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Thief - anamorphic release ever?

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Thief - anamorphic release ever?

Old 03-08-05, 10:26 PM
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Thief - anamorphic release ever?

Has anyone heard anything about an anamorphic rerelease of Michael Mann's Thief? It's not anamorphic in any region is it?
Old 03-09-05, 12:47 AM
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No news for a possible SE.

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Old 03-09-05, 05:39 AM
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Boy, I must be dumb. It never occured to me that it was non-anomorphic because it's a 1:85, and I have had it for about 3 years.

But hell yes, any new release would be an improvement - this is still a stunning movie, one of my all time faves.

I am sure there are great stories to be told about the production of this film, judging by some of the comments from Mann and Caan on the commentary.

I think this was one of those 80's movies that managed to mix music and visuals in a way that was completeley contrary to the accepted popular music-video style of film that was around at the time. And Caan has stated that he thinks this was his best ever performance, which I would agree with - it's quintessential Caan.

A very underrated movie.

But one comment about the latest release that's out there, whoever decided to put "exhilarating extra footage not shown in theatres" on the cover wants a poke in the eye with a sharp stick...their definition of exhilarating and mine are obviously 2 different things.
Old 03-09-05, 08:46 AM
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Excellent movie (love the score too), but haven't heard any news of a possible SE.
Old 03-09-05, 11:05 AM
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This is my favorite Mann film - I'd love to see a 2-disc SE of this someday. The current DVD is okay I guess - but I noticed a lot of pixelation during the darker scenes (of which there are a lot of in this film).

Also waiting for news of The Keep DVD since its release was delayed.
Old 03-09-05, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by JM1
I think this was one of those 80's movies that managed to mix music and visuals in a way that was completeley contrary to the accepted popular music-video style of film that was around at the time. .


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Old 03-10-05, 11:39 PM
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This movie really needs a better DVD release. I bought the Region 4 release from EzyDVD from Australia. They had it listed on the website as anamorphic widescreen... sadly it was not and it was the same poor DVD transfer that is currently available here in the US( I own that one also). They kindly refunded my money(which was great) when I explained that is was not anamorphic... Hopefully someday it will happen.
Old 03-11-05, 04:12 AM
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Well, now that Mann has revisited Heat for an SE, with the buzz surrounding Collateral and the high profile Miami Vice remake, I would say it's looking a little more likely that it was.

Also agree about The Keep. I am sure Mann would want to go back and do something with this one. Perhaps not a Lucas style rejig, but at least a decent transfer and a doc about the production history, which I am sure would be fascinating.

I see that Jericho Mile has turned up on R2 in Belgium. Saw copies on ebay, and for a while I was convinced they were pirates but it seems they are indeed legit. Full frame and no extras, of course. Probably not great quality but then it was made for TV.

Yes, I go way back with Mr Mann...

Last edited by JM1; 03-11-05 at 04:39 AM.
Old 03-11-05, 09:30 AM
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I currently have this recorded on my DVR in HD. I don't think I'll be erasing it anytime soon.
Old 03-11-05, 10:27 PM
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Originally Posted by JM1
Also agree about The Keep. I am sure Mann would want to go back and do something with this one. Perhaps not a Lucas style rejig, but at least a decent transfer and a doc about the production history, which I am sure would be fascinating.
I think Mann's preference would be to burn it. He's apparently embarrassed by the movie and doesn't like people knowing that he was responsible.
Old 04-16-05, 03:38 AM
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Hey everybody,

So the consensus seems to be that the transfer is sub-par, and that it's the "director's cut", i.e., unnecessary tweaking by Mann (like the R1 Last of the Mohicans). Is it as bad as people say? Also, does a version exist in any other regions that is the original theatrical cut (the R2 Mohicans, for example, is the orig theat cut)? Is there a DVD comparison (ala Manhunter) out there somewhere? I know the R2 disc doesn't have the Mann/Caan commentary. Any help would be appreciated.

By the way, I've scoured the Internet for info on Mann, and came across an interview he did with Amazon, reprinted on a Mohicans website, for the release of the SE Mohicans disc:

http://www.mohicanpress.com/mo06036.html

Talking about making the DC Mohicans disc, he said the film elements from Fox were immaculate. And, sadly, he had this to say:
"I've had the other extreme, particularly on Thief, where there was not one extant print that wasn't faded or just a wreck. And the negative hadn't been stored very well and it was fading. The film is only 19 years old."
Old 04-18-05, 12:12 PM
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Any Thief fans/experts out there? DVD Region comparisons? Existence of original theatrical cut? Josh Z, Mann expert? Bueller?
Old 04-18-05, 07:33 PM
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Looks like Region 1 is the best version out there:

http://dvdcompare.net/comparisons/film.php?fid=6068

Thief (1981)
OVERALL: R1
Director: Michael Mann

R1 America - (MGM)
Commentaries: Audio commentary with director Michael Mann and star James Caan Extras: Theatrical Trailer, 8 Page Collector's Booklet
Subtitles: English, French and Spanish
Picture format: 1.85:1 Non-Anamorphic NTSC
Soundtrack(s): English Dolby Digital 5.1
Case type: Amaray (Keep) Case

R2 United Kingdom - (MGM)
Extras: Theatrical Trailer
Subtitles: Danish, Dutch, English HOH, Finnish, French, German HOH, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish and Swedish
Picture format: 1.85:1 Non-Anamorphic PAL
Soundtrack(s): English Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround
French Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround
German Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 Dual Mono
Case type: Amaray (Keep) Case

R4 Australia - (MGM)
Extras: Theatrical Trailer
Subtitles: Danish, Dutch, English HOH, Finnish, French, German HOH, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish and Swedish
Picture format: 1.85:1 Non-Anamorphic PAL
Soundtrack(s): English Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround
French Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround
German Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 Dual Mono
Case type: Amaray (Keep) Case

OVERALL: R1
For 5.1 sound and an audio commentary.

CUTS:
R1 America - (MGM) - No Cuts
R2 United Kingdom - (MGM) - No Cuts
R4 Australia - (MGM) - No Cuts

Last edited by inri222; 04-18-05 at 07:41 PM.
Old 04-19-05, 12:11 PM
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Thanks for that! I know the R1 "Director's Cut" from VHS and thought the added scenes looked pretty bad (there were quick shots of violence at the end that looked like low-budget TV fare), so I was curious about the original theatrical cut. A shame about the condition of the negative.
Old 07-17-10, 09:18 AM
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Re: Thief - anamorphic release ever?

Sorry to resurrect an old thread, but interestingly, Thief has been broadcast on MGMHD, and apparently it's the original cinema cut. I have a recorded SD copy of it, and it's much better than my UK DVD, which is a very ratty transfer (probably from an ancient LD master) of the original cut.
So perhaps a new release will happen, if they've struck an HD master.
Old 07-17-10, 10:01 AM
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Re: Thief - anamorphic release ever?

I for one would love an anamorphic cut of one of my favorite films. Even if it wasn't a full blown SE just an anamorphic release!
Old 07-18-10, 02:01 AM
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Re: Thief - anamorphic release ever?

I saw THIEF on cable in HD and it looked great. None of the grain that is in the laserdisc and dvd releases.
So why couldn't they put out that print for sale?
Old 07-18-10, 10:21 AM
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Re: Thief - anamorphic release ever?

Originally Posted by wm lopez View Post
I saw THIEF on cable in HD and it looked great. None of the grain that is in the laserdisc and dvd releases.
So why couldn't they put out that print for sale?
'None of the grain' could be a bad thing. I'll have to look at my SD recording again. This film has lots of grain. I hope they weren't heavy-handed with DVNR.
Old 07-19-10, 06:11 AM
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Re: Thief - anamorphic release ever?

Originally Posted by Egon's Ghost View Post
'None of the grain' could be a bad thing. I'll have to look at my SD recording again. This film has lots of grain. I hope they weren't heavy-handed with DVNR.
When I 1st saw this movie on pay tv in the 80's and regu;ae tv it didn't have grain the way I saw it on laserdisc.
Old 07-19-10, 07:32 AM
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Re: Thief - anamorphic release ever?

I just recently purchased the Special Director's Edition of Thief from Target for $7.50 (I think they want $7.99 for it now). The transfer looked OK to me (Widescreen/Letterbox/1.85:1, looked anamorphic: skinny bars at top & bottom, picture may not have been perfect but it wasn't bad at all), but neither my wife nor I could understand why they mixed the music so bleedin' loud! I mean, I like Tangerine Dream, I own several of their albums and I've seen them once in concert, but to mix the movie so that you have to turn up the volume to hear the dialog, then hurry up and turn it back down before the music blasts you, that's pretty fucking sad (Prophecy II was the worst for that).

Having said that however, I really like Thief, I'm glad I bought it, we'll just have to deal with the studio's ineptitude. -kd5-
Old 07-19-10, 05:24 PM
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Re: Thief - anamorphic release ever?

Originally Posted by kd5 View Post
I just recently purchased the Special Director's Edition of Thief from Target for $7.50 (I think they want $7.99 for it now). The transfer looked OK to me (Widescreen/Letterbox/1.85:1, looked anamorphic: skinny bars at top & bottom, picture may not have been perfect but it wasn't bad at all), but neither my wife nor I could understand why they mixed the music so bleedin' loud! I mean, I like Tangerine Dream, I own several of their albums and I've seen them once in concert, but to mix the movie so that you have to turn up the volume to hear the dialog, then hurry up and turn it back down before the music blasts you, that's pretty fucking sad (Prophecy II was the worst for that).

Having said that however, I really like Thief, I'm glad I bought it, we'll just have to deal with the studio's ineptitude. -kd5-
I have that version as well and no offense BUT it is definately NOT anamorphic-
Old 07-19-10, 05:41 PM
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Re: Thief - anamorphic release ever?

Originally Posted by smurr05 View Post
I have that version as well and no offense BUT it is definately NOT anamorphic-
None taken, I only said it looked anamorphic with the skinny bars at top & bottom... -kd5-
Old 07-20-10, 07:23 PM
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Re: Thief - anamorphic release ever?

Originally Posted by kd5 View Post
None taken, I only said it looked anamorphic with the skinny bars at top & bottom... -kd5-
??? If it were anamorphic it would fill a 16:9 screen. It's not, so it's a box in a box, and looks like this on a 16:9:

Since you didn't mention that it's windowboxed, I guess your TV zooms or *gulp* stretches.
Old 07-21-10, 07:15 AM
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Re: Thief - anamorphic release ever?

I have a great many DVDs purporting to be anamorphic widescreen that have the skinny bars at top & bottom on my TV. Not the wide bars like with letterbox, but narrow bars.

I have a Pioneer SD-533HD5 53" widescreen HDTV through which I watch 98% of TV shows & movies on Natural Wide mode which stretches the image to fit the screen (alot of TV shows also have the narrow bars at top & bottom on Natural Wide). Most of the stretching is done to either side so the image doesn't look weird. I use Cinema Wide mode when watching letterboxed movies, which eliminates a portion of the black bars at top & bottom. I guess I could theoretically use this mode on anamorphic DVDs (and TV shows) which would more than likely completely eliminate the narrow bars (although while watching regular television on Theater Wide mode, messages on the top and/or bottom of the screen would be stretched out of the picture altogether), but I choose not to because it looks fine on Natural Wide, the bars are barely noticeable and the image looks natural. Besides, I don't want to have to keep switching it back & forth, I don't watch very many letterboxed movies so I only have to remember to switch it back to Natural Wide very seldom.

At any rate, because of my TV and my habits, I've come to the realization that my observation here may not be as valid as I initially thought it was.....sorry... -kd5-

Last edited by kd5; 07-21-10 at 07:19 AM.
Old 06-05-11, 05:20 PM
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Re: Thief - anamorphic release ever?

Apparently there's a 2009 release of Thief in the UK:
http://www.moviemail-online.co.uk/film/58542/Thief/
by Optimum. Does anyone have this? Is it just the old UK DVD re-packaged (which was a very beat-up transfer of the cinema cut), or anamorphic?

Also, I've seen on some other forums that apparently, rumor has it, Criterion is working on this. I hate to spread a rumor, but can anyone confirm?

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