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Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Andrew Budgell, Feb 17, 2011.
EL CID scanned in 4k ?
I’m always surprised to read negative comments about Fall as it is without doubt the most spectacular of all Roman epics with the best set and costume design. And Gladiator was a remake, though with the religion removed.
A big problem is that for most people the tremendous production values could not be seen in the proper way for more than half a century. Anything less than a 35mm print or a good Blu-ray will not convey just how magnificent Fall looked, So far all home video versions fail to show the sheer amount of details and textures on display in the original 70mm release prints - it looked fantastic.
So I completely agree about its qualities, at least this part of the advertising was 100% true:
THE MOST MAGNIFICENT RE-CREATION OF AN ANCIENT EMPIRE...
Fall was a secular epic with only one very oblique reference to Christianity.There was nothing to remove.
I always wish that Gladiator had Fall's sets and costumes and Fall had Gladiator's script and actors!
Now that would be an epic !!
I once saw a superb 70mm print of this film and I've never forgotten the experience. I find it hard to force myself to watch the inadequate Blu-ray disc.
Fall is far from perfect but I also found its atmosphere and cinematography top notch and to me it was mostly let down by its script, Stephen Boyd as the leading man and the annoyingly repetitive score. Gladiator on the other hand is more of a simple revenge story that is much easier to do well than what Fall sets out to do.
Ironically Anthony Mann would probably have done much better with a Gladiator-style storyline as that was his forte which he had shown in many of his other movies, especially his westerns.
As for Gladiator for a number of reasons I never liked it from the first time that I saw it in the cinema when it came out. Dark, broody and dreary it was with very obvious digital effects and I agree with a lot of what Roger Ebert says about it: https://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/gladiator-2000
Looking at how Ridley Scot later changed its looks he must also have thought that it looked a bit drab as the new master gives it quite a different look compared to what it looked like in cinemas, on DVD and in the first Blu-ray version.
And why aren't there American Blu-ray releases?
Rights issues and/or lower demand for physical media? Luckily there are several European releases and at least one can also play on US players so it is not as if it would be very difficult to get these.
I would say low demand. If I recall, the Miriam Collection DVDs of El Cid and Fall sold poorly that the releases of 55 Days and Circus World were cancelled. Even then, it took a LOOONG time for those two to get to DVD; there were rumors in the early-2000s that either Miramax or some other company were planning to release them on DVD. It didn't stop Harvey Weinstein (ugh) from doing an HD restoration of Circus World even if a Blu-Ray would never surface. Overseas, there have always been demand for the Bronston epics.
And I'm willing to bet if a major studio owned those four films, we would be seeing them getting proper treatment. King of Kings is lucky, because Warner Bros. owns it. Last time I checked, the other titles were with The Weinstein Company (now Spyglass) and I don't know if those rights are still active or if they reverted to the original owners.
Circus World was scanned from the OCN in the UK. Luckily the Weinstein company had nothing to do with that or it would have ended up looking like Fall and El Cid.
You're probably right, but I recall Harvey Weinstein on some morning talk show talking about the restored version of CW; I don't recall him taking credit for the restoration, but knowing what we know now about him, it wouldn't surprise me one bit if he did.
It helps that King of Kings was partially funded by MGM, which is probably how Warner was able to rescue it from the fate the other Bronston epics have suffered. I can’t speak for the CW, 55, and El Cid, but for several years I’ve been of the suspicion that Fall may have gone back to Paramount since they seemingly have streaming rights to the film (at least in the US).
is CW going to be on Blu-ray/4k or on streaming now that it has been scanned?
Isn’t this thread about Raintree County?
Yeah, you're right, we're getting too distracted.
BTW, if anyone has the Watch TCM app, you can watch Raintree County now 'til Wednesday. Running time is allegedly 3 hours, 7 minutes though it could be an error.
How is the quality of the app, does it stream in HD?
Yep, you are right, the Bronston movies have their own thread so I am refraining from answering to the latest posts.
At least looking from the outside Warner seems to treat Raintree County as if it never existed so I will try to see it again in 35mm as it has been more than 10 years since I last watched it.
The last time I was really impressed that it looked fantastic even in 35mm and it had a certain atmosphere that I found fascinating.
I've never had the opportunity to see Raintree County in 35mm. It was screen at the TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto back in 2011 as part of their Monty Clift retrospective, but sadly I missed it. (I did get to see A Place in the Sun, though.) When they did an Elizabeth Taylor season a few years back, Raintree wasn't included.
It's an HD stream of the 168 minute version.
FWIW, I've read the shooting script for FotRE at the Herrick out here in LA, and there was a sliver more references to Christians in it. Two of Livius' allies in the senate are (secret) Christians, but all of their lines were cut. All you see of them now are in the background next to Livius when they're all chained to be burned as sacrifice to Commodus.