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Blu-ray Review The Last Temptation of Christ Blu-ray Review

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Matt Hough, Mar 6, 2012.

  1. Bryan Tuck

    Bryan Tuck Screenwriter

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    Thought I'd bump this, as I do see what Sean is talking about regarding the banding in the desert scene, and it really looks terrible. However, this only shows up on a rear-projection TV; when I try it on an LCD, this problem is nowhere to be found. The desert scene looks flawless. Could this be an issue between different monitors (or players)?
    Also, Sean, I had an opportunity to see a 35mm print of this film recently, and the end credits were over the same light brown/beige background that's been on every video version. It even "faded" to the color at the same point. I don't mean to dispute your memory, but I could tell this wasn't a recently made print; could the white background have been a variation in the 70mm version, perhaps?
     
  2. JohnMor

    JohnMor Producer
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    After reading this, I finally spun the disc last night and it is DEFINITELY there on my Samsung LED display. While I wouldn't call the disc unwatchable, it is noticeable and very distracting.
     
  3. 24fpssean

    24fpssean Stunt Coordinator

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    Sorry Bryan for the late response. I've given up on HTF and moved on... then I noticed others had indeed seen the mess that is this Criterion BD. No, I did not see Last Temptation in 70mm. I was working at Universal Cineplex (now the AMC) as an assistant floor manager (a few years before I got into the industry as an editor!) and saw the film several times. The screen never darkened to the tawny gold, it was always blank white with bright white titles popping on and off. I wondered then how on earth they would ever get that to show on VHS. Now, of course, it can be done.
    Bryan, if you saw the print darken to gold, I cannot explain that. It is possible that timing was changed after the film's first release, because it was difficult to read those end titles. If that's the case, I'm sorry Scorsese made that decision. It really is a haunting experience to see the film burning off of the screen by the powers of the Psychodelic God at the end. As a side note, I did indeed pick up Universal's 100th anniversary edition of Last Temptation, which they only released on DVD; it's hideous. There are also some curious factors with the sound. In Criterion's original DVD release of the film, Judas' line "It's Magalene. She's deserves it." is missing and you hear Harvey mumble it. In the BD the line has bee restored. In Universal's new DVD, the line is still missing. This poor tortured movie really does need a completely new harvest, timing and audio work. Universal redeemed themselves with the redo of Out of Africa on BD. Let's hope they do so with Last Temptation.
    Oh and PS: when I saw the white credits against the blank white movie screen back in 1988, it was NOT after the theater lights had come up. A few times the lights did come up while the titles were still playing out and they completely washed out. So perhaps Scorsese felt his novel idea was a bad one since end titles, which are very important to a film (they contain the names of those who made the damned thing!), were difficult to read. I don't know why it's different now but I know what I saw, with absolute certainty. As a young filmmaker, it impressed me and I thought I must steal that idea someday. :)
     
  4. Bryan Tuck

    Bryan Tuck Screenwriter

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    I didn't see the film in theaters in 1988, and I probably wouldn't remember anything about the background of the credits anyway, as I was 10 at the time :) But I can say for sure that the print I saw a few months ago had the brown/beige background behind the credits. The print was in pretty decent condition, although it had obviously been run a few times.
    The screening itself was great. It was at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica, with Barbara Hershey in attendance. She told some interesting stories about the production.
    Also, if anyone is interested in the history behind this film and the impact it had on the industry, the country, and the world in general, I highly recommend Thomas R. Lindlof's book Hollywood Under Siege: Martin Scorsese, the Religous Right, and the Culture Wars. It's a highly detailed account of Scorsese's 15-year journey towards making the film, the lead up to its release, and the aftermath. It makes a pretty strong case for the release of the movie being a significant turning point in the so-called "culture wars" that we're still dealing with in America to this day.
     
  5. 24fpssean

    24fpssean Stunt Coordinator

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    I almost went to that screening, Bryan! Now I wish I had, because I would have seen it for myself! I was 22 in '88 and remember clearly the thousands of protesters swarming the hill at the time, up at Universal Cineplex. Funny to think there was no CityWalk then, and parking was in the dirt. I would love to have heard Hershey talk after, it was she who gave the novel to Scorsese. He had originally been planning to make Robert Graves' KING JESUS into a film (which would have been a nightmare trying to cut through Graves' dense mythology) until he read LToC. I've read both and they are quite different. LToC is written more from the heart and is a surprisingly moving novel. King Jesus is like finding a golden treasure buried at Qumran, a treasure that retains most of its mysteries.
    I'll check out Hollywood Under Siege!
     
  6. Charles Smith

    Charles Smith Extremely Talented Member

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    I wish I could say I remember what the end credits looked like in 1988, but I haven't the slightest idea. It was a great night, though, standing in the line stretching around the Plitt Century City, watching the protesters, and the audience as a whole was quite taken with the film.
     

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