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PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2013 11:37 am 
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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.
The Essentials box set that includes all of those plus North by Northwest is still only $38 at Amazon, much cheaper per title (even if you already own one or two) than you're going to get them individually.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2013 3:04 pm 
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Finch wrote:
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.

It's available on Amazon UK so I think it has been released. Universal released Rear Window, Saboteur, and Family Plot a few months ago, and all the rest came out at the end of September.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2013 11:43 pm 
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Forgive me for what is probably a pointless question, but did anyone ever pick up the stand-alone Blu-ray of Marnie? And if so, does it have the same digital noise problem for most of the film as did its initial release in the big box set?


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2014 4:17 am 

Joined: Fri Jan 31, 2014 4:14 am
Hi, first of all I'm new here and I'm just starting a Blu-Ray collection of my own. My birthday is approaching and one of my potential choices is The Alfred Hitchcock: The Essential Collection. My question is, is that set worth getting? I just want be sure especially since I heard the transfers on some of the films are not really good unfortunately but like I said, I need to be sure.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2014 8:11 am 
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I'm fairly certain that set is mostly okay. The Psycho and Rear Window transfers were probably among the best reviewed of the larger Universal box set, the Psycho disc is generally good as well. The Birds, on the other hand, was met with a good deal of criticism, however, and there are many on this forum who feel that North by Northwest, like Warner's presentation of The Searchers, is lacking with colors that don't pop as they should, and an overall "ugly" look.

I hope I've summarized that well.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2014 11:15 am 
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I have the old velvet box DVD set, and from what I read about the inconsistent quality of the blu-rays, I've never felt much need to upgrade. If don't already own most of the films, though, this is still Alfred Hitchcock- you are buying the movies for the films themselves, not the image quality, so it may be worth it.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2014 1:51 pm 
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It helps that one can find it fairly inexpensively and for about the same cost as 5-6 of the individual releases. That's what got me to jump even though I only really wanted to own about half the films.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2014 3:04 pm 

Joined: Fri Jan 31, 2014 4:14 am
Drucker wrote:
I'm fairly certain that set is mostly okay. The Psycho and Rear Window transfers were probably among the best reviewed of the larger Universal box set, the Psycho disc is generally good as well. The Birds, on the other hand, was met with a good deal of criticism, however, and there are many on this forum who feel that North by Northwest, like Warner's presentation of The Searchers, is lacking with colors that don't pop as they should, and an overall "ugly" look.

Sounds like I'm better off with the DVDs with some of the films like The Birds, North By Northwest and maybe Vertigo. Alright, I think I'll be fine buying Blu-Rays for Psycho and Rear Window. Thank you sir.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2014 12:12 am 
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My understanding is that the Vertigo disc is a big improvement over the DVD (and has the original Mono soundtrack as well?), for what it's worth.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2014 12:52 am 

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Drucker wrote:
My understanding is that the Vertigo disc is a big improvement over the DVD (and has the original Mono soundtrack as well?), for what it's worth.


I thought the Blu-Ray didn't have the original mono. Though that aside, I guess Vertigo will do as well so thank you as well.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2014 1:10 am 
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Wasn't the title sequence of Vertigo completely redone from scratch, and they misspelled some names in the credits?


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2014 1:25 am 
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No, I believe that was Frenzy- the Vertigo disc is lovely.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2014 5:53 am 
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That was indeed Frenzy - they initially "restored" the opening credits, but didn't think to hire a proofreader. But they corrected it for the release version (although sadly that disc has other problems, notably heavy DNR).


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2014 3:36 pm 

Joined: Fri Jan 31, 2014 4:14 am
See, the whole Frenzy thing is why I'm now suddenly hesitant on buying the Essential Collection. It just seems like to me, I'm better buying off Psycho, Rear Window, and Vertigo separate. From what I've been hearing about, I'm curious as to how does Universal even screw up the very films they own?


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2014 4:02 pm 

Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2005 9:20 pm
Universal doesn't own the Hitchcock films. They are licensed from the Hitchcock estate and have been distributed by multiple studios over the years.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2014 4:22 pm 
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ianungstad wrote:
Universal doesn't own the Hitchcock films. They are licensed from the Hitchcock estate and have been distributed by multiple studios over the years.

I thought the Hitchcock estate only owned five films outright?

Certainly, the Universal-produced Frenzy has never been distributed by anyone else as far as I'm aware - and the same goes for all the Hitchcock films from The Birds onwards. Hitchcock used to own the famously self-financed Psycho, but sold the rights to Universal in exchange for a whopping amount of MCA stock, so I think I'm reasonably safe in claiming that everything from Psycho onwards is owned by Universal outright.

And since the worst transfers in the box are mostly of the films that are indeed 100% owned by Universal (Marnie, Frenzy, Family Plot), Movie-Brat's question is a very good one - and I wish I knew the answer!


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2014 4:34 pm 
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Michael I had thought, prior to Hitch's deal with Lew Wasserman to take the Universal stock in trade, that Hitch personally held ownership of these four: Trouble with Harry, Man who Knew too Much, Vertigo and Rear Window. Indeed these were the titles finally reissued through Universal in the late 70s/early 80s, only after decades in limbo. One had to be lucky enough to catch either at advertised screening of any of them at the Cinematheque Francaise back in 78 (As I did for Rear Window) or unadvertised private collector's screenings of things like Vertigo in NYC up to that time.

Certainly Psycho and TV series were all "Shamley" productions. But I am totally unclear on the rights to the other late picture.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2014 4:44 pm 

Joined: Fri Jan 31, 2014 4:14 am
MichaelB wrote:
And since the worst transfers in the box are mostly of the films that are indeed 100% owned by Universal (Marnie, Frenzy, Family Plot), Movie-Brat's question is a very good one - and I wish I knew the answer!


Marine's another case, considering it's Sean Connery in a Hitchcock movie, I am very disappointed in what had happened to that movie in the video quality department. Last question as I think I made up my mind, what are the chances of Rear Window and Verigo being sold separately?


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2014 5:24 pm 
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david hare wrote:
But I am totally unclear on the rights to the other late picture.


As far as I'm aware, everything from The Birds onwards was 100% financed and 100% owned by Universal, with whom Hitchcock stayed until the end of his career. I suspect this was a by-product of his 1962 stock-for-rights swap with Lew Wasserman.


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PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2014 1:13 pm 

Joined: Thu Jun 05, 2008 1:47 pm
Movie-Brat wrote:
Drucker wrote:
My understanding is that the Vertigo disc is a big improvement over the DVD (and has the original Mono soundtrack as well?), for what it's worth.

I thought the Blu-Ray didn't have the original mono. Though that aside, I guess Vertigo will do as well so thank you as well.

Just got the separate release of Vertigo that came out about a week ago, which I assume is the same as the one sold in a set over a year ago. The specs look about the same.

I've searched the internet for info on this mono issue, but most of the forums I went to in search of conclusive info on this topic usually degenerated into bickering where nothing was resolved.

This US BD release has a DTS 2.0 Mono track. So right there it's already not the "true" original mono track, but is this mix taken from the original mono track? That's what I'd like to know too. My guess is this is a downmix of some sort, but I don't know enough about the previous DVD releases to see if this is a downmix of the previously panned "updated" 5.1 audio track found in a few of the previous DVD releases. It doesn't quite sound like a downmix of the "improved" 5.1 track on the current BD release, either, but I'd need to compare further if it's just my ears deceiving me.

Robert Harris seemed to suggest that there is no way this can be the original mono track here

Unfortunately, since he's well past the point of wanting to talk about it, many very good follow-up questions about the track included on this release still remain unanswered.


Last edited by jojo on Thu May 15, 2014 1:24 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2014 1:21 pm 
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It being 2.0 is no indication that it isn't the "true" original mono. Many (most?) mono tracks are encoded that way; one track duplicated into two channels so they come out of your left and right speakers, rather than the centre (I assume most cinema set ups were like this?). As far as I know it is the "true" mono, whilst the new 5.1 puts back all of the original effects that were replaced on the DVD 5.1.


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PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2014 1:31 pm 

Joined: Thu Jun 05, 2008 1:47 pm
EddieLarkin wrote:
It being 2.0 is no indication that it isn't the "true" original mono. Many (most?) mono tracks are encoded that way; one track duplicated into two channels so they come out of your left and right speakers, rather than the centre (I assume most cinema set ups were like this?). As far as I know it is the "true" mono, whilst the new 5.1 puts back all of the original effects that were replaced on the DVD 5.1.

If anyone here can conclusively compare the mono track on this release with the Masterpiece Collection's mono and state that they sound about the same, then we can put this issue to rest...at least until someone claims the MC version wasn't the "true" original mono either. :lol:


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PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2014 1:56 pm 
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david hare wrote:
Michael I had thought, prior to Hitch's deal with Lew Wasserman to take the Universal stock in trade, that Hitch personally held ownership of these four: Trouble with Harry, Man who Knew too Much, Vertigo and Rear Window. Indeed these were the titles finally reissued through Universal in the late 70s/early 80s, only after decades in limbo.

And the fifth title, ROPE, resulted from a similar agreement as the one film of two produced by Transatlantic, the other being UNDER CAPRICORN, that Hitchcock retained ownership of. Economically, if not aesthetically, Hitchcock chose wisely in this instance as well.


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PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2014 4:26 pm 
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I remember reading somewhere that the mono track on the Masterpiece Collection DVD was not the original mono track either but still preferable to the 1997 5.1 botch job.


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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2014 5:25 am 
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Finch wrote:
I remember reading somewhere that the mono track on the Masterpiece Collection DVD was not the original mono track either but still preferable to the 1997 5.1 botch job.

I just checked the velvet-box Masterpiece Edition Vertigo DVD, and the mono track is the original. The opening scenes gunshots sounds, the waves crashing sounds, are the original sound effects. The 5.1 track has them replaced with modern sounding sound effects.


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