Hitchcock on Universal DVD and Blu-ray

Discuss North American DVDs and Blu-rays or other DVD and Blu-ray-related topics.
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Jeff
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Re: Hitchcock on Universal DVD and Blu-ray

#551 Post by Jeff » Thu Nov 22, 2012 9:46 pm

I kind of lost track of this saga of this release after Nick's reviews led me to cancel my initial UK pre-order. I understand that the Frenzy credits were fixed, but most of the other warts remain. Correct? Anyone want to give me a Cliff's Notes rundown on the pros and cons of the standard UK set versus the US? Are the discs identical? Packaging preferences?

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TMDaines
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Re: Hitchcock on Universal DVD and Blu-ray

#552 Post by TMDaines » Thu Nov 22, 2012 10:29 pm

I'll start: the UK's Psycho disc is, as I understand it, the same as the standlone, and thus has the short that the UK Psycho release did. UK set doesn't have the booklet but it's not supposed to be anything special I don't think. UK packaging seems to be better than the AU release: compact digibook vs. giant fold out cardboard chain.

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Saturnome
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Re: Hitchcock on Universal DVD and Blu-ray

#553 Post by Saturnome » Thu Nov 22, 2012 10:39 pm

The UK set doesn't include the Vertigo Mono track.

Looking at the blu-rays, I realize I'm really no picture quality expert. I see the red edges in Rope, Marnie is very (weirdly?) grainy ... But I think only Frenzy and Family plot are ugly to look at. For Frenzy it's pretty obvious why, but why does Family Plot look that way?

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Re: Hitchcock on Universal DVD and Blu-ray

#554 Post by Drucker » Thu Nov 22, 2012 11:38 pm

Nick I'm pretty sure said The Man Who Knew Too Much was pretty strong, but Robert Harris said it was pretty bad.

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ShellOilJunior
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Re: Hitchcock on Universal DVD and Blu-ray

#555 Post by ShellOilJunior » Fri Nov 23, 2012 8:41 am

Picture Quality on the films I've viewed so far in the set:

Shadow of a Doubt 4/5
The Man Who Knew Too Much 2/5
Rope 3/5

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ShellOilJunior
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Re: Hitchcock on Universal DVD and Blu-ray

#556 Post by ShellOilJunior » Wed Nov 28, 2012 4:29 pm

The ship has sailed on Fingerhut.

It's now going for 3 bills on the site (Out-of-Stock currently).

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Re: Hitchcock on Universal DVD and Blu-ray

#557 Post by MichaelB » Thu Dec 06, 2012 5:44 am

PfR73 wrote:
Feego wrote:Weren't there differences between the UK and US Psycho blu-rays (menus and maybe even some of the supplements), and they were both region free?
The UK release had the mono track in DTS HDMA while the US release only had it in DTS. Also the UK release had the AHP episode "Lamb To The Slaughter" while the US release omitted it. I'm curious if the UK box set has the UK Psycho or the US Psycho.
I don't know if anyone else has confirmed this first-hand yet, but the disc of Psycho in the UK box definitely does contain the DTS HD-MA track (alongside a 5.1 remix) and Lamb to the Slaughter, and appears to be identical to the previous UK standalone release.

Interestingly, Lamb to the Slaughter isn't mentioned in the specs on the relevant page of the package - presumably they simply recycled the US artwork for the main "book", and stuck it in a UK-produced slipcase to conform to BBFC requirements. But I'm playing it in the background as I type this.

As for the other discs, Family Plot is indeed as hideous as everyone has been saying (frankly, it looks like an uprezzed and fairly elderly SD master with a ton of digital gunk smeared on top, and comfortably ranks amongst the worst BD transfers I've ever seen), and Frenzy has clearly been DNRed to hell and back - but Marnie was better in motion than the screencaps suggested. It's certainly miles ahead of my ancient letterboxed DVD. A quick skip through The Birds suggests that it's a decent transfer of notoriously tricky material (all those process shots, Tippi Hedren's close-ups in soft-focus, etc.).

Put it like this, of the discs I've played so far, Family Plot is the only one that doesn't even look like HD - everything else does at least represent a marked advance on the DVDs.

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Re: Hitchcock on Universal DVD and Blu-ray

#558 Post by david hare » Thu Dec 06, 2012 7:14 am

Michael play Marnie again and try this:

Keep toggling between "pause" and "Play" over and over. Every time you pause and then go back to motion you will eventually see the hailstorm of electronic/digital snow that is bombarding the image and giving the image in motion that ghastly undertow of noise. To me it looks like some kind of electronic/earthing problem as though the telecine desk was being invaded by RFwhile the technician had dozed off. It all stops and goes away at Chapter 17 and there's not a trace of it for the next 20 minutes.

Of the entire box Marnie was the one they completely wrecked through what I can only assume was sheer inattention.

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Re: Hitchcock on Universal DVD and Blu-ray

#559 Post by MichaelB » Thu Dec 06, 2012 7:15 am

david hare wrote:Michael play Marnie again and try this:

Keep toggling between "pause" and "Play" over and over. Every time you pause and then go back to motion you will eventually see the hailstorm of electronic/digital snow that is bombarding the image and giving the image in motion that ghastly undertow of noise. To me it looks like some kind of electronic/earthing problem as though the telecine desk was being invaded by RFwhile the technician had dozed off. It all stops and goes away at Chapter 17 and there's not a trace of it for the next 20 minutes.

Of the entire box Marnie was the one they completely wrecked through what I cna only assume was sheer inattention.
Don't get me wrong - I'm fully aware of the problems. It's just that I found the noise much easier to tune out than I did the issues with Frenzy or Family Plot.

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Re: Hitchcock on Universal DVD and Blu-ray

#560 Post by tenia » Thu Dec 06, 2012 3:28 pm

david hare wrote:Michael play Marnie again and try this:

Keep toggling between "pause" and "Play" over and over. Every time you pause and then go back to motion you will eventually see the hailstorm of electronic/digital snow that is bombarding the image and giving the image in motion that ghastly undertow of noise. To me it looks like some kind of electronic/earthing problem as though the telecine desk was being invaded by RFwhile the technician had dozed off. It all stops and goes away at Chapter 17 and there's not a trace of it for the next 20 minutes.

Of the entire box Marnie was the one they completely wrecked through what I can only assume was sheer inattention.
I did this exactly and saw the exact same troubles. It is indeed very annoying.

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captveg
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Re: Hitchcock on Universal DVD and Blu-ray

#561 Post by captveg » Thu Mar 07, 2013 2:59 pm

It appears the films in the Universal box set are going to start to get individual releases in early summer as amazon.com listings are beginning to go up. $16.99 pre-orders.

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Re: Hitchcock on Universal DVD and Blu-ray

#562 Post by warren oates » Thu Mar 07, 2013 3:38 pm

I wonder if they won't be holding back certain more popular titles for a bit, though. I don't see listings for Vertigo, Rear Window or The Birds yet, for instance.

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Re: Hitchcock on Universal DVD and Blu-ray

#563 Post by captveg » Thu Mar 07, 2013 3:43 pm

I imagine those will arrive in the Fall. That'll give the box set a full year to be sold due to the popularity of those titles.

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Re: Hitchcock on Universal DVD and Blu-ray

#564 Post by perkizitore » Thu Mar 07, 2013 5:05 pm

There is a separate UK listing for The Birds.

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andyli
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Re: Hitchcock on Universal DVD and Blu-ray

#565 Post by andyli » Thu Mar 07, 2013 5:29 pm

Yeah different territories have different policies. Rear Window and Vertigo are singular pre-orders in Japan...

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Re: Hitchcock on Universal DVD and Blu-ray

#566 Post by triodelover » Thu Mar 07, 2013 6:03 pm

warren oates wrote:I wonder if they won't be holding back certain more popular titles for a bit, though. I don't see listings for Vertigo, Rear Window or The Birds yet, for instance.
Vertigo and Rear Window are listed. I've got them on my wish list and signed up for email notification. Don't know about The Birds.

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Re: Hitchcock on Universal DVD and Blu-ray

#567 Post by hearthesilence » Mon May 06, 2013 9:48 pm

Finally went through some of the problem titles and I almost felt like chucking these discs out the window.

Watching this on a 55" screen that is very close to the couch (I live in a narrow apartment), Frenzy is unwatchable to me. The DNR is horrendous, and there are times when it's a ridiculous joke. Check out that early scene when Rusk enters Brenda's office to confront her. On Brenda's shots, the grain reduction really kicks in on the right side of the screen, where the plain-looking walls in the background fall out of focus. But with anything close to the foreground (i.e. more in focus) or anything with more texture to it, the grain returns. You can see this happen with solitary objects vs. the wall surrounding them. It's like the algorithm or whatever the fuck goes on with these machines actually 'cut' out these parts of the frame (as if these parts were stenciled) and then wiped the grain clean off the rest of the frame.

And Marnie really is horrendous, how the hell did they plaster that digital noise over everything? After sampling most of the set beforehand, it's obviously noise introduced into the transfer, there's nothing 'film like' or 'film-grain like' about it at all. The grid pattern that was mentioned was painfully and immediately obvious in that first shot. Atrocious.

Re: The Man Who Knew Too Much, I can see why Harris didn't like it, the color does look like a disappointment. It may simply be an indifferent transfer of a problematic film element, that is nothing was done to improve or fuck up the image. Not unwatchable, but it just looks drab, not what I expect from any film shot in this format.

Rope's color is also a disappointment, but this is also how it looked on the last DVD, so I wonder if this film has just been neglected over the years and in need of a real film restoration? There's also a few spots where you can see details pulsating in and out of focus, but this only happens (if it happens, that is) with a still object that's in focus within a still shot, and things generally keep moving in every frame.

The Birds bothers me. With the first shot (probably because of the VFX), you immediately notice what was described as the grain moving more 'slowly' than it should. It doesn't move like film grain that's set in different patterns in frame after frame, the movement has been dragged enough that it actually looks like animation of some kind. You can see this in every shot, especially in the first shot of Tippi Hedren crossing the street, but it is worse with the VFX shots, maybe because they were much grainier from optical printing and this was the result of trying harder to 'manage' grain in those spots?

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Re: Hitchcock on Universal DVD and Blu-ray

#568 Post by Anthony Thorne » Mon May 06, 2013 10:03 pm

The Birds and Rear Window were just released this week in Australia. The discs are region free and quite cheap.

http://www.ezydvd.com.au/blu-ray/birds- ... dp/6139720" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

http://www.ezydvd.com.au/blu-ray/rear-w ... dp/6139721" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: Hitchcock on Universal DVD and Blu-ray

#569 Post by repeat » Tue May 07, 2013 12:52 am

The separate Blu-rays of The Birds, Rear Window, Saboteur and Family Plot are out tomorrow in Scandinavia, and they're cheaper than the UK ones even with worldwide shipping. No mention of region coding on the back covers.

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Re: Hitchcock on Universal DVD and Blu-ray

#570 Post by dustybooks » Tue May 07, 2013 1:58 am

hearthesilence wrote:Re: The Man Who Knew Too Much, I can see why Harris didn't like it, the color does look like a disappointment. It may simply be an indifferent transfer of a problematic film element, that is nothing was done to improve or fuck up the image. Not unwatchable, but it just looks drab, not what I expect from any film shot in this format.
Out of sheer curiosity, does TMWKTM still open with the Universal fanfare instead of the original Paramount logo? This was the most dubious of the original DVD transfers in this line, as I recall, and the use of an '80s restoration print kind of underlined that.

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Re: Hitchcock on Universal DVD and Blu-ray

#571 Post by hearthesilence » Tue May 07, 2013 11:49 am

HA, I'd have to check to make sure because I started skipping through these after a few titles, but I'm pretty sure every single one of these Blu-Ray discs have the Universal fanfare.

In fact, not only do they have the fanfare, they have it twice - first the shiny, new CG 100th Anniversary version, then again with the same CG graphic sans "100th Anniversary" type at the bottom. It's a little irritating when you just want to start the movie and you have to set through all those warnings, and then this animated graphic comes up that doesn't even look correct, and then they do it again.

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Re: Hitchcock on Universal DVD and Blu-ray

#572 Post by ianungstad » Mon Oct 07, 2013 12:48 am

Does anyone know why Universal decided to release the individual blu rays of Psycho, The Birds, Vertigo and Rear Window in every other country in the world besides US/Canada? Seems strange.

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Re: Hitchcock on Universal DVD and Blu-ray

#573 Post by Professor Wagstaff » Mon Oct 07, 2013 12:52 am

"Psycho" used to be available as a standalone R1 blu-ray. But I agree, it's a problem, even if I'd be likely to buy the set with all those titles.

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Re: Hitchcock on Universal DVD and Blu-ray

#574 Post by Jack Phillips » Mon Oct 07, 2013 8:12 am

ianungstad wrote:Does anyone know why Universal decided to release the individual blu rays of Psycho, The Birds, Vertigo and Rear Window in every other country in the world besides US/Canada? Seems strange.
They're coming. If you check the release dates of Topaz (Nov.) and Frenzy (Dec.), it's apparent that they're doing a gradual roll-out of the titles, saving what we might call the Big Three for last (which appears to be some time in 2014). What's odd is that on this scheme The Birds is going to miss its 50th Anniversary year. I guess maybe they figure they'll sell some more of the sets for Christmas this way. Anyway, if you're in hurry, everything is available from the UK and they're all supposed to be Region Free.

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Re: Hitchcock on Universal DVD and Blu-ray

#575 Post by Finch » Mon Oct 07, 2013 8:15 am

Shadow of a Doubt is available in the US individually though not in the UK and elsewhere (as far as I'm aware). My copy of the US BD shipped last week.

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