The Big Red One

Discuss North American DVDs and Blu-rays or other DVD and Blu-ray-related topics.
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RedChannels
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Re: The Big Red One

#76 Post by RedChannels » Thu Jan 30, 2014 3:37 pm

captveg wrote:One just hopes that they only delay it rather then cancel it. See: Tom & Jerry Golden Collection Vol. 2
There is some precedence for this. WB announced, then delayed, Rafelson's THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE on BR. When it was re-announced, it had greatly expanded to include commentary, et al.

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david hare
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Re: The Big Red One

#77 Post by david hare » Thu Jan 30, 2014 5:00 pm

Lemme join the chorus of thanks Mono! Even if it just means deferral for a while.

I do remember when they were harvesting elements for their Ned Price mastered BD of Star is Born there was talk (admittedly at as moderately hysterical a site than TheJudyRoom) that a private collector who had an intact 35mm Scope pint of the pre-release 183 minute cut had supposedly offered to make it available to George Feltenstein but after being forewarned slammed the door shut when he was advised Warner would take him to court for simply holding the print. Warner is not the best loved company on the block for all their old time Folksy PR as you and all other collectors of prints must be aware.

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captveg
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Re: The Big Red One

#78 Post by captveg » Thu Jan 30, 2014 5:23 pm

I thought that court threat was from the mid-80s in that case, which has colored the man's willingness to cooperate with modern Warner Home Video which is run by completely different people currently.

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david hare
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Re: The Big Red One

#79 Post by david hare » Thu Jan 30, 2014 5:30 pm

Maybe so, but the issue of the alleged print popped up yet again just prior to Warner's 2010 BD of Star.

Not that anyone should place too much store in anything published at TheJudyRoom. The whole place vibrates with the shrieking of a thousand demented queens. (And only I can say that, not you!)

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kingofthejungle
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Re: The Big Red One

#80 Post by kingofthejungle » Thu Jan 30, 2014 8:04 pm

I want to jump in here and offer my thanks and encouragement as well.

Of these posthumous reconstructions, the extended *The Big Red One* is perhaps the most artistically vital. It restores Fuller's decades-in-the-making vision to it's full beauty, and is (for my money, at least) the greatest war film ever made.

As I'm sure most of us realize, creating an HD version of the reconstruction is really about preserving a cinematic masterpiece for future generations. To do the filmmaker any justice, The Reconstruction must be the reference version of this film. To see it relegated to an SD extra would be a tragedy.

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RedChannels
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Re: The Big Red One

#81 Post by RedChannels » Thu Jan 30, 2014 8:14 pm

I'm afraid today's news is not good. We've lost the first round with WB, who say they are "not in a position to remaster the re-constructed version for Blu-Ray due to costs."

We're still trying.

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Gregory
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Re: The Big Red One

#82 Post by Gregory » Thu Jan 30, 2014 9:29 pm

Thanks, RedChannels.
captveg wrote:One just hopes that they only delay it rather then cancel it. See: Tom & Jerry Golden Collection Vol. 2
Barring the ideal situation of a redo of the reconstruction in HD, I wouldn't be too disappointed if this release got cancelled. Not much point in a blu release of the studio-butchered version of a film presented as if that's the main version to watch, just because they didn't look ahead to HD when doing the reconstruction.

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RedChannels
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Re: The Big Red One

#83 Post by RedChannels » Thu Jan 30, 2014 9:47 pm

Gregory wrote:Thanks, RedChannels.
captveg wrote:One just hopes that they only delay it rather then cancel it. See: Tom & Jerry Golden Collection Vol. 2
Barring the ideal situation of a redo of the reconstruction in HD, I wouldn't be too disappointed if this release got cancelled. Not much point in a blu release of the studio-butchered version of a film presented as if that's the main version to watch, just because they didn't look ahead to HD when doing the reconstruction.
Absolutely! The fairly deluxe DVD release of the Reconstruction is fine, because... compression issues aside, it's virtually the same resolution as the DigiBeta master which made it. Whereas having that added to a Blu-Ray would just be an insult to buyers, and to Sam's memory. Christa pointed out the it's 70th anniversary of D-Day, too.

I've got a few irons in the fire, still. I hope. I still have this funny feeling that a new scan of the 35mm printing negative (i.e. the film-out of the DigiBeta) might at _least_ yield a result which looks more mushed together, more analog, than a mere port from the DigiBeta. I realize it's a fairly preposterous premise, but... imagine how much cheaper that would be to master than actually re-constructing the reconstruction. I'd love to see some tests done.

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david hare
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Re: The Big Red One

#84 Post by david hare » Thu Jan 30, 2014 9:50 pm

Peter, surely if Olive can do more or less that exact process you or your colleagues can do it? I think their results even on compromised prints are pretty good.

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Re: The Big Red One

#85 Post by LavaLamp » Thu Jan 30, 2014 11:02 pm

Last Fall, I re-watched Fuller's The Big Red One: The Reconstruction on DVD. This is definitely one of the all-time favorite war films, and IMHO is quite underrated these days. The battle scenes, story, and cinematography are all top-notch.

I remember seeing this film on network TV many, many years ago & being underwhelmed. IMHO the Reconstruction transformed an average film to a truly great film - the additional footage/editing was extremely well-thought out & definitely improved the movie.

The film is also note-worthy for starring Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker) as Griff; this was one of his few non-Star Wars roles.
SpoilerShow
The discovery of the concentration camp at the end of the film is quite harrowing; when Griff discovers the ovens & then opens a door to see a German with a machine gun pointed at him, you are sure he is dead - then the German pulls the trigger, and he has no bullets left. This is followed by Griff shooting him repeatedly, even after his sergeant (Lee Marvin) says, "I think you got him..."
Last edited by LavaLamp on Fri Jan 31, 2014 11:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

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kingofthejungle
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Re: The Big Red One

#86 Post by kingofthejungle » Fri Jan 31, 2014 9:51 am

If Warner Brothers isn't going to take the time to do this right, they should just cancel the release. There's only one version of the film that I watch, and I already have it in SD, so this release won't be earning any of my money.

You know, if things are that bad for them financially, it would be nice if they would lighten up on their licensing situation. If they aren't going to put an effort forth, give it to Criterion. Maybe they can spend some of that alleged It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World windfall on restoring a real masterpiece.

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Re: The Big Red One

#87 Post by Arrow » Fri Jan 31, 2014 1:14 pm

Out of curiosity, how much would a restoration project like this cost?

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RedChannels
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Re: The Big Red One

#88 Post by RedChannels » Fri Jan 31, 2014 1:37 pm

Arrow wrote:Out of curiosity, how much would a restoration project like this cost?
Very hard to give an actual price to. My estimates range from $70,000-$200,000 (but this is very rough). There are many factors at play, not limited to whether it's a 4k or 2k scan; how much color correction/dustbusting would need to be redone from scratch; whether the 2005 AVID version can be conformed to a new scan (which depends on numerous factors, including keycodes, etc. etc. etc.).

The original Reconstruction budget was less than $400,000, but that includes far more hours of work, because ALL the trims/outtakes/etc. had to be scanned and analyzed and matched to the shooting script, etc. All that work has, of course, been done (and as I recall, there are only a few short missing sequences, or sequences which only exist in workprint without sound).

Even a "budget" 2k scan would be acceptable, but another somewhat painful compromise.

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RedChannels
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Re: The Big Red One

#89 Post by RedChannels » Tue Apr 29, 2014 12:52 pm

Well, we obviously lost the battle on this one. I did eventually receive a direct response from WB's Ned Price in January, stating "I checked with Jeff Baker in our Home Video group and confirmed that unfortunately they are not in a position to remaster the re-constructed version for Blu-Ray due to costs."

Needless to say, I hope that consumers aware of the deficiency of this release do NOT purchase it. Sad.

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Re: The Big Red One

#90 Post by Rayon Vert » Tue Apr 29, 2014 11:25 pm

The Reconstruction is in my top 50 favorite films of all time list. I was really looking forward to this release until I found out what it was. This is a real shame.

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Re: The Big Red One

#91 Post by BCap » Sat May 10, 2014 10:24 am

RedChannels wrote:
Gregory wrote:Thanks, RedChannels.
captveg wrote:One just hopes that they only delay it rather then cancel it. See: Tom & Jerry Golden Collection Vol. 2
Barring the ideal situation of a redo of the reconstruction in HD, I wouldn't be too disappointed if this release got cancelled. Not much point in a blu release of the studio-butchered version of a film presented as if that's the main version to watch, just because they didn't look ahead to HD when doing the reconstruction.
Absolutely! The fairly deluxe DVD release of the Reconstruction is fine, because... compression issues aside, it's virtually the same resolution as the DigiBeta master which made it. Whereas having that added to a Blu-Ray would just be an insult to buyers, and to Sam's memory. Christa pointed out the it's 70th anniversary of D-Day, too.

I've got a few irons in the fire, still. I hope. I still have this funny feeling that a new scan of the 35mm printing negative (i.e. the film-out of the DigiBeta) might at _least_ yield a result which looks more mushed together, more analog, than a mere port from the DigiBeta. I realize it's a fairly preposterous premise, but... imagine how much cheaper that would be to master than actually re-constructing the reconstruction. I'd love to see some tests done.
It's really a shame that this film isn't getting more love. I've heard that Warner won't license out their stuff to Criterion (or anyone), which is just stupid and sad. And definitely, with D-Day's 70th anniversary coming up, SOMETHING should be done. However, it seems that only The Big Red One, The Longest Day, and Overlord are getting any sort of release for the anniversary, and only The Big Red One and Overlord are getting anything new done (by which I mean, they are both getting their first Blu-ray releases, but with nothing new added). At least Overlord is getting released by Criterion, so I'd imagine it would have a very nice transfer, but Warner is just trying to squeeze money out The Big Red One by giving us a crappy Blu-ray. I do, however, see a couple of glimmers of hope:

-Next year will mark the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII
-The new Star Wars film will be out next year, so Mark Hamill will be back in the limelight in a HUGE way
-Fuller had friends. Famous friends. Friends like Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino, who could actually speak up about this indignity. Plus, Spielberg was known to admire Fuller (going so far as to cast him in a cameo in 1941 - there's a funny little story about that in Fuller's autobio), and he definitely would have watched the D-Day sequence from BRO before doing Saving Private Ryan (a film which I am REALLY surprised is not getting a re-release of ANY sort this year - hell, I don't think TCM's airing it, even [and they HAVE aired it before, which is good, since other channels have started to censor it]).

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