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A few lines about ZULU (apologies to Mr Harris!)

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#1 of 95 Twilight Time

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Posted October 12 2013 - 12:14 PM

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In response to some readers interest in, and questions about, TT's upcoming release of ZULU, I just wanted to offer some small details about it -- we don't know much about the overall specs at this point, but the following is what we do know.

 

It is certainly not the UK transfer. It couldn't be as that one belongs to a different studio -- Paramount, who own the film in most of the world's territories. In the USA home video rights is controlled by MGM/UA through Studio Canal. Our transfer generated by MGM/UA (or Studio Canal) some years ago (it is possibly older than the UK transfer) still has evidence of some minor wear and tear -- little flecks of dirt and debris here and there -- what Mr Harris has taught me is known as "minus density." There is not enough of it to spoil anyone's enjoyment of the film, but what it does of course mean is that there has been little in the way of digital clean-up, and that things like DNR are apparently not in evidence.

 

As we know, whether a transfer is "good" or "bad" is often in the eye of the beholder, and to my somewhat biased bifocals, the transfer here has a very natural look to it. Color and detail is strong, picture is generally stable (with a moment or two of lateral jitter), but to me this is the movie I have always known and loved. To borrow a quote from our pal Haineshisway "it is the way I remember it in cinemas." And I have this seen this movie theatrically projected more than 40 times.

 

Audio is mono, but we also have a 2.0 stereo composite track that we are planning to use as well to give viewers the choice. My preference is always for the clean mono, but the stereo here is quite vivid and directional, with John Barry's exceptional score showcased among the dialogue and effects to great effect.
 

 

Extras will be necessarily sparse -- we do have the John Barry score in crisp, clear mono as an isolated track, and we have a new commentary featuring the witty, acerbic, and insightful screenwriter Lem Dobbs, and myself, babbling like idiots about why the film is important.

 

This is a case where I don't care one whit about whether we sell 50 copies, 20 copies, 10 copies or no copies. This a film that we love almost (The Wild Bunch excepted) above all other, and when MGM/UA offered it to us we were over the moon. We're releasing it on Jan 22nd, the 50th anniversary of the film's premiere in London, and the 135th anniversary of the battle at Rorke's Drift. And we couldn't be more proud.

 

We invite any of you who cares to join us in the celebration.

 

All best,

 

Nick.


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#2 of 95 DP 70

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Posted October 12 2013 - 12:35 PM

Thanks for that Nick, any info on Khartoum will be very welcome.

 

many thanks,

 

Derek.



#3 of 95 Matt Hough

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Posted October 12 2013 - 12:53 PM

Greatly appreciate this insight into the upcoming release. Most informative and welcome. Thanks, Nick!


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#4 of 95 Richard--W

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Posted October 12 2013 - 12:56 PM

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I'm easily sold on a Cy Endfield film and on this Cy Endfield in particular.

 

Have you explored the possibility of releasing the two hardboiled films he directed for Rank in 1958:

 

HellDrivers-1958-Rank-insert.jpg

SeaFury-1958-Rank-one.jpg

 

I consider the former one of the best films ever made in England. Sean Connery co-stars. Those scenes with Sean Connery, Patrick McGoohan and Stanley Baker all in the same frame are really something. SEA FURY has a young Robert Shaw.


Edited by Richard--W, October 12 2013 - 12:59 PM.

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#5 of 95 bujaki

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Posted October 12 2013 - 01:00 PM

Hell Drivers played TCM recently, not a very good print; but it sure was a damn good movie!



#6 of 95 ahollis

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Posted October 12 2013 - 01:07 PM

Well you got at least one copy sold here. Thank you for the background on this release and thank you for your dedication on your releases.
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"Get a director and a writer and leave them alone. That`s how the best pictures get made" - William "Wild Bill" Wellman


#7 of 95 Todd J Moore

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Posted October 12 2013 - 01:14 PM

Mr. Redman, thank you for taking the time to read and answer this. First, may I say that I am delighted that you chose MAN IN THE DARK for 3D Blu Ray release. It's actually a decent little picture and I am looking forward to it. Is there any chance Twilight Time will be releasing any other 50s 3D Blu Rays. I know The Mad Magician and Miss Sadie Thompson have been oft-mentioned here. Inferno from Fox would be wonderful. And might I even throw in a request for Arena from MGM if it's possible?


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Viewing a 3D movie in 2D is kinda like viewing a Scope movie in Pan and Scan.


#8 of 95 Richard--W

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Posted October 12 2013 - 01:19 PM

I'm curious about a Cy Endfield film that dropped off the radar the very year it was made and hasn't been seen since. UNIVERSAL SOLDIER (Hemdale, 1971) starred George Lazenby as a mercenary soldier hired to train an army in Africa. Endfield ended his directing career with this now lost film. Any chance you could look into it?


Edited by Richard--W, October 12 2013 - 01:47 PM.

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#9 of 95 Bob Cashill

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Posted October 12 2013 - 01:32 PM

There's a fine special edition of HELL DRIVERS available on R2 DVD. 

 

The isolated John Barry score is worth the price of admission to ZULU, or readmission if you have the UK one. I'll definitely pick up the TT one. (And KHARTOUM besides.)



#10 of 95 bujaki

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Posted October 12 2013 - 01:42 PM

I am one of the faithful TT followers. I own all of its releases and plan to continue buying its future releases, sometimes because of interest in the titles, sometimes just to support the company's vision.



#11 of 95 dana martin

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Posted October 12 2013 - 01:48 PM

make that two sold, sight unseen, love this film


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#12 of 95 Richard--W

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Posted October 12 2013 - 01:50 PM

There's a fine special edition of HELL DRIVERS available on R2 DVD. 

 

 

Got it. The PAL whur-up spoils it. The film merits a hi-def transfer on blu-ray. By the mid 1950s Cy Endfield had become a true auteur, and HELL DRIVERS, like I said, is one of the best films ever made in England



#13 of 95 haineshisway

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Posted October 12 2013 - 01:56 PM

I'm hopeful to have a chance to A/B the two transfers within the next month.  I'm sure the Twilight Time will look great.  The UK was, I believe, restored from the Technirama negative.  As most here know, I was not of the opinion that it had been slathered with DNR because of the really high detail in almost every shot and that includes the heavily pancaked actors.  You can still see the detail coming through that makeup, however.  And if they'd slathered all that DNR on it, then how do you account for the detail?  Can't have both, and I see no real signs of sharpening to achieve detail.  I just think a Technirama negative (like VistaVision) would yield a transfer with only imperceptible grain, as is the case with any large format thing or VistaVision, as the point was clarity and little but the finest of fine grain.  But I'm anxious to see the MGM transfer to see what it looks like and how it compares.  It, of course, not off the Technirama negative and will therefore automatically have more grain and be a completely different beast.  It's a great film and there's certainly room for two different transfers to co-exist and I'm equally sure that this will be heaven to those who think the UK transfer IS slathered with DNR.


Edited by haineshisway, October 12 2013 - 01:58 PM.


#14 of 95 Wade Sowers

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Posted October 12 2013 - 02:04 PM

I know it is an MOD, but anyone who has not seen Endfield's THE UNDERWORLD STORY (1950) should pick one up from the WA.  Thanks to Twilight Time for letting us know a bit about their ZULU - I did not know the score was originally in mono, now I can relax.  



#15 of 95 FoxyMulder

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Posted October 12 2013 - 02:48 PM

I'm hopeful to have a chance to A/B the two transfers within the next month.  I'm sure the Twilight Time will look great.  The UK was, I believe, restored from the Technirama negative.  As most here know, I was not of the opinion that it had been slathered with DNR because of the really high detail in almost every shot and that includes the heavily pancaked actors.  You can still see the detail coming through that makeup, however.  And if they'd slathered all that DNR on it, then how do you account for the detail?  Can't have both, and I see no real signs of sharpening to achieve detail.  I just think a Technirama negative (like VistaVision) would yield a transfer with only imperceptible grain, as is the case with any large format thing or VistaVision, as the point was clarity and little but the finest of fine grain.  But I'm anxious to see the MGM transfer to see what it looks like and how it compares.  It, of course, not off the Technirama negative and will therefore automatically have more grain and be a completely different beast.  It's a great film and there's certainly room for two different transfers to co-exist and I'm equally sure that this will be heaven to those who think the UK transfer IS slathered with DNR.

 

The UK release does not have "really high detail" it does have edge enhancement in various scenes, i took a screencap and presented this to you and you still couldn't see it so excuse me if i do not trust your opinion on any of this, it is so unfortunate that reviewers these days do not seem to be able to spot obvious edge enhancement and it happens a lot.


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#16 of 95 cineMANIAC

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Posted October 12 2013 - 02:49 PM

Guaranteed sale here. And I've never even seen the film. 

 

BTW, Thanks again for Body Double! 



#17 of 95 Robert Crawford

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Posted October 12 2013 - 02:57 PM

The UK release does not have "really high detail" it does have edge enhancement in various scenes, i took a screencap and presented this to you and you still couldn't see it so excuse me if i do not trust your opinion on any of this, it is so unfortunate that reviewers these days do not seem to be able to spot obvious edge enhancement and it happens a lot.

I understand you two don't like each other, but I would appreciate it if you don't use this forum to fling your arrows back and forth.


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#18 of 95 Robert Crawford

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Posted October 12 2013 - 03:00 PM

In response to some readers interest in, and questions about, TT's upcoming release of ZULU, I just wanted to offer some small details about it -- we don't know much about the overall specs at this point, but the following is what we do know.

 

It is certainly not the UK transfer. It couldn't be as that one belongs to a different studio -- Paramount, who own the film in most of the world's territories. In the USA home video rights is controlled by MGM/UA through Studio Canal. Our transfer generated by MGM/UA (or Studio Canal) some years ago (it is possibly older than the UK transfer) still has evidence of some minor wear and tear -- little flecks of dirt and debris here and there -- what Mr Harris has taught me is known as "minus density." There is not enough of it to spoil anyone's enjoyment of the film, but what it does of course mean is that there has been little in the way of digital clean-up, and that things like DNR are apparently not in evidence.

 

As we know, whether a transfer is "good" or "bad" is often in the eye of the beholder, and to my somewhat biased bifocals, the transfer here has a very natural look to it. Color and detail is strong, picture is generally stable (with a moment or two of lateral jitter), but to me this is the movie I have always known and loved. To borrow a quote from our pal Haineshisway "it is the way I remember it in cinemas." And I have this seen this movie theatrically projected more than 40 times.

 

Audio is mono, but we also have a 2.0 "stereo" track that we are planning to use as well to give viewers the choice. My preference is always for the clean mono. The thing to remember about ZULU is that the marvelous score by John Barry was recorded in mono, so any stereo field the film might have is confined to the slightly directionalized dialogue, and the effects.

 

Extras will be necessarily sparse -- we do have the John Barry score in crisp, clear mono as an isolated track, and we have a new commentary featuring the witty, acerbic, and insightful screenwriter Lem Dobbs, and myself, babbling like idiots about why the film is important.

 

This is a case where I don't care one whit about whether we sell 50 copies, 20 copies, 10 copies or no copies. This a film that we love almost (The Wild Bunch excepted) above all other, and when MGM/UA offered it to us we were over the moon. We're releasing it on Jan 22nd, the 50th anniversary of the film's premiere in London, and the 135th anniversary of the battle at Rorke's Drift. And we couldn't be more proud.

 

We invite any of you who cares to join us in the celebration.

 

All best,

 

Nick.

Thank you Mr. Redman for some clarification about this release.


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#19 of 95 Persianimmortal

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Posted October 12 2013 - 03:23 PM

This is a case where I don't care one whit about whether we sell 50 copies, 20 copies, 10 copies or no copies. This a film that we love almost (The Wild Bunch excepted) above all other, and when MGM/UA offered it to us we were over the moon.
 
This is the part I really like, and says a lot about Twilight Time. They're releasing a movie that's already been released simply because, commercial concerns aside, they love it. It's a rare thing to see in today's world, and I for one applaud it.

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#20 of 95 JoHud

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Posted October 12 2013 - 04:42 PM

Very good news on the different transfer.  MGM transfers are generally a crap-shoot, but the description here gives the idea of a good film-like presentation akin to the better MGM digital efforts.  I'm not expecting perfection, but expecting at least an improvement over the 2008 effort.

 

As far as DNR on the UK blu-ray, I found it to be more of a borderline case.  It wasn't near as bad as Patton was, but there were instances of overuse and other overly intrusive uses of digital tinkering.  At any rate I'll be buying the Twilight Time blu-ray and holding onto the UK blu-ray for the making-of documentary and commentary.







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