Evolution: Great Transfer Pretty Lousy Film

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Dave Scarpa, Dec 26, 2001.

  1. Dave Scarpa

    Dave Scarpa Producer

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    This one really fallsunder that category. The transfer by Dreamworks is top notch. I challange anyone to find a better looking disc. It's too bad the film is such a disaster. This started off a straight SCi Fi film, later it was developed into a Comedy. The result is not good in either direction. Doubly Dissapointing since the cast is pretty good. I now know why Bill Murray's been turning down Reitman's and Ackeroyd's at Ghostbusters 3 for years.

    Rent it if you want to see a really finely produced disk, but don't waste your $17 bucks on this.
     
  2. Adam Tyner

    Adam Tyner Screenwriter

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    Reviews of Dreamworks DVDs invariably come with the loosely-thrown-around phrase "reference quality" attached in some form, and their impressive catalog had left me fully expecting to follow suit with Evolution. To my amazement, this disc boasts what is by a considerable margin the worst Dreamworks transfer to date and hopefully is not indicative of what consumers can expect throughout 2002. The image ranges from 'spectacular' to 'decidedly mediocre', leaning precariously towards the less impressive end of the spectrum. Quite a number of shots are riddled with grain, though its presence varies wildly. I tossed my notepad aside after fifteen minutes or so of jotting down particularly grainy portions, but two such scenes that stand out in my mind are the initial descent into the depths of the cavern and the rather unpleasant removal of Harry's fly. Noise, perhaps due to overcompression to compensate for the space-intensive DTS track, becomes an intermittent concern. Two quick examples from the early moments of the film are Wayne's car in its first appearance and the portion of the chalkboard to Ira's right during the end of a lecture. Other shots are noticeably soft, nearly to the point of seeming out of focus. These are terribly infrequent, but one of the more glaring instances is when Wayne first begins running away from the crashing meteor. Shadow detail is often on this side of murky, and haloing around high contrast objects is visible from time to time. Evolution is also the first new release from a major studio where I've spotted more than a couple of flecks on screen. I could probably count the number of times I noticed black specks on both hands, but I've become so spoiled by the phenomenal quality of recent releases that even this paltry amount seems excessive. On the upside, colors are generally fairly strong, particularly with regard to the cartoonish CGI creatures. Maybe this is all representative of the intended look of the film, which I admittedly did not see theatrically, but this DVD release of Evolution certainly doesn't look like an $80 million project.
    Edit: That poorly written mess above was an excerpt of a review I wrote a couple weeks ago. Interestingly, there's not really a general consensus about the quality of the video on the Evolution DVD. DVD File, DVD Angle, and DVD Verdict raved about the presentation, while DVD Movie Guide, DVD Review, Digitally Obsessed, and two reviews on DVD Talk (one on 12/17 that I wrote and another on 12/21 by Aaron Beierle) were less than positive. If you'd like to mock my equipment or the fact that I write semi-incoherent reviews for DVD Talk, feel free. [​IMG] Looking through some of these other reviews, though, it's nice to know that I'm not the only one who was disappointed by the lackluster transfer.
     
  3. Dave Scarpa

    Dave Scarpa Producer

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    Hmm... well I thought the transfer was pretty darn good on my setup. I think the things you point out was due to the way the movies was shot more than anything else. I was unaware that the film cost 80 million, it certainly does not show on the screen. For that money they could've made 2 or three really good films.
     
  4. Reginald Trent

    Reginald Trent Screenwriter

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    The transfer is okay but nothing special. BTW Spy Kids looks and sounds better than EVOLUTION IMO.
     
  5. Matthew Chmiel

    Matthew Chmiel Cinematographer

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    I thought the transfer to Evolution was good, but not great. When I saw the film in theaters, I noticed quite a lot of grain and I wasn't that suprised when I noticed grain in the transfer on the DVD.
    Now the audio on the DVD was good, but I wasn't expecting much. Im just shocked that DreamWorks fit in three Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks (English, French, and Spanish), two Dolby Digital 2.0 tracks (English and Commentary), and a DTS 5.1 track onto one disc. Maybe if there wasn't so much compression going on (like Adam said), the transfer could've been much better.
     
  6. Adam Barratt

    Adam Barratt Cinematographer

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    I thought the transfer was generally good, but well short of DreamWorks' usual standards. As stated above by Adam and Matthew grain was very noticeable in some sequences. I remember seeing some grain on the big screen, but don't remember as much as I saw on the DVD, or the occasional softness of the DVD.

    The soundtrack on the other hand was first rate, I thought.

    Adam
     
  7. Rafael M

    Rafael M Agent

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    Chapter 11 Scene: "There's always time for lubricant." [​IMG] and the Commentary is why I bought the DVD.
     
  8. Blu

    Blu Screenwriter

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    Chalk me firmly under the "Easily Amused" category cause I found the film fairly enjoyable!
     
  9. Frank Anderson

    Frank Anderson Cinematographer

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    I'm with Blu.

    I just had to say that. Anyway, my daughter and I thought the movie was a blast.
     
  10. Paul E. Fox II

    Paul E. Fox II Second Unit

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    Chalk me up as one who enjoyed the movie as well! The scenes concerning the "lubricant" were some of the more amusing (I found them downright hilarious) moments of the film, but all in all...I'm glad I got this one as a Christmas Gift (thanks to David Traube...now a Floridian eaten up with the "Everquest" bug...)
     
  11. Gavin_L

    Gavin_L Second Unit

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    i'll have to give the dvd a spin tonight, went out and go it yesterday. quite amazed with all the audio tracks they put on the disc.
     
  12. Jon_B

    Jon_B Screenwriter

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    This movie was on my to rent list. I'll still watch it, I guess my expectations will just be a little lower. [​IMG]
    Jon
     
  13. Wes

    Wes Screenwriter

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    Too late! I bought it becouse it was a Dreamworks so it must be good. It was/is so stupid I can only kick myself for wasting the gift card I got for Christmas.[​IMG]
    Wes
     
  14. Bruce Hedtke

    Bruce Hedtke Cinematographer

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    I liked it. It was funny and unserious in its approach. The actors all looked like they worked well together. Lightweight to be sure...but enjoyable. The disc itself was par for the course, audio and video wise.

    Bruce
     
  15. BertFalasco

    BertFalasco Supporting Actor

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    I never saw it until I bought it and I just watched it with my brother and man, what are you guys talking about??? This movie was hilarious, the ending, the poor black guy always gets the shaft (no offense).
    Question: I haven't tried the DD track but am I the only one who heard this weird sound on the DTS track like 4 times evenly divided throughout the duration (it sounds like an odd very very very short skipping sound).
    Again, I haven't tried the DD track so I want to see if it is just the DTS track or my DVD copy.
    I liked the movie alot, I actually enjoyed this. I don't know about the transfer because I never saw it in the theaters, only my mom and brother. But, the audio, great. I am soon getting the SS-1s as rears (Klipsch) and I'm using these pioneer bookshelf speakers as rears with monster tip connections (like any difference since they're bookshelf??.hah..) since I had them laying around. Even with my SF-1s they aren't drained. There sufficient enough for now, but as soon as I get the money I'm buying the SS-1s.
    Dan Akroyd, still the man. "..and a hot cocoa.."
    -Bert
     
  16. Brad_W

    Brad_W Screenwriter

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    I thought this movie was very funny and loved the whole: "Clicks? What are you, a Vietnam vet?" or whatever David said to that effect, absolutely funny.

    I was worried though that the original poster (Dave) thought the movie was a sci-fi film that turned into a comedy. This movie was a comedy from start to finish. Maybe you had your hopes up for a good SF film, but I knew it was a comedy going into and maybe that's why I was able to appreciate that aspect of it. Give it a second viewing and I think you'll be able to enjoy it a bit more knowing that it's meant to be a comedy.
     
  17. Gavin_L

    Gavin_L Second Unit

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    glad i got this movie, it's really not that bad of a flick. a nice movie that you don't have to take seriously. I'm just fine with the dvd Dreamworks produced.

    I'm just wondering if some people are not liking it because they are comparing to Ivan Reitman other film ghostbusters.

    but any how glad i went out and got this movie.
     
  18. Luis A

    Luis A Second Unit

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    Funny movie, and IMO Dreamworks did great work on the DVD. The DTS track is fantastic, and I almost got up and sang "Play That Funky Music Whiteboy". [​IMG] [​IMG]
    L
     
  19. Dave Scarpa

    Dave Scarpa Producer

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    From what I've read the Project began life as a Sci Fi Action film. It was turned into a comedy late in the game.

    It was closer to MIB than Ghostbusters, and while there were a few funny lines I thought the whole thing rather uneven, I actually liked the original Alternate ending over the stupid H&S Commercial thing.
     
  20. Julie K

    Julie K Screenwriter

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    I enjoyed the movie as the lightweight fluff it was meant to be. (I also really enjoyed drooling all over David Duchovney [​IMG] ) It would have been interesting to see the serious horror treatment though. Nevertheless, I found plenty to laugh at and enjoy in this movie.
    I too noticed the grain in the theater and was not too startled to see a lot of it in the transfer.
     

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