Escape From Fort Bravo

Discussion in 'DVD' started by MarcoBiscotti, Oct 5, 2008.

  1. MarcoBiscotti

    MarcoBiscotti Producer

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    This is by far the worst looking DVD I've ever seen released from any of the major studios. I have public domain discs from VCI and other companies that look better than this. I suspect that it's simply been ported to digital from an old analog source without any effort or work to improve the image or picture quality on DVD. On my 100" film screen, it looks like a messy video transfer. What happened here and why was this title released in such poor and lacking quality?? Why didn't Warner go back to the elements and clean this thing up to at least make it presentable on disc? Did they blow their budget on this set? This was one of my most highly anticipated releases but if WHV couldn't afford the production costs... please pass next time and wait until it makes sense!
     
  2. Ernest

    Ernest Supporting Actor

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    It is troubling but we have to face facts on the old catalog titles the studios believe will experience soft sales they will make every effort to reduce costs. The "Garden of Evil" release contained a disclaimer by the studio that they used the best film element available for the transfer. Maybe this was the best transfer available without major restoration.

    We waited a long time for "the Boys in Company C" and the release was in 4 x 3 letterbox with mono sound. Members from UK advised their release was anamorphic widescreen and the audio was DD 5.1.
     
  3. Thomas T

    Thomas T Cinematographer

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    As a "classic" film lover, this is yet another reason I have very little interest in Blu-Ray at this point. Oh sure, they'll spiff up a high profile older title like Casablanca or The Wizard Of Oz when they expect it to do well but for the majority of pre -1970 classic catalogue titles that don't have the "cache" of a Gone With The Wind or Adventures Of Robin Hood, they're not going to spend a whole lot of money on spiffing up the transfer on catalogue titles like Escape From Fort Bravo, I'll Never Forget You, Houdini, She Done Him Wrong or Affair In Trinidad to name a few recently released catalogue titles.
     
  4. David_B_K

    David_B_K Advanced Member

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    I guess these releases are "better than nothing". Some of us keep asking "when is such-and-such going to be released?". Presumably the delay on many classics is that they simply do not look as good as more recent films. The studios do not want to spend major bucks restoring the films, so we get what we get. The alternative would be to record your old VHS tapes or laserdiscs to DVD or DVR the movies off TCM or Fox. I guess these "OK" releases are better than nothing.
     
  5. CineKarine

    CineKarine Supporting Actor

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    I realize that not all films are well-known enough to justify a major and costly restoration process, so I am more than thrilled just to have them released at all! In fact, I am very seldom disappointed by picture quality of DVDs I have bought. They all look SO MUCH better, at any given time, than old VHS versions or TV-taped copies I used to have. When it comes to rarer films, it's hard to be fussy, especially with Warner and Fox really digging into their vaults for us and coming up with so many treasures!!! I might add that since I do not own a "big" TV screen (by choice!), defects, if any, barely show at all. [​IMG]
     
  6. Ernest

    Ernest Supporting Actor

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    Karine, after investing in an HD TV you will want all your DVD's to be mastered from good film elements and in 16 x 9 anamorphic widescreen. You are correct in saying that in some cases we have to be happy we are able to obtain a DVD of an old catalog title. Then again, we are paying good money for DVD's so we should always expect a good product and complain when the transfer does not meet expectations. At this time movies transferred to DVD in 4 x 3 letterbox are unacceptable.
     
  7. Tim Tucker

    Tim Tucker Screenwriter

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  8. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htf/...ollection.html

    I am amazed that someone can make the logical walk from a single title with a difficult source element that may never look good on any video or film format to "this is why I have very little interest in Blu-Ray at this point". Heck, the fact that the other five titles in that box set all had very good transfers that were not made available on Blu-Ray is a better case for that argument than this one. How did Blu-Ray even enter this thread in the first place?
     
  9. Bill:N

    Bill:N Stunt Coordinator

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    If anyone needs further proof of how bad Ansco color was, have a look at last month's VCI release of Stranger On Horseback.
     
  10. ted:r

    ted:r Second Unit

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    I totally agree with Karine here. I'm just happy to have the films at all.

    There's an old story from when Bruce Springsteen was feeling reluctant about playing larger venues. The argument posed to him was which would you rather be? The person sitting furthest away at a large venue, or being the person who is told by a friend how great Springsteen was at a smaller venue?

    We all want the best possible versions of these films released on the medium of our choice. And I think for the most part it is a good thing that people are holding the studios to high standards. But oft times, as in life, the best we can get may not match the quality of our dreams. That shouldn't mean we can't get enormous enjoyment what we have in our hands.
     
  11. MarcoBiscotti

    MarcoBiscotti Producer

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    I'm sorry, I normally agree with the above sentiments regarding underrated pre-60s classics on home video but these are not such obscure titles and I have to insist that the presentation of EFFB was as poor looking as any VHS release I've owned. The Law And Jake Wade was fairly unspectacular as well, resembling the print quality sourced on the occasional TCM broadcasts. I would hope that WHV would find a way to put more effort into similar future releases. We've waited a long time for classic westerns from this studio to make their way to DVD and both the presentation and complete lack of supplements made these releases fall very short in my books. Yes, I'd rather have them than nothing at all, but there's got to be an alternative, right? I bought all the KINO noir sets and didn't complain about quality, knowing well going in that they would be a mixed bag. My expectations here fell vastly short of the quality that this company usually delivers. And with such star-driven vehicles and the fact that the western genre is supposedly the best selling of classic film releases on home video and the most popular among catalog titles and television broadcasts, I have to wonder why so little effort was put into this set...
     
  12. Bob Furmanek

    Bob Furmanek Insider
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  13. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    How about Seven Brothers for Seven Brides or Kiss Me Kate? The color film process doesn't translate well to home video especially from film elements over 50 years old.





    Crawdaddy
     
  14. ahollis

    ahollis Lead Actor

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    MGM was a huge proponent of Perspecta Stereophonic Sound in those days. Would that listing saying it was in stereo mean Perspecta. I never thought Perspecta was a true stereo sound.
     
  15. Bob Furmanek

    Bob Furmanek Insider
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    No, MGM's first Perspecta release in the U.S. was BETRAYED in July 1954. EFFB was shown with a 3 channel 35mm magnetic track that was interlocked with the picture.

    MGM briefly considered EFFB as a 3-D production, but scrapped those plans shortly before the start of principal photography.
     
  16. MarcoBiscotti

    MarcoBiscotti Producer

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    I'm not denying that the format is largely to blame for the source quality of existing elements, I'm criticizing Warner Bros. for not doing more to make it presentable on DVD. It appears that little to no restoration was done at all in bringing this title to disc. They simply digitized the print and did no cleanup or alterations to the transfer leaving us with something that is sorely lacking in 2008 on DVD.
     
  17. Tim Tucker

    Tim Tucker Screenwriter

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    Thanks for the link, Ken. I was searching for that yesterday, but couldn't find it (which is why I linked to the DVD Talk review instead.) [​IMG]
     
  18. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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    The trick is that you have to search both the software forum and the reviews archive forum in case it is more than a month or so old.

    Regards,
     
  19. Russell G

    Russell G Fake Shemp
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    I got wrapped up in the movie and didn't really notice it looked so crap. [​IMG]
     
  20. ted:r

    ted:r Second Unit

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    LOL!!! I felt the same way!

    That reminds me of a favorite Peanuts carton...Snoopy is sliding around on the ice, having a grand time. Lucy comes up to him and say "You're not skating! That's not how it goes! You don't have skates on! You're just sliding! That's not right at all!" Snoopy walks off, dejected, thinking "How could I have been so wrong? I thought I was having fun."
     

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