A Few Words About A few words about... Battle of the Bulge

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Robert Harris, Apr 28, 2005.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    I'm noting the arrival of Battle of the Bulge on DVD for technical reasons, as the only Ultra-Panavision film produced by WB, (out of eight shot) and as an example of what can occasionally go wrong with the use of a process which makes everything seem larger than life.

    The greatest weakness of BotB is probably its script, followed closely by its acting and production design.

    The dialogue takes on the feel of television melodrama, the acting (which needs to be tighter and more intimate and refined for large format films) never seems to feel real, and the production design looks more like studio tour amusement ride than warfront, made even more evident by the unyielding clarity of the 65mm format.

    And yet there is a great deal to learn from the film about all of these elements, possibly leaning more toward what not to do that the alternative.

    Older transfers had been derived from the shorter 35mm general release version, which may have been a good thing. Now returned to the long version of the original cut camera negative, the film takes on a even more "overblown" look and feel. I had difficulty coming up with that word, and thank Leonard Maltin for using it first in his movie guide.

    For those interested in large format motion picture production, Battle of the Bulge is a must. For those seeking extremely high quality entertainment or an ultimate cinematic experience...

    As a final note, the entire transfer, possibly caused by an out of line optical in the creation of the transfer element, tilts ever so slightly down to the right, noticeable only when graphics are on screen.

    Final words... the element and transfer are beautiful.

    RAH
     
  2. Kain_C

    Kain_C Screenwriter

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    I remember seeing a little of this on cable and not at all feeling engrossed. It felt much more like a war movie than a film about a war (or battle, more accurately). It's very similiar to what George Lucas said about a lot of sci-fi films; they seem to put so much detail, attention, and money into the sets and design that they lose sight of the very story and essence of the genre (interesting irony in that saying). That appears to be the case here as well.

    I recall the tanks were by no means vintage or era, and that turned me off immediately. Plus other little odds and ends that revealed the seams of the movie. They tried to throw as many stars as they could at it too, which with a few exceptions (like The Longest Day), can be a bad thing.
     
  3. Ed St. Clair

    Ed St. Clair Producer

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    Me!!!
     
  4. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Ryan's Daughter should have needed no restoration, merely preservation elements. This negative was hardly ever printed.
     

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