Bridge on the River Kwai oddity

Discussion in 'DVD' started by John Alderson, Jul 8, 2006.

  1. John Alderson

    John Alderson Supporting Actor

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    Hey folks, I searched for Kwai related threads and couldn't find any.

    Anyway, I recently purchased the LE of Bridge on the River Kwai and noticed some really odd authoring. The most obvious thing (that I've seen mentioned in reviews) is that the two layers of the feature are actually split across two titles, rather than just a layer change. This makes a longer than normal pause halfway through the film, which lots of people have noticed.

    The other odd thing I noticed was that, when playing it in my new DVD player (a DVP-642) was that the film glitched several times throughout. It turns out that the movie jumps to a different title, then back to the main feature, many times -- sometimes just for a few seconds, sometimes for half a minute or so. It is a truely bizarre authoring, and for some reason the DVP-642 couldn't handle it (it can handle branching discs, like The Abyss, just fine, and has very seamless layer changes). If anyone owns the disc (the single disc is probably the same way), check out titles 3, 4, 5 and 6 on their own... it is very strange.

    Does anyone know why on earth Kwai is authored this way? Does it have to do with the DVD-ROM features?
     
  2. widescreenforever

    widescreenforever Stunt Coordinator

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    Take that disc and play it back in another different player, you'll probably find it doesn't have any of those quirks,, Mine doesn't on Sony 3000 and a dual player Toshiba..
     
  3. John Alderson

    John Alderson Supporting Actor

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    Julius,

    Yeah, I already did that and found that I couldn't notice the quirks (although, knowing exactly where they were I could notice them very subtly on my Pioneer DV414 as well as my PC DVD player, but only because I was looking very hard--I wouldn't have noticed otherwise.). I was just curious as to why a disc would be authored this way--jumping back and forth between titles for no apparent reason. I confirmed that titles 1 and 2 have the complete film, and in fact backed each title up to its own DVD-R which plays perfectly... it's just an odd disc.

    Nothing else I've thrown at the DVP-642 has hiccuped, and its nice for DivX and region free/PAL->NTCS operation. Still scrathing my head over the Kwai authoring though.

    If you have a player that lets you isolate tracks 3, 4, 5 and 6 watch them. It's surreal. A few seconds of film--blackness--another seemingly random bit of film--blackness. It uses a lot of disc space for no apparent reason.
     
  4. widescreenforever

    widescreenforever Stunt Coordinator

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    This is the title UPC 43396-05747.. ? correct?

    'Isolate tracks' meaning of course, the chapters??

    If so.. Will check those chapters tonight..
     
  5. TedD

    TedD Supporting Actor

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    No, I think he means titles.

    Ted
     
  6. jim.vaccaro

    jim.vaccaro Second Unit

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    Biggest problem I have with this disc is frame judder and some EE in few scenes...other than that, looks and plays marvelous.
     
  7. John Alderson

    John Alderson Supporting Actor

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    Some (but not all) of the frame jitter happens around the weird branches from title to title. And yeah, I meant titles not chapters... mistyped there.
     
  8. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    The two-layer rather than RSDL was a technique used to maximize the bits available for the movie; apparently you can squeeze out a few more if you don't use RSDL. I just ran into another instance of this on Kino's THE SAGA OF GOSTA BERLING, which runs over 3 hours plus has some featurettes. But there the layer shift falls right on the intermission card, so it's not an issue at all.
     
  9. John Alderson

    John Alderson Supporting Actor

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    The placement of the layer change here is truly bizarre as well... right as characters walk into a door into the next scene... the chapter is only about 4 seconds long.
     
  10. Doug Schiller

    Doug Schiller Supporting Actor

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    It was discussed when first released. It only effects the LE version.
    The time stamp also gets messed up.
     
  11. Ravi K

    Ravi K Supporting Actor

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    Are you sure about this? Isn't the regular edition just the LE sans disc 2?
     
  12. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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    Nope. It is a different authoring that omits the isolated score and some DVD-ROM material.

    Regards,
     
  13. Dick

    Dick Producer
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    Was KWAI ever intended to contain an intermission? A film of 1957 vintage with a long running time and road show screenings almost always did, yet no video incarnation contains one. There is a place that looks as though it might have once sported a break - it is (I believe) the only actual fade-to-black and then fade-in in the movie, slightly more than half-way in (I can't tell you exactly as I do not have access to player or movie for a few weeks).
     
  14. John Alderson

    John Alderson Supporting Actor

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    It turns out the video clips that the main feature seems to branch between are also used for the DVD-ROM trivia game. I still don't know why the main feature branches like that, but if the non LE didn't have the ROM content then it may not have the same really odd authoring.
     
  15. Douglas R

    Douglas R Cinematographer

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    KWAI wasn't road shown and I don't recall it ever having an intermission in theatrical screenings.
     
  16. john a hunter

    john a hunter Supporting Actor

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    I saw Kwai for the first time in about 1965 in London at the then newish Odeon Haymarket.It looked as though it was an original print. It was 4 track mag. There was an intermission and Pt 2 opened with the beach scenes. During the intermission there were jungle noises on the soundtrack just like the train noise Lean used during Zhivago. THIS WAS A FULL ROADSHOW PRESENTATION.
    In the early 70's, it was also"Cinerama-ed" from a 70 mm print that was so awful, I walked out so I don't know if it was a similar presentation.That was also a roadshow .
     

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