The Relic (1997) picture quality

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Chuck Stephens, Feb 16, 2004.

  1. Chuck Stephens

    Chuck Stephens Stunt Coordinator

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    I just got this for 10 bucks at Circuit City and was just wondering what other people thought of the picture quality. I thought that while it was very dark, the picture just seemed to be lacking focus. I remember it being dark in theaters but not this out of focus. Anyone else have this disc and care to weigh in on it?
     
  2. Paul_Scott

    Paul_Scott Lead Actor

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    yup.
    disappointing.
    the softness and darkness make this a real eyesore to watch on a digital pj.

    shame cause i remember the film being quite entertaining.
     
  3. James Sarno

    James Sarno Stunt Coordinator

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    It's not the best looking disc...but I've seen worse.
    The audio is not bad,sounds ok...for $9.99 i'm not gonna complain.It could use a new transfer but I doubt thats going to happen.

    Still,its a fun movie with good effects and for that price again its hard to really complain.
     
  4. Steve_Ch

    Steve_Ch Supporting Actor

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    I posted similar observation may be a couple years ago in the forum. I love the movie and would have brought the DVD if it wasn't so poor.
     
  5. Chuck Stephens

    Chuck Stephens Stunt Coordinator

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    The real bummer is that the trailer on the disc is non-anamorphic but is a lot sharper and more film-like. I bought the disc having read that the transfer was soft but for 10 bucks it's not a bad deal. The audio alone is worth that much. I would definitely buy it again if the transfer was upgraded and the original teaser trailer was included.[​IMG]
     
  6. Jeremy Conrad

    Jeremy Conrad Supporting Actor

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    On a similar subject, do you know if the sequel to the book was ever done? The ending of the novel left it wide open for a sequel.
     
  7. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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    The sequel is called Reliquary. It's not as good as the original novel but all in all a fairly engaging read. You can find it at Amazon from $.49 used.
     
  8. Mike_Richardson

    Mike_Richardson Supporting Actor

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    One thing no one has mentioned here is that one of the main criticisms of the movie itself was that it was too dark and grainy *IN THEATERS* as well.

    Peter Hyams' cinematography tends to not translate well to video at all -- as much as you can fault Paramount for the "soft, dark" transfer, I doubt you'll ever see a better looking print.

    To me, the DVD appears exactly how I remembered it on the big screen -- your criticisms ought to be directed at Hyams and how he shot the movie, not necessarily with Paramount.

    As far as the trailer goes, the studio may have pumped up the brightness for all we know. Hyams INTENTIONALLY shot the movie in a lot of low light, which is why THE RELIC seems blurry and soft -- like it or not, he wanted a "dark" movie and certainly got one.
     
  9. Rob T

    Rob T Screenwriter

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    If I ever see it, I would get it. I loved it when I saw it on HBO a long time ago. [​IMG]
     
  10. Scotty_McW

    Scotty_McW Second Unit

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    I had always thought that it was my imagination about the picture being soft and have never seen a review of this disc. I bought it when it was first released and was disappointed with the picture. But it's definitely not the worst I have seen (Ghost and the Darkness ranks up there in my mind as a disc that is in sore need of a new transfer).
     


  11. Too bad about some of those early Paramount DVD releases that may never get redone: Ghost and the Darkness, Breakdown, Primal Fear, and Internal Affairs.

    As much as I'd like to get them, I can't see paying more than $5-$7 for weak A/V.

    If I find them used or if they hit the Walmart bin though, I'm in.
     
  12. Brian Thibodeau

    Brian Thibodeau Supporting Actor

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    The Relic was much brighter in theatres than it is on DVD. That DVD is pathetic. Now, I'll admit it may have been the theatres iI saw it in, as I saw it twice with different people in cities about 200 km from each other, but I distinctly remember shuddering when I got the DVD, particularly during the climax, where you can barely make out the details on the creature, which were there in the theatrical prints I saw. One of those friends who also bought the DVD long after I did called to ask if mine looked as crappy as his. That print on that disc looks like its being projected with a 60-watt light bulb. Granted, Hyams cinematography is always kind of soupy, but in the theatres I remember being struck with how comparitively clean it looked compared to some of his earlier work. Coulda been me. Coulda been the projectionists in those theatres. But the DVD was a big letdown. I always hoped they'd quietly fix it for future pressings, but from the looks of this thread, I guess not.
     
  13. Chuck Stephens

    Chuck Stephens Stunt Coordinator

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    I saw it on HBO last month and that's what prompted me to start looking for it. The version on HBO didn't look as blurry as the dvd but that may not mean much. Looking over on the avsforum it said that it was running in high definition on HBO for the month of may so I wonder how that looked?

    My only gripe after watching it a second time isn't how dark it is but how blurry it is. Having worked as a movie theater projectionist for many years this image just seems to be lacking focus. I sure don't remember it being this blurry when I screened it after hours with a friend at the old 6 screen theater i used to work at across town.
     
  14. Scotty_McW

    Scotty_McW Second Unit

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    I agree. If the image was just sharper, I wouldn't have a problem with the darkness of the film.
     
  15. Dan M

    Dan M Second Unit

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    agreed....i have no problem with dark movies. But the softness is attributed to just being a sloppy transfer IMO.

    END OF DAYS is a Peter Hyams film and is quite dark as well, but the transfer is excellent. Very sharp and detailed. A far cry from THE RELIC.....bummer cause i liked THE RELIC and was planning on upgrading to front projection soon. I don't think this title will be worth watching on a 100" screen......
     
  16. DeanWalsh

    DeanWalsh Second Unit

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    It looks to me that it may be lacking sharpness due to underexposure in the cinematography. If you thought the dvd looks bad you should see the laserdisc! Frankly though if it's the source material that's problematic I'd rather it be left blurry than them adding edge enhancement to try and sharpen it.
     
  17. Chuck Stephens

    Chuck Stephens Stunt Coordinator

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    The one thing that makes me think that this is the transfer causing the blurriness is the trailer on the disc that I mentioned earlier. Every shot in it is far sharper than the same shot in the film and the colors seem to be a tad more vivid. I'm inclined to think that this was just a bad transfer and that if done again could yield excellent results and be much more pleasing to the eye. I wish Martin Blythe could weigh in on this but I don't know if there's anything more that he could add to our little discussion.
     
  18. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    Regarding The Relic and the sequel, The Reliquary, I found both of them to be engaging novels and blew through each of them in about 3 days each. Not sure the sequel would make a good movie though.
     
  19. Mike_Richardson

    Mike_Richardson Supporting Actor

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    Agreed 100%.
     

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