New total recall disc: conflicting reviews

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Kenny Goldin, Sep 8, 2001.

  1. Kenny Goldin

    Kenny Goldin Second Unit

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  2. Dwayne

    Dwayne Supporting Actor

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    Normally I would go along with dvdfile, but these two reviews are dramtically different. I would wait for some other sites to post reviews before forming my purchasing decision.
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    -Dwayne
    "And vidi films I would."
     
  3. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Producer

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    --My feelings fell between the two. From my review:
    Sharpness usually appeared nicely crisp and detailed. Very little softness occurred throughout the movie; it came across as well defined and accurate. A few examples of moiré effects occurred, and some light edge enhancement also appeared at times; for example, one early profile shot of Schwarzenegger demonstrated a definite halo around his nose.
    Print flaws created a more significant issue, especially during the film’s first half. I saw light grain and a variety of other defects; various examples of small nicks, speckles, grit, little hairs, and a few blotches occurred. These never seemed intense, but they cropped up more frequently than I expected. However, the movie looked much cleaner during its second half; the last 55 minutes or so presented a significantly fresher image.
    Colors were somewhat subdued for the most part, as the movie went with a modest palette. However, the hues looked reasonably clear and accurate throughout the film. In one or two shots, the reds of Mars appeared slightly too heavy, but they usually appeared to be clean and tight. Otherwise, colors were quite solid, with no problems on display. Black levels seemed to be fairly deep and rich, and shadow detail appeared to be appropriately distinct and opaque with no significant concerns related to excessively dark scenes.
    Overall, I regarded Total Recall as a split transfer. The first half of the movie showed some edge enhancement and a moderately excessive number of print flaws; I’d give this part of the film a “B-” due to these concerns. However, the flick’s second half improved significantly; the defects cleaned up to a significant degree, and the whole package came across as clearer and more vibrant; I’d rate that segment as a “B+”. As such, my overall grade was a “B”.
    --That "bad VHS copy" line is just absurd. Could the transfer have been better? Perhaps, but it wasn't the disaster described...
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    Colin Jacobson
    DVD Movie Guide
    www.dvdmg.com
     
  4. Robert George

    Robert George Screenwriter

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    I agree with Colin, for the most part. The worst aspect of this transfer is the dirt and print damage. It is noticeable, but not distracting to me. No visible digital over-enhancement at all. This will give the impression of a slight "softness" to some who are so used to seeing too much edge enhancement, but I find this is a necessary ingredient to giving a video transfer that terrific "film-like" look that is so pleasing to watch. Yes, there is some grain, but this is film and it is normal for film to have a visible grain under certain lighting conditions. Film grain is not the same thing as video noise, and there is none of that. Fine detail does not suffer in the least with the absence of digital enhancement.
    On my rig, colors are gorgeous. Very nicely saturated with as good a color depth as I have seen. Even with the relatively high saturation in some shots, one can still see even small variations in skin tones and texture and things like that.
    I have only had the disc since yesterday and haven't had a chance to go through the supplements yet, but from what I have seen, Artisan has done a good job here. I also will take what seems to be the minority position on the packaging. I like it. Something different and creative.
     
  5. Dedrick

    Dedrick Agent

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    I was walking through a local store yesterday and Total Recall was sitting on the shelf (along with Basic Instinct
    R-Rated version, which I did not buy). At first the packaging seemed kind of weird, but after I wrestled it for 20 minutes to get it open, I liked it. It's nothing like a
    baboon ass, not that I have ever seen (up close) or touched a baboon's ass, but I don't think this is what a baboon ass would look or feel like. Now onto the picture, when I first put the disc in and went to chapter 3, the one where Arnie watched the tv on the wall, it was kind of dissapointing, but after I flipped past that chapter everything looked great. It should be called a solid but not perfect transfer. As others have said there is some grain and I noticed some black level problems (see when Arno sits up in bed at the beginning). Overall a pretty good picture that is a nice improvement over the previous release. As for the supplements, well all I can say is the documentary better rule, because I watched everything else and it sucks. The photo gallery has 13 stills in it. The conceptual gallery doesn't have much more than that, and the storyboard section isn't very well done. On the plus side there is a five minute featurette about mars, a wierd (but pretty neat) Rekall vacation thing, and the thirty minute documentary. If your gonna buy this for supplements don't bother.
    [Edited last by Dedrick on September 09, 2001 at 10:30 AM]
    [Edited last by Dedrick on September 09, 2001 at 10:31 AM]
     
  6. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

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    Based on these comments, I want to get this one; however, I would prefer to wait until it's available in a conventional keep case.
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  7. Doug Schiller

    Doug Schiller Supporting Actor

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    I also agree with Colin.
    I own both versions.
    When I started to watch the new one, I had mixed feelings. Some scenes were razor sharp, other were washed out and faded.
    I was disappointed until I watched the same scenes in the original release. It was worse but the brightness problems were similar.
    So, it looks like Artisan just took the existing print and made a hi-def master.
    I also expected the sound to be much better, but not so.
    They say they used a new technology to enhance the sound for home theater. I thought it was just so so. It was great when the ship lands on Mars, the glass breaks, etc. But very little elsewhere. Nowhere near the improvement they made for Terminator 2.
    The extras are very nice, and I found it for $18, so it is worth it, they just could have done better.
    Doug
     
  8. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Producer

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  9. Dedrick

    Dedrick Agent

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    Your right Colin, I just watched the documentary and its fantastic! The discussion of the violence in the film and having to be cut to get an R was particularly interesting. Just when I thought the supplements completely suck I watched this great documentary. I'm a big Arnold fan so I'll be watching the commentary very soon.
     
  10. Guy Martin

    Guy Martin Second Unit

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    T2 was actually mixed digitally in full 5.1 with split surrounds for the now-defunct CDS (cinema digital sound) system. That 5.1 master was the basis for the DVD. Total Recall, which came out a year earlier was only mixed for Doby 6-track, the analog predecessor to Dolby Digital 5.1. I suspect the mix on both the new and the old DVDs is derived from the analog 6-track master and is the reason why TR doesn't sound as good as T2.
    - Guy
     
  11. Doug Schiller

    Doug Schiller Supporting Actor

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    Guy,
    I was refering to the upgrade in sound from T2 (regular release) 5.1 to the new T2:UE 5.1 vs. Total Recall (regular release) 5.1 to the new remaster.
    I just don't see the same jump in quality.
    I'm not expecting a full, discrete remaster. When the packaging mentions, remixed for Home Theater, I thought they went back to the original stems. It sounds like they just turned up the bass a little.
    Doug
     

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