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Stephen_J_H

All Things Film Junkie
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Stephen J. Hill
Roman Polanski's 1974 Chinatown, based upon the screenplay by Robert Towne is a film that belongs in Paramount's "Presents" series.

I've always considered it, even with it's bright California sunlit exteriors in all their heavily warm-timed glory, to be daylight noir.

Paramount's new 4k is a beautiful affair, rendering the film as it was originally seen in the first run of dye transfer prints, only struck for the original release, and just before the Technicolor lab went off the dye transfer standard, which occurred in December of 1974. From my memory, all additional prints struck were Eastman Color.

Beyond color, this release eschews the more recent desire to reproduce every grain, and more properly (in this archivist's opinion) reproduces the appearance of the original prints.

Colors, density, the subdued grain structure, and black levels all seem correct.

I was going to call this one of the great films of the '70s, but I'll make a step forward.

Chinatown is one of the great films. Period.

And belongs in every serious cinema library.

There will be some who mourn the fact that the track has been re-recorded as 5.1, but the original monaural is still there in 2.0. The 5.1 works beautifully.

Most important is the bifold slip, collectible by some standards, which ups the normal printing of the paper insert to include a metallic layer.

Great extras should seal the deal.

Image

Forensic - 10
NSD - 10

Audio – 10 (Dolby TrueHD 5.1)

Pass / Fail – Pass

Plays nicely with projectors - Yes

Makes use of and works well in 4k - 9

Upgrade from Blu-ray - Yes

Worth your attention - 10

Slipcover rating - 4

Very Highly Recommended

RAH



Thank you for supporting HTF when you preorder using the link below. As an Amazon Associate HTF earns from qualifying purchases. If you are using an adblocker you will not see link.

https://www.amazon.com/Paramount-Presents-Chinatown-Jakes-Blu-ray/dp/B0CYK618H9/ref=sr_1_1?crid=3C43RPYVEIMLH&dib=eyJ2IjoiMSJ9.ny4grhjrAK6dl2MilpxadF1wP225E2c8VsH-vbrvB90tgLJuem5lzd3-CefVZx4WfVW4G-aNDdlc3ZWZJXmgJXN2xeEZUHl126T8TUKZVgsX6x6Me4d_eVtR4uvjZJsukvuhYJWKx7GJolBNg95LOuFr_U_ZtTednJ6nmM7oQjj7KGGhCzkc0LIXQ81VKGsjS6joOKlSplhab-CcaDJ-3g.Oemobr-FIgkkmzEmdF1QdDUFqNnX4k58Ww6AD1zhFU8&dib_tag=se&keywords=chinatown+4k&qid=1718121234&sprefix=chinatown+4k,aps,89&sr=8-1
Is it velvety, like the best IB Tech prints?
 

Jeff Fearnside

Stunt Coordinator
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DME's are stems.
Thanks, Neil. Forgive my Soundtrack Mixing 101 knowledge (or lack thereof), but maybe you can explain this more clearly to me. Each separate dialogue, music, and effects tracks would be stems, but the final mix to a DME track would just be the original mono track for Chinatown, yes? If so, and if that's what WAC had at their disposal, how were they able to pull a 5.1 mix from that--wouldn't they need the separate dialogue, music, and effects stems that are supposedly now gone?

Obviously, it's not clear to me what WAC had available to them to make their 5.1 mix, or why they weren't able to include the original mono as well.

I suppose it doesn't matter--the consensus is that everything sounds great. I'm just curious.
 

SD_Brian

Screenwriter
Joined
Nov 14, 2007
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1,598
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Brian
The Blu-ray in this 4K/UHD release has The Two Jakes.
Any word on if The Two Jakes has been remastered? Or is it identical to the previous release? I'm hoping for the former but assuming the latter, as Paramount likely would have advertised it as a remastered disc.
 

Robert Harris

Archivist
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Robert Harris
Thanks, Neil. Forgive my Soundtrack Mixing 101 knowledge (or lack thereof), but maybe you can explain this more clearly to me. Each separate dialogue, music, and effects tracks would be stems, but the final mix to a DME track would just be the original mono track for Chinatown, yes? If so, and if that's what WAC had at their disposal, how were they able to pull a 5.1 mix from that--wouldn't they need the separate dialogue, music, and effects stems that are supposedly now gone?

Obviously, it's not clear to me what WAC had available to them to make their 5.1 mix, or why they weren't able to include the original mono as well.

I suppose it doesn't matter--the consensus is that everything sounds great. I'm just curious.
Multiple rolls of stems are generally recorded to a 3-stripe, which contains monaural, Mx, Fx, and Dx. That 3-stripe may be what you’re considering a DME. The optical track neg would generally have been made from the 3-stripe.
 

Jeff Fearnside

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
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Messages
107
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Jeff Fearnside
Multiple rolls of stems are generally recorded to a 3-stripe, which contains monaural, Mx, Fx, and Dx. That 3-stripe may be what you’re considering a DME. The optical track neg would generally have been made from the 3-stripe.
Thank you. Yes, what I was calling the final mix to a DME track is what you're calling a 3-stripe--good to know the proper term for it!
 

Will Krupp

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Here it says that the original mono, is included. (thankfully)
(unless it's a downmix?)

So, I apologize if I've just missed this (I swear I looked!) but has anybody definitively answered the mono question one way or the other?
 

RickardL

Supporting Actor
Joined
Oct 30, 2000
Messages
544
the linked review is rather detailed about the specs
  • Primary Audio: English Dolby TrueHD 5.1
  • Secondary Audio: English Restored Mono DD 2.0 | German Mono DD | Spanish (Castilian) Mono DD | French Mono DD | Italian Mono DD
  • Subtitles: English | English SDH | Danish | German | Spanish (Castilian) | French | Italian | Japanese | Korean | Dutch | Norwegian | Finnish | Swedish
 

bobclampett

Stunt Coordinator
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Apr 24, 2013
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Canada
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Mike Banks
By the way, it appears this upcoming 4K/UHD release is going to be in short supply. Several retailers are showing it sold out or unavailable for pre-ordering.
No release in Canada. Previously Paramount released a non-Paramount Presents version of “The Greatest Show On Earth” here in Canada at an affordable price so I’m hoping they see fit to do the same with an affordable 4K disc of Chinatown.
 

Daniel Melius

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Aug 23, 2019
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Dan
I ordered a few days ago from amazon using my reward points for a cost of 0. This is my second favotite film noir film. My favorite will always be the maltese falcon which slightily edges out chinatown for me.
 

davidmatychuk

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Mar 10, 2012
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David Matychuk
the linked review is rather detailed about the specs
  • Primary Audio: English Dolby TrueHD 5.1
  • Secondary Audio: English Restored Mono DD 2.0 | German Mono DD | Spanish (Castilian) Mono DD | French Mono DD | Italian Mono DD
  • Subtitles: English | English SDH | Danish | German | Spanish (Castilian) | French | Italian | Japanese | Korean | Dutch | Norwegian | Finnish | Swedish
So, still no mono music-only audio track like on the wide-screen laserdisc. It's a mind-blowing experience to watch "Chinatown" as a silent movie with that Jerry Goldsmith score.
 

davidmatychuk

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David Matychuk
No release in Canada. Previously Paramount released a non-Paramount Presents version of “The Greatest Show On Earth” here in Canada at an affordable price so I’m hoping they see fit to do the same with an affordable 4K disc of Chinatown.
I special-ordered a copy at my usual video retailer when it was announced, and they told me it would be even more expensive than "Once Upon A Time In The West", which was $66 plus tax. Such is life in Canada.
 

alstein

Agent
Joined
Jun 28, 2007
Messages
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Montreal Canada
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Aron
I special-ordered a copy at my usual video retailer when it was announced, and they told me it would be even more expensive than "Once Upon A Time In The West", which was $66 plus tax. Such is life in Canada.
And of course, for over a year almost all 4K releases do not include digital copies. I purchase all my 4k blu-rays when I’m in the USA.
 

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