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PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2012 1:39 pm 

Joined: Wed May 18, 2011 9:37 am
Less glowing, but still overall positive review from Blu-Ray.com for Universal Monsters.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2012 2:20 pm 
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Looks like we have another divide over image quality between Beaver and Blu-ray.com (or Gary Tooze and Kenneth Brown), particularly on The Invisible Man and The Wolf Man. Is it me, or are Beaver's technical descriptions beginning to look like boilerplate crafted to be as inoffensive as possible to the labels providing the discs?


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2012 3:27 pm 
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Even I can see the halos on Beaver's captures, I think they're worth at least a mention.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2012 5:08 pm 
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manicsounds wrote:
Maybe they'll release a sequels collection in the future.
I'm sure at some point they'll do "Legacy Collections" or something similar as the way to release each of the marquee titles in this current set. Mainly as a way of getting all of us who bought the set to buy them all again.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2012 5:10 pm 
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Yes, they are obvious, but...
Beaver wrote:
The Wolf Man on Blu-ray looks the best of the 5 previous I have seen from the Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection. Black levels are pitch in 1080P and the image quality is superb. Like the others, this is dual-layered with a high bitrate. There is a hint of gloss and detail is magnificent. Contrast exports healthy, rich visuals. There is no noise in the many dark nighttime scenes and only a few minor speckles. This Blu-ray has touch of depth and overall looks extremely pleasing.

while...
Blu-ray.com wrote:
The Wolf Man undergoes what initially appears to be a startling transformation from weathered seventy-year old film elements to painstakingly restored master to terrific 1080p/AVC-encoded video presentation. And it might look that good -- as good as most of its fellow classic monster movies -- if it weren't for one widespread prevailing issue: ringing. Wire-thin edge halos are apparent throughout the film (some scenes more than others) and become quite a nuisance; so much so that it warrants more than a mention. It warrants a warning. Otherwise, the image has a lot going for it. Grain is gentle and consistent, contrast is impeccably balanced, black levels are satisfying, midrange grays aren't hindered or disrupted in any way, and fine detail reveals subtleties and textures in the original photography the majority of us have never seen before. The encode is also free of macroblocking, banding and other errant anomalies, making for what could have been a prime presentation. But, oh, those halos...


I'm beginning to think that sites that purport to evaluate the technical merits of the medium should include a detailed methods and materials section with their review. There are quite noticeable differences in display and projection technologies and these differences can ameliorate or exacerbate problems in the transfer. Video sections of BD/DVD players are not created equal, and that's without considering HTPC playback. And none of this gets into the methods of capture, which have been discussed ad nauseum in this forum. Of course, that may be asking quite a lot for sites that would be better seen as providing first cuts for one's wishlist rather than definitive conclusions.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2012 6:06 pm 
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Gary Tooze does provide his home theater equipment list at the bottom of each review page, fwiw. And he has been specific on occasion with regard to his capture methods, assuming they haven't changed. I don't know about Kenneth Brown and the rest of the reviewers at bluray.com, and it would be nice to have that information, as you say, if they don't already provide it.
Beyond that, I tend to trust more the reviewer who spells every word correctly, avoids awkward diction, and doesn't seem to duplicate pat phrases over and over again. If someone is so anxious to publish a scoop of first-look frame grabs that he doesn't even take the time to proofread his writing, then I have trouble believing he spent a lot of time analyzing the films themselves. Most of all, I can't stand poorly written content. So, given that, guess who has more credence for me between Kenneth Brown and Gary Tooze?
I hope they do a Legacies-style edition some day; there are some wonderfully evocative films among those secondary features, including Invisible Man's Revenge, Son of Frankenstein, and Werewolf of London.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2012 6:22 pm 
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The various follow-up films are short enough to put 2, maybe even 3 on a BD50 comfortably. If this set sells well enough it may be worth it for them to release them even without the films in this set. Obviously they would likely not have the extensive restoration/remastering of these titles, and probably not that extensive of bonus content (sans any previously produced content), but they could likely sell them at a reasonable price marketed towards the fans/collectors.


Last edited by captveg on Sat Sep 29, 2012 1:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2012 6:25 pm 
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I'm aware that Gary posts his current system and that reviewers at Blu-ray.com have not, or at least not in any easily locatable place. Nor have I been able to find each reviewer's description of their capture methodology.

While I, too, prize literacy, literacy in itself it is no guarantee of technical proficiency. Regardless of whether sites begin to offer more detail on their methods or begin to evaluate BDs/DVDs on more than one system, the final arbiter is seeing the film in motion on your set-up. If it works for you there, it really doesn't matter what happens in other systems.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 5:14 am 

Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 11:13 am
I've read elsewhere that Wolf Man is indeed one of the weakest of the bunch, visually speaking, so I trust more blu-ray.com on this.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 10:14 am 
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A poster on Blu-ray.com has reported that the UK disc of Dracula is missing the commentary by Steve Haberman.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 2:00 pm 

Joined: Sat May 10, 2008 1:10 pm
Quote:
Gary Tooze does provide his home theater equipment list at the bottom of each review page, fwiw. And he has been specific on occasion with regard to his capture methods, assuming they haven't changed. I don't know about Kenneth Brown and the rest of the reviewers at bluray.com, and it would be nice to have that information, as you say, if they don't already provide it.

This goes for all sites, not just DVD Beaver: a list of equipment is meaningless on its own. All that shows is that someone has a certain amount of money.

More to the point, has the setup been calibrated by an ISF or THX technician (or other qualified person)? Recently? Is the display capable of showing what's on the disc accurately, without distortion? Is the reviewer providing a visual description of the video stored on the disc (in the case of a transparent calibrated setup) or a description of the video stored on the disc after being mauled by an uncalibrated screen...


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 2:55 pm 
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David M. wrote:
Quote:
Gary Tooze does provide his home theater equipment list at the bottom of each review page, fwiw. And he has been specific on occasion with regard to his capture methods, assuming they haven't changed. I don't know about Kenneth Brown and the rest of the reviewers at bluray.com, and it would be nice to have that information, as you say, if they don't already provide it.

This goes for all sites, not just DVD Beaver: a list of equipment is meaningless on its own. All that shows is that someone has a certain amount of money.

More to the point, has the setup been calibrated by an ISF or THX technician (or other qualified person)? Recently? Is the display capable of showing what's on the disc accurately, without distortion? Is the reviewer providing a visual description of the video stored on the disc (in the case of a transparent calibrated setup) or a description of the video stored on the disc after being mauled by an uncalibrated screen...

I agree with all this (obviously) but there exists an issue that goes beyond defining your methods and materials (and being certain that those M&Ms are correct) so that your results are reproducible. Namely, when your site depends on revenue from ads and from using purchase links and those subsequently depend on hits, and your content is largely dependent on discs provided at what we used to call in the audio world "industry accommodation pricing", just how far can you go in biting the hand that feeds you?

Many folks here know Stereophile magazine. Some, like me, are old enough to remember when the magazine was an irregularly published "quarterly" that was a labor of love for J Gordon Holt. Then realities intruded and forced them to start accepting advertising. Today's magazine is the result. How much faith will you put in the review of an amplifier when the manufacturer purchases a four-color glossy full page ad in the same issue? Granted that DVDs and BDs are not in the same cost league of a high end amp, but the principle remains. How many reviews would go up at these sites if each reviewer had to buy every disc out of his own pocket?

I want to make it clear that I am not trying to cast aspersions upon any particular reviewer or site. I understand that the choices are sometimes difficult because I've been there. The service provided is still valuable because it offers a first cut and can be more if one keeps the limitations in mind. But even if "perfect science" is achieved in the approach to evaluating these discs, these are still commercial endeavors (mostly) and caveat emptor is always wise counsel.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 5:50 pm 
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Cash Flagg wrote:
A poster on Blu-ray.com has reported that the UK disc of Dracula is missing the commentary by Steve Haberman.

Is that the individual release or the disc from the large boxset?


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 6:31 pm 
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It's the box set, which I would imagine will be the same as the individual UK disc. Someone on Blu-ray.com also posted scans of the back of the box showing the bonus features for each movie, and the only differences between the US and UK editions seems to be that the UK is missing the Haberman Dracula commentary and a trailer gallery on The Invisible Man. But at $55 shipped, I can live happily without either of those, especially since I have the 2-disc Legacy DVD of Dracula with the Haberman commentary.


Last edited by Feego on Sat Sep 29, 2012 6:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 6:32 pm 
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Also, in my not-so-humble opinion, I found the Haberman commentary a tad bitchy. He continuously praises the Browning version and disparages the Spanish version throughout, which is fine, but his argument seems to be, "Of course the English version is great because the Spanish version sucks."


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 1:29 pm 

Joined: Thu Jul 31, 2008 7:38 pm
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I agree that losing the Haberman commentary is not a big loss; I remember asking myself at the time if his only qualitication was having scripted a mediocre movie with the word "Dracula" in the title. If I ever feel the need to listen to it again, there's always the Legacy edition.

I received my copy yesterday (3 days from the UK to Canada; I am impressed), and I have tested only three of the discs; beautiful transfers and an impressive array of extras. Even though the box cover is less visually striking than the North-American one, the UK price is a steal, especially since they shave off the VAT which compensates for the shipping (which can be further amortized by including another item or two).

This definitely looks like a release of the year, at least in terms of nostalgia but also of movie-making expertise.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 9:52 am 
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manicsounds wrote:
Be warned that the UK "Citizen Kane" may be region locked, for those without region free players.

...and I was right. The UK "Citizen Kane" is region B and is a completely different source print and transfer from the US disc.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 10:09 am 

Joined: Wed May 18, 2011 9:37 am
manicsounds wrote:
manicsounds wrote:
Be warned that the UK "Citizen Kane" may be region locked, for those without region free players.

...and I was right. The UK "Citizen Kane" is region B and is a completely different source print and transfer from the US disc.


Please review said picture quality (is it much worse?) and those extras if you can! Was really hoping to get rid of the Warner massive box but doesn't sound like I'll be able to now...


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 5:18 pm 

Joined: Wed May 18, 2011 9:37 am
In case anyone was wondering, from an Amazon.co.uk review, regarding Citizen Kane:

Quote:
The UK Universal Bluray is a different print from the the USA Warner BD.. release... the UK release is hugely inferior in picture quality with much print damage and poor contrast.....The USA release is completely free of these problems and is a superb presentation...The Region 1 release is Region Free.....


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 5:39 pm 

Joined: Tue Nov 22, 2011 7:10 am
Drucker wrote:
In case anyone was wondering, from an Amazon.co.uk review, regarding Citizen Kane:

Quote:
The UK Universal Bluray is a different print from the the USA Warner BD.. release... the UK release is hugely inferior in picture quality with much print damage and poor contrast.....The USA release is completely free of these problems and is a superb presentation...The Region 1 release is Region Free.....


Not saying I don't trust that review but here's what they had to say about Peeping Tom blu

Quote:
A very strong transfer and newly restored . Fine object detail is first class and contrast levels consistent throughtout . Colour scheme is quite outstanding and blacks look sensational . Stability is excellent . The movie has been cleaned up and as a result there is no debris to be seen


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 6:24 pm 
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Definitely hanging on to the region A release, then- but I'd still be interested to hear how good the extras are, as a decent commentary would probably persuade me to double dip.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 7:24 pm 
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Here's a review of the Citizen Kane UK DVD, with some comments on the extras.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 8:10 pm 
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Were is the review of the blu?


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 8:29 pm 
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Walmart.com has The Insider for pre-order for 2/19/2013. I'm disappointed since this release will probably be barebones just like the DVD was. I was hoping Criterion picked this film for their collection.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 8:36 pm 
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Wrong company.


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