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DVD Talk review of 'Bye Bye Brazil'

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DVD Talk review of 'Bye Bye Brazil'

Old 06-03-07, 09:37 AM
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DVD Talk review of 'Bye Bye Brazil'

I read Svet Atanasov's DVD review of Bye Bye Brazil at http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/read.php?ID=28379 and...I read Svet Atanasov's DVD review of Bye Bye Brazil at http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/read.php?ID=28379 and...
...aren't we acting just a little bit spoiled here? You're saying avoid this movie that I have been waiting for ten years to come out on dvd just because the picture and sound aren't perfect? It's a late seventies movie from Brazil for God's sake! Thank you New Yorker Video for releasing this film in it's correct aspect ratio with anamorphic enchancement. The video I found a bit soft but whatever...Have you guys actually watched a vhs tape lately? This is leaps and bounds from that.
Old 06-03-07, 02:04 PM
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Thank you for your note Chris:

A few notes:

1. Your claim that I suggest you avoid this movie is incorrect. The review states that you should not consider owning the DVD.

2. Not being spoiled! The presentation is below average bordering poor!

3. Yes, I still own a small number of VHS titles and Bye Bye Brasil hardly even comes close to the quality some of them offer.

4. The DVD is NOT leaps and bounds ahead of a VHS.

I am sorry, I can not recommend that our readers spend money on this disc given the insulting presentation!!

Pro-B

Last edited by pro-bassoonist; 06-03-07 at 02:06 PM.
Old 06-03-07, 03:20 PM
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Chris, all you needed to have read from the review is "New Yorker" and you would know off the bat that it was going to have bad video and audio. its who they are they are consistantly mediocre.

Last edited by BuddhaWake; 06-04-07 at 10:52 AM.
Old 06-04-07, 04:31 AM
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Maybe your system isn't properly calibrated, just what vhs tapes do you own that look better than this? A company releases a great forgotten film and you crap all over it. It's reviews like this that ruin dvd for us all. Part of the reason releases of cult films are slowing is because so-called critics find fault where there is none. Edge enchancement! Interlacing! Black levels! Christ, just watch the movie! I care not to read your review again but I believe you also criticized the audio. It's a low-budget thirty year old movie from South America! What do you want, 5.1?! If they did that you'd find something wrong with that as well. My point is, with critics like you, dvd can't win.
Old 06-04-07, 04:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Chris Polvi
A company releases a great forgotten film and you crap all over it. It's reviews like this that ruin dvd for us all.
Chris:

I am going to respond only to this small fragment of your...post: please read the review carefully one more time! Crapping is anything but part of it.

The rest I choose not to address!

Sincerely,

Pro-B
Old 06-04-07, 12:17 PM
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I just want to mention how much I appreciate Pro-B's review's.
Once again he is not trashing the film, only New Yorkers presentation of it.
I feel the reviews he writes are sensitive to the issue that a particular DVD may only be worth a rental. Maybe latter a better production in a different region may come out, but sometimes I might not want to wait, and go ahead and pick it up, that is my option.

Thanks Pro-B for an excellent review.

Siegfried.
Old 06-04-07, 10:30 PM
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Okay, at least you said 'rent it'. No one has to like a transfer if they don't have to...."Choose not to address"? What, I'm not worthy of you?....by the way just how can a 16x9 anamorphic transfer be sourced from a vhs master? The old vhs of Bye Bye Brazil was pan and scan and not open-matte in any way. The new dvd shows considerably more info on the sides. There was a laserdisc but I can't find any solid info on it. All I know is this dvd is a notable improvement on the faded and fuzzy tape I once rented, and the even more faded and fuzzy one I taped off tv ages ago. Barring a Lowry restoration, (which is a crapshoot in itself) this film probably can't look much better.

I didn't notice any edge enchancement, but I'm not one to seek out examples of it. I found the transfer very soft and cranked the sharpness on my tv a bit, something I very rarely do. Fixed the problem. No hard feelings? To each his own?
Old 06-04-07, 10:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Chris Polvi
by the way just how can a 16x9 anamorphic transfer be sourced from a vhs master?
I haven't seen this particular disc and can't say that this is what they're doing, but what you're describing is easily possible. Anchor Bay's director's cut of Army of Darkness was in anamorphic widescreen even though large stretches of it were sourced from low-res video elements. All you have to do, really, is vertically stretch the image and set a flag instructing the player to compress it back. You don't gain anything by doing that, of course.
Old 06-04-07, 11:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Chris Polvi
What, I'm not worthy of you?....
Anyone is worthy of my attention so long as he or she provides the same dose of respect he or she expects in return when initiating a contact!

Your second post is full of insinuations and groundless accusations bordering a personal attack! (…so-called critics find fault where there is none).

And…I care not to read your review again…

And…My point is, with critics like you, dvd can't win.

If you care not to read the review a second time why would you care about my reply to your...question(s) Such would have likely pointed out what you missed, perhaps misinterpreted!

Your post also implies that critics like me are the reason why cult (foreign as it is the case here) film releases are slowing down. If you would have taken the time to do a tiny bit of research before unleashing such a claim you would have, surprisingly, found out that I have done my fare share of promoting precisely a culture of embracing foreign cinema, not distancing from it. Here and elsewhere!

Indeed…no hard feelings!

Sincerely,

Pro-B

Last edited by pro-bassoonist; 06-04-07 at 11:57 PM.
Old 06-06-07, 05:39 AM
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pro-bassoonist- You take things too personally, forgive me, I should have been more formal. But can you answer the questions I asked in my previous post?

Adam, you're missing my point. Of course you can blow up a letterboxed vhs print to 16x9. My collection of 1980's imported euro-cult vhs boots I have on dvd-r can attest to this. Ha. But I do not believe Bye Bye Brazil has been offered in widescreen in any format until now. So it's likely sourced directly from a print of the movie. I'll take it's faded 28 year old colors and respect them. I'll look out for edge-enchancement next time I view it, but I was more concerned with following the plot and characters my first time through, as it had been a number of years since I had seen it. Enjoyed the hell out of it, and I wish you all could too.
Old 06-06-07, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Chris Polvi
...forgive me...
Done!

Here are a few additional comments:

-This is an analog transfer whose precise origin I am unaware of yet I am certain was not derived from a digital master. As already mentioned it is unrestored as well! There are multiple burn-marks, scratches, debris, etc.

-The print is muddy, unstable, and notably flawed. The age of the film is hardly an excuse given the current state of the disc. This DVD may be a marginal improvement over the image quality you mention in your post, that of a taped print, but a better print of this film is easily achievable. Given the high-profile status the picture enjoyed at Cannes I must conclude that sooner or later such will appear (esp. given the fact that the current Brazilian disc has been out since early 2004).

-New Yorker DID NOT perform a direct telecine-based transfer of this film! That would be obvious to anyone with basic knowledge in film processing. In fact, I am not aware of any NY release of a foreign film being struck directly from a telecine-master, they are all poor copy-jobs!

-Edge-enhancement is the tiniest of issues this transfer is plagued with: from massive damage-marks, jittering, muddy-faded color scheme, to the already-mentioned improper sourcing the print is as weak of a NY effort as I could recall.

-Little research reveals that the IMAGE-released LD (ID7130FL) offers precisely the same dull color scheme. As I have not seen the actual LD I can not attest whether or not it carries the same burn marks.

-In France Gaumont was involved with the production of this film so I would not be surprised if Bye Bye Brasil was actually released on a European LD as well (I have emailed a colleague of mine in Lyon who should know more about it).

-To sum it all up: I stand by my initial comments in the review. This is a quickly put together copy-job by NY whose technical integrity is highly flawed!


I hope this answers your questions,

Pro-B

Last edited by pro-bassoonist; 06-06-07 at 09:08 AM.
Old 06-06-07, 12:58 PM
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I would like to add that New Yorker DVD's have a limited distribution.
Currently Bye Bye Brazil is listed at Amazon at $26.99 which is close to Criterion prices.

I have always appreciated New Yorker films at the local art houses, but when I started collecting DVD's I was disappointed in the quality, (with the exception of the New Yorker collaboration with Project X).

New Yorker is a very small company and they outsource their transfers on the cheap but charge an arm and a leg. I would prefer to wait for a different region release. Guess I got tired of being burned.
Old 06-06-07, 02:11 PM
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New Yorker are notorious for their mediocre to poor technical presentations.
Pro B is notorious for his harsh criticism of technical presentations.

What else do you expect when you put these two together?

Note that this isn't a knock on Pro B because, even though I often feel he is much too harsh on his criticism of technical aspects, at least he's consistent and I know what to expect from his reviews.
Old 06-07-07, 06:40 PM
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Pro-bassoonist your knowledge astounds me. But I disagree that the fact that the print is 'unrestored' (I prefer the term 'not fucked with', I can swear on this board, right?) is a knock against it. Give me grain, give me a few nicks and scratches, give me burn marks, makes it more like the theater. I find it all too common nowadays when the theatrical trailer on a disc looks better than the overly processed film itself. To each their own. Also how do you not know the faded color scheme wasn't intentional? The film is about the changing of Brazil, and not for the better. You could say the Brazil of old was 'fading away.'

Siegfried- Where are you buying your Criterions so cheap? Fess up.
Old 06-07-07, 07:51 PM
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I'm disappointed to hear it has a crap transfer, but I will probably end up getting it anyway since it's kind of surprising it was released at all.
Old 06-08-07, 12:52 AM
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Yeah, I couldn't believe it was released either. I was so excited when I found out I had it aired in to Canada to my work, from Amazon via UPS, as it's not available here. The shipping cost more than the movie! Good films can make you do strange things. I remember sweating bullets before I ordered it, trying to find out whether or not it was anamorphic. Most stressful five minutes of my life.

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