[Blu-ray] Latest and Upcoming Releases

(Phil H) #2025

The Ringo double bill Bluray looks to have been delayed for delivery. Now not expected until April 4th apparently.


Yeah I got that e-mail too :slightly_frowning_face: I was looking forward to some HD Ringo this month.

(Sebastian) #2027

May 22: Fistful of Dollars 4K


I’ve been watching the series ‘Mad Men’ recently (season 5) and there was a reference to ‘Fistful’, where a group of the wives and girlfriends are deciding what to see at the cinema … their options are 'Georgy Girl, ‘Alfie’, ‘Night of the Generals’ and ‘Fistful’ … one of the ladies comments that she can’t go to see that without her husband, or he’ll be so angry (not exact quote)
To my knowledge ‘Fistful’ didn’t cause such a great buzz on it’s original release in the USA, more a word of mouth situation, which built up more when the sequel was released a few months later by United Artists.
I just found it interesting that a now regarded classic movie, would be of any interest, or even discussed by American house wives of the period.
Anyway … the irony struck me, that a new generation of Ad Men (Mad Men) are currently licking their lips at the prospect of reselling the same product to the consumer over and over again, repackaged and reformatted, and we as consumers bite every time.
I am relatively new to Blu-Ray, and although it can look quite impressive, it does have it’s flaws, particularly regarding colour grading - which my naturally suspicious instincts tell me that not all colour graders can be colour blind, surely!?
Pink faces, and blue tones which look green are NOT the way Technicolor, deluxe or any of the other processes were intended to be seen. In fact, as a former collector of 16mm prints, I can say without hesitation that if these flaws were evident in a second hand print, it would be regarded as faded, and therefore cost about a quarter of the price of a pristine print.
So far, I haven’t picked up any SW titles, because from various forums I’ve read so many complaints about upscaling and poor colour, not to even get into the new audio mixes.
My question is … how much upgrading can there be from an original process like Techniscope? … surely the image can only be pushed so far ?
I’m fortunate enough to have seen Leone’s films in 35mm on the big screen, so I’m a little wary that this whole revolution of upgrades is a bit of a scam.
I mean what happens after 4k, … 8k, Ultra 8k ? … I don’t think we’ve seen the last of these new formats.


I haven’t seen a review of Kino’s Giu La Testa blu-ray yet, but I hope it and their upcoming releases are better than their GBU blu-ray. Yikes.


That sucks. At least it’s only a couple of weeks.


So is the older MGM BD preferable?


The MGM disc may be yellow, but the image is sharper, the subtitles are better, the chapters are done properly and the bonus features don’t look like pixilated laggy YouTube videos.

But Kino does offer a great restored mono track and the option of the shorter version. Which they misleadingly labeled the ‘US theatrical cut’.


Which cut is it? I’ve got it but haven’t watched it yet.


Someone at Kino has sat and literally matched the 1998 MGM DVD frame for frame, thinking it was the cut shown theatrically. Close but no cigarillo.


The verdict:

Comparisons at the bottom of the review

(Piripero) #2036

Roughly speaking, and all things being equal (which of course they never are), I believe it would require 8k to capture all the detail in a 35mm camera original negative of the period. Finer grain filmstocks developed later might need a little more perhaps?

The Techniscope process took its toll on definition, but the analogue character of film duplication also meant what you saw in the cinema was several generations away from the original.

I saw OUATITW on the big screen not too long after its release, but most of my other Spaghetti Western celluloid experience has been of rather worn and dupey prints.

When clean early generation prints are available, or camera negatives, hi def digital can, by skipping the generations, challenge or surpass the definition of the old cinema prints.

Digital remastering remedies neg/pos dirt and damage etc. Colour grading, on the other hand, is going to be controversial. If there’s chemical degradation in the colour negatives, guesses have to be made (there being no reference).


Thanks for your comments - I have no problem with a little wear and tear, negative sparkle or any of the inherent problems film prints may or will have. It’s the dam colour issue that bugs me most, especially as it’s so easy to fix … even with free software used by non professionals.
I read a review of the ‘Chato’s Land’ BD recently, and what amazes me is the level of techy detail spouted, but when it comes to this very fundamental issue of ‘pink face’, the reviewer makes some wishy washy comment on how the actors faces were likely sunburned … WTF this is complete bullshit. My theory is that these films are deliberately being put out half assed, in order to sell the same title again with the defects corrected.
Here’s one of the screens used in the article and below my correction, which takes about 20 seconds to fix.
Top pic is the screen capture from the review - below the quick fix.

(Piripero) #2038

Image resolution is my obsession, followed by colour. With colour, as I said, it’s very hard to determine what’s correct. Nobody, not even a projectionist (who may have seen the film more than anyone) can rely on memory because colour memory (even short term) is too flawed.

Added to that, perception of a particular colour is strongly conditioned by what colour you see before or adjacent to it. I’m sure you’ve seen the Color Optical Illusions which demonstrate this effect (The Flag Color Optical Illusion in particular).

So in the screen grabs you posted, most would agree the faces are too pink in the first one. But that, I believe is because we’re comparing it with the second which, in my opinion, has a cyan cast. If you saw the first image in isolation, it would not be so clear cut.

One would hope, when remastering, they had access to un-faded release or show prints for colour referencing, but I suspect such prints, or resources to acquire them, are usually unavailable, particularly for some of the films we’re talking about.

I like your conspiracy theory and might sign up to it if I didn’t have so many cracking SW blu rays.

(Novecento) #2039

My issue has less to do with resolution and more to do with motion. The best technology for motion was Plasma since it had far less blurring or juddering and yet consumers seemed just to want thinner and lighter TVs regardless so Plasma became defunct (I’ll be hanging on to mine until it dies on me). I’m no electronics expert, but it seems to me to be a lot easier to bump up the resolution of a screen to 4k or even 8k without addressing the underlying issue regarding motion. Maybe a projector is the way to go…


With my first flat screen TV (not plasma) I was horrified at the blurring effect, but found that when I switched off picture noise reduction, everything is fine. Normal service has been resumed. I suspect it varies a lot from one make of TV to the next, but I’m quite happy with the image I get … and I’m a picky bastard! :laughing:


Most of the SW BDs I’ve seen reviewed look ok or really good to me … but this ‘Chato’, released I think from Twilight Time, is definitely ‘pinkorama’ - Perhaps I’m in a minority, but as the old advert used to say, ‘Can You Tell The Difference Between Butter And Margarine’ … dam right I can! :wink:

I’m a portrait painter, as well as a film fan, so this aspect of poor colour is a real pain for me.

Chato’s Land is one of the first westerns I saw at the cinema (the raw version!) and I must have watched the DVD 10 or 15 times and have no complaint with the colour palette on that MGM release. The guys in this film would have skin like old saddle leather … not like sunburned English tourists on their first day at the beach. :laughing:

(Piripero) #2042

Projection is the way to go, if you have the space and can afford it.

I built a little home cinema complete with surround-sound and sliding curtains over a wall with special projection-screen formulated paint! The main incentive was to watch some spaghettis on a big wide screen (over 8ft).

The added theatricality enhances the whole experience, but ideally you need an audience of more than one.

I don’t have a plasma or any other kind of TV, so not sure how it compares on motion blur.

(ENNIOO) #2043

When reading re Blu Ray releases so many things spring to mind. Colours altered. Sound messed about with. Grain levels messed with. The list goes on. With so issues on alot of Euro releases, why bother purchasing is my view.


Most are too expensive for my meagre budget … but when prices drop, just like DVDs did - reckon I’ll start hoarding again. At the moment I just pick up Blu -Rays and DVDs for next to nothing in charity shops … unfortunately no epic westerns found on BD yet on the cheap. :wink: