Robert Harris

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Robert Harris
With the exception of original dye transfer prints, I can't recall seeing the quality representation of Byron Haskins' War of the Words - ever.

Paramount's latest 4k restoration, from the original three-strip Technicolor elements, by Andrea Kalas, her team at Paramount, and tech gurus Ben Burtt and Craig Barron, beautifully fills that void.

Great color and densities. Just a wonderful looking Blu-ray. As to grain structure, didn’t have a great deal of time to compare, but it may be a quart low. Best to check before hitting the desert. That, and just of bit of a "magneto-digital" thing going on. Not bad. Very minor, and most viewers won't notice it.

Watch the film from a nominal seating distance and any minor problems become transparent.

Extras from Criterion include two superb featurettes. One of special effects, and the other on the history of the original production and the newly produced 5.1 stereo track.

Could be my gear, but selecting tracks was confusing, but workable. Apparently, the audio defaults to mono, which is grayed out, allowing one to alternatively select 5.1 or commentary. Just a different way of doing things, I presume.

The new 5.1 is a very interesting addition.

Image – 4.75

Audio – 5 (5.1 Stereo & Monaural)

Pass / Fail – Pass

Upgrade from DVD - You've got to be kidding!?

Very Highly Recommended

RAH
 
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atcolomb

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Was the movie released with a three track stereo and are the tracks lost or not available? My laserdisc has a stereo sound on it.
 
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jayembee

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Is Mars blue in the opening? I haven't gotten the Criterion yet, but I have the [Imprint] release from Australia, and it's blue. I suppose it must be from all those vast, cool, and unsympathetic intelligences.
 

Peter Apruzzese

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The premiere ads for War of the Worlds in NYC indicate Stereophonic Sound.
 
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Charles Smith

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Will have this one in a few days. In the meantime, I can attest to that confusing (to me) way of selecting audio tracks from the menu. I’ve been thrown off by that on a couple of occasions.
 
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Lord Dalek

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The premiere ads for War of the Worlds in NYC indicate Stereophonic Sound.
Stereo tracks are lost. Also the music was apparently NOT recorded in stereo in the first place so it probably wasn't that much better than what we have now.
 
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jayembee

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Did a quick a/b comparison with the Imprint release and to me the Criterion disc has more of a vibrant picture.
Interesting, because I thought the [Imprint] edition was quite colorful (even if some of the colors were wrong. ;) ).
 

haineshisway

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I enjoyed this very much, but I'll be the slight contrarian and say it's not the second coming that I was expecting. It's quite soft occasionally, is fairly devoid of grain (people complain like crazy about this with other transfers but not here) - I mean, a simple look at the many opticals will tell you the story - it certainly looks the best its looked on home video, but for me it's a bit flat-looking and doesn't capture the luminous quality of IB Tech prints. Is the mono track the original track or a mono version of Burtt's redo? Anyone know? Anyway, thrilled to have it, but I was expecting the moon and got Mars (thankfully reddish rather than bluish). The other thing I became acutely aware of watching this was why Gene Barry never had much of a big screen career. :) I would sorely love to see the IB print they screened but would have to know if it was screened with a carbon arc light source, which is what the print would have been timed for.
 

Dick

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The other thing I became acutely aware of watching this was why Gene Barry never had much of a big screen career. :)
Probably because Barry never had much acting skill. Ann Robinson, having been assigned the whiny, helpless, damsel-in-distress part, is far more memorable, if not much better. This isn't a film you watch for stellar performances.
 
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Johnny Angell

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Probably because Barry never had much acting skill. Ann Robinson, having been assigned the whiny, helpless, damsel-in-distress part, is far more memorable, if not much better. This isn't a film you watch for stellar performances.
I thought the two leads were quite good in their roles. To each his own.
 

Reed Grele

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I remember this scaring the bejeezus out of me as a kid watching it on our giant 20" magnavox TV...
Then you can imagine how scared I was watching it in 1964 for the first time as an 8 year old on a BIG screen at the local movie theater in Technicolor! I'll never forget the screams in the audience when the Martian war machines blasted Pastor Collins and then proceeded to destroy the military. I had never seen anything like that before, and it left a lasting impression on me.
 

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