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El Cid & Fall of the Roman Empire Blue Ray Release in Germany


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#1 of 64 OFFLINE   flagbrothers

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Posted August 17 2009 - 11:22 PM

Has anyone reviewed the blue ray release of these titles?

#2 of 64 OFFLINE   Cees Alons

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Posted August 18 2009 - 01:05 PM

If they're region-free, I will probably buy them.

Haven't seen a review yet either.


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#3 of 64 OFFLINE   OliverK

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Posted August 18 2009 - 09:25 PM

I have ordered them and I am pretty sure DannyN has, too.
I will report how they look once I get them and if they are region locked.

As they are most probably based on the Miriam collection DVDs I expect Fall of the Roman Empire to look rather good, about El Cid I am not so sure.

The German company that releases them has also released Time Bandits and that one at least did not seem to not suffer from excessive DNR and looked quite good except for a bit of edginess here and there so I hope they will continue to give us this kind of quality with those two releases, of course within the realm of the potential offered by the masters at hand.

#4 of 64 OFFLINE   willyTass

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Posted August 19 2009 - 01:10 PM

pre-ordered here too,
"in the name of Allah" :)

#5 of 64 OFFLINE   Cees Alons

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Posted August 19 2009 - 08:28 PM

Usually, when those two titles are present, 55 Days at Peking cannot be far away....
Haven't seen it yet.


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#6 of 64 OFFLINE   Fritz Nilsen

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Posted August 20 2009 - 01:25 AM



Quote:
Originally Posted by Cees Alons 

Usually, when those two titles are present, 55 Days at Peking cannot be far away....
Haven't seen it yet.


Cees
You are an optmist I see, Mijnheer Alons. Alas, that wasn't the case when these two were released last year on standard DVD in the US. I do hope you're right. Have 55 days on laserdisc and DVD but will certainly spring for a BD.


#7 of 64 OFFLINE   Danny_N

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Posted August 20 2009 - 03:48 AM

I was afraid that they were postponed but my pre-order for both at amazon.de is at status "shipping soon" /img/vbsmilies/htf/smile.gif. With a little luck I will receive them on Saturday or otherwise early next week. I can't wait. Anthony Mann is one of my favourite directors and to see these two films in HD is a dream come true. I'll report back on the quality once I have them.


#8 of 64 OFFLINE   Cees Alons

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Posted August 20 2009 - 07:39 AM



Quote:
Originally Posted by Fritz Nilsen ">




You are an optmist I see, Mijnheer Alons. Alas, that wasn't the case when these two were released last year on standard DVD in the US. I do hope you're right. Have 55 days on laserdisc and DVD but will certainly spring for a BD.
 
I have a PAL DVD of that film, since more than 2 years. Bought it together with EC and FotRE from the same distributor. As said: PAL, but a very reasonable transfer (and less than € 5).
I later bought the US versions of the latter two titles too).

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#9 of 64 OFFLINE   OliverK

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Posted August 21 2009 - 08:35 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cees Alons View Post

Usually, when those two titles are present, 55 Days at Peking cannot be far away....
Haven't seen it yet.


Cees

55 Days and Circus World were supposed to be part of the Miriam collection but with sales not so hot for the first two titles it seems they are now on the backburner.

As the HD masters seem to have been made only for the movies that were already released there is little chance at the moment to see 55 Days on Blu-Ray.


#10 of 64 OFFLINE   Fritz Nilsen

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Posted August 22 2009 - 08:47 PM



Quote:
Originally Posted by Cees Alons 




I have a PAL DVD of that film, since more than 2 years. Bought it together with EC and FotRE from the same distributor. As said: PAL, but a very reasonable transfer (and less than € 5).
I later bought the US versions of the latter two titles too).

Posted Image


Cees
Yeah, I have the Nordic release of 55 in PAL anamorphic widescreen and mono 2.0. It's from one of those no-name, budget companies, Atlantic releasing. The colours are a bit faded, but otherwise a good tide-me-over. Probably the same transfer all over Europe, eh? Got it back in '04 for EUR4!  Hmmm... just noticed there's no EUR-key on my keyboard :-(



#11 of 64 OFFLINE   Cees Alons

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Posted August 22 2009 - 11:11 PM

€ = ALT (K0 K1 K2 K8)

K1 etc being the keys on your numeric keypad with NUMLOCK 'on'.
(So it's: press ALT, press 0128 successively on those keys, release ALT.)

Yes, I suppose that's the same one I bought, in 2004 or '05 indeed. Good price (  ), reasonable transfer, great film to own


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#12 of 64 OFFLINE   Douglas R

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Posted August 23 2009 - 11:44 PM



Quote:
Originally Posted by flagbrothers View Post

Has anyone reviewed the blue ray release of these titles?

Amazon.de have emailed me to say my copies have been despatched. Should have them within a few days.

#13 of 64 OFFLINE   OliverK

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Posted August 24 2009 - 06:50 AM

I had written a much longer text originally but lost it due to one of these things that sometimes happen with PC's and the internet, so here is the short version:

I have now gotten both El Cid and Fall of the Roman Empire and members who do have Region A Blu-Ray player will probably be out of luck with these as my PC with Powerdvd 9 would not play them when set to Region A.

Regarding the quality the Blu-Rays are clearly from the same HD source as the DVDs that were released earlier in the Miriam collection so what we get is improved resolution for both chroma and luma compared to the DVDs, the color balance looks to be very much the same.

Seeing El Cid first I was a bit surprised that Weinstein dared to show this kind of quality in a cinematic setting last year. The colors, as with the DVD, are still very problematic and fine detail in faces, fabrics, rock or vegetation is not at the level it should be.
 Contrary to the DVD versions of both films I did not feel that the Blu-Ray of Fall of the Roman Empire was much better than El Cid with regard to detail but as with DVD the color balance is improved. I had certainly hoped for more with this title if not for El Cid but the problem of pasty faces and other surfaces with the absence of fine detail remain and I found the forum scenes very much lacking because of this.
Those who want to replace his DVDs with the Blu-Ray will like that seemingly all the extras from the Weinstein editions have been ported over to the German Blu-Ray, plus there is also a digital copy with each movie and from looking through the extras listed on the Blu-Rays they are the same as the Weinstein editions.
As almost always these are still the versions to get for collectors that want the best that is currently available and the discs should provide a noticable upgrade for them despite their shortcomings. For others I would suggest a rental.




#14 of 64 OFFLINE   Douglas R

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Posted August 24 2009 - 08:41 AM

Thank you Oliver. Somehow I hadn't really expected a lot from these discs but any marginal improvement for two of my all-time favourite films will be worthwhile.

#15 of 64 OFFLINE   OliverK

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Posted August 24 2009 - 09:14 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Douglas R ">

Thank you Oliver. Somehow I hadn't really expected a lot from these discs but any marginal improvement for two of my all-time favourite films will be worthwhile.

Douglas, the improvements are not that marginal but given the nature of these movies with a photography that is one of the best ever there is a feeling of disappointment despite the improvements. So I am also keeping them - they are the best versions available of two movies that I like a lot.

Here are two comparison caps of the DVD (upscaled to 1920x1080 resolution) and the Blu-Ray of El Cid with panoramic shots where the differences are quite visible. I think I do not have to tell you which is which :)



















#16 of 64 OFFLINE   Robert Harris

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Posted August 25 2009 - 01:58 AM

I hate to say this, but I wish that the rights holders would cease releasing these films, as they look nothing like they should, making it appear that the films were shot with several layers of vaseline on the lens.  The extant masters are best destroyed.  

Unfortunately, as examples are out there, they will not be forgotten, and some viewers may actually think that they are watching the films as created.

RAH

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#17 of 64 OFFLINE   Douglas R

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Posted August 25 2009 - 02:24 AM

Received my copies today and have had a quick look. Certainly these films should look better (and I can still remember how great they looked when originally presented in 70mm) but nevertheless they have considerably more detail than their DVD counterparts. As Oliver says, they are the best versions available (probably the best versions we will ever have on disc?) and so I'm very pleased to have them. 

#18 of 64 OFFLINE   Danny_N

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Posted August 25 2009 - 03:39 AM

I received my copies today as well and also had a quick look on my laptop /img/vbsmilies/htf/smile.gif. They certainly look soft and the colours are off but compared to the DVDs I have owned (the French, Japanese and German, I skipped the Weinsteins) they are miles better. I'll watch El Cid tonight on my projector and if it's watchable on that I will be happy. I have no illusions anymore of seeing many classics on HD so I'll take what I can get (and am interested in), perfect or not, because I don't think I'll see a perfect release of these films in my lifetime anymore.


#19 of 64 OFFLINE   OliverK

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Posted August 25 2009 - 05:56 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Harris View Post

I hate to say this, but I wish that the rights holders would cease releasing these films, as they look nothing like they should, making it appear that the films were shot with several layers of vaseline on the lens.  The extant masters are best destroyed.  

Unfortunately, as examples are out there, they will not be forgotten, and some viewers may actually think that they are watching the films as created.

RAH
 

I wish the rights holders would sell these movie to a big studio or some other entity or person that actually cares for them and goes back to the OCN for the next Blu-Ray incarnation.

Until this happens I do not see how the situation will improve and that is why I bought these versions. I fear this will be about as good as it gets for a long time for both El Cid and Fall of the Roman Empire unless I manage to catch a theatrical screening.



#20 of 64 OFFLINE   Stephen PI

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Posted August 25 2009 - 06:03 AM

Reading Robert's comments is exactly how I feel right now and with these blu-ray releases feel we are getting further away from any chance of them being done properly.

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