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UHD Review A few words about...™ 2001: a space odyssey -- in 4k UHD Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Oct 29, 2018.

  1. TonyD

    TonyD Who do we think I am?
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    I read them all and doesn’t remember anything from the last two except for something going on with landing on Halley’s Comet.
     
  2. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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    Rather than making more movies in the 2001 lineage (which I think is a horrible idea), I'd like to see someone tackle a film adaptation of one of Clarke's best works - Rendezvous With Rama. I know that at one time Morgan Freeman was somehow attached to a project for this story that never got off the ground, and nothing solid ever materialized. I think it would make a great movie, particularly if any attempt to turn it into a sci-fi actioner could be resisted. If it was done as a straight-up science fiction film, ala Arrival, that would be amazing and, I'm sure, too much to hope for.
     
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  3. Radioman970

    Radioman970 Lead Actor

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    that was the big spoiler! you did it not me! lol

    I'd love to see that.
     
  4. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    I think David Fincher was attached to this like 20 years ago, but unfortunately it never happened.
     
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  5. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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  6. Jean-Pierre Gutzeit

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    It is gratifying that after initial euphoria about the new Blu ray/UHD/IMAX DCP/4KDCP/70mm versions, word has got around that no version from 2018 (which are almost all different from each other, except 4K DCP=UHD Blu ray) contains scenes to be expected from a common Eastman Color negative. And that this film has never been so defaced. Even the 4K version, which is based on a scan of the original negative we heard, is one of the weakest UHD versions on the market.

    We had no good feeling when we announced this movie in 2018, because already all re-release film prints on 35mm and 70mm since the re-release year 2001 showed questionable discolorations of the interpositive (as 35mm as 65mm). And because no satisfying home cinema versions have been seen since then either: the 2007 Blu-ray suffered from the lateral illumination error and other flaws. And it is precisely this version that proves to be the only source still available in 2018 that gives a hint of the original look over a longer period of time, even though it was only scanned by an aged 35mm interpositive that cannot withstand the comparison to a 70mm premiere print struck of the 65mm original negative. And also the color of the so-called Djinn Chairs never appeared again in the color that the premiere prints in 1968 had. Nevertheless, in this Blu ray of 2007 one should look at the scenes with the stewardess as well as the final scene in the hotel appartment and recognize the difference to all other versions that are far from it.

    Partially, as has often been mentioned, the original negative is no longer in the 1968 state, where two scenes had to be partially replaced during printing at Metrocolor labs. More dup-inserts were added later. From the beginning the film consisted of at least 40% Intermediate-Inserts as a result of the optical printing of Visual Effects in 1967/68. If there are now more dups at damaged areas, the film does not even reach 35mm resolution at these points.
    In addition, at least the one interpositive since 2001 shows discolorations in the white and grey areas: the spaceships were no longer really white, a neutral grey difficult to correct. The second interpositive shows less discoloration, but was not used throughout.

    Several errors and deficiencies would have been correctable. In addition to material problems, the processing of 2018 shows clumsy, hair-raising errors both in the production of the 70mm prints and in the production of the digisates.
    It was already suspected here in the thread that time constraints or a too tight budget might have led to this accumulation of errors. We could very well imagine such an explanation. Well recognized!

    Some examples why the Warner in 2018 (in all versions) made the worst mistakes, which you couldn't even consider a "beginner's mistake":

    - The UHD, on the other hand, is different from the Blu ray - both are in the same package. The end scene in the hotel room is thundery dark in the Blu ray. The halo effects (ringing) appear stronger in the Blu ray than in the UHD (but they're nowhere to be seen in the 70mm "Nolan" print I saw last Sunday). And the least ringing appears in the scanned original negative.
    - The flesh tones are all falsified in the digisates as well as in the new 70mm print. To some extent decently they appear on the Blu ray DIsc of 2007!
    - In the "Dawn of the Men" sequence, however, the Digisat has made an effort with retouching and a slight contrast correction. Maybe the budget was burned afterwards? Because what comes after that is rejects.
    - In the new 70mm print you can't even see the structure of the craters in the moon in the opening scene of the film. The rest of the film print, as with some 70mm prints of the respective laboratory plant of the last years, tips over into the green cast, the contrasts drown and in the shadows, there are hardly any more details recognizable. But at least this 70mm version (Nolan Version) is free of the ringing of the digisates, although in many scenes (which are extracted from one of the two interpositives) discolorations appear again in the white areas, especially at the edges of the rotating space station 5. (Even in the digisates this appears, which is why I assume that what once constituted the original negative is hardly present in the scanned version anymore - which is no excuse for an amateurish color and color balance)

    As the forum colleague noted on the previous page, we also think that we will not see the film again in any authentic version during our lifetime, especially not comparable with many other very successful transfers of many other old films from the 50s and 60s. One could once again approach the color timing with guaranteed (!) better results, but then there is a dispute among the complex society of all involved who is actually willing to take responsibility. The names that have fallen prominently so far (all of them with decades of industry experience) have embarrassed themselves to the bone with this edition.
     
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  7. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    Please speak only for yourself and do not presume to speak for the rest of us.

    We at HTF love this disc. You do not. That’s fine, but don’t put words in our mouths.
     
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  8. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    We will agree to disagree regarding the 4k Blu-ray.

    Admittedly, the latest theatrical releases(s) of 2001 were amateur hour, with confused marketing and publicity, too many incorrect statements from too many players, and lastly, too many cooks, with no single authority over the entire process.

    However...

    Having viewed several original prints early on - c. 1968-70 - all derived from the OCN at which time it was almost still intact, and having wound through much of the negative, and noting dupes, I like what I’m seeing on the 4k disc.

    Is it perfect? No, but it’s really nice.

    And as a final note, had those involved early on in the non-restoration stayed away, and allowed Fotokem to finalize from the dupes properly, and with enough time, that last run of IMAX prints could have been quite beautiful.
     
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  9. Message #429 of 475 May 2, 2019
    Last edited: May 3, 2019
    dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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    Huh? Did we watch the same 4K disc? It's not perfect, but it looks very, VERY good to these eyes. Your criticisms make it sound like one of the worst 4K releases ever produced. Nothing could be farther from the truth as far as I'm concerned. Face it - this is the best presentation of 2001 on home video EVER, and it's likely to be the best we'll be getting in my lifetime (I'm 61). I couldn't be happier.
     
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  10. Keith Cobby

    Keith Cobby Cinematographer

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    +1
     
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  11. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    It’s one of the more elaborately schemed trolling attempts I’ve seen, I guess some credit should be given for that.
     
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  12. CarlosMeat

    CarlosMeat Second Unit
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    It's breaking the number one rule however. It takes an order of magnitude more effort to dispel BS than it does to produce it. I think it got reversed.
     
  13. JoshZ

    JoshZ Supporting Actor

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    I read his posts as someone who is very passionate about the film and demands perfection from it. At the same time, this seems like a textbook case of "missing the forest for the trees."
     
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  14. Message #434 of 475 May 3, 2019
    Last edited: May 3, 2019
    PMF

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    I have noticed that all of your HTF posts are exclusive to this "2001" thread, with the last one being as far back as November 22, 2018.

    So, here we are, some 5 months later.

    Question:
    If what you are seeking could only be attained by means of additional monies, would you be willing to send Warner's your own personal check for that missing needed sum?

    Until then, I remain in awe of all those individuals who are active participants in the world of film restoration, archiving, rescue, research, digital clean-ups and the likes. Therefore, within all of these fervent discussions concerning "2001" and its latest 4K transfer, I dare say that the charge of being "embarrassed" should not be one of them. Long ago, and in a galaxy far, far, away...the restoration of "2001" was already on record for being a problematic and complex undertaking; as chronicled by RAH in his opening words on Page One of this thread. So, whether its now a case of further funding or the unfortunate realities of "2001" and its well-worn elements of 50 plus years - or even something else - is a question that I could never begin to answer, as I am not an insider. But, be that as it may, one thing is for certain; this 4K of "2001" is visually light years beyond any other version I have ever known. And that, my friends, is the direction that I shall always applaud.
     
  15. TonyD

    TonyD Who do we think I am?
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    Who is “We”?
     
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  16. OliverK

    OliverK Producer

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    I have known Jean-Pierre for a very long time and I have also helped him a little bit with some programming for film festivals over here in Europe. He knows a lot about film, especially 70mm films. Here is an upcoming festival where he was heavily involved in programming and procuring prints:

    https://www.in70mm.com/news/2019/varnsdorf/index.htm

    He has asked me to make a post and I can vouch for him in so far as he is not a troll and I think with different wording and some background his posts would be seen in a different light.

    Jean-Pierre is very passionate about film and has extensive experience in film processing and grading as he has worked in that field for decades. He also stays friends with a number of people who have worked with film since its large format heydays in the 60s and their opinion is similar to his which is that 2001 is rather uneven with grading issues that cannot possibly be excused by the condition of the elements. They think that the new Blu-ray and UHD Blu-ray could be a lot better especially with digital tools that make things a lot easier than they would be working with film. This is what he meant with "we" which of course cannot be understood from his post alone.

    To avoid further confusion stemming from what he writes I have offered him to have a look at his posts before he puts them up and hopefully that may lead to people being less puzzled by his posts and maybe it will even soften his stance a little bit ;)

    Hope that helps and now back to the topic at hand.
     
  17. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    Even with the benefit of the doubt that his intentions are noble, he still has a rather uphill battle to face if his position is “this disc looks terrible and you should all agree with that.”
     
  18. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    He appears to be a perfectionist and most of us aren't that so he needs to be cognizant of that major difference.
     
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  19. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    I care deeply about this film and it’s presentation. I’ve studied it for just about my entire life. I’ve traveled to see this film and I’ve visited the Stanley Kubrick archives in London to further those studies. I do care about quality.

    The new BD, UHD and DCP version is a quality presentation.
     
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  20. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    That doesn't mean your expectations are the same as Jean-Pierre which based on the respective comments from both of you, they are clearly not.
     

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