24 High and Low

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released by Criterion and the films on them. If it's got a spine number, it's in here. Threads may contain spoilers.
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NABOB OF NOWHERE
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Re: 24 High and Low

#76 Post by NABOB OF NOWHERE » Sat Aug 27, 2011 3:15 am

Agree that the subtitles are problematic particularly the opening scenes where they are overlaid over lots of white . Beaver shots for the most part avoid showing the subtitled frames and it is not apparent in their appraisal. Also slightly dismayed that the cropping is still evident on the blu, again primarily disturbing in the highly choreographed first half in Gondo's house

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denti alligator
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Re: 24 High and Low

#77 Post by denti alligator » Sat Aug 27, 2011 8:22 am

I've seen worse, but even then, the shaded borders make them readable. I don't see the problem, really. I mean, how many viewers actually "read" every single word of the subtitles. You glance at them, speed reading, filling in words. It rarely matters if a word here or there is partially illegible.

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NABOB OF NOWHERE
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Re: 24 High and Low

#78 Post by NABOB OF NOWHERE » Sat Aug 27, 2011 10:27 am

denti alligator wrote:I've seen worse, but even then, the shaded borders make them readable. I don't see the problem, really. I mean, how many viewers actually "read" every single word of the subtitles. You glance at them, speed reading, filling in words. It rarely matters if a word here or there is partially illegible.
You don't thi-- t--n that there mi--t b- a d----r of ge--ing the -r--g en- -- the ----- every n-- and -----?

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denti alligator
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Re: 24 High and Low

#79 Post by denti alligator » Sat Aug 27, 2011 10:36 am

NABOB OF NOWHERE wrote:You don't thi-- t--n that there mi--t b- a d----r of ge--ing the -r--g en- -- the ----- every n-- and -----?
No.

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NABOB OF NOWHERE
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Re: 24 High and Low

#80 Post by NABOB OF NOWHERE » Sat Aug 27, 2011 11:25 am

denti alligator wrote:
NABOB OF NOWHERE wrote:
denti alligator wrote:I've seen worse, but even then, the shaded borders make them readable. I don't see the problem, really. I mean, how many viewers actually "read" every single word of the subtitles. You glance at them, speed reading, filling in words. It rarely matters if a word here or there is partially illegible.
You don't thi-- t--n that there mi--t b- a d----r of ge--ing the -r--g en- -- the ----- every n-- and -----?
No.
I'll take that as a -o then. What about when Mrs Na-----ki says something about Mrs Na -s---ki?

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denti alligator
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Re: 24 High and Low

#81 Post by denti alligator » Sat Aug 27, 2011 11:59 am

NABOB OF NOWHERE wrote: What about when Mrs Na-----ki says something about Mrs Na -s---ki?
It's simply never that bad. And in the super rare cases in which it is (and I honestly can't think of any) it's pretty clear in context.

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NABOB OF NOWHERE
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Re: 24 High and Low

#82 Post by NABOB OF NOWHERE » Sat Aug 27, 2011 12:24 pm

Well I guess I'm more of a macular degenerate than you.

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matrixschmatrix
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Re: 24 High and Low

#83 Post by matrixschmatrix » Sat Aug 27, 2011 2:06 pm

It also depends on your setup- if you're watching it on something capable of full 1080p, it's relatively easy, as that's what the subtitles are designed for. If it's being downscaled at all, though, it can be a nightmare.

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mfunk9786
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Re: 24 High and Low

#84 Post by mfunk9786 » Sat Aug 27, 2011 2:48 pm

I noticed this as a problem with the Pierrot le Fou Blu-ray but apparently no one at Criterion agrees that it's an issue, so. I don't see it changing any time soon.

soulpc
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Re: 24 High and Low

#85 Post by soulpc » Sat Aug 27, 2011 8:07 pm

Thank you so much for your opinions.

For those of you who say I might've not "read" every single word, Well, I'm trying to "read" every single thing, and am raising this problem since it's not a very easy thing to do in this case. I'm one of foreigners who've read subtitles in their entire lives - even when watching American movies. Subtitles should be easy to read, as it's part of movie watching - that is, unless you know the language and don't even need them to understand.

Have I not suffered from harder-to-read subtitles than these? YOU BET I HAVE. Is it impossible to read subtitles on HIGH AND LOW blu-ray? NO. Is it comfortable to read? ABSOLUTELY NOT.

I also own PIERROT LE FOU, LAST YEAR AT MARIENBAD, and 8 1/2. They seem to have the same look of subtitles, but what makes HIGH AND LOW particularly problematic for me is that the film has so many shots with white backgrounds with people wearing white clothes. When considering the font & look of the subtitles, this should be taken into account.

PALE FLOWER was another CC blu-ray release that was on my purchase list, but after experiencing the subtitles on HIGH AND LOW and realized PALE FLOWER has the same type of ones, I scratched it off. Yes, we all have seen worse, but why look back on something bad and try to justify this? It's the newest, clearest format, released by the reliable, prestigious Criterion Collection we're talking about, not a classic art-house theater with old film prints.

Of course, it'd look better in full 1080 HD, but that's not the point. There's no such thing as "subtitles designed to be viewed on 1080 HD, nothing less". It should be easy to read, regardless of the size or the resolution of the screen.

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mfunk9786
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Re: 24 High and Low

#86 Post by mfunk9786 » Sun Aug 28, 2011 1:09 am

Wow, I am shocked to hear that you've suffered from harder-to-read subtitles than the ones on Criterion Blu-rays. They are the only ones I've ever become legitimately frustrated with.

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MichaelB
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Re: 24 High and Low

#87 Post by MichaelB » Sun Aug 28, 2011 8:46 am

mfunk9786 wrote:Wow, I am shocked to hear that you've suffered from harder-to-read subtitles than the ones on Criterion Blu-rays. They are the only ones I've ever become legitimately frustrated with.
The subtitles towards the end of Mr Bongo's The Adversary are literally unreadable.

They sourced it from an old release print with burned-in subtitles, and there's a climactic scene where everyone's wearing overexposed white shirts and filmed from the waist up. Not even freeze-framing helped - and it doesn't help that this is an absolutely pivotal scene.

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denti alligator
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Re: 24 High and Low

#88 Post by denti alligator » Sun Aug 28, 2011 9:54 am

I (stupidly) hadn't even considered non-native viewers. Yes, of course that's a problem.

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manicsounds
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Re: 24 High and Low

#89 Post by manicsounds » Sun Aug 28, 2011 10:29 am

I agree, the font used on many Criterion releases are hard to read especially black and white. (Last Year At Marienbad is another example) I watched "Chungking Express" yesterday, and it's a different font used. A little bigger, and with more of a border around the letters.

So their first BD had easy-to-read subtitles, but later titles are harder to read? It seems.

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colinr0380
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Re: 24 High and Low

#90 Post by colinr0380 » Sun Aug 28, 2011 11:08 am

I think I've posted this before somewhere, but I remember the very early Tartan DVDs (1998-2001 or so) continued the practice of using the burnt in theatrical subtitles that blended into light backgrounds rather than creating more legible ones. I remember Hard-Boiled had very frustrating subtitles on both VHS and the early DVD and here is a capture from the first UK DVD release of Ring which shows the 'blending into the background' problem (luckily most of that film takes place in almost total darkness, so it was not too big of a problem there! And many of those early films have been re-released in recent years with better subtitles):

Image

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MichaelB
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Re: 24 High and Low

#91 Post by MichaelB » Sun Aug 28, 2011 11:34 am

The Tartan and Mr Bongo problems are explained by cost-cutting - instead of striking low-contrast prints and adding electronic subtitles, which is what they should be doing, they've gone for the cheapo option of simply telecineing theatrical prints.

The problem here is twofold: often, the subtitles are too small (since they were designed for the big screen), and because a DVD can't handle the same contrast range, subtitles that might have been perfectly readable when projected are often unreadable after being telecined, because the whites of the background end up being so close to the whites of the subtitles that there might as well be no difference.

But it sounds to me as though the High and Low situation is somewhat different.

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Finch
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Re: 24 High and Low

#92 Post by Finch » Sun Aug 28, 2011 2:10 pm

FWIW, I found them harder to read on the DVD reissue but had no problems with the Blu.

stwrt
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Re: 24 High and Low

#93 Post by stwrt » Sun Aug 28, 2011 5:24 pm

Maybe they should go back to the old practice of using yellow sub-titles, never had any trouble reading them.

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MichaelB
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Re: 24 High and Low

#94 Post by MichaelB » Sun Aug 28, 2011 5:44 pm

stwrt wrote:Maybe they should go back to the old practice of using yellow sub-titles, never had any trouble reading them.
Yellow subtitles are an aesthetic abomination. What's wrong with a discreet drop shadow?

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Mr Sausage
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Re: 24 High and Low

#95 Post by Mr Sausage » Sun Aug 28, 2011 5:46 pm

MichaelB wrote:
stwrt wrote:Maybe they should go back to the old practice of using yellow sub-titles, never had any trouble reading them.
Yellow subtitles are an aesthetic abomination. What's wrong with a discreet drop shadow?
Or outlining the subtitles in black.

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hearthesilence
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Re: 24 High and Low

#96 Post by hearthesilence » Sun Aug 28, 2011 6:53 pm

Re: the subtitles on the new High and Low discs, I'd just make the outline on those letters a touch darker and bolder. They made the right choice in terms of the type/style of subtitles, they just have to adjust them a bit.

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Peacock
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Re: 24 High and Low

#97 Post by Peacock » Sun Aug 28, 2011 7:21 pm

I didn't have any problems with the subtitles personally with this Blu, watched it with a projector though so maybe they are easier to read that way though. Although, like Denti and I'm sure most people really, I only glance/scan quickly at any subs - I mean, anyone who seriously carefully reads them will no doubt often not complete the line before it changes or miss some key on screen piece of action! I actually decided not to pick up the German Blu of M because of the ugly dark outline on the subtitles which I feel would distract the eye from the action and get in the way a bit once you've finished reading the line...

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Re: 24 High and Low

#98 Post by soulpc » Mon Aug 29, 2011 6:00 am

I'm sure everyone has already checked it out, but just to make a comparison between blu-ray & DVD. I can't say I like the font of DVD, but like how it's easier to read.

If I weren't to buy any more CC releases, I wouldn't even make a fuss about it. There're still great new releases coming up, and I'm just a bit worried - especially Kieslowski's THREE COLORS: WHITE.

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Anthony
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Re: 24 High and Low

#99 Post by Anthony » Mon Aug 29, 2011 3:11 pm

I've noticed this problem with a few b/w Criterion BDs. Subtitles should not be an obtrusive part of the viewing experience (like yellow subtitles are... yuk) while watching a movie. Rather they should easily compliment the image on screen. If the subtitles are hard to read, then it is an annoyance and makes for an unenjoyable experience. The viewer should only have to glance at the subtitles to understand what is being said on the screen. Instead with these troublesome subtitles on b/w Criterion BDs (I never had this problem with their DVDs), it is almost more of a distraction than help. If I have to concentrate on the subtitles because they are hard to read, then I loose out on watching the picture. I wish Criterion would fix this problem. It shouldn't be that difficult... just outline the letters with a little thicker black border,

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mfunk9786
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Re: 24 High and Low

#100 Post by mfunk9786 » Mon Aug 29, 2011 4:58 pm

John Waters wrote: I hate it when people say 'I hate subtitles.' I love 'em. Even white subtitles in snow movies I like.

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