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Z: The Masterworks Edition: Reviews

Old 07-05-02, 08:58 AM
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Z: The Masterworks Edition: Reviews

ANY REVIEWS YET FOR THIS RECENTLY RELEASED 1969 FILM?
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Old 07-05-02, 03:37 PM
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HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

If you haven't seen this film before, it's an excellent Political Thriller with lots of action!

I just bought this yesterday and the anamorphic transfer is GREAT. the film looks unbelievable like it was filmed a few years ago instead of 30. There's a 5.1 audio track in French, but it's misleading. It sounds as if it's mono coming out of five speakers, no seperation at all, you hear the same dialogue coming out of all the speakers. However, the original French mono has been cleaned up and is very good.

As far as extras are concerned, there's an eighteen minute interview btw Costa-Gavras and the author of the orignal novel, with b&w interview from 1969 thrown in of the directors and actors. VERY good. a six minute restoration demonstration shows how they cleaned up the image. There's also an audio commentary with the director that I haven't listened to yet, but I'm sure it's very good. I also haven't seen the trailer or the photo gallery yet.

cheers, Tony Block
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Old 07-08-02, 12:38 PM
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Re: HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Originally posted by Tony Block
If you haven't seen this film before, it's an excellent Political Thriller with lots of action!

I just bought this yesterday and the anamorphic transfer is GREAT. the film looks unbelievable like it was filmed a few years ago instead of 30. There's a 5.1 audio track in French, but it's misleading. It sounds as if it's mono coming out of five speakers, no seperation at all, you hear the same dialogue coming out of all the speakers. However, the original French mono has been cleaned up and is very good.

As far as extras are concerned, there's an eighteen minute interview btw Costa-Gavras and the author of the orignal novel, with b&w interview from 1969 thrown in of the directors and actors. VERY good. a six minute restoration demonstration shows how they cleaned up the image. There's also an audio commentary with the director that I haven't listened to yet, but I'm sure it's very good. I also haven't seen the trailer or the photo gallery yet.

cheers, Tony Block

Hey Tony, Good call! DVDJournal just picked Z as its disc of the week!


http://www.dvdjournal.com/quickreviews/z/z.q.shtml
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Old 07-08-02, 02:21 PM
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A great movie - and sounds like a great DVD - thanks for the info.
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Old 07-08-02, 03:39 PM
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I watched this over the weekend, and the film has not looked this good in years, as far as I am concerned. It's an engrossing film with excellent performances and a slightly flamboyant style that moves things along at a fairly brisk pace. Well worth buying if you are interested...

I only listened to about 5 minutes of the commentary track (Costa-Gavras in French with subtitles) so I need to revisit that at a later time.

One note: I found that when I stopped the film it would not resume from the same point I left off, instead it would play the restoration demo...can't say if this is a general problem or my player, but I've not seen this on any other disk.
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Old 07-10-02, 02:24 AM
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Originally posted by CPS_ Adventures
One note: I found that when I stopped the film it would not resume from the same point I left off, instead it would play the restoration demo...can't say if this is a general problem or my player, but I've not seen this on any other disk.
It must be your player. My Sony correctly resumes at the stop point.

Other observations:

Video wise it looks like our favorite piñata Wellspring-Winstar-FoxLorber has finally gotten one right! I have seen this movie twice before (years ago at a revival theater and on cable) and both times it was a scratchy and faded print. Wellspring deserves a lot of credit for issuing this restored version.

But true to form, they have also given us something to complain about too. As Tony Block reported, a 5.1 audio track sends the mono signal to every speaker! The effect is kind of like getting out of your car at a drive-in movie. Fortunately, the mono track is also included.
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Old 07-10-02, 09:57 AM
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FWIW, the two other new "Wellspring" releases, "FOX AND HIS FRIENDS" and "THE MERCHANT OF FOUR SEASONS", also feature these completely bogus 5.1 remixes. They are terrible, though not quite in the same way as "Z" is described. In short, it's not simply a mono signal sent in every direction - there is directionality of effects and the music is given ambience - but the dialog is spread all across the front soundstage, even reaching back to the rears on occasion. It sounds hollow, processy... just flat-out terrible. Fortunately, both discs contain 2.0 stereo tracks that sound very good (at least "Fox" - I only got "Merchant" yesterday and merely sampled it). I do kinda wonder whether those two films were originally in stereo (more likely mono, I should think), but the stereo tracks are just fine.

This, of course, has all sorts of implications for the upcoming Wellspring re-release of "Ran". I don't mind if they stick a bogus 5.1 track on there so long as it doesn't take up space better allocated elsewhere, but they sure as hell better include the original mix. If these three discs are any indication, a Wellspring 5.1 remix of RAN will also suck, suck, suck.

Last edited by Richard Malloy; 07-10-02 at 10:02 AM.
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Old 07-10-02, 11:24 PM
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Thanks for the info.
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