A Christmas Story... How bad is it?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Rob N, Dec 12, 2001.

  1. Rob N

    Rob N Agent

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    Ok, I've enjoyed this Holiday classic for years and I'd like to get a copy to own (yes, I know its on TBS 100 times but I never can catch a showing from begining to end). However, I've heard that the current DVD has a terrible video transfer (some saying it is unwatchable). Is it really that bad? Should I just buy the VHS copy instead?
     
  2. Rain

    Rain Producer

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    I've never seen the DVD, so I'm not sure how terrible the video quality is, but I've heard nothing good.

    The fact that it is formatted to fit the screen is more than enough reason for me not to buy it.
     
  3. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    It's an open matte transfer and probably isn't very good since the disc is from the old "Turner-MGM" days.

    WB now has the rights, so they repackaged the MGM disc in a WB snapper.

    It's most likely from an old laserdisc transfer (like 2001 and many other Turner-owned MGM discs) and has zilch in the extras department.

    WB needs to make an SE of the quality of their other Turner re-dos.
     
  4. Yohan Pamudji

    Yohan Pamudji Second Unit

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    This is my favorite Christmas movie. I don't own the DVD. That's how bad it is.

    [hoping for a reissue... fat chance]
     
  5. Michael St. Clair

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    If it's a laserdisc transfer, I wonder why they at least didn't use the one that appears on my letterboxed LD. It looks decent.
     
  6. Jeff_A

    Jeff_A Screenwriter

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    I can't comment on your original question, as I refuse to even watch it until it receives the treatment it deserves. As you mentioned, I'll stick with the TBS version for now.
    However, I definitely wanted to take advantage of a very RARE sighting of Rob N at HTF. I hope all is well with you and your growing family. Have a very happy holiday season, my friend! [​IMG]
     
  7. Steve Felix

    Steve Felix Supporting Actor

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    Turner Classic Movies shows it in widescreen around Christmas. Taping it is likely the best way to own it.
     
  8. Michael Warner

    Michael Warner Supporting Actor

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    This DVD is one of only two that I've found to be totally unwatchable due to the constant vertical shifting of the image (the other being Outland). Fortunately I recently found the WS laserdisc but before that I was using a WS version taped off of TCM a few years ago. Even an EP VHS tape was better than the DVD.
     
  9. Greg_Y

    Greg_Y Screenwriter

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    Two things:

    1. The heat effect on the transfer is very noticeable on my TV, especially in the first five minutes.

    2. I tried zooming in on my Toshiba 16:9 set to mimic a matted presentation and the transfer doesn't look right. I know this is an open matte presentation, but it simply doesn't look right zoomed in at that ratio. I don't know if that's because the mattes are placed differently from scene to scene or what. I'm sure someone else here can elaborate.

    Do I recommend it? Not at all. But since this is a movie I end up listening to more often than watching (I'll put it on and do holiday stuff), I'll keep it, since WB shows no desire to put out a new version. Worst transfer in my collection, though.
     
  10. Chas_Michael

    Chas_Michael Second Unit

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    Every Christmas season the same inquirys are asked about A Christmas Story, The WAVYNESS (Heat Effect)LOL! LOL! LOL !is INTENDED! It is used in the flashback sequences. My son and I have a private joke everytime we view this each Christmas Season. The WAVYNESS! In my opinion the transfer can be improved on but why would I deprive my family from such a great Christmas movie. A must see in any form, but much more convient on DVD.
     
  11. Kevin Korom

    Kevin Korom Stunt Coordinator

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    "Every Christmas season the same inquirys are asked about A Christmas Story, The WAVYNESS (Heat Effect)LOL! LOL! LOL !is INTENDED! It is used in the flashback sequences."

    Of course there's the "flashback waviness", but that's not what's being referred to. There's a distinct shimmering going on randomly in this transfer that's very distracting, and it's just like looking at an image through heat rising off of something. If it were intended, you'd see it on TV, VHS and LD. It's not on any of those...
     
  12. Chas_Michael

    Chas_Michael Second Unit

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    I'm really too busy enjoying the movie to pick it apart. Never noticed the waves. Maybe my copy is special.
     
  13. Ernesto Santos

    Ernesto Santos Stunt Coordinator

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    I own it. I like it. I watch it. And yes, the waves are there. Just check out the opening sequence when the titles come up. I love this movie so much I had to have the DVD regardless of the quality. Now please don't make weave a tapestry of obsenity. [​IMG]
     
  14. John_McKittrick

    John_McKittrick Stunt Coordinator

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    This movie looks fine on my 32" Sony WEGA. No I don't have a high definition system like .03% of the rest of the world. Therefore, I don't have any problems with this disc. As stated before, I'm too busy enjoying the movie. This movie was not meant to be reference quality like DRIVEN was for some people.

    John
     
  15. Dan Hitchman

    Dan Hitchman Cinematographer

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    But, John it's not OAR!

    Dan
     
  16. John P Grosskopf

    John P Grosskopf Second Unit

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    It's worth what I paid for it: $2.98 at Half-Price Books last Christmas when they had a huge box full of unopened discs that they received from some video store that went out of business.

    Best Caveman voice: "Transfer bad...Movie good."
     
  17. Greg_Y

    Greg_Y Screenwriter

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  18. Rob N

    Rob N Agent

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    Thanks for the info folks. I think I'll just rent the DVD and see for myself.

    Jeff - Check your mail.
     

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