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UHD Review A Few Words About A few words about...™ - True Lies -- in 4k UHD (7 Viewers)

Konstantinos

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Let me get this straight:
All the other companies and studios that release wonderful restorations of films (and most of the times some unknown horror b-movies or something) are addressed to purists only?
I didn't see anyone complaining then that they would love a degrained AI upscaled film..
 
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ManW_TheUncool

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Let me get this straight:
All the other companies and studios that release wonderful restorations of films (and most of the times some unknown horror b-movies or something) are addressed to purists only?
I didn't see anyone complaining then that they would love a degrained AI upscaled film..

The studios (mostly, w/ very few exceptions) aren't by this point. They're just doing their thing(s), whatever seems fine for their bottomlines.

The point is they just don't care about the purists by this point. Paramount, for example, clearly doesn't care while Disney, well, won't even bother releasing catalog stuff for the most part... And once in a while, you have someone like Cameron wanting to do his thing (w/ AI enhancements).

Certain boutique labels still seem to care (as much as viable) of course... but that's not the issue here... as these aren't being released by Criterion, Kino, Arrow, et al... although this would almost certainly still happen even if they released these films because Cameron would have the last say...

_Man_
 

sbjork

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There will probably always be someone unhappy and wanting to rant...

_Man_

d&d nerd GIF


I'm monitoring one of our social media posts about the fact that the UHD for Dune Part 2 won't feature the IMAX aspect ratio, and amid the endless breast-beating over that fact, there are many other people saying things like "no 3D, no sale" -- when there wasn't even a 3D version of the film to begin with. And of course, if it actually was in either variable ratios or else full frame 1.78:1, or 1.90:1, or whatever, then other people would be complaining, especially CIHers.

The perfect release doesn't exist, because it's impossible to please everyone. And they'll let you know about their displeasure, too, even when you're just the messenger.
 

Robert Crawford

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Let me get this straight:
All the other companies and studios that release wonderful restorations of films (and most of the times some unknown horror b-movies or something) are addressed to purists only?
I didn't see anyone complaining then that they would love a degrained AI upscaled film..
Those films didn't have a still active and powerful filmmaker like James Cameron involved in these releases.
 

Robert Harris

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I doubt that many home video fans being labeled as “purists” have an inkling of what’s behind creating a perfect or near perfect video representation of a film.

Most will have an absolute memory of what a film looked like on their neighborhood screen thirty years ago, but no concept of things such as the color temperature of the lamp, the propriety of the specific print, the cleanliness of the reflector in the lamp house, the type of light source, the color and cleanliness of the screen—

One could go on.

A true purist working toward creating a perfect or near-perfect video master MUST be aware of all of these attributes, and have a proper approved print as reference.
 

Tino

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I have to say it's alarming how many people (reading the other forum too), like these re-imagined versions or find them "watchable".
Why tho? Because you and others find them unwatchable? So you’re right and those of us that like them are wrong? I just don’t get this way of thinking. Sorry. 😞
 

Stephen_J_H

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I doubt that many home video fans being labeled as “purists” have an inkling of what’s behind creating a perfect or near perfect video representation of a film.

Most will have an absolute memory of what a film looked like on their neighborhood screen thirty years ago, but no concept of things such as the color temperature of the lamp, the propriety of the specific print, the cleanliness of the reflector in the lamp house, the type of light source, the color and cleanliness of the screen—

One could go on.

A true purist working toward creating a perfect or near-perfect video master MUST be aware of all of these attributes, and have a proper approved print as reference.
This Up Here GIF by Chord Overstreet
My first screening of Aliens in the cinema was a formative experience, but I'll be damned if I can tell you what the colour timing looked like. All I can tell you for certain is the following re: presentation:
  • The projected image had rounded corners, likely because of an improperly filed aperture gate;
  • I knew the aspect ratio was narrower than 2.35:1, because by that age [15], I readily spotted the difference;
  • When the "I" in ALIENS blooms and turns the screen completely white in the opening credits, I spotted some stray hairs and dirt, likely in the gate; and
  • I thoroughly enjoyed it.
 

Josh Steinberg

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The whole purchase may have been about nothing more than acquiring IPs like the X-Men for future productions. (Days of Future Productions?) Maybe it helped to clear up a few old hanging legal chads with the Star Wars franchise, too.

I genuinely don’t believe it’s that simple. They paid $70 billion for Fox and I’m sorry but the X-Men movie rights and the rights to the 1977 Star Wars film are not worth $70 billion. They got production facilities, they got certain cable channels, they got a larger piece of Hulu, all of those things were factors too. But the biggest factor in the end may have been this: someone was going to buy Fox. Disney probably felt that it was better for Disney’s position in the marketplace that it be them rather than a competitor.

They also completed the sale in 2019, just before the pandemic changed the world, the way people consume media, what people were willing to pay for the consumption, and how Wall Street valued players within the industry. They made a move that made sense in one landscape, only to wake up pretty much the next morning to discover that that landscape no longer existed. Whatever plans they may have had may have simply become irrelevant or untenable in the changing media environment.
Why tho? Because you and others find them unwatchable? So you’re right and those of us that like them are wrong? I just don’t get this way of thinking. Sorry. 😞

I just don’t really understand at this point what the end goal is here, you know?

I feel like we’re at that point in “2001” after Dave keeps asking HAL to open the pod bay doors, and finally HAL just says, “This conversation can serve no further purpose, goodbye”.

If the goal is to get the studio to recall the product and remaster it again and put out a whole different version, that is simply not going to happen.

If the goal is to convince HTF reviewers to retract their positive yet qualified reviews, that is not going to happen.

If the goal is to persuade HTF staff and ownership to make the studio change their minds, that’s not something HTF has any power to do. (Furthermore, HTF’s mission statement clearly states that HTF is in favor of filmmakers having their work presented the way the filmmakers want, which is what these releases are. Even if HTF did have the ability to ask the studios to redo it, HTF wouldn’t as such a request would be contrary to our mission statement and principles.)

If the goal is to convince people who like how these discs look to change their minds and start hating them instead, that never works. People like what they like and it’s nearly always impossible to move the needle on that.

If the goal is to bring it to people’s attention that these aren’t how the films originally looked, that point has been abundantly clear for months.

If the goal is for individuals who dislike these releases to simply register their dislike, there is a way to do that without attempting any of the above things.

I really at this point don’t understand what anyone hopes to accomplish at this point.
 

Robert Harris

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I genuinely don’t believe it’s that simple. They paid $70 billion for Fox and I’m sorry but the X-Men movie rights and the rights to the 1977 Star Wars film are not worth $70 billion. They got production facilities, they got certain cable channels, they got a larger piece of Hulu, all of those things were factors too. But the biggest factor in the end may have been this: someone was going to buy Fox. Disney probably felt that it was better for Disney’s position in the marketplace that it be them rather than a competitor.

They also completed the sale in 2019, just before the pandemic changed the world, the way people consume media, what people were willing to pay for the consumption, and how Wall Street valued players within the industry. They made a move that made sense in one landscape, only to wake up pretty much the next morning to discover that that landscape no longer existed. Whatever plans they may have had may have simply become irrelevant or untenable in the changing media environment.


I just don’t really understand at this point what the end goal is here, you know?

I feel like we’re at that point in “2001” after Dave keeps asking HAL to open the pod bay doors, and finally HAL just says, “This conversation can serve no further purpose, goodbye”.

If the goal is to get the studio to recall the product and remaster it again and put out a whole different version, that is simply not going to happen.

If the goal is to convince HTF reviewers to retract their positive yet qualified reviews, that is not going to happen.

If the goal is to persuade HTF staff and ownership to make the studio change their minds, that’s not something HTF has any power to do. (Furthermore, HTF’s mission statement clearly states that HTF is in favor of filmmakers having their work presented the way the filmmakers want, which is what these releases are. Even if HTF did have the ability to ask the studios to redo it, HTF wouldn’t as such a request would be contrary to our mission statement and principles.)

If the goal is to convince people who like how these discs look to change their minds and start hating them instead, that never works. People like what they like and it’s nearly always impossible to move the needle on that.

If the goal is to bring it to people’s attention that these aren’t how the films originally looked, that point has been abundantly clear for months.

If the goal is for individuals who dislike these releases to simply register their dislike, there is a way to do that without attempting any of the above things.

I really at this point don’t understand what anyone hopes to accomplish at this point.
Totally agree with your point that the majority of viewers have no basis for understanding how these films initially looked. And presumably don’t care.
 

Chip_HT

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I watched True Lies for the first time a couple of weeks ago, courtesy of this new 4K disc release on my 65" TV. I liked it. The picture was fine.

There was only one point of the film where I noticed anything weird, and that was the writing on the invitation at the beginning. If it hadn't been for all of the online discussion, I wouldn't have even noticed that.

If someone considers this presentation of this movie to be "unwatchable", then I shudder to think how few options they have in their "watchable" category.
 

James Luckard

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I haven't seen this mentioned, so I wanted to politely chime in and add something.

Based on what I've read elsewhere, the raw underlying new master used for the UHD appears to have been streaming at Hulu since 2022, only the Hulu version does NOT have the Park Road AI.

After watching a bit of the Hulu version, it seems pretty clear why True Lies got such a heavy dose of Park Road's AI.

The Hulu version is the first time I've really been able to see the film in clear HD detail. Up until now, we only had laserdisc, VHS, and 4:3 letterboxed DVD.

When you watch the Hulu version of True Lies, as others have pointed out online, the film has a truly surprising number of shots where the focus is noticeably off.

You'll have Arnold in the foreground, Bill Paxton in the midground, and a car behind them, and the car will be the thing that's crisply in focus. You'll have Bill Paxton and Jamie Lee Curtis talking on a couch, and the wall behind them will be what's crisply in focus.

I've seen various explanations for the frequent focus issues, but whatever the reason, I'm sure they've bugged James Cameron for 30 years.

After comparing the Hulu version and the UHD, it seems pretty clear that the extra AI True Lies got was to correct the focus issues.

Personally, I prefer the raw version on Hulu, because it looks more like a movie shot on 35mm film in 1993-1994. However, Cameron clearly prefers the processed version.

At least this seems to be a simple and logical explanation for why the film looks the way it does on the UHD.
 
Last edited:

James Luckard

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The linked video above is really informative, if still overlong, like most YouTube videos, at over 20 mins.

It also explains why certain individual shots looked wonky to me on the UHD.

For example, there was the shot where Arnold walks into the ballroom at the beginning. It's a steadicam shot, from behind him, showing the full room, with dozens of extras. The AI, in working to correct legitimate focus errors, also brought faces at multiple distances from the camera all into crisp focus at the same time. It's subtle, but it registers as odd, or at least it did to me, though I couldn't figure out why at the time.

No camera can photograph multiple planes of focus properly at the same time, while other elements in the shot on multiple other planes are simultaneously out of focus. As a result, the shot looks strangely and subtly "off."

Because people 3 ft from the camera, 10 ft from the camera and 25 ft from the camera are all in perfect focus, while other things like furniture and such are not, the people look like they were all photographed separately and composited in. It looks a bit like that one scene in Titanic where Kate Winslet has tea in the lounge with her mother, and watches the little girl learn to fold a napkin. On that film, they couldn't afford to build a full set of the lounge for one scene, so they actually did photograph everyone separately, and then composited them against a miniature of the lounge interior. The ballroom entry shot in True Lies looks weirdly like that shot after the AI brings every face, and only every face, into focus.

There's an example of this phenomenon with another shot from that scene, at 10:14 in the video above.
 

Robert Harris

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Here you go



A very thoughtful and meticulously prepared video. One point does not tell the precise story, and that is the comment re running the OCN through printers/scanners and the perceived value of the OCN reels.

Film printers and scanners are two very different mechanisms. While a physical film to film printer is very much a potentially dangerous “contact sport,” a scanner is virtually contactless and extremely safe.

Zero reason not to run the OCN through the latest scanner.
 

sbjork

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At least this time he identifies some of his sources, instead of just quoting from them verbatim without attribution. The A.I. voice is still terrible, however, and really distracting when watching it. Although the pronunciation of the word "nugget" at the beginning is unintentionally hilarious.

But I'm not convinced by his focus complaints about the original photography. He's still comparing one home video transfer to another, so he doesn't have the baseline of the focus on the negative itself. On the other hand, it's true that Park Road's algorithms struggled with the shallow focus in many shots True Lies. They tried to sharpen things that were supposed to be out of focus, and it's some of the worst looking shots in all four of these Cameron remasters.
 

Robert Harris

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At least this time he identifies some of his sources, instead of just quoting from them verbatim without attribution. The A.I. voice is still terrible, however, and really distracting when watching it. Although the pronunciation of the word "nugget" at the beginning is unintentionally hilarious.

But I'm not convinced by his focus complaints about the original photography. He's still comparing one home video transfer to another, so he doesn't have the baseline of the focus on the negative itself. On the other hand, it's true that Park Road's algorithms struggled with the shallow focus in many shots True Lies. They tried to sharpen things that were supposed to be out of focus, and it's some of the worst looking shots in all four of these Cameron remasters.
Why would they focus something designed to be out, if the filmmaker is overseeing?
 

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