The Apartment - Pq ?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Anthony Neilson, Feb 22, 2004.

  1. Anthony Neilson

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    I just got round to watching my copy of THE APARTMENT and I was shocked by how bad the PQ was, with all kinds of e.e and artefacts and shimmering.

    I did a search on this forum and found a general consensus that backed this up. However, I also looked up a few reviews and found very mixed results.

    For example, from DVD Town -

    Video:
    "The Apartment" is presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen. The format replicates the theatrical release, with wide black bars on top and bottom of the screen. The film is shot entirely in black-and-white, with beautiful, sharp contrasts and bright whites and grays. The video is crisp and sharp, with no noticeable deterioration of the print anywhere. The print appears as close as is possible to perfection, and it's hard to imagine that the quality could be improved in any future release. The DVD is a superb example of a transfer done masterfully.

    This praise was repeated on several sites. Even the normally reliable Gary Tooze's DVD Beaver comparison - whilst not glowing - mentioned softness but not the shimmering, which is worse than any I can remember seeing.

    As it's hard for me to imagine that any self-respecting DVD reviewer couldn't notice these problems, it led me to wonder whether the initial run was a bad batch and whether, perhaps, a better transfer had been sneaked out by MGM.

    Any comments ?
     
  2. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

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    This film has never gotten the release it deserves, and the picture quality is not up to snuff, certainly not like your quote would indicate.

    However, the dvd is an improvement on the laser disc, and with a good dvd player (e.g., rp91), it certainly is watchable, with very little shimmering, etc. On the other hand, if any film deserved a restoration and 2 disc special edition, The Apartment certainly does.
     
  3. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Producer

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    It needs and deserves a new transfer. One, Two, Three looks great - MGM did a great job with that recently. Cameron Crowe (Almost Famous director and admirer of Billy Wilder) has stated that he has some great audio interview material of Wilder and would gladly donate it to MGM for a SE DVD.

    Right now, I am keener to see Ace In The Hole on DVD from Paramount. That is my favourite Wilder film. Brilliant film. But I love The Apartment and most HT fans of the film seem to want a new transfer and some extras.
     
  4. Eric Peterson

    Eric Peterson Cinematographer

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    Anthony,

    Can you mention what equipment you were watching the disc on?

    I've owned the disc for sometime and on my old 27" Toshiba TV, the shimmering was very evident, but I just bought a new 55" Widescreen Mitsubishi and new progessive scan player, and the shimmering was greatly reduced. Yes, there are still a lot of problems with the transfer, but the shimmering was my biggest complaint.
     
  5. Mark Bendiksen

    Mark Bendiksen Screenwriter

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    The shimmering is extremely bad on my Toshiba 42" widescreen. It's a lousy transfer, plain and simple. This classic deserves much better treatment, IMHO.
     
  6. Brian PB

    Brian PB Supporting Actor

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    I think the problems are player-dependent. When I watched this disc on my Malata (DAV-3600), I thought it was the worst transfer I'd ever seen. I also then read all those reviews which praised its PQ. When I got my Denon 1600, I watched it again, and it looked pretty darn good. (The rest of my setup was the same: InFocus X1 DLP Front Projector, projected to 75" diagonal / Progessive Scan mode with good quality component cables / Harman Kardon 230 AVR)
     
  7. Nick Sievers

    Nick Sievers Producer

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    It really deserves the 'A' grade treatment, the transfer is lousy and if the film wasn't so damn good I would have passed on the DVD.
     

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