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A few words about...™ The Elephant Man (UK Release) -- in Blu-ray

Blu-ray Paramount A Few Words About

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#1 of 20 Robert Harris

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Posted December 15 2013 - 02:25 PM

Having sampled Studio/Canal's UK (open region) Blu-ray of David Lynch's The Elephant Man, I've come away blown away by the overall look and textures.

 

This is a perfect Blu-ray.

 

Rich, deep blacks that take on the look of charcoal.  Full gray scale, perfect grain structure.  It's all there.

 

Audio is DTS-HD MA 5.1

 

Great film.  Magnificent Blu-ray.

 

The Lawrence connection?

 

Image - 5*

 

Audio - 5

 

Very Highly Recommended.

 

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 20 Mark-P

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Posted December 15 2013 - 03:40 PM

Hadn't realized this was out on Blu-ray. Do you have any idea if the earlier Optimum Blu-ray release from 2009 is identical? The Optimum disc is region A/B (no C) and is about £6 cheaper than the new Studio Canal release. I put both of them on my watch list, and if either one drops below £8, I'll buy it. 



#3 of 20 Charles Smith

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Posted December 15 2013 - 04:32 PM

Found it.  And a nice one it is.  But I looked for it, didn't already know it.  As penance, I will order the Blu-ray post-haste.



#4 of 20 lark144

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Posted December 15 2013 - 06:22 PM


 


The Lawrence connection?

 

Editor Anne V. Coates

 

I too have been spending time & money exploring Region free titles at Amazon.uk, and I also found the visual quality of this disc magnificent. Although I saw THE ELEPHANT MAN  at the Coronet in NYC when it opened, I don't really remember that much about the film. Though I loved Freddie Francis' cinematography, that manages to combine the phantasmagorical chiaroscuro of Piranesi etchings with the visionary clarity of Rembrandt, I think I was underwhelmed by the film itself, finding it a bit cold and withdrawn. Clearly I was a different person then. This time I cried all the way through. And yes, although it's a ridiculous thing to say, this could very well be one of the greats. Certainly this disc makes the best possible argument for the importance and simple emotional beauty of Mr. Lynch's film (and I haven't forgotten the contributions of ex. producer Mel Brooks and all the amazing artists of every scope who worked on this film and turned the very act of watching into such an emotional and life-changing experience, at least for this viewer.)  What I especially liked this time through is how as the film develops one begins to treat the world of the physically deformed as normal, and the "normal" Londoners as deformed, most particularly in the way they treat other human beings..



#5 of 20 Matt Hough

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Posted December 15 2013 - 07:09 PM

I remember watching Anthony Hopkins summon up tears seeing what the Elephant Man looked like for the first time, and I was SO moved. I have never forgotten that moment. It's seared into my memory.


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#6 of 20 JoshZ

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Posted December 16 2013 - 10:28 AM

Hadn't realized this was out on Blu-ray. Do you have any idea if the earlier Optimum Blu-ray release from 2009 is identical? The Optimum disc is region A/B (no C) and is about £6 cheaper than the new Studio Canal release. I put both of them on my watch list, and if either one drops below £8, I'll buy it. 

 

Optmum was Studio Canal's distributor in the UK. The first Blu-ray release was branded as part of the "Studio Canal Collection." Studio Canal would issue literally the same disc in numerous countries through multiple distributors. Your choice of language on the main menu would determine which studio logos play before the feature.

 

I'm sure that the new copy is the exact same disc in new packaging.

 

I have the UK digibook from 2009. It's a lovely transfer overall, but I have a couple issues with it. A shot at the 14-minute mark with the first appearance of Merrick is far too bright. In previous video copies (VHS, Laserdisc and DVD), he was obsuced in shadow there, and you didn't get a good look at him until the big reveal in the hospital. That clearly seemed to be intentional, and is backed up by comments the director made in Chris Rodley's "Lynch on Lynch" book. In the newly-brightened shot you can see seams in the makeup prosthetics that were obviously not meant to be visible.

 

The disc also has a hanful of shots (notably around the 15- and 25-minute marks) that look very dull and fuzzy, like really bad dupes (but they don't appear to be opticals).

 

That said, these are nit-picks. It's otherwise a very nice-looking disc.


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#7 of 20 JoshZ

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Posted December 16 2013 - 10:45 AM

Oh, and like all releases from the "Studio Canal Collection," the disc is authored wth deafening music over the main menu that's (no exageration) about 20 dB louder than the feature.

 

I was always perplexed at how much Roger Ebert hated this film.


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#8 of 20 Vincent_P

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Posted December 18 2013 - 04:05 PM

Wasn't THE ELEPHANT MAN one of the Studio Canal titles that was plagued with the audio being at the incorrect pitch?

 

Vincent



#9 of 20 Felix Martinez

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Posted December 18 2013 - 05:39 PM

I don't believe so, Vincent. I remember researching that quite a bit before I pulled the trigger on it. JoshZ can confirm. I think this is a VERY good blu-ray and have enjoyed it for years. Perhaps now with WB releasing Paramount product there might be a formidable domestic release.

#10 of 20 Oblivion138

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Posted December 18 2013 - 06:12 PM

I've had the StudioCanal Collection BD for a few years now.  It is indeed a beautiful presentation, aside from one very fleeting (single-frame, I believe) video glitch.  You have to have "fast" eyes to even notice it, I would reckon.  But overall, yes, just a wonderful transfer of a wonderful film.

 

Lynch is so underrepresented on BD here in the US...thank God for Region-free European imports!



#11 of 20 JoshZ

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Posted December 18 2013 - 07:31 PM

Wasn't THE ELEPHANT MAN one of the Studio Canal titles that was plagued with the audio being at the incorrect pitch?

 

Vincent

 

The HD DVD edition had the pitch problem, but the audio was fixed on the later Blu-ray. Same video.

 

One advantage the HD DVD had was being region-free (for that format). The Blu-ray is locked to Region B.


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#12 of 20 bigshot

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Posted December 18 2013 - 07:31 PM

It appears that the upcoming version is Region B locked, so I'm assuming you are talking about the earlier Region A version. Just ordered it.



#13 of 20 JoshZ

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Posted December 18 2013 - 07:34 PM

It appears that the upcoming version is Region B locked, so I'm assuming you are talking about the earlier Region A version. Just ordered it.

 

There is no Region A version. The movie has only been released on Blu-ray in Europe and is locked to Region B. The disc RAH reviewed here is a repackaging of the 2009 release.


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#14 of 20 Mark-P

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Posted December 18 2013 - 07:50 PM

There is no Region A version. The movie has only been released on Blu-ray in Europe and is locked to Region B. The disc RAH reviewed here is a repackaging of the 2009 release.

According to reliable sources the 2009 Optimum Blu-ray is Region A/B locked, so only region C is left out in the cold.



#15 of 20 Oblivion138

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Posted December 19 2013 - 02:33 AM

I have the UK Optimum/SC release, and it works on my Region A player...good enough for me.  :)



#16 of 20 Jari K

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Posted December 19 2013 - 05:43 AM

I believe the extras in the UK BD are in SD. Are they in PAL?

#17 of 20 JoshZ

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Posted December 19 2013 - 07:47 AM

I have the UK Optimum/SC release, and it works on my Region A player...good enough for me.  :)

 

You guys are right, it's A/B. I was confusing it with the UK release of Eraserhead, which is B locked. Sorry about the confusion.


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#18 of 20 JoshZ

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Posted December 19 2013 - 07:48 AM

I believe the extras in the UK BD are in SD. Are they in PAL?

 

As I recall, they're NTSC, but I would have to check again to say with certainty.


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#19 of 20 Peter Neski

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Posted December 19 2013 - 11:08 AM

I haven't seen these BR's ,But I always thought the Image even in the Theatre was a little too grainy   ,So I guess that's the way It should look



#20 of 20 Oblivion138

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Posted December 19 2013 - 11:23 PM

I remember when I first got the BD, watching the scene where Tony Hopkins is walking down the street early on in the film, and the dog goes by...even though he was a rather small figure in the frame, I could see Hopkins smile and nod slightly to a passerby.  From that moment on, I was quite in love with this particular transfer.

 

Here's a screenshot from the scene in question:  http://caps-a-holic....less=#vergleich







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