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A few words about...™ In the Heat of the Night -- in Blu-ray

A Few Words About Blu-ray MGM Fox

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#1 of 17 Robert Harris

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Posted January 15 2014 - 06:09 PM

I really like imparting good news.

 

The new Blu-ray of Norman Jewison's 1967 Best Picture, In the Heat of the Night is okay news.

 

Let's begin with the very good.  Color looks superb, with decent but not great shadow detail -- some will say it's an old film -- and nice blacks.

 

The image, overall, is a bit twitchy.  Nothing untoward, but a bit twitchy.

 

Image has more than a bit of an electronic look.  I don't know if the film was taken from separation masters or not, but it has that look around hard edges.

 

Audio is generally superb in a DTS-HD MA 5.1 mix, that add just enough ambiance to the sound to make to come alive.  The original monaural mix is not included.

 

The bottom line is that if one sits at a proper distance, the Blu-ray will look very pleasing.  Or as John Wayne might have said, "That'll do."

 

One of the great films, and essential for any serious home  theater library.  Mr. Poitier is incredible, and watching him play against Mr. Steiger is an absolute treat.

 

Image - 3

 

Audio - 5

 

RAH


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"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 17 Dr Griffin

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Posted January 15 2014 - 06:14 PM

Steiger is fantastic! Robert, do you think anything could have been done to improve the image?



#3 of 17 Yorkshire

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Posted January 16 2014 - 01:00 AM

Thanks for the typically honest and balanced review.

 

Any comment on what a 'proper distance' would be?

 

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#4 of 17 Michel_Hafner

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Posted January 16 2014 - 03:26 AM

One where you can resolve about 480p of detail? :lol:



#5 of 17 Brian Dobbs

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Posted January 16 2014 - 05:35 AM

What's your take on the horizontal stretching (compared with the DVD)?

 

DVD

old%201625.jpg

 

Blu-Ray960__in_the_heat_of_the_night_03_blu-ray



#6 of 17 Robert Harris

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Posted January 16 2014 - 06:10 AM

What's your take on the horizontal stretching (compared with the DVD)?
 
DVD
old%201625.jpg
 
Blu-Ray960__in_the_heat_of_the_night_03_blu-ray


My take is that something could be amiss. Most noticeable when the subject is slightly angled. Not sure what's occurring, but it goes along nicely with the slightly electronic look, in a odd way taking me back to the wonderful nostalgia of the kinescope era.

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


#7 of 17 Robert Harris

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Posted January 16 2014 - 06:20 PM

I received a PM that a definition for the word "twitchy" has been questioned over at BD.com.

 

By "twitchy," I refer to the fact that all new image harvests are rock steady.  Whether via pin-registration or stabilization.

 

ItHotN is not a stable image.  Watching virtually any sequence, one can see the field move horizontally in tiny jolts, as if the scanner is having a problem with its gate or movement, and is unable to hold the film element steady.

 

Have no idea what the problem was.

 

As I noted, extraordinary film.  Okay Blu-ray.

 

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


#8 of 17 Rob Mac

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Posted January 16 2014 - 07:20 PM

I didn't really notice it in my first glance at the blu-ray, but the 40th anniversary SD DVD has the "twitch"


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#9 of 17 trajan

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Posted January 16 2014 - 09:33 PM

This is a great looking bluray. Buy it!



#10 of 17 Eastmancolor

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Posted January 16 2014 - 09:53 PM

As I recall there were color issues with the original negative and so the Academy, with MGM, pulled the separation masters and made a new negative.  At least that's how I remember the story about a decade back.

 

Which might indicate why there could be some movement printed in, as this may source from an HD transfer with a little bit of age on it, made from a dupe negative.



#11 of 17 Robert Harris

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Posted January 17 2014 - 04:42 AM

As I recall there were color issues with the original negative and so the Academy, with MGM, pulled the separation masters and made a new negative. At least that's how I remember the story about a decade back.

Which might indicate why there could be some movement printed in, as this may source from an HD transfer with a little bit of age on it, made from a dupe negative.

Your recall makes sense, as I'm seeing a sep look.

The extant dupe neg may be fine as a base source. A new scan and a bit of digital hand-holding might go a long way.

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


#12 of 17 Matt Hough

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Posted January 17 2014 - 05:08 AM

I watched my DVD of this film last night. This was the very first DVD release, and even in it, I could see scenes which I might have labeled "electronic" or "digital" looking and a wide variance in color density. But black levels were pretty impressive for this ancient DVD, and even with the nicks and blips on the transfer, the movie had no trouble drawing me in.



#13 of 17 Richard Gallagher

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Posted January 17 2014 - 02:50 PM

I'm still waiting for my Blu-ray. Fox Connect e-mailed me that they were shipping it via UPS, but they sent me a USPS tracking number. The tracking shows that it's been in Kearny, NJ since January 11:

 

January 17, 2014 , 4:31 pm

Processed through USPS Sort Facility

KEARNY, NJ 07032 

January 12, 2014

Depart USPS Sort Facility

KEARNY, NJ 07032 

January 11, 2014 , 10:48 am

Processed through USPS Sort Facility

KEARNY, NJ 07032 

 

I hope it hasn't been run over by a mail truck!


Rich Gallagher

#14 of 17 Robin9

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Posted January 18 2014 - 04:08 AM

I watched my DVD of this film last night. This was the very first DVD release, and even in it, I could see scenes which I might have labeled "electronic" or "digital" looking and a wide variance in color density. But black levels were pretty impressive for this ancient DVD, and even with the nicks and blips on the transfer, the movie had no trouble drawing me in.

 

I watched my DVD a few weeks ago and I thought it looked good. I'm not sure from reading this thread that it's worth upgrading to the BRD.



#15 of 17 willyTass

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Posted January 18 2014 - 03:30 PM

it isn't



#16 of 17 Robert Crawford

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Posted January 18 2014 - 03:31 PM

it isn't

To me, it was.


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#17 of 17 JoHud

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Posted January 23 2014 - 12:37 AM

This certainly did look like it was sourced from a dupe that was artificially sharpened up in places, giving it an "electronic" look in spots.  While this movie probably wasn't shot on the best stock, I'm sure a much better HD transfer could have resulted had a company like Sony handled it.

 

My guess is that this blu-ray used the same source transfer that was used for the remastered 40th anniversary DVD.  Reminded me of similarly mediocre transfers we got from MGM before they declared bankruptcy.

 

I agree that the blu-ray is a mixed blessing.  Some scenes look very good, while others not so much.  Definitely room for improvement here.







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