DVD FILE confused reviews

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Joe Caps, May 15, 2003.

  1. Joe Caps

    Joe Caps Cinematographer

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    I wish that reviewers would get some basic training in film history. DVD file calls everything a remix. They said this in their recent review of Sink the Bismark and in their review today of the Long Hot Summer.
    No guys, both of these films are originally stereo movies and they were stereo in their laserdisc versions. They are NOT remixes.
     
  2. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

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    While I'm not in the category of the reviewers you speak of, I am curious: where would I go for such a history? What form would this "basic training" come in? I'd love to learn more about such things.
     
  3. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Producer

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    I'm with Dave; I have no idea what sound mix vintage films were originally presented in! I had no idea that THE LONG HOT SUMMER and SINK THE BISMARC! were originally presented in stereo.


    Gordy
     
  4. oscar_merkx

    oscar_merkx Lead Actor

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    I am also with this one on David, where would you learn about this ?
     
  5. Dharmesh C

    Dharmesh C Supporting Actor

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    Maybe DVDFILE could consult Joe Caps from now on?
     
  6. TonyDale

    TonyDale Second Unit

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    To obtain this information in the internet age is quite simple: the Internet Movie DataBase, for the most part, includes this information under technical specs.

    Otherwise, there are these buildings called "libraries," (really!) where one can actually go and RESEARCH to obtain proper information.

    I have often written to online reviewers, including those at dvdfile, with corrections.

    IMHO, there really isn't any excuse for misinformation in today's in today's world, where we have an information highway right at our finger tips.
    [​IMG]
     
  7. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    Which is, more often than not, wrong.
     
  8. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    Maybe one just need not *assume* that a stereo soundtrack on DVD constitutes a "remix". DVDfile could have talked about the stereo track sound quality without using the "remix" word.

    Now...if they were able to confirm that the original film had been presented in mono only, or that the stereo tracks had been explicitly remixed for the DVD presentation...

    I tend to think we shouldn't berate reviewers too harshly for making simple mistakes...it will happen. On the other hand, when we do find errors, we should be able to present the corretions to the reviewer and those corrections should be made. I've had several experiences with DVDfile where they made some errors (like talking about the "faulty" audio on Sound Of Music because of the "distracting" dialoge that used all 3 front channels...because they didn't understand that this DVD had preserved an historic sound mix with the directional-dialoge in tact) where the reviewer staunchly refused to modify his review despite the good information with which he was being supplied.

    -dave
     
  9. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    Vince is right; relying on the IMDB is typically a very bad idea. Since it's a user-built database it's chock-full of incorrect and misleading information, especially in the technical areas. I'll use it for cast information since that tends to be pretty good, but that's about the limit of what I feel safe in relying upon it.

    Since Bismarck (and Heaven Knows Mr. Allison, and The Blue Max) are all presented as Surround mixes, though, what level of confidence do we have that these are the ORIGINAL stereo mixes? There's an awful lot of surround activity on Mr. Allison (less so on Bismarck) that I somehow doubt was present in 1957 theaters, but I'm willing to be proven wrong on that.
     
  10. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Producer

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  11. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

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    Well, I think we've effectively disposed of the IMDB as a reliable source of this information! [​IMG]

    Now, if I went into a library, what book(s) should I ask for? What subject does the Dewey Decimal System file this under? Keep in mind that, like DVDs, I tend to buy the books I want...so it's been years since I set foot in a library. I still have my card, though! :wink:
     
  12. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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    I think Joe's point is not necessarily that DVD File reviewers need to know how every film was originally presented (although that would be great), but that they should avoid presumptive statements when they do not know for sure.

    My pet peeve with them is that they seem to frequently misuse the term "dynamic range". I fired off an e-mail and got it off my chest, though. [​IMG]

    Regards,
     
  13. Aaron Reynolds

    Aaron Reynolds Screenwriter

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    You're probably best to go looking for books relating to specific films. For instance, I don't think you'll find The Great Big Books of Aspect Ratios and Original Sound Formats, though perhaps one of us should write it? [​IMG]

    Either find books on the period in film history you're looking for, or about specific films or specific filmmakers. For instance, I recently re-read a fantastic books about the making, destruction and restoration of A Star Is Born. I've once again forgotten who wrote it, but he did a number of audio essays on Criterion LDs back in the day. The book goes into insane production detail, talking about the decisions that were made between colour formats and aspect ratios (one whole sequence was shot with lenses and stock that were then rejected and the sequence was reshot, which is why restoration prints have an alternate version of "The Man Who Got Away" appended to them), and the like.

    The second half of the book, which deals in the painstaking restoration of the film reads at times like an archeological thriller -- trying to dig up lost footage, mysterious collectors with bits of film, anonymous phone calls, a surprising discovery in the vaults...

    Okay, a quick trip to Amazon.com has informed me that the author is Ronald Haver. I always get him and Rudy Behlmer confused because they both did Criterion commentaries.

    I love books like this.
     
  14. Steven Wesley

    Steven Wesley Second Unit

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  15. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

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    Sorry for being behind-the-times. My age must be showing! :b
     
  16. MikeFR

    MikeFR Supporting Actor

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  17. Aaron Reynolds

    Aaron Reynolds Screenwriter

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  18. MikeFR

    MikeFR Supporting Actor

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  19. Douglas R

    Douglas R Cinematographer

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    The above mentioned were '50s Fox films and the vast majority of Fox films up to the late '50s were made in stereo. So if it's a Fox film made in the '50s with a stereo soundtrack it's probably safe to assume it's not a remix. The only book I know which gives stereo information on films is "Wide Screen Movies" by Robert Carr and R M Hayes published by McFarland & Co. It's indispensable for anyone interested in widescreen and stereo sound.
     
  20. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    I'll restate that my biggest problem with some reviewers isn't that they make mistakes (though a bit of research is a good thing)...it's that some of them won't make the corrections when the errors are pointed out to them.

    now THAT is a problem!

    -dave
     

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