4 Stars

Between 1949 and 1955, Alec Guinness starred in four extraordinary (satirical) comedies for Ealing in England.

Three have now made their way to the Colonies on Blu-ray courtesy of Kino Lorber, and their Canal + arrangement.

These are brilliant films.

The first, Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949), has Mr. Guinness in multiple roles. This was followed by The Lavender Hills Mob, released in June of 1951, and The Man in the White Suit, released two months hence. The final, not yet released on Blu here, is The Ladykillers (1955), in Eastman Color.

It’s nice that we now have (in our playback region) Blu-rays of the films, presumably commensurate with those released in the UK, but I’m still seeing nothing special about them.

Kind Hearts and Coronets

Kind Hearts has contrast issues, needs stabilization, and clean-up

Image – 3.25

Audio – 4

Pass / Fail – Pass

The Lavender Hill Mob

Lavender has occasional dirt, light scratches, but a better gray scale than Kind Hearts. Stability could also be better.

Image – 3.75

Audio – 4.25

Pass / Fail – Pass

The Man in the White Suit

White Suit is on par with Lavender.

Image – 3.75

Audio – 4.5

Pass / Fail – Pass

RAH

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Robert Harris

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atcolomb

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When I purchased my all region player years ago one of first purchases was to buy the region B of the Ealing comedies including my all time favorite The Titfield Thunderbolt. The new releases are being shipped to me but sad to read from Robert that the image is not the best but they do have a commentary and a few new extras on them. Love British comedy and these films represent the best especially from Alec Guinness. By the way The Ladykillers is available on Blu-ray here in the states released by Lions Gate in 2010.
 
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haineshisway

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But, but, but - the Beaver says: "ADDITION: Kino Blu-ray (August 2019): "Kind Hearts and Coronets" has finally surfaced on Region 'A' Blu-ray thanks to Kino Lorber. This, oft considered best, Ealing comedy is housed on a dual layered Blu-ray with a high bitrate - 40% higher than the Optimum. It looks to be from the same source as the image is very close - with the Kino advancing the 10780P presentation in-motion. The improvements is there, but, for most viewers, it will be minute." :) All about that bit rate, which, in the end, is a bit rate. And 10780 seems to be a zip code in Malaysia.

I hate to be the one to say it, but would Kino even know the difference? Would they know to ask? Reading this and the Mirage review, well...
 

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If Man in a White Suit is “on par” with Lavender Hill Mob, why the difference in image rating, 5 vs. 3.75?
 

Robert Harris

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Per KL Insider on the other forum re: Kind Hearts and Coronets:

"The European release was an older master, this is a brand new 4K restoration seen in theaters by Rialto. First time on home video."
Not a clue. They may have been told / sold otherwise. If this is a 4k restoration...
 
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Paul Penna

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For what it's worth, I downloaded and compared the Beaver's full-size frame grabs of Kind Hearts and Coronets from the Optimum and Kino discs. By opening two matching grabs simultaneously in Photoshop, the windows of each overlay precisely atop one another, permitting me to switch between them by keystroke. Four of the grabs are from identical film frames, the other four from adjacent frames.

In terms of framing, film damage (speckles and scratches) and grayscale, the four Optimum and Kino grabs of identical frames are utterly indistinguishable. The grabs from adjacent frames also show identical grayscale.

As for apparent sharpness, I compared just the grabs of matching frames. By getting as close as my eyes could focus on my 27" iMac Retina display I could detect very subtle differences, but they weren't consistent. Three gave the slight edge to the Optimum, one to the Kino, but even those differences varied between frames.
 

haineshisway

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See, I'm of the opinion that Mr. Harris is - they somehow got the same master as the UK Blu - even though it's touted as a 4K restoration (oy, that word again) my point is they wouldn't know that because, well, I don't think they have much of a clew over there - they take what they're given and question nothing.
 
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david hare

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you also have the issue of the reliability beaver's reviews and screens now. more and more they become les and less precise or reliable, even in the new monetized version of that website where you pay for the privilege of viewing faux 4K/HDR screens. there are other more reliable sites, notably Mr Harris here,and Glenn Erickson in his Savant columns.

FWIW, the French language titles now turning up on Kino from the Canal arrangement are in most cases genuinely new (mostly) 4K scans and restorations made in the last four years or so with funding from CNC. they are in advance of previous HD masters from Canal during their Criterion tie up days.
 
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CobraVerde

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Not a clue. They may have been told / sold otherwise. If this is a 4k restoration...
Only one of the 3 Kino titles has a "new" UK release, and that's Kind Hearts & Coronets. The other two - Lavender Hill Mob and Man in the White Suit - are old releases from 2012 or so. Are you saying all three got recent 4K remasters? You said "All have been restored in one manner or another, and released in restored form in the UK." Because only Coronets has a new release that's a different master than before. I don't see new releases of the other two with improved masters.
 

Robert Harris

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Only one of the 3 Kino titles has a "new" UK release, and that's Kind Hearts & Coronets. The other two - Lavender Hill Mob and Man in the White Suit - are old releases from 2012 or so. Are you saying all three got recent 4K remasters? You said "All have been restored in one manner or another, and released in restored form in the UK." Because only Coronets has a new release that's a different master than before. I don't see new releases of the other two with improved masters.
2012 is recent enough.
 

Robert Harris

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Apparently, I’m not seeing what others may be seeing.

As I’ve noted ad nauseous, the term 4k restoration, or 4k scan, is virtually without meaning, when it comes to final image quality.

A 4k scan, among other attributes, should be rock steady, even if derived from a contact dupe, I’m not seeing that.
 

CobraVerde

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2012 is recent enough.
Well the point is that Coronets just received a NEW restoration. The other two films, if they haven't been touched since 2012, are the same versions Kino is putting out.

Kino WAS given the new (2011/2012) masters for Lavender Hill Mob, Man in the White Suit, and Coronets. They apparently just weren't given the new 2019 master for Coronets. Not to mention, the 2012 master for Coronets was a 2k restoration.
 

Robert Harris

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The term restoration aside, as it has no longer has a true meaning...

The extant elements, be they scanned in 2011 or 2018, may simply be too many generations away to provide a stellar image. Any modern scan should not, unless the element is extremely shrunken, have continuous x/y weave, even if built into the dupe.

If these actually are the same transfers as those released in Region B, there would be zero rationale to import them. I did look at the trailer for one of the restored works, and it looks splendid.

Changing few words appropriately.
 
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CobraVerde

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The term restoration aside, as it has no longer has a true meaning...

The extant elements, be they scanned in 2011 or 2018, may simply be too many generations away to provide a stellar image. Any modern scan should not, unless the element is extremely shrunken, have continuous x/y weave, even if built into the dupe.

If these actually are the same transfers as those released in Region B, there would be zero rationale to import them. I did look at the trailer for one of the restored works, and it looks splendid.

Changing few words appropriately.
You're missing what I'm saying. There are no new UK discs of Lavender Hill Mob or Man in the White Suit. Hence, there are no "new" versions outside the ones created in 2011-2012.

Coronets DID receive a new 4K scan/restoration/edition/whatever. Semantics aside, that's not what's important what it is. Kino did NOT receive that master, but received the 2011 one for their discs, which is the issue.

You claimed that all 3 got 4K restorations and claim there are better masters out there that have been released, but outside of Coronets, there have not been any other releases since 2011-2012, and the Kino discos are identical to the 2011'2012 UK versions.