Robert Harris

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I didn't know that, but it explains why I liked the digital restoration work on Hog Wild so much better than on the other titles. Do you perhaps know why UCLA didn't do the digital restoration on the other titles?
Hog Wild was done digitally, as the surviving elements were best served by the format, which, per damage, and missing pieces, apparently did not lend itself as well to analogue work. If things were done in normal UCLA fashion, the final result would probably have been a fully restored 35mm polyester protection negative and track.

This should be checkable on their web site.

Digital permits a melange of the finest surviving elements to be restored without concern to polarity, taking each directly into a proper restorative clean-up mode.

The folks there are professionals, and deserve your financial support, which could include more L & H productions.
 

Genoman

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Gene O'Brien
The folks there are professionals, and deserve your financial support, which could include more L & H productions.
I don't have the 'eyes' that many of you here have. I can see differences but I couldn't tell you what they were or why. (That's sort of why I joined here...to pick up tips from the pros) I posted the quote from Sprocket because I knew from reading this thread before I joined that there was some argument about what may have been done to UCLA's work in the digital domain. It seems as if the Sprocket post may have answered that.

I've donated to UCLA's film restoration, specifically that fund which is dedicated to restoring and preserving Laurel & Hardy films. I will continue to do so as funds permit.

Personally, while not having high end equipment, I just want my blu-rays and DVDs to look as close to the original film as possible. The work and sweat that went into making those films deserve no less, in my humble opinion.
 

Robert Harris

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I don't have the 'eyes' that many of you here have. I can see differences but I couldn't tell you what they were or why. (That's sort of why I joined here...to pick up tips from the pros) I posted the quote from Sprocket because I knew from reading this thread before I joined that there was some argument about what may have been done to UCLA's work in the digital domain. It seems as if the Sprocket post may have answered that.

I've donated to UCLA's film restoration, specifically that fund which is dedicated to restoring and preserving Laurel & Hardy films. I will continue to do so as funds permit.

Personally, while not having high end equipment, I just want my blu-rays and DVDs to look as close to the original film as possible. The work and sweat that went into making those films deserve no less, in my humble opinion.
One further point of importance, especially when quoting a distributor’s site or on-line account.

This particular release has reached a new zenith in the industry for hyperbole and self-promotion, with virtually zero facts standing behind the claims.

One might surmise, that in quoting verbiage from such sites, that things will not have become either more transparent or accurate to reality.
 

Reed Grele

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Last night I watched a little more of the new L&H set. Made it a point to check out "Helpmates" and "The Music Box". Both are very well made and extremely funny! I did notice that "The Music Box" was devoid of grain. Whether or not I would have noticed this, or would have been bothered by it without having first read RAH's "Few Words", I can't honestly say. In any case, I still enjoyed the short immensely. Perhaps the team that did these had a breakdown of communication which led to some titles being scrubbed way too much.

I think the audio commentary on "Helpmates" sums it up best. If Mr. Hardy had just cleaned up the house by himself, without involving Mr. Laurel, all would have gone well. It's when they got together that they got in each others way, and calamity ensued. Like the old adage postulates: "Too many cooks spoil the broth".
 

Patrick McCart

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Finally got a chance to check out the set (naturally, it delivered to my mailbox the day I had to go on work travel).

Just from looking at a few minutes each of The Music Box, Busy Bodies, The Chimp, and County Hospital, I'm seeing what seems to be the result of temporal noise reduction or some sort of filtering. Doesn't look right. I know a lot of work was put into this, but it's like we're seeing masters prepped for streaming or DVD downscaling. It looks strange and not like film.
 
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Mark Y

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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.
It sounds like that's what was done for the 2011 "Essential Collection" DVD set. Plus, that set includes the full* sound-era Hal Roach L&H library (*aside from a few films they sold off to other parties, all of which are available on DVD separately).
 

PMF

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With great trepidations, I have purchased the “definitive” Blu Ray restorations of Laurel & Hardy; and have only done so with two hopeful reasons in mind:

a) To support future UCLA restorations of L&H
b) To see the GRAIN reinstated in Volume II
 
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PMF

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Really enjoying the shorts. How were these not in syndication rotation in the ny market when I grew up in the 70’s I don’t know. Were they? I don’t ever remember seeing them unlike A&C, The Three Stooges and The Little Rascals.
Throughout the 70’s, it was only Rascals and Stooges within the Boston market, as well.

My sole access to Laurel and Hardy was through the magic of Super 8mm/Magnetic Sound and Blackhawk Films out of Davenport, Iowa.:thumbs-up-smiley:
 
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Therma123

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1st post and I’ve got to say I wish it would have been a more upbeat one.

I've just received the Blu Ray and from a quick scan I prefer the majority of these on the Essentials Collection. They really are soft and veiled looking here.

Scram! looks much more detailed and sharper on the Essential Collection DVD. I decided to keep the DVD version as my goto as the blu ray is very poor for this title. The blacks are all very grey looking but most disturbingly most of the rain in the early scenes has been digitally removed! Whole scenes with visible heavy rain on the DVD look totally smooth. The screen grabs below show the effect but it really is much more noticeable in the moving image.

I’ll check the rest in more detail over the coming days and hopefully my opinion will change but I’m not optimistic.

DVD on the left:
1.JPG

2.JPG
 
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