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War of the worlds quality


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#1 of 59 OFFLINE   raehza

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Posted February 20 2012 - 04:08 PM

Sorry, didn't know where else to post this. Is it just me or does War of the Worlds look terrible in comparison to other BluRay movies let's say like Thor or Avatar or Sweeny Todd. I get a somewhat pixelated picture... like a grainy picture. I don't think it has anything to do with my Hardware. Any other movie looks fine. Did anyone else notice this? PN51D8000 Sony S580 Bluray player Denon 2112Ci Receiver Ray

#2 of 59 OFFLINE   raehza

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Posted February 20 2012 - 04:42 PM

I have probably answered my own question: http://www.dvdactive...the-worlds.html

Anyway, Paramount has done a fine job with this Blu-ray release. The film’s intended look is grainy, dark and blown-out, so the 1080p transfer doesn’t exactly dwarf the original DVD release, but the image features more consistency, and more vibrant colours. The DTS-HD Master Audio track is more or less a must listen, and though there aren’t any new extras, the old news is still pretty impressive.



#3 of 59 OFFLINE   Richard--W

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Posted February 20 2012 - 05:56 PM

It was a dim hazy mess on the big screen and it's a dim hazy mess on television. I can't watch it for other reasons. H.G. Welles did not write about giant machines hidden deep underground for millions of years until the Martians decided to ride down on the lightning to pilot them. Nor did he write a story about a deadbeat Dad with slovenly personal habits who has to learn responsibility while incidentally on the run from a Martian attack. The film's agenda takes the sparkle out of Steven Spielberg's remarkable set-ups and renders the technical virtuosity on display into a hollow shell. This agenda is repeated too often in current films; the exact same agenda underpins The Legend of Zorro (2005), for instance. Only the crisis changes. Who cares if the picture is grainy and pixelated when the story is garbage? Besides, Cruise's hefty percentage from the money you spend on the Blu-ray/DVD goes straight to Scientology, an organization of gangsters masquerading as a church that exploits confused and vulnerable people. I don't spend money on Tom Cruise movies because I don't want to support Scientology. Compared to these larger issues, the quality of the Blu-ray is irrelevant. I prefer the original War Of the Worlds released in 1953. It's in rich color, it's a clinic in cinematography and pictorial composition, it has spectacular special effects, it depicts good men trying to do the right thing instead of nihilists, it shows humanity amidst all the chaos, and it tells an entertaining story of scientific inquiry that H.G. Wells would have appreciated. All of Wells' classic novels are about scientific inquiry. The film is not the same as the novel, but it is closer in many ways than the 2005 version, and it's an infinitely better film: http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/ http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/

#4 of 59 OFFLINE   FrancisP

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Posted February 20 2012 - 06:48 PM

Don't know if Paramount has any plans to release the original on blu-ray. If they do, hope they will do something about the wires. Some scenes in the dvd are unwatchable because the wires are so visible.

#5 of 59 OFFLINE   benbess

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Posted February 20 2012 - 11:47 PM

Imho it's still watchable even with the wires. I saw them as a kid on broadcast tv and still loved the movie. But like the wire on the cowardly lion's tail in Oz, which has been erased, I think it would be great and fitting with the original filmmakers intentions to just digitally erase them if that's possible. But if it's too expensive for the projected sales of this title just leave them in and it'll still work for me. Love these old George Pal movies, cornball though they are, and even with their old fashioned special effects.

#6 of 59 OFFLINE   Matt Hough

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Posted February 21 2012 - 12:12 AM

Is 1.33:1 the correct aspect ratio for War of the Worlds? I've always wondered since it was released during that vague period where some films were in standard ratio and some weren't.



#7 of 59 OFFLINE   benbess

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Posted February 21 2012 - 01:14 AM

Is 1.33:1 the correct aspect ratio for War of the Worlds? I've always wondered since it was released during that vague period where some films were in standard ratio and some weren't.

1.37...so yes. Originally when they put on the goggles for the nuclear blast they were going to have the audience put on 3D glasses for that part of the film. But for whatever reason they decided not to do that... Technical specifications for The War of the Worlds (1953) More at IMDbPro » ad feedback Camera Technicolor Three-Strip Camera Laboratory Technicolor (color by) Film length (metres) 2332 m (Netherlands) Film negative format (mm/video inches) 35 mm Cinematographic process Spherical Printed film format 35 mm Aspect ratio 1.37 : 1

#8 of 59 OFFLINE   Richard V

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Posted February 21 2012 - 02:01 AM

Love the 1953 version. It will be shown on AMC in "HD" tonight, 7 p.m. CST. Wonder if the film will look any better.
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#9 of 59 OFFLINE   Bob Furmanek

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Posted February 21 2012 - 04:56 AM

Sorry Ben, that 3-D goggles myth is not true. There is no original documentation to show this was ever considered. It was filmed in early 1952, long before any studios considered 3-D. It was released in England first and by time it was scheduled for it's USA opening in August of 1953, widescreen was taking the country by storm. Paramount determined it could run in their recommended ratio of 1.66 so that's what they suggested to exhibitors. However, the film was certainly composed for 1.37. It was released with interlock 3 channel magnetic stereo sound. That multi-channel audio does not survive. For the record, the only George Pal film considered for 3-D was CONQUEST OF SPACE. Bob http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/

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#10 of 59 OFFLINE   benbess

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Posted February 21 2012 - 06:08 AM

Thanks for correcting the myth! Fascinating that this one was shown at 1.66. Do you know what the budget was for it? Thanks again...

#11 of 59 OFFLINE   Bob Furmanek

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Posted February 21 2012 - 06:27 AM

I'm sorry but I have no idea what the budget was. Paramount and Columbia were the first studios to go widescreen with principal photography in April 1953. Columbia went with 1.85 as their studio standard and Paramount 1.66. That stayed in place until the introduction of VistaVision the following year. WAR OF THE WORLDS sat on the shelf for a long time, I'm not really sure why. But like SHANE, THE CADDY and SCARED STIFF, it was heavily promoted as Panoramic Screen when finally released. Many people believe widescreen began with THE ROBE in September but that's not true. Most major theaters had installed widescreens by the summer of 1953, months before THE ROBE was released. http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/

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#12 of 59 OFFLINE   Charles Smith

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Posted February 21 2012 - 06:42 AM

"... they must present it with showmanship on the grand scale."


Language from a different era.



#13 of 59 OFFLINE   Bob Furmanek

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Posted February 21 2012 - 06:45 AM

The pressbook for HELL'S ISLAND describes in great detail how the New York Paramount presented VistaVision with lighting effects and curtain cues. It sounded most impressive!

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#14 of 59 OFFLINE   Rick Thompson

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Posted February 21 2012 - 08:13 AM

H.G. Wells did not write about giant machines hidden deep underground for millions of years until the Martians decided to ride down on the lightning to pilot them. Nor did he write a story about a deadbeat Dad with slovenly personal habits who has to learn responsibility while incidentally on the run from a Martian attack. The film's agenda takes the sparkle out of Steven Spielberg's remarkable set-ups and renders the technical virtuosity on display into a hollow shell. This agenda is repeated too often in current films; the exact same agenda underpins The Legend of Zorro (2005), for instance. Only the crisis changes. Who cares if the picture is grainy and pixelated when the story is garbage? Besides, Cruise's hefty percentage from the money you spend on the Blu-ray/DVD goes straight to Scientology, an organization of gangsters masquerading as a church that exploits confused and vulnerable people. I don't spend money on Tom Cruise movies because I don't want to support Scientology. Compared to these larger issues, the quality of the Blu-ray is irrelevant. I prefer the original War Of the Worlds released in 1953. It's in rich color, it's a clinic in cinematography and pictorial composition, it has spectacular special effects, it depicts good men trying to do the right thing instead of nihilists, it shows humanity amidst all the chaos, and it tells an entertaining story of scientific inquiry that H.G. Wells would have appreciated. All of Wells' classic novels are about scientific inquiry. The film is not the same as the novel, but it is closer in many ways than the 2005 version, and it's an infinitely better film. [URL=http://static.hometheaterforum.com/imgrepo/]

Can't agree with you about their comparative virtues, because they're vastly different films, albeit based on the same source. The 1953 is a much higher vantage point that moves hither and yon. We see much more in the way of generals, scientists and other notables, and get into strategies for combating the invaders. Spielberg's film cares for none of that; its vantage point is much lower. Spielberg tells the story of one specific family, and how the invasion affects them. That's why we don't see a single man vs. alien battle. We only see the unit's charge and the result. We only know there's a battle because of the bright light on the other side of the hill. There's not a single general, not a single scientist. The only overall view is the quick shot of the monitor in a television remote coverage truck. I like both films, and would love to have a Blu-ray of the 1953 (with the strings removed -- unless I can be convinced George Pal and Byron Haskins wanted the seams in their special effects to show). However, I wouldn't compare them because they're very different films that approach the same source material in entirely different ways. In fact, Spielberg never indicates anywhere that the invaders are Martians. Just be glad he stuck with Wells' ending, a decision that got him ripped by a lot of reviewers. Otherwise, you'd have had Independence Day, which is War of the Worlds with a stupid ending. As for the Church of Scientology, I really don't care. I'm not ready to become America's religion arbiter.

#15 of 59 OFFLINE   Matt Hough

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Posted February 21 2012 - 08:21 AM

Thanks, Bob, for the information about paramounts 1.66:1 aspect ratio ideas. As I've said in many different threads, this entire period of the switchover I find absolutely fascinating and always relish these little bits of information about it when it surfaces.



#16 of 59 OFFLINE   Bob Furmanek

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Posted February 21 2012 - 08:33 AM

You're welcome, Matt! One point to consider concerning the wires. All prints and elements struck on this film for the past 40 years have been too light. I have an original 1953 35mm Technicolor trailer with one brief shot of the war machines. The picture is considerably darker than all other printings and the wires are MUCH less noticeable. Bob

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#17 of 59 OFFLINE   Doug Otte

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Posted February 21 2012 - 08:42 AM

Love the 1953 version. It will be shown on AMC in "HD" tonight, 7 p.m. CST. Wonder if the film will look any better.

Please let us know. I started to set up a recording on the DVR, then I remembered that FiOS only gives us AMC in the SD flavor... :( Edit: Oops, I was wrong about that. We do have AMC-HD, and it's now set to record. I don't know why the online search thing didn't find it at first. Must have been user error...

#18 of 59 OFFLINE   TonyD

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Posted February 21 2012 - 11:02 AM

I can do with or without the wires, not bothered either way. As for Cruise religious beliefs, I don't car about that either. So what, really. I'm sure he don't care what mine are either so why should it stop me from watching a movie he is in? It doesn't. I love everything about his version of War except the end. I will never understand how people let what the actors do in their own lives that have no effect on ours, dictate whether or not you watch his films.
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#19 of 59 OFFLINE   Johnny Angell

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Posted February 21 2012 - 01:00 PM

I will never understand how people let what the actors do in their own lives that have no effect on ours, dictate whether or not you watch his films.

Ditto here. As for the AMC HD telecast, they've cropped it top and bottom to fit the HD screen. The transfer seems soft. I was noting early on when we see Clayton Forester with a day-old beard stubble. Even in closeups, you don't see the hairs. Just that his face is colored by the beard. Was the DVD like that? I don't remember.
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#20 of 59 OFFLINE   GregK

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Posted February 21 2012 - 02:01 PM

You're welcome, Matt! One point to consider concerning the wires. All prints and elements struck on this film for the past 40 years have been too light. I have an original 1953 35mm Technicolor trailer with one brief shot of the war machines. The picture is considerably darker than all other printings and the wires are MUCH less noticeable. Bob

Bob hit's the nail on the head. Along with re-release prints being timed lighter, the 2nd remastered DVD release made considerable timing adjustments to the feature. Notably when the Martian war machines first begin to rise out of the crater. In the original DVD and laserdisc release, it still looked somewhat like nighttime. In the remastered DVD version, not so much.