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Someone at Fox - please evaluate

Blu-ray Fox

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#1 of 220 OFFLINE   Chuck Pennington

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Posted June 14 2014 - 01:52 AM

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I have been working on HD video comparisons of transfers from Fox to best illustrate the problem with many of their vintage film releases on Blu-ray for a disc I am compiling to send to Cineric (the company behind the film restorations of THE KING AND I and CAROUSEL in 2006 and featured in the restoration featurettes) and Martin Scorsese (his name is used on the back of the packaging for the WILD RIVER Blu-ray as being a film which he selected for restoration). I think both entities would like to see how they are being misrepresented on Blu-ray.

I am fortunate to have access to some prior HD transfers of many of the affected titles to use in these comparisons. I am not using old DVD releases for these comparisons.

I am not suggesting that they should've used these older transfers for Blu-ray release, as I'm sure they could be even better with the most recent technology. Still, I'm concerned that these faulty new transfers are going to be the ones on the DCPs that are sent out to revival theaters to show these films for the foreseeable future, and that would be a very sad thing.

THE KING AND I
https://www.dropbox....Icomparison.mp4

RIVER OF NO RETURN
https://www.dropbox....TURNcompare.mp4

WILD RIVER
https://www.dropbox....IVERcompare.mp4

DESK SET
https://www.dropbox....KSETcompare.mp4

THE INN OF THE SIXTH HAPPINESS
https://www.dropbox....NESScompare.mp4

CAROUSEL
https://www.dropbox....Lcomparison.mp4
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#2 of 220 OFFLINE   Billy Batson

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Posted June 14 2014 - 02:08 AM

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Thanks Chuck, that was interesting, & shocking! The King & I is particularly damning. It seems Fox likes their classics looking cold & clogged up.


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#3 of 220 OFFLINE   Chuck Pennington

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Posted June 14 2014 - 02:18 AM

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I honestly don't think it is intentional, but rather somewhere in the chain there is something going wrong - conversion from one color space to another, down conversion - SOMETHING. I am surprised there are people who still praise the official releases of these films on Blu-ray no matter what.
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#4 of 220 OFFLINE   WilliamMcK

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Posted June 14 2014 - 04:16 AM

Excellent work Chuck.  Hopefully this will wake Fox up .. If nothing else I'd at least like to hear an explanation about the heavy blue "wash," the overall darkness, and the brownish skin tones!  I'm surprised there has been no official word given the complaints (many of the reviews of the R&H set on Amazon mention the problem/s).



#5 of 220 OFFLINE   Michael1

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Posted June 14 2014 - 06:11 AM

Excellent work, Chuck. The quick cutting between the old HD masters and the new Blu-Ray content makes the color problems in the latter all the more obvious. Comparing the two versions in this way, I don't understand how anyone can fail to see this. And as I've said here before, even if you ONLY compared the flesh tones of the two versions, it's clear that something went wrong with the Blu-Ray transfers. 


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#6 of 220 OFFLINE   KPmusmag

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Posted June 14 2014 - 06:22 AM

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Thank you for going to the trouble to illustrate the issues. I hope we hear something from Fox at some point soon. The R&H set, especially, is an expensive prestige item that should be flawless. I agree that it isn't intentional, and they really need to figure out what's going wrong in the supply chain, but first they need to acknowledge that there is a problem!


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#7 of 220 OFFLINE   Ken Koc

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Posted June 14 2014 - 06:41 AM

Thank you for going to the trouble to illustrate the issues. I hope we hear something from Fox at some point soon. The R&H set, especially, is an expensive prestige item that should be flawless. I agree that it isn't intentional, and they really need to figure out what's going wrong in the supply chain, but first they need to acknowledge that there is a problem!

Fox...please acknowledge.     Out of my 1000+ Blu Rays I have only 1 disc with bad sound...OKLAHOMA! ( Todd-Ao)


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#8 of 220 OFFLINE   Chuck Pennington

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Posted June 14 2014 - 06:45 AM

I wouldn't say OKLAHOMA TODD-AO has bad sound, but it pales greatly with the Laserdisc in definition. Why they didn't include an "unrestored" version of the mix I don't know, as there is more than enough room.

Still, I was wanting to keep this thread focused on the picture part of things for many vintage Fox films. Neither version of OKLAHOMA suffers from these specific picture issues, thank goodness.
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#9 of 220 ONLINE   Robert Crawford

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Posted June 14 2014 - 06:59 AM

How do we know the prior HD transfers are correct?


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#10 of 220 OFFLINE   Chuck Pennington

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Posted June 14 2014 - 07:02 AM

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We have eyes. Look, Robert, just look. I know HTF has a friendship going with Fox and all that, but the truth is the truth. Shouldn't we acknowledge when the emperor has no clothes?
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#11 of 220 ONLINE   Robert Crawford

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Posted June 14 2014 - 07:04 AM

We have eyes. Look, Robert, just look. I know HTF has a friendship going with Fox and all that, but the truth is the truth. Shouldn't we acknowledge when the emperor has no clothes?

I don't appreciate you questioning my integrity!  I don't have any friends at Fox.  Again, how do we know the prior HD transfers are accurate?


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#12 of 220 OFFLINE   barry caughtry

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Posted June 14 2014 - 07:09 AM

Thanks so much Chuck for all of the time and effort that you have put in to this. Can't believe the difference between the original HD masters and these new Blu Ray transfers, and all i can say is that I am pleased I didn't spend my hard earned cash on the R&H box set. 



#13 of 220 OFFLINE   Cassy_w

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Posted June 14 2014 - 07:19 AM

How do we know the prior HD transfers are correct?

This is pretty obvious. All of these newer FOX transfers suffer from the same anomalies. It's as if the color space has been clipped. These transfers are just wrong.

 

Unfortunately the messengers are frequently attacked in forums like this and elsewhere and that is a shame. 

 

To the original poster, thank you for doing this. I have been so unhappy with these recent Blu-Ray transfers and didn't know how to express what i was seeing or how to go about showing it. You really have made it easy for the regular Jane Doe (like me) to understand.


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Death to PG-13! And now death to DVNR too!!

#14 of 220 OFFLINE   Chuck Pennington

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Posted June 14 2014 - 07:20 AM

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Robert, when viewing the examples, how can you possibly think that the Blu-rays look in any way correct? Is Marilyn supposed to have purplish flesh tones like at the end of the RIVER OF NO RETURN comparison? The previous HD transfers were used for the DVDs and most - if not all - contained restoration comparisons that mentioned how the transfers were made and from what elements.

Why jump to defend Fox all the time when we all have to suffer for it? Screen captures were debated, so I found this way to compare transfers.
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#15 of 220 OFFLINE   Billy Batson

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Posted June 14 2014 - 07:23 AM

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I don't appreciate you questioning my integrity!  I don't have any friends at Fox.  Again, how do we know the prior HD transfers are accurate?

 

Oh I dunno Robert, what is "accurate"? If you got 100 colourists to colour-correct a scene, you'd have a hundred different versions, very close, but different, there is leeway. But I think using your taste & experience, you know when something is very wrong. Looking at The King & I, you might think the older version is a tiny bit too warm/colourful, but it works for a fifties exotic musical. I can't think how anyone could look at the new version & think it looks anything but awful.


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#16 of 220 ONLINE   Robert Crawford

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Posted June 14 2014 - 07:23 AM

Robert, when viewing the examples, how can you possibly think that the Blu-rays look in any way correct? Is Marilyn supposed to have purplish flesh tones like at the end of the RIVER OF NO RETURN comparison? The previous HD transfers were used for the DVDs and most - if not all - contained restoration comparisons that mentioned how the transfers were made and from what elements.

Why jump to defend Fox all the time when we all have to suffer for it? Screen captures were debated, so I found this way to compare transfers.

How did I defend Fox, when I asked a simple question?  Yet, you decided to attack me personally which I won't allow nor will I allow anybody to attack you personally.


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#17 of 220 ONLINE   Robert Crawford

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Posted June 14 2014 - 07:33 AM

Oh I dunno Robert, what is "accurate"? If you got 100 colourists to colour-correct a scene, you'd have a hundred different versions, very close, but different, there is leeway. But I think using your taste & experience, you know when something is very wrong. Looking at The King & I, you might think the older version is a tiny bit too warm/colourful, but it works for a fifties exotic musical. I can't think how anyone could look at the new version & think it looks anything but awful.

That's fair!  As to The King and I, personally, I don't think it's awful, but I'm not going back and forth comparing prior video releases to this BD either.  Also, RAH's silence on that BD speaks volumes to me that perhaps there is a problem with it.  As to some of the other BDs noted in this thread, it's what caused me to ask the question about the accuracy of the prior HD transfers as I'm not so sure what's accurate or not.


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#18 of 220 OFFLINE   haineshisway

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Posted June 14 2014 - 07:39 AM

How do we know the prior HD transfers are correct?

I'll take the bait, as everyone knew I would.  With the exception of The King and I, all of the Blu-ray transfers have better color, in my OPINION.  Sorry, the HD masters are all lighter, yes, but none of them look correct to me.  Mr. Harris has said this repeatedly - the dangers of making with the assumptions that previous home video releases are correct.  It's never good to assume those things.  Desk Set is the best example in this group of comparisons - everyone thinks the new master is too blue - it isn't - it renders perfect skin tones and replicates perfectly Leon Shamroy's always bold lighting.  As someone pointed out at the time, the sets were reused for Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (I think that's the right movie) where they retain exactly the same color.  

 

So, even though I'm not really friends with anyone in the video end of things at Fox, I'll just say keep up the good work Fox.  Someday people will figure this out and realize about the way color worked in films of that era, although there are plenty of wonderful examples from other studios - and let me just say, that you could just as easily play that game with other studios' older HD masters and newer masters.  So what?  Is the older White Christmas transfer accurate just because it predates the newer one?  No.  Does the newer one have plenty of blue as it always should have?  You bet.  Westworld, anyone?  :)


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#19 of 220 OFFLINE   haineshisway

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Posted June 14 2014 - 07:42 AM

Oh I dunno Robert, what is "accurate"? If you got 100 colourists to colour-correct a scene, you'd have a hundred different versions, very close, but different, there is leeway. But I think using your taste & experience, you know when something is very wrong. Looking at The King & I, you might think the older version is a tiny bit too warm/colourful, but it works for a fifties exotic musical. I can't think how anyone could look at the new version & think it looks anything but awful.

I use my taste and experience and in The King and I it is clear that neither transfer is correct and that especially goes for the one you think is a "tiny" bit too warm - colorful has nothing to do with warm - it's as wrong as the new transfer.  Everyone in this thread should go watch the new Criterion All That Heaven Allows and tell me what they think.  Let's have a comparison with the older Criterion DVD transfer.  Tell me what you think.  Look at the lighting when you're formulating an opinion.



#20 of 220 OFFLINE   Mark Booth

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Posted June 14 2014 - 07:47 AM

Sorry to buck the trend, but I have no quibbles with 'River of No Return' and 'Carousel'.  In fact, I quite prefer the richer contrast that the Blu-rays are blessed with.  It may not be "accurate", but my photographer's eye likes the look.

 

But there can be no denying, 'The King and I' Blu-ray is horrendously bad.  You don't even need a comparison to realize just how screwed up the color is on the Blu-ray.  It's unfathomable to me how ANYONE could look at the image on that disc and NOT see the extremely blue/teal color timing.  That disc should have never left the factory.  And the fact that Fox hasn't spoken up about the abomination that is 'The King and I' Blu-ray is quite disappointing.  If this forum has a special relationship with Fox, I'd sure like to see that "special relationship" used to get Fox off its collective butt!

 

Those are the three titles I own, I won't comment about the rest.

 

Mark


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