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Warner presents: a GIANT disappointment

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Paul_Scott, Jun 10, 2003.

  1. Paul_Scott

    Paul_Scott Lead Actor

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    cracked open the 2 disc set of Giant that streeted yesterday, and i don't know about anybody else, but the a/v here, specifically the v, is a BIG disappointment.
    there are numerous problems with it, most notably being the egregious haloing.
    this is some of the worst EE i've seen in a long time.
    then there is the lack of resolution.
    i've never been on Warners case to enhance 1.66 movies, becasue i've seen other titles from other companies (like Anchor Bay) that have gotten away it and produced spectacular results anyway.
    but here...something is crippling the transfer beyond the EE.
    i a lot of ways, it reminds me of some of the classic titles Artisan has savaged.
    a very ugly, harsh, artificial and digital look.

    the packaging is beautiful, the extras appear to be fairly interesting and generous, but the prime reason i bought it- the movie itself- it looks like amateur hour at the compression facility.
    i realize this isn't a classic in the sense that some other titles are, it always seemed happily pulpy to me, but damn, if you are going to put out a 2 disc set, at least get the video down right.
    very sad to see, given that Warner has been very consistently above average for a while now, in the transfer department.

    i sincerly hope this isn't a harbinger of more weak efforts to come.


    i just reread dvdfiles review for this and i don't know what they were watching this on, but i can't believe they didn't at even see any EE. figures in longshots frequently appear as if they are glowing. it's very rampant on my set-up, and detail is very poor.
     
  2. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Paul,
    Though, the transfer could have been better, I don't think it was as bad as you indicated.





    Crawdaddy
     
  3. JasenP

    JasenP Screenwriter

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    Is it the same transfer as the Canadian disc that was recalled a year or two ago? That got some nasty reviews when it was released.
     
  4. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Producer

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    I thought the transfer was good EXCEPT for the edge enhancement. I'm with Paul here - Giant includes some of the worst EE I've seen. Check out the scene where Jett inspects his new property - dude looks like he has a forcefield around him!

    In another thread, I indicated I felt this was a recycled LD transfer. The EE is the main reason I think that. The print looked great and much about the image was terrific, but the EE became horrid at times, and too much of the movie seemed awfully soft (mainly BECAUSE of the EE).

    Very good movie, very disappointing transfer...
     
  5. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    well...since the 1.66:1 image isn't properly encoded in a 16x9 frame AS IT SHOULD BE WARNER BROTHERS I never bought it so I never saw the offending EE [​IMG]
     
  6. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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    It looks better than the 40th anniversary video releases, but still not great. I'm pretty sure the limitation is in the film element. The "restoration" as shown in theaters was pretty disappointing as well. I'm not sure if it was because that was the best they could do or because WB had some funny ideas about what consitituted "restoration" 6 or 7 years ago.

    This film was privately held by the estate of George Stevens (possibly jointly with that of Edna Ferber) since some time in the 70s and was an early example of "WarnerColor" (EastmanColor processed by WB's own lab, IIRC) on mid-50s film stock. In general, neither of these is "directionally correct" in terms of hoping that film elements remain unravaged by time, although I do not know the specifics related to this film. I would be curious to hear what Robert Harris has to say about it.

    In any case, it's probably the best we are going to see it for quite some time, so I'm glad to own it.

    Regards,
     
  7. Aaron Cohen

    Aaron Cohen Second Unit

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    What will it take? I'm sick of EE! I'm also about tired of many reviewers not noticing problems with transfers. Some of the times, a transfer is given glowing reviews by nearly every reviewer then everyone on here complains about it and I watch it on my HD set and it is not good at all. Do these reviewers watch these dvd's on a 15 inch flat panel monitor sitting 20 feet away on a couch or something? Perhaps then they wouldn't see artifacting or transfer problems.... Come on now. Reviewers need to start being more and more vicious. Perhaps then the studios will take note about the customer's opinion of EE which can be very heavily influenced by what a reviewer says.

    Just my take on it. Not all reviewers are like this. That's why I come to the home theater forum. For above average reviews.
     
  8. Aaron Reynolds

    Aaron Reynolds Screenwriter

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  9. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    Amen to that!

    Aaron,

    My personal belief is that no review (about image quality) "counts" unless the viewing angle is 2 screen-widths away or less...preferably @ 1.5 - 1.75.

    This is what you'd have sitting about 12 feet back from a 100" screen. One could also sit close to their 16x9 HDTV to achieve the same results. It's the way a DVD should be reviewed for *critical* evaluation. Nothing less counts.

    Oh...and I should add that (naturally) this means reviewing the DVD with full resolution...which means a 16x9-capable display if the DVD is 16x9 encoded and 480Progressive-playback. Interlaced or 4x3-downconverted playback DOES NOT work for such a close-viewing and critical evaluation.

    I brought this up in the Beauty and the Beast thread a while back (many folks saying "I don't see MPEG artifacting on my 27" TV so the transfer is fine") and was basically slammed as being an elitist or snob. However, just like everyone slammed me for being critical of 4x3 lbxed/non-amamorphic trasnfers a few years back and then now acts like they've always been on the 16x9 train (yes...this is me singing the blues [​IMG] ), they'll all "come around" a few years hence when large-screen displays and projectors will be much more affordable and suddenly everyone says "man...that Beauty and the Beast DVD really SUCKS with all that MPEG artifacting! Bummer! hope the HD-DVD version fixes that!"

    The visibility of EE will have the same fate.

    But YES...this is why I take most reviews with a grain of salt. The exception being when it's clear that the viewing angle and display hardware are capable of rendering the DVD on a large-scale in full resolution.

    dave [​IMG]
     
  10. DeeF

    DeeF Screenwriter

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    About Giant, you're absolutely right.

    I posted to another thread that I wouldn't be surprised if this was an older transfer, which has been waiting to be released. The documentaries are 5 years old! The introduction by George Stevens was recorded in 1996. I think the transfer may be borrowed from the laserdisc version, or at least, may have been made in 1998 and not retransferred. Something about it reminds me of Grease...
     
  11. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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    I think they used the EE to try and make parts of the film that were in very different conditions sit next to each other better, but it did not work. I seem to remember the EE being even worse on the 1996 release, but I will post with more certainty when I have had a chance to A/B.

    The fact that the documentaries are older tells us nothing about when the transfer was done any more than the Gig Young TV stuff indicates that the transfer was done in the 50s. The docs are great, and I would have complained if they had kept them off of the DVD. Likewise, the fact that some of the supplements, like the commentary, are brand new does not mean that the transfer is too. I don't have the short lived Canadian DVD release, but I bet it's not all that different.

    Regards,
     
  12. Nick Graham

    Nick Graham Screenwriter

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    DaVid, the Giant transfer looks fine on my 27" Trinitron, I really don't know what your problem is. I can't notice any of this "edge enhancement" or "MPEG artifacts" on Giant or my Beauty & The Beast. I really think you should quit whining and being an elitist snob.

    Oh wait, I don't even own Giant or Beauty & The Beast...my bad [​IMG]
     
  13. pitchman

    pitchman Screenwriter

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    I watched this last night with my wife, who is not in any way shape or form, techno-savvy. Even she commented on several occasions that the picture looked "weird."

    For some reason, the EE is out of control on this transfer. I'm not sure why (maybe due to filming in natural light?) but it is even more pronounced in outdoor scenes. Also many scenes look downright "waxy"... almost like a second or third generation VHS dub. Yet, cut to a different angle in the same scene, and the image looks terrific. Very strange, indeed.

    When all is said and done, it is still a thrill to have Giant on dvd and to relish in the splendid performances of its talented young cast.
     
  14. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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  15. DeeF

    DeeF Screenwriter

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    I saw Giant on the big screen when it was released earlier in the 90s, in a "restored" version. I thought at the time that it looked pretty bad. Plenty of shots are quite obviously from less quality sources, perhaps prints several generations down from the negative.

    There is a shot of Elizabeth Taylor, speaking to Rock Hudson on the porch of her house in Maryland, which is so poorly registered as to be literally blurry. I remember seeing this shot in the theater, and here it is, exactly the same way, on the DVD.

    So the source material for the DVD is that restored version, which needed restoring itself.

    There's definitely something "electronic" about the picture on this DVD. Still, the movie is worth owning, which is why I eagerly bought it.
     
  16. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    I've seen the film on TCM and the transfer they use has loads of digital processing.

    One big problem with this film is that ANY shot with an optical (such as a dissolve) was completely duped. Not just the part included in the optical, but the ENTIRE SHOT. Thus, you have minutes of dupe footage that looks contrasty.

    However... it's been noted that the movie itself is on a DVD-18. There really shouldn't be ANY compression artifacts if it's spread out that much.
     
  17. Mitch Kaufman

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    Agreed 100 percent about this transfer. The EE is absolutely atrocious, and completely ruins the film; everything's got a white halo around it (check out the opening credits: did you know cattle wear yarmulkes?). Not to mention it's soft, dark, faded, and has goosed-up contrast.

    A complete, utter, absolute, total disgrace.

    Other than that, I liked it.

    MK
     
  18. Jeff_HR

    Jeff_HR Producer

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    Perhaps I should not buy this DVD. This film is not an "A" list film for me.
     
  19. Joel Vardy

    Joel Vardy Supporting Actor

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  20. Jeff_HR

    Jeff_HR Producer

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