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Has Anyone Seen the Route 66 Season 2 Set?
36 replies to this topic
Posted November 04 2008 - 03:28 AM
It's out, yes? After the Season 1 snafus with lesser-quality prints and incorrect formatting, I don't dare buy the Complete Season Two set without getting the green light. I'm just hoping they haven't changed the music.
Posted November 04 2008 - 06:05 AM
So far, none of my local B&M stores (Borders, Barnes & Noble, Best Buy) have it. I was waiting to hear if anyone who pre-ordered it from DDD or DVD Planet got it yet. I will, no doubt, pick it up, but I too was waiting with some trepidation about the picture quality and AR this time around. P.S. Is HTF loading ridiculously slow today or is that just my computer?
Posted November 04 2008 - 07:02 AM
Are there any brave souls out there who have ordered this set?
Posted November 04 2008 - 07:22 AM
I'll be getting this, John, but am holding out 'til the Deep Discount sale starts, so it'll likely be a few weeks before I end up watching this. Given the snafus of season 1 and its subsequent reissue, I'm reasonably confident that season 2 will be done right . . . . certainly no fake widescreen this time around, though picture quality could, potentially, be an issue. I will say that picture quality for the old season 1, volume 2 release was reasonably good despite the compromised aspect ratio and if season 2 approximates that picture quality, I will be satisfied. Hate to use the old cliche, but I'm "cautiously optimistic" on this one.
Posted November 04 2008 - 09:50 AM
does this mean that the reissued set of season one was still bad? i'm confused with all the releases! HELP!!!
Posted November 04 2008 - 11:07 PM
The reissued set of season 1 simply substituted the correct full screen aspect ratios for the 15 episodes that were given the fake widescreen treatment in the original season 1, volume 2 release. Simply put, if you are buying season 1 of "Route 66" for the first time, do not buy the split season volumes 1 & 2 . . . . buy the complete season.
Posted November 05 2008 - 02:16 AM
In other words, they did nothing to address the fact that they didn't use the best quality film sources for the first half of Season 1.
Posted November 05 2008 - 11:15 AM
wow, thanks for the information guys! what a shame they didn't redo the first half of season one.
Posted November 08 2008 - 01:39 PM
I just received the Season 2 Set and have sampled 6 episodes. From what I've see so far, the quality is still no better than the Full Season 1 Set; raising again the question of materials used to make the transfer. One wonders about their commitment to detail when they list, on the printed material, Sam Peckinpah as director of Some of the People, Some of the Time, when the actual director was Robert Altman. Still, I'm thrilled to have the episodes, but they need to go back to the original negatives. Contemporary film labs are highly skilled in keeping original negatives safe during telecine transfer.
Posted November 08 2008 - 05:34 PM
Well, this is really disappointing. Apparently Roxbury was able to correct their own mistake with the faux widescreen aspect ratio, but the task of resourcing original negatives proved too costly or unmanageable. I'll be watching for more details, as with vol. 1, one or two episodes were actually syndicated cut versions. Route 66 deserves better than this. I don't think Sam Peckinpah ever came anywhere close to a Route 66 episode. It's hard to see where this confusion came from, unless from somewhere in the recesses of the mind of whoever wrote the notes. Thanks anyway for the early news, ProfessorCameraman, even though it seems bad. If this is the case, I can't see any basis for hope in future releases. As I recall, the reviews of the initial Best Of Route 66 praised the video quality of most if not all the episodes. Makes me wonder what the plan was from the outset.
Posted November 09 2008 - 04:05 AM
No, I'm pretty sure Peckinpah did direct one or two episodes. The one that particularly comes to mind guest-starred Lee Marvin, who played an obsessed manager to a touring lady vocalist. Haven't seen it in many years, but I seem to remember it has a pretty rough fistfight scene.
Posted November 09 2008 - 01:34 PM
Please clarify one thing: No better than the quality of the first half that didn't use the best source? Or no better than the second half that did? To me there's a noticeable difference between the two. I thought that Season One Part Two looked good, even with the widescreen snafu. I'd be happy if Season Two looks that good, so long as they didn't widescreen it again!
Posted November 09 2008 - 02:33 PM
I was comparing The Complete First Season (Vol. I & II) with the latest Complete Second Season. After sampling 10 episodes at this point, the quality is the same so far. Yes, it is an improvement over that first release of Season I part 1. Still, there are annoying interlace artifacts, an overall low-res look, and many examples of dirt from the source. See for example the credit sequence of Aren't You Surprised to See Me? (II, Vol. II); and Trap at Cordova (I, Vol. II). I'm suspicious that they may be utilizing a telecine transfer fix called "dirt bombing" instead of a true clean up of the source. "Dirt bombing" introduces some new artifacts which would explain the very low contrast we see in some of the episodes. Again, happy to have the episodes, but a little more attention to detail would be greatly appreciated.
Posted November 09 2008 - 04:40 PM
As has been pointed out to you, Sam Peckinpah did, in fact, come close to a Route 66 episode, so the confusion is yours, at least for the Lee Marvin episode.
Posted November 09 2008 - 04:41 PM
I've only watched the first episode with Anne Francis - no it's not from the negative, but it's more than acceptable - not the sharpest transfer, but reasonable and pretty clean.
Posted November 09 2008 - 06:58 PM
Yes, I stand corrected. I apologize to that writer and to the memory of Sam Peckinpah for the breadth of his work, which I was too quick to dismiss. That punching scene was memorable, and had Peckinpah's stamp on it. I see other reviews are starting to come in which are more favorable to the video quality, although not as technical as ProfessorCameraman's. It probably depends on the comparison basis. It sounds like Season One Part Two would be acceptable in terms of pq apart from the aspect problem. And likely variations between episodes.
Posted November 10 2008 - 03:53 AM
Sam is resting easy now
I've watched the second episode and it, too, looks fine. I don't know what all the palaver about quality is, unless they go downhill from here. No, it's not the best or the sharpest, but it's not public domain quality - and it certainly isn't off 16mm prints.
Posted November 11 2008 - 01:52 AM
My set arrived from DDD in short order (3 days!) and I'm happy to report that, so far, I'm very pleased with the quality. The 4:3 AR is intact and the picture quality is far better than any previous versions I've had of these episodes. You're not going to find the pristine sharp excellence of, say, the first season Fugitive set, but remember this show was shot on location around the country and not under the most controlled studio set and lighting circumstances. I'm trying to remember if it was even originally shot in 16mm and then transfered to 35mm. I'm sure someone on this thread who knows the technical background on the show might confirm how it was originally shot. But if you're a fan of the show, or the great writing of Stirling Silliphant, this set is a no-brainer (Check out the episode "birdcage n my foot" with Robert Duval as a heroin addict!). And the Deep Discount sale is on for 25% (use codes SUPERSALE, USATODAY or PRICESEARCH). Night Gallery Season 2, here I come.