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A few words about...™ High Noon -- in Blu-ray

A Few Words About

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#1 of 312 OFFLINE   Robert Harris

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Posted July 17 2012 - 01:58 PM

The 1952 Fred Zinnemann, Carl Foreman, Stanley Kramer High Noon has been one of my favorite films since I was a kid.  I was a huge Gary Cooper fan, and this is a film that seemed so simple, until you really take a close look at it, and found that there was far more going on than what was on the surface.   With stellar performances, cinematography, the music score by Dimitri Tiomkin.  It all fits together to form one to of the greatest films ever created.   Why, then, is it so difficult to release it on home video in a "stellar" state?   Always prepared from dupes...   The earlier DVD releases were some of the worst ever created.   And I was hopeful that Olive Films would finally get it right.   They didn't.   And it's a pity.   From the very opening, the main title sequence is so far away from original, that the hi-con information is soft.   After the opening dupes, we're at what appears to be fine grain level, and that should be fine, but they've given the film a wonderfully electronic look.   If you like that sort of thing.   I don't.   Grain is sticky.  It sticks to people.  It hangs, motionless, in the air.  There are occasional scratches, but I can live with that.   While this new release is a far cry from the old DVDs, which were worse than horrific, and to many it will seem very acceptable, it's just not there.   It would have been so easy to do an image harvest -- where is the original nitrate? -- in 4k, down-rez it, leave the grain where it was, do a clean-up, and get it out there.  We're not talking about a lot of expense here to do it right.   Yours truly is not a happy camper.   The gray scale is fine.  Good blacks.  Decent shadow detail.     Electronic sharpening.  Naturally.   Aliasing.  A bit.   All in all an embarrassing Blu-ray, considering how easily it could have been something very special.   There are many films for which we can say, "they deserve better."  This is one of them.   Image - 2.5   Audio - 4   RAH

"All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. This I did." T.E. Lawrence


#2 of 312 OFFLINE   Lord Dalek

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Posted July 17 2012 - 02:22 PM

I don't know, I thought the 2-disc anniversary looked really good for SD.

#3 of 312 OFFLINE   Robert Crawford

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Posted July 17 2012 - 02:39 PM

I had a feeling you were going to crap over this release based on prior dvd releases.  Anyhow, my copy will be here tomorrow and I'll judge for myself whether it meets my less demanding standards.               Crawdaddy

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#4 of 312 OFFLINE   Adam Gregorich

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Posted July 17 2012 - 02:49 PM

Is this one of those instances where Olive has to take what they are given when it comes to the condition of the transfer?  Could they choose to spend the money on a new harvest?  Would an "older" title like this generate a payback on that investment?

#5 of 312 OFFLINE   Robert Crawford

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Posted July 17 2012 - 02:51 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Gregorich /t/322358/a-few-words-about-high-noon-in-blu-ray#post_3950185 Is this one of those instances where Olive has to take what they are given when it comes to the condition of the transfer?  Could they choose to spend the money on a new harvest?  Would an "older" title like this generate a payback on that investment?
  I think that might be the case and that those Republic titles that Olive will be releasing will meet a similar fate in which RAH won't recommend them either.

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#6 of 312 OFFLINE   dpippel

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Posted July 17 2012 - 03:14 PM

Wow, what a letdown. I'm glad I didn't pull the trigger on that preorder.

Careful man, there's a beverage here!


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Posted July 17 2012 - 03:19 PM

I'm getting it. The original dvd was awful.

#8 of 312 OFFLINE   JoHud

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Posted July 17 2012 - 03:20 PM

I don't know, I thought the 2-disc anniversary looked really good for SD.
I agree. I'd like a comparison to that particular edition, since prior editions that came before it are far inferior. I have a feeling the Olive Blu-ray is the same transfer in HD, since the 2008 SE wasn't exactly perfect.

#9 of 312 OFFLINE   Lord Dalek

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Posted July 17 2012 - 03:30 PM


Quote:

Originally Posted by JoHud /t/322358/a-few-words-about-high-noon-in-blu-ray#post_3950205


I agree. I'd like a comparison to that particular edition, since prior editions that came before it are far inferior. I have a feeling the Olive Blu-ray is the same transfer in HD, since the 2008 SE wasn't exactly perfect.


http://www.dvdbeaver...re/highnoon.htm - That's what it looks like from Beaver's caps. I don't get it.

#10 of 312 OFFLINE   Robert Harris

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Posted July 17 2012 - 03:35 PM


Quote:

Originally Posted by Lord Dalek /t/322358/a-few-words-about-high-noon-in-blu-ray#post_3950208



http://www.dvdbeaver...re/highnoon.htm - That's what it looks like from Beaver's caps. I don't get it.


 


Tells you all you need to know about screen caps.  And Beaver tries very hard.


 


Nothing worse than hanging grain.  Always liked Spanish moss, but this...


 


RAH

"All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. This I did." T.E. Lawrence


#11 of 312 OFFLINE   Scott Calvert

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Posted July 17 2012 - 04:01 PM

Yep. Another release with that crawling forcefield grain. Invasion Of The Body Snatchers has some of it too. The elements are what they are I guess and look acceptable enough but the electronic bugaboos really suck. I'm not even sure it's the result of intentional DNR or just bad compression... To those of you who think the original DVD looks good, it's been DNR'd to heck and back and sharpened, one of the all-time worst examples on the DVD format.

#12 of 312 OFFLINE   DavidJ

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Posted July 17 2012 - 07:21 PM

Noooooo! What a bummer. I held off waiting for a review (that I trust) and now it looks like I'll be waiting even longer.

#13 of 312 ONLINE   Brandon Conway

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Posted July 17 2012 - 10:56 PM

All "blame" should go directly to Paramount and what they provide Olive to work with.   These are more than likely the last ever home video releases of these titles. Thems the breaks.   Also, for what it's worth, blu-ray.com gave the video 4.5/5. http://www.blu-ray.c...y/43719/#Review

"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


#14 of 312 OFFLINE   Robert Crawford

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Posted July 18 2012 - 12:37 AM


Quote:

Originally Posted by Brandon Conway /t/322358/a-few-words-about-high-noon-in-blu-ray#post_3950340


All "blame" should go directly to Paramount and what they provide Olive to work with.


 


These are more than likely the last ever home video releases of these titles. Thems the breaks.


 


Also, for what it's worth, blu-ray.com gave the video 4.5/5. http://www.blu-ray.c...y/43719/#Review


 


No offense to RAH, but I would suspect many others to agree with that grade because of lesser expectations and expertise on how the BRD should look like.

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#15 of 312 OFFLINE   Robert Harris

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Posted July 18 2012 - 02:34 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Crawford /t/322358/a-few-words-about-high-noon-in-blu-ray#post_3950352   No offense to RAH, but I would suspect many others to agree with that grade because of lesser expectations and expertise on how the BRD should look like.
None taken, as that's what its all about.   The question that needs to be asked is, "Under reasonable circumstances, and a decent, but not extraordinary budget, how good can a film look?"   An electronic look, sticky or crawling grain, has nothing to do with budget.   Just inattentive work habits.   It would be extremely easy to make High Noon look like film.   RAH

"All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. This I did." T.E. Lawrence


#16 of 312 OFFLINE   OliverK

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Posted July 18 2012 - 02:34 AM

All "blame" should go directly to Paramount and what they provide Olive to work with.
Let's not kid ourselves - Paramount will not give a movie to Olive that has gotten the treatment that RAH describes in his opening post and Olive does not have to release something they are not happy with. So yes, one could blame Paramount, but one could also blame Olive for not being more selective with what they release.

#17 of 312 OFFLINE   DennisBassi

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Posted July 18 2012 - 05:57 AM

Well, I looked at my Lion's Gate edition last night and was reasonably satisfied with it. Also, it has all of the copious extras. I was looking forward to the Bluray but will wait until it hits the bargain bins or pass altogether hoping for another release.

#18 of 312 OFFLINE   John Morgan

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Posted July 18 2012 - 06:30 AM

Since HIGH NOON and INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS are a couple of the very best, and probably will be most popular in sales, it doesn't bode well for other Republic-Paramount releases. I love both films. I wonder what PURSUED and "lesser" (popularity) titles will look like. It would seem to me, these two titles would get the royal treatment for Blu-Ray as so many will base their future purchase plans on these releases.

#19 of 312 OFFLINE   Adam_S

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Posted July 18 2012 - 06:41 AM

I asked a DVD producer who worked on them once, eight or nine years ago, why High Noon and Quiet Man looked so bad, and the answer was really simple, "They won't give us access to the elements and they won't give us access to better transfers, we have the home video rights and they don't so they only give us junk to work with."  The producer then implied strongly that they had offered to pay for a new image harvest for Quiet Man at least and had been rudely shot down.  
 

#20 of 312 OFFLINE   JoeDoakes

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Posted July 18 2012 - 07:31 AM

None taken, as that's what its all about. The question that needs to be asked is, "Under reasonable circumstances, and a decent, but not extraordinary budget, how good can a film look?" An electronic look, sticky or crawling grain, has nothing to do with budget. Just inattentive work habits. It would be extremely easy to make High Noon look like film. RAH
How exactly do they wind up with "sticky or crawling grain"? As someone without a lot of technical knowledge, I get confused about film grain. If the stuido electronically scrubs the flim to remove the grain that's bad, but some reviewers complain about too much grain, and here you say the grain was sticky. What's the best way to treat film grain? The other question I have is that I have read that around 2009, Paramount gave a presentation in Hollywood about a new process they had developed for creating low cost high definition transfers. I have assumed that most of the Olive blus resulted from that. Do you know anything about the process they are using.





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