"Raise The Titanic" - what gives with this transfer?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Eric Huffstutler, Feb 14, 2006.

  1. Eric Huffstutler

    Eric Huffstutler Screenwriter

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    I have Raise The Titanic on VHS and know it came out on Laserdisc (both by Fox) as full frame even though the OAR is 2.35:1

    Recently Lions Gate released this title as a double feature. The transfer is horrible, full of grain and ants. What is puzzling is that the opening and closing credits are in the proper ratio but the film itself is in Pan & Scam. If they have the original widescreen elements, why didn't they give us it?

    I also noticed that the production/distributor logos have changed between versions - and why didn't Fox release it on DVD?

    I know this title has been released in Europe as widescreen but know the German version is 1.66:1, not the proper ratio. How is the OPP UK version?

    And, any luck in ever seeing this in a high quality version?

    Eric

    [note] by the way, this transfer looks like it came from a murky tape rather than film or negative.
     
  2. Darren Gross

    Darren Gross Supporting Actor

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    The distributor logos would change between studios when the distribution deal for the film expired. Occasionally a studio will pick up a film with only a limited distribution window and rights...ie: theatrical and TV, but not video etc., then after a period of time all or some of the rights revert to the original production entity.

    The reason for the shoddy transfer is simple. The studio only had a pan n scan transfer probably from 10 or more years ago, and were too cheap to pay for a new transfer.

    As this film was probably a package acquisition with a pile of other titles, someone apparently felt it didn't warrant any extra attention.

    Plus, its Lions Gate/Artisan whose track record on new transfers for acquisitions is pretty shoddy. I don't think they've spent a single penny to upgrade a single catalog transfer. (I mean Waxwork may not be a classic, but a 4x3 pan n scan transfer in this day and age, and probably a 18 year old transfer? Gimme a break.)
     
  3. Andy_Dursin

    Andy_Dursin Extra

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    The UK DVD started off at 2.35 and went to 1.85 (though was still was 16:9 enhanced) for the rest of the movie. 2.0 stereo sound (I believe mistakenly listed as mono) as well, making it probably the best DVD of the movie out there.
     
  4. Jay Pennington

    Jay Pennington Screenwriter

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    Back in the 80s a friend of mine rented a VHS version that was letterboxed. This was long before most people knew what letterboxing was, so it was an anomaly. I'm pretty sure it still wasn't the entire frame, though. I don't recall it looking anywhere near 2.35.
     
  5. Eric Huffstutler

    Eric Huffstutler Screenwriter

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    Are Region 2 UK versions available? I noticed that a new release with different art has popped up lately in both Germany and UK (same art). How is that transfer and ratio?
     
  6. Eric Huffstutler

    Eric Huffstutler Screenwriter

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    What bothered me about Lions Gate is that they have the ability to make great transfers but with older titles seem to throw them out "as is". Horrible and disappointing.
     
  7. Jay E

    Jay E Cinematographer

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    Artisan has released a few films as double features recently including March or Die, Parents and Personal Services. Regretably all are pan & scan which doesn't surprise me as Artisan is the worst studio out there for OAR DVDs. A shame.
     
  8. Eric Huffstutler

    Eric Huffstutler Screenwriter

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    Jay, you must be a bit behind time because wasn't Artisan bought by Lions Gate and now under their banner?
     
  9. walter o

    walter o Supporting Actor

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    someone told me PARENTS and FEAR was OAR 1:85, despite what was on the packaging. Anyone can verify?

    You might want to keep an eye out for Japan, as many of the ITC/AFD films that received a pan and scan treatment in the States have been getting released in nice widescreen discs over there, like FIREPOWER, DOMINO PRINCIPLE, SATURN 3, etc.
     
  10. Jay E

    Jay E Cinematographer

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    I didn't know that...Artisan has been so bad for years I try to ignore them as much as possible[​IMG]
     
  11. Bradley-E

    Bradley-E Screenwriter

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    Isn't it an old ITC title? I wonder if Artisan/Lions Gate is losing the rights to this title, Domino Principal, etc so they are just crapping out releases to get some coin. Recently Universal released "Return of the Pink Panther" (an old Artisan title) with a decent transfer. Could they be releasing other ITC titles in the future?
     
  12. walter o

    walter o Supporting Actor

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    Bradley, ITC library is now held by Granada via their acquisitions of Carlton UK. Artisan (via LIVE) had the ITC titles once Fox lost the license (remember LIVE put many of them out in EP speed vhs sell thru line), so I assume Lions Gates is sorta dumping many of the Vestron/Live stuff from Artisan's catalog. The guy at Granada however told me Artisians rights to the ITC titles (which also includes KILLER FISH, MEDUSA TOUCH, ESCAPE TO ATHENA, LOVE AND BULLETS) do not run out until 2011, however. [​IMG]
     
  13. Eric Huffstutler

    Eric Huffstutler Screenwriter

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    I am surprised that Carlton (wasn't that the UK distributor of Fox films?) sold out and since their releases of older films was for the most part superior to US releases of same titles, that Granada doesn't do them justice? But who has the widescreen version of the "Raise The Titanic" title? Like I said, the Lions Gate (with prints from Granada) release looks to be taken from a tape rather than film elements and odd that they would use both the proper ratio with intros then go Pan & Scan for the balance of the feature? The Fox release was P&S but the intros was also P&S with text landing on different places of the same frames.

    Who still has the UK widescreen version of "Raise The Titanic" for sale? Looks like the only way to get it until 2012?

    Eric
     
  14. Eric Huffstutler

    Eric Huffstutler Screenwriter

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    From what I gather, this was given as a freebie with a newspaper in the UK not too long ago, same exact print with widescreen credits and full screen feature.
     
  15. Andy_Dursin

    Andy_Dursin Extra

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    RAISE THE TITANIC is actually an ITC film, and was distributed theatrically in the U.S. by Associated General...Fox had nothing to do with it outside of releasing the old VHS tape.

    The Widescreen DVD (R2) I have was put out by Carlton and is OOP, unless it has been re-issued. It's 16:9 enhanced, though only in 1.85 (the opening and end credits are 2.35), and 2.0 surround, with the trailer. Good DVD if you can find it -- maybe the re-issue just rehashes this presentation?
     
  16. Eric Huffstutler

    Eric Huffstutler Screenwriter

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    Andy, actually Fox also distributed the LaserDisc too.
     
  17. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Producer

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  18. Eric Huffstutler

    Eric Huffstutler Screenwriter

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    I know, terrible film along with a lot of controversy concerning distribution and Clive. It's a wonder it even exists on DVD! Having seen some Australian transfers beat UK ones in the past, wonder how this stands up to the Carlton UK version?

    Just being a completest, wanting all movies Titanic [​IMG]

    Eric
     
  19. Malcolm Cleugh

    Malcolm Cleugh Second Unit

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    I have the UK R2 DVD, this is the newspaper freebie version (referred to above), but is identical to the paid for version.
    Was given away by the Sun newspaper through Blockbuster stores (voucher in paper redeem), in a ITC movies series other titles included Boys from Brazil and Cassandra Crossing. These were identical to the Carlton DVD releases as they owned the ITC rights. All could do with reissues as the other titles in the series were mainly letterboxed.

    Raise the Titanic DVD as said above is 1.78 anamorphic for everything except opening credits where it is OAR. The only difference is the freebie version has no chapter points or subtitles.

    The UK rights are now owned by Granada Ventures (who merged with Carlton). What we have to hope is the film forms part of their sublicense of rights to Network who are releasing a lot of the older (Granada / ITC) back catalogue stuff especially TV such as the Gerry Anderson programmes. Network have done a very good job with their releases of the limited films they have released under this deal so far eg Capricorn One has an anamorphic OAR transer (unlike R1 where it is letterboxed) plus interviews as extras and Black Narcissus which has new improved transfer compared to the Criterion.
    Have to hope that Network release this.

    The only downside is a 1.78 anamorphic transfer exists as has been shown on TV here in UK as well as being on the DVD, so will they spend the money on an OAR transfer on a non mainstream film. With Capricorn One the OAR anamorphic transfer has also been provided to broadcasters as featured on the Sky Movies channels before appearing on the Network DVD so I guess someone else paid for the new transfer (Granada rather than Network ?).
     
  20. Sylvia*ST

    Sylvia*ST Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks to Gordon for this post. Despite the incorrect AR (4:3) on the box (as he says, it's 2.20:1), this is by far the best print of the film I have ever seen outside a theatre. I kept the P&S laserdisc and the prerecorded Beta tape (it had better sound) for years.

    I know the dialogue is lame, but the sight of that ship breaking the water is worth it all. The backstory of the making of the film, the zillion-gallon tank in Malta and the demise of its producing company all make it interesting, too.
     

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