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Blu-ray Reviews

HTF Blu-ray Review: STARGATE: 15th Anniversary Edition



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#1 of 21 OFFLINE   Michael Reuben

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Posted October 28 2009 - 04:24 AM


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#2 of 21 OFFLINE   Terry Hickey

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Posted October 28 2009 - 05:05 AM

I purchased this because I prefer the theatrical cut also.  Both audio and video of the theatrical cut were great.
 

#3 of 21 OFFLINE   Neil Middlemiss

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Posted October 28 2009 - 05:09 AM

Hi Michael - I wasn't planning on picking this one up (since I was doing ok with the blu-ray version I picked up for less than $10) but now I must head to Amazon and order it immediately. Thanks for helping me spend more money!
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#4 of 21 OFFLINE   Walter Kittel

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Posted October 28 2009 - 07:13 AM

Pretty much what Neil said.  I think I own just about every home video release of this title, so what is one more? 

Nice review, as always, Michael.

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Fidelity to the source should always be the goal for Blu-ray releases.

#5 of 21 OFFLINE   Steve Christou

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Posted October 28 2009 - 11:39 AM

I remember the first Stargate DVD I bought 10 years ago, it was almost unwatchable, moire patterns, jagged edges, halo effects, it was ghastly. The video was better. And I didn't much care for the longer version, which simply made the film seem um longer.

Nice review Michael. Another must buy on Blu for me.

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#6 of 21 OFFLINE   ManW_TheUncool

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Posted October 28 2009 - 12:55 PM

Ugh!  Can't believe I might actually have to re-dip on yet another Stargate release -- I was kinda hoping this reissue would still be subpar w/ only slight improvements (more like the T2 reissue), expecting yet another improved release another few years down the line.  May Ra's curse be upon you, Mike!

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#7 of 21 OFFLINE   David Coleman

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Posted October 28 2009 - 01:08 PM

 Amazing disc, definite increase in quality audio/video-wise. 

Video-wise, all the overblown colors and lack of detail are gone. What you get is sharpness, fine grain, excellent natural looking colors and fine detail.

Audio-wise, you definitely get an improvement and this is one very detailed mix which is cleanly represented in the DTSMA track. 


#8 of 21 OFFLINE   Joseph J.D

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Posted October 28 2009 - 01:21 PM

Definitely picking this one up and kicking my Ultimate Edition DVD to the curb. Judging from your review of this disc, this will mark my final time of purchasing this film.  Can't wait to get it.  Thanks Michael.

Recently watched- Alexander Revisited, The Sentinel(2006), The Lovely Bones, Band Of Brothers, Scream Blacula Scream, Blacula, Maleficent 3D, Lake Placid, Running Scared(1986), Heroes: Season 2, Lock,Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, True Blood: Season 2, WKRP In Cincinnati: Season 1, Star Trek Into Darkness, Star Trek(2009)

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#9 of 21 OFFLINE   Carlo Medina

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Posted October 28 2009 - 02:23 PM

I'm the "one PS3 owner" reporting a VC-1 encode on my Tuesday Best Buy purchase. Below is my crappy iPhone screenshot. To avoid potentially confusing the PS3 I didn't click on "Info" until the feature had started, and it clearly reports VC-1. I'm running a 60GB PS3 (one of the first gens) with firmware 3.01. I'm also certain it's the new 15th anniversary disc because the menus are totally different, I have all the extras Michael references above, and the subtitles work correctly (as opposed to my original disc) and as I noted in the other thread I can definitely tell a picture improvement, including a better fade/transition in the film element with the Ra opening statue dissolve into the ancient Egypt encampment, as well as decreased gate weave on the opening credits. My disc information is (pasted from the other thread):
Quote:
 FYI here are the numbers on the inner ring (viewed from the playing side of the disc) of my Stargate 15th anniversary BD, maybe you can compare them to yours? I wouldn't expect Lionsgate to use 2 different encodes simultaneously but you never know...

M5 A026267.1.B VD01
M5 A026267.1.A VE03   <- this number is backwards (actually mirrored/reversed) above the previous number

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#10 of 21 OFFLINE   Rik1138

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Posted October 28 2009 - 02:56 PM

This is the version currently in stores (it is VC-1, _every_ piece of video on the disc is VC-1).  Apparently Lionsgate has created another version of the disc somewhere that used Mpeg2 for the main menu loop, and AVC for the feature...  And that's what they sent out for review.  I'm not sure if that version will be released eventually or not (or maybe they didn't mean to actually send that version for the review... it might have just been created for testing purposes).

If anyone buys a copy in a store and it's AVC, please let us know.


#11 of 21 OFFLINE   Michael Reuben

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Posted October 28 2009 - 04:23 PM



Originally Posted by Rik1138 [url=/forum/thread/294402/htf-blu-ray-review-stargate-15th-anniversary-edition#post_3622402]
(I just looked at your edited post in your other thread, and it sounds like you're someone who worked on this Blu-ray. Can you be more specific about your role?)

We've written to Lionsgate asking for further explanation. Let's see what the inquiry produces. In the meantime, as Carlo and I discussed in the other thread, there's at least some comfort to be taken from the fact that the choice here appears to be between two high-end codecs (as opposed to, say, AVC and MPEG-2). Still, I'm sure the screenshot jockeys will have hours of fun with this one, and it's only a matter of time before someone somewhere pronounces that one version "blows away" the other one.
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#12 of 21 OFFLINE   Adam Gregorich

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Posted October 28 2009 - 07:07 PM

Michael: The version I have blows away the version you have.....wait, they are both the same.  On well it doesn't matter my copy is still better than yours and I have the screen grabs to prove it!

#13 of 21 OFFLINE   ManW_TheUncool

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Posted October 28 2009 - 07:13 PM


Originally Posted by Adam Gregorich [url=/forum/thread/294402/htf-blu-ray-review-stargate-15th-anniversary-edition#post_3622462]

_Man_

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#14 of 21 OFFLINE   Adam Gregorich

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Posted October 28 2009 - 07:17 PM

Quote:
Can I get a free swap of my inferior (1st release BD) for whichever one is inferior between your review copies?  Should be an even swap since they're just inferior anyway, no?  
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#15 of 21 OFFLINE   JediFonger

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Posted October 29 2009 - 02:37 AM

thanks for the review michael =). are the audio options different for theatrical vs. DC?


#16 of 21 OFFLINE   Michael Reuben

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Posted October 29 2009 - 02:42 AM



Originally Posted by JediFonger 

are the audio options different for theatrical vs. DC?
 
Not in the primary English-language track (DTS 7.1 lossless). The only difference is in the secondary track; see the discussion under Special Features, Commentary.

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#17 of 21 OFFLINE   joshEH

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Posted October 29 2009 - 04:13 AM

I'm definitely going to pick this one up very soon, as I held off on the last BD release, but there's something interesting I was wondering about, reading that review:

I happen to own Compton's excellent The Secrets of Stargate CD-ROM, released not long after the film hit theaters, and which featured simply a *TON* of behind-the-scenes interviews with the cast/crew that have not seen the light of day in any subsequent official release. 

Might the "Bonusview Picture-in-Picture Stargate Ultimate Knowledge" Blu-Ray video track happen to contain any of this footage from the CD-ROM release? It was great stuff, and it'd make sense to recycle most of it for a future release...but sadly, that hasn't happened yet up to this point, to my knowledge.

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#18 of 21 OFFLINE   Rik1138

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Posted October 29 2009 - 07:11 AM



Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Reuben [url=/forum/thread/294402/htf-blu-ray-review-stargate-15th-anniversary-edition#post_3622433] 

Well, they just sent us tapes, so we encoded everything ourselves and stuck with VC-1 throughout.  Nothing was provided 'pre-encoded'.  That also provided me the opportunity to encode the audio at a slightly higher bitrate (I assume the DVD was probably 192kbs, I did the audio for the bonus at at least 224kbs...  Not much of a difference, but I tried...)

I asked about the startup order of the disc becuase I figured if someone else did a version of the disc, it would be different.  Ours does this:
LG Logo & disclaimers
Trailers
Loading icon (no internet checking)
Main Menu

So that would be a quick way to tell what version of the disc you are watching as it starts up.

I did the low-level authoring (and audio encoding) on the VC-1 disc (basically, everything except the Java code).  We spent about two months getting everything perfect (like, for example, the studio neglected to mention that there's a line of dialog that's different between the two cuts, not just footage.  If I didn't know the film so well, this would have been completely missed on this release...).  I think in our effort to make it perfect, we may have annoyed the studio a little (a lot of back and forth about things).  They suddenly had another facility start doing the work about 2 or 3 weeks before the release date, all they would say is 'for another market' (of course, with all of our information on how to do it correctly...).  But this is apparently what you got.  They only asked for source assets (tapes, etc), no encoded assets were provided to the other facility.

Another thing we did differently was handling the features that are only present on one version of the film or the other.  When you select 'Setup' on our disc, you get these options:
English 7.1 DTS
French 5.1 (Theatrical Version Only)
Commentary (Extended Cut Only)
and Subtitles.
That way, it doesn't matter what version of the film you have selected,  you see all the options.  If you select 'French', the version of the film you are playing will automatically switch to Theatrical (if it isn't already).  If you pick Commentary, the version changes to Extended automatically.  From your review, I seem to remember you said these option aren't even visible if you have the other version of the film selected...

BTW, how do you start the actual film?  On ours, if you select 'Theatrical', it starts right away.  But on your version, you wouldn't have a chance to then go ever and select French...  How does that work?



#19 of 21 OFFLINE   Michael Reuben

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Posted October 29 2009 - 07:32 AM

Many thanks! That's fascinating stuff. From your description, it appears that I've been watching your work, even if the final encode was done by someone else -- so please accept my compliments on a job well done! [/url]


Another thing we did differently was handling the features that are only present on one version of the film or the other.  When you select 'Setup' on our disc, you get these options:
English 7.1 DTS
French 5.1 (Theatrical Version Only)
Commentary (Extended Cut Only)
and Subtitles.
That way, it doesn't matter what version of the film you have selected,  you see all the options.  If you select 'French', the version of the film you are playing will automatically switch to Theatrical (if it isn't already).  If you pick Commentary, the version changes to Extended automatically.  From your review, I seem to remember you said these option aren't even visible if you have the other version of the film selected...

BTW, how do you start the actual film?  On ours, if you select 'Theatrical', it starts right away.  But on your version, you wouldn't have a chance to then go ever and select French...  How does that work?

 
Starting the film is handled the same way on this disc. Select "Theatrical" or "Extended", and the film begins immediately. What's handled differently (and here you guys planned better) is that the audio menu never lists more than two options. It's either English 7.1 DTS & French DD 5.1 or English 7.1 DTS & Commentary. The former is the default; so if you want the commentary, you have to first choose to play the extended cut, then change the audio option to "commentary" on the fly. The design you've described is superior, obviously.
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#20 of 21 OFFLINE   Arild

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Posted October 29 2009 - 11:20 AM


Originally Posted by Rik1138 

(like, for example, the studio neglected to mention that there's a line of dialog that's different between the two cuts, not just footage.  If I didn't know the film so well, this would have been completely missed on this release...).
Good to know. IIRC, that part did get screwed up on one of the earlier DVD releases.






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