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HTF DVD REVIEW - Centennial: The Complete Series

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8 replies to this topic

#1 of 9 OFFLINE   Kevin EK

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Posted July 26 2008 - 07:13 AM

#2 of 9 OFFLINE   Alan_H


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Posted July 26 2008 - 04:47 PM

Bummer! I was really looking forward to getting this one. Especially since it was one of the very few of the 'epic mini-series' that I missed during its initial run. I'll still probably get it, but only if I can get a screaming deal on it, not during release week. Oh well, I've waited 30 years to see it - another year or so shouldn't matter. Thanks for the honest and informative review, Kevin!

#3 of 9 OFFLINE   Jeff Willis

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Posted July 26 2008 - 05:32 PM

Kevin, also, thanks for the 1st-class review. Although it's disappointing news about the transfer Q, I haven't seen this miniseries and I'll be getting it soon since there's a family member that also hasn't seen this series.

ml1fyo.jpg  "Checkmate King Two, 'Out'" "Combat! A Selmur Production"


TV/DVD Collector, mainly 50's thru 90's with a few 2000+ shows.
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My 2 all-time best blind-buys: "The Fugitive"   "The Donna Reed Show"

#4 of 9 OFFLINE   Kevin EK

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Posted July 26 2008 - 08:08 PM

I have to admit going back in and doing some editing on my review. My latest pass corrected the name for Chapter 10. Just a lot of details to keep track of. I have had the pleasure and honor to work with several of the cast who were involved in the show. One of them was very kind to me and gifted me with the belt buckle crew gift, which I wear sparingly as it's intended for use while on horseback. (Otherwise it just bites into the tummy) I learned that this was one heck of a production. There were units going simultaneously in Colorado, Texas and Kentucky, with four different directors, multiple cameramen and a fairly large cast spread all over the place. Further, the shoot took place over at least a year, which can be seen in that some of the footage is clearly happening during the summer and some of it takes place in the snowy winter. (I'm sure some sequences had fake snow, but others are clearly the real thing...) Some characters were limited in where or how they worked - I believe Dennis Weaver only worked in Texas and that Chapter 6 was entirely filmed there, except for an establishing shot with Timothy Dalton, and a single scene between Dalton and Alex Karras in the exterior town set. Chapter 11 is still the most harrowing one to deal with - it's a kind of clearinghouse for all the characters we've been following for the past 5-8 chapters.

#5 of 9 OFFLINE   Elena S

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Posted July 27 2008 - 02:07 AM

I'll be buying it. Other people's idea of acceptable video quality is usually much different than mine.

#6 of 9 OFFLINE   Billy Batson

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Posted July 27 2008 - 02:22 AM

That's a shame, & coming from the same studio that gave us that great looking Hammer box set! The thing is, blu-ray beckons, so they're going to have to do it properly some time. I'm not sure how they do it these days, it used to be, print a new interpos. & Telecine from that - now I'm sure it's easier & cheaper to scan the negs to hi-def & go from there. I'm sure some miserable bean counter went this cheap way to meet his/her budget. I still want to see this, but will now wait & buy it dirt cheap from Amazon Marketplace.

#7 of 9 OFFLINE   oscar_merkx


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Posted August 19 2008 - 09:03 AM

Hi ya Finally got this yesterday and was stunned at the PQ for a 30 year tv series. It's a really solid tv series with some of the greatest names attached to this show. I really thought that Conrad and Chamberlain have this real chemistry between the two. I am looking forward to the other episodes
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#8 of 9 OFFLINE   Paul_Scott


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Posted January 07 2009 - 08:19 AM

I'm on the last ep and just had to say this was one of the absolute best purchases I've made on DVD. I was in the 6th grade when this was first telecast and seem to recall some kind of scholastic cross promotion (and then I ran across a very sexy topless photo of Barbara Carrera in my dad's Playboy wherein the caption referenced the show...a bit of adult orientated cross promotion?). Well, that one pic of BC stayed in my imagination for years, and I'd always wanted to see the show but in all this time I was only able to catch a small part of one of the early chapters. To my suprise, after Carerra exited my interest never waned. Start to (almost) finish, I've found it hugely engaging, with one great character (and performance) and storyline after another. This is just wonderful, old fashioned storytelling. Apart from one ep (the 7th or 8th iirc) where there was some weird visible analog looking video related artifacts, I found the PQ highly satisfactory. Hell, even with a very dated, lower res master you can sometimes easily see the limitations in the old age make-up. If this ever got remastered from the original elements for Blu-ray, I'd be first In line to get it now, but for the moment I'm satisfied with the value I've gotten out of this purchase. Though yes, a production like this cries out for contextual supplemental material. Who knows, maybe after that Universal fire we'll be seeing them go back to create new masters from the original elements now for all their tv product?

#9 of 9 OFFLINE   Paul_Scott


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Posted January 07 2009 - 09:33 PM

just a follow up after finishing the last ep. As much as I loved the previous 18 hrs, the final two and a half were a MAJOR disappointment. Somewhere past the halfway point of the series we started getting very clunkily inserted flashbacks that seemed rarely more than padding. Here it feels like the first two hours consist of little more than 5 minutes of new set-up followed by 10 minutes of flashbacks. Some sequences are even replayed twice!?! In addition, the themes are bludgeoned home repeatedly and the character conflicts which should have been cast in greater relief by the changes to the source, curiously feel quite inert. Oh well. Next time I'll just quit after chapter 11.

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