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A Few Words About A few words about...™ An American Werewolf in London -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Oct 4, 2016.

  1. Message #1 of 87 Oct 4, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2016
    Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Update:

    A recent comment by HTF member Bruce Kimmel got me thinking about the way that cinema shot on film is evaluated in the realm of home theater.

    There is something we reference as "perfection," which is precisely what Mr. Kimmel has referenced in his comments regarding the movement of goalposts.

    This has been ongoing, at least in its latest incarnation, since 2007.

    The question is, "at what point does a release pass muster," and it's now come down to viewing distances. Most current releases are so good, the quality so high, that it is generally films licensed by the studios to others, that can't always hit the necessary quality points.

    Older transfers, not digitally (or physically) cleaned, a lack of stabilization, which in reality makes a release appear less film-like, and more digital, stagnant or magnetic grain...

    All of these concepts cause me to backtrack a bit on AWiL, a near-perfect release from Universal, which does not hit actual perfection because of a simple error in compression technology, that seemingly got through QC.

    There are numerous ways to look at these situations, and my most recent thinking has been that if a Blu-ray doesn't set off red flags at a normal viewing distance, causing a reviewer to take a closer examination, then all is well.

    I'm recanting that thought.

    Allowing a product a 5 for image quality, even though a constantly moving target, must remain the current concept of perfection.

    It will be noted that the image rating for AWiL has been slightly lowered to take this into account.

    Thanks for flying HTF.


    John Landis' 1981 American Werewolf in London, is a crowd-pleaser that hasn't had an easy existence on home video.

    There always seems to be a problem.

    So much so, that when Universal released the new Blu-ray to replace the original, discussions of problems continued.

    I've just spent some quality time with the new release, and I'm not seeing it.

    This appears to be a clean scan, with good color and densities, along with what appears to be the film's true grain structure.

    I'm a happy camper with this one.

    Others may not agree.

    As to the film, for the uninitiated, (yes, there are always a few out there), the film is a superb horror film, with a decidedly comedic bent. I've always loved the casting of the folks in the Scottish pub in an early scene, and the way the sequence is played.

    Of course, our two Americans are warned to stay off the moors, and on the road, and what do they do?


    Image - 4.5

    Audio - 5

    4k Up-rez - 5

    Pass / Fail - Pass

    Recommended

    RAH
     
  2. Message #2 of 87 Oct 4, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2016
    Charles Smith

    Charles Smith Extremely Talented Member

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    Excellent! -- because it's about time this uninitiated changed his status.

    (It's true, we're often walking among all of you...uninitiated and unsuspected, blending right in...)
     
  3. Geoff_D

    Geoff_D Supporting Actor

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    While the detail is sensational the sense of filmic texture looks incredibly weird to my eyes, like someone's gone crazy with the watercolour filter in paintshop, it looks like something shot on digital video and not early '80s 35mm. I genuinely hope this is a one-off from Universal and not a harbinger of a return to the dark days of their badly mangled back catalogue.
     
    Ferdinand Hudson and Dave H like this.
  4. Message #4 of 87 Oct 4, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2016
    Mike Wadkins

    Mike Wadkins Supporting Actor

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    It's the same bad snakewater Universal have been selling since Jaws.
    Just like the Thing, as it is a little better than the old disc, does not make it good.
    Breakfast Club and Jaws had issues people overlooked as they didn't look like their old discs.
    This is the same thing, and a film that deserves better.
    Is it better than the Full Moon Edition?
    Sure.
    But its like picking what STD you want, and with an upmix soundtrack its one that I can do well without.

    Sold it after first watch
     
    Ferdinand Hudson likes this.
  5. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Count me as one of the people happy with this BD release.
     
  6. John Doe

    John Doe Second Unit

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    Shout's The Thing looks fantastic. Stop trolling and go away.
     
  7. Message #7 of 87 Oct 4, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2016
    Blu_rayfan66

    Blu_rayfan66 Stunt Coordinator

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    Great review...but I think the Scottish pub you refer too ('The Slaughtered Lamb' ?) is actually meant to be in Yorkshire, Northern England, judging by the accents and the fact that the two Americans were hiking thru the famous Yorkshire Moors.
     
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  8. Lord Dalek

    Lord Dalek Producer

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    Lemme guess, "user error based on personal ego and desire to have a ridiculously overcooked quote unquote 'home theater' they can't possibly enjoy any movie whatsoever on because OH NOES THE GRAIN ISN'T AS COURSE AS THE SAHARA!!!" again right?
     
  9. battlebeast

    battlebeast Cinematographer

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    This was the first film to win the Oscar for Best Makeup, and so it will be nice to see the amazing work in high def.
     
  10. Konstantinos

    Konstantinos Screenwriter

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    I don't see the reason why people who like their blurays to look filmic with grain should be offended like that.
    Each one has his own tastes, and should be respected.
    Why this constant battle between the grain and no-grain people?

    Also another question:
    Why Spartacus was restored if the first no/less grain bluray was the end of all things and the best that film could look?
     
    Will Krupp likes this.
  11. Michael Fargo

    Michael Fargo Auditioning

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    All of the mention of Grain and Buzzwords like DNR are as outdated as the guys living in Mom and
    Dads Basements. A lot of the issues noted were only reproducible on Substandard equipment as
    in 8 bit devices and or connections. I took the Blu-ray and saw no issue on a full Deep Color system.
    I then took it out to my motorhome which has an older 720p flat panel and crumby Blu-ray player and
    saw all of the issue. These days DVNR devices are in the land fill. Grain is processed shot by shot in
    very complex out of real time software based systems. Reviewed again and again by re-mastering
    pros on equipment worth more than my home. I suggest some upgrades for the folks seeing issues here.

    People seeing issues in dark scenes never worked with film. High speed = High Grain Low Speed =
    Low Grain. Universal Stayed True to what Film looks like. Keep up the good work.
     
    Randy Korstick and Lord Dalek like this.
  12. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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    Oh boy.
     
  13. TonyD

    TonyD Who do we think I am?
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    Well that seals it for me. was on the fence but now I'll be picking this up.

    It's my favorite horror film that is also really funny.
     
  14. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    As you're over there, I'll defer, it they still sound like a large group of Harvard grads.
     
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  15. John Sparks

    John Sparks Producer

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    Since it's one of my favorites...I BOUGHT IT AGAIN!!! :blink:
     
  16. Mike Wadkins

    Mike Wadkins Supporting Actor

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    Trolling??? Grow up, it has too much DNR and is too sharpened for my liking, it's my opinion based on my preference and is no less valid than yours.
    You like that the ball is still missing, and once again the colours have been changed? You like that detail is missing and is over sharp?
    Then be happy with your purchase and be secure enough to not feel you have to justify it on the Internet to validate your spending.
    I don't like how it looks in motion, those are my feelings.
    Just remember people like Bill Hunt reviewed the first discs well also.
    And that I got shouted down on AVS for saying the last Werewolf disc had fake grain.
    And yet here we are.
    So maybe you should stop trolling by just saying someones viewpoint is incorrect in a driveby shitpost
     
  17. Mike Wadkins

    Mike Wadkins Supporting Actor

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    Grain was never consistent scene to scene in a film of this budget and age.
    Grain management has happened here and it's obvious.
    If you like it or not is another thing, but it's not original
     
  18. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    What you're seeing is neither "grain management" nor DNR.

    The selection of compressor, has taken a very slight edge off the grain, making it appear more like a scan of an IP, than an OCN. This gives the grain a slightly more velvety look, a final result preferred by some filmmakers, inclusive of David Lean.

    The final result has been viewed, and approved by the filmmaker.

    From a normal seating distance, the two should be transparent, hence my rating.

    What has been released is the result of a 2016 image harvest, with zero noise reduction.

    RAH
     
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  19. Message #19 of 87 Oct 5, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2016
    Billy Batson

    Billy Batson Producer

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    A lot of people (esp. over at blu-ray.com) think that in a good transfer you should be seeing a lot grain, & anyone who complains about it is a "grain hater". Looked at from a normal viewing distance, I don't think you should be aware of grain (just like you don't see it in a cinema). In a lot of older transfers, the focus knob was wound right up (& I was so guilty of that!), so grain & (mostly) noise was very viewable. What I love about new transfers done properly, is that they're not as noisy or (artificially) sharp or "electric looking" as the older transfers.
     
  20. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Let's stop the personal attacks and this warning goes for all posters in this thread.
     
    Tony Bensley, Rodney and marshman1138 like this.

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