What's new

International A quick look at THIS ISLAND EARTH (16x9) from the U.K. (1 Viewer)

Dick

Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 22, 1999
Messages
8,811
Real Name
Rick
The moment I found out this was available in something a bit closer to the intended AR than the full-screen version we've been used to, I sent for it (very cheap, too!).

THIS ISLAND EARTH was apparently meant to be seen with an aspect ratio of 2.00:1, and this disc is framed at 1.85:1. All that wasted space over everyone's heads is reduced to much more pleasing levels. The color saturation is roughly what it was on the U.S. release (okay, but not resembling Technicolor), and this may have been derived from the same source. The image is sharp as a tack -- the grain structure and details are just right to my eye. Nice to see it in this format. Sound is what you'd expect. Running time with PAL is about 82 minutes. There are no bonus features.
 

Gunnar Syren

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Mar 4, 2000
Messages
155
Location
Stockholm, Sweden
Real Name
Gunnar Syrén
Dick said:
Like all DVD's from Europe, it is region-encoded [2]
That's simply not true. Lots of European DVDs are region free.
They will be in PAL, though, so that may be an obstacle for many US users.
 

Billy Batson

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2008
Messages
3,818
Location
London
Real Name
Alan
I've had this DVD for a while, the film is a big favorite of mine, I prefer it to Forbidden Planet. The 16:9 aspect ratio looks right & it has nice rich colours. The only problem I can see is white negative sparkle, mostly very small, but a lot of it. Do it right & it would look great on Blu-ray.
 

Bob Furmanek

Insider
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2001
Messages
6,102
Real Name
Bob
That's a shame. I used to have a 35mm print with a Perspecta track and projected through a restored Fairchild integrator, the 3-channel sound (and discrete gain control) is outstanding!
 

turtledove

Second Unit
Joined
Aug 17, 2015
Messages
375
Real Name
gerry
The German Blu is out tomorrow and Amazon have despatched it to me in the UK so it should be here by tuesday or wednesday. Can't wait
 

tyee

Auditioning
Joined
Nov 16, 2013
Messages
11
Real Name
Tony
Some initial comments are saying it looks like an upscaled dvd? That's not reassuring. I'll wait for reviews before ordering.
 

turtledove

Second Unit
Joined
Aug 17, 2015
Messages
375
Real Name
gerry
I got the This Island Earth Blu today.

As a favourite of mine its definitely worth the purchase as an improvement over the dvd. Its definitely not just upscaled but it is another in the long line of "could be better" Universal movies on Blu.

They've also included an appalling quality almost Video cd looking 4:3 version which is a pointless waste of disc space.

The 16:9 Blu looks fine but is a long way from being a demo disc or being as good as this film should look.

I ordered what was supposed to be the better edition but apart from a collection of useless trailers I can't see what it might include over the standard edition.

The Joe Dante hosted Trailers from Hell is barely a few minutes long - but the subs on that and on the movie are all removeable.
 

turtledove

Second Unit
Joined
Aug 17, 2015
Messages
375
Real Name
gerry
I've seen comments elsewhere which indicate the subs on the Trailers From Hell are not removeable. I didn't check but my Bluray Recorder has PUO/UOP disabled so it can switch off forced subs which must be why I can remove them but the subs on the main feature definitely can be switched off
 

Dick

Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 22, 1999
Messages
8,811
Real Name
Rick
Finally got this Blu-ray of one of my favorite sci-fi classics.


The transfer is okay. Not, as others have indicated, stellar, but it is superior to any prior video release. It is for the most part sharp. Some DNR appears to have been applied, but I see grain in most shots. The color is better than I've seen it on video before, but I imagine the Technicolor should be more saturated. The (very) slightly windowboxed aspect ratio is 1.78:1, which seems a decent compromise between the 2.00:1 that is the official OAR and the 1.33:1 ratio in which it has usually been displayed on video. I don't think, if memory serves, that this release looks inferior to what I saw theatrically via a kiddie matinee in the 60's.


The supplements are almost completely useless. The Super 8mm abridged editions (both of which I once owned) are terribly presented here -- blurry, with German-only sound. The trailer looks awful. The Joe Dante "Trailers From Hell" segment looked okay, but I could not remove the German subs. There is a booklet crumpled (from the DVD release) into the case which has German text.


My copy several times swapped over to the German track, automatically, and I had to use my remote to get back to the English. I never experienced this before, and perhaps it was just a quirk with my machine.


I doubt at this point that Universal will be giving us a more stable domestic release, so for now, this is probably the best we will get.
 

bigshot

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2008
Messages
2,926
Real Name
Stephen
I haven't looked at the supposed de-luxe supplements... But I thought the movie looked quite good. I'm perfectly satisfied with this disk.
 

bigshot

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2008
Messages
2,926
Real Name
Stephen
There are people who nit pick blu-ray releases, expecting lots of scene by scene color correction and digital restoration. Those people will never accept just a nice straight transfer off a decent print. If you went to see this in the theaters, I doubt it would look much better than this. It's honest to that. If you are expecting an old movie that has been digitally refurbished to look better than it originally did in theaters, this isn't that. The levels are good, the colors are good, it has reasonably good grain and it's considerably sharper than a DVD. Projected on my ten foot screen it was a lot of fun.


As the market for video disks declines, the demand for back catalog on blu-ray is going down too. That means that a studio can't invest tens of thousands of dollars into complex restoration and expect to recoup that from sales. So they pull the films they have that are already in decent shape and they knock off quick 2K transfers of them for limited release. This is what Olive Films and these European companies are doing. If it wasn't for the straight transfers, there wouldn't be any version of this film on the market at all. It's just economics.


I remember when the French Michael Powell box came out and everyone was up in arms because the films in the box didn't look as good as Red Shoes or Colonel Blimp, both of which had undergone extensive photochemical and digital restoration. But the box set of three films on blu and one on DVD cost as much as a single Criterion disk of Blimp or Red Shoes. Will enough people be willing to pay $35 for This Island Earth with bells and whistles restoration like that? I doubt it. It is what it is.
 

Bob Cashill

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2001
Messages
3,655
Dick said:
Finally got this Blu-ray of one of my favorite sci-fi classics.


The transfer is okay. Not, as others have indicated, stellar, but it is superior to any prior video release. It is for the most part sharp. Some DNR appears to have been applied, but I see grain in most shots. The color is better than I've seen it on video before, but I imagine the Technicolor should be more saturated. The (very) slightly windowboxed aspect ratio is 1.78:1, which seems a decent compromise between the 2.00:1 that is the official OAR and the 1.33:1 ratio in which it has usually been displayed on video. I don't think, if memory serves, that this release looks inferior to what I saw theatrically via a kiddie matinee in the 60's.


The supplements are almost completely useless. The Super 8mm abridged editions (both of which I once owned) are terribly presented here -- blurry, with German-only sound. The trailer looks awful. The Joe Dante "Trailers From Hell" segment looked okay, but I could not remove the German subs. There is a booklet crumpled (from the DVD release) into the case which has German text.


My copy several times swapped over to the German track, automatically, and I had to use my remote to get back to the English. I never experienced this before, and perhaps it was just a quirk with my machine.


I doubt at this point that Universal will be giving us a more stable domestic release, so for now, this is probably the best we will get.

My Blu-ray had the same problem with the "wandering" soundtrack (My player is an Oppo.) I was OK with the image quality but that was an annoyance after the first 35 minutes or so. Too bad.
 

Keith Cobby

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2013
Messages
2,926
Location
Kent "The Garden of England", UK
Real Name
Keith Cobby
bigshot said:
There are people who nit pick blu-ray releases, expecting lots of scene by scene color correction and digital restoration. Those people will never accept just a nice straight transfer off a decent print. If you went to see this in the theaters, I doubt it would look much better than this. It's honest to that. If you are expecting an old movie that has been digitally refurbished to look better than it originally did in theaters, this isn't that. The levels are good, the colors are good, it has reasonably good grain and it's considerably sharper than a DVD. Projected on my ten foot screen it was a lot of fun.


As the market for video disks declines, the demand for back catalog on blu-ray is going down too. That means that a studio can't invest tens of thousands of dollars into complex restoration and expect to recoup that from sales. So they pull the films they have that are already in decent shape and they knock off quick 2K transfers of them for limited release. This is what Olive Films and these European companies are doing. If it wasn't for the straight transfers, there wouldn't be any version of this film on the market at all. It's just economics.


I remember when the French Michael Powell box came out and everyone was up in arms because the films in the box didn't look as good as Red Shoes or Colonel Blimp, both of which had undergone extensive photochemical and digital restoration. But the box set of three films on blu and one on DVD cost as much as a single Criterion disk of Blimp or Red Shoes. Will enough people be willing to pay $35 for This Island Earth with bells and whistles restoration like that? I doubt it. It is what it is.

I understand the points you are making and agree with most. I am buying two types of blu-ray, films I like that have excellent AV and favourites that I want the best possible AV and for which I accept compromises.


Unfortunately This Island Earth doesn't fit either category for me and is the reason for my hesitancy. Therefore I can afford to wait to see if something else turns up!
 

smithbrad

Screenwriter
Joined
Aug 12, 2013
Messages
1,424
Real Name
Brad
Just received mine today. This was a complete blind-buy, as was the DVD I own that still hasn't been watched, but i like these types of movies so didn't mind double dipping. I popped it in for a few minutes to check out the quality and i have to say for what I saw in the first 5 to 10 minutes I have to agree with bigshot. This is probably as good as it was originally filmed to be. I'm looking forward to watching the whole thing this evening. If the rest looks as good as the first five to 10 minutes I will be very satisfied.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Forum Sponsors

Latest Articles

Staff online

Forum statistics

Threads
347,170
Messages
4,804,468
Members
142,016
Latest member
Digital Dan
Top