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A few words about...™ WarGames -- in Blu-ray

A Few Words About

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#1 of 16 OFFLINE   Robert Harris

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Posted September 07 2012 - 10:21 AM

John Badham's WarGames (1983), is an extremely entertaining thriller, with a teen aspect.  It worked in 1983, and it plays well today.


This is an interesting film, that fits well into Mr. Badham's overall work.  As the director of Saturday Night Fever, Dracula, Blue Thunder, Bird on a Wire, et al, you know you're going to get something worth watching.


The new MGM via Fox Blu-ray is quite good looking with audio in DTS-Master.  Grain structure looks very appropriate, shadow detail, blacks, etc. all appear fine.  Facial tonalities appear to have a decided red push, with various characters appearing as though they'd just come of the beach.  I've a feeling Mr. Fraker didn't design it to be seen that way.


A fine film, on a quality Blu-ray, that aside from the red push, is...


Image - 3.5


Audio - 4


Recommended.


RAH


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#2 of 16 OFFLINE   JohnS

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Posted September 07 2012 - 11:10 AM

Another good movie from the 80's. Glad to hear your take on this Robert. I'm still waiting for my copy to come in stock at Amazon. (just a few more days)

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#3 of 16 OFFLINE   Dave H

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Posted September 07 2012 - 03:43 PM

Thanks, Robert. I've been very tempted to grab this for $7.99 this weekend at Best Buy.

#4 of 16 OFFLINE   Moe Dickstein

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Posted September 09 2012 - 06:12 AM

I believe the directors exact words were "that is not how we would have timed the color". Our theory was that since many of the actors were quite pale, it seems someone felt the need to bring them up which then made others resemble George Hamilton. Mr. Harris uses the scene with Broderick, Eddie Deezen and Maury Chaykin as an example. Broderick's character should be pale from his indoors lifestyle, and in giving him a regular flesh tone, Chaykin goes very very tan.
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#5 of 16 OFFLINE   Robert Harris

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Posted September 09 2012 - 07:28 AM

Originally Posted by Moe Dickstein 

I believe the directors exact words were "that is not how we would have timed the color".
Our theory was that since many of the actors were quite pale, it seems someone felt the need to bring them up which then made others resemble George Hamilton.
Mr. Harris uses the scene with Broderick, Eddie Deezen and Maury Chaykin as an example. Broderick's character should be pale from his indoors lifestyle, and in giving him a regular flesh tone, Chaykin goes very very tan.

Pity they didn't go to the filmmaker for timing.  Might have made things far too easy.  I presume it was timed by someone who had never even seen the film before.


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


#6 of 16 OFFLINE   Moe Dickstein

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Posted September 09 2012 - 08:20 AM

Pity they didn't go to the filmmaker for timing.  Might have made things far too easy.  I presume it was timed by someone who had never even seen the film before. RAH

Or at least by someone with a phobia of albinos... Like so many of these things, it would have been a tiny fix. I should pass along that while the timing is not correct, the director does feel that they stopped short of making it something unwatchable, so consider this flawed but barely acceptable for viewing (in terms of color timing). In other areas, such as clarity he was very happy.
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#7 of 16 ONLINE   Adam Gregorich

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Posted September 09 2012 - 08:53 AM

Thanks.  Despite the spray on tans, I'll pick this up for $7.99, especially since everything else looks good.  I loved this movie as a kid.  Bring on Red Dawn and we are good to go!



#8 of 16 OFFLINE   Dave H

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Posted September 09 2012 - 11:58 AM

Or at least by someone with a phobia of albinos... Like so many of these things, it would have been a tiny fix. I should pass along that while the timing is not correct, the director does feel that they stopped short of making it something unwatchable, so consider this flawed but barely acceptable for viewing (in terms of color timing). In other areas, such as clarity he was very happy.

Moe, Just trying to understand the process - why would the director give his opinion after the fact rather than before the color timing was completed? Thanks.

#9 of 16 OFFLINE   Robert Harris

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Posted September 09 2012 - 01:54 PM

Originally Posted by Dave H 


Moe,
Just trying to understand the process - why would the director give his opinion after the fact rather than before the color timing was completed? Thanks.

I can answer that one.  Someone has to have the foresight to bring the filmmaker into the loop, and ask advise.  One would think that would be easy.


And respectful.


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


#10 of 16 OFFLINE   Lord Dalek

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Posted September 09 2012 - 01:55 PM

The first few seconds of the audio commentary somehow got cut from the anniversary dvd. Anybody know if that's been fixed?



#11 of 16 OFFLINE   JoshZ

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Posted September 10 2012 - 03:46 AM

This is an interesting film, that fits well into Mr. Badham's overall work.  As the director of Saturday Night Fever, Dracula, Blue Thunder, Bird on a Wire, et al, you know you're going to get something worth watching.

Interesting that you put Bird on a Wire in the "worth watching" category. :)

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#12 of 16 OFFLINE   Bryan^H

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Posted September 10 2012 - 04:54 AM

I adjusted the color setting on my tv for this one(certain scenes had actors resembling a tomatoe) and it helped a little to bump it down a few notches. It is mostly the NORAD scenes that are affected. Like Mr. Harris noted though, take away the 'red push' and it is still a decent looking Blu-Ray. I'm still happy with what I got.

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#13 of 16 OFFLINE   Moe Dickstein

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Posted September 10 2012 - 06:51 AM

Interesting that you put Bird on a Wire in the "worth watching" category. :)

Bird on a Wire is somewhat forgotten today, but it did do over 100 million during original release, which was a big number back in 1990... There are some very fun moments in it and it could definitely use a Blu upgrade as the current DVD is very poor port of the LD transfer and not anamorphic.
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#14 of 16 OFFLINE   JoshZ

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Posted September 11 2012 - 03:55 AM

Bird on a Wire is somewhat forgotten today, but it did do over 100 million during original release, which was a big number back in 1990... There are some very fun moments in it and it could definitely use a Blu upgrade as the current DVD is very poor port of the LD transfer and not anamorphic.

I have only the haziest of memories of watching this movie on cable back in the day. I don't recall being too impressed with it, but I suppose I'd be open to re-evaluating it. I do remember the controversy over its homophobic stereotyping, though, which would probably only seem even more uncomfortable today.

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#15 of 16 OFFLINE   Moe Dickstein

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Posted September 11 2012 - 05:45 AM

I have only the haziest of memories of watching this movie on cable back in the day. I don't recall being too impressed with it, but I suppose I'd be open to re-evaluating it. I do remember the controversy over its homophobic stereotyping, though, which would probably only seem even more uncomfortable today.

I suppose it depends how PC you are. I thought it was just silly and funny.
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#16 of 16 OFFLINE   Lee-c

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Posted July 13 2014 - 10:19 AM

I believe the directors exact words were "that is not how we would have timed the color". Our theory was that since many of the actors were quite pale, it seems someone felt the need to bring them up which then made others resemble George Hamilton. Mr. Harris uses the scene with Broderick, Eddie Deezen and Maury Chaykin as an example. Broderick's character should be pale from his indoors lifestyle, and in giving him a regular flesh tone, Chaykin goes very very tan.

I noticed the same thing in the Lord of the Rings Extended Edition set on Blu-ray.  I had read in some reviews of the set that while the Fellowship of the Ring definitely had the colors changed, that the color timing appeared untouched in the second two films.  Well, I've seen all 3 and the faces look quite reddish in the other films now, as well, very noticeable.  And they didn't look that way before this set, so they have been messed with, and it's quite distasteful.  They should have just left them fair and natural as they had always been, it was perfect before.

 

I really wish they would quit doing this in home video releases of films, whether WarGames or any other.  Having said that, it's been a long time since I've seen the movie, and the Blu-ray sounds of overall good quality and it would be fun to see it at this level of detail/resolution for the first time.  So I might get it.







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