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A Few Words About A few words about...™ Invasion of the Body Snatchers -- in Blu-ray (1 Viewer)

Robert Harris

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What a extraordinary film!

No doubt about it. A classic.

But yet another film that has never been handled well for home video.

Olive's new Blu-ray is decent, but the truth is they never really did get a fair shake.

As a film shot 1.37 and released in SuperScope, one of the most ridiculous scams to be perpetuated on both the public and theater owners, its problems were far worse than shows shot on Eastman Color.

At least color productions could go from the original 1.37 negative to optically produced matrices to dye transfer prints.

No such luck for poor Invasion.

Original negative to fine grain master.

Fine grain master to an optically produced scope, matted 2:1 dupe printing negative.

And for our new Blu-ray, it appears that the source was a fine grain produced from the dupe neg. Not a pretty picture to begin with.

I'll ask the age old question

Where is the original 1.37 negative? Gone?

Scan that negative, crop to whatever aspect ratio is desired, and at least one has a quality image.

Here, we've begin with a dupe of a dupe of a dupe.

Like High Noon, it looks far, far better than anything that preceded it, but where's that OCN or an original fine grain?

Black levels? Okay. Gray scale? Adequate. Shadow detail? Meh...

A great, and important film, both from an entertainment, as well as from a political perspective.

Image - 3

Audio - 4

RAH
 

Robert Crawford

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My viewing of this release will come after High Noon. I've been looking forward to viewing this disc.








Crawdaddy
 

JoHud

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I agree that the picture quality is overall just decent for this title. 3/5 is what I'd give it too. However, I did notice that the picture quality improves quite a bit during the second half of the film.
 

TheVid

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It's too bad that better elements just don't seem to be available, but I have to admit I was overjoyed watching it projected onto a 92-inch screen this afternoon, probably since all previous releases were so bad. I used my Criterion CAV laserdisc when I wanted to watch this prior to this new blu-ray, and so this new Olive release is a very welcome addition to my collection. I also noticed that the quality did seem to get better as the film progressed. I think the original INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS is one of the great American films, and a couple of the remakes, by Kaufman and Ferrara, are damn good, too!
 

Johnny Angell

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After reading this and RH's comments on High Noon...you know the phrase "there aughta be a law"? Well, there aughta be a law requiring better treatment, at least for the classics.
OK, I don't really mean there aughta be a law, but you know, there aughta be a law.
 

Robert Harris

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Originally Posted by Johnny Angell /t/322359/a-few-words-about-invasion-of-the-body-snatchers-in-blu-ray#post_3950278
After reading this and RH's comments on High Noon...you know the phrase "there aughta be a law"? Well, there aughta be a law requiring better treatment, at least for the classics.
OK, I don't really mean there aughta be a law, but you know, there aughta be a law.

I've been pushing for Blu-ray standards since day one, to no avail.

These are not bad releases.

They're simply sad.

RAH
 

Terry Hickey

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Well, to my eye (which is not trained), I thought it was good compared to the DVD release, but I'm no expert.
 

haineshisway

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It's an average transfer that at best is decent and at worst has some weird stuff going on. I also wonder just how recent this transfer is.
 

UHDvision

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Transfert indeed improves on past DVDs, making this the best release yet, alas, it's still a bit poor PQ wise.

"Superscope" framing isn't really bad, except in some shots where probably a 1.85:1 framing would have make more sense.
 

Bob Furmanek

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All documented evidence indicates Siegel would have been composing for the Allied Artists house ratio of 1.85:1.
 

Robert Crawford

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Originally Posted by haineshisway /t/322359/a-few-words-about-invasion-of-the-body-snatchers-in-blu-ray#post_3950328
It's an average transfer that at best is decent and at worst has some weird stuff going on. I also wonder just how recent this transfer is.

Chances are it isn't recent at all.
 

Yorkshire

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Bob Furmanek said:
All documented evidence indicates Siegel would have been composing for the Allied Artists house ratio of 1.85:1.
I'd always prefer the OAR, as intended by the director. As Bob says, the documentation indicated 1.85:1, but who knows if we'll ever be 100% sure.
The good news is that, cropping 1.85:1 down to 2.00:1 doesn't leave you losing too much.
As I say, if it was definitely 1.85:1 then I'd prefer 1.85:1, but it's nowhere near as bad as cropping 'scope to 16:9 (or worse, 'scope cropped to 4:3), or any of the other abonimations we've had to put up with over the years.
More of a shame they couldn't get the original neg. They could have done something akin to what MoC have done with Touch of Evil.
And one more point. Looking at RAH's notes in post 1, I don't think anyone seeing this at the pictures in '56 got a particularly spectacular image back then, either.
Steve W
 

Charles Smith

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As disappointing as this is, there's no question I've got to go with it just to finally have the damned thing in the collection. Never bothered getting it on DVD, and ye olde Criterion laserdisc is a nice artifact for its commentary and what not, but it's not one of those LDs whose image makes a presentable showing on today's HD screens. And that's putting it politely.

We are so far from having my dream version of this film on disc, which must include the option to watch the "director's cut" with (1) no bookends and 2) no narration. I saw it once, and treasure the memory of its tightness and impact.
 

Just to show there are 2 sides to every story, here is George Reis' review
http://www.dvddrive-in.com/reviews/i-m/invasionofbodysnatchers56blu.htm
 

cineMANIAC

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It shouldn't be a surprise that the PQ on Invasion is less than perfect - Olive is cranking these out so quickly that there's barely any time to do any real cleanup/restoration work on them if, in fact, Olive has the budget (or desire) to do so. I would've been willing to wait a bit longer if it meant getting a proper release.
 

FoxyMulder

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Originally Posted by Robert Harris /t/322359/a-few-words-about-invasion-of-the-body-snatchers-in-blu-ray#post_3950162
As a film shot 1.37 and released in SuperScope, one of the most ridiculous scams to be perpetuated on both the public and theater owners, its problems were far worse than shows shot on Eastman Color.

At least color productions could go from the original 1.37 negative to optically produced matrices to dye transfer prints.

No such luck for poor Invasion.

Image - 3

Audio - 4

RAH

Should i expect something similar to Vera Cruz with this release, that was one ugly looking release but i'll take the warts and all approach of the original production rather than them trying to fix things via modern digital tools, too often the latter approach actually makes things worse, unless of course big money is spent on it.
 

JoHud

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cineMANIAC said:
It shouldn't be a surprise that the PQ on Invasion is less than perfect - Olive is cranking these out so quickly that there's barely any time to do any real cleanup/restoration work on them if, in fact, Olive has the budget (or desire) to do so. I would've been willing to wait a bit longer if it meant getting a proper release.
There didn't seem to be much debris that needed to be cleaned up. With this release, the problem lies more with the quality of existing Superscope elements and the lack of a OCN. A recent transfer may have helped some, but its hard to say how much.
Olive apparently has only eight employees, so I doubt they have the capabilities of in-house restoration. Paramount pretty much does all of the the remastering required.
FoxyMulder said:
Should i expect something similar to Vera Cruz with this release, that was one ugly looking release but i'll take the warts and all approach of the original production rather than them trying to fix things via modern digital tools, too often the latter approach actually makes things worse, unless of course big money is spent on it.
That's going to be the story with most of these Republic Olive releases. While far from benchmark quality most of the time, so many of the earlier DVDs were so poor that the Olive release (including their DVD) will look that much better in comparison.
 

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