Is this Star Wars LD version horrible?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Allen Longcor, Aug 19, 2002.

  1. Allen Longcor

    Allen Longcor Supporting Actor

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  2. JeremySt

    JeremySt Screenwriter

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    I own the one shown in the link, and the definitive collection. Between the two, the definitive collection wins hands down. I would not pay more than $25 for the one shown above, unless you regard it as a must-have collector's item. The THX certified versions have technically been altered a little bit (different sound) so the version you show there is closer to the theatrical version. However, the picture quality is mediocre and often looks very orange. If you dont want to drop close to $200 to get the definitive collection, then finding those 1995 "faces" edition is your next best alternative.
     
  3. Rob Gardiner

    Rob Gardiner Cinematographer

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    Hi Allen,
    If the Definitive box is too expensive, I would recommend the THX individual releases from 1995(?) I believe. The picture and sound are comparable to the Definitive box and should be much better than the copy shown in your photographs. It is a 2 disc set and the cover has a close up Darth Vader. (Yoda and a Stormtrooper are on the covers of the other films.) Also there is a SPECIAL EDITION box set but that might be more expensive and it's stinky because we all know Han Solo fired first. [​IMG] Anyone, please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong on any of this.
    "I find your lack of pants disturbing" [​IMG]
     
  4. Matt Stone

    Matt Stone Lead Actor

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    Nope, you're right. And quality-wise...while the picture quality is nowhere near-DVD, the uncompressed PCM soundtrack is fantastic. I have the Definitive Collection, and the rich sound never fails to amaze me.
     
  5. Joel Fontenot

    Joel Fontenot Supporting Actor

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    I too have the Definitive Edition, and had the one in your first image link which was Fox's first widescreen edition of this film. That one is not that great, and IIRC, the black mattes change sizes during the movie (or was that in one of the other 2 movies - I'm not sure now). The second image you linked too is Fox's very early edition that is pan-&-scan - so avoid that one at all costs. There was also an early CAV pan-&-scan release.

    I agree with Rob, if cost is an issue, go for the individual THX releases, which is the same transfer as the Definitive set but in CLV (fewer side changes). There are some on-line sites that still have a few for sale for less than $40 sealed.

    Joel
     
  6. David Norman

    David Norman Producer
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    The first version is a 1989 disc (also reprinted in 1992, but is exactly the same) is OK at best, but far inferior to the 1993 Def/1995 THX set. It was one of the first LD's done for widescreen and it wasn't done all that well. The mattes are awful, the amount of film grain/dirt is high, and you can see ever film splice which is interesting by itself, but it gets old quickly. The transfer is mediocre at best.

    The second appears to be the 1992 Pan Scan release which is exactly the same transfer as the 1983 release with a digital soundtrack. It is just awful unless you are a completist. I now have every domestic LD released of SW and believe me that you are better off with a new VHS tape of the 1995 release than this one. Honestly, the VHS is likely better than the 1989 WS disc.

    Get the Faces THX.
     
  7. Terrell

    Terrell Producer

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    Allen, do not, I repeat do not bother even thinking about purchasing those LDs. As has been stated, if you can swing it, get the Definitive Collection. If not, get the THX faces LDs of each movie. Same transfer, great audio. The ones you posted are pretty bad indeed.
     
  8. Chad R

    Chad R Cinematographer

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    Yeah, but which theatrical version. As is stated in the notes there were 3 different theatricla mixes and the THX discs represent a mixture of the best elements of the three.

    Spend the extra for the THX ones, they're worth it.
     
  9. Ed Vandeweerd

    Ed Vandeweerd Stunt Coordinator

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    I have the Star Wars Difinitive Collection Ld box. The picture and sound are amazing considering the age of the film. An excellent collection [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  10. steve jaros

    steve jaros Second Unit

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    I have the Special Edition boxed set from 1997, and IMO it is fantastic. Yes, i know some people want the original films, not the updated SE's, but if that doesn't bother you get the SE box. Picture and sound are outstanding.
     
  11. Jay Sylvester

    Jay Sylvester Supporting Actor

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    I have both the Definitive Collection and the Special Edition box set. I also just picked up the 1995 THX set on ebay for $45. I'd say that's your best bet. You'll get a great PCM Pro Logic soundtrack, so if you have a receiver with DPLII it'll be amazing. Image quality should be about on par with the Definitive set. While the SEs do look the best, I personally prefer the PCM tracks of the Definitive Collection played through DPLII to the DD5.1 soundtrack on the Special Editions.
     
  12. Terrell

    Terrell Producer

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    I have both the THX Definitive Collection box set and the THX Special Edition box set. Both are about as good as it gets for LD box sets and special editions set.
    The Special Editions have a slightly better transfer, though it's not a big difference. The SEs also have DD 5.1 tracks. But I prefer the Definitive Collection.
    The only problem I have with Star Wars in the Definitive Collection is that the Star Wars LDs sound a bit thin, with much lesss bass when compared with ESB and ROTJ soundtracks, which sound fantastic. IT stills sounds good though. This is not a fault with the LDs or the transfer process. The original film stock was not in good shape. Personally, for the DVDs Williams needs to re-record the score for Star Wars, as the current stock sounds poor. Hopefully, all of them will get newly created and remixed 5.1 DD-EX tracks using as much of the original stock as possible, with mucho enhanced bass.
     
  13. Aaron Reynolds

    Aaron Reynolds Screenwriter

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    Terrell, I think that the Definitive/Faces transfer of Star Wars (just ANH) sports vastly inferior sound to the Special Edition version, particularly in the music. I don't think that the problem is with the recording of the score, or with the condition of the materials, but more with the original mix. If they went back and did a full remix from scratch, I bet your complaints about the thin sound would vanish. [​IMG]
    I have a copy of the 1977 vinyl issue of the Star Wars soundtrack, and listened to it the other day. It sounds pretty good -- and way better than the finished film.
    That said, the Faces disc of Star Wars is by no means a bad PCM track -- it just suffers in comparison to Empire and Jedi, which have killer PCM tracks.
    By the way, Terrell, if you're a prologic user, I'd suggest turning it off for Star Wars and just listening to it in stereo. Trust me. [​IMG]
     
  14. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    THose releases are fairly dreadful. Not worth more than $5 for the letterbox one and the pan & scan is worthless. Seriously, the THX video tapes probably look better than these.
     
  15. greg_t

    greg_t Screenwriter

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    I think Aaron is right about the Empire and Jedi PCM tracks sounding better than Star wars. I don't own the special edition lasers so I haven't heard the DD 5.1, but I do have the special edition on vhs and in pro logic it sounded gimmicky to me. It seems to me that they added in a lot of effects for the special edition which stand out to me. The best I have heard them is using the "faces" ld with the PCM track in DTS-Neo 6. I tried it in pro-logic 2 but it sounded a little too bright. I haven't played with any of the settings for pro logic 2 yet, so I could probably get it to sound better.
     
  16. Matt Stone

    Matt Stone Lead Actor

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    Aaron is definitely correct regarding the PCM track on SW vs ESB and ROTJ. The latter are much more dynamic.
     
  17. Terrell

    Terrell Producer

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    Aaron, what I meant was the Star Wars PCM tracks from the Definitive Collection sounds thin and compressed in comparison to the PCM tracks on ESB and ROTJ from the Definitive Collection. It lacks the bass and punch of the ESB and ROTJ discs. Not that they sounded better than the SE DD 5.1 tracks.
     
  18. Aaron Reynolds

    Aaron Reynolds Screenwriter

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    Sorry for the confusion, Terrell...what I am saying is that the PCM track on the SE of ANH is much better than the PCM track on the Faces/Definitive ANH, in terms of range and clairity. The DD5.1 mix of ANH on the SE is a little gimmicky sounding, to me.

    Regardless, in all formats, ANH is the least-good sounding Star Wars film. The SE LD, though, is easily the best-sounding version of ANH. I haven't directly compared the Faces/Definitive version with the old Fox widescreen disc. I am tempted to put them head to head in terms of audio, since the Faces/Definitive ANH seems muffled due to hiss removal. Perhaps the old widescreen disc has more hiss but also "better" sound? Damn, I'll have to go buy one to find out.

    (My benchmark for 'more hiss, but sounds better' is the album Tommy by The Who. I have now owned 4 different CDs of Tommy, and the best-sounding one, to me, in the one from Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs, which also has the most background noise. All other issues, even the most recent, Pete Townshend approved remix [isn't he deaf anyways?] suffer from less-detailed, murkier sound...but they have no tape hiss. The newest CD does have more 'punch' in the bass, but it sounds overcooked, kind of fake. It's a shame, really, because I've been quite happy with the MCA remasters of the rest of The Who's catalogue, especially Quadrophenia [though I've never heard the Mobile Fidelity version -- it's too bloody expensive if you can actually find a copy] and Who's Next.)

    I have been known to watch LDs with inferior video presentations in order to experience a superior audio presentation. Most notably, I sought out the best of the non-THX DD5.1 Godfather LDs, in order to avoid that fake-oid remix that plagues both the DD and PCM tracks. The original mono mix, while limited in range, sounds much better.

    Hell, I just picked up a 1981 analog-only, no CX noise reduction LD of The Conversation, because it's a film about sound, and it's a brilliant film about sound. Walter Murch was at least Oscar-nominated (and I think he won) for his sound work on The Conversation, and while Walter himself worked on the DD 5.1 remix for the new DVD, I have this horrible feeling that it'll sound like The Godfather does. I read in the BFI article about the new print and DVD that they recorded new ambient sound for this remix, so...

    Plus, it was only $5.
     

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