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Why are people so hyped about classic films being released on a new format?

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Why are people so hyped about classic films being released on a new format?

Old 09-17-08, 07:31 PM
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Why are people so hyped about classic films being released on a new format?

I am thinking specifically about Shawshank Redemption ( Great Movie, and one of my favorite) - but that movie is not about the cimetography, or the special effects, or sound effects, or other things that BD might make a difference in... it is the story, the drama and having it in BD would not seem to make much of a difference in that. I don't understand why people are so excited about it coming out in a format that even if all the areas can be enhanced, are enhanced, it fundamentally does not make the movie any better.
Movies that have sweeping landscapes, or phenomenal costuming, or musical scores - I can see all those things making a huge difference in the enjoyment of the film - but somethat that is primarily drama, and facial expressions are already easily identifiable - I don't see how BD is going to make it a new experience...
I am NOT trying to instigate something here - I really am interested in why folks are so excited. I am excited about movies like Kill Bill, Transformers, Lord of the Rings where there is so much detail that can make the movie experience so much deeper. But movies like Shawshank, or Field of Dreams, or Seven Samurai (am I allowed to put those 3 movies together in 1 sentence?) don't seem like it would make much of a difference, as long as the image is clean to see their faces, and the audio is clear... Am I totally off?
Old 09-17-08, 07:37 PM
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Because it's all about the movies. It's not about sweeping landscapes or phenomenal costuming. It's about watching your favorite movies in the best format available.

I could watch Transformers edited, pan & scan on TV and for me, it would be the same as watching it on Blu-ray.
Old 09-17-08, 08:46 PM
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Simple:

Blu-ray = more film-like. (provided they don't screw up the release with DNR, EE, etc.)
Old 09-17-08, 08:52 PM
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"Because old movies are better!" Or: How I Learned that Transformers Is Not Even Worth Using as Demo High Definition Material.

Brought to you by: Your Friendly Neighborhood Stanley Kubrick Fan.

I'd rather have Dr. Strangelove on Blu-ray than Transformers. Kill Bill, however... that's another story. I'm in love with my Kill Bill Blu-ray's.

To put it another way: It's about seeing our favorite films in the best form available and it is not simply about the "Wow!" factor of the audio and visuals. Though when both combine it can be an amazingly tasty treat.

Last edited by GenPion; 09-17-08 at 08:55 PM.
Old 09-17-08, 11:44 PM
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Originally Posted by phephron View Post
I am thinking specifically about Shawshank Redemption ( Great Movie, and one of my favorite) - but that movie is not about the cimetography
Shawshank Redemption - Best Cinematography Academy Award Nominee

Originally Posted by phephron View Post
Movies that have sweeping landscapes, or phenomenal costuming, or musical scores - I can see all those things making a huge difference in the enjoyment of the film... ...But movies like Shawshank, or Field of Dreams, or Seven Samurai don't seem like it would make much of a difference
Seven Samurai - Best Art Direction-Set Decoration Academy Award Nominee, Best Costume Design Academy Award Nominee
Old 09-17-08, 11:50 PM
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Originally Posted by phephron View Post
I am thinking specifically about Shawshank Redemption ( Great Movie, and one of my favorite) - but that movie is not about the cimetography, or the special effects, or sound effects, or other things that BD might make a difference in... it is the story, the drama and having it in BD would not seem to make much of a difference in that. I don't understand why people are so excited about it coming out in a format that even if all the areas can be enhanced, are enhanced, it fundamentally does not make the movie any better.
Movies that have sweeping landscapes, or phenomenal costuming, or musical scores - I can see all those things making a huge difference in the enjoyment of the film - but somethat that is primarily drama, and facial expressions are already easily identifiable - I don't see how BD is going to make it a new experience...
I am NOT trying to instigate something here - I really am interested in why folks are so excited. I am excited about movies like Kill Bill, Transformers, Lord of the Rings where there is so much detail that can make the movie experience so much deeper. But movies like Shawshank, or Field of Dreams, or Seven Samurai (am I allowed to put those 3 movies together in 1 sentence?) don't seem like it would make much of a difference, as long as the image is clean to see their faces, and the audio is clear... Am I totally off?
Cinema is a visual medium --- stories told through moving pictures. The pictures don't have to be of "sweeping landscapes" or Shia Fucking LaBeouf to benefit from sharp detail, rich colors and contrast to deep it makes the picture look almost 3D.

And you do "The Shawshank Redemption" a great disservice. It was photographed by the great Roger Deakins, one of the best cinematographers working today.

Go watch a movie like "The Shining" on Blu-ray and then tell me the lifelike image didn't completely draw you in to the story being told.

Last edited by Mr. Salty; 09-18-08 at 02:00 AM.
Old 09-18-08, 12:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Mr. Salty View Post
And you do "The Shawshank" Redemption" a great disservice. It was photographed by the great Roger Deakins, one of the best cinematographers working today.

Go watch a movie like "The Shining" on Blu-ray and then tell me the lifelike image didn't completely draw you in to the story being told.
I completely agree with you on both accounts. I can't believe I'm actually saying this though: I never realized Roger Deakins did the cinematography for Shawshank Redemption until just now. And he is, hands down, one of the very best.

The Shining is one of my Top 5 High Definition transfers (so far). The level of detail was amazing. My favorite thing about the transfer that I especially appreciated was that the details of the hotel were magnified to me by leaps and bounds. I had previously never fully realized the sheer power of how large and empty a place the characters were occupying. It made the whole film an even more engrossing and frightening experience to behold.
Old 09-18-08, 03:16 AM
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I would argue it is about sweeping landscapes and phenomenal costuming.

Because HD enables you to see, with much more clarity, how the film looked at the time of filming. Obviously, the usual caveats apply as not all movies look great in Blu (or HD DVD) but overall, films do benefit on a format that provides more detail to the movie fan when available.

Simply watch Forbidden Planet in HD (on HD DVD or Blu-ray) and see the colors come to life which was never before possible on a typical CRT television.
Old 09-18-08, 07:20 AM
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Let's not forget also that the HD color space is much larger than the SD color space. This allows for an increase in both the available colors and the intensity of the colors.

Even though the HD color space is still less than what can be perceived by the human eye, it is quite a noticeable difference from what we are used to seeing in the SD color space. It is more true to life. Couple this more realistically colored image with the higher quality of resolution that 1080p provides and the difference between the SD presentation and that of a high quality HD transfer is simply stunning.

I am trying to buy all my favorite movies on HD, whether they be period pieces, dialog driven dramas, epics, or comedies.

George

Don't forget a properly calibrated display. I've found that after properly adjusting the grayscale on my projector with a colorimeter and software, you get another jump which I believe is equal to the difference between SD and HD. Having a properly calibrated display takes the HD content to an entirely different level. Oh yea, don't forget a good sound system, another dimension to your ultimate enjoyment.
Old 09-18-08, 08:00 AM
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I thought the OP was serious until that Seven Samurai comment. Good one dude! You almost got me.
Old 09-18-08, 08:04 AM
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It should be clear to most everyone that some movies benefit more from HD than others, whether the movies are new or not. That's part of the experience of this hobby, to evaluate how much you like the movie, the improvement of the new version (I bought my share of Superbit titles), the cost to upgrade, etc.
Old 09-18-08, 08:55 AM
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The higher the resolution, the more accurate the image and sound, the fewer artifacts of the medium - the deeper the immersion of the viewer into the movie.

Also older movies have not been rendered well in the past onto TV, VHS and even DVD. Older material is damaged and worn and most people haven't experienced the works with the clarity we experience with more recent films. So seeing older works restored and in hidef is like experiencing the works more deeply than we have ever before. Since older works are often from a different time and place, its almost like being transported to a different world with different values, but not one of fiction but something that has the ring of reality. Better quality makes that transportation more believable more complete.
Old 09-18-08, 09:24 AM
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:notrolls:

But seriously, how many times are we going to have threads like this? Once a week?

When you watch a dialogue-driven TV show, do you choose to watch the standard signal even when there is an HD one available? If you don't watch the standard, then why not? Could it be because even a dialogue-driven TV show benefits from the increased video and audio quality of HD?
Old 09-18-08, 01:29 PM
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I am hoping all movies are remastered not only on blu-ray but given 4K masters, if they ever bring out 4K resolution discs/projectors we would be able to have perfect movie theater quality at 300-400" though by then there will probably be ultra HD, technology keeps getting better and won't stop any time soon, I would hate for any movie to be lost in the shuffle / abandoned, all movies deserve to be archived in the best quality... that's why home video is special, it is like a personal archive/museum in our living rooms.
Old 09-18-08, 02:26 PM
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I suppose it bears repeating for the umpteenth time that 35mm film has a higher resolution than Blu-ray can duplicate. So if there is no point in a movie like Shawshank benefitting from a higher resolution than DVD, then perhaps it shouldn't have bothered being shot on film in the first place.

We should just be happy with movies like Shawshank, comedies and independent films on our VHS tapes, and leave Blu-ray to Transformers and Starship Troopers.

Tell Paramount to put an immediate recall on The Godfather Trilogy since it won't benefit from the higher resolution anyway. And I'm turning in my copy of Casablanca before the day is out.

Why are the studios wasting our time with this classic film drivel when they could be putting out The Last Starfighter or Enemy Mine?
Old 09-18-08, 07:18 PM
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This is a tough crowd. I think that I will just lurk from now on...

I am not trying to bash Shawshank - I have every DVD version that has come out to "improve" it, and I will likely get the BD when it is out as well. I guess I get tired of double and triple dipping.

But, I think for films and content that is more about drama - the quality of the picture does not make the overall experience to me that much less. Sure, the better picture is nice - but it does not make it a "totally new experience" like I would expect a movie like Kill Bill, or other films that detail is everything. Thankfully, detail does not have to be everything - otherwise great films would not continue to be upgraded to newer formats, because very few people really get to see the original pristine content that portrays what the director / editor really wanted to portray.

Sorry I asked the question, and apologies who took offence.
Old 09-18-08, 07:46 PM
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Hey, you're certainly entitled to your opinion. If you think only certain kinds of movies are worth it in HD, so be it. Many of us just disagree.

I would at least ask that you check out a (well-reviewed) older film or two before concluding they don't benefit from HD, if you haven't done so already. You might be surprised.
Old 09-18-08, 08:35 PM
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Originally Posted by clckworang View Post
:notrolls:

When you watch a dialogue-driven TV show, do you choose to watch the standard signal even when there is an HD one available? If you don't watch the standard, then why not? Could it be because even a dialogue-driven TV show benefits from the increased video and audio quality of HD?
Because a large percentage of communication is non-verbal, the more subtle changes you see in someones face, the more is communicated. In fact there could be a whole parallel thread of communication happening in someones subtle facial gestures, that has nothing to do with what they are saying, or even counterpoints it. This is particularly true of older films.

And that is just the actors themselves. Much detail is communicated through small detail in the production design about the characters and story. So actually seeing the richness of the fabric in someones suit, tells you a lot about them and their history, as do the photos on their table behind them, etc etc etc etc Everything in the production and costume design is there to represent characters and places and is carefully crafted to fill in backstory and depth, even if some of it is communicated subconsciously. All that is lost with the lowering of resolution.

Last edited by HumanMedia; 09-18-08 at 09:23 PM.
Old 09-18-08, 09:57 PM
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phephron, you said, "I am NOT trying to instigate something here - I really am interested in why people are so excited."

Why, then, when they tell you why they're excited about classic films on Blu-ray, do you resign to "just lurk from now on." Why do you assume they took offense, and why do you take offense to their opinions that differ from yours?

I thought you seriously wanted to know. We told you. Allow the discussion to continue, and continue to be a part of it.
Old 09-19-08, 12:26 AM
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Originally Posted by phephron View Post
This is a tough crowd. I think that I will just lurk from now on...

I am not trying to bash Shawshank - I have every DVD version that has come out to "improve" it, and I will likely get the BD when it is out as well. I guess I get tired of double and triple dipping.

But, I think for films and content that is more about drama - the quality of the picture does not make the overall experience to me that much less. Sure, the better picture is nice - but it does not make it a "totally new experience" like I would expect a movie like Kill Bill, or other films that detail is everything. Thankfully, detail does not have to be everything - otherwise great films would not continue to be upgraded to newer formats, because very few people really get to see the original pristine content that portrays what the director / editor really wanted to portray.

Sorry I asked the question, and apologies who took offence.
I approve of the first and last sentences.
Old 09-19-08, 12:53 AM
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Originally Posted by naitram View Post
I approve of the first and last sentences.
Give the guy a break. This is the kind of response that probably makes him want to lurk around here.
Old 09-19-08, 10:20 AM
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I'm of the opinion that if a classic film is released in high definition than it should be at least digitally cleaned up of all film blemishes (not grain) such as cigarette burns, spots, splices, and especially hairs and scratches.
Old 09-19-08, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by HumanMedia View Post
Because a large percentage of communication is non-verbal, the more subtle changes you see in someones face, the more is communicated. In fact there could be a whole parallel thread of communication happening in someones subtle facial gestures, that has nothing to do with what they are saying, or even counterpoints it. This is particularly true of older films.

And that is just the actors themselves. Much detail is communicated through small detail in the production design about the characters and story. So actually seeing the richness of the fabric in someones suit, tells you a lot about them and their history, as do the photos on their table behind them, etc etc etc etc Everything in the production and costume design is there to represent characters and places and is carefully crafted to fill in backstory and depth, even if some of it is communicated subconsciously. All that is lost with the lowering of resolution.
Uh, you're preaching to the choir here. My questions were rhetorical.

Of course watching in HD is an improved experience. That's why people watch the HD channel on their TV rather than the standard one, even in a dialogue-driven show. That's what the whole point of my original point was. But that's why I don't understand the "DVD is good enough" attitude.

And to the OP, I'm sure we don't want you to feel attacked, but if you would have looked through the threads from the last couple of weeks, I guarantee you that we have had several threads asking the exact same thing. It gets pretty tired answering the same way, and it is even more aggravating because many of those thread starters were probably just trolling for drama anyway.
Old 09-19-08, 03:00 PM
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If you have a smaller screen the additional resolution may be hard to see value in. On my regular 42" screen, I don't need the Blu-ray of any film, really. I've been quite happy with a good SD DVD release. But, I do plan to put in a 80-90" screen and 1080p/24 projector early next year will put those bits to good use.

-beebs
Old 09-19-08, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by beebs View Post
On my regular 42" screen, I don't need the Blu-ray of any film, really. I've been quite happy with a good SD DVD release. But, I do plan to put in a 80-90" screen and 1080p/24 projector early next year will put those bits to good use.
As has been pointed out in this and other threads, sharpness of detail is not Blu-ray's only advantage the color fidelity and depth of contrast impress me as much, if not more, than the added resolution. And you'll see those quite clearly on a 42-inch TV.

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