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joeytino

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Out of curiosity, are any of the 35mm sources for these films extant nitrate prints or later dupes? Of course if dupes are all you have you take what you can get, but I was wondering if Universal just did not want to go through the effort and expense of looking for the best sources and used what they already have or did the best with what is left.
 

Lord Dalek

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Out of curiosity, are any of the 35mm sources for these films extant nitrate prints or later dupes? Of course if dupes are all you have you take what you can get, but I was wondering if Universal just did not want to go through the effort and expense of looking for the best sources and used what they already have or did the best with what is left.
Dracula is an original nitrate lavender from 1931 preserved by the Library of Congress. Frankenstein was primarily from a 1939 nitrate dupe of the censored version (with the surving pre-code material restored from a print sent to England). Invisible Man and Wolfman are from fine grain master positives.
 

Robert Saccone

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This is an interesting discussion, first about the image quality between the blu ray and the 4K of Frankenstein. I am in the process of getting a 4K set so I hope to be able to compare for myself when it is in my home.

The discussion of the childlike nature of the creature is interesting in that it made me realize that Whale or Boris Karloff made a choice for the character to be different in the Bride of Frankenstein. In the first film, it was a child in a man’s body. It didn’t seem to know what was right or wrong, of course due to the bungling of Fritz. As the creature is tormented by Fritz, it’s angered and goes on a murderous rampage. In Bride, the creature was learning some bad habits from Pretorius. But would a child be able to or want to have a girl friend? Maybe in the creature’s mind, all he wanted was a friend. Not a girl friend in the sense of marriage. I guess Whale, the screen writer and Karloff all agreed to adjust the character of the creature as it matured a bit in the second film. I never considered this before. This is the fun part of movies, or any art form, we as the viewer can interpret it in our own ways. Don’t get me wrong, I think The Bride of Frankenstein is a masterwork and in ways superior to the first.

Now I want to re-watch both!
I think Bride is an excellent movie and in many ways is superior to the original. I’ve read in a number of places that Karloff was not in favor of the monster speaking. However I think that the learning to speak was appropriate as it shows the monster as learning and evolving, Even the more revengeful acts of violence seem to fit as he is acting out towards those who tried to burn him up. And yes I think Pretorius did help install some bad habits but I think the monster redeemed himself in the end because he let Henry and his wife go and kept Pretorius with him to die in the explosion. It’s too bad the monster didn’t keep this evolved behavior into Son of Frankenstein.

A tidbit some of my might find interesting is that when the explosion scene was originally filmed Henry was supposed to die in the explosion as well. If you watch the scene in slow-motion you can see Henry’s body in the background of the explosion.
 

mskaye

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Out of curiosity, are any of the 35mm sources for these films extant nitrate prints or later dupes? Of course if dupes are all you have you take what you can get, but I was wondering if Universal just did not want to go through the effort and expense of looking for the best sources and used what they already have or did the best with what is left.

I think Bride is an excellent movie and in many ways is superior to the original. I’ve read in a number of places that Karloff was not in favor of the monster speaking. However I think that the learning to speak was appropriate as it shows the monster as learning and evolving, Even the more revengeful acts of violence seem to fit as he is acting out towards those who tried to burn him up. And yes I think Pretorius did help install some bad habits but I think the monster redeemed himself in the end because he let Henry and his wife go and kept Pretorius with him to die in the explosion. It’s too bad the monster didn’t keep this evolved behavior into Son of Frankenstein.

A tidbit some of my might find interesting is that when the explosion scene was originally filmed Henry was supposed to die in the explosion as well. If you watch the scene in slow-motion you can see Henry’s body in the background of the explosion.
Yes, Henry is up against the castle wall in the back. Never noticed it before it was pointed out (not sure where I first read it...the Curtis bio of Whale?) So obviously the film's end was rethought .
 

Gerani53

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Dracula is an original nitrate lavender from 1931 preserved by the Library of Congress. Frankenstein was primarily from a 1939 nitrate dupe of the censored version (with the surving pre-code material restored from a print sent to England). Invisible Man and Wolfman are from fine grain master positives.
So, the only true original negative scan is the Spanish DRACULA (certainly looks it)? In terms of the other Universal horror classics, are any of them scanned from the neg? THE MUMMY? BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN? FRANKENSTEIN MEETS THE WOLF MAN (the new transfer is stunning, whatever it was taken from)? Love to get confirmation on these, although I suspect most if not all are sourced from inter-positives of one sort or another. Looking into the '50s, the sub-par presentation of REVENGE OF THE CREATURE 2D is apparently an OCN (along with the splendid 3D version... useless in 4K UHD, ironically). Criterion's new THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN is, according to their booklet, an original negative scan, as is Arrow's breathtaking release of MAN OF A THOUSAND FACES from about a year or so ago.
 

buckmichaels

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I am really enjoying this release and am so thankful to Universal for putting it out. Dracula looks great, The Invisible Man looks wonderful, The Wolfman looks phenomenal, and I haven't watched Frankenstein yet. But what a treat to have all of these horror classics in 4K! Now we just need The Mummy. I'm a little stumped as to why it wasn't included, but I'm hoping for a 90th anniversary 4K release on it's own!
 

Nelson Au

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Hey guys, I saw this YouTube review linked below. I don’t know who this kid is or what his credentials are as a reviewer. YouTube suggested it so I was curious to see it. I think he’s just an enthusiast who likes to make review videos. I only thought it was interesting to share here for how he compares the blu ray image to the 4K image and how the 4K is darker. I have seen the comments a lot that the 4K images look darker. This guy kind of explains it why he thinks the darker image is an improvement. One of the images he shows must have come from the same source posted earlier of the loss of detail on the hands where the creature meets Maria.

 

RICK BOND

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I bought the 4K Digital Code of the 4 movies from a seller. They look Excellent ! :D Saved money, and I don't need another Bluray copy of each. I have the Legacy Sets on Bluray. Would like to have The Mummy and Creature in 4K ! :)
 

Gerani53

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Hey guys, I saw this YouTube review linked below. I don’t know who this kid is or what his credentials are as a reviewer. YouTube suggested it so I was curious to see it. I think he’s just an enthusiast who likes to make review videos. I only thought it was interesting to share here for how he compares the blu ray image to the 4K image and how the 4K is darker. I have seen the comments a lot that the 4K images look darker. This guy kind of explains it why he thinks the darker image is an improvement. One of the images he shows must have come from the same source posted earlier of the loss of detail on the hands where the creature meets Maria.


Wow. The way I see it, the 4K FRANKENSTEIN as presented here is simply too dark and too contrasty, wreaking havoc on the subtlety of the original cinematography. It would have been considered a 'lab reject' in the old photo-chemical days. What this reviewer seems to prefer is an unnaturally dark image created by the equivalent of incorrect timing. The gray evident in the Blu-ray is a reflection of the proper light/dark relationship, something this fellow brands as inferior. As a result of this upside-down reasoning, I'm not sure if the 4K raves on this title are in response to an overly dark image perversely considered good by some people, or if we're dealing with the usual 4K UHD frustrations, where a rocket scientist seems to be required to calibrate the finicky format correctly. All I can say is, the 4K imagery our reviewer is presenting here as "great," happens to stink. Thank God for the Blu-ray.
 

Gerani53

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Personally, I think 4K UHD as a format needs to be corrected, so that it isn't so difficult to calibrate (the first two pro calibrators I hired, one from Geek Squad, threw their hands up -- "It's a crazy medium" -- oh yes!). But hey, maybe third time's the charm, so, even with finances dwindling, I still haven't given up on the POTENTIAL of 4K UHD, which is enormous. At the very least, I'll finally find out if it's an inherently "darker than it should be" medium, which many maintain, and which would, in my view, make it worthless. I'll keep you posted, 'cause I want this format to work. The awful frame cap samples provided by curiously delighted reviewers certainly don't, so further investigation is required...
 

mskaye

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Personally, I think 4K UHD as a format needs to be corrected, so that it isn't so difficult to calibrate (the first two pro calibrators I hired, one from Geek Squad, threw their hands up -- "It's a crazy medium" -- oh yes!). But hey, maybe third time's the charm, so, even with finances dwindling, I still haven't given up on the POTENTIAL of 4K UHD, which is enormous. At the very least, I'll finally find out if it's an inherently "darker than it should be" medium, which many maintain, and which would, in my view, make it worthless. I'll keep you posted, 'cause I want this format to work. The awful frame cap samples provided by curiously delighted reviewers certainly don't, so further investigation is required...
I'm with you here. It's too complicated. I drove myself nuts dealing with the 4k vs blu ray of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. At first 4k viewing I said to myself "I don't remember it this dark and murky in the theatre." Popped out the 4k but on the blu ray and was happier. I don't want to fiddle with each disc just as I dont want to re-equalize or tone control every recording I listen to.
 

Will Krupp

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Personally, I think 4K UHD as a format needs to be corrected, so that it isn't so difficult to calibrate (the first two pro calibrators I hired, one from Geek Squad, threw their hands up -- "It's a crazy medium" -- oh yes!).

I'm with you here. It's too complicated. I drove myself nuts dealing with the 4k vs blu ray of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. At first 4k viewing I said to myself "I don't remember it this dark and murky in the theatre." Popped out the 4k but on the blu ray and was happier. I don't want to fiddle with each disc just as I dont want to re-equalize or tone control every recording I listen to.

I apologize in advance to everyone for momentarily derailing this thread but, while I know this doesn't really belong here (and perhaps we can take it somewhere else if you'd like) I have to say, while the HDR image might be darker, it should NOT be "too dark." Something isn't right. Can I ask what TVs and what picture modes you're using?

You should likely calibrate your SDR settings but leave the HDR "magic" to the TV by choosing one of the preset HDR picture modes and let it go at that.

On the LG Oled, for example, you can choose a "Cinema" preset and, if that picture is too dark for your room, you can choose "Cinema Home" which has a much brighter light output. Yours may have similar settings, but I would really not try to calibrate the HDR settings (just turn off any extraneous processing and/or sharpening) as Smart TVs seem to know what they're doing when it comes to that.

In all honesty, my first reaction to hearing that the HDR picture looked "dark and murky" was that it sounds as though one component of your setup (player or TV) isn't reading the HDR tone mapping properly or at all. In any event, that murkiness shouldn't be.

I mean, in this case I'm personally NOT going to buy these in 4K because I'm really happy with the exisitng blu-rays (at least for now) but HDR should be a wonderful tool if displayed properly.

I hope it works out for you and, again, my apologies for the derailment!!!
 
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Gerani53

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Thanks so much for the specific advice, mskaye! I'll pass it on to my next calibrator. That said, I believe the "darkness" issue goes beyond not being calibrated correctly; it may actually be a matter of revisionist taste, strangely enough. The YouTube reviewer presents us with images that are far too dark, but he praises them, and states that he prefers FRANKENSTEIN with this darker palette. Other reviews (Blu-ray.com, I believe) also state that, without question, "the 4K is darker," but the reviewer has somehow convinced himself that it looks better, presumably because horror movies are scarier if they are darker. What can one say? I prefer the specific subtle nuance of light and shadow that the filmmakers originally gave us, not an overly dark, overly contrasty take on that original look, no matter how strong the 'extra K' or whatever may be. So whether darker makes it "better," as some have maintained, or darker ruins the film, because the original creative light/dark balance has been shattered, the one constant in both conversation and screen cap presentation here is... the image is darker. Period. We hear that over and over again, pro and con, so there has to be some truth to it. Good God, I wonder if all these people who are so delighted with this darker-than-it-should be image actually have their TVs calibrated correctly for 4K? Nothing would surprise me with this funky format, and the taste of some of the folks who are reacting to it... but like I said, I'm dedicated to finding out the truth. If that awful/wonderful darkness everyone's discussing can be eliminated and the 4K image actually becomes accurate to the material, spending money for three calibrations would have been worth it. To be continued... !
 

RICK BOND

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I bought the 4 movies Digital Versions. I watched all 4 of them yesterday and they look Great ! :D Nice Inky Blacks, True Black & White. I Did not notice any problems on Frankenstein that people have been talking about. The scene with the Monster and Maria ? I didn't see anything wrong. ?? :confused:
 

Nelson Au

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You guys are not buying this guy’s arguments that the 4K has a greater range of grey scale depth? ;)
 

Gerani53

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You guys are not buying this guy’s arguments that the 4K has a greater range of grey scale depth? ;)

The words sure sound pretty, but if they result in an image that is too dark, murky and contrasty, as opposed to what the original cinematographer gave us, what the heck good is it? No offense, but it's my suspicion that a) a lot of fans and reviewers who should know better are raving about the defective, obviously too dark, probably incorrectly-calibrated image they're observing, and b) I'm still hopeful that the 4K UHD format, when correctly calibrated, can produce something that blows every other video format away. I haven't lost faith. My big gripe is that it takes a few calibrations and the patience of the gods to get it looking the way it's supposed to... and by that I mean the complete removal of this imposed darkness that obliterates the original light/dark balance devised by the filmmakers, something Blu-ray aces in a wink. As a format, 4K UHD should be better than Blu-ray, not darker. But if this weird darkness is always going to be part of the mix, even after several attempts at correction, then I'll be forced to judge 4K UHD inherently defective by the standards that matter to me, fit only for viewers who enjoy watching their favorite movies looking darker than they should be. And that's their choice, of course.
 

Colin Jacobson

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Not a perfect rule, but when I encounter 4Ks that seem significantly darker than their BD counterparts, 9 out of 10 they're from Universal.

No idea why.
 

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