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The Monkees - HEAD


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35 replies to this topic

#1 of 36 MarcoBiscotti

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Posted June 01 2007 - 11:00 PM

Can anyone attest for the quality of this DVD?


It looks to be among the first wave of releases done by Rhino way back in 1998 and I'm wondering if there's any chance or need for a new, upgraded version?

Would you say that this title is a safe purchase, or is there strong possibility of it being revisited in future?

Has the audio/music been tampered with in any way?

Is it complete and unedited, orig. a.r. and so on?


I'd really like to pick this DVD up and plan on doing so this afternoon, but I just want to make sure it's not a product of it's time and up to the standards of current DVD releases.

Thanks!

#2 of 36 MarcoBiscotti

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Posted June 02 2007 - 12:29 AM

I notice on Amazon several complaints about this being a full-frame release, yet according to the imdb, the film was supposedly shot in a 1.37:1 aspect ratio.

Does anybody have any concrete information supporting this or concerning the framing of this film and whether the current DVD respects the original formatting of the movie and director's intentions?

#3 of 36 Paul_Nyman

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Posted June 02 2007 - 04:45 AM

You can visit this link over at the Steve Hoffman Forum.

http://www.stevehoff....t=90069&page=2

Start reading from post #23 to get details on the aspect ratio debate and also good info about the newly projected print shown in L.A. last Fall.

I just watched TCM broadcast in the early AM hours today of HEAD and while the print is really clean and nice why they aired this in Letterbox is for another debate I guess?

#4 of 36 MarcoBiscotti

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Posted June 02 2007 - 07:26 AM

Thanks Paul, that's actually the second forum I hit after posting this message and read through that thread this morning, all set to buy the DVD... but for some reason, not a single retailer in the city stocks it. Nor does Amazon.ca - which leads me to believe that perhaps it was never released in Canada. or just never got proper distribution here. Oh well... that's what the internet is for. I'll be placing an order Monday. I was really in the mood to smoke a little herbski and watch it this afternoon though. Posted Image

#5 of 36 MarcoBiscotti

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Posted June 02 2007 - 07:30 AM

Edit: Apparently Digital Eyes doesn't have this listed so I wonder if there is in fact a newer version coming to market?

Maybe I should be patient and hold off afterall...

#6 of 36 Derek Miner

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Posted June 02 2007 - 12:59 PM

I have no doubt this film was intended to be shown 1.85 after watching the letterboxed TCM airing. The DVD was transferred completely open matte however, so you aren't missing any image on the sides with the existing version. The new transfer (which I heard rumors of airing in HD as well) is a little bit cleaner and the color is more consistent.
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#7 of 36 Keith Paynter

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Posted June 02 2007 - 01:04 PM

Quote:
for some reason, not a single retailer in the city stocks it. Nor does Amazon.ca - which leads me to believe that perhaps it was never released in Canada.

I purchased it originally when it came out. In Canada the video was distributed as in import through Warner Music, not WHV. Nowadays, not every Amazon.com title is directly available through Amazon.ca Some are imported, some are not listed at all.
I don't like SPAM!

#8 of 36 chas speed

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Posted June 02 2007 - 05:09 PM

This film was never intended to play at a 1.85 ratio. It's terrible that people want everything to be hacked to 1.85 to fit a widescreen tv. Take "The Kids are Alright" DVD, why exactly do I want to watch a movie that is almost entirely made up of tv footage hacked up to 1.85. Do you really get that big a kick out of watching people with there heads chopped off?

#9 of 36 Derek Miner

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Posted June 03 2007 - 02:47 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by chas speed
This film was never intended to play at a 1.85 ratio. It's terrible that people want everything to be hacked to 1.85 to fit a widescreen tv. Take "The Kids are Alright" DVD, why exactly do I want to watch a movie that is almost entirely made up of tv footage hacked up to 1.85. Do you really get that big a kick out of watching people with there heads chopped off?
That's not the same thing as the film in question, which was composed for movie screens - and intentionally so. In most of "Head," the letterboxing is chopping off headROOM and not heads.
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#10 of 36 Bob Furmanek

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Posted June 03 2007 - 03:34 AM

HEAD was composed for movie theater presentation, not TV.

The aspect ratio is most certainly 1.85. Columbia stopped releasing films shot for the 1.37 aspect ratio in 1953/54.

Their 35mm prints were always full frame. You CAN project them that way, if you like boom mikes and a mile of excess headroom.

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From Daily Variety, four days before the start of principal photography. This listing would remain

for over two months until the film wrapped production in late November 1954.

 

f75e4e81-ad94-4afd-8b61-5ad8ca634c18_zps


#11 of 36 chas speed

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Posted June 03 2007 - 04:49 PM

This film was never shot at 1.85. Unfortunately there are a lot of stupid people out there who think every film that was not shot in widescreen was shot in 1.85 and this is a total lie. Have you ever heard of 1.66 or 1.75? I'll bet you haven't simply because now all films are being hacked off to 1.85 . It's amazing how important the picture information is on the edge of the screen is where there is no action going on, but the picture information at the top and bottom is horrible stuff that we were never supposed to see. Let's face it none of you people gave a damn when the 70's tv show "Kung Fu" came out "letterboxed", but you have a cow if you have to watch a 1.66 film with a open matte. Well someday you will be watching letterboxed versions of "Wizard of Oz" and "I Love Lucy" and loving it.

#12 of 36 Derek Miner

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Posted June 03 2007 - 06:26 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by chas speed
This film was never shot at 1.85. Unfortunately there are a lot of stupid people out there who think every film that was not shot in widescreen was shot in 1.85 and this is a total lie. Have you ever heard of 1.66 or 1.75? I'll bet you haven't simply because now all films are being hacked off to 1.85 . It's amazing how important the picture information is on the edge of the screen is where there is no action going on, but the picture information at the top and bottom is horrible stuff that we were never supposed to see. Let's face it none of you people gave a damn when the 70's tv show "Kung Fu" came out "letterboxed", but you have a cow if you have to watch a 1.66 film with a open matte. Well someday you will be watching letterboxed versions of "Wizard of Oz" and "I Love Lucy" and loving it.
So is this a complaint about the film in question perhaps being 1.66 or 1.75 or a complaint about letterboxing something that shouldn't be (like Kung Fu)? Were US studios using the 1.66 ratio in the late 60s? The new video transfer is most likely 1.75 anyway (HD 16x9 transfer), so that and 1.85 are moot.

Should frames like these not be letterboxed?
Posted Image

What's with all this headroom here?
Posted Image
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#13 of 36 Bob Furmanek

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Posted June 04 2007 - 04:11 AM

I'm sorry Chas, but you are confused. Nobody is saying the film was shot at 1.85. In fact, like all other Columbia 35mm materials that I've handled from that period, it was shot full aperture. That means that any full screen presentation on your TV will show things that the creative people who made the film did not intend for you to see.

However, it was composed and photographed by the director and cinematographer for 1.85 presentation. That was their intended theatrical ratio. Columbia had been composing their films for that ratio since the summer of 1953.

Bob Furmanek

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From Daily Variety, four days before the start of principal photography. This listing would remain

for over two months until the film wrapped production in late November 1954.

 

f75e4e81-ad94-4afd-8b61-5ad8ca634c18_zps


#14 of 36 Bob Furmanek

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Posted June 04 2007 - 09:30 AM

Chas: Just so you know I'm not just blowing smoke here, I've studied aspect ratios (as part of my 3-D research) for the past 25 years. I've gone through thousands of industry trade journals (Boxoffice, Motion Picture Herald, Exhibitor, Film Daily, Variety, Hollywood Reporter, etc) as part of my research.

The boom of 3-D in 1953 was happening at the same time as the widescreen revolution, which began in earnest with Universal's 1.85 release of THUNDER BAY on 5/28/53. By that time, ALL the studios were composing films for some form of widescreen presentation, ranging from 1.66 up to CinemaScope's 2.55. Columbia adapted 1.85 as their studio standard in May/June of 1953.

It would not make sense to compose a Monkees film for 1.37 exhibition in 1968. They were not shooting for television.

I hope this clarifies the issue for you.

Bob Furmanek

www.3dfilmarchive.com

 

From Daily Variety, four days before the start of principal photography. This listing would remain

for over two months until the film wrapped production in late November 1954.

 

f75e4e81-ad94-4afd-8b61-5ad8ca634c18_zps


#15 of 36 Rob W

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Posted June 04 2007 - 11:17 AM

Bob knows what he's talking about, folks. He's handled film as FILM and not just on home video formats and has tech knowledge as good as anyone you will find on these boards.

I've never met the man, but among long-time people who know the classic film biz, he is deservedly well -respected.

People who have never worked in a theatre don't realise that thousands of 35mm features have been shot full-frame but composed to be matted for projection at 1:85.

Here in Canada, the high-def cable service Moviepix HD has run Head in 1:85 aspect ratio several times this year.

#16 of 36 WadeM

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Posted June 04 2007 - 12:29 PM

Rhino's been re-releasing the Monkees CD's lately as 2-Disc "Deluxe Editions", so that I'm hoping for a new release of Head on DVD with a new transfer. Too bad they can't find the 110 minute director's cut.

Just an FYI, IMDB says the intended aspect ratio is 1.85: http://www.imdb.com/...63049/technical (I'm not debating it..just giving an FYI)

#17 of 36 Bob Furmanek

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Posted June 04 2007 - 01:00 PM

Why thanks Rob, it's nice to know that I've developed something of a good reputation in this field!

I should point out something about THUNDER BAY. While it was the first feature marketed as widescreen 1.85, it was in fact photographed and composed for 1.37. Universal did extensive testing on the lot, and felt that it could be projected up to 1.85 without too much loss. I've run an original 35mm Technicolor print from 1953. While most of the film looks good widescreen, the close-ups suffer from the tight composition. Unfortunately, I'm told the new DVD is 1.85 which is a mistake.

IT CAME FROM OUTER SPACE is another film shot for 1.37, but shown theatrically 1.85. It looks better in 1.37.

Studios need to be VERY careful with films from that period. There are quite a few titles that were shot prior to the conversion (SHANE, WAR OF THE WORLDS, SCARED STIFF, etc) While they were shown widescreen theatrically, they were most certainly not composed for that ratio.

However, once you pass the May/June point, all future productions were meant for the widescreen.

Quite frankly, the aspect ratio of a 1968 film like HEAD is a no-brainer.

Bob Furmanek

www.3dfilmarchive.com

 

From Daily Variety, four days before the start of principal photography. This listing would remain

for over two months until the film wrapped production in late November 1954.

 

f75e4e81-ad94-4afd-8b61-5ad8ca634c18_zps


#18 of 36 Derek Miner

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Posted June 04 2007 - 05:21 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Furmanek
Quite frankly, the aspect ratio of a 1968 film like HEAD is a no-brainer.
Now help me out on the 1968 release of "Yellow Submarine!!" Posted Image

http://www.hometheat....d.php?t=245078

It also occurred to me that nobody ever considers a pretty simple reason for choosing to view "Head" in a letterboxed fashion: The filmmakers and the Monkees themselves seemed quite invested in making this film stand out from their television show. Composing the image for a theater screen ratio seems like a simple and effective way of doing that.
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#19 of 36 Derek Miner

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Posted June 04 2007 - 05:31 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by WadeM
Rhino's been re-releasing the Monkees CD's lately as 2-Disc "Collector's Editions", so that I'm hoping for a new release of Head on DVD with a new transfer. Too bad they can't find the 110 minute director's cut.
Well, since Warner did an HD transfer that we're seeing on TV, it's not outside the realm of possibility. Though their Rhino arm is pretty bad at DVD, and they're hemorrhaging employees now... In fact, the fate of future Monkees' "Deluxe Edition" CD reissues is in question, too. "Headquarters" and "Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones" are due in about a month, and I seriously hope they do get around to "The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees" and the "Head" soundtrack. If they get that far and skip the last three albums, I won't be too unhappy.

Quote:
Just an FYI, IMDB says the intended aspect ratio is 1:85: http://www.imdb.com/...63049/technical (I'm not debating it..just giving an FYI)
Haha! I know that people had used the IMDB listing of "Head" as a 1.37 film as an example of why the open matte version was correct. I guess it's been updated.
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#20 of 36 Bob Furmanek

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Posted June 05 2007 - 12:14 AM

Derek: Your posting about YELLOW SUBMARINE is very important. Anybody who fails to understand the significance of a proper transfer should see your illustrations.

Another issue that occasionally screws up a widescreen transfer is improper framing. On 35mm film, you project the image and frame by eye to make sure the titles are centered and you're not chopping off heads. However, some transfers (DON'T KNOCK THE ROCK and HORROR OF DRACULA come to mind) are poorly framed in telecine. While they are mastering in the correct ratio, they are slightly out of frame and losing important information at the top of the picture.

That's not bad composition by the filmmakers; it's sloppy transferring by the video engineer.

Bob Furmanek

www.3dfilmarchive.com

 

From Daily Variety, four days before the start of principal photography. This listing would remain

for over two months until the film wrapped production in late November 1954.

 

f75e4e81-ad94-4afd-8b61-5ad8ca634c18_zps



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