Warner Catalog Titles on Blu

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hearthesilence
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Re: Warner Catalog Titles on Blu

#776 Post by hearthesilence » Tue Apr 28, 2015 9:47 am

Robert Harris gave effusive praise.

Going by the screen caps, I want to say they cooled down the palette a hair too much, but it's definitely better than the old palette.

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david hare
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Re: Warner Catalog Titles on Blu

#777 Post by david hare » Tue May 05, 2015 9:22 pm

FWIW My own opinion of On the Town and Anchors Aweigh from the Sinatra collection (I have not the slightest interest in or need for the other titles in the box:)

Initially wary after Robert Harris's advisories of "recombine dupe" sources I feared they would look as bad as the DVDs which were sourced from the same elements. In fact they've been given substantial cleanup and attention and while they are never going to look like a two million buck Film Foundation P&P restoration they look attractive enough for basic BD even through a projection system and despite less than perfect black levels. Given the parlous state of the disc market these days I will personally be happy enough if these older George Feltenstein era scrub ups of the major Freeds, Warners and other MGM Musicals legacy were given similar care, although there are some odd titles like the 51 Showboat and Harvey Girls, which both suffer major sections of registration fringing and require more intensive work. Ditto The Pirate DVD which was inexplicably sourced from god knows what horrible element and is nastily dark, yellow biased and unbalanced like their atrocious Rio Bravo.

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hearthesilence
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Re: Warner Catalog Titles on Blu

#778 Post by hearthesilence » Tue May 05, 2015 11:49 pm

I'm tempted to buy the reissue of Rio Bravo - most likely the same transfer though.

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david hare
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Re: Warner Catalog Titles on Blu

#779 Post by david hare » Wed May 06, 2015 12:13 am

Don't. It is the same transfer.

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captveg
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Re: Warner Catalog Titles on Blu

#780 Post by captveg » Wed May 06, 2015 12:17 pm

It does have lossless audio now, but being mono I'm not sure if you'd be able to discern much of a difference.

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FrauBlucher
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Re: Warner Catalog Titles on Blu

#781 Post by FrauBlucher » Wed Jun 03, 2015 4:30 pm


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manicsounds
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Re: Warner Catalog Titles on Blu

#782 Post by manicsounds » Wed Jun 03, 2015 9:42 pm

Any confirmation about the new Rio Bravo disc?

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swo17
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Re: Warner Catalog Titles on Blu

#783 Post by swo17 » Wed Jun 03, 2015 10:01 pm

Besides three posts up?

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FrauBlucher
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Re: Warner Catalog Titles on Blu

#784 Post by FrauBlucher » Thu Jun 04, 2015 12:56 pm


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manicsounds
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Re: Warner Catalog Titles on Blu

#785 Post by manicsounds » Thu Jun 04, 2015 8:55 pm

swo17 wrote:Besides three posts up?
Considering the disc became available this week and the post above was from a month ago, I thought I'd ask if there was anyone who got the new disc.

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FrauBlucher
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Re: Warner Catalog Titles on Blu

#786 Post by FrauBlucher » Mon Jun 08, 2015 7:58 pm

This is what Robert Harris had to say about The Golden Year Boxset.
What a great set!

Everything that I've been hearing is that Warner Home Video is in a huge upward move toward higher quality, and more rational packages of films, when in boxed sets.

This may be one of the final sets to emerge, the concept of which comes from the old, as well as new management team.

To stick to absolute facts, if this set were not all 1939 productions, with 1.37 aspect ratios, there might be problems.

But fortunately, there aren't.

Four extraordinary films, from what is generally recognized as the most critically acclaimed year in American film production, plus a leftover, which I cannot image is not owned by everyone interested in film, now relegated to being on the lower half of the bill.

The four films are:

Dark Victory (WB), directed by Edmund Goulding, with Bette Davis, George Brent, Humphrey Bogart, Geraldine Fitzgerald and Ronald Reagan;

Dodge City (WB), directed by Michael Curtiz, with Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Ann Sheridan and Bruce Cabot;

The Hunchback of Notre Dame (RKO), directed William Dieterle, with Charles Laughton, Cedric Hardwicke, Thomas Mitchell, Maureen O'Hara and Edmond O'Brien, and;

Ninotchka (M-G-M), directed by Ernst Lubitsch, with Greta Garbo, Melvyn Douglas, Ina Claire, Bela Lugosi, and Sig Ruman.

Technically, for this set, they differ in several ways.

The images of all but Ninotchka are harvested from original camera negatives, as that single production was lost in a fire.

The scan used is derived from a very high quality fine grain master.

Dodge City is derived from an IP, produced from the original camera negatives. While a set away from Warner's ubiquitous Ultra-rez process of recombine, the IP was beautifully made, and represents the original colors and textures of the film beautifully.

Dark Victory and Hunchback are original nitrate negative harvests.

Here's where it gets interesting, and might have been problematic.

Beyond that fifth film, Hunchback is the only title to be released on a BD-50. Dodge City was set to be on a 50, but didn't make it in transition.

I bring up the BD-25 vs. BD-50 question, as inquiring minds will want to know, but beyond that simple point of reference, it makes very little difference in the final product, unless you begin to dissect the imagery, and do a grain comparison.

One of the things that I'm hearing about the new way things are being done at WB, is that BD-25s can be used for reproduction -- there is a small cost savings -- but only if the average data rate is a minimum of 30 kbs.

Dark Victory, Dodge City and Ninotchka don't make that number.

Since Ninotchka is off a fine grain, we'd probably see little difference. But William Daniels cinematography still shines.

Dark Victory is a magnificent looking film, shot by Ernest Haller, with rich, nitrate-like blacks, extraordinary shadow detail, and an overall luster that shines on the screen.

Dodge City jumps toward you, with brilliant hues of true Technicolor, gorgeous blacks, and the requisite shadow detail to go with them. Flesh tones are absolutely perfect. Sol Polito's work comes to the fore in brilliant color.

Since Hunchback is the one on the 50, you'll get a bit more crispness to the grain structure, and Joseph August's work behind the camera will at times look otherworldly. His work on Hunchback, reminds me in several ways of the way he handled imagery on Selznick's Portrait of Jennie (1948), his final film.

The bottom line is simple. Things are changes for the better at WB. We're getting down to the last of those strange boxed sets, mixing and matching films new to Blu-ray with those already in release. What that means to the consumer, is that you won't be forced to re-purchase titles you already have, in order to obtain new releases.

Quality will continue to rise, as the last of the releases on BD-25s, which make little difference for 1.37 films, but can make a huge difference for color productions in 1.78.

Dark Victory...
Image - 4.75
Audio - 5
Pass / Fail - Pass

Dodge City...
Image - 4.25
Audio - 5
Pass / Fail - Pass

Ninotchka...
Image - 4.25
Audio - 5
Pass / Fail - Pass

The Hunchback of Notre Dame...
Image - 5
Audio - 5
Pass / Fail - Pass

As an extra you'll find a documentary on the films of 1939. Not just those in this package, but the entire industry. It's a worthwhile, high quality extra, that runs 68 minutes.

The street price of The Golden Year is just over $50, which is a bargain. $12.50 per film, with a free documentary, and a fifth film that you can give to an indigent friend.

This is what home video on Blu-ray is all about, and for those potentially waiting for 4k, this is not a series of films that will be affected in any major way by the higher resolution.

Very Highly Recommended

RAH
I wasn't aware that there is a new management team running WHV. That explains Warner going deep into the vaults for upgrades, as well as licensing out titles. I thought new folks needed to get in there to make things happen. \:D/

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david hare
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Re: Warner Catalog Titles on Blu

#787 Post by david hare » Mon Jun 08, 2015 9:13 pm

This "new management team" may not necessarily fill one with joy. While you can still get a very high quality result with BD25s on 1.37 B&W titles if you're using enough bandwidth (e.g. 29mbPs average for the feature) this should superbly realize grain, black and white levels and sharpness/clarity for 1.37 B&W. But you might likely need more for color in Academy Ratio let alone widescreen. So I think these new 21mbPs/21 gig encodes for the three shorter pictures in the 39 set are an omen. They didn't need to do them at this rate as BD50 pressing of them is not much more expensive (unlike the domestic retail price of BDR discs.) I can't comment on Dark Victory or Ninotchka yet from viewing experience as my orders haven't arrived but I'm not confident they'll be quite up to previous WB Blu standards. The two Musicals I mentioned from the Sinatra set are just OK but nothing more. The Bandwagon is from an old HD master they did circa 2004 for DVD and it really isn't good enough, in fact it's extremely disappointing considering how little effort was required to rescan their existing HD master, and so on.

I believe not only will deep catalogue stuff dwindle, but the quality of the restoration and mastering efforts is going to drop from the glory days of Feltenstein and co, and for that matter Ned Harris when actually working as Head of Tech at Warner HV (I say this despite his very bad calls on color timing for the Searchers and a couple of other early Blu Ray/HD DVD remasters.)

It's all downhill at WB from this year folks.

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captveg
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Re: Warner Catalog Titles on Blu

#788 Post by captveg » Tue Jun 09, 2015 12:28 am

David, I don't know how you read that statement in that negative light. It reads to me that there will be less BD25s for catalog titles in the future because they've made the standard to "qualify" for a BD25 more strict than before, and that the practice of throwing in a previously released title in to a new box set (like Gone with the Wind with this 1939 set of four other new-to-Blu titles) is coming to an end.

I suspect that part of this is the result of them just recently having changed to less separation between their WHV and WA divisions, with the latter using BD50s and higher bitrates more often, and that practice being adopted by the WHV side.

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david hare
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Re: Warner Catalog Titles on Blu

#789 Post by david hare » Tue Jun 09, 2015 1:10 am

My paranoia may be getting the better of me - the order arrived earlier - I've just put on Ninotchka and the PQ is exemplary, easily as good as one of their older BD50 transfers of 1.37 B&W. And this is a title that doesn't survive as a OCN. This is a dupe first gen, fine grain IP. Quickly glancing at Dark Victory ditto for that as well.

Bob Harris' columns sometimes become oblique to the point of mysterious - one can't be quite sure what he's hinting at, but I was taking the notion that after his pitch early this year that this would be a very big year for WB Classic BD titles, the "new team" regime has signalled a change in that direction too.

One thing is for sure, Warner HD does definitely have an A team and a B Team on Blu Ray mastering and authoring. But that's a topic for another time.

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bugsy_pal
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Re: Warner Catalog Titles on Blu

#790 Post by bugsy_pal » Tue Jun 09, 2015 10:31 pm

david hare wrote:My paranoia may be getting the better of me - the order arrived earlier - I've just put on Ninotchka and the PQ is exemplary, easily as good as one of their older BD50 transfers of 1.37 B&W. And this is a title that doesn't survive as a OCN. This is a dupe first gen, fine grain IP. Quickly glancing at Dark Victory ditto for that as well.

Bob Harris' columns sometimes become oblique to the point of mysterious - one can't be quite sure what he's hinting at, but I was taking the notion that after his pitch early this year that this would be a very big year for WB Classic BD titles, the "new team" regime has signalled a change in that direction too.

One thing is for sure, Warner HD does definitely have an A team and a B Team on Blu Ray mastering and authoring. But that's a topic for another time.
Interesting comments - I'm glad that your paranoia was unjustified in this case. It seems that a BD25 is ample enough to accommodate a well-encoded 1.37 B&W from a good source. I am amazed at how good some HD download versions of old movies look, even when compressed to something like 4Gb (of course these things don't look nearly as good as a bluray when you freeze the frame). I recently acquired a 720p HD of Mildred Pierce - I've been waiting for a bluray of this for years, and it's been available in HD on iTunes - and it looks bloody amazing.

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captveg
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Re: Warner Catalog Titles on Blu

#791 Post by captveg » Thu Jun 11, 2015 6:30 pm

10/6/15

Jackie Chan's First Strike (1997)
Rumble in the Bronx (1995)


Likely to be just the US English audio versions, of course.

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EddieLarkin
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Re: Warner Catalog Titles on Blu

#792 Post by EddieLarkin » Thu Jun 11, 2015 6:59 pm

I hope not. Looking at the release history of both films in the US, they have not been released directly by WB before, though they did handle the releases in Japan and Hong Kong, where of course the Cantonese audio was included. So as long as whoever is producing the discs actually gives a damn, it shouldn't be hard for them to make sure they're on there.

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captveg
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Re: Warner Catalog Titles on Blu

#793 Post by captveg » Fri Jun 12, 2015 2:12 pm

10/6/15

The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953) (Also part of 4-film Special Effects Collection)
Dracula Has Risen from the Grave (1968) (Also part of 4-film Hammer Collection)
Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed (1969) (Also part of 4-film Hammer Collection)
Mighty Joe Young (1949) (Also part of 4-film Special Effects Collection)
The Mummy (1959) (Also part of 4-film Hammer Collection)
Son of Kong (1933) (Also part of 4-film Special Effects Collection)
Taste the Blood of Dracula (1970) (Also part of 4-film Hammer Collection)
Them! (1954) (Also part of 4-film Special Effects Collection)

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domino harvey
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Re: Warner Catalog Titles on Blu

#794 Post by domino harvey » Fri Jun 12, 2015 2:25 pm

captveg wrote:Mighty Joe Young (1949) (Also part of 4-film Special Effects Collection))
This is, for those keeping track, the second (I believe) title to get downgraded to a Warner Archives DVD-R and then receive a Blu-ray release

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tenia
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Re: Warner Catalog Titles on Blu

#795 Post by tenia » Fri Jun 12, 2015 3:04 pm

There will be French boxsets for these, albeit not with all the titles.
There will only be 2 Draculas (Taste the blood and Dracula has risen) and the 3 King Kong (no Beast from 20000 Fathoms for us).

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captveg
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Re: Warner Catalog Titles on Blu

#796 Post by captveg » Tue Jun 16, 2015 2:20 pm

9/22/15

Dog Day Afternoon (1975) 40th Anniversary Edition


Comes with the I Knew It Was You DVD.

One of their earlier BD titles back in 2007, so hopefully a much improved release. At the very least should have lossless audio this time around.

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palntsc
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Re: Warner Catalog Titles on Blu

#797 Post by palntsc » Tue Jun 16, 2015 3:30 pm

domino harvey wrote:
captveg wrote:Mighty Joe Young (1949) (Also part of 4-film Special Effects Collection))
This is, for those keeping track, the second (I believe) title to get downgraded to a Warner Archives DVD-R and then receive a Blu-ray release
Which was the first? Anyway, MJY was originally released as a regular Warner title, and then re-issued (remastered?) as a dvd-r in the Archive series...

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domino harvey
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Re: Warner Catalog Titles on Blu

#798 Post by domino harvey » Tue Jun 16, 2015 3:32 pm

Get Carter

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palntsc
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Re: Warner Catalog Titles on Blu

#799 Post by palntsc » Tue Jun 16, 2015 4:19 pm

That, too, was released by Warner Home Video back in 2000...

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domino harvey
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Re: Warner Catalog Titles on Blu

#800 Post by domino harvey » Tue Jun 16, 2015 4:22 pm

Yes, which is why I said both were downgraded to the Archives

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