The way Robert describes it, it sounds like it isn't much of an improvement picture wise. I was expecting it to be a lot better with the Ultraresolution. I know I'll still like it but something about Robert's description kind of depresses me.
I just have to post here because this is my favorite film. I said in another thread that the ULTIMATE OZ laserdisc box (described in mr. harris' first post) was the holy grail to me at the time...i dont know that i can ever recapture the joy and excitement i had when i watched that myriad of extras and recording sessions, etc for the first time. But this will come close.
I'm really looking forward to this release. I have a preorder for the Region 2 edition of the three-disc edition. I'm perhaps naively confident that that edition will be a direct HD master to PAL transfer and I'll be able to watch Dorothy on the yellow brick road in glorious, perfect Technicolor at 720x576. I'm looking forward to seeing how much sharper the new transfer looks in comparison with the previous disc, and watching and reading all the extra materials that will come with the disc (and which won't encroach on the bandwidth of the main feature with being on the second and third discs). I'm sure I will be able to see what Ultra-resolution has done for the movie as a standard definition DVD. And when the day comes I have an HD display and player and a disc comes out of the new HD transfer, I will happily buy that to see what magic the Warner restoration team has wrought.
I don't expect to be disappointed and I'm sure I won't be, and Arnie, I'm sure you won't be either, no matter how hard you try.
Not because, I know him. I don't, although I can't conceal my admiration and respect for his work and in a different way, for his contributions here.
However, I have a good friend who is a major journalist, and who received the 3 disc OZ set from the WB people on Saturday morning.
Saturday night, he invited a small group of folks to his home theater to see the new OZ. But instead of starting the film at the beginning, he started the film using his top-of-the-line (and how I wish I owned one) DLP projection equipment to show us Dorothy entering Munchkinland. Everyone seemed impressed.
Then our host stopped the film and said "That was the old disc. Looked great, didn't it?".
We all agreed.
Then suddenly the same scene again. Only this was the new disc. Dorothy's sepia house seemed a little cleaner, but not too different.
Then Dorothy entered Munchkinland, and what looked great before was astounding in detail, nuance, light, color, sharpness, clarity, and as well, much more expressive and dimensional audio. The audience of about 20 people gasped.
Was the difference between the two dramatically different? Of course not. The 1999 disc looked very, very good.
However, the new disc is a revelation.
...and yet also, being the owner of 3 HDTVs and a fervent devotee of the format, I know what Mr. Harris means by the fact that this DVD represents the pinnacle of what OZ can look like, before we get to see it in HD. This new transfer is HD, with the O-Neg 3 strips scanned at 4K. They tell you this on a restoration piece on the DVD, which we also watched.
You will see more detail than ever before, and a color sense that is truer to 3 strip Technicolor prints than I have ever seen, except it's razor sharp, which dye-transfer prints never could be.
Our host also passed around the packaged goodies that came with the DVD.
Just to SEE the opening night program from Grauman's Chinese in 1939 was shocking and wonderful.
The Kodachrome photos from 66 years ago? Beguiling.
There are many new pieces on this set, but we only got to see the new documentary about the legacy the film has had on our culture....and it was clever, fun & beautifully compliments the other material.
There are more docus and things I didn't get to see. I'll have to wait for my own copy in two weeks.
Most of the audience this weekend owned the 1999 DVD (and many had the 1993 Ultimate Oz and 1989 MGM LD).
All agreed this was a revelation, and will likely win a lot of critical praise and probably some awards when it arrives on store shelves at month's end.
I'm planning on buying several. I can't think of a better Xmas gift for my family or friends.
That Ultra-Resolution process is just unreal. WB just keeps getting better with it. ROBIN HOOD...then GONE WITH THE WIND, then MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS...and now OZ.
A heartfelt thank you to the talented technical staff at Warner Brothers for the love and care they have put into this landmark release.
Roger, was the transition to color, inside of the door pretty seemless sepia/color wise? I wasn't as thrilled with The Ultimate Oz as others were. Several scenes had a blue cast, sometimes shifting in the same scene from cold to warm. Also, the scene where Dorothy meets the Tin Man had a weird effect where the picture would get sharp, then go very blurry...back and forth. There was also a very blurry shot during "Merry Ol' Land of Oz."
There are no shifts from sharp to soft, warm to cold.
Every shot is RAZOR SHARP, colors consistant throughout.
My experience, as someone who has also seen the film countless times, and purchased every iteration, was "Wow, it's like I'm seeing it for the first time......"
I truly noticed objects and colors I had never seen before.
That being said, I need not convince anyone that this film is a magnificent amazement. It durability 66 years after the fact is a tribute to the abundant talents of those that performed their magic in front of, and behind the camera.
It only builds upon the TLC given to it in recent years. I applaud previous efforts, but this goes beyond whatever I could have expected....
...and let me say, once again, that the memorabilia included in the package alone is worth the purchase price.
Thank you Robert & Roger for putting me at ease. I wasn't trying to give you a hard time Robert. I think this is my favorite movie and have seen it more times than any other, so I expect a lot from this release.
I have a friend that works at Walmart & I'm going to see if he can get me one at midnight of the 24th & I'm taking off work the 25th to watch it :b
The great pity for those in the UK is that the three-disc set weighs in over and above the customs level for exemption from tax, so I'm looking at something approaching $48 should it be nabbed, which is quite an investment. I'm having to think long and hard about it.
A cheaper R2 version has been announced, but it's exclusive to HMV, and I'm not confident we'll get the same excellent package as in R1. Decisions, decisions...
I love the way Roger's posting style has become a homage to RAH's!
A big thank you to Mr. Rollins for his further (correct) explanation of my thoughts.
I fully agree that the added memorabilia has been elegantly done, and yes, on a new high end DLP projector, one will get everything that one can from the disc in terms of overall quality. Anyone out there have a Qualia 2k?
My fear is that those without high end systems may see less of a difference, and point a finger (incorrectly) at the Ultra-rez process or at Warner.
I'm having a 30th birthday party on Nov. 5th, and I'm showing this film. I have created a new, 26-page program with facts from the film for the party...I'm treating it like a premiere! I've even elevated the television...I'm going all out. Nothing is too much for my all-time beloved!
I'm not 100% sure that this is what you are talking about, but could this have anything to do with the shot that's flipped?
I remember reading that, because of the deletion of the "beehive" sequence after Dorothy meets the Tin Man, the positions of the threesome didn't match. In other words, after the scene was cut they started out in one position (I can't remember which but let's say Scarecrow on Dorothy's left and Tin Man on her right) and then flipped to the opposite position in the next shot. To cover the continuity gap, they flipped the previous shot so the threesome stayed in the correct position...and so it always appeared slightly blurry because it was printed from the back rather than from the emulsion side.
I don't know if this is what you mean, but there has always been that one shot that that looks out of focus.
Happy Birthday to you in advance, by the way!! If your birthday is on November 5, you share a birthday with Vivien Leigh and it's also Guy Fawkes Day in the UK (fireworks!)
I know the shot you are talking about...no, it's when Dorothy searches for apples and sees the Tin Man, and lasts all the way up until the witch appears on the roof...it's like this on the UO boxed set and the first dvd release (not the WB release). The last release was fine. Unfortunately, my b-day is Nov. 3, not the 5th. So, I share a birthday with Roseanne Barr and not the wonderful Miss Vivien. Thanks for the wishes!