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why is curse of the jade scorpion mono

Old 02-11-02, 04:33 PM
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why is curse of the jade scorpion mono

why is curse of the jade scorpion in mono? no dts, 5.1, not even 2.0. I don't understand why anyone would put out a movie in Mono anymore. Can anyone explain...
Old 02-11-02, 05:01 PM
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Aaron touches on it in his review of the film for DVDTalk:

http://dvdtalk.com/reviews/read.php?ID=3277
Old 02-12-02, 07:02 PM
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A more vexing question is why given that it is in mono with virtually no extras except a trailer perhaps is it priced at $24.95 at Best Buy, and at a premium at all of the other retailers and
e-tailers?

Last edited by Jack Straw; 02-13-02 at 12:05 AM.
Old 02-13-02, 06:49 AM
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Re: why is curse of the jade scorpion mono

Originally posted by ivelostr2
why is curse of the jade scorpion in mono? no dts, 5.1, not even 2.0. I don't understand why anyone would put out a movie in Mono anymore. Can anyone explain...
Ask Woody Allen... he likes inferior technology
Old 02-13-02, 02:12 PM
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Originally posted by thgord
A more vexing question is why given that it is in mono with virtually no extras except a trailer perhaps is it priced at $24.95 at Best Buy, and at a premium at all of the other retailers and
e-tailers?
Seriously--This is NOT a good DVD. I liked the movie enough to consider a purchase, but the mono sound and lack of extras and high price all convinced me to pass. Mono on a 1940 movie is just fine, but not on movie from 2001.
Old 02-13-02, 03:45 PM
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Woody Allen makes mono movies. Deal with it.

Jesus, do you people honestly base your DVD purchases on how many audio channels there are?
Old 02-13-02, 03:49 PM
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well since the movie was SHOT in Mono, and not stereo, i would think this shouldn't be a problem... woody makes movies like it is the 1940's, so give him a break...he also doesn't like extras, he believes in the strength of the feature, and Dreamworks discs give the best possible presentation of this hilarious gem of a film, so for me, it's easily worth the 24.95 retail price (but of course, i'm paying canadian funds )

MATT
Old 02-14-02, 10:37 AM
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it's 32.95 around me...
Old 02-14-02, 09:16 PM
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If Woody Allen wants to feature only mono soundtracks and include no extras on DVDs of his flicks, that's his prerogative. I won't give any of those discs higher than a "C-" for sound; no matter how clear the audio may be, a single-channel track for a modern film is below-average by default. But I still support his right to do whatever he wants.

Nonetheless, $32.95 is absurd for an essentially featureless DVD, no matter what kind of audio track it includes. With MGM putting out nice SEs like Buckaroo Banzai at a $20 price point, there's no excuse for this form of high-cost package...
Old 02-14-02, 11:19 PM
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Originally posted by Oatsdad
I won't give any of those discs higher than a "C-" for sound; no matter how clear the audio may be, a single-channel track for a modern film is below-average by default.
I don't understand this logic. While making movies in mono sound nowadays is ridiculous, why is it not possible to give the audio a good grade. What happens if fidelity/volume/clarity are all perfect, but since the film is from the 40s, it's in mono. I know that this film is recent, but I don't understand the reluctance to give it a higher score than "C-" based solely on the fact that it's 1.0. That's like only giving DD 5.1 tracks at most an A cause they're not DTS. Sadly, some sites do do this.
Old 02-15-02, 12:41 PM
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Hmmm....geee....that Allen guy seems to make his moves, uh....dialogue-driven and so that usually goes through...uh...one-channel...errr....I feel cheated 'cause I wanted the music and talking to go through the surrounds on my 6.1 setup....ahh....except I don't have a, you know...6.1 setup....yeah.
Old 02-15-02, 12:49 PM
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Woody hasn't done anything worth seeing in 15 years......
Old 02-16-02, 12:33 AM
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I don't understand this logic. While making movies in mono sound nowadays is ridiculous, why is it not possible to give the audio a good grade. What happens if fidelity/volume/clarity are all perfect, but since the film is from the 40s, it's in mono. I know that this film is recent, but I don't understand the reluctance to give it a higher score than "C-" based solely on the fact that it's 1.0. That's like only giving DD 5.1 tracks at most an A cause they're not DTS. Sadly, some sites do do this.
The logic occurs because it IS ridiculous for a modern film to be mono. I'm not saying the Woodman needs to go nuts with some sort of wild 6.1 track, but some form of stereo music and general ambience would be enough to life his flicks into "B" territory with good sound quality.

I think you misunderstood what I wrote. I don't give ALL mono tracks low ratings. When I assign a grade, I base it on a theoretical average release FOR ITS ERA. Admittedly, I won't give any mono tracks grades higher than "B+", simply because I feel that an "A" of any sort indicates a certain objective level of quality that won't occur with a mono mix; I regard "A" grades as a universal seal of approval that the material's excellent regardless of age.

But I'll happily give mono tracks grades through "B" territory if they're from older flicks. I just won't do the same for something from 2001 or recently. If multichannel mixes are typical for modern flicks, then by definition, a mono track is subpar.

This is why it's important to read the text in reviews and not just go by grades. I always explain the quality of the audio and also detail why Allen's movies sound just fine but earn moderately low grades.

For modern flicks, as long as they're surround, the different systems don't matter to me. I hand out exceedingly few "A+" grades, but I definitely don't reserve them for DTS mixes...
Old 02-16-02, 10:37 AM
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Originally posted by JaxComet
Woody hasn't done anything worth seeing in 15 years......
or maybe you just haven't sought out the right Woody films in the last 15 years, cause he's made a few really good films lately. To each his own i guess, but i think woody is doing just as good now as he did back in the 70's.

MATT
Old 02-16-02, 03:08 PM
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Jesus, do you people honestly base your DVD purchases on how many audio channels there are?
I do well sort of.. I didn't spend $2000 of hard earned money on a surround sound system to just use 1 speaker Whenever I watch something that's mono or stereo, I switch my receiver to 5 channel sterio, so I hear it coming from all the speakers, sounds way better that way IMO
Old 02-19-02, 11:46 AM
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Point Missed!!!

Although not my favorite Allen movie, I think the reviewer missed the point. The point is, that this film pretends that it was made in the 40's, and guess what, there was no 6.1 dolby, dts, ex, mx yada yada yada. I believe Allen wants us to view this movie from the eyes of someone living in the 40's. Woody Allen films don't need multichanel sound, because they are done on a limited budget, and they are mostly dialogue driven. Now, Why is thee DVD priced so high? I don't think Woody Allen had a say in that. Some marketer at the sudio decided that in the world of supply and demand, that's what they can fetch for this film. It could also be that since Woody Allen has a very narrow audience, it's more expensive to produce his DVDs.
Old 02-19-02, 08:43 PM
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Point Missed!!!
No, methinks you missed the point...


Although not my favorite Allen movie, I think the reviewer missed the point. The point is, that this film pretends that it was made in the 40's, and guess what, there was no 6.1 dolby, dts, ex, mx yada yada yada. I believe Allen wants us to view this movie from the eyes of someone living in the 40's.
So how does this explain why EVERY Woody Allen movie - those that take place today, tomorrow or yesterday - offers mono sound? Your argument makes absolutely no sense since Scorpion is one in a series of many that provides mono audio - only a few of these took place in the past....

Woody Allen films don't need multichanel sound, because they are done on a limited budget, and they are mostly dialogue driven.
Technically, no movies NEED multichannel audio, but that's not the point. Nor is limited budget or the dialogue-driven nature of his flicks.

The point is that BY DEFINITION, a film from 2001 (or 2002, or 2000) that offers mono sound is BELOW AVERAGE. It's using primitive techniques. Allen's movies prominently feature music - there's no reason those tracks shouldn't be stereo at the least. Look, if he wants to use single-channel tracks for his movies, that's his business. If you read my reviews, you'll see that I don't criticize him for doing so. It's still BELOW AVERAGE for a modern film, no matter how badly folks try to spin this fact...
Old 02-19-02, 11:41 PM
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Dude, that's like saying, no movie should be made in Black and White today, because it's a primitive form of film making.

Woody Allen movies tend to be very nostalgic, and the music is usually Jazz Band or Big Band sound from the 40's and 50's, and recorded in mono. How much different do you think any Woody Allen movie would be, if re-released in multichannel?
Old 02-20-02, 05:04 AM
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Originally posted by Bonkie
Woody Allen makes mono movies. Deal with it.

Jesus, do you people honestly base your DVD purchases on how many audio channels there are?
yes.



-k
###
Old 02-20-02, 07:34 AM
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Wake up Woody, at 66 you're no longer a ladies man! Hell, at 22 you weren't a ladies man.....How about some original material.....
Old 02-20-02, 08:51 AM
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It's using primitive techniques. Allen's movies prominently feature music - there's no reason those tracks shouldn't be stereo at the least.
It's true that Woody threads many classic jazz recording throughout his films, but how many of those classic recordings are in stereo? Are you suggesting he remixes Armstrong's "Stardust Memories" into some kind of faux surround mix? Just the thought of that makes my lip curl up in a nasty ol' sneer of unmitigated disgust!

And even if they were all originally recorded in 7-channel EX, we're talking about an artist's intent here. And Allen is hardly the only contemporary director to use mono recordings - Jan Svankmajer, Bela Tarr, Kristof Kieslowski, Guy Madden, are just a few directors off the top of my head who still create mono soundtracks even though multi-channel technology was/is available to them.

But I do understand the desire for a soundtrack that's modified to fit your equipment. It's like wanting an image to fill your entire screen. But it's a techno kinda love... not a movie love!

And I don't begrudge Oatdad for his grading scale. I know he's catering to his reader's tastes (as well as his own). But there's a very different aesthetic at work there, and we should draw the distinction. There's no reason why mono recordings, or stereo recordings, or stereo surround recordings, or 6 discrete channel recordings, or the next new thing should render any other audio option obsolete as an aesthetic choice. There's a different quality to each, and directors who tend to follow their own path need not concern themselves with the conventions of the mass market and the expectations of the mass audience. And just as a 7.1 channel version of "Stardust Memories" would be silly, so would 7.1 channels of Guy Maddin's "early talkie" style audio.

But since there's an expectation in the home theater world that a disc must make sounds come from every speaker in order to be "good", then reviewers like Oatdad have a constituency to serve. Those of us who don't hold to the same criteria understand where he's coming from, and that we're coming from a somewhat different place.

It's just that we're right, and you're wrong!
Old 02-20-02, 05:27 PM
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But since there's an expectation in the home theater world that a disc must make sounds come from every speaker in order to be "good", then reviewers like Oatdad have a constituency to serve. Those of us who don't hold to the same criteria understand where he's coming from, and that we're coming from a somewhat different place.
For the 87th time: I have no personal objection to Allen's use of mono. Also for the 87th time: my refusal to give the audio for his recent movies a grade above "C-" does NOT indicate I think they sound bad. I simply cannot give a mono movie from 2001 anything higher and have the grades retain any meaning. However, in the BODY of the review I explain why I assigned that grade and discuss the actual quality of the sound...

It's true that Woody threads many classic jazz recording throughout his films, but how many of those classic recordings are in stereo? Are you suggesting he remixes Armstrong's "Stardust Memories" into some kind of faux surround mix? Just the thought of that makes my lip curl up in a nasty ol' sneer of unmitigated disgust!
No, that's not the suggestion. I thought more of flicks like Sweet and Lowdown and Everyone Says I Love You that included many new recordings...

And I don't begrudge Oatdad for his grading scale. I know he's catering to his reader's tastes (as well as his own).
No, he's not catering to ANYONE'S "tastes". Like I said, I couldn't care less if Allen uses mono. Unlike some folks who have to have their speakers filled, I'm perfectly happy with single-channel mixes. It's just a matter of consistency; for the grades to mean anything, I have to compare apples with apples. Films from 2001 have multichannel audio - anything less is below average by definition.

Conversely, this doesn't mean that a DVD with DTS 6.1 automatically gets a good grade. Just filling speakers doesn't earn high marks - the quality must be solid as well. If you think it's unfair that I won't give a mono track from 2001 anything above a "C-" despite the quality of the sound, so be it, but that's the way it is...

But I do understand the desire for a soundtrack that's modified to fit your equipment. It's like wanting an image to fill your entire screen. But it's a techno kinda love... not a movie love!
Speaking for myself, I DON'T want that. Again, I don't care if Allen uses mono...

There's no reason why mono recordings, or stereo recordings, or stereo surround recordings, or 6 discrete channel recordings, or the next new thing should render any other audio option obsolete as an aesthetic choice. There's a different quality to each, and directors who tend to follow their own path need not concern themselves with the conventions of the mass market and the expectations of the mass audience.
This is correct. At last look, I don't recall attacking Allen for his use of mono. It's his choice, and I support that. Do I think it's silly? Yup. But it remains his choice...

Dude, that's like saying, no movie should be made in Black and White today, because it's a primitive form of film making.
If a director made every film in black and white due to some obscure thought process, then I'd think there's something wrong. Allen doesn't pick mono on a case-by-case basis; he does it for every flick. He's used B&W for SOME movies, but not many. When he's done so, it made sense for the film. He doesn't choose mono selectively; it's his default mode whether it's logical or not...
Old 02-20-02, 05:32 PM
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Yeah, I don't know why Allen didn't use DTS for all the sounds of helicopters flying around and the explosions.

[Joe Sixpack]I wanna fill my speakers![/Joe Sixpack]
Old 02-20-02, 07:13 PM
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Originally posted by Groucho
Yeah, I don't know why Allen didn't use DTS for all the sounds of helicopters flying around and the explosions.

[Joe Sixpack]I wanna fill my speakers![/Joe Sixpack]

I don't know many Joe Sixpacks with surround systems. They'd fit right in with Woody with their 19" mono Televisions....

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