TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX HOME ENTERTAINMENT DEBUTS Manufacture-On-Demand DVD SERIES

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Ronald Epstein, Jun 20, 2012.

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  1. Doug Bull

    Doug Bull Advanced Member

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    I have a couple of Bounty's Western titles and while the color and sharpness are fine, both have nasty and troublesome problems within the Video.

    The problem titles are "Streets Of Laredo" and "Saskatchewan".
    Problems include the appearance of very annoying and detracting horizontal lines (sound bars?) moving up and down the image throughout both movies.
    There is a noticeable hum on the Laredo soundtrack.
    The films are not progressive which also detracts. (see image)
    laredo1.jpg

    I'm certainly not buying anymore titles from Bounty, as it's possible that they may have poor and inferior replication equipment.
    (It might be having problems handling NTSC to Pal conversion)


    This post is a follow up to the last few postings and I apologise for wandering off the main thread.
     
  2. Mark Collins

    Mark Collins Cinematographer

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    Just watched Three Coins In A Fountain on Turner Classic movies in HD and it looked great. I bet this title is going to TT. I sure will buy it if it does. Boy on a Dolphin is another I think they are going to put out.
     
  3. classicmovieguy

    classicmovieguy Producer

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    I do have a few more Bounty titles - their release of "The Princess Comes Across" (1936 Carole Lombard/Fred MacMurray) is a direct porting of the transfer from the US 'Carole Lombard Glamour Collection' in NTSC with subtitles. Also their release of "Midnight" (1939, Claudette Colbert) is comparative to the American release, minus subs and Robert Osbourne's introduction. They are hit-and-miss.
     
  4. classicmovieguy

    classicmovieguy Producer

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    TT's treatment of "Boy on a Dolphin" would only be an improvement over the letterboxed prints we've previously had on DVD.
     
  5. Mark Collins

    Mark Collins Cinematographer

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    Byron your quick. I just thought I had mess up on Boy on a Dolphin and was going to do a qick edit LOL I think Razors Edge is going to TT too. I wish they would do Presdents Lady and Marilyn.
     
  6. classicmovieguy

    classicmovieguy Producer

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    "Razor's Edge" would make lots of people very happy.
     
  7. moviefanatic1979

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    I'm new here.
    I became a member to tell you this:
    I got the "Princess of the Nile" DVD and watched it yesterday.
    It's most certainly filmed in the academy ratio.

    It won't look right zooming in to approx. Superscope ratio.

    Even B.,
    Norway
     
  8. Doug Bull

    Doug Bull Advanced Member

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    Welcome Even.

    I must admit that I would never use Zoom on a 4:3 image.

    Not only do you compromise the ratio but you also lose some of the DVD's image quality by blowing it up.
    Even using the TV's overscan can lower the image quality a tiny fraction.

    Let's pray that TT rescue "Three Coins In The Fountain" and "Boy On A Dolphin" from Fox Archive Hell !

    Doug.
     
  9. moviefanatic1979

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    Thanks for the welcome, Doug!

    Zooming in on the picture, using my Oppo Blu-ray player (not TV zoom), looked fine on the "The Naked Jungle" (1954) DVD. That one was filmed with Superscope in mind or protected for both ratios.

    Even.
     
  10. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
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    I have Three Coins in the Fountain on DVD issued in the Fox Studio Collection, and it looks splendid on DVD, so I'm not sure there is any danger of it going to the Fox Archives. If Fox doesn't release it themselves on Blu-ray, Twilight Time will, I think. (And since they're getting Love Is a Many Splendored Thing, Twilight TIme seems to be a good guess.)
     
  11. JoHud

    JoHud Producer

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    The best alternative I've found (without an Oppo player) is using a PC display using VLC player. VLC has a setting that crops the video into multiple reset aspect ratio aspect ratios. Very useful when dealing with open-matte transfers. Yes, zooming in the fill the screen is necessary, but if the transfer quality is already strong, the drop in video quality is very minor. Only an issue if the video quality is poor to begin with.

    Of course, I prefer when the film is presented in its correct aspect ratio to begin with but dealing with open matte transfers is far less troublesome than unworkable old P&S transfers that Fox keeps exhuming onto home video.
     
  12. Worth

    Worth Screenwriter

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    The problem with zooming 4:3 material is that true open-matte transfers are pretty rare - they're usually slightly opened up on the top and bottom, and slightly cropped on the sides. And often the amount of cropping varies from shot-to-shot.
     
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  13. Lromero1396

    Lromero1396 Supporting Actor

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    The master that Fox has been using for Prince Valiant in all of the transfers that I've seen has had severe horizontal jerking. This is a flaw in the remastering on Fox's part. I hope that PV makes it to Blu-ray soon from a new scan.
     
  14. Lromero1396

    Lromero1396 Supporting Actor

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    Marilyn seems to be getting proper treatment from Fox since she's such a marketable figure (cue rimshot). Boy on a Dolphin is long overdue from TT and I'm consistently frustrated by how their releases are getting increasingly mainstream. I hope they get around to President's Lady as well. Razors Edge probably will end up with TT as will Three Coins in the Fountain, but I'm really hoping that Fox will release those two as part of the Studio Classics series on BD like they did on DVD.
     
  15. classicmovieguy

    classicmovieguy Producer

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    The Blu-ray edition from Eureka in the UK looks fine to me with no jerkiness at all...
     
  16. John Hermes

    John Hermes Screenwriter

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    I think he's talking about gate weave in the transfer which it does have. I have the Eureka BD and just looked at it. I wouldn't call it severe but it is there, more in some sections than others. Below is a link to a site with some interesting info. I think they make a worst case scenario for the older type of scanning, but a new transfer of PV on a newer scanner could help certainly with the weave.
    http://www.lasergraphics.com/telecine-vs-scanning.html
     
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  17. classicmovieguy

    classicmovieguy Producer

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    The Aussie Bounty edition of "Prince Valiant" had some severe jerkiness in motion (like a bad NTSC to PAL conversion case only worse).
     
  18. lionel59

    lionel59 Supporting Actor

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    I have found that certain Open Matte titles look better "zoomed in" (egs. THE LONG LONG TRAILER, THE NAKED JUNGLE, THE COUNTRY GIRL, THE BIG KNIFE). I have not noticed too much "tightness" on the sides and prefer a little of that to endless empty space above the heads of the cast.
    A reviewer on Amazon.com has stated that the Fox MOD of UNTAMED is in stereo, with the trumpets at the start of the movie (Ie. in the prologue) going back and forth between the right and left speakers. The Spanish transfer was in mono. As the Franz Waxman score is one of his best from the '50's (see my own review at Amazon), this sounds like it's worth upgrading to. A pity they could not have gone to the trouble of giving us a new anamorphic transfer. I believe this is why Twilight Time "passed" on this title.(Plus, the response from consumers was bad over the non-anamorphic master of VIOLENT SATURDAY given to them. Interestingly, Fox saw fit to give a dvd company in France a 16:9 Blu Ray transfer to release in April of this year. It comes with a documentary feature on Fleischer hosted by William Friedkin, which I'm assuming must be in English. Maybe TT should look into acquiring this master for a Blu Ray re-release as Olive are doing with their early Paramount SD releases)
     
  19. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
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    Yes, I always reformat Them! and Tarantula when I watch them, and they play very nicely.
     
  20. Nick*Z

    Nick*Z Supporting Actor

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    I think what we're all forgetting here is that the studios in totem, with very few exceptions, have very little interest in preserving their lesser known titles for the simple fact that they remain 'lesser known' through an absence of exposure over the years. It's chicken and egg really. The studio says there's no market for them because they haven't been marketed properly over the years and thus few know anything about them, even that they might exist at all.

    I think the philosophy at Fox in particular has been skewed by a number of mitigating factors; first, the downturn in the economy that has really impacted the bottom line for catalogue titles - especially ones like Apartment for Peggy or Suez, great movies that just don't have a following. Fox ought to have put their best foot forward on this MOD program but alas they took the quick and dirty route; unwilling or unable to scour their own archives for whatever surviving elements currently exist. Old video masters don't cut it in today's market but failure to purchase what's being pumped out will only serve to reaffirm for the powers that be that there is NO afterlife for these movies.

    The philosophy ought to be rethought, however, particularly since the studio's reputation has been built upon these great and glorious golden oldies. Personal opinion, of course, but nothing that ANY of the studios have put out in the last 20 years comes near to rivaling many of the titles featured in this MOD program in either performance or artistry, and certainly very few - if any - of the movies Fox has committed to celluloid since the year 2000 will be celebrating a 50th or 70th anniversary reissue in the future. Movies used to be an art as well as a business. Now they're mostly about clever marketing and that proverbial flash in the pan to rake in the millions on an opening weekend or two. That sort of marketing breeds nothing better than disposable entertainments - filler for the masses that leaves no indelible impression on the collective cultural consciousness of a generation.

    There is a reason we are still talking about these classics with reverence and it has nothing - or at the very least - VERY little to do with our warm, fuzzy feeling for nostalgia and that all but forgotten ghost flower frequently referenced as 'golden Hollywood'. No, the movies on Fox's current MOD program are much beloved because they had - and continue to have - staying power. Once seen their images are burned into our minds. We relive the memory as part of our own and that says quite a lot about the integrity of the product itself.

    I am not a fan of MOD DVD because in the long run it cheats the collector of seeing these great movies in a manner befitting their innate value as collected works of art. Warner's MOD program, as example, has simply become a dumping ground for a litany of home grown and MGM product that the studio feels will never have a shelf life beyond this disposable disc format. Fox has taken an even more laissez faire approach by cutting corners with regards to proper OAR and video mastering.

    What's happening is rather scary, because one day not so very far off we will have lost the ability to go back to original masters (if, in fact any currently exist) or even be able to revisit second and third generation prints with any degree of salvaging what's left on the negative for future generations. Whole portions of Hollywood's past are in a perilous state of decay as restoration experts like Robert Harris can attest to. One day they simply will not exist at all and we will be stuck with lackluster, digitally combed, badly faded and out of sync copies of these movies as the only surviving points of reference. That's disheartening.

    I have long been of the opinion that the studios en masse, in conjunction with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Library of Congress, The AFI and the Film Foundation need to establish a collective fund for the preservation and restoration of EVERY home grown Hollywood motion picture currently still in existence in one form or another. At present every studio has this isolationist philosophy that they can do it on their own; keeping their movies under lock and key for fear that someone else will scoop them first and steal away their profit margin.

    What this means is that vast libraries remain buried in vaults in a salt mine somewhere without - or with extremely little - hope of ever seeing the light of day. No, what the studios need to do is set aside their differences and join hands with the aforementioned major contributors and come up with a collective plan of action that includes all of the allocated moneys, time and effort going into one gigantic pot. At present none of these organizations works alongside the other. That needs to end and a meeting of the minds, as well as the creative brain trusts needs to take place to make this happen! NOW!

    Then the studios need to decide on how best to market their films to today's audience in a way that will do justice to their histories and preserve them for hundreds of years yet to come. Restoration takes time and money - yes. But it's about time everyone got on board with the concept that movie art IS art - period. If we were talking about the Mona Lisa or the Last Supper and someone said, "well, it's just to expensive to fix...so let's just chuck the canvass in a backroom somewhere or repaint the wall in the chapel with a new painting"...art historians everywhere would be outraged and the public outcry would shatter the notion that we should simply throw out the old to make way for the new. Curiously, this same philosophy is not being applied to movie art. Somehow, it has become quite acceptable to ignore classics moldering with the past as mere relics to be dumped on the market in MOD programs without any care or thought for the original intent of the film makers.

    Time and money are commodities that NEED to be spent to get movies looking as they did when we first saw them - period. Feasibility is always the trump card. Studios will say, "yes, that's a very nice 'pie in the sky notion' but it doesn't work in the real 'reel' world." My argument is as follows: there's always a way to make it work! I've given my way herein.

    How would I do it. First, set up a meeting between all of the majors - each bringing to light their concerns with samples of their deteriorating catalogue on hand. At this meeting would be a plethora of restoration experts, plus a round up of film lovers like Spielberg and Scorsese, and investors with money to spend (the Bill Gates, The Trumps, the Warren Buffets...you get the picture). I would make the pitch that in neglecting movie art we are depriving our national heritage of a great and ongoing history and promote the cause of restoration as not merely something we should do because it is the right thing, but market it as a necessity for the future of art appreciation.

    Then I would ask the various organizations to step up to the plate (the AFI, Film Foundation, et al) and act as financiers for the collective pool of managing one mass account dedicated to the restoration of these movies with an ongoing investment from the backers. I would also establish a film lover's pool - a contributor's market for people who are not millionaires but would agree that movies are an art and would like to help by sending in their contributions via a telethon of sorts. I would encourage networks to get behind the movement; Fox Movie, TCM, AMC etc. Do it the way PBS does their fund raising, offering call-in contributors memorabilia and other collectibles for their generous donations.

    There's a lot more to this discussion that ought to be discussed, intelligently. I've used the Fox forum as my pulpit simply to prove two points: (1) that the current MOD program is quite insufficient and (2) that there is a better way to assure that these movies will be seen, respected, loved and treasured for many years to come. Someone at Fox said it takes roughly $10,000 to do new video masters. I think we can all agree that with the list of powerful studios, organizations and game plan I have put forth herein, we could easily raise at least $10 million for starters dedicated to the cause of salvaging America's national movie heritage, and this by tomorrow afternoon if everyone was on board. So, don't tell me it's too expensive to do what needs to be done! It can be done. It must be done. There. I've said my peace.
     
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