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Robert Harris

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True Romance is a 1993 film, directed by Tony Scott, and written by an extremely prolific writer/director named Quentin Tarantino.

I've checked out a number of the cast members, and they've seemed to have moved on with careers.

A quick list for those who may be interested:

Christian Slater, Patricia Arquette, Dennis Hopper, Val Kilmer, Gary Oldman, Brad Pitt, Christopher Walken, Bronson Pinchot, Samuel L. Jackson, Conchata Ferrell and James Gandolfini. At least a few recognized names.

Most important thing that I can say is that this appears to be a new scan from Arrow from the original negative. It's being touted as a restoration, but most everything these days is.

Both the theatrical cut as well as the Director's Cut are included with branching, along with a ton of terrific extras - alternate ending, new interviews, etc.

I'd discuss the packaging, but I've not seen it. Is there a great, collectible slipcover? Not a clue.

Arrow goes a wonderful job with their releases, very much in the Criterion mode, and True Romance is a great example.

For lovers of true organic grain, it's all there.

Color is magnificent, along with black level, shadow detail, etc. And very few age-related artifacts showing through.

A wonderful film, with a great reputation, brought to 4k with class by Arrow.

Have I mentioned beautifully original organic grain?

Image – 4 (Dolby Vision)

Audio – 5 (DTS-HD MA 5.1)

Pass / Fail – Pass

Plays nicely with projectors - Yes

Upgrade from Blu-ray - Absolutely

Makes use of and works well in 4k - 4

Highly Recommended

RAH
 
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Michael Osadciw

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One of my all-time favourites when I first started collecting laserdiscs as a teenager. Definitely picking this one up since Kaleidescape only offers HD at this time. Thanks for the review and verifying its organic presentation. That's what gets me excited to see film on 4K.
 

Robert Harris

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One of my all-time favourites when I first started collecting laserdiscs as a teenager. Definitely picking this one up since Kaleidescape only offers HD at this time. Thanks for the review and verifying its organic presentation. That's what gets me excited to see film on 4K.
I'm thinking of having "Organic" stickers produced so they can be added to packaging.
 

ManW_TheUncool

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Plays nicely with projectors - Best not to enlarge it

Considering what seems like a (largely) favorable review, wondering why this -- there seems almost no other indications (other than the 4/5 rating for image and 4K detail level)...

Much appreciated, RAH...

_Man_
 

sbjork

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I've had the U.K. version since it was first released, and it's lovely, though you have to grade on a bit of a curve. It's Tony Scott smoke combined with anamorphic lenses, so it was never going to be the last word in fine detail. The smokiest scenes also display a bit less contrast than the ones with less haze. But everything looks like it should. No revisionary color grade, either. In terms of faithfulness to the original look/intent, it's fantastic. It's just not 4K eye candy, unless you're a big fan of grain and smoke. (Both of which, by the way, are managed perfectly thanks to stellar work by Fidelity in Motion.) I loved it.
 

Robert Harris

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RAH, you might want to change the rating from Fail to Pass.
Thx. Copy/Paste formatting bites again.

Along with plays nicely…

Had to take a phone call from Suggi, who may have been in India. Apparently not only is my computer infected, but my car warranty is expired.

I thanked him, and informed him that I was having his entire family killed. Then returned to the task.

I don’t think he’s my friend.
 

Robert Harris

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I've had the U.K. version since it was first released, and it's lovely, though you have to grade on a bit of a curve. It's Tony Scott smoke combined with anamorphic lenses, so it was never going to be the last word in fine detail. The smokiest scenes also display a bit less contrast than the ones with less haze. But everything looks like it should. No revisionary color grade, either. In terms of faithfulness to the original look/intent, it's fantastic. It's just not 4K eye candy, unless you're a big fan of grain and smoke. (Both of which, by the way, are managed perfectly thanks to stellar work by Fidelity in Motion.) I loved it.
There is NO fine detail, but it’s pretty and film-like.
 

Chewbabka

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I imported the UK SKU a month before Arrow announced the North American release, so y’all are welcome. :D

I watched with the Dolby Stereo track and thought it sounded great too. Was 5.1 also part of the original theatrical release depending on venue? Or is it a modern remix?
 

Robert Harris

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I imported the UK SKU a month before Arrow announced the North American release, so y’all are welcome. :D

I watched with the Dolby Stereo track and thought it sounded great too. Was 5.1 also part of the original theatrical release depending on venue? Or is it a modern remix?
If by Dolby stereo, you mean Dolby’s optical 2channel derived format, the original mix would have been multi-channel mag.
 

sbjork

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I imported the UK SKU a month before Arrow announced the North American release, so y’all are welcome. :D

I watched with the Dolby Stereo track and thought it sounded great too. Was 5.1 also part of the original theatrical release depending on venue? Or is it a modern remix?

If by Dolby stereo, you mean Dolby’s optical 2channel derived format, the original mix would have been multi-channel mag.
True Romance was released theatrically in 5.1 -- both DTS and Dolby Digital. I can't vouch for whether or not it's been tweaked for home video, but it's still the same basic mix, not a new remix. On the other hand, in 1993, viewers would have had just as much of a chance of seeing it in optical Dolby Stereo as digital, depending on where you lived. They're both original mixes, with the four-channel encoded Dolby Stereo likely being just a fold-down of the 5.1 with the split surrounds summed (unless they did do separate mixes for some reason). Personally, I prefer the 5.1, but they're both good mixes.
 

Chewbabka

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If by Dolby stereo, you mean Dolby’s optical 2channel derived format, the original mix would have been multi-channel mag.
It’s on the disc as DTS-HD 2.0, but played back with surround action, so I presume it’s matrixed surround.
 

sbjork

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It’s on the disc as DTS-HD 2.0, but played back with surround action, so I presume it’s matrixed surround.
If it's Dolby Stereo or Ultra Stereo (or any of the bargain basement derivatives like Surround Trax), then it's surround sound. Nearly any 2.0 stereo track that you find on disc will be surround encoded, regardless of how the manufacturer labels it. Dolby Stereo was never stereo. Not all mixes made the same use of the surrounds, but they were still four-channel mixes.
 

sbjork

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I've gotten into arguments with reviewers at other sites about that subject. It's a pet peeve of mine when they call a 2.0 track stereo, or worse, complain about the lack of a surround mix. It's right in front of you, pal.

When another site reviewed Split Second on Blu-ray, the writer complained about the lack of a surround track. Yet that film was released in Ultra Stereo, and right during the opening when Rutger Hauer walks out of the police station, you hear the sound of an overhead helicopter pan from the front into the surrounds. It's not subtle, and it's not something being simulated by the Dolby upmixer. It's encoded. Later, in Hauer's apartment, pigeons keep flying in and out of the surrounds.

I tried explaining all of that nicely (no, really, I was being nice!) and the writer told me that I was wrong, stereo was stereo, and then deleted my comment. That's one way of winning.
 

Chewbabka

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If it's Dolby Stereo or Ultra Stereo (or any of the bargain basement derivatives like Surround Trax), then it's surround sound. Nearly any 2.0 stereo track that you find on disc will be surround encoded, regardless of how the manufacturer labels it. Dolby Stereo was never stereo. Not all mixes made the same use of the surrounds, but they were still four-channel mixes.
I understand what it is, I’m just curious why it’s there if the film was released in 5.1 theatrically…. Presumably it’s there since some theaters then still couldn’t play digital sound?
 

Chewbabka

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I've gotten into arguments with reviewers at other sites about that subject. It's a pet peeve of mine when they call a 2.0 track stereo, or worse, complain about the lack of a surround mix. It's right in front of you, pal.

When another site reviewed Split Second on Blu-ray, the writer complained about the lack of a surround track. Yet that film was released in Ultra Stereo, and right during the opening when Rutger Hauer walks out of the police station, you hear the sound of an overhead helicopter pan from the front into the surrounds. It's not subtle, and it's not something being simulated by the Dolby upmixer. It's encoded. Later, in Hauer's apartment, pigeons keep flying in and out of the surrounds.

I tried explaining all of that nicely (no, really, I was being nice!) and the writer told me that I was wrong, stereo was stereo, and then deleted my comment. That's one way of winning.
Would these not play back properly if they don’t have Dolby Surround/ProLogic or DTS NeuralX enabled? Perhaps they’re also just clueless about how to use their equipment lol.
 

sbjork

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I understand what it is, I’m just curious why it’s there if the film was released in 5.1 theatrically…. Presumably it’s there since some theaters then still couldn’t play digital sound?

Would these not play back properly if they don’t have Dolby Surround/ProLogic or DTS NeuralX enabled? Perhaps they’re also just clueless about how to use their equipment lol.
It was still the wild west in 1993. DTS was just introduced theatrically in 1993 with Jurassic Park, and Dolby Digital wasn't exactly widespread either at that point. Let alone SDDS. I have no idea what the percentages would have been at that point, but outside of major metropolitan areas, most people would have heard it in optical Dolby Stereo at best, or plain mono at worst. Some theatres even did poor man's stereo, where they'd have mono fronts with surrounds. And multiplexes didn't necessarily convert all their screens at once, so the bigger screens might have been DTS/Dolby Digital/SDDS, but the smaller ones weren't. You had to do your research back then to know what you were getting. I usually had to call to verify which screen that a given theatre was playing a movie on.

And the sad reality is yes, many reviewers are clueless about their equipment. You'll even have some insisting that they're being purists by watching in stereo without decoding, because that's how they think that the films were intended to be seen. There are a lot of people who seem to think that surround sound didn't exist prior to the advent of 5.1.
 

ScottJH

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I imported the UK SKU a month before Arrow announced the North American release, so y’all are welcome. :D
For those of us that did import the UK release don't feel bad, the NA release is missing a special feature and had a "few tiny edits to others" per James Flower.
 

JoshZ

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Would these not play back properly if they don’t have Dolby Surround/ProLogic or DTS NeuralX enabled? Perhaps they’re also just clueless about how to use their equipment lol.

Yes, the proper way to listen to a 2.0 surround track is to turn on an upmixer in the receiver (e.g. some form of Pro Logic, DSU, or Neural:X). They are meant to be played that way. Listening in Stereo mode will fold down the intended surround activity back into the front channels.
 

sbjork

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Yes, the proper way to listen to a 2.0 surround track is to turn on an upmixer in the receiver (e.g. some form of Pro Logic, DSU, or Neural:X). They are meant to be played that way. Listening in Stereo mode will fold down the intended surround activity back into the front channels.
Part of the problem likely comes from people who want to be purists about 5.1 or 7.1 tracks, so they leave their upmixers off, but then don't turn it on again for 2.0. Even mono 2.0 tracks should be viewed with the decoder on, to properly send the signal to the center channel. That's more of a carelessness issue, but where they get into trouble is when they think that they're being purists by watching 2.0 without decoding.

But they're isn't any folding down happening, because the 2.0 Dolby Stereo/Ultra Stereo mixes are already compatible with stereo playback. That was the big advantage to matrix encoding. Watch in 2.0, and it just plays back as LT/RT, without extracting and steering the center/surround information.
 

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