443-445 La ronde, Le plaisir, The Earrings of Madame de...

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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EddieLarkin
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Re: 443-445 La ronde, Le plaisir, The Earrings of Madame de.

#401 Post by EddieLarkin » Fri Aug 09, 2013 12:10 pm

Fuck it, the disc is now off my buy list completely. I'll wait to see if Second Sight upgrade their DVD of it in the U.K., and hopefully due to the response to the Criterion disc, they'll manage to get a pre-fucked version from Gaumont.

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Finch
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Re: 443-445 La ronde, Le plaisir, The Earrings of Madame de.

#402 Post by Finch » Fri Aug 09, 2013 12:26 pm

I wouldn't hold my breath, Eddie, because their Children of Paradise BD was based on the same appalling master from Pathe like the Criterion. If Second Sight release a BD of Madame de, chances are it'll look as bad, though we won't know for sure till Gaumont releases it in France in October (?).

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EddieLarkin
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Re: 443-445 La ronde, Le plaisir, The Earrings of Madame de.

#403 Post by EddieLarkin » Fri Aug 09, 2013 12:33 pm

I have very little hope, though it seems to me that the destruction of Children of Paradise was more at the restoration stage, whereas this is hopefully just some idiotic filter applied towards the end of the entire process, and thus can be more easily rectified.

rwaits
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Re: 443-445 La ronde, Le plaisir, The Earrings of Madame de.

#404 Post by rwaits » Fri Aug 09, 2013 12:39 pm

Thanks a lot David. Glad I hung onto the DVD. I was planning on viewing this tonight but will instead be sending it back to Amazon.

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Re: 443-445 La ronde, Le plaisir, The Earrings of Madame de.

#405 Post by peerpee » Fri Aug 09, 2013 3:13 pm

This is all so very sad to read about.

I haven't seen the Blu yet, but when the upgrade was announced my first thought was "Wow! They must have found some great materials" because the DVDs were released on the cusp of Blu-ray, but it was clear from the DVDs that the masters probably wouldn't have looked stellar on Blu.

The HTF review of 4.5/5 for image, and RAH defending it, is unfathomable based on comments here. What's going on?

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EddieLarkin
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Re: 443-445 La ronde, Le plaisir, The Earrings of Madame de.

#406 Post by EddieLarkin » Fri Aug 09, 2013 3:50 pm

RAH's comments are often at odds with the majority, because he seems to approach discs with a different set of criteria.

Usually he'll criticise a great transfer if he believes it could have looked a lot better when taking into account the elements that are available, and so stuff like High Noon, The Quiet Man and The Enforcer will get ripped by him despite ecstatic reviews elsewhere, whilst The Devil and Miss Jones, by far his most well reviewed Olive disc, gets middling reviews elsewhere for being soft.

He seems to put greatest stock into how well a disc replicates the presentation of an original pristine print, so I guess things like contrast, grayscale and damage clean up are more important to him than digital tinkering which might be removing detail. You may remember he similarly gave a pass to The Birds and Frenzy, despite their digital tinkering, whilst predictably tearing apart The Man Who Knew Too Much for colour issues.

Though despite taking this into account, his praise for Madame de... still seems like a big anomaly.

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Re: 443-445 La ronde, Le plaisir, The Earrings of Madame de.

#407 Post by Moe Dickstein » Fri Aug 09, 2013 3:59 pm

To add to what Eddie said, what I believe RAH does is grade the film against how good it is possible for it to look - so going off Nick's comments that what was there might be just passable for DVD, that's a factor in his high score.

When I asked about this on HTF last week, he did say that the CoP "work" was done consistently through the film as if the knob was turned and left. The "work" on this one was done more selectively and for him that was less problematic, as CoP was called by him "a coaster".

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Re: 443-445 La ronde, Le plaisir, The Earrings of Madame de.

#408 Post by Kauno » Fri Aug 09, 2013 5:10 pm

I bought the UK DVD. I sold the UK DVD. I bought the Criterion DVD. I sold the Criterion DVD. I was amazed to find out that what was supposed to be a good thing turned into something ugly. I bought the UK DVD, again.

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Re: 443-445 La ronde, Le plaisir, The Earrings of Madame de.

#409 Post by david hare » Fri Aug 09, 2013 8:16 pm

Matt wrote:
vsski wrote:What puzzles me is that Jerome Soulet apparently said on another forum they handed over a non-degrained master to CC, thereby implying that it was CC's doing what ended up on the disc, but from your review grain appears to be the least of the issue, and the removal of print damages may at least partially be responsible for someone fiddling with the dials.
I'm wondering if it was not de-graining that is the problem here, but automated scratch and dust removal. I recall an anecdote where a top-notch digital restoration team (who shall remain nameless) was running a new digital telecine of a classic film (which shall also remain nameless) through an automated scratch and dust removal program. It was humming along until, all of a sudden, the program's progress slowed to a crawl. When the team looked to see why, they discovered that the scene the program was working on was set in a rain shower and that the program was digitally removing the raindrops from the picture frame by frame. So if there's grain but this sort of "watercolor" effect appears in entire shots or areas of the picture with a lot of variant detail and shading (leaves, grass, intricate patterns in costumes and decor), all complicated by Ophuls' constantly-moving camera, I wonder if it isn't that someone who didn't know what they were doing was at the dials, it's that no one was at the dials and they let the dumb computer decide that every piece of picture detail was a speck of dust. This process would have been done before any grain or noise management, so it seems plausible given what we know about the restoration process for this title.
This is precisely what I am saying. Although the overall sharpness and detail is low for a 1080p file sourced from a 2k restoration, it is in sequences which had the greatest levels of print damage where the DVNR and filtering applications go mad to the point of - a classic sign of overuse - removing not only details from animate objects but erasing whole objects themselves like arms and door handles and tree branches. There is plenty of fine grain in the encode although you probably need very high end display gear like a razor sharp calibrated projector to be able to see it but it's there. I cannot insist strongly enough the problems here have nothing whatsoever to do with grain or faux grain or degraining. They have everything to do with noise reduction, DVNR and filtering selectively applied to scenes with surface print damage. And a concomitant decision to go with an overall "soft" quality for the image while retaining extremely good black white and grayscale levels. Color timing in other words.

To answer Nick also, the 720p iTunes/webdl doing the rounds which is from the earlier 1080p encode originally used for the Crit SD retains excellent detail and clarity and sharpness and frankly would have made a perfectly good if not totally stellar Blu Ray , something in the ball park of one of Olive's better sourced transfers for instance. In every instance in which the DVNR goes ballistic on the new Gaumont encode it is invariably in scenes and shots which previously had minor but visible vertical tramlines, like the hunt, or the sequence on the beach. So you take your pick if you want minor print damage which is in fact film like, or a complete wash out, as Chris has called it with totally digitzed image quality for the fabulous new Iphone generation.

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Re: 443-445 La ronde, Le plaisir, The Earrings of Madame de.

#410 Post by Orlac » Fri Aug 09, 2013 8:29 pm

This doesn't bode well for Eyes Without A Face (another Gaumont transfer?)

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The Narrator Returns
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Re: 443-445 La ronde, Le plaisir, The Earrings of Madame de.

#411 Post by The Narrator Returns » Fri Aug 09, 2013 8:47 pm

The reason the eyes are without a face is that the face looks like a waterpainting.

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Re: 443-445 La ronde, Le plaisir, The Earrings of Madame de.

#412 Post by david hare » Fri Aug 09, 2013 9:38 pm

The existing Gaumont BD of les Yeux sans Visage is gorgeous. Criterion can't go wrong with it:

Image

Image

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These are from the iTunes/webdl 720p of Madame de which comes from the original 1080p used for the Criterion SD. Detail galore, lovely contrast, tramlines everything is here! This is so wildly superior to the new encode it's a crying shame.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

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Re: 443-445 La ronde, Le plaisir, The Earrings of Madame de.

#413 Post by kekid » Fri Aug 09, 2013 10:40 pm

What is the bottom line on this debate? Is the Criterion DVD of Madame de... on balance preferable to their Blu Ray, or is the Blu Ray better despite all the issues described here? Yes, we could have had a marvelous Blu Ray if people had done their job; but we don't. So what should be the choice of people who are undecided?

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Re: 443-445 La ronde, Le plaisir, The Earrings of Madame de.

#414 Post by Moshrom » Sat Aug 10, 2013 10:08 pm

David, I believe those logo-marked captures are from a circulating TV broadcast rip--the iTunes version is even better!

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Re: 443-445 La ronde, Le plaisir, The Earrings of Madame de.

#415 Post by david hare » Sun Aug 11, 2013 12:07 am

Thx Mosh. The other downside of my HD DL is that it's 25fps with the dreaded PAL speedup. Could I also persuade you to post some more of your own comparison screens?

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Re: 443-445 La ronde, Le plaisir, The Earrings of Madame de.

#416 Post by Moshrom » Sun Aug 11, 2013 1:46 am

Hopefully these can persuade anyone still undecided to not buy this disc!

I tried to get these close to the caps-a-holic comparisons (http://www.caps-a-holic.com/hd_vergleic ... 44#auswahl):

Image
Image
Image
Image
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/181 ... olic/5.png" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/181 ... olic/6.png" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/181 ... olic/7.png" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/181 ... olic/8.png" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Compared to the HDTV broadcast captures above:
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/181 ... dtv/22.png" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/181 ... dtv/33.png" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/181 ... dtv/44.png" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/181 ... dtv/55.png" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/181 ... dtv/66.png" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

More:
Image
Image
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/181 ... er/300.png" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/181 ... er/400.png" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/181 ... er/500.png" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/181 ... er/600.png" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Obviously this iTunes download is somewhat bitrate-starved and has some apparent blocking here and there, but it is a significant improvement over the letterboxed DVD. A BD sourced from whatever old master this comes from would have been perfectly acceptable!

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Re: 443-445 La ronde, Le plaisir, The Earrings of Madame de.

#417 Post by bainbridgezu » Sun Aug 11, 2013 3:36 am

David, Thank you for your reassurance regarding Les yeux sans visage; I've been extremely worried about that one since this whole Madame de... travesty began to unravel.

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Re: 443-445 La ronde, Le plaisir, The Earrings of Madame de.

#418 Post by peerpee » Sun Aug 11, 2013 9:58 am

Could it be that Criterion encoded the wrong feature master and haven't realised? The iTunes grabs look far better!

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Re: 443-445 La ronde, Le plaisir, The Earrings of Madame de.

#419 Post by jindianajonz » Sun Aug 11, 2013 11:20 am

Silver lining to this fiasco? When I view those caps on my two inch wide phone screen, they don't look that bad! So if you have the blu ray and can stand the transfer, just rip it to your phone and it'll ease the pain!

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tenia
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Re: 443-445 La ronde, Le plaisir, The Earrings of Madame de.

#420 Post by tenia » Sun Aug 11, 2013 2:03 pm

It's official : the Gaumont French BD is the same fiasco-disaster-shame than the Criterion BD (what a twist).

And Criterion also seems to have boosted the contrast or at least lowered the luminosity (another unexpected twist).

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Re: 443-445 La ronde, Le plaisir, The Earrings of Madame de.

#421 Post by Finch » Sun Aug 11, 2013 5:20 pm

Which also means that any other release, whether it's Second Sight in the UK or anyone else, is going to look shit too unless a more conscientious and enterprising label decides to do their own resto and do it proper.

Mind, Second Sight did perform some additional cleanup on The Long Riders on the master provided from MGM but getting Madame de right would mean to have to start from scratch. Not sure Second Sight would have the budget for that or even be inclined to do their own work. As of now, they haven't even announced a BD for any of their Ophuls titles.

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Re: 443-445 La ronde, Le plaisir, The Earrings of Madame de.

#422 Post by manicsounds » Wed Aug 14, 2013 8:32 pm


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Matt
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Re: 443-445 La ronde, Le plaisir, The Earrings of Madame de.

#423 Post by Matt » Wed Aug 14, 2013 8:58 pm

The same site that gave 5/5 on picture quality to Children of Paradise.

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Michael Kerpan
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Re: 443-445 La ronde, Le plaisir, The Earrings of Madame de.

#424 Post by Michael Kerpan » Wed Aug 14, 2013 8:58 pm

Well, it doesn't look all that bad in their tiny screen captures. ;-}

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Re: 443-445 La ronde, Le plaisir, The Earrings of Madame de.

#425 Post by hearthesilence » Wed Aug 14, 2013 9:43 pm

HA, see, that's the problem, they forgot to put on the "Mastered for iPhone" logo on the front of the package.

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