New Jesus Christ Superstar DVD?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by David Wyckoff, Sep 8, 2004.

  1. David Wyckoff

    David Wyckoff Auditioning

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    Anyone get the new Jesus Christ Superstar DVD? Just curious what people think of it compared to the older DVD release. (Other than that it's anamorphic now). I couldn't find any reviews anywhere.
     
  2. ArthurMy

    ArthurMy Supporting Actor

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    I just got it, will give it a spin later tonight and let you know.
     
  3. ArthurMy

    ArthurMy Supporting Actor

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    It looks very good. I no longer have the older version, but I got rid of it because I wasn't so thrilled with it. The sound on the older version and this version is not-so-thrilling (from a sampling of chapters) - I don't know what's with the sound on home vid - I remember it being very dynamic in the theater. Here it just seems oddly mixed, but maybe that's the way it always was.
     
  4. RaulR

    RaulR Stunt Coordinator

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    Arthur,

    Does the US DVD only have a stereo soundtrack, or does it have a 5.1 soundtrack as well (like the previous DVD)? The Canadian DVD only has a two-channel mix. TIA.
     
  5. Stephen_J_H

    Stephen_J_H All Things Film Junkie

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    Read the review on DVD Talk, which states the US edition also only has the 2.0 track as well. Why Uni would do this is beyond me; oh, wait, it's Uni. 'Nuff said.
     
  6. RobertSiegel

    RobertSiegel Screenwriter
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    I was excited to see this movie was going to be reissued because the last disc, not enhanced, look just terrible, one of the worst transfers on dvd. Then, last month HDNET ran the film in high-def, and while I don't have the new dvd, I am assuming what I saw was the new transfer, only in High def. Well, this was no high def, but the picture is much better than the previous transfer. They have really cleaned up the picture.

    As for the sound...I think the person who mixed this movie (or maybe it was the mixing of the dvd versions) was an AWFUL sound technician. The begining opens beautifully with that full orchestral sound, and then, whenever someone sings, the instruments are put into the center channel and with such a low volume that they don't even sound like they are part of the song. The rock band portion of the soundtrack is all mono and mixed at way too low of a level. I really hate the mix on this film and I really wish Universal had gone to the music masters and remixed it. But alas, no go! Their remastering of the 2-cd soundtrack a few years ago is much worse...don't even bother with that for 35.00, it's just terrible.

    The only plus I have always liked with this soundtrack is that the voices are panned from left to right. I always love that effect. Sad, with 6 digital channels now, they feel they have to keep all the dialogue in the center. And what's even worse is when they take an older movie that had panned dialogue and centralize it.

    Sorry to sound so negative here, but I was really hoping for a remixed soundtrack like Universal did with The Blues Brothers.
     
  7. ArthurMy

    ArthurMy Supporting Actor

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    Yes, 2.0 only. Robert Siegel is right - the voices are way too far out in front of the band and there's no punch, no excitement to it at all. The image is much better but the sound is from hunger.
     
  8. Alan_Horner

    Alan_Horner Stunt Coordinator

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    I got out my old copy of JCS last night and spent a few minutes comparing the two. My impressions:

    The source material is the same for each edition, as evidenced by the same blemishes (dust and scratches).

    I have a 16:9 set, so I was able to enjoy the added resolution of the new anamorphic release. As such, the picture is sharper -- but I don't know if that will make much difference to someone without a 16:9 set.

    The biggest improvement (to my eyes) that the new disc has is better compression and a LOT fewer artifacts than the old disc. Some of the blue-sky shots on the old disc are just riddled with artifacts; not so in the new one.

    The soundtrack for the original disc was flagged as 4.0 (Front L/R, Center, Mono Surround) while the new edition is flagged as 3.0 (Front L/R, Mono Surround). I do believe it's the exact same soundtrack though. As mentioned by others, it's pretty disapppointing that a genuine remix wasn't undertaken.

    All in all, the new edition is an improvement over the old one, but not by much. The audio commentary would be the biggest addition, along with the better compression. Not sure if that's enough for a lot of folks to double dip, though.
     
  9. Stephen PI

    Stephen PI Supporting Actor

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    "Jesus Christ Superstar" had two 4-track stereo mixes, made within weeks of each other. Music Mixer Keith Grant did the first mix in Dubbing Theater 2 at Pinewood. Gordon K. MacCallum was on vacation at the time. When he returned he heard the mix didn't like it and re-mixed it. As far as I know only the latter has been used and should be presented on the new DVD as 4-track discrete. (Left, Center, Right and mono Surround)
     
  10. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    There must be a curse on this movie going back to the Discovision days- every time they release it they just can't quite get it right.
    The first Discovision copies were mono (and pan&scan), then a corrected stereo edition was put out. When Discovision became MCA Home Video, they released another pan&scan disc with PCM sound, but again in mono! This was also corrected. They later put out a letterbox edition which I heard also had some problems. Then the first DVD came out with no 16x9 enhancement, and apparently now they've fixed that but messed up the sound again!
     
  11. JeffMc

    JeffMc Supporting Actor

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    They also dropped the original theatrical trailer which was on the old disc. I guess they had to make room for that stupid photo collage gallery instead. It's good that the film looks better and is now anamorphic, but this is definitely a not so "special" edition.
     
  12. Paul Linfesty

    Paul Linfesty Stunt Coordinator

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    According to every source I've read, JC Superstar only featured the stage speakers. It, along with, Day of the Dolphin, didn't even have the surround mag track striped on the film, causing some physical balance problems as the film ran through the theatre mag penthouses.
     
  13. TedD

    TedD Supporting Actor

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    Back when I was a projectionist at the University of Colorado, we ran this title.

    The first print we received was a non-foxhole print with only 3 mag stripes on the film, which can destroy a mag penthouse cluster in no time by altering the pole piece wear patterns. It was also rather splicy.

    I complained to the local film exchange and they shipped me a foxhole 4 track mag print.

    So there were clearly 4 track mag prints struck. However, I don't have a clear recollection whether or not anything was actually recorded on the 4th track.

    Ted
     

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