The Jeffrey Wells Thread

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jedgeco
Joined: Tue Nov 23, 2004 11:28 am

#1 Post by jedgeco » Thu Jan 12, 2006 2:17 pm

Jeffrey Wells at Hollywood Elsewhere thinks that there's some monkey business with the new Wild Bunch transfer:
The things wrong are (a) the not-quite-right color, [and] (b) the slightly distorted (i.e., anamorphically wider than it should be) image . . . .

The color on the double-disc Bunch (on sale Tuesday, 1.10) feels like an arty-farty atmospheric touch compared to the color on the older single-disc "director's cut" DVD that came out in May 1997.

Compare the unmanipulated snaps (above) of the same first-act image on both discs. The color on the double-disc version is clearly desaturated -- it has a sandy, brownish, faintly monochromatic hue -- compared to the more naturally buoyant color on the '97 disc.

I didn't notice the slight anamorphic distortion when I first watched the double-disc version, but compare these two shots again -- taken from exactly the same angle and position in front of my TV. Ben Johnson's face and neck are obviously bulkier in the double-disc "Bunch" image than on the '97 version.
http://hollywood-elsewhere.com/archives ... sh_man.php

He's got pictures that I'm not sure definitively make the case one way or another. Anyone had a chance to look at the new disc and compare it to the old (rather poor from my memory) disc?

--Edit--
DVD Beaver's comparisons go a long way toward clearing up the transfer issues: http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/DVDReview ... -bunch.htm
Last edited by jedgeco on Wed Jan 25, 2006 10:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Ste
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#2 Post by Ste » Thu Jan 12, 2006 3:13 pm

The guy took his screen caps with a digital camera, direct from his television screen. I don't think we have enough space here to list the reasons why this is wrong.

TWB transfer looks fine to me.

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Jeff
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#3 Post by Jeff » Mon Mar 03, 2008 10:50 am

Cockney_Geezer wrote:well, The Bank Job is out now. Did anyone see it yet? I will go to the cinema soon, would like to hear some impressions first though.
It doesn't open in the States until March 7, but it's getting mixed-to-decent early reviews. Jeff Wells is kind of an idiot, but he liked it a lot.

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Via_Chicago
Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 12:03 pm

#4 Post by Via_Chicago » Mon Mar 03, 2008 1:31 pm

Jeff wrote:Jeff Wells is kind of an idiot, but he liked it a lot.
To be fair, Jeffrey Wells isn't an idiot, he's just an asshole. He's like a gossip-mongering, Barack Obama-supporting Armond White.

jaredsap
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#5 Post by jaredsap » Mon Mar 03, 2008 2:28 pm

Via_Chicago wrote:To be fair, Jeffrey Wells isn't an idiot, he's just an asshole. He's like a gossip-mongering, Barack Obama-supporting Armond White.
When he writes preposterous pieces about how newly struck 35mm prints are inferior to DVDs, as he did twice in the last few days, he's certainly an idiot.

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Via_Chicago
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#6 Post by Via_Chicago » Mon Mar 03, 2008 2:50 pm

jaredsap wrote:
Via_Chicago wrote:To be fair, Jeffrey Wells isn't an idiot, he's just an asshole. He's like a gossip-mongering, Barack Obama-supporting Armond White.
When he writes preposterous pieces about how newly struck 35mm prints are inferior to DVDs, as he did twice in the last few days, he's certainly an idiot.
Well, yes. That's true. Also idiotic is his mind-numbingly banal crusade against Dave Kehr. OK. I'll take back what I said.

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HistoryProf
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Re: 516 Stagecoach

#7 Post by HistoryProf » Fri May 07, 2010 5:23 pm

Jeffrey Wells offers a rather, erm, idiotic? take on the new blu ray of Stagecoach from Criterion:
In my humble opinion a Bluray of a 1939 black-and-white film should look a little better than that. Stagecoach, I feel, should look the way Ford imagined it might look in his wet dreams, or the way the guy at the processing house wanted it to look -- as clean, crisp and silver-satiny as the 1939 monochrome process allowed and then some. It should look like black-and-white plus, which might be (and I want to describe this properly) what Ford saw with his naked eye as he shot his Monument Valley footage but in monochrome -- a razor-sharp image with rich velvety blacks and painterly grays and all kinds of subtle gradations.

-----

And then on Gary's review:

And then comes the Big Whopper: "Masters of Cinema's incredible transfer of F.W. Murnau's City Girl seems to have raised the bar to an inordinate level and this can affect our expectations on such older titles brought to 1080P resolution, like Stagecoach."

My mouth dropped open when I read this sentence. Tooze is flatly saying that a recently-released Bluray of a 1930 film -- shot eight or nine years before Stagecoach, which almost certainly means with more primitive camera and lighting technology -- is so pleasing that it creates an unfair standard for Criterion to compete with, and that Stagecoach might be more satisfying to those who haven't seen the City Girl Bluray!

Then he turns around and decides he needs to say something much nicer. So he says that "while the Criterion improvement in detail and film textures may be only marginally apparent in the screen captures, it becomes much more prominent when in motion." The Criterion Stagecoach, he insists, "displays dramatic superiority on my system...it has never looked better for home theater consumption." Okay, maybe. By comparison to previous Stagecoach versions, he means.
Glenn Kenney agrees that this is nonsense...but was curious about others' thoughts on this. it all seems like nonsensical fantasyland kind of whining to me. Does he not understand the factor of the source materials? does he really think that a film made 8 years later should automatically look better? He can't be THAT stupid, right?

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swo17
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Re: 516 Stagecoach

#8 Post by swo17 » Fri May 07, 2010 5:31 pm

Frankly, I'm a bit surprised that Jeffrey Wells has even heard of Stagecoach.

There's also this golden nugget:
Jeffrey Wells wrote:The Third Man Bluray is a consumer "burn" of the first magnitude, and a stain on the honor of the Criterion Collection. It is a joke in my house -- it sits there on my Blu-ray shelf collecting dust, and it will continue to sit there for months and years to come, unplayed and unloved.
Last edited by swo17 on Fri May 07, 2010 5:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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david hare
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Re: 516 Stagecoach

#9 Post by david hare » Fri May 07, 2010 5:32 pm

Can we make it a given to never mention fucking Jeffrey Wells again on this forum. Leave him to Glenn.

Pox the bastard! Life is too short to waste breath on him.

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swo17
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Re: 516 Stagecoach

#10 Post by swo17 » Fri May 07, 2010 5:40 pm

With my apologies, I feel compelled to post this one last quote:
Jeffrey Wells wrote:[Criterion]'d rather have films look like what they looked like when they came out rather than have them look so good today that their directors would hear about them in Heaven and have angel erections.

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knives
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Re: 516 Stagecoach

#11 Post by knives » Fri May 07, 2010 5:46 pm

david hare wrote:Can we make it a given to never mention fucking Jeffrey Wells again on this forum. Leave him to Glenn.

Pox the bastard! Life is too short to waste breath on him.
Please Swo listen to the sense above. The forum can only take so much.

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cdnchris
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Re: 516 Stagecoach

#12 Post by cdnchris » Fri May 07, 2010 5:48 pm

So he's bitching that the damage is still significant and he wants it mint and pristine? Does he not realize how fucked up the image would be if that were the case?

It looks great. Fuck him.

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Michael Kerpan
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Re: 516 Stagecoach

#13 Post by Michael Kerpan » Fri May 07, 2010 8:13 pm

This fellow sure sounds like he wants to grow up (grow up???) to be Harry Knowles.

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scotty2
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Re: 516 Stagecoach

#14 Post by scotty2 » Fri May 07, 2010 8:23 pm

He doesn't get that Stagecoach was shot outdoors, I guess. And he also hasn't heard the The Third Man used a faster film stock for location shooting. Argh.

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HistoryProf
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Re: 516 Stagecoach

#15 Post by HistoryProf » Fri May 07, 2010 10:56 pm

swo17 wrote:Frankly, I'm a bit surprised that Jeffrey Wells has even heard of Stagecoach.

There's also this golden nugget:
Jeffrey Wells wrote:The Third Man Bluray is a consumer "burn" of the first magnitude, and a stain on the honor of the Criterion Collection. It is a joke in my house -- it sits there on my Blu-ray shelf collecting dust, and it will continue to sit there for months and years to come, unplayed and unloved.
I saw that too of course...wtf could he possibly be talking about?

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Highway 61
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Re: 516 Stagecoach

#16 Post by Highway 61 » Sat May 08, 2010 12:05 am

david hare wrote:Can we make it a given to never mention fucking Jeffrey Wells again on this forum. Leave him to Glenn.

Pox the bastard! Life is too short to waste breath on him.
This. Wells is an infantile charlatan. Were he writing about any medium other than film, no one would give him the time of day. I can see him pontificating about architecture and calling the Parthenon a "stain in the history of western civilization," all while praising the reconstruction in Nashville. What an ass.

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captveg
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Re: 516 Stagecoach

#17 Post by captveg » Sat May 08, 2010 12:46 pm

This Jeffrey Wells character is an embarrassment. Thankfully no one worth their salt in this business takes him seriously, and Criterion will keep plugging along doing what they do best. Even better, people on forums continue to become better educated about how films should be presented on home video, and especially blu-ray, by the actual experts in the industry who frequent the common forums.

unclehulot
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Re: 516 Stagecoach

#18 Post by unclehulot » Tue May 25, 2010 1:23 pm

HistoryProf wrote:
swo17 wrote:Frankly, I'm a bit surprised that Jeffrey Wells has even heard of Stagecoach.

There's also this golden nugget:
Jeffrey Wells wrote:The Third Man Bluray is a consumer "burn" of the first magnitude, and a stain on the honor of the Criterion Collection. It is a joke in my house -- it sits there on my Blu-ray shelf collecting dust, and it will continue to sit there for months and years to come, unplayed and unloved.
I saw that too of course...wtf could he possibly be talking about?
If it's just sitting there "unloved", shouldn't he unload it, since he'd get to love more cash than he paid for the thing, being OOP now?

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HistoryProf
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Re: 516 Stagecoach

#19 Post by HistoryProf » Tue May 25, 2010 6:47 pm

cdnchris wrote:So he's bitching that the damage is still significant and he wants it mint and pristine? Does he not realize how fucked up the image would be if that were the case?

It looks great. Fuck him.
He's like the movie critic version of that reality tv bimbo that had 14 plastic surgeries done in the last year so she can be "perfect" - while 99% of the population looks at her w/ a combination of shock, disgust, and pity for transforming her body into a grotesque representation of delusion.

and fyi: as I posted in the bn thread Stagecoach can be had for ~ $18 for the time being...see instructions there...

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Jeff
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Re: 516 Stagecoach

#20 Post by Jeff » Tue Jun 01, 2010 6:36 pm


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Re: 516 Stagecoach

#21 Post by dlevine » Tue Jun 01, 2010 7:56 pm

I've been reading this forum since I got into Criterion two years ago, but I've never had the guts to post anything here because I know far less about film than anyone here. Yet this review by Wells just drives me nuts. I just watched my copy this morning and I thought it looked as well as it could look. The only part I was disappointed by was the way the opening titles looked. Some of the exteriors looked amazing to me, though, especially when compared to the original Warner DVD (I never got the 2-disc). Also, why did he jump to spend over $30 on this? I got it for $20 on B&N's site.

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Rufus T. Firefly
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Re: 516 Stagecoach

#22 Post by Rufus T. Firefly » Thu Jun 03, 2010 4:30 am

I have not seen the Stagecoach BD but that "reviewer" makes me want to use the word fucktard for the first time on an internet forum.

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domino harvey
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Re: 516 Stagecoach

#23 Post by domino harvey » Thu Jun 03, 2010 4:40 pm

Shh, Wells will write another column about that

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Re: Cannes 2011

#24 Post by Duncan Hopper » Tue May 17, 2011 12:36 pm

John Cope wrote:In other news, Wells and company pontificate briefly on the potential leanings of the Cannes jury (if Assayas does indeed wind up exerting a lot of influence here I wonder what that will likely mean).
Yikes, I made the mistake of reading the comments. Wells starts by calling Johnnie To a 'chopsocky' director and follows up with "Nothing puts me to sleep faster than Asian cinema." Classy.

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med
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Re: Cannes 2011

#25 Post by med » Tue May 17, 2011 12:57 pm

Duncan Hopper wrote:
John Cope wrote: In other news, Wells and company pontificate briefly on the potential leanings of the Cannes jury (if Assayas does indeed wind up exerting a lot of influence here I wonder what that will likely mean).
Yikes, I made the mistake of reading the comments. Wells starts by calling Johnnie To a 'chopsocky' director and follows up with "Nothing puts me to sleep faster than Asian cinema." Classy.
Jeff Wells is a middlebrow rube who likes to pass himself off as a sophisticated film-lover. The guy's word should never be taken seriously.

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