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Re: The Blu-ray edition of JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS (1963)


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#1 of 19 Dick

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Posted July 03 2010 - 05:34 PM

I haven't seen this disc yet, but have heard good things about it. Gary at DVD Beaver compares it very favorably against the DVD release. But his screen shots reveal that, once again, Sony dropped the ball. The entire Harpy sequence in the Greek ruins, as well as an earlier sequence in which Jason is taken to speak to the Gods, were supposed to have taken place at night, and a day-for-night appearance resulting from lower f-stops was intended. Whoever oversaw production of the Criterion laser disc of the movie saw that these sequences had been improperly reproduced for video since the initial VHS presentation, and the two sequences had always before been trabsferred as though they were daylight sequences. Criterion darkened them down and the result was a revelation. Unfortunately, no subsequent video releases, including this new Blu-ray, has reflected the intent of the filmmakers. I was really hoping for a definitive version of JASON, but it looks like it may not happen now. (In addition to the corrected appearance of the night scenes, the Criterion laser included a solo Ray Harryhausen commentary track that has not been carried over to any subsequent discs (the Blu-ray contains a new track by Harryhausen....thank God at least we don't have to suffer through all of his rather misguided attempts to promote the colorizing of his earlier work during this track!).



#2 of 19 RobertR

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Posted July 03 2010 - 05:42 PM

Day for night scenes never convince me it's really night, so that particular aspect won't bother me.  I'll be happy to get this.


Edit:   I just read an alternate opinion that says the BR is actually corrected:



You know, I completely lost track of this thread through last week being so busy but I have to mention that the day-for-night scene during the capture of the harpies *is* corrected on the Blu-ray release. That sequence isn't as dark and murky looking as the Criterion laserdisc release which frankly always looked to me like someone simply turned down the brightness setting for that scene but it is obvious now that it's supposed to be night time in contrast to the dvd release.    



#3 of 19 Dick

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Posted July 04 2010 - 12:37 AM

Well, I hope this is the case. There was practically no difference between daylight shots and the Harpy sequence in all but the Criterion disc. I saw the film three or four time in theaters in 1963 but I do not remember how that sequence looked.



#4 of 19 GMpasqua

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Posted July 04 2010 - 03:44 AM

the day for night scenes were a problem on many Columbia Pictures Video released since Home video started. Even new prints of these film have the day for night wrong. It may not be the Home Video Department's fault as they do not control the film prints. It's possible that back in the late 60s someone at Columbia made prints with the day for night incorrect and they have never been changed. When viewing a film print, the video tranfers were based on the film prints.


This may be an issue for someone like Robert Harris to address and work with the studio in correcting the films with this problem.



#5 of 19 Richard Gallagher

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Posted July 05 2010 - 12:56 PM

I just received the screener of this BD on Saturday and I haven't had time to do a review, but I checked and both the scene where Jason is taken to speak with the gods and the Harpy sequence are day for night. The Harpy scene is darker, but both appear to have been restored correctly. Overall the film looks terrific.


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#6 of 19 Holer

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Posted July 06 2010 - 12:44 AM

I love this movie but am reluctant to buy it because of what Sony did last time with Sinbad, releasing it on Blu and then following it up months later with a Harryhausen box that included the same film with a bunch of other films exclusive to the box. This is how Sony has conditioned me - afraid to buy their product, trying not to get screwed again. Does anyone know if a second Harryhausen Blu box is forthcoming? Thanks



#7 of 19 dana martin

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Posted July 06 2010 - 03:39 AM

actually waiting on the single disc releases of two of the films from the first set, at this time, the only rumor that i have heard is that a new version of the 3 worlds of gulliver are pending, but uncertian if it is a planned blu release. would love it if it was, make me wish for some of George Pal's work as well in HD


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#8 of 19 Dick

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Posted July 07 2010 - 01:35 AM

OK, I'm not merely satisfied by this disc, I am overwhelmed. Sony did such a superb job with JASON that I am sending them a snail mail letter commending the effort. Everything is right about it. The grain structure is natural, the color better than I seem to remember even from the 1963 prints I saw, the 1.66:1 ratio letter-perfect, the stereo music sublime, contrast and black levels excellent, and image is sharp as a tack. The night scenes look much more like night than in any previous incantation save the Criterion laser. No DNR. This is a much superior transfer when compared to the earlier 7th VOYAGE OF SINBAD Blu, which I found generally very good. Plus we get two commentaries which, when combined with the solo Ray Harryhausen commentary I have kept from the Criterion laser disc, offer an incredible amount of technical information. The trailer is included, although not advertised on the case. Also included are trailers that were missing from the indigenous releases of 7th VOYAGE (a nice 3-minute one, narrated by Katherine Grant!), IT CAME FROM BENEATH THE SEA and 20 MILLION MILES TO EARTH. The "Harryhausen Chronicles" appears here again, and there are a few other background items. Nice on-screen menus, easy to navigate. Even the cover art is decent for once. I can't imagine that Robert Harris himself wouldn't endorse this enthusiastically - I anxiously await his review.



#9 of 19 Worth

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Posted July 07 2010 - 01:41 AM

I had a quick look at this last night and agree that it looks excellent. Frankly, I wish every studio would farm out their disc mastering and production to Sony.


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#10 of 19 Charles Smith

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Posted July 07 2010 - 02:14 AM

Sounds wonderful.  I was particularly interested in aspect ratio because the Criterion LD was full screen per Harryhausen's wishes.  One night a few years ago I found it playing on TCM and popped in the laser to compare.  Going back and forth, the full screen LD was obviously a true "open matte" presentation, and provided a much more satisfying picture.  But that's easy to conclude when you're watching on a 4x3 TV and directly comparing the two images.  Not long before that, I'd seen the film for my first time in years at the Walter Reade in NYC and never gave A/R a thought.  That was in Harryhausen's presence, by the way, and I couldn't tell you now whether it was the 1.85:1 listed on IMDB or the 1.66:1 that someone just posted is perfectly executed on the Blu-ray.  I love an anamorphic 1.66:1, and that sounds pretty ideal to me for this film.



#11 of 19 Steve Christou

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Posted July 07 2010 - 03:10 AM

Best copy of Jason and the Argonauts I've seen so far. A little grainy at times but I can live with it. /img/vbsmilies/htf/smile.gif


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#12 of 19 Bradley-E

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Posted July 07 2010 - 10:06 AM

Sony has really done a fantastic job with catalog titles.  I only wish they would step up the production more on them.



#13 of 19 Craig Beam

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Posted July 07 2010 - 03:40 PM

Got my copy today at Best Buy for a very reasonable $19.99.  Now I just need to find time to watch it...!



#14 of 19 ahollis

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Posted July 08 2010 - 01:32 AM



Originally Posted by Craig Beam 

Got my copy today at Best Buy for a very reasonable $19.99.  Now I just need to find time to watch it...!



I had just written Best Buy off this week.  Went there Tuesday to pick up Jason but they did not have a copy.  I checked and they only had it for order at that store.  I know that different stores get different titles, but this store had been pretty good with older titles.  It was not all in vain for I picked up 2001 blu-ray for 9.99.  The same for A Star Is Born but damn if they did not have Caddyshack and Spartacus on the rack.


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#15 of 19 Craig Beam

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Posted July 08 2010 - 02:17 AM



Originally Posted by ahollis 





I had just written Best Buy off this week.  Went there Tuesday to pick up Jason but they did not have a copy.  I checked and they only had it for order at that store.  I know that different stores get different titles, but this store had been pretty good with older titles.  It was not all in vain for I picked up 2001 blu-ray for 9.99.  The same for A Star Is Born but damn if they did not have Caddyshack and Spartacus on the rack.


They had lots of 9.99 blu-rays.... I almost grabbed The Adventures of Robin Hood, but kept walking.  Maybe I should go back....






#16 of 19 ahollis

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Posted July 08 2010 - 05:10 AM



Originally Posted by Craig Beam 




They had lots of 9.99 blu-rays.... I almost grabbed The Adventures of Robin Hood, but kept walking.  Maybe I should go back....






The one good thing about going into Best Buy is checking out the 9.99 Blu-rays.  They seem to add new titles weekly.


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#17 of 19 ManW_TheUncool

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Posted July 08 2010 - 12:46 PM


Originally Posted by ahollis 

I had just written Best Buy off this week.  Went there Tuesday to pick up Jason but they did not have a copy.  I checked and they only had it for order at that store.  I know that different stores get different titles, but this store had been pretty good with older titles.  It was not all in vain for I picked up 2001 blu-ray for 9.99.  The same for A Star Is Born but damn if they did not have Caddyshack and Spartacus on the rack.


You can get the BD from B&N for $13-and-change (plus tax and shipping, if applicable):


http://www.hometheat...50#post_3707991


I just ordered it (and used Bing cashback to essentially recover cost of sales tax).  Will probably receive mine tomorrow (w/ their free express shipping for members).


If you're also looking for A Star Is Born given the current prices, maybe you could pick that up w/ the coupon code and add Jason (for $15-and-change) and one other BD you want for their currently extended B2G1 deal.  That should qualify you for free shipping as well.


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#18 of 19 ahollis

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Posted July 10 2010 - 04:38 AM

The Columbia Classics site has been updated and it has a poll for you to vote on what should be the next Ray Harryhausen film to get the Blu-ray treatment.  My vote was for Mysterious Island.  It also speaks of the TOMMY Blu-ray release.


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#19 of 19 Terry Hickey

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Posted July 10 2010 - 04:38 PM

I put a vote for "Mysterious Island" also.  If "Fist Men in the Moon" had been a choice, I would have gone for it instead.  Oh well, hopefully it will be up for consideration sometime...
"Jason and the Argonauts" is my favorite Harryhausen film (which the bluray looks pretty good)  with "First Men in the Moon" coming right behind.  But any of the Harryhausen movies were fun and entertaining!


 




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