Paramount's COURT JESTER is acceptable on DVD, but one wishes it would get the kind of VistaVision restoration that WB gave NORTH BY NORTHWEST and HIGH SOCIETY.
Still, it's a TERRIFIC movie, and at least the film is presented in anamorphic with proper aspect ratio. At the reasonable price you'd pay, it's certainly worth it. The merely adequate picture & sound quality is certainly compensated by the brilliance of the wit of the film itself.
Let's see... the pellet with the poison's in the vessel with the pestle and the chalice from the palace has the brew that is true...
It's VERY worth owning, however...
Paramount's DVD is mediocre. The image is blurry and lacks any sort of real details. It's dirty and the source used to make the print used for the transfer must have been photographed through a very dirty optical printer. It looks like someone sneezed on a lens and there's snot in the upper right corner throughout the movie. The color seems to be great, though. The old pan & scan transfer didn't suffer too much from the blurriness, but the colors shifted from shot to shot (often to a brownish tint).
This is one film that absolutely needs a full restoration to make the VistaVision logo mean something.
Despite the ugly look of the film probably caused by using a poorly made dupe, I feel it's worth a purchase. One of the funniest movies ever made.
If Paramount did a full-scale restoration and remaster, I'd buy the SE just like that! *snap*
Mr. McCart is (again) correctly describing the situation.
The Vista Oneg is faded.
The separation masters were comped together to a dupe negative in 4 perf, which means that the final element ( a dupe negative) is overly contrasty, do to three optical steps, and is of the pre-wetgate era, which means that all damage is printed in.
To be fair, this was an early Paramount DVD - the fact that it's anamorphic is reason for happiness. I think it would look better, even using the current elements, if they did it anew, with wetgate and all. The color, after all, is perfect, Oneg not withstanding. And let's face it, they were not going to be transfering from the VistaVision negative anyway.
# Original camera negative (VistaVision) # IN # IP # YCM separation masters (VisaVision) # YCM separation masters (4 perf) # Magnetic mono composite audio master # Music and effects magnetic masters # High Definition tape master
So, this honor would be a nice opportunity to create a brand new restoration. It would be neat if the film could get a big 50th anniversary re-release in 2006.
Paramount must be able to do something better. Their To Catch a Thief DVD came from 8 perf separations (according to the website) and it looks much better.
That's the rub as always. It's futile to shake one's fist at the Paramount logo since the leadership (as with many media companies) has churned almost beyond recognition in the last dozen years. At least they seem to be doing things the right way now.
Yeah, there are a number of films I would like them to get to before re-doing "Court Jester", including "Up in Arms" and "Knock on Wood", but if it's not an either-or proposition, I'd be happy to see a new SE.