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Old 10-27-05, 12:21 AM   #1
pro-bassoonist
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Warner 2DVD SE- The Unbearable Lightness of Being

The Brits over at DVDtimes.uk report that WB will release The Unbearable Lightness of Being in a double SE set this February.
Here's a direct link:
http://www.dvdtimes.co.uk/content.php?contentid=58997

As I already pointed out I am one of the few to claim that Criterion provided a very disapointing transfer. So my claims should be put to the test....and it shall be interesting!!

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Old 10-27-05, 01:32 AM   #2
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good news. This was also announced for a 02.14.06 date in the Ryan's Daughter thread...glad to see it coming.
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Old 10-27-05, 01:42 AM   #3
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Kick ass!!! I almost gave in and copped the Criterion one, glad I held out, hopefully the transfer is better.
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Old 10-27-05, 01:54 AM   #4
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Well I have the Criterion one and this certainly won't be one I will be re-buying. Not only was it one of the worst movies in the Criterion collection but one of the worst movies I have ever seen.
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Old 10-27-05, 01:56 AM   #5
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Excellent news! Considering it looks like the commentary is being ported over, and I also think the original transfer is relatively subpar, I think it's time to sell off my Criterion.
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Old 10-27-05, 02:01 AM   #6
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I'm a completist, so I'll hang onto the Criterion. However, I may pick up the Warner release in addition to it. Also, I'll be the first person here to say, "the book is infinitely better than the film."

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Old 10-27-05, 02:04 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PopcornTreeCt
Well I have the Criterion one and this certainly won't be one I will be re-buying. Not only was it one of the worst movies in the Criterion collection but one of the worst movies I have ever seen.
I could not disagree more. I consider this to be not only an utterly poetic film but also a remarkable portrait of a world divided by crazy politics. For me the film has a special place in my heart esp. given what it meant to see it behind the iron curtain!!

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Old 10-27-05, 02:41 AM   #8
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Agreed. I loved the film...but only as an entity separate from the novel.

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Old 10-27-05, 03:12 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PopcornTreeCt
Well I have the Criterion one and this certainly won't be one I will be re-buying. Not only was it one of the worst movies in the Criterion collection but one of the worst movies I have ever seen.
Thank you for taking the time to come into this thread and crap in it.

The book is my favorite novel of all time and I love the movie as well, but for different reasons. I have the Criterion, so I'll be interested in seeing if it's worth the upgrade.
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Old 10-27-05, 08:06 AM   #10
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Glad to hear it -- I passed on the Criterion due to the negative reviews of the DVD (not the movie) and will be picking this one up for sure.
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Old 10-27-05, 09:03 AM   #11
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I haven't seen it for years, but did enjoy it when I watched it. I had no idea that the Criterion transfer was poor. I'm certainly glad that I didn't jump at it when I heard it was going OOP.
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Old 10-27-05, 09:29 AM   #12
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I won't be double-dipping but I'd pick it up if I didn't already own a copy.
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Old 10-27-05, 09:37 AM   #13
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So wait is Warner turning into the new Criterion?

Just imagine if they could licence different studios work, that would be very interesting.

They are doing some very nice things to classic movies that nobody else really is.

Good to hear.
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Old 10-27-05, 01:04 PM   #14
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Quote:
I am one of the few to claim that Criterion provided a very disapointing transfer
Quote:
hopefully the transfer is better
Quote:
I also think the original transfer is relatively subpar, I think it's time to sell off my Criterion.
Quote:
I passed on the Criterion due to the negative reviews of the DVD
Quote:
I had no idea that the Criterion transfer was poor. I'm certainly glad that I didn't jump at it when I heard it was going OOP.
I read these comments, and I don't have a clue what you folks are talking about. Perhaps you're mixing this release up with the substandard MGM disc? Or maybe my memory is faulty. So I looked at all the reviews I could find:

DVD Beaver: "The Criterion picture is much sharper and the colors are more true"
DVD File: "Although not perfect, this anamorphic transfer is impressive nonetheless. Criterion was slow to embrace the enhancement, but I can only hope that many enhanced discs will be released by Criterion in the near future, if the quality of this one is any indication of what we can expect. The image is not as pristine as a DVD for a new film, but any faults with the picture are negligible considering its overall excellence in the areas of detail and color and the absence of annoying digital artifacts.
Unbearable employs several different visual styles with beautiful photography by legendary cinematographer Sven Nykvist (Celebrity, Chaplin, Fanny and Alexander). The urban Czechoslovakia is gray and bleak. Austria and rural Czechoslovakia are much more colorful (although the commentary does reveal that filming actually took place in France). The farmland scenes are visually stunning with no transfer problems at all. Scenes like these remind me why I bought my DVD player in the first place."
mondo digital: "This anamorphic transfer finally resembles the big screen presentation -- dense layers of white light, soft textured fabrics, and powdery landscapes."
DVD Journal: "The source print for this new Criterion transfer (1.85:1 widescreen, 16x9-enhanced) shows some wear, but is overall quite lovely."
DVD Times: "This is Criterion's first anamorphic DVD, and hopefully very far from the last, as it's superb: a virtually flawless original print (there are a couple of tiny dust marks, but they're no big deal) given a state-of-the-art transfer that does a terrific job of reproducing cinematographer Sven Nykvist's full palette of colours and complex lighting effects."
reel.com: "As we've come to expect from Criterion, the transfer here, personally approved by Kaufman, is spectacular. In its DVD incarnation, The Unbearable Lightness of Being looks and sounds great."
Films On Disc "Criterion has put out an excellent DVD. There's plenty of punch to the contrast range while shadow detail retains subtlety. Blacks are deep and velvety. The colors are lush and vital. Detail is terrific. There is some evidence of compression ringing and solid white exaggerated grain. Some decided difficult material like the cobblestone streets of Prague exhibit minor artifacting. The authentic and simulated newsreel footage blends together nicely and the look is well preserved on DVD."
DVD Movie Guide: "Sharpness largely appeared to be crisp and detailed. A few instances of softness occurred, but most of the movie looked nicely detailed and accurate. No significant problems related to moiré effects or jagged edges, but print flaws were a periodic concern. Some light appeared throughout the film, and speckles could become somewhat heavy at times. For instance, check out the first scene with Binoche in Prague. Note that these comments do not relate to the scenes that provided intentional defects. Some material was meant to fit in with archival footage, and those shots were mucked up so they would match. I didn’t regard these as “flaws” and didn’t factor them into my grade.
Colors looked consistently warm and accurate. The film offered a nicely natural and clear palette, and the DVD replicated the hues well. The different colors appeared clean and distinct, and they could be vibrant and bold when necessary. Black levels seemed to be very deep and rich, especially as displayed through clothes. Shadow detail could appear a bit murky at times, though, as some interiors looked a bit drab and flat. However, Unbearable largely provided a solid and attractive image."
DVD Collector's Haven: "The image is quite sharp and stunning. The colors that are used in the film are more grayish in nature, but they still come out quite strikingly as do, obviously, the even brighter colors. Sharpness is very strong. In fact, I never noticed an instance where the image became soft or hazy."

Check out the screencaps on DVD Beaver. Do they reflect a "poor transfer"? Not to my eyes. It also looks beautiful projected on my 75" screen at home. BTW, the transfer was approved by director Philip Kaufman.

Granted, this was Criterion's first anamorphic transfer, and it dates from September 1999, so I have little doubt that with the tecnical progress of the last 6 years, the Warner release will look even better.

But the Criterion is still a fine DVD of a beautiful film (photographed by the great Sven Nyqvist). With all due respect to PopcornTreeCt, I find it to be a great film which improves with subsequent viewings.
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Old 10-27-05, 01:21 PM   #15
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I have to say I didn't have a problem with the Criterion-transfer either.

Oh, and the movie is beautiful
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Old 10-27-05, 04:50 PM   #16
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the film is pure genius, and a pure work of art. IMO. To some, it's boring and dull. But it is very much worthy of a new edition. I love the criterion edition also, btw. hopefully some improvements over the criterion, mgm releases will be made.
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Old 10-28-05, 12:00 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FilmFanSea
I read these comments, and I don't have a clue what you folks are talking about. Perhaps you're mixing this release up with the substandard MGM disc?.
Since I was the first one to express my discontent with the current Criterion release I think that I should also elaborate why I said so.

First of all I am clearly not confusing the MGM release with the Criterion disc and I firmly stand behind my comments-the Criterion disc is not something I am pleased with. First of all the image is way too inconsistent, it is often too soft in some very specific areas (and it should not be). Second of all DVDBEAVER compares the Criterion disc only to the dreadful MGM disc which of course does not prove that the Criterion disc is of good quality but only that it is better WHEN compared to the MGM disc (obviously a moot point as everyone knew that MGM dropped the ball). Not a surprise here at least as far as I am concerned! However…neither of the color renditions are better- the criterion is too pale yet dark (contrast adjusting has been performed) yet the MGM disc offers too much red-ish colors while contrast is yet again “corrected”, this time around the contrast is being boosted quite a bit.

Furthermore the anamorphic transfer of the Criterion disc is anything but impressive. Impressive actually is anything but a term I would use to describe this release. When blown out via a digital projector there are a number of “soft” areas that simply pop up in the most unusual of all places (one specific place is the little inn where the doctor has a drink in the first part of the film). With all due respect DVDBEAVER only suggests that the Criterion disc is the one to get (for now) without going into details as to what the faults of the print are (actually, I hardly see any negative comments when it comes to Criterion releases…not that there have to be any BUT when there are issues to be addressed…such as the famous color-issue with the Melvile disc, it is nice to know what the issue is).

FilmFanSea: I hope that WB do not use the same master their overseas branches in France, Holland, etc. used. The European master print is in a terrible condition, very close to the MGM R1 print source. I hope they deliver a new pristine print for the US market. And I do stand behind my comment that the Criterion release is undeserving of this classic film.

Last but not least….there are some very weird color-issues with this film. Look for example at the favorite comparison captures at DVDBEAVER with the naked model…now look at the terrible MGM cap with the predominant yellow saturation all over the print (specifically look at the right upper corner, next to the lamp and around the picture frame), now go back to the Criterion release, though they have cleaned it up a bit there is a very strange yellow tint on the right upper corner again which is very, very distracting when viewed with a projector. There are tons of such examples throughout the film….I stand behind my comments: I hope that someone at WB seriously “cleans up” the print and delivers a deserving edition of this film as so far there is none available on the market.


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Old 11-09-05, 05:23 PM   #18
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DVDAnswers.com just confirmed the release of this Special Edition and has the cover artwork. It is one of the best covers ever.

http://www.dvdanswers.com/index.php?r=0&s=1&c=8134
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Old 11-09-05, 05:40 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by dx23
DVDAnswers.com just confirmed the release of this Special Edition and has the cover artwork. It is one of the best covers ever.

http://www.dvdanswers.com/index.php?r=0&s=1&c=8134

All that text? One of the best covers ever? The cover reads like a award ceremony legal brief ... these actors, this production company, this guy's film, based on the novel by ... non-elegant in my view.
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Old 11-09-05, 05:56 PM   #20
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I love the cover.

-JP
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Old 11-09-05, 06:41 PM   #21
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All that text?
what text? I didn't notice any text.

I only see a half naked Lena Olin.
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Old 11-10-05, 12:35 PM   #22
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Beautiful cover.....for once a classy R1 presentation.

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Old 11-10-05, 12:45 PM   #23
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Yeah, I love the cover as well, it's a total knockout.
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Old 11-10-05, 01:06 PM   #24
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Do we know for sure that it'll be a new transfer? I'm not as displeased as Pro-B with the Criterion one, but there's always room for improvement (and Warners certainly has a great track record in this regard).

Very glad they're porting over the commentary for those who don't have the Criterion disc. I mean, at least I think it's the same one... the DVDTIMES doesn't mention Sven Nykvist as being on that track. Unless my memory's playing serious tricks on me, I'm certain he's on it.

As for the quality of the film, I may never again see a romantic tragedy I love nearly so much. No, it's not exactly Kundera's novel -- which is brilliant and should be appreciated in its own right -- but it's as wonderful a cinematic adaptation as I think anyone could possibly hope for. And for those who bemoan the lack of Kundera's "philosophical content", simply consider how it's woven into the images and mood of the film. A cinematic rather than linguistic expression.
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Old 11-10-05, 01:17 PM   #25
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This has nothing to do with the DVD: I liked the movie, but it should have been done by Czechs in Czech. Stupid accents, and the way Day-Lewis tries to pronounce"Tereza"...shudder. Of course, this means nothing to most of you, but what the hell.
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