AlexNH

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Funny, I feel the same way as one of the first people who flagged issues with this disc. I called it a misfire and I still believe that it is. I pre-ordered and received it. I didn't like the packaging or the picture quality. I posted several reviews from other sites that agreed with my views. I felt like I was attacked for doing so. All the other reviews I cited were dismissed one by one. But I guess now I'm in the majority.... I would still like to hear other views, isn't this what the forum is for?
 
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Robert Crawford

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Funny, I feel the same way as one of the first people who flagged issues with this disc. I called it a misfire and I still believe that it is. I pre-ordered and received it. I didn't like the packaging or the picture quality. I posted several reviews from other sites that agreed with my views. I felt like I was attacked for doing so. All the other reviews I cited were dismissed one by one. But I guess now I'm in the majority.... I would still like to hear other views, isn't this what the forum is for?
I'm sorry you feel that way as that's not what this forum is about!
 

haineshisway

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I really don't recall anyone attacking anyone. Certainly when you were thumbs-downing every post I made I was very clear that I hadn't seen the disc yet and therefore could not comment on it, only that I was distrustful of sites I have no history with where the writing was so bad that I couldn't take any of it seriously. Once I'd seen the disc you know what my response was, and then others began seeing it and yes, then it was pretty unanimous that we all knew something was amiss.
 

Robert Crawford

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I really don't recall anyone attacking anyone. Certainly when you were thumbs-downing every post I made I was very clear that I hadn't seen the disc yet and therefore could not comment on it, only that I was distrustful of sites I have no history with where the writing was so bad that I couldn't take any of it seriously. Once I'd seen the disc you know what my response was, and then others began seeing it and yes, then it was pretty unanimous that we all knew something was amiss.
Please, let's stop with the blaming and just move on. Thank you.
 
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OliverK

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This is one of the problems with screen caps - they'll post something that isn't accurate to the sequence, one frame of a moving shot, for example, or where someone's head gets cropped a bit too much but the shot is a moving shot and in motion you don't even notice it because that's the way it was shot.
On the other Blu-ray nothing is missing in any of thoses frames. So it is not like the detail was always missing it is just that this time it was graded differently. I always thought that the old Blu-ray was a bit on the dark side so I will not claim it is perfection but it is certainly easier to tweak the gamma curve a bit to compensate for that than to bring back highlight detail that has been clipped which is impossible.

But like I said: I do not think we would have had much of a discussion about this if it wasn't for the wholesale softening of the picture.
 

OliverK

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They were probably watching the UK release of Zulu and thought that's what whites are supposed to look like.

View attachment 73394

View attachment 73395
Zulu and The Italian Job are the two botched releases from new scans that I still remember very well, that was more than 10 years ago.
Better not to go there again as I still feel that the scan that they used would have been good for a much better release of Zulu but instead they gave us this fake version.

It also shows that once a studio messes up a movie it will usually stay in that state and NOT be remastered by them, I think Zulu was from 2008 and Paramount probably still stands by it as they like to say these days...
 
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RolandL

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Zulu and The Italian Job are the two botched releases from new scans that I still remember very well, that was more than 10 years ago.
Better not to go there again as I still feel that the scan that they used would have been good for a much better release of Zulu but instead they gave us this fake version.

It also shows that once a studio messes up a movie it will usually stay in that state and NOT be remastered by them, I think Zulu was from 2008 and Paramount probably still stands by it as they like to say these days...
But with Zulu, Twilight Time released a different version (with it's own problems) but the whites are not blown out and you are seeing more picture information.

UK
zuluuk.png


Twilight Time
zulu.jpg
 

OliverK

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But with Zulu, Twilight Time released a different version (with it's own problems) but the whites are not blown out and you are seeing more picture information.

UK
View attachment 73434

Twilight Time
View attachment 73433
Yes, thankfully they did. I own it now and while it is a dated transfer that I believe came from MGM I still find it a lot more watchable. It needs a contrast boost though and all sharpening / edge enhancement circuits turned off as it already brings its own edge enhancement.
 

tenia

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I’ve been working on a presumption of grain reduction and / or DNR.
That my not be the case. An alternative would be a critically out of focus scan, that went unnoted.
It might be, but there are elements in the caps-a-holic frames showing quite focused objects, and others showing smeary textures (not very different from what can be seen on the new Grease restoration).
Sometimes, the most obvious explanation is the correct one.

I don't know, but, what I think is true is that the majority of those people careless about fine grain structure than how it looks on their display. There is even a silent segment of this membership that probably likes this current presentation. I bet it's the same over on other forums too. A few brave souls has stated it so, but the reaction to their posts probably prevents anybody else from speaking up.
I have absolutely no doubt that many consumers don't know what a good presentation of such a movie should look like, and possibly are happy with the look of this 2020 BD. There have been people very happy with the new Terminator 2 restoration, for instance, and it's quite clear that if there wasn't a viable enough market for restorations filtered through DNR and EE, these tools would have stopped being used at such a visible level long ago. But they're not.

Actually, being a member of various HT-focused boards, I've seen an increase of people having issues with UHDs of movies shot on film having unfiltered grain (for instance, what Sony has been doing on their catalogue). It seems quite clear to me that these people simply had no idea this is how movies shot on film should look like, and if on top of that, the encode isn't good enough to avoid turning film grain into chroma noise or mosquito noise, that makes it even worse for them. If you'd listen to them, anything 35mm-shot that Sony have released on UHD is problematically granular. I've read people calling Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon's UHD a nightmare, and others comparing Ghostbusters' UHD to a S-VHS.

This is one of the problems with screen caps - they'll post something that isn't accurate to the sequence, one frame of a moving shot, for example, or where someone's head gets cropped a bit too much but the shot is a moving shot and in motion you don't even notice it because that's the way it was shot.
It's very rare to see frames taken from a very moving shot (which is indeed a bad idea for a lot of reason), but that's why there are other caps in any case. And save for looking for very specific things and as I already detailed, properly taken screencaps are absolutely not misleading. I, for once, have never been misled.
Though I doubt the frames around the one uploaded for this driving shot are very (if any) different, and it doesn't mean this shot isn't like that on the disc anyway.
 

Robert Harris

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I have absolutely no doubt that many consumers don't know what a good presentation of such a movie should look like, and possibly are happy with the look of this 2020 BD. There have been people very happy with the new Terminator 2 restoration, for instance, and it's quite clear that if there wasn't a viable enough market for restorations filtered through DNR and EE, these tools would have stopped being used at such a visible level long ago. But they're not.
Citizens of the world are free to admire, purchase, and revel in all sorts of digital products.

It's their right, at least in most nations.

But I have a problem with the misuse of the term "restoration," especially when the entity behind such a "restoration" speaks with great pride about their work. That diminishes the work of those who take their jobs seriously.

Call digital work that is not truly restored, and does not replicate in digital form the look and textures of the original, by any other name.

Any time that the word is used for a product that does not restore, but changes the original intent of the filmmakers, should be called out for what it is. Unless there is a total disconnect between those performing presumptive restorative efforts, and those translating those efforts to Blu-ray, the endeavor would be a blatant lie, albeit nicely sugar-coated.

With all due respect, Paramount referencing the latest Blu-ray of To Catch a Thief as a "restoration," is simply a lie, slathered in pretty copywriting. Keep in mind that however data may have existed as a raw scan, colored, cleaned, stabilized files, must eventually find their way to the Blu-ray bucket. One cannot legitimately speak of quality that might have once been part of a pre-Blu-ray file, if it has been affected in negative ways en route to the home theater.

The word “restoration“ has a specific meaning. It is not merely a marketing term.

Since the earliest days of high definition home media, those behind the standards of the product, knowing full well that what they were selling was merely a bucket of data as a distribution medium, strove to push for standards as close to the perfection of allowing a product to be run in one's home, that looked very much like what was seen in theaters.

Times change. Opinions change. Studio executives change, who have the overall responsibility to create quality product, yet push for something else, to their own personal liking.

My personal ethic has always been to deliver a product that matches a 35 or 70mm print as perfectly as possible, or better, taking into consideration all of the exigencies of projection and replication from OCN to print, independent of the printing process - to the highest quality currently permitted by the digital or analogue process, and the film elements available.

Since c. 2007, we have had the ability to create a digital image that matches or surpasses the analogue original.

There is no reason to deliver a product that does otherwise. And to do so, is a slap in the face to those who created the original films.

RAH
 
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Osato

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Zulu and The Italian Job are the two botched releases from new scans that I still remember very well, that was more than 10 years ago.
Better not to go there again as I still feel that the scan that they used would have been good for a much better release of Zulu but instead they gave us this fake version.

It also shows that once a studio messes up a movie it will usually stay in that state and NOT be remastered by them, I think Zulu was from 2008 and Paramount probably still stands by it as they like to say these days...
The UK Italian Job Blu Ray has issues?

I just ordered it!

I had bought the digital version but read in reviews of the disc that the image was much cleaner than what I saw in the hd digital version from iTunes.

if the Italian job 1969 Blu ray is discussed in another thread let me know as well.

as far as to catch a thief I’m glad I cancelled my preorder.
 

Nelson Au

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There was an earlier post that RAH made that there is a problem/error with the day for night shots in TCAT. But I didn't think it looked that off. So I wanted to try an experiment. Not to dispute your expertise RAH, just wanted to see the differences from all the major formats. You've seen an actual film print of this film, I've only seen the film on home video.

So what I did was take screen caps from my own copies of the laser disc from 1982, the DVD from 2002, the blu ray from 2012 and the current blu ray from 2020. I didn't want to do the 2007 DVD, though I do own it. What's interesting is the difference in the color used to tint the night shots. The 2002 DVD and 2020 blu ray has colors that are a fairly similar. For fun I also included a shot from the early part of the film with the cat and later the car chase. The car chase surprised me as the cropping difference was apparent there.

The cat, 1982 LD, 2002 DVD, 2012 BD and 2020 BD
TCAT Day for Night 1 comparison.jpg


This is the establishing shot, Day for Night, 1982 LD, 2002 DVD, 2012 BD and 2020 BD
TCAT Day for Night 2 comparison.jpg


On the grounds Day for Night, 1982 LD, 2002 DVD, 2012 BD and 2020 BD
TCAT Day for Night 3 comparison.jpg


Oh, its Fousard! 1982 LD, 2002 DVD, 2012 BD and 2020 BD
TCAT Day for Night 4 comparison.jpg


Then why are we dawdling? 1982 LD, 2002 DVD, 2012 BD and 2020 BD
TCAT car chase comparison.jpg


Isn't it interesting that the 2002 DVD and 2020 Blu Ray's colors are most similar. For the laserdisc master, there was no tinting done on the day for night shots. For brightness, the LD and 2020 blu ray are similar. As far as cropping, the 2002 DVD and 2020 blu ray is ver similar.

I don’t know what to say, I really wanted this disc to be good and I really hope that the true story comes out about the "restoration".
 
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Robert Harris

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There was an earlier post that RAH made that there is a problem/error with the day for night shots in TCAT. But I didn't think it looked that off. So I wanted to try an experiment. Not to dispute your expertise RAH, just wanted to see the differences from all the major formats. You've seen an actual film print of this film, I've only seen the film on home video.

So what I did was take screen caps from my own copies of the laser disc from 1982, the DVD from 2002, the blu ray from 2012 and the current blu ray from 2020. I didn't want to do the 2007 DVD, though I do own it. What's interesting is the difference in the color used to tint the night shots. The 2002 DVD and 2020 blu ray has colors that are a fairly similar. For fun I also included a shot from the early part of the film with the cat and later the car chase. The car chase surprised me as the cropping difference was apparent there.

The cat, 1982 LD, 2002 DVD, 2012 BD and 2020 BD
View attachment 73454

This is the establishing shot, Day for Night, 1982 LD, 2002 DVD, 2012 BD and 2020 BD
View attachment 73455

On the grounds Day for Night, 1982 LD, 2002 DVD, 2012 BD and 2020 BD
View attachment 73456

Oh, its Fousard! 1982 LD, 2002 DVD, 2012 BD and 2020 BD
View attachment 73457

Then why are we dawdling? 1982 LD, 2002 DVD, 2012 BD and 2020 BD
View attachment 73458

Isn't it interesting that the 2002 DVD and 2020 Blu Ray's colors are most similar. For the laserdisc master, there was no tinting done on the day for night shots. For brightness, the LD and 2020 blu ray are similar. As far as cropping, the 2002 DVD and 2020 blu ray is ver similar.

I don’t know what to say, I really wanted this disc to be good and I really hope that the true story comes out about the "restoration".
That‘s a huge difference in D-F-N
 
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haineshisway

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The green wash is so not right. What's also interesting is that the 2002 DVD is similar in sharpness to the 2020 Blu - weird. Maybe it's just the lesser quality.
 

KMR

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...
I heard, late last night, that the new restoration of Paramount’s To Catch a Thief, has received one of the most prestigious awards in the international archival field – the Cecilia Giménez Parchment – awarded for special recognition by the University of Turino.
...
Mr. Harris, this has to be my absolute favorite post in this thread! Bravo!

And I certainly hope no future "restorations" find themselves in the running for--let alone pursue!--this prestigious award!

;)
 
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tenia

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But I have a problem with the misuse of the term "restoration," especially when the entity behind such a "restoration" speaks with great pride about their work. That diminishes the work of those who take their jobs seriously.

With all due respect, Paramount referencing the latest Blu-ray of To Catch a Thief as a "restoration," is simply a lie, slathered in pretty copywriting. Keep in mind that however data may have existed as a raw scan, colored, cleaned, stabilized files, must eventually find their way to the Blu-ray bucket. One cannot legitimately speak of quality that might have once been part of a pre-Blu-ray file, if it has been affected in negative ways en route to the hone theater.

The word “restoration“ has a specific meaning. It is not merely a marketing term.
I totally understand what you mean in terms of litteral aspect here, but what word should be used then ? Restoration is the word used because be it a good or a bad one, we understand what was the technical process behind : sourcing and scanning the elements, cleaning them, grading them, etc etc. It's extremely likely that in the case of TCAT, we're just some DNR away of having something extremely nice looking.

But "to restore" indeed has a specific meaning, and clearly, Paramount hasn't "restored" TCAT here, but transformed it into something it's likely not to be anywhere close its original look.
 

Robert Harris

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I totally understand what you mean in terms of litteral aspect here, but what word should be used then ? Restoration is the word used because be it a good or a bad one, we understand what was the technical process behind : sourcing and scanning the elements, cleaning them, grading them, etc etc. It's extremely likely that in the case of TCAT, we're just some DNR away of having something extremely nice looking.

But "to restore" indeed has a specific meaning, and clearly, Paramount hasn't "restored" TCAT here, but transformed it into something it's likely not to be anywhere close its original look.
A phrase that I’m comfortable with is “digital clean-up,” which is what we did with some of the Fox three-strip films at Lowry - The Black Swan, Drums Along the Mohawk, Leave Her to Heaven. These were not restorations, because they could not be brought close enough to their proper, original appearance. Later, others hit them with the R word, for marketing sizzle.

There’s no shame in a digital clean-up.

But, unfortunately, Thief is neither. It’s an alteration. Neither digitally affected in a positive way, nor restored to any figment of the imagination.

As my new friend from Turino might call it.. bellissimo.

That‘s fair, surely.
 

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