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Crawdaddy's "Random Thoughts" about Home Video, Film & TV

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Crawford, Feb 23, 2017.

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  1. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Well, I bought the disc, ten years ago as part of a boxset with another five western titles. Until the other day it's been years since I watched the disc so after viewing it again, my mind kept going back to the muted colors and the amount of grain. It's just not very good.
     
  2. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    So I went from one DVD with the Ansco Color process that doesn't look "Escape From Fort Bravo" to another one with CinemaScope that looked much better on Blu-ray "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" (1954). Another well known classic film so I won't give a synopsis nor its cast. Wow, Warner Archive did a beautiful job with this Blu-ray Release. One of my favorite musicals and dance sequences during the barn raising. It's simply a great movie experience.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    Yes, Warner did a great job on the BD of "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers". I never thought I would see a good transfer of this released. It's one of my favorite musicals, too. That barn raising scene is a classic.
     
  4. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    This morning I used the TCM app on iTunes to watch "The Little Foxes" (1941) again starring Bette Davis, Teresa Wright, Herbert Marshall, Richard Carlson and several excellent character actors including four members of the original Broadway play such as Charles Dingle, Dan Duryea, Carl Benton Reid and Patricia Collinge. Another great film about family of greedy siblings conniving against each other while the husband of the only female sibling/Davis is a decent, honorable and sickly man played by Marshall is surrounded by a family of snakes/serpents except for his daughter and sister-in-law. It's amazing that Davis was only 33 years old and just ten years older than Wright, who played her daughter. I've read that some people that have seen the play and movie preferred Tallulah Bankhead's portrayal of Regina over Bette Davis performance in the film. There was much friction on the movie set between Davis and William Wyler as they argued constantly how Davis should play the part. It was the last time those two ever work together. By the way, Gregg Toland was the cinematographer. I would love to have this film on Blu-ray as another Goldwyn production missing in 1080p action.

    [​IMG]
     
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  5. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    I'm not a big musical fan, but this one caught my eye when I was a kid so it's in that small cache of musicals that I loved from my childhood that includes "The Wizard of Oz" and "West Side Story".
     
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  6. Richard V

    Richard V Cinematographer

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    Me too, and "The Music Man" and "The Sound of Music" and "Mary Poppins"
     
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  7. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    I enjoy many of the old musicals, but Seven Brides is one of my favorites. If I had to pick an all time favorite, it would probably be "Singin' In The Rain". I do enjoy your other favorites, too, Robert. "The Wizard of Oz" is something I've been watching on TV as long as I can remember, and "West Side Story" is another terrific film -- as well as the ones Richard mentioned above. Of the more recent musicals, I really enjoy "Grease" and "Chicago".
     
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  8. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
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    Allegedly, Bette Davis had seen Tallulah's stage performance and couldn't think of any other way to play it. Wyler was constantly on her about mimicking Tallulah's performance, and from what I understand, that was the nature of the intense bickering between the two.
     
  9. B-ROLL

    B-ROLL Screenwriter

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    The Kino Blu-Ray of The Big Country has the "Directed by William Wyler " documentary where Davis is interviewed about it ...
     
  10. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    What did she have to say about her former lover?
     
  11. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Thanks to Matt Hough, I decided to re-watch another Stanwyck film. Tonight, on DVD "East Side, West Side" (1950) starring Barbara Stanwyck, James Mason, Van Heflin, Ava Gardner, Cyd Charisse, Nancy Davis, Gale Sondergaard, William Conrad and William Frawley. A pretty good melodrama about a cheating husband his devoted wife and his evil mistress getting mixed up in a murder that a cop/federal agent solves due to his admiration for the devoted wife. As you can tell, it was a great cast while Stanwyck always seems to have good chemistry with her leading men. What's funny is that Stanwyck plays the good girl here, but she could've easily played the bad girl with her acting chops. Mason was such a weak-ass character in this film.

    [​IMG]
     
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  12. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    I watched the updated HD version of "The War of the Worlds" (1953) on iTunes. Very impressive! I had a smile on my face for the entire 85 minutes of this Technicolor film. Just beautiful, the best I'd ever seen it and the audio was great too with surround 5.1 audio. This was my second viewing of "The War of the Worlds" this year as I bought a HD version on iTunes back in February and this updated HD copy is a vast improvement over that previous HD version.

    [​IMG]
     
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  13. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Here's some more about that HD version of "The War of the Worlds" available on iTunes for $6.99 from Jeff Well's Blog.

    http://hollywood-elsewhere.com/2018/10/4k-restored-remastered-war-of-the-worlds-on-itunes-for-now/
     
  14. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    I noticed "The Strawberry Blonde" (1941) on the TCM app today so I'd pulled out my WA DVD of it. This film was never among my favorite Cagney films, but it has its moments. I especially love those scenes between Cagney and George Reeves as I always found them amusing considering the size difference between the two actors. Furthermore, you can't go wrong when you have leading ladies like Olivia de Havilland and Rita Hayworth. A deep cast for this film with some of the best character actors in the business.

    [​IMG]
     
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  15. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    A new development as iTunes has definitely updated the HD Digital to 4K/Dolby Vision between the time I watched it yesterday until today. My LG OLED now indicates Dolby Vision which it didn't yesterday. I watched about ten minutes of it just now and it looks even better and more detailed today than yesterday. On Wednesday, I was playing around with my settings on my Yamaha Receiver and LG OLED as I was taking notes on my viewing so I can confirmed it wasn't in 4K/Dolby Vision yesterday. Hell, I'm in the mood to watch all over again in that format. Probably not today, but I'll finish doing so early tomorrow morning.
     
  16. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
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    Yep, when I started watching it this morning (got about fifteen minutes in), it was HD only. When I got back from lunch with friends and picked up where I left off, the Dolby Vision moniker flashed on the screen. I was momentarily surprised, but having read your link this morning, I reasoned out what was going on.
     
  17. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    So they did it this afternoon. Thanks for the confirmation. Hell, I'm going to watch it again tomorrow morning.
     
  18. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    This "The War of the Worlds" update on iTunes caught me by surprise as I wasn't on the forum until about 20 minutes ago as I was watching some new Blu-rays that arrived today.:)

    First up was "The Spiral Staircase" (1946) starring Dorothy McGuire, George Brent, Ethel Barrymore, Kent Smith, Rhonda Fleming, Gordon Oliver, Elsa Lancaster and Rhys Williams in perhaps my favorite thriller/film noir film this side of "The Night of the Hunter". The film takes place in a small town in New England in the early 1900's, where a serial killer has been murdering women with physical disabilities. The whole movie evolves around one household in which a young woman is employed at that estate as a companion to a rich, elderly, widow with two sons. Furthermore, this young woman is unable to speak due to a traumatic experience in her childhood. The great Robert Siodmak directed it and was beautifully photographed by Nicholas Musuraca with a terrific screenplay by Mel Dinelli. Just a terrific film that I give my highest recommendation to, but remember, this film has been copied by many films since it's opening in 1946. The Kino Blu-ray is first rate, though I was worried when I first viewed the RKO credits. The quality picked up after those credits, but it still was an RKO release. The audio commentary by Imogen Sara Smith was top notch as usual. I hope Eddie Muller shows this on Noir Alley as this film has so many "film noir" qualities to it. McGuire was excellent in this film as she acted with her face and beautiful eyes without speaking for almost the entire film. Ethel Barrymore was great as always and George Brent gave one of his best performances in my opinion.

    [​IMG]
     
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  19. Message #1119 of 1195 Oct 4, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2018
    Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Next up was "The Night Stalker" (1972) starring Darren McGavin as Carl Kolchak, a down and out reporter for a Las Vegas newspaper that is following leads on a serial killer in Las Vegas in which the female victims are drain of their blood. Other supporting actors include Carol Lynley, Simon Oakland, Ralph Meeker, Claude Akins, Kent Smith and Charles McGraw. It was interesting seeing Kent Smith in two different films today that were filmed 25 years apart. Of course, this was an ABC TV Movie that inspired a sequel "The Night Strangler" and a TV series "Kolchak: The Night Stalker" and I think a couple of other TV movies. This Kino BD release has good PQ and plenty of bonus material including an audio commentary.
    [​IMG]


    Tomorrow I'm going to watch "The Night Strangler", another Kino Blu-ray release.
     
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  20. Message #1120 of 1195 Oct 5, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2018
    Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Last night I watched "The War of the Worlds" again on iTunes this time in 4K/Dolby Vision. I was very impressed as I could distinguish the improvement in color vibrancy and detail from my Wednesday's 1080p HD viewing to my Thursday's 4K/Dolby Vision viewing. The former was no slouch in that department, yet I could clearly see some video improvement.
     

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