Peter Apruzzese

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There is no DCP (which is a theatrical format). TCM's source appears to be a standard definition transfer.
 

William Moore

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Well, I discovered that my Dish subscription didn't allow me to watch the TCM movie channel, so I'm just wondering if the showing of WWOTBG today was any different than previous showings on TCM. Your impressions?
 

Matt Hough

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Well, I discovered that my Dish subscription didn't allow me to watch the TCM movie channel, so I'm just wondering if the showing of WWOTBG today was any different than previous showings on TCM. Your impressions?
No different at all. Seemed exactly like the same transfer we've been shown for years on TCM. I recorded it anyway and started watching. I got through the beginning of "The Singing Bone."
 
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Nick*Z

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The Warners Archives are generously filled with B&W Academy ratio pre-codes. But if you're talking blu ray, c'mon, do you really believe there's a profitable market for B&W pre code films on blu ray?
Dear Thomas:

Understanding your point quite clearly, I think it is also important to point out that the real challenge for all of the studios today is how to preserve their rapidly decaying history in any format that will outlast the current technological race to the top that has all but wiped out chances of seeing a goodly number of these much desirable classics on home video. The problem here is that our hardware format war has become entrenched in a sort of techno-stalemate, leaving studios to grapple with multiple formats at the same time.

How many times do you see a release that reads, '4K Blu-ray, Blu-ray, DVD, Digital' combo. This is absurd - and expensive. When DVD entered the market place it all but wiped out VHS and LaserDisc with its tsunami-esque overnight popularity. The studios understood this and shifted their focus. VHS/Beta were dead and gone and the digital race was on. But ever since, studios have been reluctant to pitch another format under the bus.

Honestly, since you can Roku/Netflix/Movies on Demand just about anything these days, is there really a market for studio's wasting their time on providing us with digital copies. Also, DVD is done. It has been for some time and it is high time it were retired. The TV/projector race for 4K has moved on. Industry standards are so far above DVD it makes the format moot. Besides, for those who refuse to upgrade their vast DVD collections, they can still be played on a new 4K player. So, backward compatibility is not the issue here.

We're not saying to collectors 'junk your old stuff for the new' as studios did when they effectively killed off VHS/Beta and LaserDisc in the mid-1990s without a thought for apologizing for the ax. We're merely saying to collectors, 'hey, we've something new - better too, and from now on, try this instead. You can still watch your old stuff on our new machines. But from now on, buy the new software too to get the best experience possible. Cheers!'

See, in the early VHS/Beta years, quality was not an issue as the format's overall lack of resolution, coupled with television's grotesque limitations to reproduce anything even remotely film-like, bred an entire generation of avid movie lovers who watched 'old' movies at home in conditions that, from today's technologically superior advantages, we find quaint to downright laughable.

I recently pulled out a tired old copy of the Bond film, Octopussy on VHS. I kept it for nostalgia and the great gate fold cover art that accompanied these original VHS anniversary editions. Anyway, still in possession of a VCR (which hasn't been hooked up to anything in over 3 decades, I decided to conduct an experiment and wire it to my 4K set and also, an old tube TV (23 inch) we keep in the garage, just to listen to the news and such while we're out doing auto repairs, yard work, etc. What an eye-opening experience. What was deemed as acceptable in, say 1985, looked utterly horrendous on both sets - blurry, grainy, faded, etc. It also shows how far we have come in our expectations for something much, much improved and, sadly, will not tolerate anything that seemingly shows even an iota of the ravages of time.

The problem today is that TV/projector technology has advanced to such a level it at once makes film-like presentations possible, yet costly for the studios to conceal the ravages of time. Studios are therefore in a scramble to assess asset quality first, and make an executive judgement call on whether or not they can glean something even remotely accessible in 1080p quality that will satisfy fans and their bottom line simultaneously. The cut off comes where and to what extent a restoration is to be applied to make the presentation as perfect as possible without breaking the bank.

Personally, I think the real effort today ought to be placed on research in development: how best to streamline the restoration process and software so that costs can start to come down. I also think studios should weigh their options - as in, 'this will never be afforded a full restoration so let's just apply some basic dust busting software to eliminate the big blemishes and a tad color correction so it can get a pass visually' and other efforts the studio deems 'feasible' for the full-on Monty restoration, to be reissued theatrically, or in art houses, with monies raised from private investors and other outside sources like The Film Foundation, the AFI, AMPAS, etc.

I recall a lot of the Columbia deep catalog received private endowments as well as third-party funding to get them ready for home video, their efforts advertised preceding the actual movie on DVD.

GoFundMe pages could also be set up to help the work and efforts along. Bottom line: there is no easy 'quick fix' solution to this challenge. But a solution - of sorts - needs to be discussed at length so we do not lose the American history of motion pictures to any further neglect or shortsightedness. After decades of decline and non-commitment, I sincerely believe all of the studios understand this quagmire. Beating them to death with the old "I can't believe you haven't released this or that yet" argument isn't fruitful or advancing the cause either. Because they too are caught in the race against time, trying desperately to juggle profitability with want and need to do right by their deep catalog.

All that we - the fans - can do, apart from buying out their product when it hits the shelves, is to continue to keep the faith and the argument alive for more work to be done, as well as the memory of our favorite films passionately discussed: proof positive to the higher ups the audience hasn't walked away or forgotten these pictures and won't let their reputation quietly fade into the night. We are all champions here on these forums. Some of us, crusaders too for the cause and the dream and the sincere hope that for some of these golden classics it isn't too late after all.
 
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Richard V

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Yes, 4K upscaling did this transfer absolutely no favors. Impossible to make something beautiful from such pallid raw ingredients.
Had never seen it before, so eagerly tuned in yesterday. It looked awful, and after watching for about an hour, thought, "This isn't such a great movie, period". JMO.
 

Dan_Shane

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Had never seen it before, so eagerly tuned in yesterday. It looked awful, and after watching for about an hour, thought, "This isn't such a great movie, period". JMO.
No, it's not great. But it is quite charming, and much of that charm is washed away by an inferior presentation. While the play is usually the thing, an enveloping Cinerama image adds a lot to a less-than-classic tale. I suspect the film would have a better reputation if it had been better maintained and showcased over the years.
 

john a hunter

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Watched The Dancing Princess sequence last night from a dvd prepared by a friend from the laserdisc.
Cinerama overload which would have had an audience hanging on to their seats.
The camera upside down under a runaway carriage in for one shot.

A proper transfer would make this average film something special.,
 
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OliverK

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Watched The Dancing Princess sequence last night from a dvd prepared by a friend from the laserdisc.
Cinerama overload which would have had an audience hanging on to their seats.
The camera upside down under a runaway carriage in for one shot.

A proper transfer would make this average film something special.,
The process is the main attraction here so anything below decent HD quality will sadly disappoint.
 
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William Moore

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Had never seen it before, so eagerly tuned in yesterday. It looked awful, and after watching for about an hour, thought, "This isn't such a great movie, period". JMO.
I'll bet you would have felt differently had you seen "Brothers Grimm" in the full glory of 3-strip Cinerama!
 

William Moore

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Watched The Dancing Princess sequence last night from a dvd prepared by a friend from the laserdisc.
Cinerama overload which would have had an audience hanging on to their seats.
The camera upside down under a runaway carriage in for one shot.

A proper transfer would make this average film something special.,
I disagree that this was just an "average" movie. It is way more than that! And, since it was produced and directed by George Pal, one of the all-time great fantasy-film directors, not to mention being the one of only two dramatic films shot in Cinerama, WWOTBG will always be on my Top Ten list of GREAT movies!!!
 

William Moore

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The process is the main attraction here so anything below decent HD quality will sadly disappoint.
I have seen WWOTBG many times, having worked at a Cinerama theatre, and when I play my LD of this great film, it brings back those memories and it's anything but a "sad disappointment."
 

OliverK

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I have seen WWOTBG many times, having worked at a Cinerama theatre, and when I play my LD of this great film, it brings back those memories and it's anything but a "sad disappointment."
If you have seen this in cinerama many times you know how great it looked, I cannot see how the picture quality of an LD can be satisfactory then. So to each his own I guess but I do not see the point of watching WWOTBG in LD quality.
 
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Tommy R

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I've only ever seen WWOTBG on VHS, and I enjoy the hell out of it. It's a toss up for my 2nd favorite George Pal film between this and Destination Moon. The Time Machine is my #1 favorite.

I haven't watched the TCM recording yet, but will be soon. I can't imagine it'll be WORSE than the VHS.
 

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