Quest for Fire

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by PaulP, Feb 17, 2003.

  1. PaulP

    PaulP Producer

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    Note: rant.

    Here I am all excited about finally getting Quest for Fire on DVD and even with some extras. Annaud is one of my favorite directors and his films have been rather unrepresented on DVD thus far. But just now I took a look at French editions of his films and I am astounded. Just take a look at this: French Quest for Fire (http://www.amazon.fr/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00007G2FO) and French The Lover (http://www.amazon.fr/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00005O0AJ). I'm floored. They all have more extras and the cover design is much better. I'm not sure but it looks like Enemy at the Gates, The Bear, and Seven Years in Tibet also have more features. This is just sad...
     
  2. andrew markworthy

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    I agree - it's deplorable.

    I can understand the commentary track not being made available in English-speaking territories, but the other stuff could be provided (does it really cost a fortune to provide subtitles?).
     
  3. oscar_merkx

    oscar_merkx Lead Actor

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    PaulP

    Does this mean you are not getting Quest For Fire

    [​IMG]
     
  4. PaulP

    PaulP Producer

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    I am, because it's still a decent package, and at 11 bucks...
     
  5. andrew markworthy

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    Well, I've now got my R1 copy of QFF and it's far from being the shoddy package I thought it was going to be given the rather bare bones description on the site I ordered it from. The R1 version has got:

    2 commentary tracks (one by the director, one by members of the cast and crew)
    A documentary (narrated by Orson Welles, no less)
    Tons of photo galleries with commentary on each one by the director.

    I've only had time to sample the director's commentaries, but so far they've been excellent.

    My French isn't brilliant, but I'd say that the R1 has a decent proportion of the extras on the French-only R2 edition.

    Regarding the movie itself, I can't really judge the quality of it. I've only seen the film twice before - once on a rental VHS with my girlfriend of the time (and we got a bit, um, distracted so I missed about half of it :b ) and the other time was on a black and white portable TV with poor reception in Spain (long story). However, I'd say that the picture looks clean and crisp, and sound is acceptable (I've just got a 5.1 system and it sounds pretty reasonable on it).
     
  6. Ryan B

    Ryan B Agent

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    Is the R1 version anamorphic?
     
  7. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Have the DVD in my hand. Wasn't planning on
    reviewing it as I have heard nothing but bad
    things about this film over the years.

    To answer your question, the transfer is anamorphic
    2.35:1
     
  8. Rain

    Rain Producer

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  9. Paul_Scott

    Paul_Scott Lead Actor

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    i just got thru watching it- for the first time, i might add, and there's a couple important things to say.

    #1) on my front projection system, this is without any doubt, one of the most amazing looking catalog titles i've ever spun.
    i don't know why this particular film from this time period should look so damn good- whether it was the film stock, the lenes or what, but the image here is just flat out gorgeous and the print appears to be flawless.
    i can't recall, off the top of my head, any other films from 80-82 that i've seen that look this good.
    bright, excellant contrast, vivid colors, deep blacks, and a smooth quality that in no way obscures the fine detail in the pic.

    that may be the one thing that impresses me the most- how much detail is available in this transfer.
    this is one of the only films i've ever watched where i could blow it up so much and not see any evidence of pixel structure or be overwhelmed with film grain.
    i'm not using an htpc, just a set top player, so the only scaling is done by the pj.



    #2) the extras look to be remarkably substantial for a disc with this low of an msrp, and the menus are VERY classy.
    i don't usually get excited about menus, but these to me are perfect- simple, yet beautifully designed.

    #3) the movie- well i can't say the 'story' blew me away, or even had me rivited the whole time, but i did find much of it fascinating-
    especially once Rae Dawn Chong enters the pic.
    like the fellow above said, it is totally unique, and certainly not for everybody, but it is an incredible production.
    the visuals held enough charm for me to want to hang onto it for at least one or two more viewings.


    #4) finally, with a MSRP of $15 and a street price of $10 most places, this to me is the promise of dvd fulfilled.


    an interesting movie but a monumental deal of a disc.
     
  10. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

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    $9.99 at Costco, if anyone who's a member (or knows one) wants to take a chance.
     
  11. DeeF

    DeeF Screenwriter

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    I watched this last night. The presentation is superb! The picture quality, sound quality, are all top notch!

    The movie itself isn't quite the epic it wants to be, but it is still fascinating (particularly with the commentary, where you learn about the body language devised by Desmond Morris and spoken languages devised by Anthony Burgess. One tribe didn't get a language in time, and they are looped/dubbed by the Inuit/Eskimos, apparently saying completely obscene things completely out of character with the scene. This movie is a big hit with Eskimos!

    Every scene is live -- virtually no special effects. The actors were mostly naked, barefoot, performing in very harsh conditions.

    Very well done, very underrated movie. And there is no other like it.
     
  12. Will_B

    Will_B Producer

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    The negative press I remember about Quest for Fire was that at the time of the film's release, some researchers felt that the different species of humanoids didn't exist at the same time. They dissed the film for that. But then of course a few years later they changed their minds about the overlapping of species, so it turned out to be alright.
     
  13. DeeF

    DeeF Screenwriter

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    Although this movie received the Oscar for makeup, some of the different tribes clearly got cheaper costume and makeup treatment than the heroes. The commentary mentions that it took a month to weave yaks hair into suits for the first warring tribes, the Wagaboos, or whoever, but it still looks like they're wearing suits, to me.

    Many of the actors in smaller roles didn't get the same kind of body training the leads went through for many months before the movie started.

    Incidentally, it was Ron Perlman's first movie, and he's made 70 since then.

    Fascinating stuff.
     
  14. Herb Kane

    Herb Kane Screenwriter

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    I have to agree with Paul. I also have a front projection system and the transfer is most impressive. Colours are extremely vibrant and blacks are very deep. Detail is very sharp. Extras are more than adequate. This transfer could be of a movie released six months ago and my opinion of it wouldn't vary. My only criticism was the audio (albeit, ever so slight). And keeping in mind, there is nothing more than the odd grunt and "hyena" like laughter.... It didn't seem to be as clear and open up front. They did make good use of the surround info when necessary.

    Ron, I surely wish you would review this. I think the whole disc is most impressive and considering it can he had for a little as $11 bucks Canadian, it's a steal.

    Herb.
     
  15. Todd Robertson

    Todd Robertson Second Unit

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    saw this in the theaters back in the early 80's....and loved it. the dvd is wonderful and the location shots are breath-taking. for me...I give this R1 release a big thumbsup!
     
  16. Mark_TS

    Mark_TS Screenwriter

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    So, excepting for Daryl Hannah in furs, this film/disc is miles above CLAN OF THE CAVE BEAR I take it...
     
  17. DeeF

    DeeF Screenwriter

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    If you're looking for babes in fur boots, try One Million BC with Raquel Welch. Otherwise... Rae-Dawn Chong basically spends this entire movie completely naked but for striped makeup.

    Quest for Fire is a very intelligent, scientifically researched, and quite poignant story of our ancestors seeking survival and becoming conscious of their pre-eminence (in one part of the movie, they learn how to laugh at a joke).
     
  18. Tino

    Tino Lead Actor
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    I dunno. Maybe I got a bad copy because I think QFF looks pretty bad.

    There is a weird video anomaly that occurs every twelve frames in which the picture sort of pixelates. Playing the film results in flashes twice a second. Anyone else notice this. It is especially noticeable in the darker scenes. The darker scenes also look blurry and washed out. Very disappointing.[​IMG]

    BTW, I am viewing this in 480p on my new 65" SONY 16x9 HD set.

    I noticed a similar anomaly on The Hudsucker Proxy.

    Great film though.[​IMG]
     
  19. Paul_Scott

    Paul_Scott Lead Actor

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    Tino,
    i did have one problem with the disc.
    the scene in the cave where the character is first shown how to make fire- the pic breaks up and pixiltes for a couple seconds.
    other than that, no problems.
    this disc has some of the best blacks i've ever seen- deep and rich and still containing visible detail.

    it could be a disc problem, but it might be gear related to- or your connections.


    just have to add about the film- it was somewhat of a frustrating experience the first time to watch. the fundemental ignorance of the characters sometimes makes for a 'numbing' experience.
    but the more i think about it, the more i think that subsequent viewings will be much more interesting.
    i put the disc in again last night for a few minutes, just to make sure i wasn't going overboard in my enthusiasm for the PQ of the disc ( i stand by everything i said), and i was almost tempted to watch it again.

    this is one case where i'm glad for the extra content and am looking forward to diving into those at some point.
     
  20. Tino

    Tino Lead Actor
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    I doubt it is gear related. My other DVD's look great. New TV, new progressive scan DVD player, new Monster component video cables, Avia calibrated. Either it's an isolated bad disc or you guys are blind.[​IMG]

    Maybe others will notice this problem. If not, back to Tower ($9.99) it goes.
     

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