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DVD Talk review of 'Bram Stoker's Dracula - Collector's Edition'

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DVD Talk review of 'Bram Stoker's Dracula - Collector's Edition'

Old 09-28-07, 11:44 AM
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DVD Talk review of 'Bram Stoker's Dracula - Collector's Edition'

I read Jamie S. Rich's DVD review of Bram Stoker's Dracula - Collector's Edition at http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/read.php?ID=30709 and...

So the video here doesn't suffer the same fate as the Blu-ray version (which was horrible)? I'd love to find out more about the DVD video quality and how it compares to previous releases we've seen of this movie. The Blu-ray was grainy, muddy and dark...doesn't sound like the DVD is the same, but I've heard the same new transfer was used for both DVD and Blu-ray.
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Old 09-28-07, 12:16 PM
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Well, I noticed some night scene graininess in a few spots, but it looked to me more like how the film was shot than any problem with authoring. I checked out one Blu-Ray review after you posted this, and honestly, did not see the flatness or the dirt that reviewer spoke of. I find the overall picture to be appropriately dark.

I look forward to hearing what others think, though. I try to listen to alternate points of views to better help me evaluate what I am looking at in the future.

Thanks for starting the thread.
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Old 09-30-07, 12:45 PM
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Jamie, the big issue with the Blu-ray transfer (and I do believe the DVD is indeed taken from the same master) is that the colors are different from the Sony Superbit DVD that was released a few years back. The colors in that edition were much brighter and stylized. However, according to Josh Zyber, the colors in the new edition are closer to the colors of the Criterion Collection laserdisc, so there's a bit of controversy going on about which color scheme is "correct," so to speak.

As for the Blu-ray, I think the reason it's getting such a bad rap is because it doesn't look very good compared to other recent HD releases like Underworld and such. I highly doubt anyone who dislikes the BD will love the DVD version. The only thing I can think of is that the BD will more than likely have more grain than the DVD version, because less grain will have been filtered out in the transfer. But that's actually preserving more of the original master, as opposed to obscuring it.

I am in the process of doing my BD review of Dracula, which should be up in the next few days.
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Old 10-01-07, 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Suprmallet
The colors in that edition were much brighter and stylized. However, according to Josh Zyber, the colors in the new edition are closer to the colors of the Criterion Collection laserdisc, so there's a bit of controversy going on about which color scheme is "correct," so to speak.
I actually haven't done that comparison yet, because I don't have the Blu-ray. I was just pointing out that the colors on the laserdisc were different than the colors on the DVD.

I think what worries me more than the color changes are the reported black crush issues. But again, I haven't seen the Blu-ray myself yet.
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Old 10-01-07, 10:07 AM
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Thanks for the correction, Josh. I was going off memory there.
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Old 10-03-07, 07:15 AM
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For comparison, here is my Blu-ray review:
http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/read.php?ID=30820
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Old 10-03-07, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Suprmallet
For comparison, here is my Blu-ray review:
http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/read.php?ID=30820
Suprmallet, your review affirms my hesitancy on why I will probably pass on both the new Dracula CE and this Blu Ray release (when I go HD format neutral). I simply like the color scheme in the Superbit transfer more.

Last edited by tofferman; 10-03-07 at 09:49 AM.
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Old 10-03-07, 02:19 PM
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As I mentioned in the review, I actually like a lot of the color changes, but I can definitely see how it would divide audiences. Unfortunately, this may be all we get on high definition.
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Old 10-03-07, 03:08 PM
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Damn, that's longer than most of my reviews.
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Old 10-03-07, 03:38 PM
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Whether you like or dislike the BD transfer, that was very informative! As for the movie itself, I've only seen what I've read about in these forums, and I admit it didn't look good to me and my untrained eye- or maybe conditioned eye-expecting to see sharp detail and hues similar to or better than previous releases. That excerpt mentions how soft detail, darkness etc may have actually been intentional for artistic reasons. It will be interesting to see if the studio bows to the pressure and creates another version, or stands firms with the current finished product.
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Old 10-03-07, 05:34 PM
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There is no doubt that Francis Ford Coppola shot Dracula soft, both as a stylistic choice and to better meld many of the in-camera effects that he used. But what troubles me is that even a very soft 35mm image should hold more detail than a 480p NTSC image, and that HD should be able to resolve those details.
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Old 10-04-07, 12:35 AM
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I've added an update to my review to include a mention of the controversy and my link to the Blu-Ray review on the site. I still don't see the same level in problems on my disc, but we wouldn't be reviewing both formats if they were the same experience, now would we?
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Old 10-04-07, 04:09 AM
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Oh, I agree. DVD and HD DVD/Blu-ray are different, and should be judged differently.
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Old 10-05-07, 01:44 AM
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I'm surprised no one has mentioned how the subtitles are now horrible "chryoned" in yellow text instead of the original white victorian typeset from the original theatrical release. You can still see the original subtitles in the Blood is the Life doc on Disc 2 (just look at 3'10" into the doc and you see an excerpt from the theatrical version...compare it to the same scene at 2'30 on Disc one). The new yellow text jobs are horrible, much more of a problem than the color issues.

As for the color debate, the original Columbia-Tristar Laserdisc (from 1993) was supervised by Director of Photography Michael Ballhaus and is probably the best reference for the original color scheme. Comparing the two, the new 2007 DVD is not bad for authenticity...maybe a little darker, but nothing is really shrouded by it. Just my 2 cents...
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Old 10-05-07, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Cinema-Sandman
As for the color debate, the original Columbia-Tristar Laserdisc (from 1993) was supervised by Director of Photography Michael Ballhaus and is probably the best reference for the original color scheme.
It was the Criterion laserdisc that was supervised by Ballhaus and Coppola, not the TriStar disc, IIRC.
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Old 10-05-07, 12:10 PM
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Josh Z, if you check the inside flap of the Columbia-Tristar Laserdisc, it clearly reads "Transfer supervised by Director of Photography Michael Ballhaus". Not to be contrary, but it is right here in front of me. The Criterion was also supervised by Coppola, but having seen the original 35MM film in 1992, I feel the Columbia Tristar disc was the closer copy to the theatrical version.
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Old 10-05-07, 02:04 PM
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Originally Posted by woofman
Whether you like or dislike the BD transfer, that was very informative! As for the movie itself, I've only seen what I've read about in these forums, and I admit it didn't look good to me and my untrained eye- or maybe conditioned eye-expecting to see sharp detail and hues similar to or better than previous releases. That excerpt mentions how soft detail, darkness etc may have actually been intentional for artistic reasons. It will be interesting to see if the studio bows to the pressure and creates another version, or stands firms with the current finished product.
They will bow to pressure just like they did with CLOSE ENCOUNTERS,
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Old 10-05-07, 02:18 PM
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I have amended my review to take into account both sides of the debate. Feel free to give it another read.
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Old 10-11-07, 01:06 PM
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Pixelation issue at chapter stops...?

Hi,

I was hoping people here could take a close look at your disc of the movie and see if you also notice the issue that is described in the posts below. Please note, this has nothing to do with the debate over color/contrast/etc. -- but an actual defect with pixelation at the start of most chapters:

http://forum.dvdtalk.com/showpost.ph...&postcount=164

More details here:

http://forum.dvdtalk.com/showpost.ph...&postcount=201

And a summary of other people having the same issue here:

http://forum.dvdtalk.com/showpost.ph...&postcount=214

I'm trying to find out if this is on all discs of the movie for the new standard edition, or just a certain batch.

Thanks for the help!
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