A Few Words About A few words about...™ Cape Fear (1961) -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Jan 20, 2013.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    I guess in some ways that it's unfortunate to have viewed J. Lee Thompson's original version of Cape Fear directly after spending some quality time, with quality -- Experiment in Terror. Cape Fear appears to be an older transfer, with a bit of softness, and an overall slightly digital looking image. Nothing horrific. Just not what it might be post 2007. There's a bit of edginess to things, and you don't want to get too close to the image. Grain is kind of there, but not really. All in all, an okay Blu-ray representing a superb thriller. Great Bernard Herrmann score, and what should have been a gorgeous image from cinematographer Sam Leavitt, whose work you can see in A Star is Born (1954), The Court Martial of Billy Mitchell, The Defiant Ones, Advise and Consent, Major Dundee and Guess Who's Coming to Dinner. You won't see his beautiful work here. Terrific film, and a quality Blu-ray as long as you sit back far enough. Image - 2.5 Audio - 4 RAH
     
  2. Lromero1396

    Lromero1396 Supporting Actor

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    Yet another digitized disaster from Universal. Will not be purchasing until it hits rock bottom prices.:f
     
  3. willyTass

    willyTass Second Unit

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    and not even then
     
  4. Robin9

    Robin9 Producer

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    The DVD is good. I'll stick with that.
     
  5. Russell G

    Russell G Fake Shemp
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    Crumb! I picked this up at rock bottom price and opened it so I can't return it. only $7 wasted, but still sucks that it's not looking as good as it should. Bloody Universal, you just can't rely on them at all.
     
  6. rsmithjr

    rsmithjr Screenwriter

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    Robert, Has the sound been remixed to stereo? The recent Experiment in Terror (Sony/Twilight Time) has a new stereo soundtrack with Henry Mancini's score. One can at least hope that Bernard Herrmann would merit the same treatment.
     
  7. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Monaural.
     
  8. OliverK

    OliverK Cinematographer

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    You can rely on them to generally mess things up with catalog titles to varying degrees. You can also rely on many of their better catalog titles to be just OK and not very good or spectacular, no matter how big the title may be. As smoothed over titles like Cape Fear only get to look that way via additional "procedures" I do also believe that we have a case here of things being done the wrong way repeatedly with little to no learning from previous mistakes. Less would have been more in these cases but Universal will not stop at not remastering a title, they most of the time try to cover their tracks by adding varying amounts of grain reduction/DNR/pumped up colors and contrast boosting. Oh well, at least Cape Fear hasn't got boosted colors...
     
  9. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Actually, the black & white scale in Cape Fear looks quite nice.
    I'll repeat. People with moderate sized viewing panels should be quite pleased.
    RAH
     
  10. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    I didn't want to say anything to upset those ranting about this BD, but I bought the UK BD more than a year ago and thought it looked fine on my 65" monitor.
    Crawdaddy
     
  11. Lromero1396

    Lromero1396 Supporting Actor

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    Mr. Harris, In your book, would 60" be moderate sized?.
     
  12. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    In my book, 60" would be a good size panel.
    Once again, the basic transfer is fine. Seated at a proper distance one will never know that it doesn't look like cinema.
    This is not a transfer over which I would go to war.
    It's fine for what it is.
    RAH
     
  13. Everett Stallings

    Everett Stallings Supporting Actor

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    I also.
     
  14. Scott Calvert

    Scott Calvert Supporting Actor

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    I watched this one directly after Mrs Miniver and Grand Hotel. Yeah, it's not great. Both of the aforementioned are great transfers (generation of elements notwithstanding), it felt as if I were watching projected film. Then came Cape Fear and back to video. It's not terrible, almost on par with Psycho I guess. But it's a bit annoying as Universal has shown they can do great transfers as Harvey confirms.
     
  15. FanboyZ

    FanboyZ Second Unit

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    Is good size better than moderate?
     
  16. OliverK

    OliverK Cinematographer

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    But that is always the problem with textures isn't it? For me a disc being able to replicate the look of film and of the theatrial presentation is what Blu-Ray is supposed to be about - to have a picture that doesn't fall apart with closer viewing distances and that allows us to move closer to the screen without the picture starting to look like video. Perhaps Universal should add a sticker on the case: Please don't use with projection systems. I haven't bought a Universal Blu-Ray in a long time as they take a lackluster approach to the Blu-Ray format as a whole that is imo unique among all the major studios and I don't mean that in a positive way.
     
  17. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Universal may have a studio, but the reality seems to be that they're a cable / TV entity. RAH
     
  18. OliverK

    OliverK Cinematographer

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    That is a very good assessment and one that helps to put things into perspective.
     

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