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Lonesome Dove (1 Viewer)

Brad Vautrinot

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I see on Amazon's pre-order list Lonesome Dove is to be released on 8/19 in Blu-ray as a 2-disk collector's set, the studio being Genius Products (TVN). Never heard of them - has anybody seen any examples of their work? The reason I ask is that I bought this series a while back( since gone) and the release studio was either Lionsgate or Live/Artisan. In any case, the transfer was just awful. Worse than either Outland or Heaven's Gate. Hence my question about the forthcoming release. If it's the same old same old, I'll pass.

That would be too bad as this is one of the best Westerns out there and it deserves special treatment, especially in the transfer department.

Brad
 

Jeff Adkins

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Genius has the distribution rights for the Hallmark library. Lions Gate had the rights previously. I'm also curious about the transfer since I'm pretty sure OAR is 1.33. I would be willing to bet this release will be cropped to 1.78, but I'll withhold judgement until I read something concrete.
 

MatthewA

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It's obvious, but it bears repeating:

No OAR=no sale. That applies to TV material as well as film.
 

Mike Williams

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I'm willing to bet this will be its original aspect ration of 1:33:1, just like Casablanca, Robin Hood and Star Trek: Season One.
 

Brad Vautrinot

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HiDefDigest has it listed for an August 9th release. Genius Products is the distributor for Weinstein and apparently this will be Weinstein's first Blu-ray release.

Brad
 

Mike Williams

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Uh oh. The report on TVShowsonDVD.com says this release will be available for the first time in WIDESCREEN. Bad News.
 

Craig S

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Yeah, my reaction went from elation when I saw the headline at TVShowsOnDVD, to dejection when I read the widescreen comment. A remastered Blu-Ray of "Lonesome Dove" is a dream come true; a cropped version of LD is likely to be a nightmare.

Not surprising this is from the Weinsteins, who have a history of butchered films and bad transfers on DVD.
 

TravisR

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I'm sure Lonesome Dove is intended to be seen at 1.33 but isn't it possible that it was shot 1.85 and this release will show the empty space on the sides of the frame for the first time? It still is altering the image but it would be better than cutting the tops and bottoms of the frames off.
 

Mike Williams

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Those screengrabs actually look quite good and will look even better on BD. It looks as though there was definitely more to the original film element than we saw on TV. I know others will convulse, protest and throw up their breakfast, but I'm going ahead and getting this BD release with its widescreen presentation. I think the compositions look better actually in this particular case. It does not look claustrophobic and actually looks *right* to me. Let the hatemail begin.
 

Jeff Adkins

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I don't think there is any question that this is a tilt-and-scan job. You can tell by the way the framing changes in different scenes. There is a bit more information on the sides, but that's probably because the orginal 4:3 release was slightly zoomed. It's a shame because the transfer itself looks goregous.

I'm surprised that people are so forgiving of MAR for HD but not for DVD. The Roy Orbison disc was hacked up and most people just said "Looks good to me!"
I also remember people defending the HDNet broadcasts of "Hogan's Heroes".
 

Craig S

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I gotta admit, those screengrabs are encouraging. The PQ is vastly improved, and the reframing appears to have been done with skill. None of the chopped-off heads I was concerned about. There is supposedly a commentary on the disc with director Simon Wincer. I wonder how much he was involved in this effort.

LD is absolutely my favorite Western, and IMO one of the finest productions EVER filmed for television. I have to admit, though, that I always wished it had been filmed in a wider aspect ratio, as the material just begs for it. I know we're supposed to be OAR-only here, but given what we've seen so far I'm going to go ahead and give this disc a shot. If it turns out to be a travesty I've always got the old DVDs to fall back on... (UGH).
 

Mike Williams

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Craig, for all the same reasons you mentioned, I'm all over this release, even with its widescreen presentation. It looks vastly superior to the original DVD release, the cropping (and opening up in other places) doesn't seem to malign the picture, and actually looks like it was done with a great deal of care.

And it's my absolute favorite western and favorite mini-series of all time.
 

Jeff Adkins

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It's in my Top 5 for sure. I'm not happy about the MAR, but I may just break down and buy this. The colors look fantastic. Since I plan on getting The Last Emperor, I should probably buy this one too. Although if they end up doing this to Twin Peaks, I'll have to draw the line.
 

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