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Is Fletch still coming out on HD-DVD next week?

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Is Fletch still coming out on HD-DVD next week?

Old 03-03-08, 05:15 PM
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Is Fletch still coming out on HD-DVD next week?

I thought it was cancelled, but Amazon still lists it (as does this site). But both also have Bee Movie, which was cancelled. I wish they'd let people know their plans- like if these movies will be coming out on Bluray in a few months, longer than a year, etc. so I wouldn't waste my money. I just got Into The Wild & I know it will be on Blu soon & piss me off.
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Old 03-03-08, 05:30 PM
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Atonement is Universals last release on March 18th, Fletch is scheduled for March 11th. I have hope.
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Old 03-03-08, 05:31 PM
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Universal confirmed that Atonement, coming out the week after Fletch, will be their last release. So, all signs point to Fletch making it.

I'd like to pick this one up myself.

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Old 03-03-08, 06:13 PM
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If I still had my HD-DVD player, I'd probably pick Fletch up but that's a no go fo me now. I still have the SE DVD of it and that's fine with me. It's a great movie and hopefully they will release it someday on Blu-ray but I'm holding my breath for it.
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Old 03-03-08, 06:15 PM
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I was going to skip this one, but with it being one of the last I'm definitely tempted. I'm just not sure it will be much of a visual upgrade over the recent DVD.
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Old 03-03-08, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by darkside
I'm just not sure it will be much of a visual upgrade over the recent DVD.
That's one of the reasons I'm not too worried if it comes to Blu-ray or not.
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Old 03-03-08, 07:30 PM
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Quality disc=copped
Bad disc=not copped

I love this movie, but I am not dealing with crap transfers anymore. I got owned on Wall Street, that isn't happening again. Why can't catalog movies look as good as 2001?
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Old 03-03-08, 08:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Mercury&Solace
Quality disc=copped
Bad disc=not copped

I love this movie, but I am not dealing with crap transfers anymore. I got owned on Wall Street, that isn't happening again. Why can't catalog movies look as good as 2001?
It is the film elements. For some reason many films from the 70s and 80s look like crap. There are exceptions like The Warriors that had a nice restoration, but in general the majority of the clunkers seem to come from that era. I'm really not sure that a low budget comedy like Fletch was well taken care of. The new DVD version looked okay, but was still soft and grainy. Of course that first DVD release was just downright awful so it was some improvement. I'll wait for the reviews, but I won't be surprised if this ends up a 3 star in video quality and that probably won't get me to upgrade especially considering how weak the extras were on Fletch. TrueHD is nice, but again not really a must have on a comedy with a super 80s keyboard soundtrack.

Last edited by darkside; 03-03-08 at 08:53 PM.
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Old 03-03-08, 09:23 PM
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Originally Posted by darkside
It is the film elements. For some reason many films from the 70s and 80s look like crap. There are exceptions like The Warriors that had a nice restoration, but in general the majority of the clunkers seem to come from that era. I'm really not sure that a low budget comedy like Fletch was well taken care of. The new DVD version looked okay, but was still soft and grainy. Of course that first DVD release was just downright awful so it was some improvement. I'll wait for the reviews, but I won't be surprised if this ends up a 3 star in video quality and that probably won't get me to upgrade especially considering how weak the extras were on Fletch. TrueHD is nice, but again not really a must have on a comedy with a super 80s keyboard soundtrack.
Good insight.
I will definitely be waiting for a review as well on this one. Unless I can get it really dirt cheap, a 3 star on PQ probably won't warrant an upgrade for me.

God damn 2001 looked great
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Old 03-03-08, 10:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Mercury&Solace
God damn 2001 looked great
To give credit there, 2001 was among the films in the 50s and 60s shot on 65mm and 70mm film stock. The ultra resolution processes were done to compete with TV and we are really reaping the benefits now with the HD formats. The next one of those to come will probably be Lawrence of Arabia. I was lucky enough to see this on the big screen in 70mm at an art house and it was breath taking.

However, you can't expect a film like Fletch shot on 35mm and a tight budget to ever compete with an epic from the 60s shot on 70mm film.

The 50s and 60s were the heyday of the format, but it was used after this such as the effects shots of Close Encounters and a variant is still used for Imax.

Last edited by darkside; 03-03-08 at 10:33 PM.
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Old 03-04-08, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by El Kabong
I thought it was cancelled, but Amazon still lists it (as does this site). But both also have Bee Movie, which was cancelled.
Although there have been several reports that Bee Movie is cancelled, Dreamworks hasn't officially announced anything yet, so Amazon is keeping it listed. I expect that it will be officially cancelled sometime soon.
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Old 03-20-08, 12:45 AM
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If anyone was vacillating over this title, worried about the transfer, fear not. The film looked terrific. There is a bit of excessive grain in a couple of the darker scenes, but it didn't really distract me much. I had seen some complaints about the picture being overly soft and grainy, but I think they were expecting too much for a mid-80s comedy. I'd give it 3.75 stars out of 5 for picture quality. Interestingly, I noticed that the PQ deteriorated considerably during the closing credits. Looks like they used the old SD transfer for the stills used in the end credits...

The soundtrack, on the other hand, is pretty uneven. Every time the theme music came up, I was reaching for the volume control (to turn it down). Wish they'd stuck with the original Dolby mix, as this is a dialogue-driven movie.

Bottom line: If you're a Fletch fan, get it on HD DVD. Who knows how long it'll take Uni to put it out on BD, and the price is right at 12 bucks and change.
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Old 03-20-08, 01:27 AM
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Originally Posted by darkside
It is the film elements. For some reason many films from the 70s and 80s look like crap. There are exceptions like The Warriors that had a nice restoration, but in general the majority of the clunkers seem to come from that era. I'm really not sure that a low budget comedy like Fletch was well taken care of. The new DVD version looked okay, but was still soft and grainy. Of course that first DVD release was just downright awful so it was some improvement. I'll wait for the reviews, but I won't be surprised if this ends up a 3 star in video quality and that probably won't get me to upgrade especially considering how weak the extras were on Fletch. TrueHD is nice, but again not really a must have on a comedy with a super 80s keyboard soundtrack.
Actually, quite a few titles from the 80's look damn good, and several films from 2000 to recent, look rather deprived--mostly because we have directors emulating other directors who just can't get enough of the grain look or like washed-out colors/contrast. Or both.

So, it's pretty even, if you ask me. The Thing, Top Gun, The Deer Hunter, Full Metal Jacket, The Shining, 2001, Dog Day Afternoon, and I could go on, all benefit from an HD upgrade. So, which titles on HD from the 70's and 80's are you referring to? Top Gun wasn't amazing, but it was better than what I remember it.
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Old 03-20-08, 03:29 AM
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Even the original dolby mix for this is very uneven. I have had almost every release of Fletch, and the main title music ("Bit by Bit" is the name of it I think) and score are both soooo much louder than the dialogue. Its really annoying because this is one movie where you need to hear every line Chevy throws out there. My theory is that it was just a poorly done mix when they originally did it, and they need to go back and remix all of the sound and bring the music levels waayyy down.
Just my thoughts, and I am in no way an expert.

On the topic of Top Gun, Tony Scott frickin rules. He's like Michael Bay, in the sense that they both use super stylized action, except his movies don't su ck.
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Old 03-20-08, 07:59 AM
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Originally Posted by DVD Polizei
Actually, quite a few titles from the 80's look damn good, and several films from 2000 to recent, look rather deprived--mostly because we have directors emulating other directors who just can't get enough of the grain look or like washed-out colors/contrast. Or both.

So, it's pretty even, if you ask me. The Thing, Top Gun, The Deer Hunter, Full Metal Jacket, The Shining, 2001, Dog Day Afternoon, and I could go on, all benefit from an HD upgrade. So, which titles on HD from the 70's and 80's are you referring to? Top Gun wasn't amazing, but it was better than what I remember it.
I agree, I was blown away by how good stuff like The Thing, Trading Places, Blazing Saddles, Dune looked.

But other stuff like Caddyshack, Terminator, even The Shining left a little to be desired. Of course Shining isn't helped, at least for me, by the damned aspect ratio, but whatever. I'd love to see how good the full-frame HD looks; hopefully (doubtfully) WB will give us that someday.
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Old 03-20-08, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by DVD Polizei
So, it's pretty even, if you ask me. The Thing, Top Gun, The Deer Hunter, Full Metal Jacket, The Shining, 2001, Dog Day Afternoon, and I could go on, all benefit from an HD upgrade. So, which titles on HD from the 70's and 80's are you referring to? Top Gun wasn't amazing, but it was better than what I remember it.
2001 is from the 60s and a totally different discussion since it is a 70mm film, but please don't try to argue that Deer Hunter looked great in HD. That was one of the most DVD like transfers I watched.

I also didn't say all 70s and 80s films were bad. Just that the majority of the mediocre transfers I have watched seem to be from that era and a disturbing number of the films that underachieve in the video department seem to be from Universal. They will slap any old transfer on a HD disc and call it HD. Among the ones I watched that to me were lacking in video quality were: Meaning of Life, The Jerk, Clockwork Orange, Last Starfighter, Purple Rain, Midnight Run, Coming to America, Smokey and the Bandit and especially The Deer Hunter. Most of these were slight upgrades, but not really enough to upgrade from the DVD for. Deer Hunter, Last Starfighter, The Jerk and Meaning of Life stand out to me as being almost identical to the DVD transfers. Complete ripoffs in HD. There are probably several more, but those come to mind right away as disappointments. Thankfully I only rented most of them.

Can stuff from this era look great? Sure. Warriors, Blazing Saddles, Blade Runner, Dune, Trading Places and many others prove that. I just ran into many that were not ready for HD release. From the reviews Fletch seems to be one that is also only a minor upgrade from the DVD. If I can find it for $10 I may grab it, but it isn't a must on HD.

Last edited by darkside; 03-20-08 at 09:01 AM.
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Old 03-20-08, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by tedbrogen
Even the original dolby mix for this is very uneven. I have had almost every release of Fletch, and the main title music ("Bit by Bit" is the name of it I think) and score are both soooo much louder than the dialogue. Its really annoying because this is one movie where you need to hear every line Chevy throws out there. My theory is that it was just a poorly done mix when they originally did it, and they need to go back and remix all of the sound and bring the music levels waayyy down.
Just my thoughts, and I am in no way an expert.
You're right, and I thought about this last night after posting. I did see Fletch in the theaters, but don't remember how it sounded back then. Probably much like the home video releases.

Don't let that stop you from getting it if you like the movie, though. This is a very nice catalog release.
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Old 03-20-08, 12:11 PM
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I actually didnt let that stop me from getting it on hd dvd, it is chevy chase at the absolute peak of his comic abilities.
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Old 03-20-08, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by darkside
To give credit there, 2001 was among the films in the 50s and 60s shot on 65mm and 70mm film stock. The ultra resolution processes were done to compete with TV and we are really reaping the benefits now with the HD formats. The next one of those to come will probably be Lawrence of Arabia. I was lucky enough to see this on the big screen in 70mm at an art house and it was breath taking.

However, you can't expect a film like Fletch shot on 35mm and a tight budget to ever compete with an epic from the 60s shot on 70mm film.

The 50s and 60s were the heyday of the format, but it was used after this such as the effects shots of Close Encounters and a variant is still used for Imax.
'Grand Prix' and 'Mutiny on the Bounty' were also 65mm features.

effect shots for 'Blade Runner' were also shot in 65mm.

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Old 03-20-08, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by naitram
Of course Shining isn't helped, at least for me, by the damned aspect ratio, but whatever. I'd love to see how good the full-frame HD looks; hopefully (doubtfully) WB will give us that someday.
1.85:1 is the correct aspect ratio for The Shining. The assumption that 4:3 should be its OAR is a myth. Kubrick never composed it for 4:3, he was just a black bar hater who didn't like letterboxing on video.
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Old 03-20-08, 04:56 PM
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Originally Posted by darkside
...please don't try to argue that Deer Hunter looked great in HD. That was one of the most DVD like transfers I watched.

Among the ones I watched that to me were lacking in video quality were: Meaning of Life, The Jerk, Clockwork Orange, Last Starfighter, Purple Rain, Midnight Run, Coming to America, Smokey and the Bandit and especially The Deer Hunter. Most of these were slight upgrades, but not really enough to upgrade from the DVD for. Deer Hunter, Last Starfighter, The Jerk and Meaning of Life stand out to me as being almost identical to the DVD transfers. Complete ripoffs in HD.

This is why Blu-ray is screwed too. It appears things like display size , viewing distance, and resolution of the display have no meaning to you...and shouldn't carry any weight to anyone that may be reading by your opinion. Of those discs that you listed, the several that I have seen have been very worthwhile purchases...when viewed on a 1080p front pj with a screen size of between 80-100" wide with a viewing distance of about 1.25 screen widths. In this circumstance, they are a visible upgrade over their higher compressed, lower res counterparts. Just because you don't currently own either the gear or watch it in the circumstances that would reveal the difference doesn't mean the difference doesn't exist. And by pronouncing judgement on titles like thus scaring potential owners off you do every film fan who buys these for the inherent joy in the material first, a huge disservice. Low sales due to poor word of mouth from people w/ ignorant expectations negatively impact future releases.

Posts like yours remind me of the people who question whether such and such a movie really merits an hd release if the film is only a comedy or a drama without effects and explosions. High Def compared to standard def is like seeing the world thru a dirty, dingy pair of glasses versus a pair that has been wiped clean. Why on earth would you want to watch any movie you love with a pair of dirty glasses on?


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Old 03-20-08, 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Paul_SD
Posts like yours remind me of the people who question whether such and such a movie really merits an hd release if the film is only a comedy or a drama without effects and explosions. High Def compared to standard def is like seeing the world thru a dirty, dingy pair of glasses versus a pair that has been wiped clean. Why on earth would you want to watch any movie you love with a pair of dirty glasses on?
Please, I have hardly made any point such as that and believe me my gear gets a lot out of DVDs and HD discs. I will agree a 100" screen will get even more out of an HD transfer, but the four that I really called out are not impressive HD transfers and a thousand inch screen isn't going to make them an upgrade for me. Some of these films are supposed to look really grainy and have low detail. However, if you already have it on DVD is it really worth it to upgrade for very little increase in PQ?

I said the others were minor upgrades and it is up to the individual to decide if it is worth it for them. If anything I am one of the few people that seem to want older films on HD. However, I expect a little bit of effort on the transfer and Universal has released more than a few discs that should have had more effort done on the transfer. Last Starfighter is a dirty print that could have been cleaned up for the HD version. I'm not expecting everything to get the kind of restoration Bladerunner or The Warriors received, but there is no excusing all of the mediocre efforts I have viewed in HD. Especially when so many of the few films that have been released from the 30s - 80s in HD look so amazing.

So yes, I want more films pre 90s in HD, but I think there should be some effort involved. I can fault very few Warner efforts and they release the most catalog stuff. Maybe that is because they are actually putting an effort into their releases that other studios like Universal need to match more often.

BTW, I bet the edge enhancement Universal uses on many of their catalog HD releases looks awesome on your 100" TV.

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Old 03-20-08, 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Josh Z
4:3 is the correct aspect ratio for The Shining. The assumption that 1.85:1 should be its OAR is a myth.
must...resist...urge to debate tired subject

So I'll just say I love you, man.
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Old 03-20-08, 07:52 PM
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Originally Posted by darkside
They will slap any old transfer on a HD disc and call it HD. Among the ones I watched that to me were lacking in video quality were: Meaning of Life, The Jerk, Clockwork Orange, Last Starfighter, Purple Rain, Midnight Run, Coming to America, Smokey and the Bandit and especially The Deer Hunter. Most of these were slight upgrades, but not really enough to upgrade from the DVD for. Deer Hunter, Last Starfighter, The Jerk and Meaning of Life stand out to me as being almost identical to the DVD transfers. Complete ripoffs in HD. There are probably several more, but those come to mind right away as disappointments. Thankfully I only rented most of them.
What size of television do you have? Deer Hunter looked damn good to me. You're honestly comparing Purple Rain and Last Starfighter to Deer Hunter? I have to say, I'm really shocked, because I was very impressed, from the moment the scenes were on the steel factory with De Niro et al.

All the other titles you mention (except Purple Rain) I'm not sure about as I don't own those nor have I rented them. But I do have 141 HD DVD titles, and very few would make me say titles are just slapped on HD in general. Yes, there are bad ones, but this is the exception, not the HD rule. I will agree Universal has it's problems, and they need to get with it, but still, I have several Universal releases which are darn good. I'm surprised you didn't add Casino to your list, because it's worse than Deer Hunter could ever be, although the colors do pop more than the DVD version.

Purple Rain was certainly inferior, but even then, I noticed some great definition in a few scenes which were better than the DVD.

Also, I lean more towards High-Def Digest's comments on the video (4/5 which I would give it as well) regarding Deer Hunter. I don't agree with DVD Talk's review in this case. I've seen Deer Hunter three times already on HD DVD because it's so good. Might even watch it again, since the subject has come up.

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Old 03-20-08, 08:12 PM
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I watched Deer Hunter on a 1080i 52" screen and it really looked DVD quality to me. However, that level of detail and black level is probably the way the film was intended to look. I just can't see this film getting a 4 star rating, but maybe I judged it harshly. You have me wanting to rent it again to see if I was wrong.

I'm not saying it is the same situation as stuff like 40 Year Old Virgin or Last Starfighter that Universal screwed up on purpose with either a bad print or terrible edge enhancement. I would group it in with stuff like The Jerk or Smokey in the Bandit that probably looks as good as they possibly can in HD, but I just personally felt the difference too small to pay the money at the time to upgrade over my DVDs.

Granted if I run across Deer Hunter at $10 or less with the HD sales I may change my mind, but for the time being I felt the Legacy version close enough not to upgrade. That is my biggest issue with some of these like Fletch. I already own it and I need a good enough reason to upgrade. If I didn't own Fletch I wouldn't have as much problem buying it in HD. I have a lot of titles to upgrade though and I simply can't buy every release that comes out, especially if the return isn't big enough.

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