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DVD Talk review of 'The Ray Harryhausen Collection' (Blu-ray)

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DVD Talk review of 'The Ray Harryhausen Collection' (Blu-ray)

Old 10-16-08, 02:19 AM
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DVD Talk review of 'The Ray Harryhausen Collection' (Blu-ray)

A question about the three colorized titles in this set:

I was disappointed by the Blu-ray of 20 MILLION MILES TO EARTH because, it seemed to me, that the black and white version wasn't unadulterated monochrome, but rather the colorized version with the color "turned off."

The effect that created was unnatural, like overuse of DNR. Having seen that film in 35mm multiple times (including, oddly, one 35mm print that had been SuperScope'd to 2.35:1!) the Blu-ray in no way reflected the original look of theatrical black and white prints, certainly not on big monitors.

Would you say this was true of the other titles as well?

An excellent, detailed review by the way, with extremely helpful screengrabs I can at present only dream about.
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Old 10-16-08, 08:05 AM
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Thank you very, very much for the kind words about the review! It was a daunting undertaking (and a couple hours shy of an all-nighter paring down 9 pages of notes!), but I'm pretty proud of the result.

20 Million Miles to Earth is the best looking of the three B&W movies, so unfortunately, if you're disappointed with that one, you're not going to think much of Earth vs. the Flying Saucers or It Came from Beneath the Sea either. I personally didn't think that 20 Million... looked especially filtered. I wouldn't be surprised if there were some light processing, but it didn't strike me as having that waxy, smoothened look I'm used to seeing from excessive DNR.

Below are a couple of comparison links.

20 Million Miles to Earth
Earth vs. the Flying Saucers
It Came from Beneath the Sea
Comparing the original B&W with the versions I made from the colorizations, they look very close, although there are some slight differences. If you open those images in two separate web browsers and ALT+TAB between them, that should help you see what I mean. (Another option would be opening them as separate 'layers' in a program like Photoshop and toggling back and forth that way.)

The screengrab from It Came from Beneath the Sea looks brighter in the original B&W than the desaturated version I made. Other than that, the two look very, very close to my eyes.

With that Earth vs. the Flying Saucers comparison, it's the opposite: the original B&W is slightly darker, and it also has a more pronounced grain structure than the colorized version. The colorized version looks filtered: edges are kind of smeared, particularly the beam, which isn't translucent anymore when it passes over the tree.

20 Million Miles to Earth is faintly brighter in the original B&W, and detail is considerably fuzzier in the colorized version. Look at the actors' eyes, for instance.

There are enough differences that I don't believe what they're listing as being in B&W is just the colorized version with those pastel hues drained away.
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