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'TITANIC' dvd *VS* it's theatrical presentation. What happened with this disc? (1 Viewer)

Inspector Hammer!

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I'll start off by saying that ever since I got my Sony VVEGA, non-anamorphic titles have been sort of a turn off for me (except for a couple here and there), and i've always thought that the current 'Titanic' dvd could look A LOT better.

Little did I know just how bad this disc was until I saw the film again on the big screen this past Saturday at a special TITANIC tribute in Jersey City, and now had a fresh view of this film on actual film. Now, when this disc came out, I read here, and on various other sites about how it was one of the best non anamorphic discs people had seen, and this makes NO sense. Pure and simple, this disc is just bad.

The current dvd is an extremly poor representation of the true look of this film, it's jaggy, shimmery, and in general just looks very 'digital'. Watching it in Jersey the other night, I was floored by the sheer cleanliness of the print we saw, it was smooth, clean, and virtually free of excessive grain, it was marvelous. How i'd forgotten.

This was the first time i've been in a position to see a film in a theater, and then have the ability to go home and make an immediate comparison to the dvd while the theatrical image was still very fresh in my mind, and it was a stark difference from how this dvd looks to say the least. So how did this dvd get such good reviews upon it's release?

Now, before you comment on how you think this dvd looks "good", you must try to consider how this film looked on film on a large screen. If you can't really recall enough detail between the two to make a comparison, you won't understand exactly where i'm coming from.

Bottom line, THIS FILM NEEDS A NEW ANAMORPHIC TRANSFER A.S.A.P!
 

Tino

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I did the same thing too. While I don't believe the transfer is as bad as you do, I do thik that it doesn't look as great as I once thought. I too noticed shimmering and jaggies.
It's ok since we all know that a SE is coming that will undoubtedly be anamorphic and correct these problems. BTW, didn't one of the Titanic historians, Charles Haas, say that a four hour "directors cut" was being worked on as we speak? I predict that the upcoming SE DVD will set the standard...I hope.:)
BTW, one more thing. I will NEVER substitute seeing a film on the BIG screen in favor of a home viewing on DVD. Nothing compares to a good theatrical presentation no matter how great your home theater is. Films lose SO much in the translation to the small screen. Seeing Titanic both ways just reinforces my opinion.
If you CAN see a film in a theater, do so. It's a much more powerful experience
that, imo, no home theater can reproduce.:)
 

Kevin P

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2.35:1 films, when transferred to a non-anamorphic DVD, loses a lot of horizontal resolution. Also, I notice more shimmering/jaggies on Titanic than even other non-anamorphic DVDs. I heard that the DVD came from a High Definition master, so I wonder if they used crappy downconversion on top of making it non-anamorphic (think original Toshiba downconversion). Then add fine horizontal details like ship's railings, then crank the MPEG compression to max to fit the movie on the disc, and you wind up with EEWWWW.

One time, after I recalibrated my TV's S-video input to match the calibration on the progressive component input I tossed in some non-anamorphic discs in (the only time I use the S-video, since my set "locks" into 16:9 mode when it receives a progressive signal), and Titanic looked AWFUL. Granted my set's crappy internal line doubler doesn't help matters any. If I watch it in progressive scan, windowboxed (black bars on all 4 sides) it doesn't look as jaggy--in fact it looks decent, but then it's tiny.

I'd give my left front speaker for an anamorphic version of this film.

KJP
 

James Miller

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Nothing compares to a good theatrical presentation no matter how great your home theater is.
Agreed. However, that being said, for most of us finding a "good theatrical presentation" is easier said than done... it is a hit and miss affair. Not to mention, at home we have the pause button, we can regulate ringing phones, other people talking, crying babies, etc. We can set the volume to levels that will ensure we live to hear another day, and we don't often have the problem of people behind us kicking our chairs, and don't need to get up and down to allow others to go to the b'room or snack bar. :)

Bottom line is that a "good home theater presentation" can beat the daylights out of a substandard theater presentation, not to mention a substandard theater "environment". As similar as we try to make the two, they really are and always will be apples and oranges. Or at least green v. red apples. That is a good thing.
 

Michael St. Clair

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2.35:1 films, when transferred to a non-anamorphic DVD, loses a lot of horizontal resolution.
All films (except windowboxed ones) get the same horizontal resolution on DVD.

Non-anamorphic transfers lose 25% of vertical resolution over an equivalent anamorphic transfer, regardless of aspect ratio.
 

DaveBB

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If you do a search you will see that about every 3 to 4 months a thread kicks up saying exactly what you are saying about Titanic on DVD. Unfortunately we'll probably have to wait since Lightstorm can only do one film at a time and 2001 was taken up with Terminator 1 and 2002 looks to have every effort going into a True Lies 5-Star.
 

Aaron Reynolds

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Since this obviously was a "condition that detracted from the theatrical presentation of this film," I think this qualifies for a call to 1-800-PHONE-THX.
Well, I did call them, and they thanked me for breaking up the monotony of "the sound is reversed and the picture is too dark", but could do nothing about my problem.
 

Dan M

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I still say seeing a movie in the theater is still the best way to watch a film, in spite of noisy rude people and whatever other annoyances may be present (cell phones etc)
The look of actual film projected on a huge screen is irreplaceable IMO.
MOst of the theaters in my area are well calibrated and offer a very good presentation I think. The patrons are usually well behaved as well. I've only experienced someone's cell phone ringing once and I go to lots of movies.
The TITANIC dvd actually looks pretty good on my Panasonic RP91. The jaggies are virtually eliminated.
It's still waaaayyy overdue for a proper treatment though!:frowning:
 

Tino

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Like I said, there is no comparison to a "good theatrical presentation".
Seeing a film in a properly calibrated auditorium has no equal.
I usually catch matinees or mid week late afternoon shows to avoid unruly crowds and have no problems. I have two THX approved theaters within 5 miles
so I am fortunate.
Seeing it on DVD in my home theater is always a secondary option to a theatrical showing. The advantages to seeing films such as Titanic, Star Wars, FOTR on a huge screen far outweigh he advantages of a home viewing.:)
 

Jerry Gracia

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Yeah, Dave...but not everybody see's TITANIC in the theater about every 3 to 4 months...

I somewhat agree with Jon.

Yes, the theatrical presentation we saw at LOEW'S was vastly superior to the DVD.

But, the DVD is still pretty good for a non-anamorphic transfer on its own terms.
 

Inspector Hammer!

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I agree 110% that seeing a film at a good theater is always superior to veiwing it at home, that's a given I think. But my point is, the good reviews lavished on this disc were not warrented, it's clear that those who gave this disc good reviews before it's release had simply forgotten what this film TRULY looks like. Even the black level is off on this disc, it's a touch too bright making the CGI effects in the film look fake, on film however, they blended seamlessly with the rest of the picture. The black level is also a bit on the muddy side on my freinds 61", and yes, both of our monitors are properly calibrated.
It's obvious that this current dvd was just a rush job, and it shows, big time.
Tino,
I got real excited when Mr. Haas mentioned the directors cut the other night, he must have some "inside" info on it to even bring it up ya think? I guess I should have asked him. ;)
 

Patrick McCart

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I saw Titanic in a theater and I thought it looked pretty good. I have yet to see the current DVD, but I'd give Paramount a little slack. It IS a very early DVD, after all.

The only Super-35 film I've seen in theaters which was grainy was LOTR...but it seems to be an intentional effect.

I would like a Titanic SE and I'll definately wait for one of Paramount's "Collector's Edition" DVDs. (3 discs perhaps?)
 

Nick_Scott

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> The current dvd is an extremly poor representation

> of the true look of this film, it's jaggy, shimmery,

> and in general just looks very 'digital'.

Didn't Bjoern say that the shimmering was due to the lack of low-pass filtering?

Which is worse? Shimmering or loss of detail due to filtering (and EE, which usually go together)?

-nick
 

RobertR

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I've seen more than one person say that other than it being nonanamorphic, this is a first rate tranfer because of the lack of filtering and EE.
 

Sam Hatch

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The last time I saw Titanic theatrically it was in 70mm and DTS. So needless to say the DVD should be a doorstop in comparison.
But... it looks better than my LD so I can deal with it until the next incarnation arrives. Will that one match seeing it in 70mm? Well... erm... NO WAY! :)
 

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