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'The Mission', any reader assessments?


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11 replies to this topic

#1 of 12 David Wilkins

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Posted October 09 2010 - 04:17 AM

I'm wondering if any HTF members have watched Roland Joffe's 'The Mission', which is for the time being an Amazon exclusive offering. The only review I've seen online is from Blu-ray.com, and it's written by an individual reviewer I'm not familiar with, and some of the wording leaves me suspect about his knowledge and experience.


Any HTF feedback is welcome. The Amazon price isn't unreasonable, but doesn't represent all that much discount from the initial suggested list. But like most others, I prefer making an informed purchase.


 


#2 of 12 Cameron Yee

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Posted October 09 2010 - 06:22 AM

This was on my wishlist to review, but I've not received any previous Amazon exclusives in the past. I think it will come down to people actually making the purchase and chiming in.


I loved this movie in my teen years, but I'm curious how it holds up decades later. Posted Image


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#3 of 12 JoeBond

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Posted October 09 2010 - 09:31 AM

It seems the Blu-ray.com review is the only one available but from reading that review it seems the Blu-ray looks pretty good. I hope people who buy it post their thoughts in this thread.



#4 of 12 Dick

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Posted October 09 2010 - 03:35 PM

I received this film today and "scrolled" through it. It looks gorgeous. Always one of my favorite 80's epics, the cinematography bowled me over in the original theartrical presentation, and here is as sharp as a tack with appropriate fine grain and fully saturated color. I have a large widescreen monitor but it is not one with which I can judge black levels or contrast, although my guess is they are just fine. The features from the 2-disc DVD are ported over (hour-long documentary and Roland Joffe commentary) except for the trailer (why is Warner Bros dropping their trailers now that most other studios have begun putting them back in?)


 Worth "thrice the price."



#5 of 12 David Wilkins

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Posted October 10 2010 - 06:46 AM



Originally Posted by Dick 

I received this film today and "scrolled" through it. It looks gorgeous. Always one of my favorite 80's epics, the cinematography bowled me over in the original theartrical presentation, and here is as sharp as a tack with appropriate fine grain and fully saturated color. I have a large widescreen monitor but it is not one with which I can judge black levels or contrast, although my guess is they are just fine. The features from the 2-disc DVD are ported over (hour-long documentary and Roland Joffe commentary) except for the trailer (why is Warner Bros dropping their trailers now that most other studios have begun putting them back in?)


 Worth "thrice the price."


Dick,

What type and size display do you have? Just curious...I'm gathering reader opinion on this disc from various sources.


#6 of 12 Dick

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Posted October 10 2010 - 01:09 PM

David -- I have a 2008 46" Sony Bravia LCD. It has a great-looking image, except that the black levels are not great (I have to a "Power-saving" mode to darken the screen for "2001," so that deep space doesn't look like simply dark gray). But THE MISSION has awesome image quality... it could have been a Criterion release. Buy with confidence.



#7 of 12 Hal Masonberg

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Posted October 14 2010 - 08:42 AM

I just received this and scrolled through it as well. It's one of my favorite films, though its reputation is rather mixed. Never understood why as it knocks me out each and every time I watch it. Well, at least they recognized the film's effectiveness and artistry at Cannes. As for the Blu-ray, not having viewed the whole thing, my first impression was that the image was not quite as sharp as I had expected. I'm not someone who needs Blu-rays of films to look like they were shot yesterday or, worse, shot in Hi-def. I just want them to look the way they were meant to. Give me grain! I saw THE MISSION several times in the theaters, including a 70mm blow-up presentation. What's in my head is somewhat more detailed than what I'm seeing on this Blu-ray. But... it is altogether possible that this is an accurate depiction of the film itself. My theatrical experience of the film dates back to its initial release! Not to be trusted. And some of the imagery I saw during my glimpse of the Blu-ray did look quite impressive. But like the folks over at Blu-ray.com noted, some of the longer shots tend to look a bit blotchy and ill-defined. Either way, it is a HUGE improvement over the DVD, which never did the film justice. I'm looking forward to another "professional" review (in addition to the terrific --and very professional--folks over at Blu-ray.com). I just finished watching the Criterion release of THE THIN RED LINE which few Blu-rays can hold a candle to. At the moment, most everything else looks inferior! I love THE MISSION and hope that when I sit down to watch the film in its entirety, that I am VERY pleased with what I see (and hear). Scrolling through only gives you a sense, not an accurate depiction.


#8 of 12 Hal Masonberg

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Posted October 18 2010 - 11:21 AM


Okay, so I watched the Blu-ray in its entirety and I'm happy to say that it was a better visual experience than I had feared it might be based on my quick glance through. No, it's not perfect, but so many of the scenes do look utterly fantastic. I know the film was shot on two different film stocks (both Kodak and Agfa) and that may be part of the reason why there is some inconsistency from scene to scene so far as detail goes. There is still some of that blotchyness in long shots as mentioned before, but close-ups and daytime scenes are quite stunning. I have a feeling this is a fairly accurate representation of the film, and I would guess that an even more impressive and accurate transfer could have been done had this not been an Amazon-only affair. Just imagine what Criterion would have done with this title... Still, all in all, it's never looked this good in any home version before. The sound is top-notch, though surrounds are somewhat subdued. But if I remember correctly, even the surrounds on the 70mm print were not as aggressive as I had expected them to be at the time, so this is probably also quite accurate to the film presentation. The surrounds here create a subtle ambience, while the bulk of the sound is kept up front. But that subtle ambience is effective and what is there is crisp and clean with a strong LFE channel to boot.



#9 of 12 David Wilkins

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Posted October 18 2010 - 11:44 AM

Hal,


The Amazon-only aspect is probably for limited time only distribution, and at some point it will become widely available. I don't think it's an indication of financial involvement with BD production.


#10 of 12 Hal Masonberg

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Posted October 24 2010 - 12:31 PM

Thanks, David. I had hoped that was the case. Odd how few reviews there are out there. In fact, I haven't found any others beyond Blu-ray.com! You'd think Amazon or someone would send out copies for review. Or, perhaps, there just aren't enough fans of the film who care to review it. Or are simply waiting for its wider release. Either way, I'd love to know the thoughts of others regarding this transfer and if anyone can accurately compare it to the theatrical experience and/or give us the actual filmmakers' thoughts on this transfer. Joffe? Menges? Anyone have any input or opinion?


#11 of 12 David Wilkins

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Posted October 25 2010 - 09:30 AM

Most likely I'll wait for a better Amazon price, unless we're hit with many more glowing reports. The price right now isn't terrible, but it chaps me the way Amazon is discounting so little from list price on so many titles these days. Of course there are a few stellar examples...but overall, there seems to have a been a substantial change in their BD pricing beginning in the Spring, approximately.


#12 of 12 Michel_Hafner

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Posted November 14 2010 - 08:05 PM

IMHO a very nice transfer. Filmlike, sharp, detailed, clean. One of the best WB catalog titles that had no fancy digital restoration as a basis.






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