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Pierce Brosnan era James Bond movies

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I've been recently watching the blu-ray editions of the Film series and while It looks like they did they did a good job for the most part (It's Lowry Digital, their restorarions are not to be trusted) I noticed that with the exception of Die Another Day the movies from the Brosnan era look terrible, Goldeneye in particular. My question is why? His movies are from the mid-to-late 1990's which IMO was the pinnacle of photochemical film processing so they shouldn't look this bad.

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Goldeneye is a grainy grainy film, people and Lowry don't like grain.

There is a lovely grain filled 1080p version about but it's the old cropped master.

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I agree!  

And another thing that has bothered me... unrelated to the mastering job itself, is that MGM has decided to replace the MGM/United Artists logos with newer versions...  For example, the original DVD/VHS of "The World Is Not Enough" had the MGM 75th Anniversary card at the start of the film.  Removed for the Blu, however.  Of course, they have done this for the rest of the films as well.  :-/

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Nothing new, that's SOP for them.

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The thing about the Blu-Ray's though is that not all of them are the Lowry transfers, and I'm pretty sure Goldeneye is definitely not which would explain why it looks significantly worse than the rest. The Lowry master had major framing issues, and I believe the Blu-Ray was derived from a much earlier video master that was originally created for the DVD, and then DNR'ed to death for it's latest release.

The Blu-Ray releases are a mix of Lowry restorations, older video masters, and newly done studio transfers. Some of the Lowry restorations had quite a few problems, some of which have been corrected for the Blu-Rays and others that have been made even worse. The most problematic of the Lowry restored films were substituted on Blu-Ray with either new transfers or older Pre-Lowry transfers smeared with DNR. I know TSWLM always looked like shit on DVD and the Blu-Ray is a brand new in house transfer that looks light years better than it ever previously had on video.

I cannot comment too much on the Brosnan films specifically though as I only own a handful of the Blu-Rays with Goldeneye being the only Brosnan one I have.

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dvdmike said:

Goldeneye is a grainy grainy film, people and Lowry don't like grain.

There is a lovely grain filled 1080p version about but it's the old cropped master.

 That's strange, the Connery era movies have lots of grainy frames which haven't been tampered with.

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Nien Nunb said:

The thing about the Blu-Ray's though is that not all of them are the Lowry transfers, and I'm pretty sure Goldeneye is definitely not which would explain why it looks significantly worse than the rest. The Lowry master had major framing issues, and I believe the Blu-Ray was derived from a much earlier video master that was originally created for the DVD, and then DNR'ed to death for it's latest release.

The Blu-Ray releases are a mix of Lowry restorations, older video masters, and newly done studio transfers. Some of the Lowry restorations had quite a few problems, some of which have been corrected for the Blu-Rays and others that have been made even worse. The most problematic of the Lowry restored films were substituted on Blu-Ray with either new transfers or older Pre-Lowry transfers smeared with DNR. I know TSWLM always looked like shit on DVD and the Blu-Ray is a brand new in house transfer that looks light years better than it ever previously had on video.

I cannot comment too much on the Brosnan films specifically though as I only own a handful of the Blu-Rays with Goldeneye being the only Brosnan one I have.

 Well, I did have the privilege of watching TND and and TWINE in cinemas and they looked gorgeous on the big screen, and once I saw the home video releases and tv broadcasts I was puzzled at the drop in image quality. As for Goldeneye I can only hope there's a 35mm print in mint condition that can be scanned for a proper home video release, but that's just wishful thinking at this stage considering the poor treatment it has received.

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fmalover said:

dvdmike said:

Goldeneye is a grainy grainy film, people and Lowry don't like grain.

There is a lovely grain filled 1080p version about but it's the old cropped master.

 That's strange, the Connery era movies have lots of grainy frames which haven't been tampered with.

 What do you mean?

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fmalover said:

...the movies from the Brosnan era look terrible, Goldeneye in particular. My question is why?

It's a mystery. First, we get some weird kind of "they must have accidentally used the fullscreen master" cropped slipup, and then they "fix" it by releasing something that looks worse than DVD quality.

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My understanding based on some first hand accounts of those who've seen them is that the films are currently be re-mastered in 4K, but for overseas use (I think some french channel wanted to air them or something)... Apparently though they didn't plan on releasing these on Bluray or anything since they were going to soon be re-doing them in 8K?

They talk about it a couple times on the James Bonding podcast. At any rate, hopefully they'll see the light of day sometime soon. I love my 007 50th Boxset but there are some flaws with it. Thankfully all my favourite films (other than Goldeneye) are in pretty good nick.

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woodsyallen said:

My understanding based on some first hand accounts of those who've seen them is that the films are currently be re-mastered in 4K, but for overseas use (I think some french channel wanted to air them or something)... Apparently though they didn't plan on releasing these on Bluray or anything since they were going to soon be re-doing them in 8K?

They talk about it a couple times on the James Bonding podcast. At any rate, hopefully they'll see the light of day sometime soon. I love my 007 50th Boxset but there are some flaws with it. Thankfully all my favourite films (other than Goldeneye) are in pretty good nick.

 There is hope, then. Now let's see if they give the first three Brosnan movies a proper remaster.

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The irony here being that the Brosnan Bonds tended to have some of the most solid, saturated and detailed theatrical prints of the era.

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They have never appeared in video as they should. Partially because they had great video transfers for their era and the financial crisis MGMUA was perpetually in prevented further work. Indeed you guys are right in that the blus are all a mix of old, new and even Lowry scans without extra tinkering. Why it's such a mess is anyone's guess.

With the Brosnan era none are what they should be. The hdtv airing of the cropped Goldeneye is so grain filled that it is beautiful and finally somewhat like the film I saw all those years ago. It appears they somply reverted to the dated video master done all the way back for the LD which was incredible for the time. TND fares better but is colored differently from the old LD/DVD master and comes off as both flat and cold-not at all like the theatrical. TWINE goes further on this point, with the old DVD/Japan LD having at least a more aesthetically pleasing color palette. DAD looks best but still comes off as a bit videoish in places compared to the prints I saw many times.

These were gorgeous films all shot on the tail end of properly shot and developed scope celluloid and should look staggeringly good. And to be honest the controlling interests care more about flogging copies of the films in endless repackages more than the series preservation. For all the talk about the Lowry work, only 11 wee scanned and all have been mucked with.

Don't even get me started on the audio mixes. All four had pounding aggressive and stylized 5.1 audio that knocked you silly whether it was Dolby DTS or even Dolby stereo. The old LDs and DVDs give you an idea of this but to my ears the BDs just felt all level normalized and without the same immediacy. GE sounds great matrixed, in the hot LFE old mixes but the BD seems flat. TND is just louder in the BD and not like the theatrical which was one of the best iVe ever heard. TWINE I saw in Dolby EX and that was great, very active for a smaller film, the DVD may be the same track and sounds how I remember mostly. DAD for all its faults had an awesome mix in both Dolby ex and DTS es (I saw both). The first DVD has these encoded where the others do not. 

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I’m in the process of preparing my whole collection for Plex, and have come to the Bond films. I started at Craig and working my way back. I haven’t really watched the Brosnan discs until I started checking the rips I made. Wow, they aren’t nearly as good as they should be. Goldeneye is a mess, and I very much prefer the LaserDisc.

Anyone up for some audio syncing from LaserDisc, DVD, or the theatrical DTS discs? Are there any HDTV broadcasts out there that are better?

The Brosnan films were all so great (yes, even Die Another Day) and deserve preservation. Oh, and let’s drop the MGM/UA logo from Goldeneye and add the mid 90s UA logo back as it should be!

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I’m looking for faithful versions of all the Bond films to watch for the first time ever. Are any of the Blu-rays for any of the films good? Which ones should I avoid? Are there any HD preservations I should be aware of?

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fmalover said:

(It’s Lowry Digital, their restorarions are not to be trusted)

Don’t blame Lowry, they can only do what the client wants. Another thing is the client sets the deadlines and such, so they probably ran out of time to give all the films the attention they needed.

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Generally, I think the Sean Connery blu ray transfers are prety good. They retain grain, and look great. After that it gets worse.

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