Tony Bensley

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It's a little late for that option. It'll be there or not and, considering "not" on the DVDs, likely not on the BR. I never use that option so won't miss it.
To be honest, it's an option I seldom use, although I would appreciate a PLAY ALL option for chronologically sequenced sets, such as "The Essential Collection." Since the Blu-ray Edition of the new "Definitive Restorations" isn't quite one of those, I'm not too bothered by the lack of one. However, since it just seems like such an easy option to include, why not?

CHEERS! :)
 

AnthonyClarke

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Can anyone compare the transfer of Way Out West with the version on the 5-disc Universal Blu ray set released a little while back in the UK 'The Very Best of Laurel and Hardy' . I've not seen this set reviewed anywhere. 'Way Out West' on this is ok .. quite soft but passable, but with terrible chapterings which are really irritating.
 
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Tony Bensley

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Can anyone compare the transfer of Way Out West with the version on the 5-disc Universal Blu ray set released a little while back in the UK 'The Very Best of Laurel and Hardy' . I've not seen this set reviewed anywhere. 'Way Out West' on this is ok .. quite soft but passable, but with terrible chapterings which are really irritating.
Are you referring to the Universal "Way Out West" Blu-ray as OK, or the new one?

CHEERS :)
 

AnthonyClarke

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The Universal, as just - barely just - OK. Which isn't surprising, since a few minutes ago I found a review which stated that this UK Universal Bluray box set was in fact just old DVDs upscaled for 'blu ray' release! And I thought the Universal label meant it might be ok. More fool me.
 
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Robbie^Blackmon

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The UK Blu from Universal tends to be a bit on the darker side, artificially sharp and very, very similar to what was on the Universal dvd set that preceded it. Not quite up to 1080p standard, picture-wise, and it does look like an up-conversion from standard dvd with a fair amount of compression noise that can be distracting in medium shots. At times it looks very good, but others you're left feeling you might be watching a badly encoded divx file or some compressed full motion video taken out of a late 2000's era video game.

The Universal copy also exhibits PAL speedup artifacts in the higher pitched audio and shorter run time, there's that splice in "Trail of the Lonesome Pine", and more positive dirt, vertical scratches and gate weave than the newly restored Blu.

Despite any issues with a, perhaps, overly-processed image on the Sprocket Vault release, it really fares better than any previous video issue that I've encountered, well-balanced contrast and a solid, stable image that, while occasionally soft, yields plenty of detail (check out the locket when it hits the carpet). The soundtrack does not disappoint with distinct dialogue, lots of dynamic range for music, comic thumps and bumps, minimal hiss with no excessive noise reduction as was employed for the Universal release (that electronic swirly/bubbly nonsense is not present, here, though it is very noticeable on the soundtrack for Tree in a Test Tube. Only so much that can be done with that one, I presume) and all at the correct pitch which is another plus for the songs and film score.

It also fares better than the restored TCM presentation that I had saved previously from an HD transmission which, despite being ripped directly from a high definition satellite feed, suffered from extra image compression resulting in an overly smooth image with the occasional frame drop, likely a combination of the capture hardware, TCM and content provider processing.

Working my way through the Sprocket Vault Blu Ray after having viewed the dvds, I can say that for any nitpick I might have with one technical "flaw" or other, I find two other facets to be impressed with, such as the wealth of supplements, and the sheer enthusiasm and love for the material expressed in the commentary tracks.

The short films still fare better in overall quality and presentation than the features and, to me, Sons of the Desert, while it looks better on the high definition format, still falls just short of my expectation of "spectacular", as I hoped it would be. Doesn't make it any less enjoyable.

Plus, The Battle of the Century on Blu Ray? Need I say more?

P.S.
I will say more. Here's where the screencaps would have gone if everyone weren't sick of them by now. I think I am, too.

Can anyone compare the transfer of Way Out West with the version on the 5-disc Universal Blu ray set released a little while back in the UK 'The Very Best of Laurel and Hardy' . I've not seen this set reviewed anywhere. 'Way Out West' on this is ok .. quite soft but passable, but with terrible chapterings which are really irritating.
 

Todd Mattraw

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I received my copy of the Definitive blu-ray from DD today, having attempted unsuccessfully to cancel my order last Saturday. I'm not opening it, instead I'm returning it next week. When even the positive reviews carry serious negatives (negatives which line up with Robert Harris' observations), I know myself well enough to realize I won't enjoy this, I'll be watching what I have but thinking about what I might have had, and what should have been.

It seems like it should have been relatively simple to transfer quality physical restorations to a quality digital medium. What I've read and seen here and elsewhere indicates to me that this wasn't the case, that too much was done in the interim, at least to some of the films.
 
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Tony Bensley

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The Universal, as just - barely just - OK. Which isn't surprising, since a few minutes ago I found a review which stated that this UK Universal Bluray box set was in fact just old DVDs upscaled for 'blu ray' release! And I thought the Universal label meant it might be ok. More fool me.
I remember that set getting almost "Universal" terrible reviews, if you'll kindly pardon the expression. I'm glad I held off on that one!

To be fair though, I'm not 100% on whether they were actually upscales, or if the titles were originally scanned in 1080p, then downscaled for the Universal DVDs.

CHEERS! :)
 

Tony Bensley

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Based on everything I've read about the overall PQ/AQ for SONS OF THE DESERT (1933), I look forward to retiring that portion of my UK Universal PAL Region 2 DVD, although I'm sure I'll still occasionally play the accompanying WE FAW DOWN (1928) silent short, and Charley Chase's penultimate Hal Roach short, ON THE WRONG TREK (1936).

CHEERS! :)
 

BobO'Link

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The Universal, as just - barely just - OK. Which isn't surprising, since a few minutes ago I found a review which stated that this UK Universal Bluray box set was in fact just old DVDs upscaled for 'blu ray' release! And I thought the Universal label meant it might be ok. More fool me.
A few months after that set came out I was practically seconds away from ordering that set when I found the same, or similar, review and hit cancel instead. So disappointing... Like everyone else I was expecting superior results with it coming from Universal.
 
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telzall

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A few months after that set came out I was practically seconds away from ordering that set when I found the same, or similar, review and hit cancel instead. So disappointing... Like everyone else I was expecting superior results with it coming from Universal.
Which set is this? Please, excuse my ignorance.
 

BobO'Link

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Which set is this? Please, excuse my ignorance.
This one:
1593784940409.png
And the price has been as low as $20 shipped making it even more attractive. But reviews are not good with this one on Amazon UK (linked on image) pretty much summing it all up:

Oh dear me. I had hoped that these great films “in high definition for the first time” (as the sleeve proclaims) would be based on the 2K restored re-scans that got a cinema release a few years ago.
Alas, these appear to be upscaled versions of the Kirch group's previous Laurel & Hardy DVDs and not really much of an improvement on the DVDs.
Indeed, the bonus films (Another Fine Mess, Busy Bodies & Towed In A Hole) are very poor, with severe interlacing throughout and no evidence that any remastering has occurred to improve resolution to 1080p.
If you don't already own these films - which are all great - it may be worth the purchase, but as an improvement over the DVD, I can't recommend these at all.
 
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Tony Bensley

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This one:
713krPuQp6L._AC_SL1500_.jpg

And the price has been as low as $20 shipped making it even more attractive. But reviews are not good with this one on Amazon UK (linked on image) pretty much summing it all up:

Oh dear me. I had hoped that these great films “in high definition for the first time” (as the sleeve proclaims) would be based on the 2K restored re-scans that got a cinema release a few years ago.
Alas, these appear to be upscaled versions of the Kirch group's previous Laurel & Hardy DVDs and not really much of an improvement on the DVDs.
Indeed, the bonus films (Another Fine Mess, Busy Bodies & Towed In A Hole) are very poor, with severe interlacing throughout and no evidence that any remastering has occurred to improve resolution to 1080p.
If you don't already own these films - which are all great - it may be worth the purchase, but as an improvement over the DVD, I can't recommend these at all.
Interlacing for vintage 1930s films is just all bad, UGH! In my opinion, the DVDs would be a better option, in this case! BLOCK-HEADS (1938), and OUR RELATIONS (1936) probably look better on the "Essential Collection" DVD set (Plus, no PAL speedup issues!), anyway.

My only question is does this version of PARDON US (1931) include the inserted Spanish Language (Badly dubbed!) fire scene footage?

CHEERS! :)

P.S. Stan's sad face and Ollie's pained expression on the front cover is all too appropriate for this widely panned release of poorly upscaled and interlaced SD transfers! :(
 
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Robbie^Blackmon

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Interlacing for vintage 1930s films is just all bad, UGH! In my opinion, the DVDs would be a better option, in this case! BLOCK-HEADS (1938), and OUR RELATIONS (1936) probably look better on the "Essential Collection" DVD set (Plus, no PAL speedup issues!), anyway.

My only question is does this version of PARDON US (1931) include the inserted Spanish Language (Badly dubbed!) fire scene footage?

CHEERS! :)
It does. The whole program, including Universal logo, "On With the Show" scrolling text intro and fire scene footage runs 1:08:32.
 

Traveling Matt

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I know a lot of hard work went into this set, and I have admiration for people like Mr. Skretvedt who have dedicated so much to L&H over the years, but a purchase at this point seems really hard to justify. As much as I want to reward the effort overall. But like someone else said earlier, I know I won't like this. I won't be able to unsee what I see.

So regardless of who handled which films for which reasons, since there must be digital files to return to before the grain was scrubbed, how possible is it there could be a reissue of this set down the line? If there is one that restores the films in question with the level of judgment suggested in this thread, it would almost certainly be the last word on these films and that's what I've wanted since the announcement.
 

Will Krupp

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Interlacing for vintage 1930s films is just all bad, UGH! In my opinion, the DVDs would be a better option, in this case! BLOCK-HEADS (1938), and OUR RELATIONS (1936) probably look better on the "Essential Collection" DVD set (Plus, no PAL speedup issues!), anyway.
I know that's a pet peeve for you as it is for me, too!! :angry:
 

Tony Bensley

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Interlacing for vintage 1930s films is just all bad, UGH! In my opinion, the DVDs would be a better option, in this case! BLOCK-HEADS (1938), and OUR RELATIONS (1936) probably look better on the "Essential Collection" DVD set (Plus, no PAL speedup issues!), anyway.
I know that's a pet peeve for you as it is for me, too!! :angry:
Yup!! :angry:
 
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