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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2015 11:47 am 
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swo17 wrote:
tenia wrote:
Then, the upgrade of the 3 other extra movies is a nice thing to have.

But Shoah is reportedly getting an upgrade too, in the form of an improved encode. (In fact, you were one of the people complaining about the Criterion release in this regard.)


But I can't help thinking that TLOTU should get its own release, just like it is the case elsewhere. I know Lanzmann's work works as a corpus but still.
And though it's nice to have a better compression, I wouldn't call that an upgrade per se, at least not one which would make me buy it a 2nd time.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2015 12:04 pm 

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Didn't Cohen release LOTUJ on blu? That would be an upgrade option without having to triple dip.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2015 12:04 pm 
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tenia wrote:
But I can't help thinking that TLOTU should get its own release, just like it is the case elsewhere. I know Lanzmann's work works as a corpus but still.

I'd be interested to see how Eureka might have treated it if it wasn't available in a single-disc edition elsewhere. But since it is, I imagine they weighed up the likely number of people who'd be interested in just The Last of the Unjust as compared with the number of people who'd be more likely to buy all five films in a single BD package (since none of them has had a high-def release in the UK before) and concluded that the answer was "not enough to justify a separate release".

It's clear from the fact that they're putting out the four supplementary films on DVD that they've been thinking about what people might have bought in the past - but the number of people who've bought Eureka's Shoah DVD must be massively more than the number of people who've imported the Criterion BD.

I don't have the actual figures, of course, but I understand that Shoah is one of Eureka's all-time bestsellers thanks to sales to school and university history departments and other markets that their other releases can't touch - but how many Britons, realistically, would have imported the Criterion? Double figures? Low triple? Given the eye-watering price even during a Barnes & Noble sale, I'd be very surprised if it was much more.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2015 1:06 pm 
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Also, for what it's worth, I've actually made money upgrading this film!

bought MoC DVD: ($40.70)
sold MoC DVD: $41.98 (after seller fees)
bought Crit BD: ($38.00) (rough estimate of what it would have cost me during a B&N sale)
sold Crit BD: $44.14 (after seller fees)
net profit: $7-$8


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2015 2:22 pm 
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EddieLarkin wrote:
UK labels never seem to take into account customers who import Region A locked stuff, which is probably sensible.

Well, this isn't true. A number of labels have made comments in the past that reflect the fact that they have made decisions that reflect their foreign competition. Not undertaking market research on your competitors would be a certain way of failing in the long run. As MichaelB points out, however, foreign releases will not have a major influence as the number of people importing is relatively low and so is it only a minor factor.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2015 2:29 pm 
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MichaelB wrote:
I imagine they weighed up the likely number of people who'd be interested in just The Last of the Unjust as compared with the number of people who'd be more likely to buy all five films in a single BD package (since none of them has had a high-def release in the UK before) and concluded that the answer was "not enough to justify a separate release".


That is my guess too. Again, I understand how importing customers probably aren't more than 5% of the domestic market. I'm just slightly frustrated from the bundling with Shoah, but I might well simply sell the Criterion set and the MoC DVD set and buy the MoC BD set, and voilà ! :P


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2015 2:57 pm 
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TMDaines wrote:
EddieLarkin wrote:
UK labels never seem to take into account customers who import Region A locked stuff, which is probably sensible.

Well, this isn't true. A number of labels have made comments in the past that reflect the fact that they have made decisions that reflect their foreign competition. Not undertaking market research on your competitors would be a certain way of failing in the long run. As MichaelB points out, however, foreign releases will not have a major influence as the number of people importing is relatively low and so is it only a minor factor.


I am very aware of foreign competition every time I start a project, if only because I know that people will inevitably be comparing what I do with what's already out there.

The questions I have to ask myself are:

- Can I improve on what's already out there?
- If not, is there another justification for going ahead?

The Night of the Hunter is a good example of the second category: I knew upfront that there was no possible way that I could have beaten the Criterion on specs, as they clearly had a much bigger production budget whereas mine didn't even stretch to a second disc. But I also knew that because of this, the Arrow release would have a markedly lower RRP than the Criterion right from the start, and that that price would fall much further a few months later - in fact, right now it's less than a third of the price of the Criterion.

Come up with convincing answers to either question, and competition through imports shouldn't be a significant issue.

Another issue with regard to Blu-ray is that region-locking has generally been much more effective as a deterrent, at least as far as the general consumer is concerned. In fact, I wonder what percentage of regulars here are region-free? I wasn't myself between 2008 and 2011.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2015 3:43 pm 
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TMDaines wrote:
EddieLarkin wrote:
UK labels never seem to take into account customers who import Region A locked stuff, which is probably sensible.

Well, this isn't true. A number of labels have made comments in the past that reflect the fact that they have made decisions that reflect their foreign competition. Not undertaking market research on your competitors would be a certain way of failing in the long run. As MichaelB points out, however, foreign releases will not have a major influence as the number of people importing is relatively low and so is it only a minor factor.

But do labels actually factor in the existence of an already long available Region A locked edition into whether or not a film is worth licensing and releasing? Whilst I'm sure Eureka knew that say, Harold and Maude was already long available in a largely equivalent edition overseas, I imagine it didn't give them pause about licensing it for the UK, or make them think their sales might significantly suffer. Which doesn't help me, as I largely see such releases as a waste of a release slot (of course, I recognise that's not the case for most everyone else in my country). That's all I meant by my comment, that UK labels aren't overly concerned with what a Region A importer wants. Being aware of Region A releases and aiming to improve on them is a different thing, because it brings benefits that Region B locked customers are going to understand and appreciate.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2015 5:17 pm 
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Also worth mentioning is that the fact that some releases come out at all only because there is a financial commitment involved of multiple releases coming out. ITV and Criterion I imagine, have some hand in making sure the Powell and Pressburger restorations happen, and in return get the opportunity to release them.

In other words, many of the releases we love would be even less financially feasible were it not for the fact that multiple companies will be doing releases.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2015 6:35 pm 
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Drucker wrote:
In other words, many of the releases we love would be even less financially feasible were it not for the fact that multiple companies will be doing releases.

Yes, absolutely. In fact, the more territories that take on a release, the more feasible it is to fund a decent presentation. Arrow and Carlotta jointly funded the recent clean-up of the 1946 The Killers, Arrow, Carlotta and Shock in Australia funded the new scan and restoration of The Fury, and so on.

I'm working on Borowczyk's Dr Jekyll right now, and I don't think it's betraying any commercial confidences to say that the restoration simply wouldn't have happened had the rights not been cleared for the US as well as the UK. Although in this case exactly the same disc is being released on both sides of the Atlantic, so nobody will be able to complain that someone else has got a better deal.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2015 8:49 pm 
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@Tenia - why not just keep the Criterion and also purchase the Cohen? Sure, the Cohen is way overpriced for its content, but I'm sure it can eventually be picked up for cheap.

Personally, I'm going to keep my Criterion edition (which I just picked up in November) and not bother with the MoC, as I'd rather have Criterion's on disc extras than an extended book. Sure, Criterion probably could have dropped all disc supplements (which are all presented in 1080, thus eat into the disc space) and provided some minor improvement in AV quality, but I can't imagine that (despite what MichaelB is saying) that they would be enough to sway me to drop everything and go after the MoC (and I'm not interested in the Sobibor upgrade).
-

I don't understand the minor AV quibbling which seems to be increasingly going on here and is the main event at sites like Capsaholic. I might wonder who these people are who become so detached from a film that they become concerned with grain fluctuations and minor discrepancies (these are the same people who foam at the mouth over caps without ever seeing the film in motion, which often presents a different story). There used to be people like HerrSchreck who would step in and put people straight regarding these minor differences (that the improvements from SD are so vast, that its now just splitting hairs). That isn't to say that companies shouldn't be berated for poor editions or vastly inferior AV quality (like Lola, Shout Factory's Herzog set, Universal's Hitchcock set) - complacency would be a bad trend for the home video industry when the quality deserves berating, but on the other hand I don't understand this "ideal" that many people here are in pursuit of - especially when you have to be sitting within a few inches of the screen to be noticing anyway. As I doubt many are watching on a 90 inch screen, which you are then sitting 2 feet from, I wonder why this is an issue for most. It's sort of like the flack the Criterion Time Bandits has gotten on other forums - over some encoding noise that was evident in some caps - it seems odd that that becomes the focus of attention rather than who has the better supplements, etc -especially when I doubt you're going to be seeing the same thing in motion from wherever you are sitting.

Sorry for the tangent, it just seems that most threads here are turning into Capsaholic discussions of comparing minor transfer differences rather than discussing the film itself, or the extras, etc. All Blu-rays are going to be flawed regardless, as you can only hold up to 50GB of data. If you want to attain perfection, then buy a film reel and project it.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2015 9:54 pm 
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It's just an interest, how film is reproduced on home video and the good and bad ways to do it. It doesn't mean people who go on about it are becoming detached from the actual film itself when watching it. Though I think you underestimate how important compression can be to a presentation; the UK disc of Re-Animator was so bad that I had to turn it off after a few minutes, and that's about 6 feet from a 50 inch screen. The transfer is fantastic, but its compression down to Blu-ray was a disaster. You wouldn't brush off use of DNR like this, even though poor compression results in a similar effect on the image. Look here or here for example; same transfer, mouse off it is encoded well, mouse on it is encoded terribly. Thus, the grain is gone and a horrible noisy video like field is all that's left. I've seen YouTube videos that look better. And the Criterion presentation of Shoah is at times not far off that level of ugliness.

As for perfection, I believe David has stated a number of times that some of his encodes are essentially indistinguishable from the master he compressed, despite the file size being many times smaller. I think it may be this belief that something significant has to be lost during the journey to Blu-ray that leads to some labels allowing their masters to look like crap when they reach the disc, thinking that it's inevitable. But that's often demonstrated to be untrue. It was people bitching and moaning constantly about use of DNR and things like it that likely led to the studios abandoning it and producing more natural looking transfers. If bitching and moaning about poor compression leads to indie labels making improvements, then I'll keep doing it.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2015 11:18 pm 

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You realize we bitch about artwork, and packaging, right? Also I rather have a perfect feature and no supplements, but to each his own.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2015 3:46 am 
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Minkin wrote:
@Tenia - why not just keep the Criterion and also purchase the Cohen? Sure, the Cohen is way overpriced for its content, but I'm sure it can eventually be picked up for cheap.

Personally, I'm going to keep my Criterion edition (which I just picked up in November) and not bother with the MoC, as I'd rather have Criterion's on disc extras than an extended book. Sure, Criterion probably could have dropped all disc supplements (which are all presented in 1080, thus eat into the disc space) and provided some minor improvement in AV quality, but I can't imagine that (despite what MichaelB is saying) that they would be enough to sway me to drop everything and go after the MoC (and I'm not interested in the Sobibor upgrade).


I find the Cohen release quite expensive and I'd prefer to support MoC.

But you kow what ? I'll simply try and sell my MoC DVD set and my Criterion BD set and my issue will be solved. It's a simple solution in the end, but one I didn't fully consider before.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2015 4:10 am 
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Minkin wrote:
Personally, I'm going to keep my Criterion edition (which I just picked up in November) and not bother with the MoC, as I'd rather have Criterion's on disc extras than an extended book. Sure, Criterion probably could have dropped all disc supplements (which are all presented in 1080, thus eat into the disc space) and provided some minor improvement in AV quality, but I can't imagine that (despite what MichaelB is saying) that they would be enough to sway me to drop everything and go after the MoC (and I'm not interested in the Sobibor upgrade).

If people are happy with the Criterion, that's absolutely fine - my point is that if you haven't got either, there's a very strong first choice, and that this might surprise people who take the perfect scores for the Criterion as gospel.

Quote:
I don't understand the minor AV quibbling which seems to be increasingly going on here and is the main event at sites like Capsaholic.

The differences aren't minor - which is what startled me. Put bluntly, the MoC looks like film, while the Criterion looks like video - and for someone who's grown up with film and spent the bulk of twenty years regularly handling 35mm reels (either for projection or examination on a Steenbeck) that's an important distinction. Although I appreciate that it's one that people are going to increasingly care less and less about - I suspect I'm part of the last generation who saw most things on film.

Quote:
I might wonder who these people are who become so detached from a film that they become concerned with grain fluctuations and minor discrepancies (these are the same people who foam at the mouth over caps without ever seeing the film in motion, which often presents a different story).

Well, in my case because David did the encode and I did the QC inspection, so the technical presentation very much was our concern! Although I completely agree with you that it's a very bad idea to base an assessment purely on screencaps, especially with high-definition material - paradoxically, the better-defined the grain, the harder it is to appreciate how the image detail comes across in motion, simply because of the way film grain works.

Quote:
There used to be people like HerrSchreck who would step in and put people straight regarding these minor differences (that the improvements from SD are so vast, that its now just splitting hairs). That isn't to say that companies shouldn't be berated for poor editions or vastly inferior AV quality (like Lola, Shout Factory's Herzog set, Universal's Hitchcock set) - complacency would be a bad trend for the home video industry when the quality deserves berating, but on the other hand I don't understand this "ideal" that many people here are in pursuit of - especially when you have to be sitting within a few inches of the screen to be noticing anyway.

Just to be clear, the Criterion is an excellent set, and I imagine at the time even people who were aware of the compression problems would rationalise them away as "they're unavoidable". And MoC has compression issues too, because to a certain extent they really are unavoidable without extra discs. But I don't think it's "splitting hairs" to highlight the fact that the differences between the two releases are really quite striking at times.

Quote:
Sorry for the tangent, it just seems that most threads here are turning into Capsaholic discussions of comparing minor transfer differences rather than discussing the film itself, or the extras, etc. All Blu-rays are going to be flawed regardless, as you can only hold up to 50GB of data. If you want to attain perfection, then buy a film reel and project it.

You wouldn't attain perfection with 99.9% of the film reels that I've handled! Which is of course the constant battle that we have to achieve a simulacrum of "perfection" - and to me, if one release manages to solve a problem that another one's clearly struggling with, that's certainly worth highlighting. Especially if both come from the same source, as is the case here.

After all, there's tons and tons of discussion out there about Shoah the film (not least elsewhere in these forums, both earlier in this thread and in the thread dedicated to the Criterion release) - but the information presented in the last two or three pages of this thread is currently unique, at least until the review copies go out. But if you want to discuss the film, go right ahead - having watched everything in the package twice in the run-up to Christmas (two sets of subtitles for the main feature, two formats for the rest), I'm all too familiar with it right now!


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2015 9:02 am 
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MichaelB wrote:
I imagine at the time even people who were aware of the compression problems would rationalise them away as "they're unavoidable". And MoC has compression issues too, because to a certain extent they really are unavoidable without extra discs. But I don't think it's "splitting hairs" to highlight the fact that the differences between the two releases are really quite striking at times.


Though some think it is 100% un-avoidable and this is the limit of how the format can resolve 16mm stock film grain, there was right from the be, there were right from the beginning reasons to suspect at least part was avoidable due to :
- the Fanny & Alexander precedent
- Huge quantity of HD material per disc
- The weird split of the Eras which lead to think the Criterion set was planned as 4-BDs but ended up as 3-BDs.

It’s all a question of experience / end-consumer relevance. Though the compression issues are here on the Criterion set, is it a real let-down ? I'm not sure.

That's why I'm at the same time "disappointed" by the Criterion presentation but why I wouldn't call a better encode an "upgrade".

Though it's sad to see a premium label such as Criterion having blatant compression issues, I’m also quite happy with it because the issues are not so important in the end (in opposite to, let’s say, some Shout! releases). I believe this is where the line needs to be drawn between hair splitting and not hair splitting.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2015 9:11 am 
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I cannot stress enough that the Criterion is an excellent release. After all, it got plenty of five-star across-the-board raves when it came out, and it didn't come out that long ago! And of course those reviewers who watched it back in 2013 didn't have the benefit of having MoC's encode to hand for comparison, so I've had a seriously unfair advantage here.

I didn't review Shoah back in 2013, but if I had done, I can easily imagine myself saying "OK, these discs are absolutely crammed to bursting, so Criterion clearly made the most pragmatic decision that they could". It just so happens that David found an alternative way of encoding the material that's produced more filmlike results - but I certainly couldn't have foreseen that.

But of course it does rather show that crude comparisons of screencaps, filesizes and bitrates emphatically don't tell the whole story!

(Oh, and on the "consumer relevance" side of things, when I was looking for a unique selling point for The Night of the Hunter, I proposed a dual or even multiple aspect ratio edition. But the problem with that was that it rapidly became clear that 1.33:1 and 1.85:1 were just plain wrong - you can see parts of the soundstage in the former, and the latter is just too tight - and so we'd be talking about 1.66:1 and 1.75:1. Was that pretty piddling difference, which only total obsessives would care about, really worth going to the expense of an additional disc? We decided that the answer was a very firm "no".)


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2015 12:09 pm 
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MichaelB wrote:
(two sets of subtitles for the main feature)

Oh? The DVD only had one. If Eureka have gone and added to the official subtitles accurate translations of the Polish, Hebrew and Yiddish that is spoken, so we can see what is being lost or simplified by Lanzmann's translators (as discussed in the Criterion version thread), I'd be over the moon! Though probably it's just an additional HoH track, right?


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2015 12:26 pm 
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EddieLarkin wrote:
MichaelB wrote:
(two sets of subtitles for the main feature)

Oh? The DVD only had one.

English and English SDH - although the latter merely says "Polish spoken" or "Yiddish spoken" at the relevant bits.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2015 3:21 pm 

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MichaelB wrote:
Although I completely agree with you that it's a very bad idea to base an assessment purely on screencaps, especially with high-definition material - paradoxically, the better-defined the grain, the harder it is to appreciate how the image detail comes across in motion, simply because of the way film grain works.

I would actually rather people assess using screengrabs on their computers than assessing using most TVs in their default settings. But that's a huge other can of worms and for another thread...

Competently done screen captures are a good way to compare still-frame compression quality. And if your monitor is up to scratch, they're also good for comparing other image characteristics. Not for motion though - that much should be obvious to anyone!

Anyway, people should look for the comparisons once they're available, and make up their own mind. Almost nobody has seen this yet.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2015 10:57 am 
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Can anyone confirm how the content is spread across the four discs? Last of the Unjust on one, the other "shorter" films on one disc and Shoah on the first two?


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2015 11:02 am 
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Finch wrote:
Can anyone confirm how the content is spread across the four discs? Last of the Unjust on one, the other "shorter" films on one disc and Shoah on the first two?

Yup, that's exactly right - and Shoah itself is of course split into its original two "eras".


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2015 8:06 pm 
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DVD Beaver on the blu ray.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2015 9:18 pm 
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I'd previously assumed the green tint was an intended part of the remaster, but the MoC disc shows it was just a flub on Criterion's part. The colours, especially skin tones, are much much better now. And that's before the whole grain/compression issue.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2015 3:06 am 
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Anyone know if "Unjust" on the MoC has a 5.1 track like the US disc?


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