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DVD Talk review of 'Psycho'

Old 09-29-08, 10:47 PM
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DVD Talk review of 'Psycho'

I read Michael Zupan's DVD review of Psycho at http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/read.php?ID=34885 and...

Is it just me? But I think the pictures on the left from the 1998 version look better/sharper than the shots on the right. Expect for maybe the Janet Leigh behind the wheel comparison. I mean, both look great, but I think I prefer the one on the left. It's tough to tell without actually watching the new DVD. How would you rate the PQ of the 1998 copy Michael?
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Old 09-30-08, 01:12 AM
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"I've seen the DVD that was released back in 1998, but I've never had the opportunity to see how this film looked as part of the Alfred Hitchcock - Masterpiece Collection boxed set."

Review is pretty much null then. DVD Beaver was stating that Rear Window and Vertigo have better PQ than the Masterpiece sets -- they don't have a review up yet for Psycho.

I'm very disappointed in the review. Especially, the layout of the pics that just seem to be splitting up paragraphs rather than having individual captions.
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Old 09-30-08, 07:03 AM
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I wanted to place the screenshots throughout the review for comparison, and I wanted to provide more than one example. I've provided menu shots for the extras section. I'm really not sure I know what you mean by the pictures being split and having their own captions, they were there for comparison in the review.

I'm really not sure why the fact I haven't seen the 2005 masterpiece collection transfer, makes my review illegitimate. That wouldn't make this single release any less worthy of the rating I gave it. I understand you want to know if the transfer is worth it alone, but you know, what can I tell ya, I don't own it. The transfer is great regardless, and the features are outstanding. If I had to take a stab in the dark and say if the transfer is worth the upgrade, I'd say that if it's been reported the picture quality is better for Rear Window and Vertigo... then I'd say it's a new transfer. Is it going to be worth the upgrade from what was available in the masterpiece collection? For some, maybe yes, for some, maybe no.

Anyways, to the first person here that said the pictures on the left may have looked sharper, it could be because although the image is bigger because of its 4:3 letterboxed image, the letterbox image itself is smaller and more compact, so may come across looking a little sharper. The screen grabs don't do the complete justice for the DVD, it's hard to judge on a scale that small. Heck, just putting it in my PC and looking at it full screen I could tell a big difference, let alone on my 1080p television.

The PQ of the 1998 version, I'd probably give it oh, without really watching it to judge, perhaps a two and a half stars. It was non-anamorphic, and as I said, the picture was soft, and the contrast wasn't the way it should have been, thus lessening the effect Hitchcock intended for the film. Also, it had the grain, but a bit too much and caused a little noise. The quality on this new release looks like film. I watched Psycho on that DVD and enjoyed the film for so many years, but now that I've seen the way the film was supposed to look on this new transfer, it was almost like seeing it for the first time again.

Last edited by mzupeman2; 09-30-08 at 07:13 AM.
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Old 09-30-08, 07:50 AM
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Just curious. Any word on a Bluray release for this? For that matter, Rear Window or Vertigo as well. It seems with the new Legacy release a BR release might follow.


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Old 09-30-08, 08:37 AM
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Originally Posted by karpov64 View Post
Any word on a Bluray release for this?
None yet, unfortunately.
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Old 09-30-08, 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by karpov64 View Post
Just curious. Any word on a Bluray release for this? For that matter, Rear Window or Vertigo as well. It seems with the new Legacy release a BR release might follow.



Yeah, this would have been the perfect opportunity to release both formats. I'll wait for the BR releases.
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Old 09-30-08, 05:38 PM
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I own the Masterpiece Collection and am curious about one audio bit in the film on the new release. When we first here Mother in the film. Is it loud and audible on the new release, or is it severely muted and drops out in volume level?
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Old 09-30-08, 07:18 PM
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I never owned this movie on DVD before so this will my my very first copy of Psycho..can't wait to get it! Now I am lookin' forward to it alot more after reading the review. I'm so glad the picture is brighter and that it is anamorphic. WOOHOO! CAN'T WAIT!
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Old 09-30-08, 10:49 PM
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Well I wouldn't say the picture is 'brighter'. The brighter portions of the screen are brighter, and the blacks are inkier, so the contrast between lights and darks are MUCH better
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Old 10-23-08, 06:43 PM
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Very disappointed

I am actually posting before I read the review, so I am writing about my own experience with this new DVD and not the review.

I was EXTREMELY disappointed with this DVD. I own the single disc "collector's editon" from a few years ago, and I think this is the same transfer. If they can make Casablanca and Its a Wonderful Life look like they were made last year, then there is no excuse for this. There is still a ton of blemishes and the movie is grainy as hell. I would call this a complete waste of my $20. And as you can tell, I ain't happy about it. Universal owes me $20.
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Old 10-29-08, 12:08 AM
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Unless Universal used a different master than what was included in the Masterpiece Collection set, Psycho was a bit grainy, but was very clean and sharp. I've owned the '98 DVD, too. Even that DVD was quite good, despite being a little low on contrast and soft, not to mention a low bitrate (4 mbs compared to the 7 mbs on the 16x9).

Some shots are grainier than others, probably because of dupe sections patched in or optical shots. But a lot of damage was erased like a vertical line during the pull out from Marion's eye. Only on the 4x3 LBX version.

But it's not the same transfer by a long shot.
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