AMITYVILLE 3-D DVD in 3-D (R2)

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Steve Phillips, Aug 5, 2004.

  1. Steve Phillips

    Steve Phillips Screenwriter

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    Fangoria's website reports AMITYVILLE 3-D will be re-issued in the UK on Sept 27th, in a package including both 2-D and 3-D versions and glasses. The disc will also include commentary.

    The film was shot in 2:35 to 1 over/under 3-D and released theatrically in polarized format, in which the audience wore clear gray glasses. The 3-D was pretty decent too. Of all the 3-D films released in the 80's (and there were more than you think) it was one of the best shot.

    Since polarized isn't practical at home, the DVD will undoubtedly be either a red/cyan or ColorCode "downconversion", neither of which will look a thing like the original 3-D did. Get ready for more distorted color, ghosting and limited depth like most anaglyphs have. That's too bad, but I am still curious to see what they come up with. Anaglyphs have been getting somewhat better recently, so it may be better than I fear.

    Previous DVD (2-D) releases of this film have all been cropped, some to 1:33 to 1 and others to 1:78 to 1. Worse yet, many of the R2 and R4 versions of the film are edited; with the death scene of a major character being heavily truncated and censored.

    Hopefully, both the 2-D and 3-D versions on the new disc will be uncut and in the full OAR of 2:35 to 1, and the 3-D conversion will be done well enough to not be totally insulting to the original phototgraphy.

    A new DVD of AMITYVILLE II is due on the same day.
     
  2. Gary Palmer

    Gary Palmer Stunt Coordinator

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    If the AMITYVILLE 3-D disc is an anglyph presentation, I may just be tempted to buy it to see how the dimensional effect plays out, but if it's rubbish, then I'll switch to the flat version, if only to see it in its full 2.35 ratio. When oh when will any company have the balls to release one of these things in a field sequential format?! I mean, FS isn't perfect, but it's a hell of a sight better than anaglyphic!

    Oh, and let's hope the DVD version of AMITYVILLE II is rather more complete than previous versions available on UK video. 7 seconds were inexplicably removed from a shotgun murder halfway through the movie, though not by order of the BBFC - it simply doesn't appear to have been included in the print submitted to the British censor. The complete version has played on UK TV (most recently on Channel 5), though the affected scene makes no more sense in its complete form and seems to have been abridged by order of the MPAA.
     
  3. Gary Palmer

    Gary Palmer Stunt Coordinator

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    These are already posted for preorder at UK website sendit.com, where a few more details have been forthcoming. Sendit lists them both as 2.35:1 (which can't be right, cuz AMITYVILLE II was photographed at 1.85), and describes both discs as featuring Dolby surround (5.1 and 2.0) tracks - which is fine for A3-D, but AII was released theatrically with an optical mono soundtrack! Oh, and there's no mention of anamorphic enhancement, but that doesn't mean there won't be any - I don't trust those specs at all.

    The A3-D DVD contains two discs (one version of the film for each disc), and both AII and A3-D contain audio commentaries by Kim Newman and Stephen Jones. For some odd reason I'm unable to fully articulate, I've never warmed to Newman's writing, and while he's knowledgeable about the horror genre, he just seems a little too condescending, like a know-it-all who acts like his field of expertise is somehow beneath him. In a recent 'Video Watchdog' article, Tim Lucas basically took Newman and Jones to task for their similarly condescending attitude during the audio commentary for THE DEAD ZONE (UK disc), so I'm expecting more of the same on these discs. I mean, if a well-liked, serious movie like THE DEAD ZONE can be treated in a cavalier fashion by such high-and-mighty 'experts', can you imagine what they're gonna be like on a couple of movies which they'll just assume it's OK to trash? The *moment* I feel like these guys are talking down to the viewer, I'll switch the pair of 'em off. I ain't paying £16 just to be made to feel like I'm an idiot for wasting my money on such 'rubbish'...

    On the other hand, they could both be perfect gentleman, respectful, amusing and highly informative about the movies and the people who made 'em...
     
  4. GregK

    GregK Screenwriter

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    According to this website, the UK Amityville 3-D DVD will be OAR (2.35:1) and while it is presented in PAL, it is presently listed as region free.
    http://www.noblepr.co.uk/Press_Relea...yville_iii.htm

    Amityville II is listed as 2.35:1 (typo?) and has at least one extended scene as an extra feature. DD 5.1 and 2.0 sound options are listed, but there's no mention of the original mono track (typo #2?)
    http://www.noblepr.co.uk/Press_Relea...tyville_ii.htm

    Given the above, I wouldn't take ANY of the information as fact just yet.
     
  5. Steve Phillips

    Steve Phillips Screenwriter

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    The AMITYVILLE 3-D UK disc is now available.

    The flat, 2-D version of the film looks nice, finally available in the original 2:35 to 1 ratio.

    A lively commentary is included, and the critics have a genuine affection for the film. Not a lot of info on the production, but very entertaining.

    The 2:35 to 1 3-D version is simply unwatchable. Shown in far superior full color polarized 3-D in theatres (clear glasses), the DVD contains a terrible downconverted red/blue anaglyph version that is a real mess.

    Far worse than I expected, the 3-D rarely works, the image is terribly blurry and full of double images, glasses or not. Too bad, as the original 3-D version was quite effective, arguably the best use of the medium in the 80s revival. You'd never know it here. Better to watch the modified, flat print than sit through this distorted abomination.

    In comparison, Rhino's DVDs of COMIN AT YA! and THE BUBBLE fared better in the anaglyph conversion than AMITYVILLE did.
    This is much, much worse anaglyph than those or SPY KIDS 3-D and SHREK 3-D, and those weren't great.

    Why couldn't they have included a field sequential 3-D version? It would come so much closer to replicating the polarized 3-D version at home, and certainly wouldn't be the insult the anaglyph version is.

    The DVD of AMITYVILLE II is quite good though!
     
  6. GregK

    GregK Screenwriter

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    Thanks for the great review Steve. At least if anyone opts to go ahead and purchase this disc after reading your write up, they should now have an idea what to expect...
     
  7. Mike_Richardson

    Mike_Richardson Supporting Actor

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    I thought the 3-D version on the UK DVD wasn't as bad as Steve described. Yes, there were double images, but I was fairly impressed by the "layering" of foreground/background objects -- I think that's what the producers of this DVD tried to do as opposed to attempting to replicate the "real" 3-D of the theatrical version.

    It's nowhere near as good as a field sequential version would have been, no doubt about it, but I don't think it's worse than the "Comin' at Ya" DVD Rhino released, and is worth a purchase if you enjoy the film, since it also has the "flat" version and a fun commentary on there too.

    Just my two cents.
     
  8. Gary Palmer

    Gary Palmer Stunt Coordinator

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    Sorry to hear the news about the poor quality 3-D effects on the AMITYVILLE 3-D disc. I'll still be purchasing a copy, if only to see the movie in its original 2.35 ratio for the first time.

    About the new UK DVD version of AMITYVILLE II: THE POSSESSION:

    (SPOILER WARNING) Does this print contain the full uncut print, I wonder? All previous video versions in the UK are missing approximately 7 seconds of footage during the shotgun murder sequence, just as Sonny enters his parents bedroom. In previous UK prints, Sonny enters the bedroom and the camera closes in on the teenage daughter hiding beside a chest of drawers (or something), followed by a brief sound of gunfire and then a few *frames* of the father being shot (too brief to register for most viewers, but it's there), and then the mother is seen walking backward out of the bedroom.

    When the movie played on UK TV (twice on Channel 5), the camera closes in on the teenage daughter, then cuts to a slow motion shot inside the bedroom, with the father in the foreground and Sonny emerging from the darkness behind him. Then, back to the daughter as she reaches for the telephone, only to be shocked by the sound of gunfire, THEN a slightly longer (by mere frames) shot of the father being killed, and then the mother backs out of the bedroom. Could anyone who's seen the new disc confirm which version is included this time around? Both prints look badly edited at this point, which I believe was due to MPAA interference over a too-realistic shot of the father's head exploding as he's gunned down...
     
  9. Gary Palmer

    Gary Palmer Stunt Coordinator

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    No takers on this one? Is the UK version of AMITYVILLE II now fully uncut, or is it still the abbreviated one which has been playing on UK video since the movie was first released (see previous post for details)? Answers from anyone who's actually seen the new disc would be much appreciated...
     

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