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A few words about...™ The Black Swan -- in Blu-ray

A Few Words About Fox Blu-ray

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#1 of 21 OFFLINE   Robert Harris

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Posted November 29 2013 - 12:28 PM

No reason to go over the history of the Fox nitrates again.  Suffice to say, for the initiated, that we have what we have, and there is little else that anyone in the Fox archival team can do to make matters better.

 

Henry King's The Black Swan, starring Tyrone Power and Maureen O'Hara, as photographed by the great Leon Shamroy, is but a shadow of itself.

 

Color?  Yes.  Accurate color and densities?  No.

 

Viewable?  Absolutely.

 

Just don't expect anything proper.

 

Skin tones are off, contrast blooms, shadow detail isn't.

 

But The Black Swan, which won the Academy Award for Best Color Cinematography, is still a hugely entertaining pirate romp.  The score by Alfred Newman doesn't hurt either.

 

The story is from the pen of Rafael Sabatini, who was also responsible for Scaramouche, The Sea Hawk, and Captain Blood.

 

Worth the $16 from Fox Connect?

 

Absolutely.

 

Image - 2

 

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 21 ONLINE   Dick

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Posted November 29 2013 - 12:45 PM

Hmmm. Will have to check my DVD again, as I seem to recall I was quite pleased with the color and whatnot. Oh, well, less than $10.00 for it and all the other Dec. 3 releases if purchased as a bunch on Fox Connect.



#3 of 21 OFFLINE   EddieLarkin

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Posted November 29 2013 - 02:32 PM

Was the DVD any more accurate? Caps at DVDBeaver suggest the colour, especially in skin tones, was quite a bit different.



#4 of 21 OFFLINE   Lromero1396

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Posted November 29 2013 - 03:02 PM

I guess we get what we get. It's too bad Fox doesn't appear to be utilizing the studio nitrate prints at UCLA for the image harvests. Color would be perfect in that case.



#5 of 21 OFFLINE   Robert Harris

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Posted November 29 2013 - 04:11 PM

I guess we get what we get. It's too bad Fox doesn't appear to be utilizing the studio nitrate prints at UCLA for the image harvests. Color would be perfect in that case.

 

Color, but scanners are not set to harvest high contrast imagery.  They really have no where to go with this, and are doing the best possible.

 

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 21 OFFLINE   Adam Gregorich

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Posted November 29 2013 - 08:51 PM

Earlier this year Fox asked for your help to Voice Your Choice and pick the title from each decade you would most like to see released to Blu-ray. Over 42,000 people cast 80,000 votes.To thank Home Theater Forum members for their participation in the Voice Your Choice promotion, Fox has put together three bundles on Fox Connect with special pricing: 1) Buy all 8 titles on Blu-ray for just $75. 2) Buy the four first place titles for $40. 3) Buy the four second place titles for $40

 

Here are the titles by decade:

1930s: Jesse James (1st place), Call of the Wild (2nd place)1940s: Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1st place), Black Swan (2nd place)1950s: Carmen Jones (1st place), Desk Set (2nd place)1960s: North to Alaska (1st place), Undefeated (2nd place)



#7 of 21 OFFLINE   Robin9

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Posted November 30 2013 - 01:31 AM

Hmmm. Will have to check my DVD again, as I seem to recall I was quite pleased with the color and whatnot. Oh, well, less than $10.00 for it and all the other Dec. 3 releases if purchased as a bunch on Fox Connect.

 

I wasn't pleased with DVD.

 

When it was first released, I didn't know that Fox had junked their elements or that a really good disc was impossible. I was extremely disappointed. Now, thanks to Robert Harris, I understand why. I doubt very much if this new BRD will make me any happier. The film itself is no masterpiece and the main attraction would always be Shamroy's use of light and color. If that's not there . . . . . . 



#8 of 21 ONLINE   Dick

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Posted November 30 2013 - 05:36 AM

Earlier this year Fox asked for your help to Voice Your Choice and pick the title from each decade you would most like to see released to Blu-ray. Over 42,000 people cast 80,000 votes.

I would love for Fox to do really well sales-wise on these titles, encouraging them to do this again in 2014. That's a lot of people voting... if all of them actually purchased the title(s) they voted for, Fox would do better with this than with Twilight Time licensing. And there must be a fair number of purchases from collectors who didn't vote.



#9 of 21 OFFLINE   Lromero1396

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Posted November 30 2013 - 12:31 PM

Earlier this year Fox asked for your help to Voice Your Choice and pick the title from each decade you would most like to see released to Blu-ray. Over 42,000 people cast 80,000 votes.To thank Home Theater Forum members for their participation in the Voice Your Choice promotion, Fox has put together three bundles on Fox Connect with special pricing: 1) Buy all 8 titles on Blu-ray for just $75. 2) Buy the four first place titles for $40. 3) Buy the four second place titles for $40

 

Here are the titles by decade:

1930s: Jesse James (1st place), Call of the Wild (2nd place)1940s: Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1st place), Black Swan (2nd place)1950s: Carmen Jones (1st place), Desk Set (2nd place)1960s: North to Alaska (1st place), Undefeated (2nd place)

Well shoot, I already bought 3 of the first place titles and one of the second place as part of the 50% off sale several weeks ago. I guess I won't be getting the remaining 2nd place titles without having to rebuy The Black Swan.

 

Color, but scanners are not set to harvest high contrast imagery.  They really have no where to go with this, and are doing the best possible.

 

RAH

I certianly believe that they are doing their best. My question is, are we still getting better contrast from the CRIs (with their crushed blacks and all) than what we would theoretically get from an IB print?



#10 of 21 OFFLINE   Robert Harris

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Posted November 30 2013 - 12:43 PM

Well shoot, I already bought 3 of the first place titles and one of the second place as part of the 50% off sale several weeks ago. I guess I won't be getting the remaining 2nd place titles without having to rebuy The Black Swan.

 

I certianly believe that they are doing their best. My question is, are we still getting better contrast from the CRIs (with their crushed blacks and all) than what we would theoretically get from an IB print?

 

Last time I threaded a 35 dye transfer print through my Oppo, both the print and the Oppo were damaged.  Had to send the player back to California, and was warned not to do it again.

 

Or were you asking about projecting a print normally.  Dye transfer prints had a wide range to them, good contrast as well as shadow detail.  The Blu-ray has virtually no shadow detail.

 

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 21 OFFLINE   Lromero1396

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Posted November 30 2013 - 02:46 PM

Last time I threaded a 35 dye transfer print through my Oppo, both the print and the Oppo were damaged.  Had to send the player back to California, and was warned not to do it again.

 

Or were you asking about projecting a print normally.  Dye transfer prints had a wide range to them, good contrast as well as shadow detail.  The Blu-ray has virtually no shadow detail.

 

RAH

Based on your past few posts, what I've gleaned is that a 35 IB print wouldn't register as well on a scanner and in the digital realm as a CRI would, but if projected would outclass a print made from the restored digital files.



#12 of 21 OFFLINE   David Weicker

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Posted November 30 2013 - 02:50 PM

Or were you asking about projecting a print normally. Dye transfer prints had a wide range to them, good contrast as well as shadow detail. The Blu-ray has virtually no shadow detail.RAH

I think the question was (or at least my question is), of the existing elements/prints of The Black Swan, do they have better shadow detail than the Blu Ray?

#13 of 21 OFFLINE   Robert Harris

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Posted November 30 2013 - 03:52 PM

I think the question was (or at least my question is), of the existing elements/prints of The Black Swan, do they have better shadow detail than the Blu Ray?

 

No.


"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


#14 of 21 OFFLINE   Ray Faiola

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Posted December 13 2013 - 07:44 AM

We were able to produce our original soundtrack CD from the original scoring sessions.

 

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Classic Film Scores on CD

http://www.chelsearialtostudios.com


#15 of 21 OFFLINE   Reed Grele

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Posted January 02 2014 - 09:42 PM

Had a chance to watch this last night. For a disc with an image rating of only "2", I was still mightily impressed! How much more in awe would I have been were it a "5"? :)



#16 of 21 OFFLINE   Robin9

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Posted January 03 2014 - 12:16 AM

Had a chance to watch this last night. For a disc with an image rating of only "2", I was still mightily impressed! How much more in awe would I have been were it a "5"? :)

 

Did you buy the original DVD? Are you in a position to compare the two discs?



#17 of 21 OFFLINE   Keith Cobby

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Posted January 03 2014 - 12:32 AM

I had been looking forward to buying The Black Swan on blu-ray but am slightly put off by the reviews. I have got the German blu-ray of Against All Flags which has a superb image. Has anyone else bought both discs as I would be interested in how they compare.



#18 of 21 OFFLINE   Reed Grele

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Posted January 03 2014 - 12:43 AM

Did you buy the original DVD? Are you in a position to compare the two discs?

 

No DVD to compare it to. Sorry.



#19 of 21 OFFLINE   Robert Harris

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Posted January 03 2014 - 09:20 AM

I had been looking forward to buying The Black Swan on blu-ray but am slightly put off by the reviews. I have got the German blu-ray of Against All Flags which has a superb image. Has anyone else bought both discs as I would be interested in how they compare.

 

The two cannot be compared.  Apples and raisins...  AAF would have original camera negatives.

 

Black Swan looks about as good as it can.

 

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


#20 of 21 OFFLINE   Keith Cobby

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Posted January 03 2014 - 09:39 AM

Thanks for your comments Mr Harris. I am reassured and will get on and order it.







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