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Criterion in September

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Jeff Newcomb, Jun 14, 2006.

  1. Patrick H.

    Patrick H. Second Unit

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    Abso-friggin'-lutely! I remember reading in a Q&A a short while back that they had no plans to remaster 'Brazil.' Deep down, I hope they read the press release from Lucasfilm and decided to show 'em how it's done. Whatever the reason, this whole slate is just great news.

    Plus, Japanese cinema fans have the added treat of the original version of 'Gojira' (AKA 'Godzilla') is getting its first-ever American release just one week later. September is definitely worthwhile.
     
  2. joshEH

    joshEH Producer

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    Although part of what Criterion spoke there in that Q&A was in fact the truth, from a certain POV -- the 16:9 Brazil remaster had been produced by Universal some time back, and was simply sitting in their vaults awaiting a future R1 release.

    It sounds like they're using this as the basis for their new disc, but to what extent (if any) they've tweaked it with Gilliam's input remains to be seen...it's still right up near the top of my September buy-list, though, regardless.
     
  3. Adam_S

    Adam_S Producer

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    is only the first disc of Brazil redone or are we getting anamorphic all around on the rerelease of the 3 disc set?
     
  4. Patrick H.

    Patrick H. Second Unit

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    My memory is that the surviving "Love Conquers All" version was a P&S or open-matte print that was done for TV. Only the Director's Cut was presented in widescreen, so it's the one that's now being upgraded.
     
  5. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor
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    The Love Conquers All version cannot be remastered in 16x9 because a lot of the modification was done on video such as reframing and video-based zooms. Given Universal's history of throwing out footage in the 1980s, I'm willing to bet that all the alternate footage that appears in the LCA cut is long-gone.

    Of course, Universal might have been able to re-create it like the Dune Extended Version. Why, though? I think presenting it in pan & scan is one more way to show how far away it really is from Gilliam's vision.
     
  6. Brian PB

    Brian PB Supporting Actor

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    The best explanation is probably this one: World's Easiest Explanation of Anamorphic 16:9 Widescreen Enhancement in DVDs

    The way I understand it, the film image (no matter the aspect ratio of the film) is stored in the DVD image standard of 4:3 (also known as 1.33:1). With widescreen films, resolution is lost due to the presence of the black bars at the top and bottom. In an anamorphic (16:9) transfer, the widescreen image is stretched vertically by 33% within the 4:3 frame. If it were played back that way the image would appear vertically stretched. Instead, at playback on a 16:9 setup, the DVD player stretches the image 33% horizontally, and the image is returned to its normal dimensions (aspect ratio). Because the anamorphically encoded film image takes up more of the DVD encoding area (compared to a non-anamorphic letterboxed image), more pixels are used to encode the image instead of black bars, and more pixels equates to increased resolution (33% better resolution for a film with a 1.78:1 (or 16:9) aspect ratio).

    With a 1.37:1 Academy ratio film, when it is encoded into the 4:3 DVD standard, it uses up all of the available pixels for picture information (no pixels are encoding black bars), so there is no resolution to be gained by stretching the image (besides, stretching the image horizontally by 33% would cause a loss of picture information).

    As I say, this is how I understand it. If I'm misinformed, I'm sure more tech-savvy members will correct my errors.
     
  7. Eric Gripp

    Eric Gripp Agent

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    Thanks Brian PB, I knew it was something along those lines, but I wasn't sure exactly how it worked. The only other question I have is how exactly does an anamorphic widescreen image in a 4X3 frame look correct on a 4X3 television without the extra room to stretch it out?

    And so I am not hijacking this thread with my ignorance, I really don't mind being double-dipped on DVDs at all. I've triple-dipped with Terminator 2: Judgment Day! When they bring out such awesome deluxe editions of movies I love, then I can't help myself. I can't think of any movie more deserving of double-dipping than Seven Samurai. A masterpiece that is getting the ultimate treatment on DVD. The only thing that even makes me hesitate an instant is HD-DVD and Blu-Ray Disc on the horizon.

    Any transfer experts out there? I watched Citizen Kane and Seven Samurai back to back the other day, and I couldn't get over the difference in contrast between the two films. The last battle in Seven Samurai seems to be lacking a lot of dark blacks and bright whites. Everything is very grey. Is this because of the transfer on the original DVD, or did it look like that always?
     
  8. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    I was wondering too whether the longer cut of Playtime would be presented. Apparently not. While we're discussing Tati, when are we going to see Jour de fĂȘte or Trafic?

    Two other titles that stick out in my mind from the collection as needing new 16x9 transfers are Walkabout and Picnic at Hanging Rock.
     
  9. Jeff Newcomb

    Jeff Newcomb Second Unit

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    Picnic is likely for next year. There is a feature length documentary that was featured in other regions. Peter Weir has stated in an audio interview that he believes Criterion is working on a re-release that would include this.
     
  10. MarcoBiscotti

    MarcoBiscotti Producer

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    If Yojimbo and Sanjuro are being redone as well, what are the chances of Criterion offering a packaged set of all 3 films like they eventually resorted to with the now OOP slipcovered set of the Samurai Trilogy?

    Not that I'd actually hold out for a box... but I wonder?
     
  11. Joe:C

    Joe:C Second Unit

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    This is great news about Seven Samurai and Brazil. I haven't bought SS because I've been hearing for a while that it would be re-released. I was pretty close to breaking down and buying Brazil, but suddenly we get this news! It's also nice that those that already own Brazil can just replace the first disc if they choose.
     
  12. Joseph J.D

    Joseph J.D Cinematographer

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    Yeah it shows that Criterion actually cares about the consumers who buy their products. [​IMG] As someone that purchased the original 3-disc Brazil set, this is great news.....I will definitely pick up the 1 disc version. Also planning on picking up Seven Samurai....I've never had the chance to see that film but have always wanted to. Now's my chance [​IMG]
     
  13. Douglas R

    Douglas R Cinematographer

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    Around 124 minutes seems to equate with the restoration carried out a few years ago and is the same as the restored R2 version issued by the British Film Institute (which also has the Philip Kemp audio commentary) and which is in stereo - I would hope the Criterion is stereo and not mono as stated on the specs. See: http://www.in70mm.com/news/2003/play...estoration.htm
     
  14. Brian PB

    Brian PB Supporting Actor

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    and the audio is described as "Dolby Digital Stereo 2.0"
     
  15. rich_d

    rich_d Cinematographer

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    I notice that too. If I remember correctly when the film was re-released last year the film was listed as 4.0 so it's not apparent to me why the DVD release is not the same.

    Otherwise, great and waaaay delayed news.
     
  16. Jon Robertson

    Jon Robertson Screenwriter

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    I'm going to have to pass on the Seven Samrai disc for two reasons. One, the disc will be windowboxed ("The picture has been slightly window-boxed to ensure that the maximum image is visible on all monitors" is right there on the website). I'm not watching this most majestic of films with a black frame all the way round.

    Two, the "new and improved English subtitle translation" seems to indicate Linda Hoaglund's, to put it mildly, eccentric and somewhat patronising translation where everyone is transformed into Americanised stock cartoon characters. Her included examples from the above link:


    Sorry, but I'm not owning a copy of the film in that incarnation. It's a pity, because they seem to have done such a bang-up job with it otherwise.
     
  17. Brian PB

    Brian PB Supporting Actor

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    As for the windowboxing: I expect Criterion's remastered Seven Samurai to blow away the original release, and to equal or better any existing DVD release of the film worldwide. If Criterion can maintain its high standards for video quality (while reducing overscan), why does the windowboxing really matter?

    If you own a 16:9 video display, black bars are inevitable when viewing a 4:3 film, unless you distort the aspect ratio by forcing it into the full 16:9 display area (a lazy practice I've never understood). If you own a 4:3 display, black bars are a guarantee when watching widescreen films (unless you choose the pan & scan version). If the picture quality is maintained, why are some black bars acceptable, while others are intolerable?

    Examining the DVD Beaver comparisons, I have yet to see one of Criterion's windowboxed transfers that didn't look as good or better than an un-windowboxed transfer from another region. It looks like a win-win situation to me: all owners get Criterion's excellent picture quality, and the 4:3 owners (and potentially 16:9 owners who have not had their equipment properly calibrated) additionally avoid overscan.

    I can't imagine that someone who loves this film would boycott this incredible release (at least on paper) due to the presence of some "slight" black bars.
     
  18. Jon Robertson

    Jon Robertson Screenwriter

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    I won't rake up the windowboxing issue in detail here, especially as it was discussed by myself and many others (EDIT: including yourself!) in this thread, but on my current monitor I find it ugly as hell and very distracting.
     
  19. MarcoBiscotti

    MarcoBiscotti Producer

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    Yikes!

    I really hope the subtitle examples cited above are not anywhere near an indication of what we'll be seeing on this new set.

    What was wrong with the translated subs on the previous edition? Were those considered dubtitles or something?
     
  20. Brian PB

    Brian PB Supporting Actor

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    I know we've had this discussion in the other thread, Jon, but I responded to your post because Seven Samurai has a large, diverse fan base (it is one of the few 4:3 films that has a large following among viewers under 30). I doubt many of those fans had much interest in that prior thread (or felt it had any relevance to them since they may have had little interest in the films affected). I just wanted those folks to see both sides of the argument.
     

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