DVD Review HTF REVIEW: The Far Horizons

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Scott Kimball, Jun 13, 2005.

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  1. Scott Kimball

    Scott Kimball Screenwriter

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    [​IMG]
    The Far Horizons





    Studio: Paramount

    Year: 1955

    Rated: NR

    Length: 107 Minutes

    Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1

    Audio: Dolby Digital English Mono

    Special Features: None

    SRP: $14.99 USD


    Release Date: June 7, 2005

    The Far Horizons stars Charlton Heston and Fred MacMurray as Lewis and Clark, the men who led the expedition, ordered by President Jefferson, to explore the Louisiana Purchase Territory, and the unexplored west to the Pacific Ocean. An unlikely Donna Reed is along for the ride, as Sacajawea.

    The Far Horizons portrays a version of the historic journey of Lewis and Clark that seems to go out of its way to be as inaccurate as possible. While there are one or two minor occurrences in the film that are ripped from the mission logs, the bulk of the film is pure fiction.

    A completely fictitious love affair between Sacajawea and Clark develops in, and dominates this film. Sacajawea’s French-Canadian husband, Charbonneau, is done double disservice in this fictionalized account by not only losing his wife to Clark, but by becoming a traitor to the mission. In reality, Charbonneau was a crucial part of the Lewis and Clark expedition.

    For the sake of drama, the Lewis and Clark expedition in the film cost the lives of several American military men in battle with native Americans. In reality, the only deaths in the expedition were due to accident or natural causes.

    The historic expedition of Lewis and Clark would have been well served if the script for this film focused on the real drama of the expedition - an event fraught with real drama and danger. Instead, we are given a poorly scripted love story against the beautiful backdrop of the untamed American West.

    Even A-List actors were unable to save this film, which has as its only redeeming feature some wonderful, lush photography by Daniel Fapp.

    Video / Audio
    The film is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and is anamorphically enhanced. The DVD presentation features a sharp, detailed image. There is some noticeable ringing around high contrast transitions, but it isn’t too bad.

    There is good, natural color with strong saturation and good contrast. Black levels are strong, and there is detail in both shadow and highlight.

    The transfer seems to have come from a clean source print. Only occasional flecks mar the print.

    Audio: The audio is monaural, and features pretty good frequency response. Some hiss and other minor background noise is present, but often goes unnoticed among outdoor background noise.

    The Bottom Line
    Nice cinematography and a good transfer are the positive points of The Far Horizons on DVD. I can’t say much for the film, but the transfer is adequate.
     
  2. William Miller

    William Miller Stunt Coordinator

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    This transfer stinks!

    The picture pulsates and flickers all the way through.

    The color is fine in some scenes but is faded very badly in other scenes.

    You never know what you are going to get with Paramount these days based on some of their recent releases:

    All in a Nights Work -- Great!

    Li'l Abner -- Pretty good with a few small problems.

    Teacher's Pet -- Very sharp and clear but also flickers throughout.

    Does anybody at these studios look at the final DVD transfer? If they do, are they aware of what they are looking at? Except for Warner, I don't think they do. Maybe they think that classic films are supposed to look crappy.

    What technical problem causes flickering in DVD transfers? It has always been my # 1 complaint on DVD transfers. And while the situation has been much improved since the early days of DVD, there are still some clunkers coming out. Is this caused by DNR treatment? I know that scenes with a sharp contrast between the foreground and background sometimes exhibit flickering and fluttering but when a whole movie does it, there must be something else going on.
     
  3. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Nothing like a difference in opinion.[​IMG]







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  4. Scott Kimball

    Scott Kimball Screenwriter

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    I don't think I've ever written a review where a polar opposite opinion hasn't been expressed. That's true whether I review a transfer positively or negatively.

    Is The Far Horizons perfect? No... but it hardly "stinks."


    Puzzled by the "very badly" here. Yes, there are minor variances in color temperature and saturation, as seen on the source print. The transfer is not to blame - it seems to be a good representation of the source.

    Robert Harris seemed to view this transfer favorably (if not the film itself) in this thread:
    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htfo...t=far+horizons

    In my opinion, Paramount has handled their classic library well. Not as good as Warner, but they're in their own league.

    -Scott
     
  5. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    I have the dvd, but I just haven't had time to watch it, but when I do, I have a feeling that my opinion will be more on the side of yours. Anyhow, I agree with you about how Paramount handles their library.








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