Close Encounters of the Third Kind picture quality

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Rich Romero, Aug 3, 2002.

  1. Rich Romero

    Rich Romero Supporting Actor

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    Am I the only one who is very dissapointed with the picture quality on this great movie? Blacks aren't black, compression artifacts and grain are present everywhere, colors are faded, it seems like sometimes the whole picture is shimmering, the day for night shots especially. Does anyone else notice the above things because the reviews I've read are very positive. I know it's an older film, but I expected much better.
     
  2. Tony Stark

    Tony Stark Stunt Coordinator

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    I just watched it last week and thought it was very well done. Just a thought, but have you RECENTLY calibrated your system?
     
  3. Paul_D

    Paul_D Cinematographer

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    Compression artifacts?????? Where? I love this transfer. Its very grainy, but I kinda like that. Colors may be a bit pale, but I'd imagine that's how it looked in the theater, being that it's getting on in years.
     
  4. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    There are no problems with the video caused by the transfer.
    This film used effects processes which resulted in heavy grain, film damage, and other problems. You'll notice that any shot lacking any kind of optical looks fantastic.
    The restoration of the film was difficult mainly because the negative had been chopped up for the 1980 SE. The stuff taken out of the 1977 cut for the 1980 cut was destroyed, so that footage had to be taken from other sources.
    Like 99% of DVD's out there, most will call it "not reference quality" (Nothing is...according to DVD reviewers. [​IMG] ), but the transfer is still excellent.
     
  5. Dave H

    Dave H Producer

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    Yeah, I think they did a very good job with the transfer. Cnnsidering the age and issues talked about, I have no problems with it. The DTS track is good, as well.
     
  6. Andrew_Sch

    Andrew_Sch Cinematographer

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    I was very dissapointed with the sound on this disc, especially after all the great reviews the DTS track received. I thought it sounded very shrill and tinny and was nowhere near reference.
     
  7. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    You're forgetting the elements from which it was taken.This is 20 year old audio recorded on analog tape. Dynamic range in movie mixes has increased 10 fold in the last 20 years.
     
  8. Bruce Hedtke

    Bruce Hedtke Cinematographer

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    I thought it was excellent. Some of the colors were muddy but that is the fault of the film elements and not the transfer. The other things you mention, such as shimmering and compression artifacts, either I didn't see or were very minimal.

    Bruce
     
  9. Rich Romero

    Rich Romero Supporting Actor

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    It's odd because my set is well calibrated because of the fact other films look just fine. I watched Patton last night and it looked much better than Close Encounters.
     
  10. Joel Fontenot

    Joel Fontenot Supporting Actor

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  11. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    Patton was shot in yummy 65mm, therefore providing a lot more resolution to start with, and the 70mm stocks seem to age better than 35

    It is also true that there are a bunch of crappy Kodak stocks in the late 70s, and the 80s in general seemed to use cheap stock
     
  12. Lafe F

    Lafe F Second Unit

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    The color balancing seems very brown and icky on the DVD - more than I remember from the WTBS TV viewings I saw of it.
    We can probably blame the film stock. Too bad they couldn't enhance it more.
     
  13. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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  14. Rich Romero

    Rich Romero Supporting Actor

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    Yeah I knew Patton was shot 65mm and all, but it was late and I was just trying to make the point that my set was well calibrated.
     
  15. Brian W.

    Brian W. Screenwriter

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    No, you're not the only one, Rich. I was disappointed, too, and so were many reviewers:

    The Digital Bits only gave it a B+ for video.

    DVD File only gave the video quality a 3.5 out of 5, saying, "those expecting a pristine print may be disappointed. The film is still a bit grainy, though without all the noise that marred the laserdisc. Yet even without all those analog deficiencies, the grain can still be distracting. The film's many effects shots suffer the most..."

    DVD Review said, "I found the transfer to be only moderately impressive. While the print is mostly free of speckles and blemishes, it shows quite a bit of grain and some inconsistencies in the color timing. As a result, certain shots subtly change color while they run."

    Obviously, Rich and I are not alone.

    P.S.

    This was the DVD that made me stop reading The Big Picture's reviews -- they gave it a full 5 stars for video.
     
  16. Damin J Toell

    Damin J Toell Producer

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  17. Brian W.

    Brian W. Screenwriter

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  18. greg_t

    greg_t Screenwriter

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    I have the Criterion laserdsic, and have been considering getting this dvd. I've went on a few online dvd sites to see what price these are going for. What I found is that later this month, Close encounters is being reissued as a single disc, still in anamaphoric widescreen, still with DD and DTS. I went to the dvd planet website, and looked at the enlarged back graphics. On the back of the new single disc version, it says "remastered in high definition". I then looked at the graphic for the current two disc set, and it does not say anything about high definition. Has anyone else heard anything about this? I wouldn't think that they would remaster the movie in high def. for a single disc reissue, but it does say so on the back of the box. Does anyone have anymore information on this? Ron perhaps?
     
  19. Damin J Toell

    Damin J Toell Producer

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  20. Rich Romero

    Rich Romero Supporting Actor

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    Yes, and because the documentary and deleted scenes are so good on Close Encounters I recommend picking it up before it goes out of print.
     

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