Starved for content + A curious R Harris compliment = ?

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Paul_Scott, May 25, 2006.

  1. Paul_Scott

    Paul_Scott Lead Actor

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    Van Helsing!

    And damn near one of the most enjoyable 2 hours I've had yet with this format.
    After hearing so many bad things about this one for the last two years, and the brief glimpses of CGI overkill i would see in demo scenes and trailers, this one has been quite easy to ignore. I never felt any interest in even renting it out- even with unlimited rentals and nothing else in the store I wanted to see.

    However in another thread here, a while back, Robert Harris claimed that he was looking forward to this, and when I asked him how he could (rightfully) slight some of the weaker Bd launch titles, while saying he was looking forward to Van Helsing, he replied he was a fan of Allen Daviau's (cinematographer) work. I think he also might have said he enjoyed the film for what it is.

    And after finally seeing, I have to heartily agree.
    To take the second issue first- I must have been in the perfect mood for this last night and didn't even know it, but I had a blast with it. Although there were points where I was laughing at it rather than with it, it seemed like that was always the intention. In some ways, it was camp, but rather than witless Batman & Robin camp, it was more like DeLaurentis's Flash Gordon camp. In fact, that was the one movie I was consistently reminded of by the films 'vibe'. It took me a while to appreciate the charms of Flash (I sneered at the thought of it as a kid), but now I love the film , and Van Helsing is eventually going to find a place not far from it on the shelf.

    as to the disc itself, I understand now why Mr Harris was looking forward to this and singling out Daviaus work. Although Unforgiven and Serenity have been the discs with the best transfers/best content ratio so far for me, this one does not disappoint in the slightest when taken as simply eye candy.
    From a pure visual standpoint, I think this may be my favorite release so far on the format.

    Absolutely beautiful.
     
  2. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Among the many Daviou pleasures in this film is the absolutely spot on recreation of early 1930s Universal black & white cinematography.

    This is not something easily accomplished.

    RAH
     
  3. Paul_Scott

    Paul_Scott Lead Actor

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    camp was probably the wrong word. Tounge-in-cheek was more the phrase I was looking for.

    an hour after i had returned it to its Netflix envelope and sealed it up, I went and ordered it on Amazon. Usually I can wait out that impulse to own, until it eventually diminishes and is replaced by something else. I had the same impulse after seeing Goodfellas and after Unforgiven.
    I still feel at some point I will own those two- but the problem with buying them now is- I feel with so many reports of peoples discs locking up or freezing or having some other playability issue, that I'm going to need to view any purchase completely within the return window. This is something I don't do with regular DVDs. And for this reason, as much as I enjoyed them and respect them- I just don't feel a strong pull to want to watch them again so soon.

    VH is so overstuffed with production value though, and image in HD so consistently gorgeous, that I'm actually looking forward to another viewing in a few weeks.
     
  4. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Mr. Scott,

    I've not yet had a single HD problem, and am counting the days until Van Helsing arrives in my office.

    Be fearless!

    RAH
     
  5. Ed St. Clair

    Ed St. Clair Producer

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    Yeah, Paul.
    A reviewer for S&V caught himself watching CoR all the way though in HD, even though he was not a fan of the movie, just for the pure "eye candy" of it.
    Enjoy!
     
  6. Ian Currie

    Ian Currie Stunt Coordinator

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    I find it surprising that someone could be visibly impressed with the HD-DVD of Van Helsing.

    Out of the 7 or 8 titles that I've checked out so far, this is the worst. There is virtually no difference that I can see between this and the SD version. So many scenes look soft and out of focus and I've spent hours comparing the two discs and I've come to the conclusion that the master must simply not have enough detail to warrant an HD version of it.

    Mind you I watch SD DVD nicely scaled up to 720p on an eight-foot wide screen (CRT front projector), but on every other title, the HD version has blown away the SD version - even on dark titles like Goodfellas, Doom, Million Dolllar Baby, etc.
     
  7. Paul_Scott

    Paul_Scott Lead Actor

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    Ian, you sure you had the player set to 1080i and not 720p?
    Other than that, I'll have to wait until my copy from Amazon comes in again. I also never saw the sd version.
     
  8. Ian Currie

    Ian Currie Stunt Coordinator

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    Yup, 1080i for sure, but I can say that it *looked* like I had the output set to 720p and the Toshiba was doing the crappy scaling thing.

    All I have to do is switch to any other disc and there is detail galore.
     
  9. Paul Hillenbrand

    Paul Hillenbrand Screenwriter

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    Viewed both discs on a 110" screen via upgraded HDMI 1080P signal to a Sony VPL-VW100 native 1080P projector. The DVD player SDI output @ 480i to a VP30 and 1080P HDMI to the projector. The same with the HD DVD via the Toshiba A-1's 1080i to the VP30 and output @ 1080P.
    Paul
     
  10. Larry Sutliff

    Larry Sutliff Cinematographer

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    I definitely found the VH HD DVD to be superior to the already excellent DVD. The movie didn't get any better, but that's another story. [​IMG]
     
  11. Larry Sutliff

    Larry Sutliff Cinematographer

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    Oops. Double post.
     

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