Has anyone seen Sleuth on DVD?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by RoyGBiv, Feb 5, 2002.

  1. RoyGBiv

    RoyGBiv Stunt Coordinator

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    According to various sources, Sleuth was supposed to be released today. This is a great movie with Laurence Olivier and Michael Caine (as well as another actor whose name I don't remember!). Has anyone seen the DVD? I didn't see it in any of the usual stores, and I see no reviews here or elsewhere. How does it look?

    SMK
     
  2. Paul_Saul

    Paul_Saul Stunt Coordinator

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    I have had Sleuth for a long time - I watched it in

    the summer of 2001 or 2000 - It looked fine, though

    I don't remember the details.
     
  3. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    Paul, this is a new version from Anchor Bay. It was indeed released today, and I have my copy in hand. But I haven't had a chance to watch it yet (and tonight's already taken up with other viewing). Maybe someone else will chime in.

    M.
     
  4. Scott Shanks

    Scott Shanks Second Unit

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    DeepdiscountDVD.com has this title for $9.90. From what I understood the original release was not real good. The new disc has a new transfer and a 24 minute interview with the screenwriter. I would be curious to know if the new transfer is acceptable or not. I suspect it's just fine - surely the best it has every looked at home.
     
  5. PatrickL

    PatrickL Second Unit

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    I watched the new disc a few nights ago. It may be true that this is the best Sleuth has ever looked on home video, (I wouldn't know, since I never saw it on video before) but it does show its age. The print is clean but the colors seem a bit faded. Otherwise I didn't detect any problems, and if you like the movie, I don't see a compelling reason to pass this edition up.
     
  6. Dick

    Dick Producer
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    This is by LIGHT YEARS the best it's looked on video. AB's

    first release was godawful - faded and inconsistent color, poor contrast and detail. This one runs rings around it. You'll be pleased.
     
  7. Rain

    Rain Producer

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    I'm thrilled to hear people talking about this film.

    For some strange reason, it seems to be a bit obscure, despite featuring tour de force performances from two great English actors, Michael Caine and Laurence Olivier.

    I never tried to get the original DVD, hoping it would be revisited in a non-flipper. Glad to hear that the new DVD looks good.
     
  8. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    The image is pretty grainy, especially in the opening scenes, but that's probably a good thing. It means Anchor Bay hasn't gone overboard with noise reduction, as they have on some recent titles. Certainly the details of Andrew's overdone abode are much easier to see on this version.
    There's also a wonderful interview with the late Anthony Shaffer that's one of the best extras I've watched in a long time.
    M.
     
  9. RoyGBiv

    RoyGBiv Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for all the info. I will have to buy this DVD. I always prefer buying from local stores, but I can't find a SINGLE store that has it! I guess I will get it on line.

    SMK
     
  10. Jeff Swindoll

    Jeff Swindoll Supporting Actor

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    The original release was framed at 1.66:1 and the new version is framed at 1.85:1. I find the new framing more pleasing since tiny bits of the opening credits were cut off by the 1.66:1 framing. The interview with Anthony Shaffer is very nice. All in all it's definately an improvement over the first disc, which was a flipper. Cheers.
     
  11. Agee Bassett

    Agee Bassett Supporting Actor

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    The positive comments here have me so flabbergasted as to cause me to wonder whether I have had the misfortune of receiving a bad disc. [​IMG] In fact, I had meant to post a thread bewarning interested consumers a few days ago, but something came up.
    For the transfer on my copy is positively horrific. I didn't think it possible that the transfer from the original release couldn't be improved upon; but it is--if anything--far worse. Colors are faded almost into monochrome in some scenes, image is fuzzy and grainy out of the kazoo, film artifacting is cringe-worthy, stability is vertiginously non-existent. A dub from an EP VHS could hardly look worse.
    What's disturbing is the fact that the clips included in the mostly-boring interview docu with the late Anthony Shaffer look worlds better than the transfers included on either version of the title. One suspects another quality-control gaffe on the part of Anchor Bay.
    Please convince me that I have received a bad disc. [​IMG]
     
  12. Jon Robertson

    Jon Robertson Screenwriter

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    If, somehow, your retailer got a bad batch of discs that utilised the old master (who knows, stranger things have happened), then I'd return it and order it from another distributor, preferably from another part of the country, then you stand a much better chance of getting a good disc.

    It does very much sound like yours is a one-off. I'm just waiting patiently for my copy, but I'll post my views then.
     
  13. Agee Bassett

    Agee Bassett Supporting Actor

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  14. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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    I picked it up the remaster used for $7 this afternoon. I will give it a cursory viewing tonight, although I likely won't watch the whole thing, and post my comments. I figure no matter how bad it looks, it is probably worth $7.
    BTW, the earlier post was classic Agee![​IMG] Who else could work the word "vertiginously" into the same paragraph with the prepositional phrase "out of the kazoo" [​IMG]
    Regards,
     
  15. Agee Bassett

    Agee Bassett Supporting Actor

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  16. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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    OK, I watched the first half and a bit of the Shaffer interview. The image transfer is certainly not reference quality, I think we can all agree on that. It reminded me a lot of the DVD of another highly theatrical film from 1972 - The Ruling Class. The film element seems to have similar problems and the sound has similar bandwidth restrictions with characters' voices sounding different when they change their position in the room (obviously they used as much production dialog as possible). It was still very watchable, though.

    Just for grins, I watched a little of it with my DVD player in 4:3 letterbox mode. For some reason, the difference between 16:9 and 4:3 letterbox was even more dramatic than usual. Something about the graininess makes it appear especially soft when downconverted, IMHO.

    The clips in the interview segment looked exactly like the film presentation as far as I could tell.

    The audio is at its worst at the begining, but it does improve as the film progresses.

    Regards,
     
  17. Scott Shanks

    Scott Shanks Second Unit

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    Ken,

    Thanks for your thoughts. Much appreciated.

    Scott
     
  18. Agee Bassett

    Agee Bassett Supporting Actor

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    I second that sentiment--thanks, Ken!
    Okay, I myself just took a more thorough look, and indeed the feature and docu employ the same print. I had previously only examined the opening titles and sequence closely, which is definitely the worst-looking part of the print (worse than the '98 release).
    Unfortunately, I wish I could regard this to be a welcome discovery, but it is anything but. Though the principle of contrast initially made the clips included in the docu appear markedly better to my eyes, this second look has confirmed the rest of the print to still rate as rather mediocre. [​IMG] I cannot deny that Anchor Bay's outstanding work on another film from the same year, The Wicker Man (also notorious for its inferior video incarnations), perhaps inflated my hopes greater than common sense should have dictated they be. [​IMG]
    At least it tagged my wallet for a mere $6.24. *Sigh*
     
  19. JohnS

    JohnS Producer

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    I just picked this up at BestBuy for $9.99
    I have never seen this movie, but picked it up sight unseen.
    Is anyone else's DVD cover cut a little too short?
     
  20. Juan C

    Juan C Second Unit

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    I was browsing through some websites and just saw this movie has been discontinued! When and why did this happen? Any re-release in sight?
     

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