Heidi -- the new demo for the WORST looking DVD

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by DaViD Boulet, Feb 22, 2002.

  1. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    Unwatchable. Shockingly bad. Fox, is this a joke?
    Brian wrote:
     
  2. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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  3. Scott McGillivray

    Scott McGillivray Supporting Actor

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    Sounds bad. Still...nothing, I mean NOTHING could come close to Jackie Chan's "Young Tiger" DVD release. Whoa! This thing was as dark as midnight. Totally unwatchable. The audio sounded like AM Radio broadcast over 2 tin-cans and a string. Now THAT is a reference disk for the worst in DVD.
     
  4. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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    You know, I couldn't quite believe what
    I was reading. So, I popped in the HEIDI
    disc to take a look myself.
    Just from looking at the very first 5 minutes
    of the DVD I can say this was either poorly
    mastered or something is up with the source
    material.
    Not that the picture quality is overly horrible,
    but there are things I see that immediately bother
    me.
    For one, there is quite a bit of grain in the
    picture. The picture also looks a bit unfocused.
    You can see video shimmering along the rooftops of
    the village buildings.
    This surprises me because of Fox's reputation
    of putting out consistently grade-A transfers.
    [​IMG]
    I included a still shot that I took and saved
    in a larger pixel size so you can get an idea
    of what the picture looks like. It's not an
    overly sharp transfer as you can see, and I
    don't know if you will see the shimmer along the
    rooftop, but trust me, it's there.
     
  5. Justin Lane

    Justin Lane Cinematographer

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    Thanks for the heads up. I was looking to buy this and some of the other Temple films coming out fromFox, but it looks like I will wait. I wonder how the transfers of some of the others stack up.

    J
     
  6. GlennH

    GlennH Cinematographer

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    TheBigPictureDVD.com did a review of BRIGHT EYES (the B&W version only). Jeff McNeal says it has a lot of grain, but is cleaned up okay, and that this is the better looking of the Temple releases.
    BRIGHT EYES review
     
  7. Charles J P

    Charles J P Cinematographer

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    There is no edge enhancement, this was transferred by the same people who didnt use edge enhancement on The Phantom Menace. [​IMG]
     
  8. William Miller

    William Miller Stunt Coordinator

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    It's hard to pick which one of the new Shirley Temple DVD's are the worst. I think they are all tied for first place.

    The grain in Dimples is horrendous, not to mention how dark the print is which makes it almost impossible to see anything in certain scenes.

    Fox really bombed out with these three releases. It is incredibly shoddy treatment for one of the most famous movie stars of all time.
     
  9. Kevin Fox

    Kevin Fox Stunt Coordinator

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    And don't forget, according to Peter Staddon, there was no edge enhancement on either of the Die Hard with a Vengeance releases. He claimed the fault lay with the source material.

    Well, it sounds like it's the same story with Heidi, so why can't Fox fix the source material first so they can avoid the inevitable complaints about a lousy transfer?
     
  10. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Uuuuuh, does ths mean, like, the good ship Lollypop has been lost in a storm? I was at Wallymart this evening and was tempted to grab DIMPLES. I'm glad I didn't! All in all, the DVD age doesn't have much R-E-S-P-E-C-T for pre-1980 films, much less 30's films, ugh! Shouldn't DIMPLES and HEIDI be remixed for 6.1 DTS ES anyway...? [​IMG]
     
  11. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    Thanks for posting the picture Ron. That was a good scene to demo the aliasing you saw. I saw it too.

    When halos and aliasing are so prevelent in a picture, the fault does not lie with source material. These are *video* artifacts and are related to the transfer. Film doesn't have halos or "ringing" around hard edges and it doesn't have aliasing.

    Fox used some master that had probably been created for VHS way-back-when and just slapped it on DVD.

    I've seen what bad film elements can look like when I watch 16 mm projections of old 1930's flicks at the art cinema down the street from my house. Bad film elements don't have the problems we see here (except for grain...but even the grain on this transfer doesn't look like the usual film-grain, it's been amplified by the poor transfer).

    This is a bad transfer and even if Fox had not bothered to restore the original elements, it could have looked MUCH better by simply getting rid of the "video" artifacts that mar the image through a new transfer. I'll take a scratched or damaged film print over something that looks like video garbage any day.

    I take a different approach to my DVD image quality than most of you might. I don't have to see something with no grain or no film-scratches to feel good. I want to see a high-resolution, hi-fidelity capture of what those film elements look like. If grain and scratches are there, I'm fine, if that's the best elements that could be obtained. If a studio can locate better elements, repair old film-stock to make the image more pristine, that's great too. But I don't want to see detail and resolution filtered away to get rid of "grain" and I don't want to have a studio give me some "video" looking crap because of some excuse like "the film elements needed to be restored for a new transfer, and we couldn't afford it so we used this old transfer instead".

    Just look at Criterion's "The Third Man". Horrible film elements...grain...flutter...print damage. And the DVD looks just like that. But it's free from a "video" haze so it's watchable. Just like the beat up 16 mm prints down the street are watchable.

    -dave
     
  12. Larry Gardner

    Larry Gardner Stunt Coordinator

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    I too was dismayed with Heidi (I haven't purchased the others yet - and may not now).

    I have seen this too much in most of the studios "Family Movies' line. They view this line has for kids and feel that since kids really are not as judgemental has adults - just put it out and move on.

    What they seem to forget that a lot of 'Family Movie' titles ARE bought by adults which grew up with these titles and are buying them for not only their kids BUT for themselves as well.

    This is quite prevalent with Warner, MGM, and now FOX.

    I could understand if this was a nitrate master problem (given the age of the material), but not the DVD artifacts. Maybe Fox felt that skimping on the restoration could be made up for in DVD authoring. If that is the case, then they are wrong.

    Warner is coming around after learning their lesson with Cats and Dogs and Willy Wonka - but they still have that 'Family Movie's mentality that seeps in every now and then. But a lot of their earlier adult 'Family Movies' (still not reissued) came up real short (Grumpy Old Men I & II, Private Benjamin, Protocol, ...)

    MGM is another story - given their financial problems in the beginning. Hopefully, they will re-address these earlier releases some day.

    I only wish that Fox took the same approach with Shirley Temple films as they did with Marilyn Monroe.

    I always thought that they should have done a boxset with Shirley Temple - given the state of the quality of Heidi, I'm glad they didn't.

    The colorization is another topic. When it first came out - I cringed. Still don't like it. But if they feel they must do it - computer technology can do a much better job then what was done years ago. All the artifacts of colorization would be eliminated if done right!
     
  13. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    I know it's a 1930's movie (and Fox does have many 1930's movies without good source materials due to poor preservation at that time...not the current company's fault.), but it simply looks like a victim of re-using a laserdisc transfer.

    After all...Blackhawk Films transfers lots of films of this vintage and OLDER and they do extensive physical and digital restoration work. Universal's All Quiet on the Western Front looks a lot like this...although the source is obviously in poor condition, there's still digital restoration systems availible.

    The colorized versions are over 10 years old, so their transfers are going to obviously look like a TV transfer.

    I hope this isn't a preview of how Sunrise will look...
     
  14. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    You all just *have* to see this. Scroll down to the "Caption Contest" and check it out.
    http://www.thebigpicturedvd.com/bignews.shtml
    The relevant picture was present on March 11, in case you're viewing this link in the future and can't make sense of why I posted it here.
    Check it out!!!
     

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