A Few Words About A few words about...™ Waterworld -- in HD

Robert Harris

Archivist
Reviewer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Feb 8, 1999
Messages
13,257
Real Name
Robert Harris
When Waterworld hit screens eleven years ago, there seemed to be more discussion about it's two hundred million dollar budget than about the film itself.

While neither the most brilliantly written nor directed film of the era, Mr. Costner makes the character his own, and with great action sequences by director Kevin Reynolds, the film is a wonderful place to spend two hours with one's suspension of disbelief in the on mode.

Above all else, this is a fun film, with great setpieces. It becomes rather obvious where the budget went. It's all up there to be seen.

As an HD disc, the film looks much as it did on film, with occasional bits of plus or minus density intact, especially in effects scenes, with superb accurate grain structure, color and resolution.

Produced in the earlyish days of digital effects, the film is a wonderful amalgam of both digital and photo-optical work, that looks terrific on screen.

Universal has done a beautiful job porting Waterworld to HD, and the disc, along with the film, receives a Recommendation from these quarters.

RAH
 

ppltd

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 30, 2006
Messages
3,041
Location
Phoenix
Real Name
Thomas Eisenmann

I have just completed viewing Waterworld and must agree, this is not only a very good port, but the source seems to be in extremely good shape. I had forgotten how good this filmed actually looked, and am not ashamed to admit that I have always enjoyed this movie and found it to be a good diversion.

The consistant quality of releases we are beginning to see from Universal are a pleasure indeed.
 

Manus

Second Unit
Joined
Oct 6, 2002
Messages
412
Thomas,
Agree on all other points . However , I can't help feeling that as a 'HD-Dvd only supporter' Universal aren't really doing enough to help the format . Dolby True should be standard rather than the feeling that the Dolby+ soundtracks are just stopgaps on the way to yet another re-release cycle ( Scarface anyone ?


Great mid-term report on PQ but could do better on SQ ..........................

~M~
 

Cavan.B

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Aug 4, 2002
Messages
109
I really wish Universal would release a reconstructed extended version (as seen on TV). It radically improves the theatrical version (think the extended Alien 3).

Maybe next release.
 

ppltd

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 30, 2006
Messages
3,041
Location
Phoenix
Real Name
Thomas Eisenmann

I prefer the original. BTW, Alien 2 was extended, with originally cut scenes added back in, Alien3 was re-envisioned; reedited by the director, with major changes to the story line.
 
M

Member 323668


Just spot-checked "Waterworld" and "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" and I am sorry to say that I did NOT like Universal's latest HD-DVD releases too much.

My personal opinion: There is superb detail in many scenes, agreed, but it is the "grain structure" which I think is absolutely NOT accurate.

There is hardly any grain visible at all - and that's the bad thing. Whatever digital means Universal used to produce these transfers, I am sure they eliminated the film grain with excessive use of noise reduction systems.

The wonderful "film-like" look of "Backdraft", "Apollo 13", "Spartacus", "The Thing", "Chronicles of Riddick", "Van Helsing", "Red Dragon" or "Bone Collector".... with their accurate, almost noise-free grainy film look is COMPLETELY gone. The result is a more "video-like", almost "flat" look, especially with "The Grinch" which seems to be filtered to death.

This is what I was afraid of since the beginning of the "HD-DVD era" this spring, that the studios would start to eliminate the grain to accommodate the taste of the "average" consumer. I love film grain, as long as it is artifact free. Can't have enough of it. :)

BAD, Universal, please stop filtering your transfers and bring back the grain.

My personal recommendation for today is Warner's "Forbidden Planet". A really amazing transfer with superb resolution and -in my opinion- accurate grain structure.
 

Robert Crawford

Crawdaddy
Moderator
Patron
Joined
Dec 9, 1998
Messages
49,431
Location
Michigan
Real Name
Robert
Here we are about 10 years after the introduction of the dvd format and we still have disagreement about film grain presence on video presentations without any regard to film knowledge or video format.




Crawdaddy
 
M

Member 323668



With the introduction of consumer high definition formats, for the first time now there is the technical ability to reproduce film accurately on a video medium.

Standard definition formats never could resolve "film" in its entirety down to the inherent grain structure. Neither resolution nor compression could handle grainy material without artifacting. HD resolution can and it proved with glorious transfers.

It is very saddening for me to observe elimination of grain by means of DVNR. You may agree or disagree, but I personally pray and hope we will see more transfers like "Apollo 13" and less like "Waterworld" or "Grinch" in the near future.
 

Robert Harris

Archivist
Reviewer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Feb 8, 1999
Messages
13,257
Real Name
Robert Harris
Films in this era were photographed on the earlier Eastman T grain stocks, with very fine grain structure, which became even less obvious when duped to intermediates.

RAH
 

ppltd

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 30, 2006
Messages
3,041
Location
Phoenix
Real Name
Thomas Eisenmann

Should have stated it better. The Special Edition was an attempt to mirror Fincher's original work print. While he was not directly involved with the Special Edition, he certainly had an indirect role in it. I personally think it made it a much better film. Alternate Version]
 

AaronSCH

Second Unit
Joined
Jul 11, 2006
Messages
284
Real Name
Aaron Schneiderman
I still found "Waterworld" marred by excessive dirt in many scenes to the point of it being rather distracting. I'm only a cheerleader for HD DVD when the image impresses me and this time I wasn't overwhelmed.
 

cineMANIAC

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2008
Messages
2,111
Location
New York City
Real Name
Luis
Rumor has it there's a 20th Anniversary reissue in the works. Hopefully they include the uncensored extended cut, otherwise I don't see the point.
 
  • Like
Reactions: joshEH

Forum Sponsors

Forum statistics

Threads
344,882
Messages
4,723,525
Members
141,350
Latest member
conradfan