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A Few Words About A few words about...™ M -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Apr 13, 2010.

  1. Adam_S

    Adam_S Producer

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    yeah, criterion forum is very unfriendly to primary sources as references for how a film looks, as I recall.

    I wonder if Mr. Harris thinks a low contrast telecine is supposed to become the end product for an older film shot on nitrate? And perhaps he could explain what the benefits are to making a low contrast telecine to begin with? ;)
     
  2. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Having read Mr. Kaiser's offering on the subject, I would generally agree. Certainly, nitrate stocks had a far greater tonality range than anything that we have today. Stocks of that era had a secret ingredient - silver.

    In regard to densities, while an original negative can offer some information, and filmmaker notes, especially if created contemporary with the original release are helpful, it is still extremely important to have some sort of filmmaker approved print, or even surviving clips or single frames, as true reference of the way that a negative was to be printed - on a certain stock, and on occasional on a specific printer setup.

    I would hope that at least partial reference was available to the restoration team.

    To be absolutely clear, the look and textures of an original negative can give a bit of information, especially when examining a cut sequence. That information will not give any conclusive information as to how a print was designed to look. Examine a lab timing card for virtually any production, and within a single scene - master shot, MS, 2S, MCU, and through various cutaways and cutbacks, the numbers will change to enable the scene to work. Print that scene as a 1 light, and it will generally not work.

    Original print is essential to getting something correct.

    The best, of course, is access to input from the original director of photography. That would be nirvana, and in many ways just as (or more) important that input of the director.
    RAH
     
  3. JediFonger

    JediFonger Producer

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    very interesting, thanks for your input RAH! =D
     
  4. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Thanks again for another excellent "few words", RAH. Great to hear of the superb quality on BD. /img/vbsmilies/htf/thumbsup.gif"> Yet another film I'll need to see for my first time -- yeah, philistine that I am.
     
  5. Guest

    All the Criterion Blu-ray have been amazing, its not a shock that this one is also very good. Great Review, THANKS
     
  6. Guest

    RAH, you sealed the deal. I should have my copy in my hands within the week.
     
  7. 24fpssean

    24fpssean Stunt Coordinator

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    Mine arrives today. It feels like Christmas in May. Silly, because I'm 44 but damn I love this stuff. Criterion has been dicy for me.
     
  8. JediFonger

    JediFonger Producer

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  9. Matthew Anderson

    Matthew Anderson Second Unit

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    Thanks for the review Mr. Harris of M. I have never seen this movie and I look forward to viewing it on bluray. Mine is on the way.
     
  10. Keith Paynter

    Keith Paynter Screenwriter

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    Quote:

    Mr. Harris, your observation is spot on. Few in corporate ownership see their holdings as art, and more as product, and hope to see a quick return on low investment when it comes to their holdings...GE/Universal comes to mind, and Dreamworks has not been winning many friends thanks to screwups with releases like 'Gladiator' and 'Saving Private Ryan'. (Does this mean 'Napoleon' might be in danger, if it ever becomes official?) Criterion is a beacon of light that continues to shine, and while my copy of 'M' just arrived today, I'm sure I will not be disappointed. I look forward to their BD releases of 'Seven Samurai' and (hopefully) 'Brazil'.

    Slightly OT, Kino is also a company that seems to have their act together so far...'The General' is amazing, and when 'Metropolis' makes its BD debut, I hope to be equally impressed.
     
  11. snoopy28574

    snoopy28574 Stunt Coordinator

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    With current technology being as good as it is, why not scan the restoration negative ?
     
  12. Jack Theakston

    Jack Theakston Supporting Actor

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    $$$
     
  13. jplepage

    jplepage Auditioning

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    It's always good to see some of the best classics getting a decent HD transfer. M will be my next Criterion buy.
     
  14. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    I know I'm now 2 years late to the party, but unfortunately that's how long sometimes movies can sit in my "still in shrink wrap" queue :D
    Just watched Criterion's blu-ray of M last night, it was my first time to view this film.
    Wow. Just wow. The restoration is to be commended, as is the transfer. I'll admit that I was a bit apprehensive going into the film, as I really didn't know what to expect. This movie was so much ahead of its time. And timeless, not necessarily in technology and culture which are obviously dated, but in terms of concept and execution. Many of the human-based themes and behaviors played out in the film would very well play out in the same (or very similar) manner today.
    Watching it, I kept thinking "oh, this is Criminal Minds done in the 30s" and I mean that as a huge compliment. And yes I recognize which came first and likely M had tremendous influence in that and just about every serial killer movie and TV show made since its release.
    Two tremendous thumbs up for the movie, and what a stellar final monologue by Peter Lorre! The style of editing (or in that case not editing and staying with his performance) leant the scene incredible power!
     
  15. 24fpssean

    24fpssean Stunt Coordinator

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    Anyone else have this problem with their BD of M? - After two years of no problems playing the disc, it now hangs up on chapters one and two, displaying a pale, frozen still from the menu. I have to turn my Sony BD player off to get it to snap out of it and then skip down to chapter three, from which the film plays without incident through to the end.
    I've got all my most recent updates and in any case the disc has played normally for two years until now. My player is a little over four years old and thought that might be the problem, but not a single BD, even Criterion discs manufactured the same time as 'M', causes me this problem. It's very strange. I've checked the disc with a loop (we used to use them in film editing to magnify edge numbers or key numbers) and there is not a single scratch on it.
    Emailed Jon Mulvaney at Criterion and he said he'd send me another one. I said thanks but if it's my machine I don't want him to send me another one, I'll just not watch it until I get a new player or figure out what's happening!
     
  16. Oblivion138

    Oblivion138 Second Unit

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    I haven't had any problems with the Criterion disc (yet)...but admittedly, I haven't really watched it much since I imported the German Digibook.
     

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