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Euro Blu-ray Review: THE QUATERMASS XPERIMENT


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#1 of 9 OFFLINE   Dick

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Posted May 16 2014 - 05:28 AM

This review is made possible with the help of www.DaaVeeDee.com

Notes on my reviews: I do not offer plot summaries in most cases, as these can be found on a million other sites, but rather focus instead on what people want to know: the image and sound presentation, default playback settings, subtitles, audio choices, etc. My equipment: Panasonic TC-P55UT50 Plasma monitor (3-D capable); Panasonic DMP-BDT220 3-D Blu-ray player; LG BD-360 all-region Blu-ray player; Denon AVE-E200 5.1 Surround receiver. All aspect ratios are physically measured on the Panasonic screen, which has been set to eliminate overscan.


THE QUATERMASS XPERIMENT (1955) COMBO (BLU-RAY/DVD)


LABEL: Shock
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Australia
REGION: B, Locked
ASPECT RATIO: 1.37:1
C/BW: BLACK AND WHITE
SOUND: 2.0 Mono.
    BONUS MATERIAL: Full-length SD films, X-THE UNKNOWN and QUATERMASS II.
CHAPTERS: 9

This was the beginning of the British Quatermass film series, followed by a very popular t.v. series. It is arguably the best of the three films (QUATERMASS AND THE PIT a.k.a. FIVE MILLION MILES TO EARTH is also available on a U.K. Blu-ray; QUATERMASS II is a bonus on this release; THE QUATERMASS CONCLUSION starring John Mills was intended as a fourth theatrical release, but never made it to our screens. It is available from Amazon UK). THE QUATERMASS XPERIMENT, titled THE CREEPING UNKNOWN for U.S. theatrical release, has that really solid, creepy Hammer Films atmosphere we know and love, right down to the James Bernard score.

Why this hasn’t received a domestic release is beyond me. And why Shock has opted to include the second film, QUATERMASS II (to say nothing of the similar feature X-THE UNKNOWN), only in upconverted 720-to-1080i, is a mystery. The main feature is 1080i, but looks good to my eyes. The DVD contains only XPERIMENT, and no other features.

The two SD films are really a bonus. QUATERMASS II has slightly better PQ than X-THE UNKNOWN, but both are plagued with aliasing and edge enhancement. Neither of these films has any chapter stops – they run as one long chapter. You have to scan your way through them.

The main movie looks terrific on Blu. The contrast and shadow detail are just right, and the grain structure is visible and pleasing. Sound is occasionally shrill but usually sounds pretty much like most other older 2.0 tracks. I would not hesitate to recommend this it.


This review was made possible with the help of www.DaaVeeDee.com
 


  • FoxyMulder likes this

#2 of 9 OFFLINE   John Hodson

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Posted May 16 2014 - 07:26 AM

'Euro'? And Brian Donlevy isn't in X The Unknown.


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#3 of 9 OFFLINE   Jari K

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Posted May 16 2014 - 07:54 AM

"And, of course, because these are region 4 titles, there is PAL speedup involved."

These "bonus films" should be encoded in 1080i/50hz. Are they SD upscales like people say?

#4 of 9 OFFLINE   Dick

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Posted May 16 2014 - 11:35 AM

'Euro'? And Brian Donlevy isn't in X The Unknown.

You're right, of course. This is the only non-European title of the ten I posted, and I did not change the header. You are also right about Brian Donlevy. The scientist is played by Dean Jagger, Corrected.



#5 of 9 OFFLINE   Dick

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Posted May 16 2014 - 11:48 AM

"And, of course, because these are region 4 titles, there is PAL speedup involved."

These "bonus films" should be encoded in 1080i/50hz. Are they SD upscales like people say?

Thanks for pointing this out. The bonus films are 1080i, but upconverted from 720, and so do not have the resolution of the main feature. And you are right, PAL speedup is therefore not an issue. Corrected.



#6 of 9 OFFLINE   FoxyMulder

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Posted May 16 2014 - 11:54 AM

I like Quatermass II better, i do like both though and of course Pit.


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#7 of 9 OFFLINE   bluelaughaminute

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Posted May 16 2014 - 01:12 PM

I have the disc - I think the original source of the bonus films was not 720 - it was standard def . The existing dvd's of both look better as if they are from superior sources



#8 of 9 OFFLINE   Dick

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Posted May 16 2014 - 05:10 PM

I have the disc - I think the original source of the bonus films was not 720 - it was standard def . The existing dvd's of both look better as if they are from superior sources

You might well be right. I have kept the DVD's and I, too, think they look better than the up-converts on this release. I hope we get a decent Blu-ray of both movies soon.



#9 of 9 OFFLINE   Jari K

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Posted May 17 2014 - 02:16 AM

"And you are right, PAL speedup is therefore not an issue."

Sorry to confuse things, but since the film is in 1080i/50Hz (and not 60Hz), there's actually some "speed-up". The running time should be the same as in PAL DVD release (well, at least close - not sure about additional logos etc).

This is another reason why movies shot on film should always be in 1080p/24fps.




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