"Why isn't ____ on Blu-ray?"

Discussion in 'Entertainment and Movie Talk' started by PHArchivist, Mar 17, 2012.

  1. PHArchivist

    PHArchivist Master Member

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    With all the experience on the RPF, I'm sure someone here knows the ins and outs of Blu-Ray publishing.

    So why is it that some completely craptastic films are released, and other great films are not?

    And what can Joe Public do about it?
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2012
  2. CJS

    CJS Well-Known Member

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    Re: "Why isn't ____ on Blu-ray"

    Maybe some cool older films would look crappy due to the detail in BR. Its a valid question you have.
     
  3. dbuck

    dbuck Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Re: "Why isn't ____ on Blu-ray"

    Sometimes when they DO finally release them, they screw it up.
    One of my favorite movies is American Graffiti. The blu ray is so heavily dnr'd that the regular DVD is a superior experience.
     
  4. PHArchivist

    PHArchivist Master Member

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    Re: "Why isn't ____ on Blu-ray"

    And it does come up from time to time, but I'm not sure if we've had a full-on thread about it...
     
  5. dbuck

    dbuck Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Does anybody know if the Amazon 'notify me when' button is actually tracks demand? And would the studios pay attention to that? I will start using it on things i want released on blu-ray using it if it does.
     
  6. wannab

    wannab Sr Member

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    Re: "Why isn't ____ on Blu-ray"

    It all comes down to the original source as far as remastering (and the company that does the transfer. The age of the movie has nothing to do with it. I have some Buster Keaton silents that look great, Casablanca looks great, Cool Hand Luke looks amazing and so does Ben Hur. On the flip side, I have a couple newer film transfers that look hideous. I always check reviews on bluray.com to see if the transfer is up to snuff before I buy any blus now.

    As far as what gets the blu treatment first, I can speculate, but I really don't have the absolute answer. Example "Lawrence of Arabia" isn't out, but "The Toy" is, I mean WTF? I imagine it comes down to cost vs. return vs. the need to do a certain film right. That and not dumping all your library on the market at once.

    Just some of what I'd really like to have...

    The Commitments
    The Great Waldo Pepper
    The Right Stuff
    Stalag 17
    The Bad News Bears and BNB Breaking Training (two pack like Arthur would be good)
    Capricorn One
    The Last Detail
    Iron Giant
    Used Cars
    Waking Ned Devine
    War of the Worlds (original)
    The Sting
    LAWRENCE OF ARABIA


    There are much more, but that gives a bit of a cross section.



    Doug
     
    IEDBOUNTYHUNTER likes this.
  7. feek61

    feek61 Sr Member

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    I'll second "The Right Stuff" and the original "War of the Worlds" and I'll add the great western "One-Eyed Jacks" to the list of movies that should be on Blu-Ray
     
  8. airhead

    airhead Well-Known Member

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    I'd go for "The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai: Across the Eighth Dimension".
     
  9. CB2001

    CB2001 Master Member

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    Another issue that comes to mind is who is holding the film distribution rights. Director Steve De Jarnatt, who written and directed the movie Miracle Mile, has stated that he wants to do a Blu-Ray release of the film that features it in the original aspect ratio that he shot it in (as the MGM DVD release cropped the film into the 4:3 aspect ratio for the DVD release). But the issue that is keeping him from doing the release of the film on Blu-Ray is that he is waiting for someone to buy the MGM Film Library that his movie is a part of (as the original studio that held the film's distribution rights was Hemdale Film Corporation, and after they closed their doors, it was picked up by MGM's film library. Now that MGM has gone into bankruptcy, there's a good chance that the MGM film library may be sold off), so he can talk to them about doing a Blu-Ray release.

    It could be possible that the reason why a lot of crappy films make it to Blu-Ray while great films haven't yet is probably due to film distribution rights, which film distributers are probably negotiating with the rights holders. Sometimes, it's not quick and easy as many people think.
     
  10. d_jedi1

    d_jedi1 Sr Member

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    There is one film that while not great, has some degree of personal connection (was filmed in the area where I grew up and I can recognize all of the locations in the film).
    Stingray (1978) - IMDb
    1978's "Stingray"
    This sucker isn't even available on DVD. I bought a VHS-DVD transfer from Amazon years ago and haven't seen it on there since.
    edit:
    I found the trailer (actually, the whole film is there) on youtube.
    Stingray (1978) Trailer
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2012
  11. SSgt Burton

    SSgt Burton Sr Member

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    Here's my Bluray wish list:

    Jaws

    Star Trek: TMP Director's Cut

    Red Dawn

    The Right Stuff

    The real Indiana Jones films ;)

    Revenge of the Ninja (probably never gonna happen and the transfer probably wouldn't be much better than my upscaled dvd... but hey; it's my wish list! :lol)


    Kevin
     
  12. GotWookiee

    GotWookiee Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Lawrence of Arabia is one that keeps coming up. It's hard to understand why it hasn't been released yet. It's easily one of the best movies ever made and its in great shape since it was extensively restored for both the laserdisc and DVD releases.

    The Indiana Jones Trilogy should be on Blu Ray. That's a no brainer.

    There's also a certain trilogy that many here would like to see released on BR.
     
  13. Too Much Garlic

    Too Much Garlic Master Member

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    It's all down to cost people. Crappy films cost less to secure the rights to and to produce and you usually don't have to worry about demanding fans wanting extra features (or quality extra features). Everything costs money from picture to sound to features.
     
  14. PHArchivist

    PHArchivist Master Member

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    Fall...
     
  15. joker-scar

    joker-scar Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Well sometimes like Lawrence..they wait to have a 50th, 40th, 25th etc. anniversary. I'm sure they will release that title this year. why release a classic film on it's 28th anniversary...people love round numbers. it's a marketing thing sometimes.

    I want a version of THE LOST HORIZON with and WITHOUT the added scenes that have still photographs in place of the missing footage.

    I agree that sometimes the DVD version of a film is the same or better than some Blu-ray versions. i always check dvdbeaver.com to see if the blu-ray is better to justify whether trading up that title.
     
  16. PHArchivist

    PHArchivist Master Member

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    Isn't that what Cameron is doing wth Titanic - waiting for the anniversary?
     
  17. Solo4114

    Solo4114 Master Member

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    Re: "Why isn't ____ on Blu-ray"

    Hang on a second.

    I think that's a myth. These were things that were shot on film, which -- as I understand it -- generally has a MUCH higher resolution than digital transfers.

    My bet is that it'd be entirely possible to take, say, [INSERT CLASSIC OLDER FILM HERE] and make a fantastic looking Blu-Ray of it. The problem is that they can't do it on the cheap. They can't just take the DVD rips and copy them over and the source material may not be better than that as far as resolution goes -- without doing a full restoration and transfer of a film print. Depending on the film you're talking about, that may not be cost-effective. Sure, huge classics like Casablanca make sense to transfer, but what about lesser-known films?

    Is it really worth it to do a gorgeous transfer of something like, I dunno, The Vikings? Sure the film's got fans, but...does it have enough fans to justify doing a serious transfer of the film? Probably not, or at least not right now.


    My hazy recollection is that this is exactly what happened with DVD, too, by the way. Initially, you got either crappy transfers (IE: the old cardboard case versions of Blade Runner and The Road Warrior) that had no extras, a low bitrate, etc. and were little more than slightly better-looking laserdiscs (if not straight-up laserdisc rips). Over time, though, it got cheaper to transfer stuff and to code it for blu-ray, so you saw more older stuff popping up.

    There's also the issue that it may be the industry looks at blu-ray as a middle point. Better than LD as a format, but not long for this earth as they shift to streaming content, which makes FAR more sense for them anyway. Why give YOU a copy of the film (which lets you rip it, pirate it, etc.) when they can simply say "Watch it from our huge archive of films on WB's new WBConnect streaming service!" or whatever?

    So, they may only be releasing some stuff on blu-ray on the theory of "Why bother converting everything when BR players can upconvert, and we'd rather get this stuff switched over for streaming anyway?"
     
  18. Probe Droid

    Probe Droid Master Member

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    Another vote for JAWS. I think it's actually coming, but why the hell is it taking so long?
     
  19. jcoffman99

    jcoffman99 Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Jaws is coming August 14th.
     
  20. Timmythekid

    Timmythekid Sr Member

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    Re: "Why isn't ____ on Blu-ray"

    That's a weird misconception, and I can't quite pin down where it started. If 'Manos' looks as good as it does (and, boy, does it!) in it's new HD transfer there is not a film in the world that wouldn't benefit from the extra colour depth, and lower compression before you even start talking about the benefits of resolution resolution. DVD was a pretty crappy stopgap format, with lousy compression algorythms and a stunted colour pallette.

    EDIT
    Aw crap, Solo beat me to it...
     
  21. Timmythekid

    Timmythekid Sr Member

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    Re: "Why isn't ____ on Blu-ray"


    Or for another totally, completely, and in all other ways purely hypothetical example, you can't just take a 10 year old 1080p scan of a neg intended for DVD, throw it onto BD and expect it will really make the most of the format. You need to do a modern, 2k, prefferably 4k scan to really make stuff shine.
     
  22. Solo4114

    Solo4114 Master Member

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    Re: "Why isn't ____ on Blu-ray"

    Right, which means you have to go back and do it all over again, which isn't cost effective for every film out there. For some, sure. Even ones that don't get that treatment. But for others, why would you bother? Plus, in some cases, I'd bet the original film is damaged and would require restoration in addition to JUST scanning.

    So, who here is ready to spring for a 4K scan of, say, Corvette Summer or Never Too Young to Die or Gymkata? Ok, other from me on those last two.
     
  23. Too Much Garlic

    Too Much Garlic Master Member

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    I took the comment as things that wasn't visible in lesser quality medias would suddenly be visible and plain as day, like gaffer tape all over Star Wars and movies with crappy looking sets that you didn't notice looked crappy before. The over appliance of make-up and all those sorts of things, done specifically with that in mind that they wouldn't be seen aas clearly in the theater or on TV... but will now with Blu-Ray and high-definition.
     
  24. wannab

    wannab Sr Member

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    On that note, I'm kinda worried that, in LoA, A. Quinn and A. Guinness' nose appliances will be too distracting -- but I'll take the risk.



    Doug
     
  25. Solo4114

    Solo4114 Master Member

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    I don't think that'd be an issue. I think that's a fallacy about home media being a translation of the cinema experience.

    Film stock itself is, as I understand it, quite high resolution. It has to be, given the size of the screen itself. So, those imperfections would've been plainly visible (or not) on the big screen.

    I can see where, perhaps, TV shows from yesteryear would suffer in that regard, but films? Less of an issue, I'd expect. IF you go back to the original film stock for your conversion.

    Now, what films DON'T let you do that you CAN do at home is frame-by-frame stuff, pausing, etc, so when you're watching your DVD of, say, True Blood, and you pause it, you can see that Anna Paquin has godawful skin. If you watch the scenes in motion, though, it's a lot less noticeable.
     
  26. Too Much Garlic

    Too Much Garlic Master Member

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    Certainly not on the screens here in DK and I doubt in the US or anywhere else either. What amount is it that is actually reflected back from the screen? 70 or 80 percent of the image quality?

    Watched the same movie in digital and then in analog in the cinema last year and it was a world apart. The analog was just fussy and not as clear - a whole lot softer.
     
  27. Dpp1978

    Dpp1978 Well-Known Member

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    The negative will potentially be high resolution, but due to the nature of analogue replication every step away from the negative you go you lose resolution.

    By the time you get to the release print you have gone (typically) from negative to inter-positive; from inter-positive to inter-negative; from inter-negative to release print.

    You are three generations removed from the negative and the reduction in detail will be very significant. You then use a projector, which is basically late Victorian technology and which introduces gate weave and other artefacts to the mix, to focus light onto a screen shone through the film.

    Even the very best projection lens will have minor imperfections which will slightly degrade the quality further.

    By the time we see it on the big screen we are seeing a fraction of the detail captured by the camera. Studies have shown that even using the best print replication processes and the most superbly engineered and maintained projection equipment, (which is not what your local multiplex would have been running) you are getting between 500 and 800 lines of vertical resolution on the cinema screen.

    It is very likely, at least as far a spatial resolution is concerned, that your average Blu-ray will out perform a 35mm print of the same movie.

    With that in mind it is not surprising that things which wouldn't have shown up on screen at the cinema are readily noticeable on a good HD video file. That is why when films are mastered for a HD release now, the earliest generation, good quality materials are used.

    That said resolution is only one criterion by which image quality should be judged; and not the most important at that.

    A really good film based presentation is still (in my opinion) the gold standard by which all others should be measured. It is a shame that outside of a very few specialist cinemas good film presentations are all but unheard of. That is why I am a big fan of digital projection for mainstream film distribution.
     
  28. Solo4114

    Solo4114 Master Member

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    Well, I actually don't think "softer" is necessarily "worse." If you mean there's a certain amount of blur, I don't see that as entirely a bad thing, especially if we're talking about older films. I don't expect to be able to pick out Robert Mitchum's pores if I watch The Longest Day. I'm ok with film grain too. I hold older films to a different standard than the ultra-crisp images of modern films.

    As long as the image doesn't look TOO blurry for its appropriate "era" I'd just figure "well, film was different then" and leave it at that. I realize I'm in an extreme minority here, but then again, even being willing to watch a B&W film puts you in an extreme minority anymore...
     
  29. Too Much Garlic

    Too Much Garlic Master Member

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    Any movie I've seen in the cinema was softer than even the VHS picture I got when I viewed it at home. Maybe that's an issue with Danish cinema screens, I don't know, but a HUGE amount of detail is lost in the cinema viewing compared to even previous home video releases or TV broadcasts. HD is just presenting the whole thing + all we didn't realize was there.

    I have several B&W and older movies in my library. I find them more entertaining because they aren't ADHD.
     
  30. PHArchivist

    PHArchivist Master Member

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    How about the squibs taped to the bathroom stall doors in True Lies...?
     
  31. PHArchivist

    PHArchivist Master Member

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    Regarding the (fascinating) discussion of resoution and media types, I find it historically intriguing how back in the 80's and 90's the art of home theater design was all about reaching the pinacle of replicating the theater experience.

    I think we did that in just abut 1998 with the advent of DVD...

    Blu-ray image quality and the related audio formats I think well exceed the theater experience.
     
  32. robn1

    robn1 Master Member

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    That's because every film goes through a digital stage. Digital projection is fine, but film prints are made from the digital masters and lose quality. This wasn't the case in the pre digital days. A good film print in a quality theater could look incredible.
     
  33. Dpp1978

    Dpp1978 Well-Known Member

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    It should be exactly the opposite.

    By going from negative to digital, and from digital to printing negative you are essentially removing two generations of loss from the process. A digitally derived film print should by rights be better than one made entirely photochemically.

    Unfortunately the need for thousands of prints for opening night led to shortcuts being made and poor prints, which would otherwise have been rejected, getting sent out.

    I've sat through shockingly bad prints where the colour shifted between reels.

    Digital projection is a boon for those who only go to a multiplex as the quality is much better than a typical release print.
     
  34. niennumb1

    niennumb1 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    La Bamba
    They Live
    Kingpin
    Mulan

    That's all I can think of at 12:40am, hahaha
     
  35. oujala

    oujala Well-Known Member

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    Please...tell us more...:lol

    Just kidding.

    Lawrence of Arabia would be a nice release.
     
  36. Too Much Garlic

    Too Much Garlic Master Member

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    Can't comment on things I haven't seen. I certainly didn't notice them in the theater or on VHS or when it was showing on TV stations.

    Then we do not have good film prints in quality theaters in the two cities in Denmark I have watched movies in. ALWAYS softer, less defined and nowhere near Blu-Ray quality... or even DVD quality or even VHS quality in terms of sharpness and visible detail.
     
  37. deadbolt

    deadbolt Sr Member

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    The Manhattan Project (film), and Sitting Target would be awesome to see nicely transferred to blu-ray.

    Those would likely turn out to be two very useful blu-rays! :love

    :facepalm Edit: But of course the Original cut of the classic Star Wars trilogy first! :lol


    -Carson
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2012

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