"Mysterious Island" feedback?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by David Wilkins, Nov 8, 2004.

  1. David Wilkins

    David Wilkins Supporting Actor

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    I'm a bit of a junkie for 1950's and 1960's sci-fi's. Could some of you weigh-in with your opinion on Columbia/Tri-Star's 2002 release of "Mysterious Island", so far as transfer quality? I tried a thread search but it didn't turn up anything regarding this title. Guess it's been a while.
     
  2. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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  3. MichaelSloan

    MichaelSloan Stunt Coordinator

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    My opinion is that the transfer looks like crap. Columbia knows they can take better care of their films than they did with Mysterious Island 1961. With all the money they have, they could do WAYYYYYY better then they did. The only new special feature they ever did for a Harryhausen DVD was like 10 minutes long. Some of these prints look like they would benefit from a digital restoration, which Columbia could most definitely afford. I guess they would prefer to have still more money.
     
  4. John Sparks

    John Sparks Screenwriter

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    Get it! They'll probably never gonna release it again.

    They even released "The 3 Worlds of Gulliver" in 1.33:1 in R1 but 1.85:1 in R2/3!!! They could care less.

    My home theater is dedicated to Ray Harryhausen. I have all his original movie posters professionally framed and hung. From "Mighty Joe Young to Clash of the Titans".

    April of this year he came to my home to see my home theater and of course the center piece "NOW" is a photo of Mr. Harryhausen and myself.

    I wish they has added all the extras that were on the LDs to the DVDs, but I guess we should be happy that they even released them!!! [​IMG]
     
  5. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Michael, come on. The film looks fine on this DVD.
     
  6. Dick

    Dick Lead Actor
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    Jack, I respectfully disagree and side with Michael - the film looks pretty lousy on this disc, but can''t hold a candle to the atrocity that is THE THREE WORLDS OF GULLIVER. Sony ought to remaster all of their Harryhausen's and do special editions of many of them (and I don't mean slapping "The Harryhausen Chronicles" on every title - once was fine, but enough.) Damn, Criterion even got a commentary from Ray for JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS, and took the time to darken the day-for-night shots which have generally looked way too bright. Has Columbia ever bothered to approach Harryhausen for a commentary track for their DVD of this film, or 7th VOYAGE OF SINBAD? I doubt it. Half-assed and mediocre transfers of films that have a huge following. Another reason why Columbia is a sub-par studio for DVD's, IMO.
     
  7. soop.spoon

    soop.spoon Supporting Actor

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    The efx shots look pretty rough, but that's certainly not the fault of Columbia. The live action shots aren't bad at all.

    Great movie, decent DVD. Don't hesitate.
     
  8. Mark_Wilson

    Mark_Wilson Screenwriter

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    Not to mention that the Pioneer SE LDs had stereo mixes.
     
  9. ArthurMy

    ArthurMy Supporting Actor

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    They may have had stereo mixes, but the films weren't released in stereo, so at least we have the film as presented in theaters. And the films do look fine (except for Gulliver, which should be 1:85 or 1:66) - I don't think the people complaining have any understanding about how these films were created and the multiple opitcals that were used. This isn't now - there weren't computers then, it was all done by hand in many many passes and then composited in many many layers and those shots are grainy and have tons of blemishes that have always been there and always will be there no matter what kind of "restoration" they do or don't do. The only thing that would make them "better" is if it were somehow possible for George Lucas to take the films and put it all in a computer and redo all the effects by changing them. I think we know how happy that would make everyone.

    If you look at the production shots, those that have no effects and/or opticals (fades, dissolves), they look fine, and better than fine a lot of the time. In other words, and this is the key: These films look like they have always looked since the day they came out. We didn't know from blemishes or grain when we saw them in the theaters - we just loved the films. But this is the era of DVD, where everyone is an expert on how images look (I'm not being disrespectful here, it's just the truth), only most of the experts have never seen a lot of these older films projected in theaters, especially on their original releases.

    For the most part, I've been thrilled with Columbia's work on DVD - yes, they screw up occasionally, but so does every studio in one way or another (oh, you'll all say Warners is perfect, but I have Frantic and The Witches and Deathtrap so we know that's not quite accurate). So, to the original poster - if you love Mysterious Island, get it! It looks swell and looks like what it's always looked like.
     
  10. Mark_Wilson

    Mark_Wilson Screenwriter

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    This was discussed in depth here some years ago by the guy that did the mixes for the PSE LDs. He's an HTF member. Not sure if that thread still exists or not.
     
  11. ArthurMy

    ArthurMy Supporting Actor

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    I know of whom you speak and I've searched those threads. The films were not released in stereo. I had the Pioneer laserdiscs and the mixes were fine, but they don't interest me, really, as I've always known these films the way they were originally released, in mono.
     
  12. Joe Caps

    Joe Caps Cinematographer

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    I remixed Mysterious Island and seventh Voyage of Sinbad for stereo laserdisc.
    There is some evidence that Sinbad was test screened in stereo in a few locations. Columbia inventory showed that at one time there existed a complete four channel stereo mix for this purpose.
    A search for this at Columbia only turned up two reels - the scene with the giant roc and the complete final reel with the death of the dragon and finale are from the four channel mags and not a remix.
    To remix those films, I first got the permission from Charles Schneer and Ray Harryhausen and Ray was given copies ofthe final mixes for his approval before these titles were released.
    I proudly have framed on my wall a letter from Mr. Harryhausen thanking me for my work and saying how much he enjoyed the new stereo mixes.
    the thing is, with so much room for information on dvd, I don't know why Cony didn;t release both the stero mixes and the original mons on one disc.
     

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