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Warner Archive: "The Golden Arrow" on Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Crawford, Apr 16, 2019.

  1. Ed Lachmann

    Ed Lachmann Screenwriter

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    I do get what your saying, Thomas, but WB did put out a sub-standard Giant and got a little flack but we all bought it and are glad we did. I do wonder about Raintree, which looked GREAT in HD on the recent broadcasts, maybe a few white speckles from time to time but certainly acceptable. My only worry is that these beloved titles will get passed over.
     
  2. Ken_Martinez

    Ken_Martinez Stunt Coordinator

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    You mean like Horror of Dracula and The Thing From Another World, which got fan huzzahs in spite of obvious PQ problems?
     
  3. Thomas T

    Thomas T Producer

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    I can't comment on the Horror Of Dracula transfer which I've not seen (I have only minimal interest in the title) but I thought the blu of The Thing From Another World looked the best I've ever seen it look based on theatrical screenings, TV showings, laser and DVD releases and I'm happy with it. But then again, I think the blue blu of The King And I looks terrific too so take my humble opinion for what it's worth (or not) :)
     
  4. Message #24 of 48 Apr 17, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2019
    Ed Lachmann

    Ed Lachmann Screenwriter

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    I just bought the rare silent 1929 "Mysterious Island" from WB which looks as though it came from an 80's 16mm to 1" Rank low-rez transfer. Still, I'm thrilled to own it at all. Maybe that's the only "M. Island" element that remains, so we're lucky to have it. I'm still of the mind that most would rather have a beloved film in less than pristine form than not have it at all.
     
    Thomas T likes this.
  5. Brandon Conway

    Brandon Conway captveg

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    This never got a DVD release, so I would suspect this was one of those that was going through the WB archiving schedule and Warner Archive decided to go Blu-ray with it since it's a title no once will have to debate "upgrading" for since no one owns it in SD. Every sale will be a first sale in the DVD/BD era. They could have just let WB mastering archive it and not release it all, I guess.
     
  6. Worth

    Worth Cinematographer

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    That's only on DVD though, isn't it? Warner's quality standards of what their willing to release are very different for DVD vs. blu-ray.
     
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  7. Arthur Powell

    Arthur Powell Second Unit

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    A two-color Technicolor print of the film has survived over in Europe, but for whatever reason Warners has not been able to come to an agreement with the European archive or perhaps the restoration costs are too high. While it is disappointing, you are right in saying the the recently released DVD is better than nothing.

    If you are interested, you can see a handful of frames of the surviving color version of The Mysterious Island at this website: https://zauberklang.ch/filmcolors/galleries/the-mysterious-island-1929/
     
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  8. Message #28 of 48 Apr 18, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2019
    Ed Lachmann

    Ed Lachmann Screenwriter

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    And then there's Giant. The non-restored broadcasts of Raintree Country in HD blow that one away visually yet is considered "not restored enough" or "too expensive" to think about releasing?
     
  9. Ed Lachmann

    Ed Lachmann Screenwriter

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    Wow, the sharp quality of the image is stunning. Just a fresh scan of this print would leave the Archive release in the dust. Hopefully, this will be released by a German company someday in the future.
     
  10. Ken_Martinez

    Ken_Martinez Stunt Coordinator

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    I don't even get it. The other boutique labels (Criteron, Shout, Arrow, Kino) have no issue putting out non-genre films, or films from before 1950, and they have to pay to license the rights for those movies. And they're obviously doing well enough that they're in no danger of going under anytime soon. But it's too much for the Warner Archive to put out films that they own all the rights to? They're OK with putting out a ropey-looking Horror of Dracula, or an inconsistent Thing From Another World, but a less-than-pristine 1930's title is over the line?
     
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  11. Randy Korstick

    Randy Korstick Producer

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    Genre film fans particularly horror are the most discriminating or picky. The Thing from another world was inconsistent in a couple scenes because of the deleted scenes being restored. The overall print was very good and by far the best its looked. Many British and Euro horror films are released in Europe on blu ray with restorations that super crank contrast and brightness which allows scenes that were somewhat obscured in darkness to be seen even though that wasn't the intended look. This also results in detail loss and unnatural skin tones. This is the case with the German and UK Horror of Dracula. The Horror of Dracula by WAC is a tad too dark but it is still a good transfer and closer to the original theatrical look. I have the UK disc but the WAC disc will be my go to. So from WACs perspective these two films did meet their high criteria there are just other debatable issues with these films. The boutique labels release what is given to them with some minor cleanup. They decide if the transfer is good enough but many times their standards are not high if they feel a title will sell. Criterion and TT usually being the exceptions.
     
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  12. Randy Korstick

    Randy Korstick Producer

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    Giant was released in the early days of blu and would never be released by WAC now without a major restoration.
    What you see on TV is heavily compressed which hides defects that would not be hidden on a more detailed and uncompressed blu ray.
    I believe Robert Harris had mentioned awhile back that a Raintree County restoration would cost a minimum of 300K. 300K to sell 3,000-4,000 discs is too expensive to think about releasing without other investors or potential revenue.
     
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  13. Astairefan

    Astairefan Second Unit

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    Maybe it's just me, but from what I've read, I thought that what we got with Giant is as good as we are going to get. There was a thread on the whole issue last year, not to mention RAH's original review, and, from what I could understand, it has EVERYTHING to do with how the movie was originally filmed, and, short of somebody managing time travel, we aren't going to get better. And I do think that is the problem here. We're talking about movies like Giant and Thing From Another World, which were restored as best as they could do, and we likely won't get better. Meanwhile, stuff like Raintree County, they could potentially do better. Everybody claims WAC is aiming for perfect or nothing. I think they're going for the best they can, particularly within budget limitations and sales expectations. If we truly want some of the titles we are asking for, we have to support similar stuff (or movies with the same actors/actresses we want more of) with day 1, full price purchases. And regarding 30s movies? I'm not sure the demand is there. I watched what people were asking for when that fake "poll" went around on the other forum recently, asking for people to name their two most wanted titles from Warner. While there were a lot of requests, almost nobody asked for films from the forties, thirties, or twenties. And even among those who did, there was NO agreement about what. I just don't think the demand is there.
     
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  14. Brandon Conway

    Brandon Conway captveg

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    One should also keep in mind that for a company like Criterion or Shout Factory the home video industry is their primary, if not sole, business. Warner Archive, on the other hand, is a small division of a huge corporate entity - a corporate entity that weighs the cost/benefit of a catalog home video division against other divisions that have nothing to do with the video market or even movies at all. That creates wholly different circumstances to work under.
     
  15. Thomas T

    Thomas T Producer

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    There's a reason Criterion, Shout, Arrow, Kino and I'll add Twilight Time are boutique labels. They cater to films that aren't necessarily commercial major mass market items. It's telling that Kino is releasing Sweet Charity rather than Universal themselves or Criterion is releasing Klute rather than Warners. The profit, if any, that Kino or Criterion will make on them is something Warners and Universal deemed risky and if Criterion or Universal want to take the chance (or the fall), then let them and Warners and Universal will pocket the licensing fee. I mean come on, they're businesses and W and U aren't letting Criterion or Kino release them out of the kindness of their philanthropic hearts. Why rag on Warners for not releasing some 1930s B&W movies when Paramount, for example, has abandoned releasing catalog titles all together (at least on physical media). If Paramount feels it's not profitable enough for them to release an Oscar winner like Ordinary People or a huge box office moneymaker for them like The Carpetbaggers on blu ray, why would Warners expect to make money on some 1930s Norma Shearer melodrama or Jean Harlow comedy on blu?
     
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  16. Ken_Martinez

    Ken_Martinez Stunt Coordinator

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    Isn't that what the Warner Archive is doing too? Isn't it too putting out films that "aren't necessarily commercial major mass market items"? Isn't that why these are coming out through the WAC instead of WHV proper, which would be the appropriate comparison for your Paramount example? I'm positive that Warner would be taking a bath on most of the WAC releases if they had to be manufactured in bulk and sent to the big box retailers.

    My point was that the other boutique labels have found a way to put out films that aren't genre or obscure and not go broke in the process, but WAC can't do the same?
     
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  17. haineshisway

    haineshisway Producer

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    I will never understand how long it will take until people understand what an optical is. Giant is basically one endless optical after another. And those opticals, as Mr. Harris has explained, were poor. In the Blu-ray, on the occasions where we finally get a non-optical shot, it looks fine.
     
  18. Message #38 of 48 Apr 19, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2019
    Thomas T

    Thomas T Producer

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    Sorry but in no way can Warners be considered a boutique label like Criterion, Twilight Time, Kino or Shout Factory. It is a subsidiary of Time Warner Incorporated, a massive conglomerate and publicly traded company. I stand to be corrected but I don't believe Criterion or Twilight Time have shareholders to answer to. Your example is like saying, "My point was that other boutique stores have found a way to put out vintage designer clothing but Target and Walmart can't do the same?"
     
  19. Ken_Martinez

    Ken_Martinez Stunt Coordinator

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    You're conflating all of Warners with the Warner Archive. My point was that the WAC was set up to release films that were considered unprofitable by the main WHV unit, serving a similar if not identical purpose of the other labels.

    This would all be moot if Warner would license more films out, BTW. But they don't.
     
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  20. Robin9

    Robin9 Producer

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    I agree with this and I'm one of those who find the film unwatchable. It's those God-forsaken, completely misjudged opticals which ruin everything!
     
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