on both titles that would make sense.

After working with FOX I would think they would not lie to me. Whats up with the attitude?

I am on the board and treating everyone with respect.


Here is a snippet from the dvd's original release review on DVD.NET for THE ROBE which strongly supports the claim the disc now features a restored print.

Immediately obvious when watching The Robe is the number of negative and positive film artefacts that appear throughout the entire 128 minutes. From the opening credits until the last frame, there are countless examples of almost every type of film artefact known to man (and woman). There are so many white flashes, most noticeable during the night scenes, it looks as if fireworks are going off. There are dirty marks, dust, scratches, and vertical and horizontal lines in every scene. Some of the worst instances are the white flashes from 27:22 to 30:50, vertical white lines at 49:26, and a thumbprint (?) at 56:34. If even a small amount of effort had been put into restoring this, it would have made for better viewing. I find it hard to believe that even a film this old has to look this bad.

Colours vary greatly and appear to be strobing throughout the entire film. This was most distracting and I suspect is a consequence of its age, but is impossible to ignore. The sharpness also varies greatly and much of the film appears soft and grainy. Shadow detail is extremely poor, especially during the many night scenes. Even some of the daytime scenes look like night. Black levels are not spared and low level noise can be detected. Aliasing was an infrequent problem, the main offenders being steps and some of the Roman uniforms.

#15 of 235 Joe Caps

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Posted March 08 2007 - 11:25 PM

I have the original discs from the first release of the Robe and Demetrius also with the original covers. ALL of these transfers are the same.

#16 of 235 RobertGr

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Posted March 09 2007 - 12:32 AM

Last night my friend whom has the two original discs brought them over for me to see and the difference is amazing. I now can say I have seen the original discs and the ones I bought and received this past week and the restorations are quite impressive.

The original reviews from the discs first release were on the money, I also confirmed the prints used for the first discs were the same as the Laserdisc masters. So Joe for me case closed the discs are newly upgraded as of 2005

And FOX continues to show they are devoted to their classic films! BRAVO!

#17 of 235 Joe Karlosi

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Posted March 09 2007 - 12:39 AM

I was almost going to upgrade, but after reading this entire thread it seems I'll just keep my two old DVDs. Nice try, though. Posted Image

#18 of 235 RobertGr

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Posted March 09 2007 - 01:08 AM

J.K. I felt the same way you did. I wanted to buy the discs for the last few years what made me buy them was a blurb on another chat forum that someone posted the fact that they were surprised to learn the discs now on the market featured restorations that were recent. The guy was shocked that there was no PR mentioning the discs were restored versions. So I see the discs for a total price of $17.00 on the net and I grabbed them. They are totally worth the price and are restorations.

Sad when some posters have a attitude of knocking studios and product and think they are being lied to. Check the discs out they are restored. In the last few years my money has gone to two video companies Warners first and Fox. These two studios are the ones giving us their classic films and I do support their efforts! I do pick up the phone and complain though when I feel as a consumer I have been wronged. Example my call to Warners about MAGILLA GORILLA.

I find most studios do listen to complaints and if you are decent in your tone they will address the concern. I worked with FOX on MIRACLE and they are a joy to work with and totally committed to their dvd classics. Sure people make some errors we all do but both Warners and FOX do listen to their consumers hence the film restorations and FOX is restoring the classics big time!

The MR MOTO COLLECTION II shines on dvd!!!

BRAVO

#19 of 235 Larry Sutliff

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Posted March 09 2007 - 01:15 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Karlosi
I was almost going to upgrade, but after reading this entire thread it seems I'll just keep my two old DVDs. Nice try, though. Posted Image


Yeah, same here. Thanks to Joe Caps for clarifying.

#20 of 235 RobertGr

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Posted March 09 2007 - 01:25 AM

I guess I am a spy working for the studios to make you by old discs? Joe have you ever talked with anyone at the studios besides asking a chat question? About 3 years ago I was told by FOX that the film archive had restored THE BLACK SWAN a year later it hit DVD. I guess I was lied to that time too?




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