Question about the transfer on "Close Encounters of the Third Kind"

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Dave H, Mar 17, 2002.

  1. Dave H

    Dave H Producer

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    Overall, I think the transfer looks very good for a film of its age. However, was there a true restoration? I mean a restoration was done to Superman, Jaws, Special Edition Star Wars, etc., yet Close Encounters seemed to be a step below these films in its appearance. I'm asking because in a Columbia House DVD advertisement it states "Beautifully restored..." It comes down to how one defines "restored" I suppose. I didn't think this film was actually restored. Maybe I'm wrong.
     
  2. Josh_Hill

    Josh_Hill Screenwriter

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    I believe the film was restored back in 1998 when the SE Laserdisc was released.
     
  3. Kai Zas

    Kai Zas Second Unit

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  4. Bill McA

    Bill McA Producer

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    I was very disappointed with the transfer of this disc, it's several notches below the beautiful Criterion CAV LD.

    The DVD has a very noticable and annoying 'flicker' throughout...similar to something you would see in a vintage silent film.
     
  5. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    The transfer is reference quality, IMO. Several shots, mostly scenes added back from 1977 and the SFX shots suffer from print flaws. Many scenes were lost from the original negative, so duplication pieces had to be used for some shots. (Mostly the non-optical shots that have a noticable increase in grain are the duped shots.)

    The opening desert scene is so clear and fine detailed, it does NOT look over 20 years old.

    Columbia (and Grover Crisp) should be very proud of this transfer.
     
  6. Brian W.

    Brian W. Screenwriter

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    I totally agree with Bill McA. The night scenes on the Close Encounters DVD look horrible. That flickering he's referring to is ever-present and definitely NOT present on the old Criterion laserdisc. The light levels pulsate over the whole screen. This was the DVD that made me stop trusting reviews from The Big Picture. I couldn't believe they gave it five stars for video quality. I'd be hard-pressed to give it four. I don't know what causes that flicker.
     
  7. Felix Martinez

    Felix Martinez Screenwriter

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  8. Felix Martinez

    Felix Martinez Screenwriter

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  9. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

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    I never noticed a "flicker" on the DVD either, and I watch it on an 80" wide screen.
     
  10. Derek Miner

    Derek Miner Screenwriter

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    Some of these opinions might come down to how your black levels are set on your display... I'm assuming the "flicker" that most people are talking about is the fluctuating uneven brightness in the darker picture areas.

    Most of the night scenes on the Close Encounters DVD annoy me, but they might not look the same if I turned the black level on my monitor down (which I won't do). YMMV if you watch in a room with lights on or some daylight coming in.

    Patrick has an interesting point about dupe negative being used on some shots causing substandard picture. Though I do think there are films of similar age or older that look markedly better on DVD than Close Encounters, some of which probably have dupe shots in them somewhere.
     

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