Is Blue Underground starting to suffer from Miriamax-itis?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Vincent_P, Aug 31, 2004.

  1. Vincent_P

    Vincent_P Screenwriter

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    I had a chance to check out two recent Blue Underground releases on my video projector, and I was shocked and surprised that both of them (THE FINAL COUNTDOWN and UNCLE SAM) suffer from the same extreme digital filtering plus edge enhancement that we've been seeing from such Miramax titles as GANGS OF NEW YORK and COLD MOUNTAIN (and apparently, Fox's THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST as reported by Robert Harris in another thread). Has anybody else noticed this? Does ZOMBIE also suffer from this heavy filtering/edge-enhancement combo? I'm a little worried, Blue Underground is a "small" label known for being purists- so what happened with these titles? Did they switch mastering houses, and are they perhaps using the same house that Miramax does? I'm hoping somebody from Blue Underground might read this here and be able to chime in- unlike a big conglomerate like Miramax, I'd think some of their people might read a forum like this and might be able to respond and look into the problem, and hopefully clear it up before they release too many more titles. I'd hate to see THE BIRD WITH THE CRYSTAL PLUMAGE be subjected to this in particular...

    Vincent
     
  2. Vincent_P

    Vincent_P Screenwriter

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    DOH!!! How do I edit my subject line? I misspelled "Miramax-itis"!!! HELP!!!

    Vincent
     
  3. Sean Patrick

    Sean Patrick Supporting Actor

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    after reading positive reviews of ZOMBI 2 (Zombie) - i was a little surprised when i watched it on my projector. didn't think it looked that great.

    not quite as bad as Gangs of New York though.....
     
  4. Benjamin Ricci

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    Really? I thought Zombi actually looked Amazing (maybe I'm just used to the horrid print from Anchor Bay I've been watching the past few years) Anyway, I love Blue Underground and all, but I've been pretty disappointed with several of their releases in the picture quality department. I eagerly awaited Dead and Buried for years, and then when it was released it looked pretty bad, lots of digital noise and artifacts, not to mention they used the DARKEST print on Earth!. Not sure if it was the elements (probably) but the Prowler and The Crazies looked pretty weak as well. Oh well, at least they are finally out on DVD...

    Sorry, Vin, can't comment on Uncle Sam (Bill Lustig, what were you thinking with this one?) but the Final Countdown is just OK. On another note, the DVD for Bird With The Crystal Plumage released by VCI a few years back is actually surprisingly good, with an anamorphic transfer and the entire soundtrack available on the DVD. Not to get too far off topic, but do you like Cat O Nine Tails? I love Argento, but hated Cat (though the Anchor Bay DVD is pretty solid).
     
  5. Ron-P

    Ron-P Producer

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    I thought The Final Countdown looked very impressive from my Panny PJ onto an 85" screen. I don't recall noticing much EE but it has been quite awhile since I've watched it.
     
  6. Benjamin Ricci

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    No, there wasn't an EE problem (at least to my recollection) but I remember thinking it was just OK. By no means, though, should that stop you from picking it up if you're a fan of the film
     
  7. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Producer

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    Considering the nature of the film(age, type of film budget wise etc), I consider it a miraculous job. Not North by Northwest or LoArabia miraculous but quite acceptable.
     
  8. Vincent_P

    Vincent_P Screenwriter

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    I've seen films of THE FINAL COUNTDOWN's vintage and much, MUCH earlier that look *FAR* better (film is not THAT fragile, people, and FINAL COUNTDOWN was a fairly big-budget film in its time- it's not like it was shot on 16mm short-ends and left to rot, it was a big movie shot in anamorphic Panavision, look at other big-budget Panavision films from 1980ish and most of them look pretty damn good and don't need over-the-top edge-enhancement), and I'm gonna have to disagree with Benjiman's recollection re: the edge-enhancement. I rented this a week ago, and on my Panasonic front-projector the edge-enhancement was really over-the-top. It really did remind me of those recent Miramax DVDs that everybody's been criticizing so much like COLD MOUNTAIN and GANGS OF NEW YORK, and I honestly wouldn't be surprised if it came out that BU used the same transfer/mastering house that Miramax has been using for this and at the very least UNCLE SAM, which also suffers from these image problems. Blue Underground is a small, "purist" company, and I'd hate to see them fall into the trap of releasing these overly filtered, heavily edge-enhanced DVDs, that's why I was compelled to bring this up, and I stand by what I saw in the DVD transfers of both THE FINAL COUNTDOWN and UNCLE SAM.

    Vincent
     
  9. Anthony Thorne

    Anthony Thorne Supporting Actor

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    Bill Lustig mentioned to me that they (I think currently) used the same authoring/mastering facility that the Criterion Collection uses in an effort to obtain the best quality results. I haven't seen the discs Vincent refers to here and don't know what could be the cause of that EE.

    I can say that BU obviously puts a lot of effort into pursuing top quality transfers for their titles. The company that is doing the new HD remasters for MGM's Bond films is working on BU's FIRE AND ICE. I was also staggered to hear the amount of money that BU spent on each of the Spaghetti Western collection titles...

    Maybe someone should email this thread to BU and see what they say about the edge-enhancement.
     

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