From Image worst DVD I have ever seen!

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Everett S., Mar 11, 2005.

  1. Everett S.

    Everett S. Movie King (formally a projectionist)
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    The DVD of 365 Nights In Hollywood starring Alice Faye I just received from Deep Discount DVD has the worst sound & picture out of all my 800 plus DVD's, including one's I got for $1.00.Full of scratches and jumps,sound is very boomy.
    No highs.I think when a DVD is in this kind of condition they should tell you on the web site.I am very surprised at Image also.Of course on the back of case it does say it was preserved from the only surviving print.But gives no hint of the condition of said print.I really wish I could return it but it is opened,so I can't. [​IMG]
     
  2. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Producer

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    Image are really hit and miss these days. In the early days of DVD, they were one of the best independant DVD companies, but of late, they have been very inconsistant. I also find many of their older discs overpriced. I, Vampiri is still $24.99, for example.

    But I commend them for releasing The Man Who Skied Down Everest recently. But I haven't seen any reviews, so who knows how good the transfer is. It was shot in 2.35:1 and has never been on video before.
     
  3. Mark Oates

    Mark Oates Supporting Actor

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    Unfortunately in the case of vintage movies released by independent companies, it's always a case of caveat emptor - buyer beware. I'd always check a number of sources before paying a premium price for a vintage-independent title. The review for the film over at Amazon states the condition of the film as "fair" with some print deterioration, and that the disc was struck from a single surviving print. To me that would indicate the film is unrestored, but personally I'd rather see an unrestored print of a movie than none at all. It's terrific when a film can have the attention lavished on it for remastering, but obviously costs prevent every title being restored. An SRP of $19.99 on this title isn't very high considering it will probably only just cover its costs. The bargain bucket titles at $1 a pop are making a loss to get rid of over-stock and are usually titles mastered on the cheap from master tapes made for previous VHS releases anyway.

    The bottom line is you have a copy of a quite rare movie from 1934 on your hands, that barring a miracle is unlikely to enjoy a full restoration. Do you keep it for the content or do you ebay it to get rid of it?

    Personally I'd go for the former.
     
  4. Thomas T

    Thomas T Producer

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    I agree with Mark. While the quality of the print on 365 Nights In Hollywood leaves much to be desired, it IS certainly watchable and again, a rare film thought to have been lost for years. Too grateful that a Hollywood rarity has been discovered and put on DVD to carp about a non-Warners quality restoration.
     
  5. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

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    Go buy a Madacy dvd. Any Madacy dvd.

    Then, you'll no longer be able to say 365 Nights in Hollywood is the worst dvd you've ever seen. [​IMG]
     
  6. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    The Quiet Man, anyone? And that's a special edition of an A-list title!
     
  7. LaurenceGarvey

    LaurenceGarvey Second Unit

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    I have 365 NIGHTS IN HOLLYWOOD, a wonderful film. I wouldn't trade the DVD for anything.
     
  8. Doug Bull

    Doug Bull Advanced Member

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    It is true that 365 Nights in Hollywood is in terrible condition, but it is always sharp and the gray scale such as it is, is quite acceptable.
    The voices are clear enough, but the orchestra is very distorted.

    I have seen a lot worse ( anybody seen the Critics Choice DVD of the Fox Cinemascope feature NEW FACES or any of the THIS IS THE ARMY DVDs?)

    I really think that Image should have put some kind of warning on the labelling.
    I was also somewhat shocked by the supposed new owner?? of this print superimposing his name during the titles. That is unforgiving.

    In the end the Movie is well worth owning and to me at least, there is something rather nostalgic about the film's scratches and condition.
    It reminds me of the many worn 16mm and 35mm prints that I used to collect and run.

    To sum up - Any Film with Alice Faye is worth it's weight in Gold.
     
  9. Mark Oates

    Mark Oates Supporting Actor

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    For some reason I can't put my finger on, I'm currently having a bit of a nostalgia trip, picking up 1930s and 40s titles. A couple of weeks ago I picked up a couple of Flash Gordon serials, then I got a budget (but very high quality) set of the Rathbone Sherlock Holmes pictures and this week I managed to get a cheap copy of the Chanthology. The picture quality of these releases varies from the frankly crap (Flash Gordon Conquers The Universe) to the magnificent (UCLA's restoration of the Holmes pictures). One thing that strikes me over more modern releases is I feel I'm watching a real movie. Sometimes there's that gentle sway of print weave, sometimes there are scratches or bits of neg dust. Very occasionally somebody's forgotten the blooping fluid on a splice and there's a distinct pop on the soundtrack. I love it, it's just like lacing up a projector again but without that steady, irritating sewing-machine tak-a-tak-a-tak in the background. I don't expect (nor would accept) these things from a film made in the last few years, but for a pre-war movie they're part and parcel of what gives them their charm. So I'm pretty forgiving about the quality of a vintage movie.

    Not that I don't appreciate a decent restoration. I loved Warners' work on The Adventures Of Robin Hood and Casablanca and I'm dying to see what Lowery manages to do with King Kong (although I have seen a particularly well-restored print via the BBC that outperforms the current R2 DVD). If a film can be restored, it should be restored or at least presented as well as can be expected under the circumstances. I reckon 365 Nights, although I haven't seen it (yet) falls into the all-right-under-the-circumstances category.

    However, I'd like to second Aaron's nomination of The Quiet Man as a baaad DVD. There's absolutely no excuse for that movie being in the poor shape it's currently in on DVD, and whoever thought they could get away with calling it a Collector's Edition wants horsewhipping. It's not as if it's a limited-interest title (where the distributor could plead poverty), or a film where the extant materials have been stored in a vulture's nest (at least I hope they haven't). QM looks to me like it has been mastered from an old VHS telecine transfer.

    If it turns out that's as good as it gets for this grand old(ish) film, then the results are nothing more than tragic.
     
  10. Bert Greene

    Bert Greene Supporting Actor

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    Are there ANY "Fox Films" from 1930-34 that look all that good? I recall that syndicated (tv) package of about 50 of their films, which used to circulate, and I don't recall any of them ever looking spectacular.
     
  11. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    Image does a great job when they're given great materials to work with. The DVD's produced by David Shepard and Milestone Films prove this.


    The original 3-strip camera negatives reside in UCLA's Film & TV Archive. Once Paramount regains video rights to Republic/Spelling's library (they licensed it to Artisan about 10 years ago), I'd expect some amazing DVD's of the films. This is supposed to happen later this year.

    Great elements exist, it's just a matter of using them instead of a dusty old video master. Hallmark is doing the same thing with Laurel & Hardy, while they have stuff like camera negatives to work from. Not taking advantage of great film materials for remastering is like hiring Ernest Hemingway to write a dime store novel.
     
  12. Jeff Adkins

    Jeff Adkins Screenwriter

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    I believe in both of those cases they are just handed finished transfers and simply author the DVDs.

    Overall, Image does some fine work but occasionally something comes up better. The only title I can think of off the top of my head that's been bested is their version of Meet John Doe which is poor in comparison to another version (can't think of the company but the screenshots are up at DVD Beaver). I don't really count their Universal titles they licensed since that was 1998 and you can't really fault them for better versions coming out 5-6 years later. Kino's version of Nosferatu is better but I'm not sure Image had anything to do with the transfer they released. That could've been done by Blackhawk films and simply distributed by Image.

    Jeff




    Jeff
     
  13. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    It looks like all of the Hal Roach Studios DVD's are from old, soft video masters. UCLA restored Meet John Doe for Turner Entertainment (part of Warner Bros now) from the nitrate camera negative and nitrate soundtrack negative, by the way. Even though it's public domain, Warner really ought to release a newly remastered DVD. It's one of only two Frank Capra films they own (the other is Arsenic and Old Lace, which has a beautiful, yet bare-bones DVD).
     
  14. LaurenceGarvey

    LaurenceGarvey Second Unit

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    FG CONQUERS THE UNIVERSE, a public domain title, is available in good prints/transfers from Image and VCI. It's an okay serial (although the weakest of the trilogy), so don't be afraid to upgrade.
     
  15. Steve...O

    Steve...O Producer

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    The Fox fire may have wiped out many original prints of films from that era so we're left with just lesser quality elements. For example, the 4 missing Charlie Chan films date from that era. There is at least one decent print of 1931's "The Black Camel" (with Bela Lugosi) in existence (it aired on AMC some years back) and Fox did a nice restoration job on 1934's "Charlie Chan in London". However both films are forever locked up in Fox's vault.

    Steve
     
  16. Bert Greene

    Bert Greene Supporting Actor

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    I'm not really complaining about the condition of the Fox films. I'm glad we have what we have. In fact, I looked at my old listing of supposed saved versus lost Fox films, and "365 Nights in Hollywood" is actually among the ones that was not 'saved,' leading one to think that Fox itself might very well not have any print of it. The majority of 1934 Fox films seem to have existing prints, but there do seem to be some missing, like "Bachelor of Arts," "Charlie Chan's Courage," "The Devil Tiger," "Pursued," "Servant's Entrance," and "The White Parade." On the other hand, "Marie Galante" is also listed, but I seem to recall a print of that commonly circulating on the video circuit many years ago.
     
  17. Keith Paynter

    Keith Paynter Screenwriter

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    Sorry, but my vote for worst transfer goes to "Rock 'n' Roll High School", with the worst audio distortion I've ever heard. Thank goodness I got it free from our local library, and didn't pay dollar one for rental or purchase.

    Once studio support/distribution deals for Image disappeared, I've pretty much lost interest in most Image titles (the last title I think i bought new was the remastered "Nosferatu"). I take that back - The 2-disc "Phantom" was the last, but while even though it looks extremely clean I was really ticked at the PAL source conversion.
     
  18. Mark Oates

    Mark Oates Supporting Actor

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    Ahead of you there, Laurence, but thanks for the advice. I picked up a three-disc R0 copy by Delta of FGCTU and it's streets ahead of the single-disc I'd picked up by mistake. I'm also the proud owner of Image's 2-disc FG's Trip To Mars which proves to me Image know what they're doing (sometimes [​IMG] )

    Keith, I've seen one or two pictures where a good transfer has been ruined by a standards conversion rather than paying out for a proper native standard transfer. It last happened with (AFAIK) The Land That Time Forgot in R2. I've just been reviewing the release and the picture is unbelievably bad with telecine artefacts and standards conversion smearing .
     
  19. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    I think Milestone did their best to get rid of PAL problems. The regular Photoplay version (aired on Turner Classic Movies) looks a little choppier and has tons of dirt and scratches missing in Milestone's DVD. In fact, it's progressive video instead of interlaced. However, I fear that part of the blurring is due to DVNR used to get rid of the specks/scratches.


    By the way, Image's Flash Gordon DVD's are licensed from Hearst Entertainment.
     

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