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Blu-ray Review HTF BLU-RAY REVIEW: Do The Right Thing - Recommended (1 Viewer)

cafink

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Originally Posted by Robert Crawford

I'll tell you later today when I actually watch my BRD of it unlike some of you that are criticizing without doing the same. Also, you and I had this argument before about captures so we'll never agree about this issue.
The people who are criticizing it are not doing so without having seen it; they are doing so based on the screen captures posted at dvdbeaver.com which are ripped directly from the Blu-ray disc. Screen captures are inappropriate for judging certain characteristics of a film's transfer, because the motion of the movie in playback can change the perception of those characteristics.

However, color is not one of those characteristics. Whatever colors are displayed in the screen captures are the colors that are actually stored on the disc, and therefore are the colors that will be displayed when the film is in motion.

Unless a given screen capture is of a frame that is somehow not representative of the rest of the film--and there's been no indication that that's the case with Do the Right Thing--screen captures are a perfectly adequate way of judging the color of a DVD or Blu-ray disc.
 

Marc Colella

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Originally Posted by cafink



The people who are criticizing it are not doing so without having seen it; they are doing so based on the screen captures posted at dvdbeaver.com which are ripped directly from the Blu-ray disc. Screen captures are inappropriate for judging certain characteristics of a film's transfer, because the motion of the movie in playback can change the perception of those characteristics.

However, color is not one of those characteristics. Whatever colors are displayed in the screen captures are the colors that are actually stored on the disc, and therefore are the colors that will be displayed when the film is in motion.

Unless a given screen capture is of a frame that is somehow not representative of the rest of the film--and there's been no indication that that's the case with Do the Right Thing--screen captures are a perfectly adequate way of judging the color of a DVD or Blu-ray disc.
I agree. It's not like we're talking about EE or something small that is a lot easier to notice on screen captures but can be tough to see when watching the film. The difference in colour in the DVDBeaver screen capture comparisons are extremely obvious and will be easy to tell when watching the film (as long as you're familiar with how the film is supposed to look). I don't see how there's any room for debate whether the colour is different from the Criterion release - unless those are just questioning the way DVDBeaver rips screen captures, which I have no reason to doubt the site. Blu-Ray.com's screen captures show the exact same obvious difference.

Are we not to trust screen captures with something as major as this? Does that mean we can't judge the transfer from screen captures of films whose aspect ratios are pan and scanned from 2.35:1 or a film originally made in B&W and now colourized? I guess each and every one of us must either buy or rent the movie in question to see for ourselves regardless of how obvious it looks in the screen captures.
 

ManW_TheUncool

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Originally Posted by Kevin EK

Given that Spike Lee announces right off the bat that he's recording the commentary for the 20th Anniversary, and that he hasn't seen the film "in a while", I believe it's safe to say that he's watching the new transfer. He also attended an anniversary screening and event, as he tags it on "February 26 in the Year of Our Lord 2009"), during which he taped the interviews used for the new retrospective. In those materials, neither he nor Ernest Dickerson mentions having any issue with the transfer, which is part of the reason why I questioned the extent of the problem. (When The French Connection Blu-ray hit, I remember the public argument between director and DP...) At the same time, it appears to me in the retrospective documentary that the footage there HAS THE WARM FILTER...
Hmmm... Are we sure the first sentence there actually jives w/ the last one? Maybe he was actually watching the old transfer (or the actual projected film) for the new commentary track. He didn't actually say he was watching the Blu-ray transfer (or similar), did he?

_Man_
 

ManW_TheUncool

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BTW, I also have to disagree w/ the sentiment that we must always see for ourselves to know the truth. I don't need to go visit the Moon to know it's there (and to trust what science tells us about it). Likewise, there are plenty of other things in the world that I don't need to personally witness before I accept to be true.

Yes, I agree there are certainly varying degrees of trust we can place on info provided to us (along w/ the interpretation of such info). But IMHO, to completely dismiss out-of-hand all screen captures (and whatever else) as completely useless would be to do so at one's own disadvantage...

_Man_
 

Kevin EK

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Man, I respect your opinion, even if it disagrees with mine.

But I put the note about the footage on the documentary having the warm filter in there specifically to acknowledge that the clips in the 20th Anniversary retrospective appear to have that filter while the actual transfer on the Blu-ray (and SD 2-Disc edition for that matter) does not - but that acknowledgement is not meant to be interpreted to mean that either Spike Lee or Ernest Dickerson is unaware of what this transfer looks like. Obviously, I cannot prove what Spike Lee was watching when he did his commentary, but he is specific that he is doing the commentary for this precise DVD release. And we already know that Universal did not apply this filter to any DVD edition they authored. Spike Lee doesn't make a habit of pointing out exactly how the movie is being presented to him, and he doesn't get into major technical celebrations like William Friedkin does. Given that Universal did a new transfer for the 20th Anniversary, it makes sense to me to think this is what he was watching.

Also, I have to disagree with the sentiment that it's okay to dismiss a new transfer on the basis of seeing a few screenshots on a webpage. Yes, you can see that there is not a warm tone over the entire image. But you can't see the true level of detail in the image, nor can you see the quality of the image as it moves - and these are moving images, we must always remember. I agree that a complete dismissal of the work of sites like DVD Beaver would be unfair - their screengrabs are helpful in pointing out differences between multiple editions of the same film - and they clearly do a lot of work to make their comparisons, all the way down to algorhythmic charts of the bitrates, etc. But I doubt that even they would advise you to completely disregard a release solely on the basis of looking at jpegs on a webpage. As has been pointed out in this forum, these can be misleading when relied on without any corroboration.

And no, I agree that you don't need to go visit the Moon to know it's there (although you can infer its presence from things like the tide and the sight of that big piece of cheese up in the night sky, but I digress...). But we're not talking about whether the Moon exists or any of the intangibles of life - just whether this DVD is a worthwhile presentation of Spike Lee's film. I honestly still think that it is, and I encourage you to take a look at the various features and listen to the new commentary. And the fact that Spike Lee and Ernest Dickerson have not made any statements taking issue with this transfer indicates to me that the issue may not be as much of a concern to them as it is to some fans of the film. Now, I'm not taking the position that this means I approve of changing the filmmaker's work - just that I don't think either of these guys would sit still if they thought their work was being damaged.
 

Martin Teller

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I have just watched the Blu-Ray, and yes, the color timing is completely wrong. I have to strongly disagree with Kevin's assertion that "there is a palpable sense of heat in the transfer". No there isn't, certainly not compared to how the film used to look. This is a major screwup on Universal's part.

I think the film is too important not to own, but at this point I'm still undecided on keeping the Blu-Ray or going back to Criterion's DVD.
 

Kevin EK

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Martin, I respect your opinion on the matter. We'll just have to agree to disagree. I have looked at both transfers, and while I see the difference between the two, I don't know that this is necessarily "a major screwup on Universal's part." If Spike Lee or Ernest Dickerson come out with a statement along those lines, I'll be the first to sit up and take notice. But if it turns out that this was in fact an approved transfer, then we'll have a different situation.

I continue to be surprised that neither of them has made a statement of any kind about this yet.
 

Xylon

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I just watched the Blu-ray version.

Unfortunately the colors did not change. Damn you DVD beaver screenshot person you . . . something . . . eerr

I'm a sad panda
 

Adam Gregorich

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For what its worth I asked someone last week at Universal to do some digging about the transfer. I just heard back today:
[COLOR= blue]Apologies for the delay. I had to track down the info which took some time. Turns out both Spike Lee and the cinematographer Ernest Dickerson approved the the transfer of the 20th Anniversary editions. Hope that helps clear things up.[/COLOR]
 

Brandon Conway

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Well, there you have it. It may very well be a similar situation to Bram Stoker's Dracula, wherein former SD only releases were "overcooked" to represent what the "feel" of the film should be, but now with HD they've re-established a more balanced approach.

The film still has a warm, even hot coloring to it; it's simply not blazingly hot.
 

Kevin EK

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This should settle the issue. The fact that both Lee and Dickerson approved this transfer explains the matter.

To be honest, I've been a little taken aback by comments on various boards where people have been opining that Spike Lee would sit by quietly while one of his movies was being presented in a fashion he didn't want. In some places, I read comments where it was stated that the lack of comments must mean that Lee was unhappy with the new transfer.

I hope this will explain the situation and put everyone on the same page.
 

urbo73

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Originally Posted by Adam Gregorich

For what its worth I asked someone last week at Universal to do some digging about the transfer. I just heard back today:
That's good to hear. Is this source reliable? In the sense that was it someone involved with the film or the transfer itself? I would hate for it to be just someone at Univeral saying, "Yeah, it's approved, etc.", just to ease Internet chatter and possibly not admit a mistake (if that were the case - not saying).

And if indeed this is the case, I wonder how it would compare to Dracula. There they have said that the new release is different because it's the first time they've been able to get close to the look of the OAP. I accept that, and I like the new transfer a lot.
But it's a lot more different than a simple color filter chang/white balance as seems the case here.

In this case, it seems more simple - just a color filter difference that was prevalent across the whole film. Added to this is the fact that Dickerson approved the Criterion 2001 DVD. And in 2001, the technology was there if he wanted a cooler look (if that were indeed the way the OAP looked). So is this just a bit of revisionist? I'd be fine with that if someone involved with the film says why and how, etc. Maybe Spike (as he says in the documentary) feels the atmosphere in NY since 1989 has gotten a lot better, so it's "cooler". Not sure. Just a wild guess.




Edited by urbo73 - 7/16/2009 at 02:36 pm GMT
Edited by urbo73 - 7/16/2009 at 02:38 pm GMT
Edited by urbo73 - 7/16/2009 at 02:39 pm GMT
 

Kevin EK

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The source is reliable. It's a person at Universal that deals with these matters, in a position to know about this question. It's not someone just idly speculating without basis.

I'm not sure about how this compares to the Dracula situation, to be honest. Other than that Coppola and company decided to make public comments about their new transfer while Spike Lee and Ernest Dickerson have not felt it necessary to do so.

And we should keep in mind that Ernest Dickerson actually approved the 1995 Criterion laserdisc. This same transfer was anamorphically encoded for the 2001 DVD. As I understand it, the differences between the two Criterion releases are really in terms of the addition of a few more video extras, such as the "Return to Bed-Stuy" and the interview with the editor.

As far as the question of whether this is a revision of some kind, I agree that would be up to Spike Lee or Ernest Dickerson to address if they wish to do so. I have read on multiple other boards that people were going to ask Lee about this at various publicity events (like his signing at Barnes and Noble in NYC), but have never heard about anyone actually asking him that question. My only objection there has been that in the absence of public comment, some people were then assuming that this meant disapproval. Again, if Spike Lee thought that someone had mishandled his film, I think we'd hear about that loud and clear.
 

ManW_TheUncool

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Well, if it's a revisionist situation, at least they're not going back and make *all* their films look substantially cooler too like some other cinematographer we know.

Maybe they'll eventually decide to give us both versions for the 25th anniversary, if people continue to complain (and resist buying) enough...

_Man_
 

Adam Gregorich

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That's good to hear. Is this source reliable? In the sense that was it someone involved with the film or the transfer itself? I would hate for it to be just someone at Univeral saying, "Yeah, it's approved, etc.", just to ease Internet chatter and possibly not admit a mistake (if that were the case - not saying).
Kevin already addressed this as I gave him a heads up before I posted it. They are very reliable. That it why it took a couple of days just to re-verify. Keep in mind the relationship between the studios and their filmmakers is a very important one. A studio isn't going to lie when the upside is moving an extra 200 units and the downside is severely harming or destroying a relationship with a successful filmmaker.
 

Paul.S

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Any one else reminded of the color timing/brightness debate over the Image-distribbed Orion The Silence Of the Lambs DVD versus the Criterion and (later) the MGM release?
 

Dick

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I haven't so much an issue with the color tone differences as with the fact that my copy locks up just after the 42:00 mark on two separate machines (I have to forward to the next chapter in order to continue), both of which have had the latest firmware installed. There is more freezing up at about 52:00. I have not seen this mentioned by anyone else, so perhaps I have a rogue copy...?
 

Kevin EK

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I had the opportunity to meet Ernest Dickerson today at Sunset Gower Studios, and was able to speak with him about the Universal Blu-ray and the Criterion laserdisc of this title. Ernest confirmed to me that he supervised the color timing of both the Criterion disc and the 2009 Universal Blu-ray. He acknowledged that the original theatrical run of the film and the Criterion disc were timed with a distinctly warm filter. He said that when he timed the Universal Blu-ray, he did not do that. He feels the movie still looks very hot, and that the colors are quite saturated. But this is a matter of him revisiting a movie he had not seen in many years and approaching it with his perspective today. In response to what he heard about the complaints, he said that if there was a mistake made here, he was the one who made it. But he didn't feel this was a bad transfer or that Universal did a bad job with the release. He also confirmed that Spike Lee saw and approved of the release.

I'm happy to finally end any speculation about this title, even if it comes 2 years after the release...


I am greatly appreciative of Ernest Dickerson for taking the time to discuss these issues. He was in the middle of a day of filming and could easily have avoided this. He is a very nice man and it's funny to hear that one of his greatest concerns regarding Blu-ray at this time is to know when the heck they're going to release Lawrence of Arabia on Blu.
 

Doug Otte

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Thanks, Kevin. After the BD was released, and I read about the change in color timing, my wife needed a copy of the movie for a class. I bought her the Criterion DVD. That turned out to be a wise choice for another reason: she and her classmates had to watch it on a laptop, and it didn't have a BD drive. However, based upon Dickerson's response, I'll definitely go for the BD if I ever decide to upgrade. Doug
 

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