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Old movies on blu-ray... Is there ever a point? - Page 3

post #31 of 123
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by heli0x View Post
I hoped this was a joke topic, but I fear its not.
The improvements on these blu ray releases for older movie is unreal. I think it actually makes way more sense to release on blu ray much older movies (pre 1960) than the new stuff.

Comparisons between DVD and bluray for:
The General (1927)
Gone with the wind (1939)
Hamlet (1949)
North by Northwest (1959) Since you asked
Seventh Seal (1957)



There are actually tons of sites dedicated to reviewing blurays, in terms of audio video quality and extras.

Ya, I posted before I really looked. I spent the day looking at what's worth buying.
post #32 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQgeek View Post
Fuck the device, I just want an internet connection that will allow me to download that many HD movies without huge surcharges and to be able to do so in in timely fashion. I was checking online and aside from leasing a fiber optic line, the best I can get is 25Mbps for 150GB/mo of transfer for $96/mo. That's less than 10 movies. Lame.
Man, Canada sucks for internet. I can get a 1Gbps line for less than that and without a cap in downloads here.
post #33 of 123
It depends on how good the original source is, of course. Blu-Ray is, IMO, a bigger improvement over DVD than it was over VHS. Unfortunately, even on DVD you often saw older movies that were such poor transfers that they didn't come close to taking advantage of the format. Also, the noise and artifacts of a poor transfer are hard to digitalize, so they eat up bandwidth and actually make the video look worse on compressed formats like DVD (and to a lesser extent the modern ones). To answer your question I saw the North by Northwest blu-ray and it looked better than the DVD, for sure, but with the blu-ray the video quality was obviously limited by the source and not by the format. So, it wasn't as good as it could have been.
post #34 of 123
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ataturk View Post
It depends on how good the original source is, of course. Blu-Ray is, IMO, a bigger improvement over DVD than it was over VHS. Unfortunately, even on DVD you often saw older movies that were such poor transfers that they didn't come close to taking advantage of the format. Also, the noise and artifacts of a poor transfer are hard to digitalize, so they eat up bandwidth and actually make the video look worse on compressed formats like DVD (and to a lesser extent the modern ones). To answer your question I saw the North by Northwest blu-ray and it looked better than the DVD, for sure, but with the blu-ray the video quality was obviously limited by the source and not by the format. So, it wasn't as good as it could have been.
I should have better framed my original question around this issue. How many old movies, say those 30 years or older, have source material that's turned out to be well enough preserved and in a good enough state for a quality BR transfer? The film holds more detail than DVD can show, but that swings both ways, because often times the film is in poor condition and needs lots of cleaning up, noise reduction (which reduces detail), etc. After spending a good chunk of my day on blu-ray.com, it turns out quite a number of old movies look significantly better on blu-ray than they did on DVD. What is amazing to me is how many movies were never treated properly for DVD release. Sometimes stuff as basic to get right as releasing a widescreen version, instead of a cropped 4:3 version, wasn't even done. Other times it just wasn't restored/remastered well for the DVD release, and a second attempt for the blu-ray proved more successful.
post #35 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQgeek View Post
I should have better framed my original question around this issue. How many old movies, say those 30 years or older, have source material that's turned out to be well enough preserved and in a good enough state for a quality BR transfer? The film holds more detail than DVD can show, but that swings both ways, because often times the film is in poor condition and needs lots of cleaning up, noise reduction (which reduces detail), etc.

After spending a good chunk of my day on blu-ray.com, it turns out quite a number of old movies look significantly better on blu-ray than they did on DVD. What is amazing to me is how many movies were never treated properly for DVD release. Sometimes stuff as basic to get right as releasing a widescreen version, instead of a cropped 4:3 version, wasn't even done. Other times it just wasn't restored/remastered well for the DVD release, and a second attempt for the blu-ray proved more successful.

No better example of this than the 4:3 DVD of Barry Lyndon, a film which merits not only it's original aspect ratio, but as well to be shown in the highest quality possible.
post #36 of 123
For a lot of old movies they were just trying to make a quick buck with a DVD release--many of them look like they could have been VHS transfers, or something close to that.

My feeling is that getting a good transfer is more about time and money than availability of source material (except for the obscure stuff, of course). Old movies (like modern ones) were shot on film and made to be shown on gigantic screens, after all.
post #37 of 123
Thread Starter 
^^ I agree. On a separate note, one of the things I'm really excited about are the Opus Arte opera blu-rays. They don't have all of my favorite operas and ballets, but they have a good number of them recorded in HD to a very high standard.
post #38 of 123
My early exposure to opera was on the radio. I just can't bear to watch them--in my imagination it was never a bunch of ugly people in ridiculous modern stagings.
post #39 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQgeek View Post
^^ I agree. On a separate note, one of the things I'm really excited about are the Opus Arte opera blu-rays. They don't have all of my favorite operas and ballets, but they have a good number of them recorded in HD to a very high standard.
Which is rather easy to do nowadays (um, record in HD). For $7K you can buy a camera that records in 1080P on a solid state drive: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...Camcorder.html
post #40 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ataturk View Post
My early exposure to opera was on the radio. I just can't bear to watch them--in my imagination it was never a bunch of ugly people in ridiculous modern stagings.

There are 'classical' stagings that still exist around the world, however you would have to globe-trot to see them, which can be awfully expensive.
post #41 of 123
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ataturk View Post
My early exposure to opera was on the radio. I just can't bear to watch them--in my imagination it was never a bunch of ugly people in ridiculous modern stagings.
Mine too. I refused to listen to opera for the longest time because my exposure to it was shrill sopranos on a shitty car stereo when I was going places with my mother as a kid. I think most people probably experienced it this way, which is a shame. Opera is probably THE genre of music that benefits most from having good recordings and good equipment to listen to them on. Good rock can sound OK on a car stereo, but opera is very demanding on the system, and if the source material isn't good, it will sound terrible a lot of the time. I agree about the modern stagings. I don't really like them, but you can still see them as originally intended as well, but as WIS says, you will have to travel. That's why having good performance in HD is such a nice thing to have. The Met actually records their performance in HD as well, and they stream them to movie theaters Live. My greatest hope is that one day these performances will make it to Blu-ray. Most opera houses don't have the budget The Met has and i'd love to be able to see their performance on a regular basis.
post #42 of 123
The Criterion blu-ray of Kagemusha is a great example of its improvement of older films--at least worth a Netflix rental. In fact, most of Kurosawa's later "color" movies all call out for better picture quality.
post #43 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQgeek View Post
^^ I agree. On a separate note, one of the things I'm really excited about are the Opus Arte opera blu-rays. They don't have all of my favorite operas and ballets, but they have a good number of them recorded in HD to a very high standard.

I think I have all the ballet and a couple of the opera BDs from Opus Arte. They are very high quality, but HD reveals a lot more than DVD did. You can see construction details in the sets and costumes that are perhaps better hidden, lens flaws (the English cameras have pretty severe field curvature, where one side of the stage is out of focus while the other side is in focus), camera operator flaws (focus issues), and perhaps most severely, noise problems.

Noise in dark areas is the Achilles heel of video so far. Until the Canon DSLRs that could shoot HD video came out, video capture of dark scenes was pretty crappy.

Nevertheless, don't let that stop you from getting the BDs because there are some really high quality performances there: Giselle, Sleeping Beauty, La Fille mal Garde, and Sylvia from the Royal Ballet, and PNB's Midsummer Night's Dream are all keepers.

--Andre
post #44 of 123
So GQ what kind of blu-ray player did you get? I will buy one at some point but I'd like it to be region free for DVDs if at all possible...

Are Blu-Ray region coded too or did they do away with this crap?
post #45 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by imageWIS View Post
No better example of this than the 4:3 DVD of Barry Lyndon, a film which merits not only it's original aspect ratio, but as well to be shown in the highest quality possible.

The Kubrick releases were originally filmed in 4:3 and cropped in the theater. After some fiasco with letterboxing 2001 on TV, Kubrick apparently asked that in the future they be shown in full-frame (at the time of his death, widescreen TVs were not dominant).

So that's not quite the same as pan-and-scanning Lawrence of Arabia.
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