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A Few Words About A few words about...™ The Enemy Below -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Sep 19, 2016.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    The Enemy Below, a 1957 cat 'n mouse drama between an American destroyer and Nazi sub, has arrived from Fox via Kino Studio Classics.

    Directed by Dick Powell -- yes, that Dick Powell -- the film holds a certain charm, but doesn't truly stand the test of time.

    As a Blu-ray it's a mixed bag.

    While audio is fine, the image quality is all over the place. It appears to have been struck from a dupe, derived from sep masters, that went through no clean-up or other work to make it fully presentable.

    There's an almost humorous sequence, during which someone is watching a radar screen, waiting for a white blip.

    Problem is, there are multiple, occasional white blips, as minus detail abounds.

    Color and densities are all over the map. Registration is occasionally a slight issue, but rarely intrusive. Grain structure is odd. That's the best word I can come up with for it. Black levels and shadow detail are heavily lacking.

    There are some films, the elements for which, restrict them from being proper Blu-ray releases. This is one of them, and unfortunately, many of its problems might have been hidden via DVD.

    Image - 3.25

    Audio - 4

    4k Up-rez - 2.5

    Pass / Fail - Pass (barely)


    RAH
     
  2. Stephen PI

    Stephen PI Supporting Actor

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    Is the audio 4-track or 2-track?
     
  3. Mark-P

    Mark-P Producer

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    Other reviewers are reporting that it is DTS-MA 2.0 stereo. This is my main pet peeve with licensed-out titles, they are quite often down-mixed to 2 channels and I've never understood why.
     
  4. benbess

    benbess Producer

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    Flashgear and Josh Steinberg like this.
  5. atcolomb

    atcolomb Screenwriter

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    I believe two endings were shot. In one both commanders die and the other a third ship rescues them. A great WWII film with fine performances by Robert Mitchum & Curt Jurgens.
     
  6. John Hermes

    John Hermes Screenwriter

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    I have the Japanese Blu-ray which looks like an official Fox release. The English track is 4.0.
     
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  7. DavidJ

    DavidJ Producer

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    Bummer.
     
  8. atfree

    atfree Producer

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    Big disappointment. I watched a litte of my copy.....not terrible but certainly not what could have been with a new transfer of a Fox Cinemascope production.

    I guess I'm learning "buyer" beware of the Fox releases by KLSC. It's been hit or miss so far, some good-to-great transfers, and some very middling ones. I'm waiting for reviews from now on unless it's a "just have to have it" release. I think a good rule of thumb will be if MisterLimes posts for a release says its a new transfer or not. If not, then we're looking at sub-par releases like this and "A Kiss Before Dying"
     
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  9. Robin9

    Robin9 Producer

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    I'm beginning to wonder if Fox is releasing too many titles too quickly. In addition to the large number of titles Kino Lorber and Twilight Time are putting out, there are also several Fox titles coming out in Europe. If this is putting pressure on the people doing the restoring and mastering, Fox's once very high standards will slip. Not long ago Fox was neck and neck with Sony for being the most consistently excellent studio with Blu-ray masters. Sony's standards have not slipped but Fox . . . .
     
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  10. Dick

    Dick Lead Actor
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    I wish Fox would create a do-over of VON RYAN'S EXPRESS with at least a 2k scan and get that out through Kino.
     
    Jack K and atfree like this.
  11. Race Bannon

    Race Bannon Supporting Actor

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    Cross post from my post in the Japanese disc thread:

    I have the Kino Lorber . I popped it in just to look. They did the transfer from a worn copy with little cleanup. Lots of little white damage spots streaming by. Some of the scenes I skipped to looked decent on clarity.
     
  12. Race Bannon

    Race Bannon Supporting Actor

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    Hopefully, we can thank our brethren among the fans of streaming -- I think the appetite for high definition, restored content is of obvious value to the studios now, and we get the benefit of their program. Some of them were late to the game, but high quality home theater has created an eternal market for these properties.
     
  13. atfree

    atfree Producer

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    Interesting reading the thread about the Japanese Fox release here http://www.hometheaterforum.com/community/threads/the-enemy-below-1957-blu-ray-from-japan.337882/#post-4191767

    vs. the Kino release. Seem that the Japanese release used a different transfer? Surprising (especially since the Japanese release was in 2014) but sure seems the view of the Japanese release is MUCH more positive than for the Kino release, at least by HTF members. If the Japanese release is indeed a superior transfer, this makes the Kino release doubly disappointing.
     
  14. Message #14 of 15 Sep 28, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2016
    John Hermes

    John Hermes Screenwriter

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    I do have the Japanese release. I just looked at it once again. Either a different master was used, or big time clean-up was performed. There is nary a speck of, as RAH would say, minus density to be seen. It is very, very clean. It also has a four-channel English track. The radar screen RAH mentioned in his review is perfectly clean, no unwanted debris at all.
     
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  15. atfree

    atfree Producer

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    I may have to keep a watch on the Japanese disc.....its currently $46 bucks on Amazon Japan, but if it ever gets down in the $30 range, I'll bite.
     

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