New Fox Classic Titles All 2.0

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Joe Caps, May 21, 2003.

  1. Joe Caps

    Joe Caps Screenwriter

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    Fox originally announced that Journey to the center of the Earth and love is a Many Splendored Thing would be 2.0 but they both arrived in 4.0. I was hoping this was a new trend for them. Today I got the new releases of Blue Max, From the Terrace and The Long Hot Summer - all films originally in 4.0 the new discs are all 2.0.
     
  2. Roger Rollins

    Roger Rollins Supporting Actor

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    Yesterday, I picked up both Fox's new releases of THE LONG HOT SUMMER and FROM THE TERRACE, and share the previous poster's disappointment. I bought them without having read about them here, and if I had, I probably would have skipped the purchase, and stayed content with my old laserdiscs (which sound better).

    With original 4-track stereo masters to work from, it is really surprising that Fox would not go the distance and give us at least 4.0 on these titles, or better yet, a 5.1 remix (if based on the original sonics)that would take full advantage of today's technology.

    I'd gladly pay a slightly higher retail price and get a full-bodied soundtrack instead of what they've offered here.
     
  3. Douglas R

    Douglas R Cinematographer

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    In another thread I'm afraid I incorrectly said that THE BLUE MAX was 4.00 but I can at least confirm that Fox have mixed the region 2 DVD of ANASTASIA in 4.00. The DVD was released in the UK recently as an exclusive item, with no extras, for the W H Smith stores (it's being given a non-exclusive release as a double-bill next week with INN OF THE SIXTH HAPPINESS) and is definately 4.00. Presumably the Region 1 version will be the same. I don't know yet about the mix for INN OF THE SIXTH HAPPINESS.
     
  4. Chad R

    Chad R Cinematographer

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    Are we sure the 4.0 tracks were available and usable i.e. in good enough condition?
     
  5. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Joe,
    Are both stereo and mono, the Original Audio Formats for the films in question?
     
  6. TedD

    TedD Supporting Actor

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    Robert:

    Fox CinemaScope product of this vintage was released in three formats depending on the release date:

    4 Track Magnetic 2.55:1
    Mono Optical 2.35:1
    MagOptical 2.35:1 (both 4 track magnetic and a half width optical track on the same print)

    In any case, the great majority of Fox' CinemaScope product was available in 4 Track Mag.

    There was no such thing as a 2 Track stereo print in the 1950's or the 1960's. "2 Track Stereo" optical prints first became available with the introduction Dolby Stereo in the 1970's. and these prints were all intended to be decoded into four channels by a Dolby Cinema Processor such as the CP-50 or CP-100.

    Ted
     
  7. Joe Caps

    Joe Caps Screenwriter

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    The original formats were probably magoptical. 4.0 stereo and a back up mono optical track. The masters at the studio are 4 track stereo. I would NOT want to see these things remixed to 5.1 - there would be no reason to do this. There are no clean dialog and effects tracks for these films, so the only thing they could do would be to fart around with the 4.0 to make it 5.1. Fox id this with cleopatra - the original surround track is mono but the surround on the dvd is two channel because the mono track has been thrown out of phase to make it sound like stereo. It doesn't,you're just no longer sure WHERE those instruments are coming from.
    All of those new titles form Fox should be 4.o and not the 2.0 192 kbps low bit rate tracks that they are.
    Worse, Fox is getting very sloppy. From the terrace, of course, starts with the famous Fox Fanfare but part of that is missing as the film seems to start in the middle of the opeing drum phrases instead of at the beginning. Sloppy as hell.
    Fox did no do separate mixew for thier mono prints. The mono of fox stereo films is simply the middle channel of the 4.0 mixplayed by itself.
     
  8. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Joe,
    Is it possible that Fox lost the 4.0 stereo tracks or they're damaged beyond repair, therefore leaving them with only the backup mono track? It doesn't make sense, otherwise, since the video portion of their dvd presentations are good to excellent in most cases.
     
  9. Roger Rollins

    Roger Rollins Supporting Actor

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    It's more expensive to present the tracks in 4.0 than 2.0. Fox doesn't have to do any encoding that way. They can use the Left/Right stereo fold-down done for TV, etc. without spending extra money. That SEEMS to be the case with these latest releases.

    And Joe's right, they've been sloppy.
     
  10. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Roger,
    How do you know it's the case of spending money? Do you have inside information or are you speculating?
     
  11. Joe Caps

    Joe Caps Screenwriter

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    I have been told by those in the know that From the Terrace and Long Hot Summer were both newly transferred from the original 4.0 tracks and mixed down to 2.0 dolby surround - why I don't know.
    We did get a new 4.0 Loveis a Many Splendored Thing but it doesn't sound any better than the old 2.0 don't knwo what happened there. Remember this film was nominated for best sound. Again, on LOVE listen to the beginning of the new DVD and then swith to the French stereo track and listen to how much bettr and natural that music sounds. Why is this so? Could be the guy transferring the 4.0 english track didn't know what the hell he was doing.(this happens more than you think.- listen to how awful the 2.0 soundson both dvds of Affair to Remember. Compare it to thed stereo sound on the letterboxed laserdisc - THAT souns great!
     
  12. Dave Molinarolo

    Dave Molinarolo Stunt Coordinator

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    So is The Blue Max in DD 4.0 or not?
     
  13. Joe Caps

    Joe Caps Screenwriter

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    Well, if you read the very first post I made in this thread, it clearly says that Blue Max is 2.0.
     
  14. SteveP

    SteveP Second Unit

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    I hope this doesn't mean the upcoming releases of HELLO, DOLLY! and STAR! might end up being 2.0 or a phony 5.1 as in CLEOPATRA. A 4.0 mix would most closely duplicate the original 6-channel Todd-AO sound.

    LAZY, LAZY, LAZY!

    One of the major pleasures of STAR! is how Robert Wise plays with the different film formats.
     
  15. Joe Caps

    Joe Caps Screenwriter

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    My verythought about Hello Dolly and Star. WE need 4.0 for these. NOT 5.1
    today, DVD file has a review of Fopxs The Commancheros and says that it is 4.0!! Don't know whether to believe them.
     
  16. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Producer

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    This is bizarre. Why, if you have the original tracks of a 4.0 film, mix them down to 2.0 for DVD? It surely can't be that difficult to preserve the 4.0 sound on DVD! And why the low bitrates? Get them higher.

    In the HTF Audio Survey, I said that the original sound should be preserved, if possible, and I can think of no better example than the needless futzing around with the CinemaScope 4.0 tracks.


    Gordy
     
  17. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    There are certain titles for which either master or print master 4.0 mags were extant 10, 15 or 20 years ago (before Fox had thoughts of a serious asset protection program) which were used to create two track Dolby encoded stereo for VHS and/or laser release.

    Some of these originals did not survive, and the studio is left with only the two track encoded mixes.

    If 4.0 mixes survive for newly released product published in two track, this would be a breakdown between home video and asset protection, which is occasionally out of sync at each of the studios, generally based upon home video's needs in terms of time, and their inability to allow asset protection to do the proper thing.
     
  18. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    Hello Dolly will almost certainly be 4.0 or 5.1 The last Laserdisc has Dolby Digital AC-3 5.1 which was probably a 4.0 signal mascarading as 5.1 encoding (with mono surround and no LFE info).

    I can't imagine they'd do AC-3 5.1 on the LD and then 2.0 on the DVD. Odd, and sad, that so many other films with multi-channel sound element are getting downmixed to 2.0, I think Hello Dolly, like SOM, will come out ok.

    The GOOD thing we can say about FOX is that when they do a 4.0 mix...they leave the original directional-dialogue in tact!!

    -dave [​IMG]
     
  19. SteveP

    SteveP Second Unit

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    Would love to see Fox re-release SOUND OF MUSIC in 70MM six-track directional dialogue stereo for its 40th anniversary in '05.

    After all, this was the film that saved the company after CLEOPATRA.
     
  20. GregK

    GregK Screenwriter

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    I remember some years ago Stephen Pickard of Pickard Laser Video & Audio was assigned the task of transferring the original 4-track audio of 1958 version of "the Fly" from the full coat mag masters for the 'new' AC-3 Dolby Digital format to be used on a remastered laserdisc edition. He said two of the reels were in an advanced state of decomposition. Pickard was able to make a successful dub, but was concerned about many of the other Fox 4-track titles. And this was in the mid to late 1990's.

    I've heard other horror stories from other major studios which must remain nameless, but suffice to say there's been more than a few times when a studio found unused 4-track masters and transferred only what they needed at the time. Years later when others were finally needed or remastered, some of these original mag tracks had already turned to 'stinky cheese'.
     

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