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A few words about...™ Cape Fear (1961) -- in Blu-ray

A Few Words About

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#1 of 18 Robert Harris

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Posted January 20 2013 - 09:24 AM

I guess in some ways that it's unfortunate to have viewed J. Lee Thompson's original version of Cape Fear directly after spending some quality time, with quality -- Experiment in Terror.


Cape Fear appears to be an older transfer, with a bit of softness, and an overall slightly digital looking image.  Nothing horrific.  Just not what it might be post 2007.  There's a bit of edginess to things, and you don't want to get too close to the image.

Grain is kind of there, but not really.


All in all, an okay Blu-ray representing a superb thriller.  Great Bernard Herrmann score, and what should have been a gorgeous image from cinematographer Sam Leavitt, whose work you can see in A Star is Born (1954), The Court Martial of Billy Mitchell, The Defiant Ones, Advise and Consent, Major Dundee and Guess Who's Coming to Dinner.


You won't see his beautiful work here.


Terrific film, and a quality Blu-ray as long as you sit back far enough.


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 18 Lromero1396

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Posted January 20 2013 - 03:46 PM

Yet another digitized disaster from Universal. Will not be purchasing until it hits rock bottom prices.:f

#3 of 18 willyTass

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Posted January 20 2013 - 07:07 PM

and not even then

#4 of 18 Robin9

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Posted January 20 2013 - 10:09 PM

The DVD is good. I'll stick with that.

#5 of 18 Russell G

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Posted January 21 2013 - 04:42 AM

Crumb! I picked this up at rock bottom price and opened it so I can't return it. only $7 wasted, but still sucks that it's not looking as good as it should.


Bloody Universal, you just can't rely on them at all.


My wallet cries me to sleep!
 
This post kills threads!


#6 of 18 rsmithjr

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Posted January 21 2013 - 09:42 AM

Robert, Has the sound been remixed to stereo? The recent Experiment in Terror (Sony/Twilight Time) has a new stereo soundtrack with Henry Mancini's score. One can at least hope that Bernard Herrmann would merit the same treatment.

#7 of 18 Robert Harris

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Posted January 21 2013 - 10:06 AM

Originally Posted by rsmithjr 

Robert,

Has the sound been remixed to stereo?

The recent Experiment in Terror (Sony/Twilight Time) has a new stereo soundtrack with Henry Mancini's score. One can at least hope that Bernard Herrmann would merit the same treatment.

Monaural.


"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


#8 of 18 OliverK

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Posted January 21 2013 - 09:32 PM

Bloody Universal, you just can't rely on them at all.

You can rely on them to generally mess things up with catalog titles to varying degrees. You can also rely on many of their better catalog titles to be just OK and not very good or spectacular, no matter how big the title may be. As smoothed over titles like Cape Fear only get to look that way via additional "procedures" I do also believe that we have a case here of things being done the wrong way repeatedly with little to no learning from previous mistakes. Less would have been more in these cases but Universal will not stop at not remastering a title, they most of the time try to cover their tracks by adding varying amounts of grain reduction/DNR/pumped up colors and contrast boosting. Oh well, at least Cape Fear hasn't got boosted colors...

#9 of 18 Robert Harris

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Posted January 22 2013 - 12:03 AM

Originally Posted by OliverK 


You can rely on them to generally mess things up with catalog titles to varying degrees.
You can also rely on many of their better catalog titles to be just OK and not very good or spectacular, no matter how big the title may be.

As smoothed over titles like Cape Fear only get to look that way via additional "procedures" I do also believe that we have a case here of things being done the wrong way repeatedly with little to no learning from previous mistakes. Less would have been more in these cases but Universal will not stop at not remastering a title, they most of the time try to cover their tracks by adding varying amounts of grain reduction/DNR/pumped up colors and contrast boosting. Oh well, at least Cape Fear hasn't got boosted colors...

Actually, the black & white scale in Cape Fear looks quite nice.


I'll repeat.  People with moderate sized viewing panels should be quite pleased.


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 18 Robert Crawford

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Posted January 22 2013 - 12:56 AM

Originally Posted by Robert Harris 

Actually, the black & white scale in Cape Fear looks quite nice.


I'll repeat.  People with moderate sized viewing panels should be quite pleased.


RAH

I didn't want to say anything to upset those ranting about this BD, but I bought the UK BD more than a year ago and thought it looked fine on my 65" monitor.







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#11 of 18 Lromero1396

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Posted January 22 2013 - 07:18 AM

Actually, the black & white scale in Cape Fear looks quite nice. I'll repeat.  People with moderate sized viewing panels should be quite pleased. RAH

Mr. Harris, In your book, would 60" be moderate sized?.

#12 of 18 Robert Harris

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Posted January 22 2013 - 08:00 AM

Originally Posted by Lromero1396 


Mr. Harris,
In your book, would 60" be moderate sized?.

In my book, 60" would be a good size panel.


Once again, the basic transfer is fine.  Seated at a proper distance one will never know that it doesn't look like cinema.


This is not a transfer over which I would go to war.


It's fine for what it is.


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


#13 of 18 Everett Stallings

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Posted January 22 2013 - 09:20 AM

I didn't want to say anything to upset those ranting about this BD, but I bought the UK BD more than a year ago and thought it looked fine on my 65" monitor. Crawdaddy

I also.
Former projectionist @ all downtown theatres in Balto. City.Which are all closed. frown.gif

#14 of 18 Scott Calvert

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Posted January 22 2013 - 11:37 AM

I watched this one directly after Mrs Miniver and Grand Hotel. Yeah, it's not great. Both of the aforementioned are great transfers (generation of elements notwithstanding), it felt as if I were watching projected film. Then came Cape Fear and back to video. It's not terrible, almost on par with Psycho I guess. But it's a bit annoying as Universal has shown they can do great transfers as Harvey confirms.

#15 of 18 FanboyZ

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Posted January 22 2013 - 12:58 PM

Is good size better than moderate?

#16 of 18 OliverK

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Posted January 22 2013 - 01:11 PM

Actually, the black & white scale in Cape Fear looks quite nice. I'll repeat.  People with moderate sized viewing panels should be quite pleased. RAH

But that is always the problem with textures isn't it? For me a disc being able to replicate the look of film and of the theatrial presentation is what Blu-Ray is supposed to be about - to have a picture that doesn't fall apart with closer viewing distances and that allows us to move closer to the screen without the picture starting to look like video. Perhaps Universal should add a sticker on the case: Please don't use with projection systems. I haven't bought a Universal Blu-Ray in a long time as they take a lackluster approach to the Blu-Ray format as a whole that is imo unique among all the major studios and I don't mean that in a positive way.

#17 of 18 Robert Harris

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Posted January 22 2013 - 01:46 PM

But that is always the problem with textures isn't it? For me a disc being able to replicate the look of film and of the theatrial presentation is what Blu-Ray is supposed to be about - to have a picture that doesn't fall apart with closer viewing distances and that allows us to move closer to the screen without the picture starting to look like video. Perhaps Universal should add a sticker on the case: Please don't use with projection systems. I haven't bought a Universal Blu-Ray in a long time as they take a lackluster approach to the Blu-Ray format as a whole that is imo unique among all the major studios and I don't mean that in a positive way.

Universal may have a studio, but the reality seems to be that they're a cable / TV entity. 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


#18 of 18 OliverK

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Posted January 23 2013 - 04:15 AM

Universal may have a studio, but the reality seems to be that they're a cable / TV entity. RAH

That is a very good assessment and one that helps to put things into perspective.





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