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A Few Words About A few words about...™ Spartacus (Take 2) -- in Blu-ray (1 Viewer)

TravisR

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Well, the current generation would disagree because of its limited exposure to older films, added to its Twittering, Tweeting, Texting ADD, but I do believe movies in the general sense -- perhaps with the exception of some foreign-language stuff -- have taken a huge nosedive in terms of script quality, pacing, editing, etc. Hollywood, at least, is trying to appeal to the lowest common denominator (in other words, young viewers who can't sit still if there isn't a big action sequence happening, or really crude humor, or just about anything that is the antithesis of intelligence and character development).

True, I am a cynic, politically, religiously, socially, and -- when it comes to movies -- artistically. We're simply dumbed-down. Back in the 30's and 40's, even most comedies were well-scripted and acted and had a social message attached. Now? Think about it.

People born after, say, 1970, probably will not agree that movies being made today aren't as good as those made many decades ago. I get it. It's what you are exposed to. It's what you seek out based upon generational preferences. But what happened to open minds? Critical thinking? :(
I'm pretty pessimistic so I should be inclined to agree with you but people have been saying that same basic thing for over a century now. Whatever time anyone thinks was great, there were 'old' people of that era saying how awful everything now was. In the 70's, guys were saying how they didn't make them like they did in the 40's. In the 40's, there were guys saying that it had been downhill since silents ended. During the silents, there were guys pining for that loop of a horse running or a train pulling into a station.
 

Billy Batson

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My favourite decade for films was the sixties, no surprise there as it was my teen years (born 1950), you know it's your favourite decade when you even love the bad films (& there were plenty of those in the sixties). Some of the big differences between then & now, was that back then a small (even b/w) film could make a big impact, nigh impossible now with all the mega productions taking over all the screens, & also, a film could slow build over many months, these days it's all done & dusted in the first weekend. It seems to me that these days the studios aren't interested in making ten million dollars on a film, they want to go for the big gamble, a hundred million dollar profit on a mega-budget film. Oh well times change, a lot of things get better & a few things get worse.

I've run the Blu-ray of Spartacus three times, & each time it's been an event :)
 

RichMurphy

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On the Acela home to DC last week, I overheard a group of millennials discussing movies. All but one said they hated older movies. The one dissenter said she loved them, as long as they weren't made before 1990. My head still hurts from my eyerolling.
 

Allansfirebird

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Well, the current generation would disagree because of its limited exposure to older films, added to its Twittering, Tweeting, Texting ADD, but I do believe movies in the general sense -- perhaps with the exception of some foreign-language stuff -- have taken a huge nosedive in terms of script quality, pacing, editing, etc. Hollywood, at least, is trying to appeal to the lowest common denominator (in other words, young viewers who can't sit still if there isn't a big action sequence happening, or really crude humor, or just about anything that is the antithesis of intelligence and character development).

True, I am a cynic, politically, religiously, socially, and -- when it comes to movies -- artistically. We're simply dumbed-down. Back in the 30's and 40's, even most comedies were well-scripted and acted and had a social message attached. Now? Think about it.

People born after, say, 1970, probably will not agree that movies being made today aren't as good as those made many decades ago. I get it. It's what you are exposed to. It's what you seek out based upon generational preferences. But what happened to open minds? Critical thinking? :(

While I understand the sentiment of what you're saying, Dick, I'm growing tired of my generation (millennials) getting reduced to insignificance by older generations because of the technology we use. Plus, I know a lot of people my age that know and love classic movies - found out a friend from high school loves The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, something that shocked the hell out of me. But trust me, every generation has its good and bad movies, its smart and dumb movies, etc. Simplifying it down to "those crummy millennials ruined the movies" is insulting.
 

Dick

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While I understand the sentiment of what you're saying, Dick, I'm growing tired of my generation (millennials) getting reduced to insignificance by older generations because of the technology we use. Plus, I know a lot of people my age that know and love classic movies - found out a friend from high school loves The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, something that shocked the hell out of me. But trust me, every generation has its good and bad movies, its smart and dumb movies, etc. Simplifying it down to "those crummy millennials ruined the movies" is insulting.

No insult intended, and of course what I wrote was a generalization. There are many young people who get into older (usually better, in my opinion) movies, and not all "millennials" are dumbed-down. And not all young people walk everywhere with their heads bent as they twitter endlessly, navigating their space using only their peripheral vision. But I also truly believe our educational system has deteriorated, which leads people too easily into a herd mentality rather than making independent decisions based on facts and not "fake news," which they should be evaluating through the corroboration of information from multiple sources and not a single despot or "news" channel.

But, then, older generations like mine have traditionally felt that young people are taking the path to hell, in my case demonstrated by the fact that my parents hated the music I loved and the movies I sought out. And, over time, I came to love some of the music and films my parents were fond of. Damn! I'm becoming my father! But damned if I didn't convince my dad to really listen to some of my music (The Young Rascals, etc.) that he found he actually came to enjoy.

So, please don't be personally offended by my remarks. I am not singling you out, nor is anyone who drops comments similar to mine. This all comes from a general suspicion that our society is growing, not necessarily dumber, but dumbed-down, meaning we believe what we see on t.v. without checking it for accuracy, and that alone makes us more and more susceptible to the dangerous whims of those who would like to control us all -- Madison Ave, Corporations, Politicians.

That was probably a lot more of an answer than it needed to be, but hopefully you get my point. It's more than just movies of which I spoke. It appears to me to be a societal trend.
 
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Dick

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I'm pretty pessimistic so I should be inclined to agree with you but people have been saying that same basic thing for over a century now. Whatever time anyone thinks was great, there were 'old' people of that era saying how awful everything now was. In the 70's, guys were saying how they didn't make them like they did in the 40's. In the 40's, there were guys saying that it had been downhill since silents ended. During the silents, there were guys pining for that loop of a horse running or a train pulling into a station.

See post 365.

But, yes, every older generation finds much fault with every younger one. I guess human nature dictates that we think our society is being degraded by those who come after us. Old dogs don't want to be taught new tricks. But in an increasing number of cases, our social erosion is due to those of the older generations (mine, actually -- no further comment or this post will be edited). It is a combination of inferior education, the breakup of families and lack of supervision, technology and its unfortunate effect upon actual, physical human communications, and the confrontational, disrespectful, frequently more violent ways we deal with disagreements in our society.

What the hell does any of this have to do with SPARTACUS? Got way off track there.

Back to the topic, I am scheduling this film for November for my film sharing program, and can't wait to run it on my new 65" OLED. Should be awesome! This movie is on my top ten favorites ever.
 

Jim*Tod

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On the Acela home to DC last week, I overheard a group of millennials discussing movies. All but one said they hated older movies. The one dissenter said she loved them, as long as they weren't made before 1990. My head still hurts from my eyerolling.
Help us all!!!!!!!!!!!
 

Spencer Draper

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The audio has not changed since we completed the work in April of 1990.

There were two totally different dubs. One 6-track discreet, and the other oriented more toward home video of the era, which was 3-channels behind the screen, with ghosts at 2,and 4, baby booms, and mono surround.

Only the methodology of transmission, which is now discreet.

Ah! That makes perfect sense then. I presume the latter source was utilized for the Laserdiscs and DVDs by Universal and Criterion as matrixed 2.0 and then 5.1. Then the 6 track discrete being used for the new 7.1 audio. It certainly shows a significant leap forwards in both quality and reproduction. Makes for a remarkable experience every time particularly since I was so used to growing up with how the old copies sounded. Each new version was better but are more limited in their panning of the dialogue in comparison to the 7.1 which feels much more natural.
Today it is deemed technically incorrect, but the more I discover about panned dialogue and sound effects the more fascinated I become. To think that mixers would have to continually pan, and do reverse sound pans for every reverse shot is incredible.

To think Spartacus would be available in this quality in the home back then is unimaginable--particularly since this stupendous restored version costs less than either the Criterion DVD-or the restored VHS. Let alone that I could actually converse with the film's restorer! Many thanks for clarifying!
 

cinemiracle

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Well, the current generation would disagree because of its limited exposure to older films, added to its Twittering, Tweeting, Texting ADD, but I do believe movies in the general sense -- perhaps with the exception of some foreign-language stuff -- have taken a huge nosedive in terms of script quality, pacing, editing, etc. Hollywood, at least, is trying to appeal to the lowest common denominator (in other words, young viewers who can't sit still if there isn't a big action sequence happening, or really crude humor, or just about anything that is the antithesis of intelligence and character development).

True, I am a cynic, politically, religiously, socially, and -- when it comes to movies -- artistically. We're simply dumbed-down. Back in the 30's and 40's, even most comedies were well-scripted and acted and had a social message attached. Now? Think about it.

People born after, say, 1970, probably will not agree that movies being made today aren't as good as those made many decades ago. I get it. It's what you are exposed to. It's what you seek out based upon generational preferences. But what happened to open minds? Critical thinking? :(

There are good films and bad films in every year and generation. The only problem today is that the quality has sunk to an all -time low with digital projection.
 

Robert Harris

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Ah! That makes perfect sense then. I presume the latter source was utilized for the Laserdiscs and DVDs by Universal and Criterion as matrixed 2.0 and then 5.1. Then the 6 track discrete being used for the new 7.1 audio. It certainly shows a significant leap forwards in both quality and reproduction. Makes for a remarkable experience every time particularly since I was so used to growing up with how the old copies sounded. Each new version was better but are more limited in their panning of the dialogue in comparison to the 7.1 which feels much more natural.
Today it is deemed technically incorrect, but the more I discover about panned dialogue and sound effects the more fascinated I become. To think that mixers would have to continually pan, and do reverse sound pans for every reverse shot is incredible.

To think Spartacus would be available in this quality in the home back then is unimaginable--particularly since this stupendous restored version costs less than either the Criterion DVD-or the restored VHS. Let alone that I could actually converse with the film's restorer! Many thanks for clarifying!

7.1 uses phantom channels in positions 2 and 4. There is no home theater format for 6-channel 70mm.
 

Edwin-S

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True, I am a cynic, politically, religiously, socially, and -- when it comes to movies -- artistically. We're simply dumbed-down. Back in the 30's and 40's, even most comedies were well-scripted and acted and had a social message attached. Now? Think about it.

Right. Absolutely. The Three Stooges and Abbot and Costello were well-scripted and had a social message. :laugh:
 

Mike Boone

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On the Acela home to DC last week, I overheard a group of millennials discussing movies. All but one said they hated older movies. The one dissenter said she loved them, as long as they weren't made before 1990. My head still hurts from my eyerolling.

Rich, that young lady's comment about disliking pre-1990s movies had me thinking about 2 events that took place in 1981 that may be germane to the subject of why a number of younger people bear such negative attitudes toward older films. (My own 34 year old daughter-in-law, who was a straight-A student in school, and even skipped a grade, says she dislikes watching movies that came out before about 1985.)

Anyway, the first event of 1981 I'm referring to was MTV making its debut in the summer of that year. The music video format that channel was to popularize included that quick cutting style that did nothing to build one's patience or attention span, as viewers were so often presented videos that showed a different scene, or the same scene from changed angles, every couple of seconds.

About 2 years ago I read an article somewhere that contended that the average length of time that a camera shot was being held in the current Hollywood movies of that time, was only about a third as long as the average amount of time that camera shots were held in movies that had been made 3 to 4 decades earlier. And today, with well over 50% of the average movie theater audience being made up of people under 35, (like my 34 year old daughter-in-law) IMO it is the hyper edited style of today's movies (partially due to the influence of music videos) that has lowered the patience level of many young people to the point where a great movie like 1957's "Bridge On The River Kwai" actually seems to be tedious and slow moving to many younger folks, though I found it to be nothing but fascinating, as well as genuinely thrilling, when, at age 13 or 14, I first saw the film in 1964 or 1965, at the Plainview Theater, on Long Island.

Now the other event of 1981 that I believe to bear part of the blame for why some younger people tend to dislike movies like "Bridge On The River Kwai", strangely enough, was the introduction of one of my other film favorites: "Raiders of the Lost Ark". A friend of mine, who was considerably older than me, as he was 59 back in 1981, told me back then, after I'd already seen "Raiders" multiple times, that he felt that the huge success of the film (it was 1981's #1 box office hit) could end up having quite a negative effect on movie making. He predicted that many of the movie producers and directors who would be hoping to duplicate the kind of success that "Raiders" had, would be bound to assume that the film became such a hit only because it never made audience members wait for more than about 10 minutes to be plunged into the middle of another action scene. And my friend said that there was a real danger that movie studios would really start leaning on directors who wished to have their movies develop their stories more gradually, at a less frenzied pace.

And it was either the late Roger Ebert, or the late Gene Siskel, who said that he had never seen a movie with the energy of "Raiders of the Lost Ark". BTW, though, both men really liked the movie, as each of them included it on their 10 Best lists of 1981 film releases. And I remember Vincent Canby, of the New York Times, saying that when Hollywood's film makers set out to make action movies, they could do no better than to include the kind of inventiveness and wit that's found in "Raiders of the Lost Ark".

But, judging by the slew of poor action movies that Hollywood has turned out in the decades since "Raiders", maybe a lot of producers and directors did draw the wrong lesson from the film, by not realizing that just filling their movies with a plentiful amount of action scenes, while omitting any of the kind of wit and intelligence that "Raiders" has, merely adds up to creating very forgettable movies, that contain a lot of frantic action. But, then again, maybe that kind of movie making is fine with some folks who don't want to have to "wait so long for something to happen."

One last point I'd like to cover, guys, before I cut my long windedness short.

I really liked what Roger Ebert said about "The Great Escape". As all fans of that classic World War 2 POW film know, the actual escape of the title does not occur until almost the 2 hour mark of a 2 hr. 50 min. film.
And as the late Mr Ebert stated, it's unlikely that a modern movie director would hold off on having the escape take place so late in the movie, if he or she was shooting such a story today. Now back in 1963, movie audiences were not impatient to get to the escape because of the many interesting details involving the POWs making preparations for their escape, as well as some quite tense situations that involved individual prisoners, before the breakout.

And Mr Ebert opined that a modern remaking of "The Great Escape" would probably not have the audience wait longer than 30 or 40 minutes to see the escape, with any large amount of detail about the preparations and events leading up to the breakout, likely to be conveyed after the escape, via the use of flashbacks.
 
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Cineman

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I'm pretty pessimistic so I should be inclined to agree with you but people have been saying that same basic thing for over a century now. Whatever time anyone thinks was great, there were 'old' people of that era saying how awful everything now was. In the 70's, guys were saying how they didn't make them like they did in the 40's. In the 40's, there were guys saying that it had been downhill since silents ended. During the silents, there were guys pining for that loop of a horse running or a train pulling into a station.

When I was a teenager and my grandparents were the age I am now, we all went to the same movies that were very popular with me and my age group and my grandparents loved them, too; Bonnie and Clyde, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, etc. It was a common event for us to stand in line as a family for the latest blockbuster and we had tons to talk about the movie afterwards, mostly positive. Meanwhile, my group and I were damned impressed and entertained by Gone With The Wind, Singin' in the Rain, Strangers on a Train, etc. I can attest to how much my age group appreciated and enjoyed older movies because in those days there were at least a half dozen revival theaters in town that regularly screened double bills of older movies to packed houses mostly made up of audiences in their 20s and 30s. We loved those movies.

Additionally in those days, my grandparents also happened to appreciate and enjoy the Beatles, The Beach Boys and The Supremes while I totally got Sinatra, Elvis and Fats Domino.

Now that I am the age my grandparents were back then, I can't think of many blockbuster movies and music of the teenage generation that I could say I thoroughly enjoy and appreciate. Maybe two movies per year at most.

There was simply much more generational pop culture crossover not only from teen to parents but even from teen to grandparents when I was a teenager than there is today. Think about how many blockbuster weekend box office-winning movies and hit songs of today could really be appreciated and enjoyed by the teens AND the grandparents in your family. I don't mean merely endured for the span of 2+ hours or the length of a song. I mean truly enjoyed enough to have lots of positive things to say about it afterwards.

Well, there was a time in my lifetime when that happened rather commonly.
 
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Cineman

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Right. Absolutely. The Three Stooges and Abbot and Costello were well-scripted and had a social message. :laugh:

lol. Well, I would still like to count the number of real out-loud laughs with a current mixed generational audience during a public screening of almost any 4 or 5 Three Stooges shorts and Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein vs, say, The Hangover and The Hangover Part II. Even low brow or knockabout comedy can be done well enough by masters of the genre to strike virtually any audience as genuinely funny.
 

Edwin-S

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lol. Well, I would still like to count the number of real out-loud laughs with a current mixed generational audience during a public screening of almost any 4 or 5 Three Stooges shorts and Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein vs, say, The Hangover and The Hangover Part II. Even low brow or knockabout comedy can be done well enough by masters of the genre to strike virtually any audience as genuinely funny.

My point wasn't to knock the Stooges or A&C. It was just an answer to a broad generalization that most comedies in the 30s and 40s were well-written and had social relevance. It doesn't matter if it is the 30s, 40s, 50s, etc. Every erase produces films that are instant classics, films that grow to be classics over time, films that erudite and funny and films that are brainless and still funny. Sometimes the ones people consider brainless go on to be well-loved classics.

A person's perception of what constitutes a "Golden Age" is heavily influenced by what they saw when they kids or young adults and were still impressionable; when going to a film felt like they were being transported to another world or another time, before they grew up and time and the grind of life, in general, along with a lifetime of watching films, reduced them to little more than time fillers.
 

Edwin-S

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The other factor is that the movie landscape has radically changed. At one time, the theatre was only venue for filmed entertainment, so a film didn't have to a spectacle in order to find an audience. The advent of TV, the Internet, streaming, etc., has given people many avenues to get their entertainment at home.

To get a person to come out to a theatre required a level of spectacle that couldn't be acquired at home. Most movies now have to be bombastic or filled with spectacle to get people into theatres. Dramas that can be watched at home without losing anything while migrating to a smaller screen are not enough to get people to make the trek to a theatre. Look at Logansport Lucky. That film is character driven, grounded in reality and has few obvious special effects. Virtually, no one is going to see it. How many people here, who constantly complain about Hollywood's addiction to sequels, reboots, remakes and blockbusters, have gone to see it?
 

TravisR

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When I was a teenager and my grandparents were the age I am now, we all went to the same movies that were very popular with me and my age group and my grandparents loved them, too; Bonnie and Clyde, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, etc. It was a common event for us to stand in line as a family for the latest blockbuster and we had tons to talk about the movie afterwards, mostly positive. Meanwhile, my group and I were damned impressed and entertained by Gone With The Wind, Singin' in the Rain, Strangers on a Train, etc. I can attest to how much my age group appreciated and enjoyed older movies because in those days there were at least a half dozen revival theaters in town that regularly screened double bills of older movies to packed houses mostly made up of audiences in their 20s and 30s. We loved those movies.
I see a fair number of older movies and they're usually fairly well-attended by people under 40 but those are people like me or you- movie fans. The average kid on the street doesn't care about Cat People or Rosemary's Baby but when I see them at a local art theater in a couple months, I guarantee that a large chunk of the crowd will be younger than me. There's always going to be fans of older movies who will keep them alive but it's never going to be something that the mainstream cares about.
 

Cineman

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My point wasn't to knock the Stooges or A&C. It was just an answer to a broad generalization that most comedies in the 30s and 40s were well-written and had social relevance. It doesn't matter if it is the 30s, 40s, 50s, etc. Every erase produces films that are instant classics, films that grow to be classics over time, films that erudite and funny and films that are brainless and still funny. Sometimes the ones people consider brainless go on to be well-loved classics.

A person's perception of what constitutes a "Golden Age" is heavily influenced by what they saw when they kids or young adults and were still impressionable; when going to a film felt like they were being transported to another world or another time, before they grew up and time and the grind of life, in general, along with a lifetime of watching films, reduced them to little more than time fillers.

Yes, I knew you weren't knocking the Stooges or A&C. But within the genres of social comedies and low brow comedies, by 1975 we were pretty certain that there were many, many sure fire entertaining ones worth a then modern audience's time and money from the 20-40 or so prior years even though they were not of our generation. Can we honestly say the same thing for whatever passed for those genres going back 20-40 years from today? 20-40 years ought to be enough time for all those instant or eventual well-loved classics to gel and find their rightful place in movie history, no?

Sure, someone who has never been exposed to those much earlier films, particularly in a somewhat normal commercial theater environment and audience, would probably come up with a slew of examples from the 80s, 90s, 2000s. But ignorance or lack of proper exposure (which I admit cannot really be done today as it was done in revival theaters decades ago) of what came before does not argue in favor of the premise that more recent movies are just as good, better or that they are making as many good one as before and so on.
 
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TravisR

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Yes, I knew you weren't knocking the Stooges or A&C. But within the genres of social comedies and low brow comedies, by 1975 we were pretty certain that there were many, many sure fire entertaining ones worth a then modern audience's time and money from the 20-40 or so prior years even though they were not of our generation. Can we honestly say the same thing for whatever passed for those genres going back 20-40 years from today?
I can absolutely say that. Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles, Fast Times At Ridgemont High, National Lampoon's Vacation, Ghostbusters, The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation and many Bill Murray movies are all regarded as classics today. I wouldn't agree that all of those movies are classics but they're certainly viewed that way by many who grew up in those time periods and after.
 

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