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American Graffiti Blu-ray DNR issues?


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#1 of 156 OFFLINE   Scott Calvert

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Posted May 13 2011 - 08:24 AM

Old transfer. Edge enhancement out the wazoo. Filtered with noise reduction making the considerable grain structure a clumpy, globby, blurry mess. It looks absolutely awful.


Thanks for nothing Universal and Lucasfilm.





#2 of 156 OFFLINE   JoHud

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Posted May 13 2011 - 10:54 AM

Is it really that bad?  Looks like I'll have to look for the DVD instead


Does not bode well for Beverly Hills Cop or Conan the Barbarian


You'd think LucasFilm would at least put some effort into this getting released competently.



#3 of 156 OFFLINE   Cinescott

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Posted May 13 2011 - 11:51 AM

Not surprising at all given it's a Universal release. They obviously do not care.


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#4 of 156 OFFLINE   Worth

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Posted May 13 2011 - 12:02 PM



Originally Posted by JoHud 

Does not bode well for Beverly Hills Cop or Conan the Barbarian.



Beverly Hills Cop is a Paramount release and early review suggest that it's decent looking.



Originally Posted by Cinescott 

Not surprising at all given it's a Universal release. They obviously do not care.


Except it isn't really Universal, it's Lucasfilm. Universal will release whatever they're given by Lucas.



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#5 of 156 OFFLINE   Adam Gregorich

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Posted May 13 2011 - 12:03 PM

Neil has the review of Beverly Hills Cop posted here: http://www.hometheat...lls-cop-blu-ray



#6 of 156 OFFLINE   TravisR

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Posted May 13 2011 - 12:05 PM

Except it isn't really Universal, it's Lucasfilm. Universal will release whatever they're given by Lucas.

 

I know that Lucafilm controls Star Wars, Indy, etc. but is that the case for American Graffiti or THX-1138 too?

#7 of 156 OFFLINE   Brandon Conway

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Posted May 13 2011 - 12:09 PM

Having looked at reviews, the comparison to the Back to the Future films in regards to EE has been made. Those didn't bother me much, so unless I hear otherwise it's still a purchase for me.


Also, if we're going by the inexact process of screen grabs, those at blu-ray.com look fairly good to me. Just my impression without seeing the disc itself in motion. http://www.blu-ray.c...59/#Screenshots


As far as who controls what, I'm pretty sure Lucas has, if not outright control, a gentleman's agreement with Warner and Universal, respectively, with pseudo-control when it comes to the presentation of THX 1138 and American Graffiti on home video.


"And now the reprimand, from an American critic. He reproaches me for using film as a sacred & lasting medium, like a painting or a book. He does not believe that filmmaking is an inferior art, but he believes, and quite rightly, that a reel goes quickly, that the public are looking above all for relaxation, that film is fragile and that it is pretentious to express the power of one's soul by such ephemeral and delicate means, that Charlie Chaplin's or Buster Keaton's first films can only be seen on very rare and badly spoiled prints. I add that the cinema is making daily progress and that eventually films that we consider marvelous today will soon be forgotten because of new dimensions & colour. This is true. But for 4 weeks this film [The Blood of a Poet] has been shown to audiences that have been so attentive, so eager & so warm, that I wonder after all there is not an anonymous public who are looking for more than relaxation in the cinema." - Jean Cocteau, 1932


#8 of 156 OFFLINE   TravisR

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Posted May 13 2011 - 12:16 PM

Having looked at reviews, the comparison to the Back to the Future films in regards to EE has been made. Those didn't bother me much, so unless I hear otherwise it's still a purchase for me.

Same here. Of course, hyperbole like the title of this thread will help it only be remembered as one of the worst Blu-rays ever made.

As far as who controls what, I'm pretty sure Lucas has, if not outright control, a gentleman's agreement with Warner and Universal, respectively, with pseudo-control when it comes to the presentation of THX 1138 and American Graffiti on home video.

Yeah, I'm sure his clout guarantees that he more or less has control of AG but I was wondering if he owned it now like Star Wars or Indiana Jones.

#9 of 156 OFFLINE   JoHud

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Posted May 13 2011 - 12:19 PM



Originally Posted by Worth 


Beverly Hills Cop is a Paramount release and early review suggest that it's decent looking.


 


Whew, that's good news.



Originally Posted by Brandon Conway 
Also, if we're going by the inexact process of screen grabs, those at blu-ray.com look fairly good to me. Just my impression without seeing the disc itself in motion. http://www.blu-ray.c...59/#Screenshots



Thanks.  The blu-ray.com review sort of has me more inclined to buy, as the transfer elements look rather good and the EE on the screenshots is not overtly noticeable (even though the reviewer knocked off a point for the EE).  I'll wait for the price to go down first, though.




#10 of 156 OFFLINE   Scott Calvert

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Posted May 13 2011 - 12:27 PM



Originally Posted by Brandon Conway 

Also, if we're going by the inexact process of screen grabs, those at blu-ray.com look fairly good to me. Just my impression without seeing the disc itself in motion. http://www.blu-ray.c...59/#Screenshots


As far as who controls what, I'm pretty sure Lucas has, if not outright control, a gentleman's agreement with Warner and Universal, respectively, with pseudo-control when it comes to the presentation of THX 1138 and American Graffiti on home video.


I disagree. I fully expect AG to be grainy. But the grain in those caps is not the kind of grain a bluray released in 2011 should have. That's what film grain looks like that was scanned ten years ago at 1080.


That other guy can cry hyperbole all he wants but this is a flat-out no effort release. I wonder where all the negative hyperbole is for Taxi Driver, The Evil Dead, Close Encounters, The Bridge On The River Kwai, Saving Private Ryan, Fiddler On The Roof, etc etc etc?




#11 of 156 OFFLINE   Scott Calvert

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Posted May 13 2011 - 12:28 PM

Double post



#12 of 156 OFFLINE   Brandon Conway

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Posted May 13 2011 - 12:45 PM



Originally Posted by Scott Calvert 


I disagree. I fully expect AG to be grainy. But the grain in those caps is not the kind of grain a bluray released in 2011 should have. That's what film grain looks like that was scanned ten years ago at 1080.



Well, to be honest, I didn't expect a new HD transfer to be done for this release. The studios are simply not gonna do that for all their catalog films. From my memory this looks to be a definite improvement over the DVD. It then comes down to how distracting the EE-type issues are to me, and judging from the BTTF experience I had, it'll probably be minimal - too minimal to pass on this release, especially at a solid price point.


"And now the reprimand, from an American critic. He reproaches me for using film as a sacred & lasting medium, like a painting or a book. He does not believe that filmmaking is an inferior art, but he believes, and quite rightly, that a reel goes quickly, that the public are looking above all for relaxation, that film is fragile and that it is pretentious to express the power of one's soul by such ephemeral and delicate means, that Charlie Chaplin's or Buster Keaton's first films can only be seen on very rare and badly spoiled prints. I add that the cinema is making daily progress and that eventually films that we consider marvelous today will soon be forgotten because of new dimensions & colour. This is true. But for 4 weeks this film [The Blood of a Poet] has been shown to audiences that have been so attentive, so eager & so warm, that I wonder after all there is not an anonymous public who are looking for more than relaxation in the cinema." - Jean Cocteau, 1932


#13 of 156 OFFLINE   Worth

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Posted May 13 2011 - 12:52 PM



Originally Posted by TravisR 


Yeah, I'm sure his clout guarantees that he more or less has control of AG but I was wondering if he owned it now like Star Wars or Indiana Jones.


I don't think he owns it outright, no. The copyright on the film itself belongs to Universal, but I think the studio defers to Lucasfilm on home video releases.



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#14 of 156 OFFLINE   mattCR

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Posted May 13 2011 - 01:09 PM

I'm normally pretty blah on screenshots. If you post a screenshot to the web it isn't how it looks on the screen. That screenshot is the video resized and lossy compressed a second time. I find them interesting but not very informative unless the flaw is super obvious. Because otherwise you can't determine flaws from the jpg compression or the source.

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#15 of 156 OFFLINE   Scott Calvert

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Posted May 13 2011 - 01:27 PM




Originally Posted by mattCR 

I'm normally pretty blah on screenshots. If you post a screenshot to the web it isn't how it looks on the screen. That screenshot is the video resized and lossy compressed a second time. I find them interesting but not very informative unless the flaw is super obvious. Because otherwise you can't determine flaws from the jpg compression or the source.



Bluray.com has 1080p screenshots. They are .jpegs but they are pretty large files. I know what jpeg compression looks like and the crappy grain structure is not a result of jpeg compression. It's a poor telecine from 2000 or therebouts.




#16 of 156 OFFLINE   Kevin EK

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Posted May 13 2011 - 02:44 PM

I'll be writing the review of this Blu-ray.  I already have the copy, but haven't had the time to go through it yet.


I note that the Blu-ray.com review discusses the edge enhancement, but also says that this is the best the film has ever looked on home video.


I don't know that this was a "no-effort" release, or that the transfer is actually from 2000.  I'll try to look into it.  The fact that Lucas took the time to do a new commentary says to me that he was able to see the new transfer himself.  And given his position in the industry, there's no way that Universal just threw on old transfer on a disc and told Lucas to just accept it.  Lucas has creative control over his movies, regardless of whether Universal holds a copyright.

Before people get really upset, it will be important to get the most accurate information.  We went through this when people had reactions to Back to the Future, Do The Right Thing and the Skynet Edition of Terminator 2 before it was shown that the Blus didn't deserve the brickbats.   Not every Universal release has been along the lines of Spartacus or Out of Africa.


I'll get into this next week, and by then, I'm sure we'll all learn a bit more about it.



#17 of 156 OFFLINE   Josh Steinberg

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Posted May 13 2011 - 03:51 PM

If what Bill Hunt said on a Digital Bits (and follow-up Facebook post) is correct, Universal makes new transfers and does their mastering at 1080p; other studios make their masters at higher resolutions (2K or higher), and downconvert that to Blu-ray's 1080p.  A theory has been proposed that suggests that while Blu-ray is 1080p, a higher quality source than that will yield better results than doing both the transfer and the Blu-ray encode at 1080p, if that makes any sense.  Universal has been suspect of late, not that they do completely terrible work, but that their transfer quality (as opposed to encoding) may not be as high as other studios, which may explain some of the discrepancy with that.


The other thing is that American Graffiti was shot in 2-perf Techniscope, which would naturally produce a very grainy image; someone in the Universal mastering department, possibly even someone from Lucasfilm, might have decided that they didn't like the grainy look, and attempted to produce a release that was stripped of that grain; in other words, it might have been a (in this person's opinion, wrongheaded) intentional mastering decision.


I have yet to see the disc so I can't offer any further judgment than that.  I'm sure it will look better than any previous home video release - the question is, is it accurate to the original film, or was a deliberate choice made to change the look to a certain degree?



#18 of 156 OFFLINE   Kevin EK

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Posted May 13 2011 - 05:42 PM

If that radical of a decision was made to change the look of Lucas' hit movie, there is no way it was made without his knowledge and participation.

We can certainly confirm if Universal is indeed mastering at 1080p, but the issues with earlier releases really boil down to the cost factors.


#19 of 156 OFFLINE   Robert Crawford

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Posted May 13 2011 - 10:27 PM

I'm going to reserve judgement until I actually view this BRD in it's entirety.







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#20 of 156 OFFLINE   Joe Karlosi

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Posted May 13 2011 - 10:32 PM

I don't usually rely on screen grabs to make decisions for me, but I must say the shots linked above look wonderful. Not sure what Scott's bugged about.


Also - the title of this thread could deter people from buying this release if it's only one man's opinion. Surely this viewpoint could have been aired in the already-existing AG thread? 





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