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Kyle_D

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Aug 15, 2004
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877
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Kyle Dickinson
I finally watched this release last night. My thoughts:

The master is incredible, and the release is by far the best I’ve ever seen the film look. I also think it looks better than Kino's releases of the Dollars Trilogy, mostly due to the color grading. I disagree with reviews suggesting that the film has been completely de-grained. RAH’s comments that the disc has the softer, more velvety texture of a blow-up print are on-point.

Most of the time, the encode looked fine from my seating distance (~7.5 feet from a 65” display). I occasionally noticed some digital crunchiness in smoke, the bokeh of close-ups, and, most frequently, in the sky gradients. I probably would not have noticed it unless this thread and Bill Hunt's review had primed me to look for it. I’m not totally willing to blame insufficient bitrate, either. Right after OuaTitW, I put on Criterion’s UHD of Days of Heaven. That release is encoded at almost 80+ mbps, and I observed similar issues.

I should note that my playback device does not fully support Dolby Vision. I rip my discs to a Plex server, and I play them back with a Dune HD network media player. The Dune player only decodes the HDR10 base layer and the Dolby Vision dynamic tone mapping metadata (RPU); it does not decode the second video track in the FEL. The second track is the 1080p residual difference between the HDR10 base layer and the 12-bit Dolby Vision master. While there are no 12-bit consumer displays on the market, it is my understanding that the decoded residual information can still improve the chroma subsampling from 4:2:0 to 4:2:2 and theoretically allow for smoother color gradients on a 10-bit panel, though I've read conflicting reports on this point.

I have read anecdotal reports elsewhere that the HDR10 base layers of Dolby Vision FEL releases sometimes show artifcating that is mitigated when the second video track is properly decoded. I have a new network player on order that is reportedly capable of proper FEL decoding, and I plan to revisit this release after I receive the new player. If I see a difference, I'll report back. This should not be issue for those who use Dolby Vision-licensed disc players for Dolby Vision playback, as their chipsets should properly decode the second video track. It may be an issue if your player/tv only supports HDR10, but none of this is definitive and should all be taken as hypothesis at this juncture.

Finally, it bears repeating, this remains one of the best westerns, spaghetti or otherwise, ever made. It's a masterclass in visual storytelling and also features some of the best sound design and scoring of all time.
 

mskaye

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Apr 16, 2021
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Michael Kochman
I finally watched this release last night. My thoughts:

The master is incredible, and the release is by far the best I’ve ever seen the film look. I also think it looks better than Kino's releases of the Dollars Trilogy, mostly due to the color grading. I disagree with reviews suggesting that the film has been completely de-grained. RAH’s comments that the disc has the softer, more velvety texture of a blow-up print are on-point.

Most of the time, the encode looked fine from my seating distance (~7.5 feet from a 65” display). I occasionally noticed some digital crunchiness in smoke, the bokeh of close-ups, and, most frequently, in the sky gradients. I probably would not have noticed it unless this thread and Bill Hunt's review had primed me to look for it. I’m not totally willing to blame insufficient bitrate, either. Right after OuaTitW, I put on Criterion’s UHD of Days of Heaven. That release is encoded at almost 80+ mbps, and I observed similar issues.

I should note that my playback device does not fully support Dolby Vision. I rip my discs to a Plex server, and I play them back with a Dune HD network media player. The Dune player only decodes the HDR10 base layer and the Dolby Vision dynamic tone mapping metadata (RPU); it does not decode the second video track in the FEL. The second track is the 1080p residual difference between the HDR10 base layer and the 12-bit Dolby Vision master. While there are no 12-bit consumer displays on the market, it is my understanding that the decoded residual information can still improve the chroma subsampling from 4:2:0 to 4:2:2 and theoretically allow for smoother color gradients on a 10-bit panel, though I've read conflicting reports on this point.

I have read anecdotal reports elsewhere that the HDR10 base layers of Dolby Vision FEL releases sometimes show artifcating that is mitigated when the second video track is properly decoded. I have a new network player on order that is reportedly capable of proper FEL decoding, and I plan to revisit this release after I receive the new player. If I see a difference, I'll report back. This should not be issue for those who use Dolby Vision-licensed disc players for Dolby Vision playback, as their chipsets should properly decode the second video track. It may be an issue if your player/tv only supports HDR10, but none of this is definitive and should all be taken as hypothesis at this juncture.

Finally, it bears repeating, this remains one of the best westerns, spaghetti or otherwise, ever made. It's a masterclass in visual storytelling and also features some of the best sound design and scoring of all time.
I'm going to see it in 35mm tonight with an audience.
 

Ronald Epstein

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Ronald Epstein
I finally watched this release last night. My thoughts:

The master is incredible, and the release is by far the best I’ve ever seen the film look. I also think it looks better than Kino's releases of the Dollars Trilogy, mostly due to the color grading. I disagree with reviews suggesting that the film has been completely de-grained. RAH’s comments that the disc has the softer, more velvety texture of a blow-up print are on-point.

Most of the time, the encode looked fine from my seating distance (~7.5 feet from a 65” display). I occasionally noticed some digital crunchiness in smoke, the bokeh of close-ups, and, most frequently, in the sky gradients. I probably would not have noticed it unless this thread and Bill Hunt's review had primed me to look for it. I’m not totally willing to blame insufficient bitrate, either. Right after OuaTitW, I put on Criterion’s UHD of Days of Heaven. That release is encoded at almost 80+ mbps, and I observed similar issues.

I should note that my playback device does not fully support Dolby Vision. I rip my discs to a Plex server, and I play them back with a Dune HD network media player. The Dune player only decodes the HDR10 base layer and the Dolby Vision dynamic tone mapping metadata (RPU); it does not decode the second video track in the FEL. The second track is the 1080p residual difference between the HDR10 base layer and the 12-bit Dolby Vision master. While there are no 12-bit consumer displays on the market, it is my understanding that the decoded residual information can still improve the chroma subsampling from 4:2:0 to 4:2:2 and theoretically allow for smoother color gradients on a 10-bit panel, though I've read conflicting reports on this point.

I have read anecdotal reports elsewhere that the HDR10 base layers of Dolby Vision FEL releases sometimes show artifcating that is mitigated when the second video track is properly decoded. I have a new network player on order that is reportedly capable of proper FEL decoding, and I plan to revisit this release after I receive the new player. If I see a difference, I'll report back. This should not be issue for those who use Dolby Vision-licensed disc players for Dolby Vision playback, as their chipsets should properly decode the second video track. It may be an issue if your player/tv only supports HDR10, but none of this is definitive and should all be taken as hypothesis at this juncture.

Finally, it bears repeating, this remains one of the best westerns, spaghetti or otherwise, ever made. It's a masterclass in visual storytelling and also features some of the best sound design and scoring of all time.

Enjoyed reading this, Kyle.

And it does bear repeating that this is one of the best westerns ever made. I never tire of watching it and do so at least once every year.

It's amazing to me, I never heard of this film until I saw Bill Hunt raving about it before its initial DVD release. I bought it in that format blindly and it instantly became one of my favorite films of all time. And with every watch, I am reminded of what a masterpiece this film is.
 

Robert Harris

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Enjoyed reading this, Kyle.

And it does bear repeating that this is one of the best westerns ever made. I never tire of watching it and do so at least once every year.

It's amazing to me, I never heard of this film until I saw Bill Hunt raving about it before its initial DVD release. I bought it in that format blindly and it instantly became one of my favorite films of all time. And with every watch, I am reminded of what a masterpiece this film is.
Sometime, somehow, somewhere, you need to find a screening of an original dye transfer print shown on a large screen, and take it all in. It's an extraordinary experience.
 

JoeBond

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Jan 8, 2010
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133
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Joseph Myers
Got mine today. Have to agree with the positive response to this release. Colors are so much better than on the old release. There is still grain. The included 1080p Blu-ray still has it visible from NVD. I’m happy with it while could have been better I suppose this will suffice. This is one of my films so glad that it isn’t a disaster like I feared!
 

JoeBond

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Joseph Myers
I flipped the slipcover for the poster, my sister in law said Sergio Leone? Okay she’s aware of classic movies but I didn’t think she would be that aware super proud of her haha. 😀.
 

Walter Kittel

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9,864
I'll just briefly chime in...

I am still running a 1080P Front Projector, but have already added a Panasonic UHD player to the HT. Viewed the UHD disc earlier this week and enjoyed the experience. I didn't attempt any sort of comparison with the earlier BD release, but I was quite pleased with the overall viewing of the new release.

Films like this make me want to upgrade to a UHD Front Projector. Some day.

- Walter.
 

Capt D McMars

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Just don't say, "My work here is done."
200.gif
 

Ronald Epstein

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436268039_122158047200197563_1680857802194455644_n.jpg

I would love to see Paramount follow up the release of OUATITW with another title that I believe most consider to be one of the greatest westerns ever made. Of course, as hinted by the photo, I am talking about LITTLE BIG MAN.

From my best recollection, Paramount was very quick to get this out on Blu-ray in the early days of the format. For that reason, I think they were aware of the film's popularity. I don't know what 4k can do to improve upon the Blu-ray release, but I would have to think that this film came up as a candidate at some point for 4k consideration.

EDIT: Just watched the first 5 minutes of the film, intending to watch it all, but got interrupted. I can immediately see that this film needs work done on it.

 
Last edited:

Robert Harris

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View attachment 222363

I would love to see Paramount follow up the release of OUATITW with another title that I believe most consider to be one of the greatest westerns ever made. Of course, as hinted by the photo, I am talking about LITTLE BIG MAN.

From my best recollection, Paramount was very quick to get this out on Blu-ray in the early days of the format. For that reason, I think they were aware of the film's popularity. I don't know what 4k can do to improve upon the Blu-ray release, but I would have to think that this film came up as a candidate at some point for 4k consideration.

EDIT: Just watched the first 5 minutes of the film, intending to watch it all, but got interrupted. I can immediately see that this film needs work done on it.

Not necessarily.
 

mark brown

Supporting Actor
Joined
Sep 20, 2005
Messages
580
Just showed LBM to my film class this spring. None of my 18 twenty somethings (or under) had ever heard of it before they watched it. I was surprised the students were blown away by the film. Keep the faith.
 

reel-to-reel

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Robert
The problem here is not Paramount‘s doing

This is the version of the film they released and own.

Could one go to Rome, sift through the history, the continuities and hundreds of cans to attempt to find the true god?

I don’t know. But if someone attempted to do so, it would not be an inexpensive project, as our domestic tracks also sync to a specific version.

Been there.

Done that.
Those will be the only versions left after the (EMP) Blackout...
 

OliverK

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5,810
Just a heads-up for people thinking that another encode from the same master could make a difference for this title:

The German UHD has an official release date for this week. It is a triple layer release by Universal and it should be interesting to see if there are any differences when this gets released.

As it already got a review that explicitly mentions film grain reduction being both visible and detrimental to texture and fine detail on a 65" OLED I would not expect much from it:


So most of what can(not) be seen on the US release is probably already baked into the master.
 

Johannes S

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May 13, 2021
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Johannes
Received my copy today and was shocked how bad the "presentation" is to my eyes. Yes, I think it is THAT bad. Again a totally de-grained mess. Sharp, nice colors, but a completely flat and lifeless image. Here and there a flicker of static grain. That's it. Worse than "Liberty Valance". After TMWSLV and the infamous "To Catch a Thief" another insult from Paramount.

That leaves the question: WHY?

Evil disrespect towards film heritage or sheer and complete incompetence?

As I don't want to insinuate the former, it obviously has to be incompetence?

Sorry for my harsh sounding words, but after the very mediocre master (as concerns digital manipulation and de-graining) of "High Noon" provided to Kino by Paramount, this is the second "Paramount" disappointment within short time.

And it CAN be done right. ----> see Sony/Grover Crisp and the more recent Universal releases. There was not a single UHD catalog release from Sony/Columbia I was not totally satisfied with.

And to calm down I now will randomly pick a UHD disc from the Ranown/Boetticher/Randolph Scott Criterion box set. ;-)

Great westerns, immaculate technical presentation. That's the way it should be...
 

Johannes S

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Johannes
Just a heads-up for people thinking that another encode from the same master could make a difference for this title:

The German UHD has an official release date for this week. It is a triple layer release by Universal and it should be interesting to see if there are any differences when this gets released.

As it already got a review that explicitly mentions film grain reduction being both visible and detrimental to texture and fine detail on a 65" OLED I would not expect much from it:

So most of what can(not) be seen on the US release is probably already baked into the master.


Oliver, please kindly allow me to correct you. The German release is merely distributed by Universal, but it is a genuine Paramount release. It is the common European pressing, carrying the logos for Germany, the UK and Ireland. I presume it is the identical disc as released in the US.

It is a dual layer UHD with a size of exactly 62,11 GB, with the feature file being around 60 GB for the running time of 166 minutes. Using a triple layer disc, which is almost standard with UHD presentations now, there would have been plenty of extra space for a more healthy bitrate and more room to breathe for the 166 minutes, even with a decent intact grain structure.

Now what we see here is the difference between mediocracy and excellence. While I sure admit that most users may be happy with the release, it simply is far from excellence. And we all know the proverbial saying that excellence is the enemy of mediocracy. ;-)

No matter how other qualities of the scan may be, if the transfer is completely deprived of authentic film grain, it leads to a major devaluation of the whole presentation.
 

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