Robert Harris on The Bits - 6/28/04 column - OFFICIAL THREAD

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Bill Hunt, Jun 27, 2004.

  1. Bill Hunt

    Bill Hunt Insider
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    After another month or two away working in the industry, Robert Harris is back with a brand new Yellow Layer Failure column at The Digital Bits. In this edition, Robert talks Disney's recent Walt Disney Treasures titles, the films of producer Ismail Merchant, director James Ivory and screenwriter Ruth Prawer Jhabvala on DVD, recent Ingmar Bergman releases and Universal Westerns too. Here's a link to his latest piece...

    Robert's Latest Column

    As always, click on the link to read Robert's comments and then come on back here to this official thread at the HTF to discuss, give feedback, ask questions of Robert and sound off as you will. Thanks to Robert for his usual fine work, and best wishes to all of you!
     
  2. EdgarNazaretyan

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    Nice to see Robert Harris giving his feedback of recent releases.

    Thank you
     
  3. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

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    Robert,

    Thanks for pointing out the ridiculous practice of Disney not including theatrical release years on their dvds. One question though. You said Are you sure? The only fathomable reason I could imagine is that they somehow think that not listing the year will help their copyright not run out. Some legal mumbo jumbo that "this dvd wasn't released in 1976, it was released in 2004, so therefore we have 75 years (or whatever it is) from that date". I'll admit I don't see how it could fly, but there's lots of ridiculous rulings in copyright law (e.g., DMCA). Anyway, I was just wondering why you thought it wasn't legal, and what you thought it might be.

    Thanks for another nice column.
     
  4. JustinCleveland

    JustinCleveland Cinematographer

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    Another damn Robert Harris column to cost me more money.

    Thanks! It was enjoyable, as always.

    As for the dates on Disney DVDs, the only thought I would have is the amount of times they re-released the films in theaters over the years, at least Animated films, would make it difficult to pinpoint a particular year. Including the production year would be better, me thinks.

    Anyway, thanks again!
     
  5. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Producer

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    I am so glad to hear that Fanny and Alexander is definately on its way from Criterion! I can't wait.

    Cheers, Robert! [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  6. Haggai

    Haggai Producer

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    Great column from RAH, as always. But I do want to mention something about his last recommendation, for the current DVD of Monster. RAH might very well not be aware of this, but director Patty Jenkins, in this DVDFile interview, says that a special edition is eventually coming, maybe as early as September. So anyone who's interested in picking that title up should be aware of the double-dip, since the SE hasn't been officially announced yet.
     
  7. Jonathan Kaye

    Jonathan Kaye Second Unit

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    I was intrigued by the reference to the recent 2-disc A Room with a View asgiven that the recent topic here on this release came to the conclusion that it suffered from PAL speed-up.
     
  8. Reagan

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    Thanks for another column, Mr. Harris.

    As for the Disney/production year thing, my money's on the marketing department ("If we put 2004 on the box instead of 1937, people will think it's new!").

    -Reagan
     
  9. oscar_merkx

    oscar_merkx Lead Actor

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    I am really enjoying the WDT of On the Frontlines

    [​IMG]
     
  10. ToddF

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    Robert, thanks for the great article. This Disney set is actually the 3rd Tins release though...
     
  11. Craig S

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  12. DouglasBr

    DouglasBr Stunt Coordinator

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    Thank you for another insightful column, Mr. Harris. One minor correction: Howard's End has been unavailable for a couple years now. I've been wondering when it will be rereleased. . . .
     
  13. Damin J Toell

    Damin J Toell Producer

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    If they do, they're delusional.

    DJ
     
  14. Craig S

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    Me too. In the 2002 Criterion catalog Howards End was listed as coming soon, but it never showed up. Hopefully it will eventually be released as part of Home Vision's Merchant-Ivory Collection.
     
  15. Robert Harris

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    Notes and annoations...

    I had no idea that Howards End (no apostrophe) was out of print.

    ******

    Soon after the completion of the first part of this month's column Ray Charles, one of most brilliant musicians, and a national treasure, passed away. Like so many other people who either never had or had lost their vision, he made up for it in other ways. In his case, he could obviously see music.

    I mention this because Mr. Charles, a man I respected highly, would not have made a terribly good video transfer engineer. Nor would he have done a terrifically good turn in the QC area of home video.

    He has this in common with some unidentified individual or individuals, who have recently been working in the home video area at Miramax.

    My comments in regard to Cold Mountain (notice please that there is no asterisk) concerned the film. I saw it presented at The Director's Guild in Hollywood with Mr. Minghella in attendence. It was a magnificent presentation. I was hopeful that the DVD was commensurate.

    It is not.

    The problem seems to be contained at Miramax and not Disney.

    While not as horrific as the DVD presentation Gangs of New York, which is totally impermissable and needs to be replaced, Cold Mountain on DVD is not at all filmlike, having seemingly gone through someone's equipment somewhere who was intent on making the film as ugly and electronic looking as possible.

    As represented by the current DVD, Mr. Minghella could just as easily placed a low-end mini-dv camera in John Seale's hands, and come away with a DVD which had no loss in quality.

    Hopefully, whoever created this DVD has a career ahead of them in music.

    ************

    In regard to A Room with a View, I saw no PAL problems in speedup or other functionality. If it was there, I may have lost it behind the quality of the film itself which had my full attention.
     
  16. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

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    [​IMG]
     
  17. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    RAH.

    Your impressions of the disc EXACTLY reflect my own. I'm going to try to get my review posted today. Mind if I quote a bit of your assessment?

    The key phrase that resonates with me:

     
  18. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    To David Boulet...

    I thought your piece was already up. But, certainly, be my guest.

    RAH
     
  19. Chris_Estrada

    Chris_Estrada Auditioning

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    I saw a picture of a frame for Spartacus on a website showing different lines where the extractions were made for dvd and theater showings. None of them used the entire frame. I want to know why they don't, or can't, use the entire print frame? Thank you.
     
  20. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    A single frame of film does not take into account the splice lines, cement marks and detritus around the splice.

    For this reason one can view a frame which might well be partially later be obstructed by magnetic tracks on the sides or more properly cropped top and botttom, dependant upon the film element.

    In the case of Spartacus, a single frame from a piece of Technirama material would have exposed splices at the sides which would be protected during projection or transfer.

    A 65mm intermediate element which might be used for transfer, would additionally, have protected areas on the left and right.

    RAH
     

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