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Von Ryan's Express on Blu-ray


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#1 of 21 OFFLINE   Reggie W

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Posted July 11 2012 - 03:28 AM

So, I think it has already been mentioned here that Von Ryan's Express has been released on an all region blu-ray in France. I have the disc and have not had the chance to watch it yet but did quickly preview the opening sequence of the film. My first thought looking at it was I need to compare it to the DVD to see if this is an upgrade. So, I don't have an opinion yet but one will be forthcoming. Just thought some people here might have an interest. http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/

#2 of 21 OFFLINE   Robin9

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Posted July 11 2012 - 04:47 AM

Well, I'm interested - or, at least, I might be when you have reported back after watching the entire movie.

#3 of 21 OFFLINE   trajan

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Posted July 11 2012 - 05:11 AM

Looking forward to this release. Are titles in English?

#4 of 21 OFFLINE   Reggie W

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Posted July 11 2012 - 05:38 AM

Yes, all title sequences and subs for languages spoken in the film other than English automatically come up in English. I did not need to turn French subs off so you must have to turn on French subs if you want them. I assume they are there but I did not check that last night. I want to look at the blu with fresh eyes tonight though because I put it on just to check it after watching the new Outland blu last night. To be honest I was stunned by how great Outland looked and so not sure it was fair to make a decision about how Von Ryan's Express looked right after watching a film made some 20 years later. I have the special edition DVD version of Von Ryan's so what I am going to do is pick a few sequences and watch them on DVD then fire up the blu and see if there is a noticeable upgrade. Will report back tonight and tell you what I discovered.

#5 of 21 OFFLINE   trajan

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Posted July 11 2012 - 05:49 AM

I checked out ALTERED STATES last night and it looked great. Sound was also amazing.

#6 of 21 OFFLINE   Reggie W

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Posted July 11 2012 - 06:03 AM

I have Altered States as well but have not even opened it yet. I'm thinking this weekend I'll get to that. Ken Russell on blu should be a lot of fun.

#7 of 21 OFFLINE   cineMANIAC

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Posted July 11 2012 - 06:30 AM

Von Ryan's Express is near the top of my Blu-ray wantlist but I'm going to wait for a stateside release. I think the film is high profile enough to not be relegated to a French release only. OTOH, this could be one of those situations where a U.S. release might be passed over - in which case I'll have no choice but to order the import. Either way, I'm glad the film will make an appearance on Blu.
 

RIP Roberto Gomez Bolanos. 


#8 of 21 OFFLINE   David_B_K

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Posted July 11 2012 - 07:13 AM

I, too am a fan of Von Ryan's Express and am awaiting the report of how it stacks up against the DVD

#9 of 21 OFFLINE   FoxyMulder

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Posted July 12 2012 - 12:33 AM

You can do a rollover comparison with the DVD release here, the Blu ray is an improvement and looks quite film like in some of the screencaps although i wonder about whether its been a little contrast boosted, look at the sky in screencap 3 as one example.

http://caps-a-holic....ID=1112#auswahl


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"A good body with a dull brain is as cheap as life itself"   

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#10 of 21 OFFLINE   Reggie W

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Posted July 12 2012 - 02:02 AM

To cut right to the chase it is an upgrade but it could not be said it is very much of one. When I went back and watched the special edition DVD I was surprised to find that the source of the transfer was actually in a lot rougher shape than I remembered. So, this translates a bit to the new blu as well. I don't think the source materials used were in the best of shape and so unless they find better source materials to make a new transfer this blu may be the best it is going to look. It is definitely not going to knock your socks off and it will always look like a big step backwards in quality if you watch it after watching another film of a more recent vintage...which is what happened when I first looked at it. It is brighter all the way through, does provide brighter colors, and everything is seen through a thick coat of grain...which may bother some but may please others to see all that grain left intact. There is more detail available in the blu-ray image. For example there is a scene with the American sergeant on the train after the Germans have recaptured the escaped prisoners where he goes to the window of the train car and then turns his head to say something to his fellow prisoners in the car. On the DVD his face is pretty much just a blur in this scene but on the blu you can see his features and his lips moving. So I will say it is an upgrade over the DVD in many ways, reds were a lot brighter, Ol' blue eyes really has blue eyes, the detail in the Italian ruins stands out more, but I can pretty much guarantee this disc will be at the bottom end of spectrum in terms of visual presentation on most peoples lists if they are comparing it to other films in their collection. I think this is mainly due to the age and condition of the source material though and other than the contrast boosting I don't really think there are any other stand out issues that people would say are a problem with the blu-ray. As a comparison, I ran Sands of the Kalahari on blu after this, both films being from 1965, and Sands provides a much more dynamic presentation. To my eyes, I would say what Von Ryan's resembles when I watch it is the same visual presentation of an old Spaghetti Western. Not a bad thing but expect to see something that has not been well preserved and has very heavy grain. I will always pull out this blu when I want to watch the film now, basically for the added detail in the image, and so in this way I do say it is an upgrade. If you want to consider buying the disc just pull out your DVD copy and see what you think of the image quality on that...you will see that the source of the transfer is pretty well worn and so I don't really hold that against the blu.

#11 of 21 OFFLINE   FoxyMulder

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Posted July 12 2012 - 02:36 AM

Originally Posted by Reggie W 

It is brighter all the way through which certainly may be a case of contrast boosting, does provide brighter colors, and everything is seen through a thick coat of grain...which may bother some but may please others to see all that grain left intact. 


To me this is a good thing, if they removed that grain the detail would be certainly worse, i imagine this one could look nice and film like on a projection setup.


Below a part of a review of Sands Of Kalahari at Blu ray.com.  Some ( not all but a lot ) screencaps look a little grain scrubbed to me, just my opinion and i have seen much worse examples than this release, it would explain some edge enhancement though which gets applied usually after grain removal takes away some of the detail. ( Once again that's just my opinion - Sounds like you are happy with it and i'm fine with that )

"Contrast and black levels are both solid throughout the feature. There's some minimal but still noticeable edge enhancement and haloing in several shots, especially when we're offered sights of the dunes meeting the horizon with backlit sun."


Some people say you can't use screencaps as a guide, that may well be true for some people but in my case i have a huge amount of experience from taking screencaps for my own site, i know what to look for and what to ignore, i can use screencaps as a guide and i like to check the film stock and cameras used on a production before forming an opinion, obviously a 2K or 4K film scan of 35mm elements can also impact on the look of the grain structure, thats another thing you need to know when looking at a screencap.


     :Fun Movie Quotes:

"A good body with a dull brain is as cheap as life itself"   

"Maybe it's a sheep dog... let's keep going" 

"Please doctor, I've got to ask this. It sounds like, well, just as though you're describing some form of super carrot"

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#12 of 21 OFFLINE   cineMANIAC

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Posted July 12 2012 - 03:20 AM

Thanks for the review and opinions, guys. It looks like I'm going to be holding out for a better transfer for this one. This is one Blu-ray I won't be satisfied by with just a passable presentation if it could be better.
 

RIP Roberto Gomez Bolanos. 


#13 of 21 OFFLINE   Billy Batson

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Posted July 12 2012 - 04:37 AM

I didn't think the screencaps looked much cop over at caps-a-holic, it was on the telly the other week & the picture looked just like the caps. The picture is green around the gills & too flat & light, it's like they tried to get all the detail out of the darkest bits of the picture. The result is the picture is flat & dead, no way did it look like this in the cinema. Who signs these transfers off?

#14 of 21 OFFLINE   FoxyMulder

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Posted July 12 2012 - 04:57 AM

Originally Posted by Billy Batson 

Who signs these transfers off?


Stevie Wonder, if he isn't available they get Mickey Mouse.


     :Fun Movie Quotes:

"A good body with a dull brain is as cheap as life itself"   

"Maybe it's a sheep dog... let's keep going" 

"Please doctor, I've got to ask this. It sounds like, well, just as though you're describing some form of super carrot"

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 


#15 of 21 OFFLINE   Reggie W

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Posted July 13 2012 - 03:30 AM

Hi Foxy, I don't disagree that grain is a good thing. I was trying to be diplomatic with my comments about the blu-ray and so was not trying to push grain being good or bad in them but rather just letting people know it is there and there is plenty of it...so that they would expect to see it if they bought the disc. I agree that when you can see the grain it generally means there has been less manipulation of the source image...that I think is the general thing to take out of it...film has grain and we can see the grain. That said people will be watching a digital presentation of this at home, so I am not sure what they might prefer or expect. I think a lot of people will compare it to other blu-rays they have or as I did compare it to the DVD version of the film. My basic goal was to determine if the blu was an upgrade over the DVD. I think that it is but I think as the DVD was at the mercy of the source materials so is the blu-ray. I did not do any research about how the film was originally shot, what film stock they used, cameras, etc...as I said my main goal was is this an upgrade over DVD. Out of the screen captures that are at the link you provided I would say the one that best shows how the blu-ray differs from the DVD is capture number one, with the two German officers at the table. In that capture all of the elements that are improved by the blu-ray are visible. Using the comparison tool there that toggles back and forth between the blu and the DVD as you mouse over the image the first thing you will notice is how much brighter the blu-ray image is. The next thing is the colors; they are much brighter as well. Then look at the clarity of the image. In the DVD image you can't read the letters on the ashtray on the German officer's table...they are just a blur but on the blu-ray you can clearly see and read the letters. There are many instances like this throughout the film where on the blu-ray you can see and make out things that on DVD are just a total blur. I know on that website with the captures they complain about capture number 3 that shows the German soldiers standing on top of the train car...yes that capture does look lousy but that is a very brief scene and that is just a single frame from it that does not at all represent the rest of the presentation. Sometimes I do think that captures can be unfair because if that one capture sways people from buying this disc that's a joke really. On Sands of the Kalahari I did not think it was an overly manipulated image and honestly I have only seen the film on broadcast TV so seeing the blu-ray was for me anyway, pretty amazing. Sure, I won't debate that it probably got a bit of a scrub and polish but in my home theater it looks quite wonderful. Not wax figure territory in any way as far as I'm concerned. I mean for me with films I like what I'm looking for is--What is the definitive version of the film available?--and with Sands that blu-ray is it and I don't see very much to nitpick about it. I would have to say this disc is now the best available version of Von Ryan's Express in terms of visual presentation. Not sure if this will get a second release in North America on blu-ray but an interesting thing to note about this disc is it seems configured out of the box for an English speaking audience so I'm guessing if Fox does release this in North America this is the transfer they will use.

#16 of 21 OFFLINE   TheVid

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Posted August 04 2012 - 08:26 AM

I watched Von Ryan last night and the Fox blu-ray is a superior scan of the same elements used for the dvd. It's a vast improvement over the upscaled dvd, and considerably more filmlike if you project it. I think it's fair to say that this is the Fox International, high-definition version, and represents what will be eventually released worldwide (much like CLEOPATRA, THE LONG HOT SUMMER, TITANIC and O. HENRY'S FULL HOUSE, available now, but not in the USA). It's been rightfully pointed out that the source elements for this are less than excellent, but VON RYAN'S EXPRESS wasn't exactly a showcase print in it's theatrical release, one reason may be because it was shot with a combination of older CinemaScope lenses and newer Panavision ones. Many might notice this watching the blu-ray. That said, it looks much the way the film did in theaters, which should be more than satisfactory for fans. The lossless DTS-HD 6-track mix on the blu-ray is a highpoint worth noting. The film was released monaurally and the new audio mix is subtle but effective. Goldsmith's significant contribution has added depth and clarity, and is most welcome.

#17 of 21 OFFLINE   trajan

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Posted August 04 2012 - 09:31 AM

Thanks. Orded.

#18 of 21 OFFLINE   trajan

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Posted August 04 2012 - 10:04 AM

They cannot deliver to my address.Westland Michigan.

#19 of 21 OFFLINE   TheVid

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Posted August 05 2012 - 05:35 AM

I ordered off of Amazon France, but from a secondary seller, who quickly sent to Colorado. You might try that if the primary seller won't mail internationally. My price was about 9 euros (albeit with another 9 euros for shipping), making the total USD price around 23 bucks. It's hard to say when some of these European Fox blu-rays are going to make it to the USA, so I keep looking for good overseas deals on the ones I really want to own.

#20 of 21 OFFLINE   Dick

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Posted August 05 2012 - 08:19 AM

I ordered off of Amazon France, but from a secondary seller, who quickly sent to Colorado. You might try that if the primary seller won't mail internationally. My price was about 9 euros (albeit with another 9 euros for shipping), making the total USD price around 23 bucks. It's hard to say when some of these European Fox blu-rays are going to make it to the USA, so I keep looking for good overseas deals on the ones I really want to own.

May I inquire as to the merchant you used? And have you a title-specific link? Thanks.




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