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*** Official Warner Archive DVD Review Thread


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#261 of 278 OFFLINE   ahollis

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Posted November 16 2009 - 01:38 PM



Quote:
Originally Posted by Douglas R View Post





I wondered about that as well. The Tarzan films were all Sol Lesser productions, who presumably held the rights, separate from Paramount's distribution rights, and which Warner Bros then acquired (although many Sol Lesser productions seem to have gone into the public domain).
I could be wrong, but I had heard it was through an agreement with Edgar Rice Burroughs estate.  I heard that the Sol Lesser films went back to ERB estate.  Again, I could be wrong and Warner may have them directly from Sol Lesser estate.

Any way, no mater how they got them, I am glad Warner has them and not Paramount. For if Paramount controlled them we would never see them on any form of DVD.


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#262 of 278 OFFLINE   Paul_Scott

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Posted November 21 2009 - 03:28 AM

My order came in yesterday- two days after shipping out and about a week after I placed the order.
Speed wise, I couldn't be more satisfied.
Unfortunately two of the films were off the hubs and scratched up. I'm able to spot check the transfers/encodes but haven't watched all the way through to see if there are any issues with playback  hidden in there.
I watched Tarzan's Greatest Adventure in full, and sampled the others.

The worst is Under The Rainbow. If I had bought this off of a bootlegger at a comic con back in 2003, the anamorphic aspect would have been enough to have impressed me, but it is a woeful looking piece of work in 2009. This proves how useless those little postage stamp youtube-esque previews are. This one I thought looked good based on that, but even when previewed on my 19" computer monitor, the poor compression is readily apparent. On an 80" screen it's an absolute eyesore.
I'll be putting up some screen caps in a few days to illustrate the point better. Suffice to say this is what I've been expecting (the worst) which is why it's taken me this long to get out a first order.
This is also why I have to take Feltenstein's recent comments with a large grain of salt. If he was truly chagrined by the sub standard quality of some of the earliest releases, how did something like this make it out in the last wave? Sure it's not a 'good' movie, but it has an appeal enough for some of us to lay out good money for it (I paid more for UTR than I did for the Criterion Bd of Howard's End this week fer Chrissakes).

But enough of the bad-
Every other title in the order (Any Wednesday, The Grasshopper, Tarzan The Magnificent, Tarzan's Greatest Adventure) looked at least acceptable on a the large screen (about 80" wide via a 1080p pj) or better.

Tarzan's Greatest Adventure I thought was indistinguishable from what i would have expected from a legitimate pressed release. Some (many?) people might take exception to the overall look of the film (faded or wonky Eastman colors; dirt and scratches; etc) but the critical point here to me is that what I see is as faithful a translation of the problematical source as standard def is capable of.
I don't think I can stress this enough, because what I am not seeing is the negative effects of undue digital manipulation like edge enhancement and noise reduction. The image isn't always pretty looking due to condition of the original elements, but that didn't stop me from being impressed with how well Warner transported what was there to disc. I would not hesitate to recommend this title to anyone interested.

The Grasshopper- I only watched the first 10 minutes. Chuck Pennington has a review at the beginning of this thread with screenshots and based on what I've seen so far I would agree almost 100% with his review. I was expecting to see worse examples of macroblocking than I have seen so far. Even on a large screen this is mostly well within the bounds of toleration to me. The only real  noticeable examples of compression weakness so far is around the titles. Any text or graphic on screen, including studio logo at the beginning is ringed with nasty artifacts. A minor point for most people, but anyone with a large screen will likely see it. I believe this is an interlaced transfer, but it's not giving my player any problems (incorrect flags?).

Any Wednesday- just watched a few minutes of the first few chapters, but what I've seen looks excellent in regards to what I expect is the condition and nature of the source. Like TGA, very natural and film-like without any undue digital manipulation.

May end up watching Tarzan The Magnificent tonight. I do see some circular striations in the dye on the disc surface with this one. I could access the first few chapters, but didn't venture farther. While sharing a similar look to TGA, this one might be rougher with even more faded and wonky colors. The main titles display a  (no hyperbole) blizzard of dirt that I assume would entail a very long and costly digital restoration to correct, so it's less a surprise this one never made it out in a legit pressed release.

So far it looks like 4 out of 5 may have been worthwhile purchases.


#263 of 278 OFFLINE   Tim_P_76

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Posted December 01 2009 - 01:14 PM

 Well I finally bit ...Bought The Gathering and Our Vines Have Tender Grapes...Can anyone elaborate on the presentation of Airborne?  It says its 16x9 Full Frame.  Sounds like an oxymoron to me.


I am currently always swamped watching my ginormous 20% off sale orders from DeepDiscountDVD...

#264 of 278 OFFLINE   Robert Crawford

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Posted January 22 2010 - 01:11 AM

This thread hasn't been posted in a couple of months.  Anyhow, this week I viewed "Rancho Notorious" and "The Fastest Gun Alive" and found both discs with very good video presentations.  This weekend I will view another 3-4 western archive titles and will post my thoughts here over the next couple of days.  I was able to purchase these titles for 9.72 each plus shipping.

However, I don't think Warner has addressed the problem that keeps international customers from ordering these titles directly from their Warner Archive site.  If true, this is crap because I personally know several international HTF members that would buy some of these titles if they were available at a reasonable pricepoint to them without heavy shipping costs.  A real missed opportunity by Warner if this situation hasn't been resolved by them.






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#265 of 278 OFFLINE   Corey

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Posted February 10 2010 - 11:19 AM

Can anyone comment on how some of the Ginger Roger titles look like Fifth Avenue Girl and Once Upon A Honeymoon?

Corey's most wanted R1 dvds:

Little Darlings (1980), My Cousin Rachel (1952), The Deep Blue Sea (1955), The White Cliffs of Dover (1944), Born to Be Bad (1950), Ivy (1947), Reckless (1935), Springtime in the Rockies (1942), The Barretts of Wimpole Street

#266 of 278 OFFLINE   ahollis

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Posted February 11 2010 - 02:10 AM

I received a couple of titles from the last announcement and last night I watched ENSIGN PULVER.  The transfer was clean with good colors and good sound.  The film was in Panavision and is anamorphic.

I have been a fan of MR ROBERTS since my viewing of it and I saw ENSIGN PULVER, the sequel, in theatres when I was at an early age.  We lived in the small town of Evergreen, AL and Ii remember attending the PIX Theatre a lot (not much to do there), however I only remember three films, THE CHALK GARDEN, FATHER GOOSE, and ENSIGN PULVER.  What the other ones were I could not tell you.  I do remember thinking this was a very funny film, but was bored with the lost on a raft scenes.  This still holds true today.  Robert Walker Jr. does a good job trying to make you forget Jack Lemmon, but you never do and Walter Matthau does make you forget William Powell as the ship's doctor.  Burl Ives is not James Cagney, but plays a great hard-nosed-by-the-book captain of the supply ship.  The interesting part today is the supporting cast of Jack Nicholson, Larry Hagman, Peter Marshall, Tommy Sands, George Lindsey's bare butt, and a very skinny James Coco.  This is a typical navy comedy played for laughs, which MR. ROBERTS went more for character and story.

Next up is THE BRIDE GOES WILD and THE TANKS ARE COMING.



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#267 of 278 OFFLINE   LarryCar

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Posted February 11 2010 - 01:32 PM



Quote:
Originally Posted by ahollis 

I received a couple of titles from the last announcement and last night I watched ENSIGN PULVER.  The transfer was clean with good colors and good sound.  The film was in Panavision and is anamorphic.

I have been a fan of MR ROBERTS since my viewing of it and I saw ENSIGN PULVER, the sequel, in theatres when I was at an early age.  We lived in the small town of Evergreen, AL and Ii remember attending the PIX Theatre a lot (not much to do there), however I only remember three films, THE CHALK GARDEN, FATHER GOOSE, and ENSIGN PULVER.  What the other ones were I could not tell you.  I do remember thinking this was a very funny film, but was bored with the lost on a raft scenes.  This still holds true today.  Robert Walker Jr. does a good job trying to make you forget Jack Lemmon, but you never do and Walter Matthau does make you forget William Powell as the ship's doctor.  Burl Ives is not James Cagney, but plays a great hard-nosed-by-the-book captain of the supply ship.  The interesting part today is the supporting cast of Jack Nicholson, Larry Hagman, Peter Marshall, Tommy Sands, George Lindsey's bare butt, and a very skinny James Coco.


 
"... George Lindsey's bare butt."

I wonder why the gay community has never discovered ENSIGN PULVER.  This is like a 60's version of CAN'T STOP THE MUSIC.  I haven't bought the disc yet, but I definitely remember being fascinated by the film via many VHS viewings because of its total gay vibe (I'm gay so maybe I just pick up on it more).  So many shots of the sailors in underwear, tight pants, short shorts, and shirtless and sweaty in as many shots as possible.  Their playfulness towards each other is also more than the usual camaraderie and one musical sequence where they're all shirtless and doing acrobatics on deck looks like a gay pride festival.  Plus, one guy putting another guy under an iron press to steam his butt (and he likes it) and that aforementioned ripping of one sailor's back pocket off by one of his mates to show a nude tattooed bun is beyond outrageous for 1964.  It's all light-hearted fun and that gay vibe may fly over general audiences' heads completely, but if you're gay, this movie offers a lot of eye-candy and gay camp that can't be denied.  Yes, there's a suplot of heterosexual love with Millie Perkins to appease general audiences, but that part is so dry and unerotic compared to all the male action that it feels really forced.

I don't know if the director was gay, but he appeared to have worked on Broadway musicals and directed some famous film musicals as well.  I know that's a stereotype and I don't want to encourage that type of thing, but I think that may have something to do with why this film has such a vibe.  Anyway, just some comments that may interest some gay members here if they've never heard of this film and want to check it out.  I also saw the earlier MISTER ROBERTS, but I was kind of bored with that one as it is much more conventional (and probably a much better film, but I don't care) as I'm not normally interested in this genre otherwise. 

PS - this forum looks great with a lot of really smart people and I'm glad to find it!


#268 of 278 OFFLINE   ahollis

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Posted February 11 2010 - 02:25 PM



Quote:
Originally Posted by LarryCar View Post




"... George Lindsey's bare butt."

I wonder why the gay community has never discovered ENSIGN PULVER.  This is like a 60's version of CAN'T STOP THE MUSIC.  I haven't bought the disc yet, but I definitely remember being fascinated by the film via many VHS viewings because of its total gay vibe (I'm gay so maybe I just pick up on it more).  So many shots of the sailors in underwear, tight pants, short shorts, and shirtless and sweaty in as many shots as possible.  Their playfulness towards each other is also more than the usual camaraderie and one musical sequence where they're all shirtless and doing acrobatics on deck looks like a gay pride festival.  Plus, one guy putting another guy under an iron press to steam his butt (and he likes it) and that aforementioned ripping of one sailor's back pocket off by one of his mates to show a nude tattooed bun is beyond outrageous for 1964.  It's all light-hearted fun and that gay vibe may fly over general audiences' heads completely, but if you're gay, this movie offers a lot of eye-candy and gay camp that can't be denied.  Yes, there's a suplot of heterosexual love with Millie Perkins to appease general audiences, but that part is so dry and unerotic compared to all the male action that it feels really forced.

I don't know if the director was gay, but he appeared to have worked on Broadway musicals and directed some famous film musicals as well.  I know that's a stereotype and I don't want to encourage that type of thing, but I think that may have something to do with why this film has such a vibe.  Anyway, just some comments that may interest some gay members here if they've never heard of this film and want to check it out.  I also saw the earlier MISTER ROBERTS, but I was kind of bored with that one as it is much more conventional (and probably a much better film, but I don't care) as I'm not normally interested in this genre otherwise. 

PS - this forum looks great with a lot of really smart people and I'm glad to find it!
 
When you get the DVD take a look at the trailer, it is made up of a lot of scenes that were not in the film and I swear when Tommy Sands jumps across the deck to go on leave to see his wife, he stops and kisses another sailor. 

Joshua Logan, the director, was married and had children, but there was always the whisper about him.  He directed, South Pacific, Tall Story, Picnic, Bus Stop, Camelot, and Paint Your Wagon along with taking over Mr. Roberts from John Ford.  I think just a couple of scenes from South Pacific, Tall Story and Picnic fueled the rumor more.  I have read Mr. Logan's autobiography and he had lived a very interesting life.

"Get a director and a writer and leave them alone. That`s how the best pictures get made" - William "Wild Bill" Wellman


#269 of 278 OFFLINE   LarryCar

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Posted February 11 2010 - 02:51 PM

Wow - thanks for that info!  At least now I don't think I was jumping to conclusions too fast.  I can't wait to see that trailer and also the film in widescreen as I've ony seen it on vhs.

#270 of 278 OFFLINE   Bill:N

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Posted March 15 2010 - 01:22 PM

re: Out of the Fog

I received this today and noticed it is only 85 minutes long, the correct length being 92 minutes according to various sources, including the WB Archive web site. Does everyone owning this have the same shortened copy, or did just I receive a bad copy?
Now I'll have to check the time on my other WB Archive DVD-r's.

#271 of 278 OFFLINE   BradleyS

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Posted March 15 2010 - 02:39 PM



Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill:N 

re: Out of the Fog

I received this today and noticed it is only 85 minutes long, the correct length being 92 minutes according to various sources, including the WB Archive web site. Does everyone owning this have the same shortened copy, or did just I receive a bad copy?
Now I'll have to check the time on my other WB Archive DVD-r's.
My copy from TCM is 85 minutes, and the American Film Institute catalog lists the film as 85 minutes.  So I think you're OK.


#272 of 278 OFFLINE   GlennH

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Posted April 04 2010 - 01:02 PM

I recently purchased THE VALLEY OF DECISION (1945) from the Warner Archive. This drama stars Gregory Peck and Greer Garson and a fine supporting cast. Set in 1870's Pittsburgh, it's a love story set against the backdrop of the management vs. labor struggles of the steel industry.

I was generally pleased with the picture and sound quality. There are a number of speckles and imperfections, but nothing distracting. The image is generally clear and detailed, with good contrast. I had watched it on TCM a couple of years ago, and I think this looks a little better than that did.

A very good movie. Recommended. Here are a few screen shots (captured with VLC):

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#273 of 278 OFFLINE   John Morgan

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Posted April 19 2010 - 03:28 AM

 I received a small boatload of Archive titles last week. I only have seen a few all the way through, but spot-checked the others.

The Irwin Allen TV movie collection. All the films look and sound superb. Looks like recent transfers to me. Colorful, sharp and although the films are corny and predictable, they really bring back that era of television for me. They look DVD ready and just about 100% better than the recent BAD RONALD that I thought looked terrible. 

THE VERDICT (1946) I love this film and had hoped for a Peter Lorre/Sydney Greenstreet pressed/restored set, but that ain't going to happen. It is only okay in my opinion. Being an old transfer, it is dark, kind of dupey-fuzzy looking and doesn't do justice to the moody photography.

BERLIN EXPRESS  Nice surprise. For an unrestored RKO title, it is sharp with great contrast that really shows off the superb lighting and photography. 

THE CANTERVILLE GHOST Nice looking. I guess typical for MGM of that period as far as transfer quality. Looks and sounds good.

MAMMY As Robert Harris said elsewhere, this is superb. Hard to believe a 1930 film looking this good. They did wonders with the color sequences by inserting sepia where the color was missing. They did it flawlessly. Even has Overture and Exit music. 

and finally TORCHY BLANE series. Old tranfers, but very watchable. Things get a bit better the newer the film. I would say they look just a hair less than the Nancy Drew set, which was pressed, but didn't look like new transfers to me. 

On the whole a good purchase and I was able to avail myself to discounts, so it didn't hurt my pocketbook that much. 

Oh, and off topic, TCM ran the 1953 version of THE DESERT SONG yesterday. It was miles better than the old VHS edition. I am still hoping for a pressed set with the 1943 version. But it really looked sharp with that technicolor look.


#274 of 278 OFFLINE   jdee28

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Posted November 10 2010 - 04:20 AM

As far as the Chaney titles that were just released, the big disappointment is with HE WHO GETS SLAPPED (1924). No restoration work was done on it whatsoever. The print is jittery, scratchy, soft, poor contrast. I remember seeing a print of this at the MOMA and it looked really good, unlike here; again, a big disappointment. THE UNHOLY THREE (1925) is disappointing too; almost on the same level as HE WHO GETS SLAPPED. The rest of the titles are ok, with good picture quality and not as much print damage. Bottom line, there isn't much reason to get these if you've already taped them off TCM.


If they ever had a second Chaney set in mind, going by the prints in these Archive releases, not much work was done for it.



#275 of 278 OFFLINE   ahollis

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Posted November 10 2010 - 05:05 AM


I enjoyed the Torchy Blane series also.  They were all fun films and I have just finished the Brass Bancroft Of The Secret Service Mysteries Collection and they were all fun too.  The way they begin and play out, I would expect if Warner's ever made a chapterplay they would much like these titles.  Ronald Reagan playing a Secret Service Agent, history does play in strange ways.

Originally Posted by John Morgan 


and finally TORCHY BLANE series. Old tranfers, but very watchable. Things get a bit better the newer the film. I would say they look just a hair less than the Nancy Drew set, which was pressed, but didn't look like new transfers to me.
 


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#276 of 278 OFFLINE   kevin_y

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Posted August 06 2011 - 11:31 AM

Are you guys following this still? As more and more titles come out (wbshop is showing 1135 titles now), my interest grows from zero to mild to fairly piqued. First of all, a couple of titles that I like are already out of print and sadly I did not buy them. The excellent 1983 TV movie Special Bulletin went OOP only a year after release, but fortunately I have a VHS. And the 1985 Phoebe Cates TV movie Lace II went OOP only after a few months. Anyone know why Warner pulled them? So far I have only bought one Warner Archive DVD, the 1988 TV movie Jack the Ripper, and the picture and sound quality are actually pretty good, decidedly better than the UK Region-2 DVD by Anchor Bay/Fremantle. Also, I noticed a lot of titles have been given new and more attractive cover designs, but the content should be the same, right? Also, anyone knows the specs of those Windows media download versions? It saddens me that A-films like Gaslight and Unsinkable Molly Brown are now relegated to the Archive series. It is also DISTURBING, as pointed out already, that Warner is charging $20 each for these low budget items. With Criterion Eclipse, another "tier 2" line of DVDs, I pay $50-60 for 5-6 pressed discs which comes to only about $10 per disc. I would have bought Stranger on the Third Floor if it weren't for the high price. A new region-2 DVD from Odeon Entertainment came out recently and this review says it is from the same source as the Warner Archive edition, but it is much cheaper - only 5 pounds at Amazon UK, so I considering getting it.

#277 of 278 OFFLINE   Bob Cashill

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Posted August 06 2011 - 11:40 AM

Are you guys following this still? As more and more titles come out (wbshop is showing 1135 titles now), my interest grows from zero to mild to fairly piqued. First of all, a couple of titles that I like are already out of print and sadly I did not buy them. The excellent 1983 TV movie Special Bulletin went OOP only a year after release, but fortunately I have a VHS. And the 1985 Phoebe Cates TV movie Lace II went OOP only after a few months. Anyone know why Warner pulled them? So far I have only bought one Warner Archive DVD, the 1988 TV movie Jack the Ripper, and the picture and sound quality are actually pretty good, decidedly better than the UK Region-2 DVD by Anchor Bay/Fremantle. Also, I noticed a lot of titles have been given new and more attractive cover designs, but the content should be the same, right? Also, anyone knows the specs of those Windows media download versions? It saddens me that A-films like Gaslight and Unsinkable Molly Brown are now relegated to the Archive series. It is also DISTURBING, as pointed out already, that Warner is charging $20 each for these low budget items. With Criterion Eclipse, another "tier 2" line of DVDs, I pay $50-60 for 5-6 pressed discs which comes to only about $10 per disc.

The covers change but the content doesn't. I wasn't aware that it had pulled some of their TV titles other than the rumored-to-be-remastered DON'T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK, perhaps it only had the rights for a limited time.

#278 of 278 OFFLINE   bgart13

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Posted August 06 2011 - 12:29 PM

FYI on JACK THE RIPPER, it's getting a blu-ray release in Germany come October.