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Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Randy_M, Nov 26, 2002.
Streets on Dec 3rd, and I'd love to replace my old crappy DVD on United American Video...
I have long said that there is no worse DVD transfer than that of United American's Invaders From Mars. That being the case, there is no way that the image quality of the new Image release could be anything but better--and it is. But don't expect a revelation. While the colors are more vivid and the side-to-side image quality is far superior, the prints still are in rough shape. Blemishes abound and there are long sequences in which a vertical line (scratch on the film) bisects the screen. But it's highly watchable. Just keep the caveat in mind: This film appears to have been through heck.
While the new release is called a "special edition," there aren't really any extras besides some trailers and the option of watching the slightly longer British cut (different print, apparently--but still in poor shape), which changes the ending and adds an observatory scene. There is a nice-looking booklet.
UCLA has pristine color separations in their archive for this film.
That being said, Wade Williams missed an opportunity.
Wait a second, not only does UCLA have a pristine transfer of this film but they also apparently have a prisitine cut of The Scarlet Empress. Why would these prints not have been used if a company was going to bother with restoration anyway? Does UCLA demand too much money? Restricted access? What?
I'm not liking this.
Well, it appears he is refusing to pay to have "his films" restored...I don't think Wade even owns exclusive rights to it. The Image LD (the transfer of which was later run on AMC) had no mention of Williams whatsoever...
Perhaps we should tell Mr Williams to "stuff it" & boycott his films until he restores them.
Well, from what I've heard, Wade Williams has released SOME discs with high-quality prints (dunno if they were restored or not)..."Plan 9 from Outer Space" and "The Crawling Eye"/"The Trollenberg Terror" are supposedly some of those, and if that's true, I am further baffled at Williams' behavior.
Until I viewed this disc personally on my own setup, I'll reserve judgement on Williams and Image regarding this dvd release. By the way, I own the previously dvd release of this title so I'll do a "A" versus "B" test.
I own the previous, out-of-print DVD of "Invaders From Mars," and I've been glad to have it. However, it is the worst-looking DVD in my collection. The new one has got to be better, even if it's not as good as it could or should be. I'll wait to see it for myself.
Not restoring the thing is a mystery, but I have great respect for Image Entertainment.
Even though the previous disc is putrid, the movie is awesome, and I've been glad to have it over the last couple years...musta watched it 3 or 4 times...
Went ahead and ordered the new one, so we'll see. Assuming it's better, the old one goes to my brother.
usually when i read reviews of older films on disc, and they hem and haw about the scratches and speckles on the print i just have to roll my eyes.
i just don't expect 50 (and greater) year old films to be in pristine shape.
and in a way, sometimes a little scratch or speckle here enhances the experience for me.
it really feels like i'm watching projected film (and not digital light processing).
that said, watching IFM is like watching the movie on 16 mm in grade school.
Randy was dead on in his description.
i've personally never seen a print in worse shape.
that said, i have seen plenty of worse looking discs than this.
whats here looks to have been transfered very well.
they just didn't have a lot to start with.
i'll be looking forward to the day that pristine print meets a shiny disc.
I'm surprised more people haven't come back to post their opinions about this now that the disc is out.
The laser version(1992) from Image was "transferred from the finest elements currently available". The film was still lousy looking, especially with footage from different sources.
There is nothing on the jacket to give Wade Williams any credit for the laser edition. It sez that "Richard L. Rosenfeld presents a film from the Johnar Library."
The laser came with a beautiful gatefold jacket that gave you quite alot of insite into the filming of this classic and this is carried over into the booklet for the DVD.
Let me tell you that this edition is heads above anything that has been released so far and probably ever will be.
It's great to see all the British observatory footage restored and the alternate ending. The laser only showed you some of the footage and the ending.
Seamless branching is used for both versions. Same vertical line running at the same spots of both.
This was included on the laser edition:
In the years since it's original release, IFM has undergone various transformations. For British theatrical exhibition in 1954, the ending was rewritten and reshot to remove the "dream" concept. Additional footage at the observatory was also photographed and cut in, with Jimmy Hunt suddenly looking older, sporting shorter hair and wearing a vest. In 1958 the film first appeared on TV and some prints included this extraneous observatory material. An independent producer(the laser doesn't say who that is) eventually aquired the rights and reedited the film for theatrical reissue in 1976. Gone was the dialogue deemed "corny" by 70's standards, such as David's exclamation, "Gee Whiz," upon seeing the saucer land. The order of some scenes was also changed and bits and pieces of film seem to have been arbitrarily snipped, presumed to "tighten" the narrative. For this edition of IFM, several film elements were combined to create an edition faithful to the original-cut for cut, line for line-as it appeared in its first American release.
The extras on the DVD don't have alot of the stuff from the laser edition such as full color photos of the posters. Also, the montage of publicity stills are out of focus on the DVD and look like they were photo copied from a TV screen. If you count the stills they show(they are numbered), I bet it's almost all of them!
All in all, if you own both the laser and now this DVD, you can't go wrong...consider this a gift from the DVD gods!!!
It's never gonna look great, and there's a nice 8-page booklet in the disc that explains why. But this new Image DVD looks about as good as we could reasonably hope for. It isn't full of jump-splices and horrible, distracting spots and streaks (there are a few, but nothing like there used to be). The color is actually the best I've seen since I owned a super 8mm print some twenty years ago: when the martian ray gun is turned toward the cavern wall, for instance, the color is truly red, rather than dull orange, as in the laser and previous dvd. Fleshtones are still oversaturated but look more natural. The print used for the transfer - a Cinecolor release print master - is a bit dark due to emulsion on both sides of the film, which "hid many flaws such as the zippers on the Martians." The image is occasionally soft, but not unwatchably so. Both the original U.S. Theatrical version (78 minutes) and the U.K. edition (83 minutes, with extended observatory sequence and alternate ending) are included in full. The only other extra as a trailer. I was quite pleasantly surprised.