Jump to content



Sign up for a free account to remove the pop-up ads

Signing up for an account is fast and free. As a member you can join in the conversation, enter contests and remove the pop-up ads that guests get. Click here to create your free account.

Photo
- - - - -

A few words about...™ Chaplin's Mutual Comedies -- in Blu-ray

Blu-ray A Few Words About

  • You cannot start a new topic
  • Please log in to reply
39 replies to this topic

#1 of 40 ONLINE   Robert Harris

Robert Harris

    Archivist



  • 7,606 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 08 1999
  • Real Name:Robert Harris

Posted August 15 2014 - 02:13 PM

*
POPULAR

Any project coming from David Shepard and Serge Bromberg, Lobster Films is going to be special.

 

Flicker Alley's new multi-disc set which finally gives us all of Charles Chaplin's Mutual comedies produced from 1916-17 is probably the most important silent release of 2014.

 

All of the Mutual comedies derived from 35mm film elements, lovingly reconstructed to a form that is virtually transparent to missing footage and problems.

 

These films have been seen via poor copies for so many decades that most people probably have no idea what they should look like.

 

Now you'll know.  While not from original camera negatives, all of the surviving elements are of very high to superb quality, with very few problems.

 

This is a short "few words," as there isn't much to say.  For the true cinephile, this is one of the most important releases to hit Blu-ray.  Period.

 

It's a must have, as it allows us to understand the basis of the genius that was Charles Chaplin.

 

Proper aspect ratios.  Original grain structure.  Highly resolved images.  Quality scores.

 

Don't need much else.

 

Support film restoration and those who created this release by purchasing.  There will be no regrets.  Worth the price of admission.  Never a doubt.  Accompanied by two great documentaries.

 

Image - 3-5

 

Very Highly Recommended.

 

RAH

 

PS:  Did I mention that these 100 year-old films stand the test of time?  For those who have not experience these films, they are not creaky antiques.  I'd happily place them beside our greatest modern comedies.


  • Reed Grele, MatthewA, Brandon Conway and 4 others like this

"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 40 OFFLINE   Brandon Conway

Brandon Conway

    captveg



  • 7,305 posts
  • Join Date: Sep 30 2002
  • Real Name:Brandon Conway
  • LocationNorth Hollywood, CA

Posted August 15 2014 - 02:29 PM

My copy just arrived (along with Flicker Alley's Mack Sennett Collection, Vol. 1). Greatly looking forward to digging into both in the coming weeks.


"And now the reprimand, from an American critic. He reproaches me for using film as a sacred & lasting medium, like a painting or a book. He does not believe that filmmaking is an inferior art, but he believes, and quite rightly, that a reel goes quickly, that the public are looking above all for relaxation, that film is fragile and that it is pretentious to express the power of one's soul by such ephemeral and delicate means, that Charlie Chaplin's or Buster Keaton's first films can only be seen on very rare and badly spoiled prints. I add that the cinema is making daily progress and that eventually films that we consider marvelous today will soon be forgotten because of new dimensions & colour. This is true. But for 4 weeks this film [The Blood of a Poet] has been shown to audiences that have been so attentive, so eager & so warm, that I wonder after all there is not an anonymous public who are looking for more than relaxation in the cinema." - Jean Cocteau, 1932


#3 of 40 OFFLINE   Rob_Ray

Rob_Ray

    Screenwriter



  • 1,512 posts
  • Join Date: Apr 12 2004
  • Real Name:Rob Ray
  • LocationSouthern California

Posted August 15 2014 - 02:52 PM

Mine just arrived along with the Sennett Collection too.  I'll be sampling both this weekend!



#4 of 40 OFFLINE   David_B_K

David_B_K

    Advanced Member



  • 1,557 posts
  • Join Date: Jun 13 2006
  • Real Name:David

Posted August 15 2014 - 07:03 PM

Just ordered the Mutual set.

#5 of 40 OFFLINE   atcolomb

atcolomb

    Stunt Coordinator



  • 206 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 19 2009
  • Real Name:Angelo
  • LocationChicago Area

Posted August 15 2014 - 07:05 PM

I do have most of his feature films but very little of his work with Mutual so i will be looking at this new release. After seeing his movies do see the great documentary "Unknown Chaplin" by film archivists Kevin Brownlow and David Gill.


  • Brian McP likes this

#6 of 40 OFFLINE   Matt Hough

Matt Hough

    Executive Producer



  • 11,621 posts
  • Join Date: Apr 24 2006
  • LocationCharlotte, NC

Posted August 16 2014 - 04:23 AM

Yes, Unknown Chaplin is an absolute must especially after watching the Mutuals and his feature comedies. It gives a much greater picture of how Chaplin achieved his magic than any other documentary I've ever watched on him.


  • Danny Burk and Brian McP like this

#7 of 40 OFFLINE   bigshot

bigshot

    Screenwriter



  • 1,262 posts
  • Join Date: Jan 30 2008

Posted August 16 2014 - 09:34 AM

Over at Nitrateville, David Shepherd mentioned that many of the soundtracks were recorded at live performances and have soft sync. Apparently The Floorwalker and Behind the Screen are off by as much as two seconds at some points. Kind of disappointing to me. Chaplin's timing is so precise, sloppy sound sync undercuts it.


  • David_B_K and JoHud like this

#8 of 40 OFFLINE   Eastmancolor

Eastmancolor

    Stunt Coordinator



  • 158 posts
  • Join Date: Jan 26 2012
  • Real Name:Jim
  • LocationLos Angeles, CA

Posted August 16 2014 - 07:50 PM

Over at Nitrateville, David Shepherd mentioned that many of the soundtracks were recorded at live performances and have soft sync. Apparently The Floorwalker and Behind the Screen are off by as much as two seconds at some points. Kind of disappointing to me. Chaplin's timing is so precise, sloppy sound sync undercuts it.

 

The soundtrack for THE FLOORWALKER contains sound effects and, like the score, are out of sync by several seconds.  I haven't watched BEHIND THE SCREEN yet, but other shorts that I've watched have been ok.

 

Years ago when the Mutual shorts were released on Laserdisc, they contained the Van Beuren scores that were recorded in the 1930's.  Those tracks contained sound effects that had to be spot on, yet several of the shorts on the laserdisc, especially THE IMMIGRANT, were seconds out of sync.  I was later told by Mr. Shepard that Image Entertainment received perfect masters but they lost the sync somewhere during the production of the discs. 

 

THE FLOORWALKER is hardly ruined by the sync issue.  It's still fun to watch.


  • ThadK and Brian McP like this

#9 of 40 OFFLINE   Mark VH

Mark VH

    Stunt Coordinator



  • 164 posts
  • Join Date: May 02 2005

Posted August 17 2014 - 06:52 AM

I watched The Floorwalker yesterday, and didn't notice any issue with the sync issue at all - no doubt it's there if you're looking for it, but otherwise I had no problem enjoying the film.

 

But ye gods, I was shocked at how good the film looked. The clarity of the restoration, especially when viewed on Blu-ray, is absolutely stunning. It needs to be seen to be believed. I'm usually wary of anyone who claims something "needs to be in the library of any true cinephile, etc." - it's overused and, after all, most of us have jobs and financial responsibilities, and with so many great Blu-rays coming down the pike we just can't afford everything that carries that label. But I have to say that RAH is right on the money with this one. An incredible set, beautifully produced, and will likely go down as one of the very best Blu-ray releases of the year, if not THE best. Now I just need to scrounge up another $40 for that Mack Sennet set.


  • Brian McP likes this

#10 of 40 OFFLINE   David_B_K

David_B_K

    Advanced Member



  • 1,557 posts
  • Join Date: Jun 13 2006
  • Real Name:David

Posted August 17 2014 - 07:11 AM

Hmm...it does sound as f the sound synch was something of an afterthought. Disturbing.

#11 of 40 OFFLINE   bigshot

bigshot

    Screenwriter



  • 1,262 posts
  • Join Date: Jan 30 2008

Posted August 17 2014 - 10:35 AM

I watched the Floorwalker last night and there are multiple points where the music "mickey mouses" big accents in the action and it is out of sync by somewhere around 6 or 8 frames, in a couple of points even more. It's really surprising they didn't bother to fix it either, because there are pauses and ends of musical phrases all through the soundtrack that could have easily been used to cut and slide the track into perfect sync without any detectable edit. It isn't bad enough to draw your attention out of the film totally, but it's a simple mistake that could have easily been fixed with some careful music editing.

 

However... The Mack Sennett set is SPECTACULAR! I watched W.C. Fields' "The Dentist", which is my favorite comedy short of all time (and that is saying something!) It was pristine... no overdubbed Jay Ward music (like on the Criterion set), no audio compression dragging the noise from the optical soundtrack up in the quiet parts, full aperture with the rounded corners on all four corners, and the image quality in the censored scene is every bit as good as the rest of the short.

 

I watched a Ben Turpin short too and the speed, music, and image quality were all first rate. The Chaplin set is good, but the Sennett set is even better.


  • Brian McP and Brenty like this

#12 of 40 OFFLINE   Eastmancolor

Eastmancolor

    Stunt Coordinator



  • 158 posts
  • Join Date: Jan 26 2012
  • Real Name:Jim
  • LocationLos Angeles, CA

Posted August 17 2014 - 12:12 PM

I watched The Floorwalker yesterday, and didn't notice any issue with the sync issue at all - no doubt it's there if you're looking for it, but otherwise I had no problem enjoying the film.

 

Mark VH, the sound sync for THE FLOORWALKER does drift.  It appears to be OK for approximately the first 10 minutes of the short, but then the soundtrack jumps ahead of the picture a couple of seconds at around 14:34.  Music cues are early, for the most part, throughout the rest of the film.  Check out the old coot playing with the horn at 18:58.  You hear him blow the horn before he puts it up to his lips, several times.  Later at 25:00 Chaplin drops some money on the floor.  He dives for it, but we hear the music cue 1-2 seconds beforehand. 

 

Having seen hundreds of silents in a theatre with live accompaniment, sync with the action will occasionally drift and effects won't always be spot on.  It goes with the territory.  But with a score recorded onto a print, DVD or Blu-ray, it's kind of surprising to see it slip through.   

 

Again, we're in mole hill territory here.  It's just over half of one short in a collection with lots to admire and treasure. 



#13 of 40 OFFLINE   JoHud

JoHud

    Screenwriter



  • 2,728 posts
  • Join Date: Sep 11 2007
  • Real Name:Joe Hudak

Posted August 17 2014 - 12:23 PM

I watched the Floorwalker last night and there are multiple points where the music "mickey mouses" big accents in the action and it is out of sync by somewhere around 6 or 8 frames, in a couple of points even more.

 

It's usually when a music track is Mickey Mousing actions on screen that sync issues become noticeable.  Otherwise I don't usually notice it much at all unless it's major.  Agree that it is only a slight peeve considering how meticulous the set is otherwise.



#14 of 40 OFFLINE   Nick Eden

Nick Eden

    Stunt Coordinator



  • 190 posts
  • Join Date: Jun 09 2001

Posted August 17 2014 - 01:00 PM

Glad that both sets appear to be all we could want (well near enough). Can anyone tell me though are the sets locked

region A?

Thank you.
  • Brian McP likes this

#15 of 40 OFFLINE   Brian McP

Brian McP

    Second Unit



  • 411 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 29 2007

Posted August 17 2014 - 10:25 PM

Eastmancolor, I like your Richard Cramer avatar -- will "Scram" ever come out on bluray?

 

As a Laurel and Hardy fan, very envious of all these Chaplin and Mck Sennett blurays -- I've hundreds of dvds of these pictures, the great review RAH gave this set looks like this will be probably be a Christmas attraction at my place -- I too am interested if this set is region free -- any details?



#16 of 40 OFFLINE   Eastmancolor

Eastmancolor

    Stunt Coordinator



  • 158 posts
  • Join Date: Jan 26 2012
  • Real Name:Jim
  • LocationLos Angeles, CA

Posted August 17 2014 - 11:14 PM

The Chaplin set Blu-rays are region free. Will check on the Sennett's.

#17 of 40 OFFLINE   Nick Eden

Nick Eden

    Stunt Coordinator



  • 190 posts
  • Join Date: Jun 09 2001

Posted August 18 2014 - 12:22 AM

That's great news. Thanks.

#18 of 40 OFFLINE   Eastmancolor

Eastmancolor

    Stunt Coordinator



  • 158 posts
  • Join Date: Jan 26 2012
  • Real Name:Jim
  • LocationLos Angeles, CA

Posted August 18 2014 - 10:07 AM

*
POPULAR

As a follow-up to my previous post, the Chaplin Blu-rays are marked Region A, though my Blu-ray player played them without issue and it is currently set on Region B.

 

The new Sennett collection is listed as being regions A, B, and C. 

 

Brian McP, regarding SCRAM!, this Laurel and Hardy short just had a new 35mm restoration done on it by the UCLA Film and TV Archives.  It's my understanding that Jeff Joseph has obtained the rights to the Laurel and Hardy talkies and he will be reissuing them to theaters this fall.  He is also prepping a series of Blu-rays.  He will be using the UCLA restorations as the source material for all of his work.


  • Rob W, Brandon Conway, dana martin and 5 others like this

#19 of 40 OFFLINE   JoHud

JoHud

    Screenwriter



  • 2,728 posts
  • Join Date: Sep 11 2007
  • Real Name:Joe Hudak

Posted August 18 2014 - 10:33 AM

Brian McP, regarding SCRAM!, this Laurel and Hardy short just had a new 35mm restoration done on it by the UCLA Film and TV Archives.  It's my understanding that Jeff Joseph has obtained the rights to the Laurel and Hardy talkies and he will be reissuing them to theaters this fall.  He is also prepping a series of Blu-rays.  He will be using the UCLA restorations as the source material for all of his work.

 

Wow!  Excellent news!  I thought they were going to languish at RHI (or whatever the heck they call themselves now) for a very long time.

 

Any such news on the silent L&Hs?  or other Hal Roach films?



#20 of 40 OFFLINE   Brandon Conway

Brandon Conway

    captveg



  • 7,305 posts
  • Join Date: Sep 30 2002
  • Real Name:Brandon Conway
  • LocationNorth Hollywood, CA

Posted August 18 2014 - 12:19 PM

Fantastic news on L&H.


"And now the reprimand, from an American critic. He reproaches me for using film as a sacred & lasting medium, like a painting or a book. He does not believe that filmmaking is an inferior art, but he believes, and quite rightly, that a reel goes quickly, that the public are looking above all for relaxation, that film is fragile and that it is pretentious to express the power of one's soul by such ephemeral and delicate means, that Charlie Chaplin's or Buster Keaton's first films can only be seen on very rare and badly spoiled prints. I add that the cinema is making daily progress and that eventually films that we consider marvelous today will soon be forgotten because of new dimensions & colour. This is true. But for 4 weeks this film [The Blood of a Poet] has been shown to audiences that have been so attentive, so eager & so warm, that I wonder after all there is not an anonymous public who are looking for more than relaxation in the cinema." - Jean Cocteau, 1932






Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Blu-ray, A Few Words About

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users