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A LITTLE LOOK AT ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA - THE RESTORATION ON BLU-RAY


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#41 of 85 OFFLINE   alter filmnarr

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Posted December 30 2012 - 08:33 AM

Mr.Harris, are You sure, that "manufacturing" the prints cannot influence the presentation? For what I've experienced, the prints made in the 60's or 70's were made for the "years to come" and shown many times again and again - until they broke into peaces... I think the distributors cared about quality in that time. Starting in the mid 80's they needed more and more prints for a "forced" first run, it was less and less intended to show them in reruns (because of the Home Video Market I guess) I learned, that distributors tried to find the cheapest possible way to get their prints. I also felt, that picture quality (sharpness, colours) were getting worse and worse. So can really be said for sure, that that did not maybe make a difference between countries? Especially, because nobody really was very enthusiastic about that movie in the first place. What's Your personal opinion in the "OUATIA" case? Have You seen the WARNER BD? No problem with oversaturated reds in faces? Can You imagine, that the "new colour" is correct in it's own way , and - if not, what I presume - do You have any idea, why Mr. Scorsese can approve that? I'm really interested in Your personal opinion. Thanks!

#42 of 85 OFFLINE   Ray H

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Posted December 30 2012 - 09:25 AM

The Problem is I don't think Warner's cares about this film ,Their big releases come in Boxes or Book design cases,They look at it,like the Mission,They don't see big sales and its not really a Warner film classic,So its one step above a Archive release to them,Maybe this time it will get better treatment
WHV hasn't given this film the proper love it deserves in the past, but they did do a new 4K scan for this reconstruction. That's gotta count for something. Hopefully, it's a sign that some love for this film is on the way. I think the ideal release for this should include a remastered version of the 229-minute version (with more accurate colors) and a new commentary from Sir Christopher Frayling (it's the only Leone film without a commentary from Frayling!). The new cut should be included as a supplement as well. Perhaps, they could use branching, but it's something WHV rarely goes in for. New featurettes and interviews, please!
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#43 of 85 OFFLINE   Peter Neski

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Posted December 31 2012 - 10:29 AM

The Color was right on the first BR,but that wasn't the problem ,the print and source weren't 2k and the results was the whole image looked very good instead of "super" The film had fantastic blacks and the type of color that could only come from a lab that had real artists working in it,One wonders what the other Leone films would look like if they had the whole negative,Its a real shame this was the last Leone film

#44 of 85 OFFLINE   haineshisway

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Posted December 31 2012 - 11:28 AM

The Color was right on the first BR,but that wasn't the problem ,the print and source weren't 2k and the results was the whole image looked very good instead of "super" The film had fantastic blacks and the type of color that could only come from a lab that had real artists working in it,One wonders what the other Leone films would look like if they had the whole negative,Its a real shame this was the last Leone film
Right - the color was right but the disc has many other issues. If someone will tell me where to write, I'll send them a note about all this - it's important they hear from people who really understand the color.

#45 of 85 OFFLINE   Torsten Kaiser

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Posted December 31 2012 - 12:42 PM

 /t/326227/a-little-look-at-once-upon-a-time-in-america-the-restoration-on-blu-ray/30#post_4019017 The Color was right on the first BR,but that wasn't the problem ,the print and source weren't 2k and the results was the whole image looked very good instead of "super" The film had fantastic blacks and the type of color that could only come from a lab that had real artists working in it,One wonders what the other Leone films would look like if they had the whole negative,Its a real shame this was the last Leone film
  Sorry for jumping in here, but a few things are not quite as "exact" as presented in some posts, though I do understand the disappointment.   If the screen captures of the Italian Blu-ray Edition are in any way close and representative to what's actually on the disc, then this is clearly a redux version, and not corresponding to the original at all. That said, in all fairness it should be mentioned that the WB Blu-ray, strictly speaking with the photochemical processing and its rendition in mind also exhibits a number of problems, one being the colors - as this master is also not correct.  Bruce, I know you are very adamant about this issue having possessed at one point an LPP of OUATIA, but I do not think you meant "exact" = 100% like what was on film, but rather = "close" ?  Because, if it would have looked this bluish overall, it (the print) would/should have been junked.  Yes, it (the BD encode/the HD digital master) is surely more representative of what the theatrical release (should have) looked like, but certainly not "exactly like".  Blue tones are evident in the entire color spectrum on the BD encode, in my experience a problem stemming from post transfer (transfer master level), from what is the known ironically as color "correction" - and is actually digital color timing and should be a correct re-timing.     In this discussion two things should also be noted:  Theatrical prints actually shown in theaters always varied somewhat from one another.  What made things even more difficult: the quality of the copies being made (ironically for Europe, mostly in Italy) began to drop dramatically from the mid 80s. Cost vs Quality was an increasingly divisive issue in many ways.  Also, please keep in mind that a transfer or scan, in which ever resolution it may be does not say anything about the quality of that transfer or scan.  For instance, there are several scanners that claim 4K status but do not even come remotely close to the quality level of even the mifield section of the (2K) pack, let alone the best out there.  It depends very much on the quality of the scanner (pick-up/photo-optics/mechanics/digital processing) and the color re-timing done by the colorist later on.  Under ideal conditions this should be done under constant supervision with someone who knows the exact tones of the photochemical color process used and also the changes that were made, if any.        To everyone at this forum - have a great New Year !
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#46 of 85 OFFLINE   haineshisway

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Posted December 31 2012 - 02:48 PM

Is it exact, color-wise? Maybe not. Is it CLOSE? Absolutely. Whereas the new Blu is a 1000 miles off, with no difference in the looks of the three time periods - the color has been sucked out of the image and so has the contrast. The color on the original Blu I am adamant about because while it may not be 100% it's certainly 90%.

#47 of 85 OFFLINE   alter filmnarr

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Posted December 31 2012 - 04:06 PM

Starting in the mid 80's they needed more and more prints for a "forced" first run, it was less and less intended to show them in reruns (because of the Home Video Market I guess) I learned, that distributors tried to find the cheapest possible way to get their prints. I also felt, that picture quality (sharpness, colours) were getting worse and worse.
In this discussion two things should also be noted:  Theatrical prints actually shown in theaters always varied somewhat from one another.  What made things even more difficult: the quality of the copies being made (ironically for Europe, mostly in Italy) began to drop dramatically from the mid 80s. Cost vs Quality was an increasingly divisive issue in many ways. 
Yes (as mentioned above), that's what I also was told in those days. The copies came mostly from Italy - and there was uniformly an enormous decrease in quality... Happy new year also from Austria!

#48 of 85 OFFLINE   alter filmnarr

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Posted December 31 2012 - 04:10 PM

If the screen captures of the Italian Blu-ray Edition are in any way close and representative to what's actually on the disc, then this is clearly a redux version, and not corresponding to the original at all.
Remembers me a bit of the "French Connection" situation - but without the director's approval...

#49 of 85 OFFLINE   alter filmnarr

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Posted January 02 2013 - 06:43 AM

Mr. Kimmel, may I ask You an (almost) private question - a little off topic maybe, but it would be of personal interest for me... You mentioned in this and other threads (as You did in Your blog), that You owned a lot of fine 35mm (70mm) prints. I must say, that this was always the dream of my filmcollector's soul. At the end I never had the room, money or possibility /connections) to do that, and so I stuck with the always best possible HT medium of the time. Super-8, Beta, VHS, LD DVD, HD-DVD and now finally BD. I've read in Your blog, that since a few years you watch You movies on a SAMSUNG LED flat screen - big, but sure not as big than Your screen before, and also no "projected" picture. The question I would like ask You is: HOW did You manage personally to deal with such a difference in presentation? You were used to the "real thing". Wasn't that a big shock at the beginning? For myself, I use a front projector (in my living room) for movies and a Plasma for TV Series (which, I must confess have now very often higher quality standards than most of the new movies). Yes, a digital front projector is not "real film", but I would find it hard to give it up - although I have to confess, that the easyness of use of a Flat TV is very seductive :cool: What's Your experience in that matter? Thanks...

#50 of 85 OFFLINE   haineshisway

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Posted January 02 2013 - 01:22 PM

Mr. Kimmel, may I ask You an (almost) private question - a little off topic maybe, but it would be of personal interest for me... You mentioned in this and other threads (as You did in Your blog), that You owned a lot of fine 35mm (70mm) prints. I must say, that this was always the dream of my filmcollector's soul. At the end I never had the room, money or possibility /connections) to do that, and so I stuck with the always best possible HT medium of the time. Super-8, Beta, VHS, LD DVD, HD-DVD and now finally BD. I've read in Your blog, that since a few years you watch You movies on a SAMSUNG LED flat screen - big, but sure not as big than Your screen before, and also no "projected" picture. The question I would like ask You is: HOW did You manage personally to deal with such a difference in presentation? You were used to the "real thing". Wasn't that a big shock at the beginning? For myself, I use a front projector (in my living room) for movies and a Plasma for TV Series (which, I must confess have now very often higher quality standards than most of the new movies). Yes, a digital front projector is not "real film", but I would find it hard to give it up - although I have to confess, that the easyness of use of a Flat TV is very seductive :cool: What's Your experience in that matter? Thanks...
Hi. Interesting questions. I never had the ability to project 35mm at home - I always took my 35s to screening rooms or friends' houses that had that ability. I did show 16mm at home and I had a fairly large screen (I built a little screening room in the garage of my first house). But at some point in the late 1980s it just was too overwhelming and I wanted to downsize and not have to worry about all that storage (thankfully I never owned any 70mm prints). It was just too crazy, and so I sold off the collection (I have just two or three things left in 16mm now). Certain films in 35mm I wish I'd never sold - my dye transfer prints of Vertigo, Marnie, the early Bonds, The Court Jester - it was really stupid of me). But I'm really happy with most Blu-ray quality and I really love the Samsung, which is very accurate in color reproduction. But after attending one event at the HTF thing here in LA I saw a projection set-up that bowled me over and I'm now looking into doing something very similar to that here at home.

#51 of 85 OFFLINE   alter filmnarr

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Posted January 02 2013 - 11:34 PM

Sorry for misquoting You about 70MM. So I think it was Mr. Harris, who mentioned something this way... In some way we must be "soulmates". When You tell me about Your wonderful 16mm/35mm collection, that "overwhelmed" You, I can say "thank god", that nobody made all those treasures available to ME in the past. I'm sure, that I would have startet with "Ok, I want only the best of the best" and ended with a collection reaching until the roof - and I live in a flat... When I start to collect (be it movies or vinyl records), I'm dangerous - ask my (patient) wife.. I can understand, that You regret, that You have sold the collection almost completely - but if not, where to start? :confused: If You have really in mind to install a nice "front projector" setup in Your home, You will for sure find a nice and comfortable (in comparison to 35/16mm) compromise in it and enjoy it immensely. A pity, that You live so far away from my place, because I'm working in an special A/V shop here in Vienna and whoud have been proud to help You mith my advice :)

#52 of 85 OFFLINE   Robert Harris

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Posted January 03 2013 - 12:47 AM

Sorry for jumping in here, but a few things are not quite as "exact" as presented in some posts, though I do understand the disappointment. If the screen captures of the Italian Blu-ray Edition are in any way close and representative to what's actually on the disc, then this is clearly a redux version, and not corresponding to the original at all. That said, in all fairness it should be mentioned that the WB Blu-ray, strictly speaking with the photochemical processing and its rendition in mind also exhibits a number of problems, one being the colors - as this master is also not correct.  Bruce, I know you are very adamant about this issue having possessed at one point an LPP of OUATIA, but I do not think you meant "exact" = 100% like what was on film, but rather = "close" ?  Because, if it would have looked this bluish overall, it (the print) would/should have been junked.  Yes, it (the BD encode/the HD digital master) is surely more representative of what the theatrical release (should have) looked like, but certainly not "exactly like".  Blue tones are evident in the entire color spectrum on the BD encode, in my experience a problem stemming from post transfer (transfer master level), from what is the known ironically as color "correction" - and is actually digital color timing and should be a correct re-timing.   In this discussion two things should also be noted:  Theatrical prints actually shown in theaters always varied somewhat from one another.  What made things even more difficult: the quality of the copies being made (ironically for Europe, mostly in Italy) began to drop dramatically from the mid 80s. Cost vs Quality was an increasingly divisive issue in many ways.  Also, please keep in mind that a transfer or scan, in which ever resolution it may be does not say anything about the quality of that transfer or scan.  For instance, there are several scanners that claim 4K status but do not even come remotely close to the quality level of even the mifield section of the (2K) pack, let alone the best out there.  It depends very much on the quality of the scanner (pick-up/photo-optics/mechanics/digital processing) and the color re-timing done by the colorist later on.  Under ideal conditions this should be done under constant supervision with someone who knows the exact tones of the photochemical color process used and also the changes that were made, if any.      To everyone at this forum - have a great New Year !
So... On top of all the other various problems adding layers of difficulty to the work performed on Once, are bad ENR prints coming out of Tech Rome?

"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


#53 of 85 OFFLINE   alter filmnarr

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Posted January 03 2013 - 01:25 AM

So... On top of all the other various problems adding layers of difficulty to the work performed on Once, are bad ENR prints coming out of Tech Rome?
Excuse me, that I try to answer - I'm not asked, but I think, what TK meant, that especially in the 80's the theater prints of many movies (not only Italian) came from Italy - cheap and with questionable quality (I can confirm this). Therefore it can be subsumed, that not all prints in all countries looked the same..., and FOR ME that makes it difficult to say how the movie really should look like. BUT I cannot imagine, that the look of the "extended" is correct either - that's too far off that, what I've seen in Paris or during my 3 months running time in the mentioned cinema. As bad as the prints might have been (maybe, because it was a "Leone" they weren't as wrong at all?), also the old WARNER BD does not exactly match to what I remember - but I can live with it. Sorry that I intrude into Your dialogue...

#54 of 85 OFFLINE   haineshisway

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Posted January 03 2013 - 09:34 AM

Sorry for misquoting You about 70MM. So I think it was Mr. Harris, who mentioned something this way... In some way we must be "soulmates". When You tell me about Your wonderful 16mm/35mm collection, that "overwhelmed" You, I can say "thank god", that nobody made all those treasures available to ME in the past. I'm sure, that I would have startet with "Ok, I want only the best of the best" and ended with a collection reaching until the roof - and I live in a flat... When I start to collect (be it movies or vinyl records), I'm dangerous - ask my (patient) wife.. I can understand, that You regret, that You have sold the collection almost completely - but if not, where to start? :confused: If You have really in mind to install a nice "front projector" setup in Your home, You will for sure find a nice and comfortable (in comparison to 35/16mm) compromise in it and enjoy it immensely. A pity, that You live so far away from my place, because I'm working in an special A/V shop here in Vienna and whoud have been proud to help You mith my advice :)
I'd love to have any and all advice you might have. I did ask some questions at the HTF event, but I really think this is the year I want to upgrade everything.

#55 of 85 OFFLINE   alter filmnarr

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Posted January 03 2013 - 10:33 AM

You are always welcome to ask whatever You want! But I'm sure that every member of the HTF will be pleased to share experiences with You :) Keep in mind, that for me always was important to perform "good old stuff" (=classic movies) as good as possible on reasonable priced equipment, and I'm not so much into "the louder the better" category... BTW: what do You do with all Your DVD's (when available on BD)? Keep them?

#56 of 85 OFFLINE   haineshisway

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Posted January 03 2013 - 04:45 PM

You are always welcome to ask whatever You want! But I'm sure that every member of the HTF will be pleased to share experiences with You :) Keep in mind, that for me always was important to perform "good old stuff" (=classic movies) as good as possible on reasonable priced equipment, and I'm not so much into "the louder the better" category... BTW: what do You do with all Your DVD's (when available on BD)? Keep them?
Unless the Blu-ray is terrible and the DVD is somehow more acceptable to me, I sell them off immediately. I can't really think of many DVDs I've kept, but The Searchers is one of them because I cannot watch the yellow mess that's the Blu-ray. The DVD isn't completely right either, but it's much closer than the Blu-ray.

#57 of 85 OFFLINE   alter filmnarr

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Posted January 03 2013 - 11:07 PM

...in "The Searchers case" You do not seem to be "in accordance" with Mr. Harris. You know what: i didn't even open the BD until now because of the controversy. I fear, I would forget to watch the movie and try to work out, who is right of You both. I never saw the movie on the big screen before - that makes things more complicated.

#58 of 85 OFFLINE   Robert Harris

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Posted January 04 2013 - 12:04 AM

...in "The Searchers case" You do not seem to be "in accordance" with Mr. Harris. You know what: i didn't even open the BD until now because of the controversy. I fear, I would forget to watch the movie and try to work out, who is right of You both. I never saw the movie on the big screen before - that makes things more complicated.
Mr. Kimmel and I are in perfect sync on Searchers. RAH

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#59 of 85 OFFLINE   alter filmnarr

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Posted January 04 2013 - 03:52 AM

??? Something "lost in translation" :) ? Mr.Kimmel hates the BD - You gave a "highly recommended", at least for the HD-DVD which looks the same... http://www.hometheat...-high-defintion :confused::confused::confused:

#60 of 85 OFFLINE   Robert Harris

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Posted January 04 2013 - 05:52 AM

Originally Posted by alter filmnarr 

??? Something "lost in translation" ?
Mr.Kimmel hates the BD - You gave a "highly recommended", at least for the HD-DVD which looks the same...
http://www.hometheat...-high-defintion

If you delve a bit further, you'll find that the work performed on Searchers was a bit too early.  The films looks as good as the surviving elements and technology allowed at that time.  With so many people who had never seen the film in any decent form, I allowed for the problems.


That said, the problems are there, and with technology that I was just at that time proving out on Williamsburg and later used on NxNW, the film would have looked far more accurate.  This is a project that needs to be revisited when funds allow.


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





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