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DVD Review HTF REVIEW: Warner Brothers Gangster Collection (VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED). (1 Viewer)

John Hodson

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Not to get picky, but there are still a few (very) minor marks left; these days I find the removal of marks less breathtaking than a pin-sharp transfer with a depth of contrast you could dive into. If the latter two criteria are fulfilled I find I don't even see minor damage or dirt (unless I'm looking for it rather than watching the film of course!)
 

rich_d

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Herb,

I respect your reviews and your opinions on films. I also respect honest and passionate discussion of different viewpoints.

All,

To Herb's point taking random screenshots can make a film appear better or worse than it actually is.

For example, here is a shot from White Heat made better because I selected a frame with less marks. It looks quite good to my eyes and represents White Heat at its best.

http://img144.exs.cx/img144/6001/whlargewindow6va.jpg

This represents the other side of the White Heat scale:

http://img144.exs.cx/img144/6932/whgunbad4sm.jpg

So what's the truth? Look at scenes with fairly flat backgrounds, halls, walls, doors etc and you will see the flaws in the source image. In scenes, these problems stay in view for the length of the cut. For example:

http://img144.exs.cx/img144/8327/whcagsafe1qz.jpg

Here is a shot from Now, Voyager. Note the door in the background and how good it looks. You could look at that entire cut and think it was shot last year rather than in 1942.

http://img144.exs.cx/img144/9374/nowdoor6qt.jpg
 

Herb Kane

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Absolutely Rich, 100% agreed. But surely you’re not saying that based on a couple of screen shots that one “film” appears to be superior over the other (in terms of the presentation)…? Grading these transfers is purely subjective and a number of factors come into play, but I think it’s much more productive to report on the entirety of the film, not what’s highlighted or emphasized in a few screencaps. As I said in my previous post, if we were so inclined, I’m sure we could come up with marks and blemishes on the Casablanca SE. Does that make it inferior to, say, Now, Voyageur or The Bad and The Beautiful? And I’m just as confident we could find as many flaws on the Now, Voyageur disc, although you didn’t post any of those.

Let’s be honest based on this logic, I could probably pull out my Alpha copy of Scarlet Street, search for some decent caps and make it look every bit as impressive (okay, a “streeeetch” on the Alpha, but you get my point). Even discs with poor transfers (or ones remastered using poor elements), quite often have scenes or sequences that look dazzling.
 

rich_d

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Do you mean finding as many flaws in Now, Voyager (did Canada get a different spelling on their release?;)) compared to White Heat???? I can't do that so no, neither can you. Not even close. Doesn't mean that Now, Voyager doesn't have flaws but it is in a whole (I didn't draw the word out you notice) different league than White Heat. Heck, just in a few minutes looking at White Heat I found, dirt, vertical lines, holes, hairs? etc. That is a hair next to that blurry wall isn't it? ;)



But exactly how confident are you? Here is my proposition. For every flaw you post from Now, Voyager (mininum 10 flaws) I'll post another from White Heat. When you are through posting I'll let you be the judge as to which film has the more significant flaws. You win if you judge the flaws in image quality of Now, Voyager more significant than White Heat or even if you judge them to be the same in impact/importance. To make it interesting the loser donates 50 (U.S. dollars Herb) to the Vitaphoneproject.

That way the outcome still goes to a good cause.
http://www.vitaphoneproject.com/

What say you?
 

Robert Crawford

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Not in this thread! If you guys want to go to those extremes about an argument that is starting to get a little silly then please do so, off-line. Let's respect those members that have dial-up. Thank you.





Crawdaddy
 

Steve...O

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Amen! We should be enjoying the fruits of Warners' labor, not trying to nitpick about the occasional scratch or hair in the print. My love of classic films was built from years of watching scratchy old prints on TV. I didn't mind the washed out images, splices, etc because the movie was so good. Seeing what today's restoration techniques have accomplished has spoiled us to the point where we focus on trivial details and gotten away from the big picture of enjoying the art these films represent. I'm waiting for the inevitable complaint about the lack of inserts for these DVDs.

Back to the topic: Thanks for a very well written review Herb. I've not seen some of these films before and your narrative sets the stage for what should be an enjoyable couple of weeks ahead as I watch these.

I love how Warners used the old style "WB" logo on the spines as well as the front of the cases. Very cool.

Steve
 

DaveK

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I know this is slightly off-topic...

Did MGM make any gangster flicks between the 1930's and 1950's (besides Johnny Eager - 1942), and if so will they be released on DVD in a pack similar to the Warner set?
 

JerryK

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I was all happy that I have the weekend off to watch my Warner Gangsters Collection. Unfortunately I just checked my Amazon tracking status and UPS is not scheduled to deliver it until Monday 01/31. The disadvantages to ordering online really got me this time, lol!
 

rich_d

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Steve,

So your comments regarding the spine graphics are value-added yet my comments on the video are "trivial details?" Got it.

Excuse me if I pass on the lecture as to what the "big picture" is. Have you caught the news lately?
 

Mark Bendiksen

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Cool...I just got my box from Amazon. I haven't even opened up this puppy yet but all I can say as I look at this box is "how come the other studios don't put as much time and care into their classic movies as Warner Brothers"? Some real creativity, thought and hard work went into this sucker.

Thank you, WB. I'm going to post these comments to the "Studio Feedback" section as well. I hope someone from the home video department of WB reads it occasionally, because they need to know that their hard work is appreciated.
 

Robert Crawford

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Yesterday, I received my boxset and was finally able to sitdown tonight and watched some of it. I watched "White Heat" and the new featurette made about the film. I was very impressed with the dvd presentation. Kudos to Warner because this is the best video quality I've ever seen of this film in over 40 years of watching various showings of it.






Crawdaddy
 

Deepak Shenoy

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I got my boxset today :) I just finished watching all the 6 featurettes (I had watched all the films before in some form or the other and so I wasn't afraid of spoilers). I was initially dismayed to see a lot of print damage in the clips they used in the White Heat featurette. Thankfully (unlike the other titles) the clips were not taken from the new cleaned-up transfer. The actual feature looks nearly pristine and not as worn out as some of the clips. Overall this set was definitely worth the long wait :emoji_thumbsup:
 

Ronald Epstein

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Seems that Warner Brothers and Fox are the
two most noteworthy studios when it comes
to the restoration of their classics.
 

Robert Crawford

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Done with "Angels with Dirty Faces" another great job by Warner. Next up, I think I'm going to switch gears from Cagney and watch some Edward G.





Crawdaddy
 

Bob_S.

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I also went to BB for the set. No way I was paying $65.00!
I decided to buy from Amazon and glad I did! I bought the set for $18.24! $48.24 minus $30.00 for applying for an Amazon Visa card. That's $3.04 per movie, can't beat that!!
 

Mark Bendiksen

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You're right, Ron, and I forgot to mention Fox in my post. They have also definitely done a good job with their classic films, particularly over the last year or so.
 

Roger Mathus

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This is indeed one fantastic set. Thanks Warner. And the review here on HTF is one fine effort. I somehow overlooked pre-order but found this box set for $ 41.99 at local COSTCO yesterday. They had two cases. I could not see it at other big box stores.

Again....special thanks to both Warner and Fox for bringing us such superb releases of classic movies.
 

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