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A PEEK AT MICKEY ONE, VALACHI, AND MORE (1 Viewer)

haineshisway

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Let's start with the new Indicator release of Mickey One from the UK (but all region). Mickey One has always seemed to me a film that luxuriates in its own weirdness. I vividly remember seeing the preview of coming attractions and knowing I had to see it, because the coming attraction reminded me of Orson Welles' The Trial, which I'd seen about six times and loved back then. Something in my memory is making me think that this film played at the Stanley Warner Beverly Hills - or maybe that's where I saw the coming attraction. I have LA movie sections for every week from the end of 1961 through 1964 so I can't check. In any case, I saw it and I kind of thought it was okay but was surprised I didn't love it as I thought I would. Nothing's changed over the years. I watched the MOD DVD of it not too long ago - interesting visually certainly, but it's just too weird for its own good, frankly. The cast is fine and I always enjoy Beatty. I'd already read ol' Dr. Svet, who stated this was a dated master and problematic. I, of course, would not pontificate on such matters without actually knowing things, but other reviews I read praised the transfer quite a bit. I would be in the latter camp, which is not surprising since I don't ever much agree with Dr. Svet about anything. Penn was going for a certain look with this film and this transfer seems fine to me - it has detail and good contrast, but there are, of course, the opticals, which are - opticals. I enjoyed the transfer, for whatever that's worth. And I doubt it's really THAT dated, since I don't believe there was ever a VHS or DVD release of the film. Anyway, if you're interested in the movie I think you'll be pleased with the look and sound of this. Speaking of the sound - the score by Eddie Sauter (with Stan Getz on sax) is fantastic.

Then there was The Valachi Papers starring Charles Bronson and Lino Ventura. I'd read the book when it came out and enjoyed that, and I was a fan of Bronson so I saw this during its opening week. I liked it pretty well, but even then it was kind of a really ugly-looking movie, at least the release prints were. And that's the way it's always looked since. This Twilight Time Blu-ray sports a transfer from Sony and it really does replicate that look perfectly, which means it's an exemplary transfer. It's a weird movie, structurally, but I still like it and, for me, Bronson is always a pleasure. This was an International production, so the dubbing of certain actors can be a little, well, obvious, but I always think that adds to the charm of these International co-productions. And Lino Ventura is always great.

I was excited to see The Man in the Moon when it came out because I was such a fan of director Robert Mulligan, although by then he was long past his prime and way past the filmmaker who'd given us To Kill a Mockingbird, The Great Imposter, Love With the Proper Stranger, Up the Down Staircase and his other 60s films, most of which I really loved. In fact, I liked almost everything he did all the way through The Other. I gather he had issues with alcohol, so maybe that affected his output after that, but nothing he made (and I saw it all) clicked for me - until The Man in the Moon, which I thought was a real return to form for him. I hadn't seen it since and it hold up wonderfully and Reese Witherspoon is terrific in it, but so is everyone. I thought the transfer from MGM/UA looked pretty good, actually. I highly recommend it.

Finally, I bought the Indicator release of The 5000 Fingers of Dr. T because I could not believe how the Beaver said it was soooooo much better than the Mill Creek, when I knew they were the same transfers. Well, of course they're the same exact transfer, but the Indicator has a slight edge - I don't play the bits game, but I'm guessing the authoring is just better and perhaps they fiddled with the brightness a bit - so if you want a slightly better version of the Mill Creek this might be worth it for you. I happen to love the film so I guess I'll rid myself of the Mill Creek now.
 

david hare

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Agree Bruce. Mickey One looks terrific And for all its awkwardness I like the movie a lot. I have absolutely no idea what the reviewer is talking about with "problems" at bluray.com. The DP Ghislain Cloquet, whom Penn imported form various New Wave directors in France (Malle, Demy, Bresson) gave Penn a kind of elegant "on the fly" look shot very fast for the movie. The new disc looks like 35mm screening used to.
Haven't seen Valachi Papers but do have 5000 FIngers. The Mill Creek I am guessing is an exact transfer of the encode they got from Sony. The Indicator has as you say been given a slightly higher bitate and the only visible difference (barely) is slightly more grain in the image which is extremely well resolved. Indicator is getting terrific masters from Sony to begin with but they are going just slightly further with the authoring. The way they manage grain is spectaulcar to my mind.and this is their disctintive quality. It shows also in the way their discs uprez on a 4K player/Display.
 

haineshisway

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Agree Bruce. Mickey One looks terrific And for all its awkwardness I like the movie a lot. I have absolutely no idea what the reviewer is talking about with "problems" at bluray.com. The DP Ghislain Cloquet, whom Penn imported form various New Wave directors in France (Malle, Demy, Bresson) gave Penn a kind of elegant "on the fly" look shot very fast for the movie. The new disc looks like 35mm screening used to.
Haven't seen Valachi Papers but do have 5000 FIngers. The Mill Creek I am guessing is an exact transfer of the encode they got from Sony. The Indicator has as you say been given a slightly higher bitate and the only visible difference (barely) is slightly more grain in the image which is extremely well resolved. Indicator is getting terrific masters from Sony to begin with but they are going just slightly further with the authoring. The way they manage grain is spectaulcar to my mind.and this is their disctintive quality. It shows also in the way their discs uprez on a 4K player/Display.

Glad you agree about the Mickey One transfer. I read ol' Dr. Svet and scratched my head, and then the disc arrived and I looked and looked for all those "problems" not a one of which I saw. And his proclamation of "dated master" is a joke - he "thinks" it might be therefore his "thinking" it makes it fact. And people over there listen to his nonsense and he probably costs sales to those people who listen.

I did a side by side of 5000 Fingers with the Mill Creek and as you do, and as I said in my initial post, I give the edge to the Indicator. But the Beaver's over-the-top reaction as if there were HUGE differences was quite amusing. Or not.
 

david hare

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Glad you agree about the Mickey One transfer. I read ol' Dr. Svet and scratched my head, and then the disc arrived and I looked and looked for all those "problems" not a one of which I saw. And his proclamation of "dated master" is a joke - he "thinks" it might be therefore his "thinking" it makes it fact. And people over there listen to his nonsense and he probably costs sales to those people who listen.

I did a side by side of 5000 Fingers with the Mill Creek and as you do, and as I said in my initial post, I give the edge to the Indicator. But the Beaver's over-the-top reaction as if there were HUGE differences was quite amusing. Or not.
I still have the Mill Creek LAdy from Shanghai. Never got around to quadruple dipping for the Indicator of that! I guess I should. I saw the new (last year) Sony 4K DCP projection of Seventh Voyage of SInbad in July at Bologna playing to packed house there. It was ubelievably beautiful. Rich rich grain, thick deep IB Tech color, inky blacks, gorgeous. And the transitions between optical mixed shots and standard shots less glaring than usual. I had been playing a game there with a few film scholarsI know or knew only from the web about what was 4K and what was 35mm. (Ity was always listed in the program so you could check.) The diffrerence is no longer at all apparent Bruce, new 4K Scarface (Hawks) from Universal looked like nitrate. At least three of the venues can project everthing with carbon arc so it almost seemed like they were perfectly matched to 4K and HDR. Industry people like Grover and others there every year, very frtuiful exchanges going on. Terrific event.
 

haineshisway

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Great to hear all this, David. I'm especially heartened about the carbon arc, because there's simply no point in projecting IB Tech with any other light source. That's why I giggle when all these Good, the Bad and The Ugly people say they saw a Tech print at the New Beverly. Quentin should invest in carbon arc next :) I'm gonna have to go pop for the Sinbad box from the UK, clearly.
 

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