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captainsolo

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13-Mar-2009
Last activity
19-Jan-2017
Posts
2823

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Post
#1029403
Topic
Superman I-III extended TV cuts: Where have the preservations gone?
Time

The anthology BD set can be had for rather cheap in its U.K. Region free variant and is otherwise identical to its USA counterpart.

Also the Donner cut was upgraded with slightly better video and has dtshdma 5.1.

The ridiculous number of extra materials will likely never be compiled officially unless a settlement is finally reached between WB and the Salkinds. Wish they would finally.

This post has been edited.

Post
#1029401
Topic
Planet of the Apes 1968 ( 35mm )
Time

It looks very nice. I had gotten used to the BDs since they are okay and the best we’ve ever had for the series, including the full length sequels and original mono for all.

Syncing the BD mono to this would be fantastic.

Post
#1026913
Topic
Ranking the Star Wars Soundtracks
Time

Chronological order. Despite he improvement in recording techniques, the original still holds out for me but ESB is nearly tied.
My favorite cues are certainly the end credit finales for each of the OT and Rebel Fleet.

I just wish they would finally do proper fully restored hires complete score releases since all we have officially is woefully inadequate.

Post
#1026909
Topic
What Makes A "Real" Star Wars Fan?
Time

Problem is you can’t really talk SW with most people. At best you get either that the prequels sucked or were fine, the new Disney products are great, discussions about merchandise or products etc

It’s tough to actually talk to anyone about outside stories, EU, factoids or trivia outside the Internet, fan events or here at our home away from home.

But what really kills me is how so few actually realize what Star Wars really is at its core; the purity of the 1977 vision. To me it gets diluted more and more each year to the point of wondering do people really even “get” SW anymore?

I remember being almost swept away with emotion watching the puggo grande for the first time years ago and still to this day something I do yearly. This was a picture made with heart and soul, extreme compromises and model kits glued together.

I really don’t know what I would do without OT.com and all you guys, because otherwise I’d be stuck in the Dune Sea without a vaporator.

Post
#1026902
Topic
Rogue One * <em>Spoilers</em> * Thread
Time

Can we please talk about how now Leia’s feigned lack of knowledge about the Death Star plans being on board the Tantive makes no sense since Vader clearly saw a trooper get the floppy disk on board before the ship blasts off leaving him shaking a fist in a “I’ll get you next time!” pose.

And so much for “beaming” the plans onboard via transmissions.

Post
#1026901
Topic
Recommendations for Legends (old EU) books, comics, etc.
Time

ZkinandBonez said:

captainsolo said:

The later solo trilogy is pretty fun, and the Lando novels are good old fashioned sci-fi.

By the “later Solo trilogy” I’m assuming that you are referring to the books by A. C. Crispin?

(Aren’t they also the books that tried to explain the whole Kessel run in 12 parsecs thing by having the Falcon go near a black hole, or something like that? I always found that explanation really silly, but of course that doesn’t necessarily mean that the stories are bad. I’ve just read very polarized opinions about that trilogy.)

Yes I was referring to those. They’re a little coincidental in trying to tie some things in but otherwise fun reads.

Post
#1024401
Topic
Carrie Fisher Suffers Major Heart Attack
Time

When I heard of her heart attack and after reading the details, I felt that this was sadly a large possibility. Still I didn’t want to think about it…and then saw the report a few minutes ago.

I always hated how she was never able to get much of a career trajectory outside SW, but hopefully her success as a writer was some solace.

Leia may have been created and written on the page, but it was Carrie who gave her grit and most importantly both spunk and a defiance.

The sad news keeps on coming.

Post
#1023568
Topic
Recommendations for Legends (old EU) books, comics, etc.
Time

Han Solo trilogy bar none. Daley nails Star Wars so well that he later wrote the radio drama that I hold as the equal to the OT.

The later solo trilogy is pretty fun, and the Lando novels are good old fashioned sci-fi.

The Thrawn trilogy is the benchmark and afterwards its very hit or miss and up to reader preferences. There are also a great number of good prequel novels and excellent stories under the junior scholastic banner.

Post
#1022643
Topic
Rogue One * <em>Spoilers</em> * Thread
Time

I found it a really depressing experience since it was largely unnecessary, forced and moreover felt like uninspired bad EU when the plot actually did advance. I did not care about the characters because they were primarily merely archetypes whose outcome was fairly obvious.

The reshoots and rescripting at the last minute didn’t help the overall narrative flow.

The consistent OT nods were blatant, and stopped the film cold for me in the instance of Dr. Evzan and most especially the shameless re-usage of Red Leader and Gold Leader. (Further note: I CARE deeply every time Red Leader dies as I rewatch SW. I couldn’t care less about the entire cast of RO dying because they’re so bland you cannot even remember their names afterwards. And you BARELY even get to know Red Leader!)
And of course there are the CG resurrections which is a whole other can of worms.

Agree Vader’s voice was mixed incorrectly, so that the breathing was almost completely dialed out during his dialogue…

Worst of all I think was the complete rewriting of the Rebel Alliance’s modus operandi and forcing them into a role more like a CIA black ops division corrupted throughout by lust for power etc.

I could go on and on, but my blood hasn’t finished boiling yet. I absolutely hated this thing. It felt completely soulless to me. I’m done with all of it.

Whatever happened to beaming the plans to the Tantive IV in desperation and Leia adhering to her “I don’t know what you’re talking about” cover story? Will the new SE alter the dialogue to “Several transmissions were put on a floppy disk by Rebel spies who got it to your ship which blasted off in front of me”

This post has been edited.

Post
#1018986
Topic
SW--A New Hope (status/use of original audio master tapes)
Time

ESB has mono and production documents indicate one done for ROTJ-additionally Raiders had a mono.
It is correct that the 70 and 35 Dolby tracks are likely very much the same but until we get actual concrete evidence it’s impossible to say. The baby booms were filtering out the low end as opposed to an actual dedicated LFE channel. I will suggest that there are likely a few differences in range etc since the 35 was intended for optical and the 70 had mag tracks.
The definitive collection 93 mix was reputed to be derived from the 70mm mix before those changes were made and is what HairyHen has been working with.

Post
#1018709
Topic
SW--A New Hope (status/use of original audio master tapes)
Time

The master is a four track tape and was then tinkered from for making the 70mm Dolby, 35mm Dolby and mono. It was reutilized in 1997 when the SE track was being made and then likely digitized as all the other mixes are supposedly on file.

The musical score is also on four track IIRC.

If I’m mistaken on anything feel free to correct me.

Post
#1018707
Topic
Forbidden Planet 16mm Scope print for sale on eBay
Time

After doing much research, I think the Criterion may be the Perspecta mix and the MGM is the four track magnetic.
Perspecta was a mono system designed to be the poor mans magnetic and could derive two front channels out of the single optical track for a center focused LCR in the front of house. I saw a screening of Hidden Fortress this way recently and it seems rather like the FP mix. This film is reputed to have the best Perspecta mix of all.
In other words imagine matrix versus discrete audio and you start to get the idea.

Post
#1015560
Topic
Star Wars DTS Cinema tracks in 6.1
Time

As far as I know, the prequels were never mixed into matrix DTS. TPM was the premiere movie for Dolby EX matrix and DTS later premiered their ES variant.
I don’t think the discrete ES version was ever used theatrically, as it was primarily designed for home video. Neither system really took off and became more of a marketing gimmick for video. Then THX discovered a flaw that caused the ear to miscue sound and necessitated the reconfiguration into 7.1.

I’ve tried the prequels in the various decoders and they work fine. The OT being 6.1 is evidence of how lazy they are. The awful DVD mixes were in DD EX and then these were decoded back to 6.1 at the source before being further bastardized.

Post
#1010661
Topic
Last movie seen
Time

Minority Report is a bit of an odd beast.
But the easiest way to fix everything?
Cut the whole ending. Leave it where it should have been left…in the place where our lead character goes…or add a tag ending.

Post
#1010644
Topic
Original dark version of Batman '89?
Time

suFami said:

captainsolo said:

I have thought about this topic for ages!

The VHS and LD look to use the same master. The LD was brightened by the operator for CRTs. (From Widescreen review articles on both films) I have both VHS and LD and have compared the two. The VHS has an even brighter look due to the pan and scan done and an even greater contrast boosting.

Returns has the same video history. The initial DVDs for all four films used the previous video masters and maintain the video-ized look. With the higher resolution, the video nasties are easier to spot. When properly calibrated on a CRT it is possible to get something more akin to the theatrical darkness.

The SE masters stuck are more correct in resolution but maintain a level of video brightness not in prints. The Blu-rays (SEs in 1080p) are closer to the accurate look but still seem a bit off in terms of color depth and darkness.

I viewed Batman for the 25th Anniversary and set my monitor down levels to try and find a balanced look more in line with the print reports. After doing this I toggled between the LD and BD and found that in terms of basic color they are pretty near one another, but the former has that inherent softness indicative of a 80’s/90’s video transfer. My two cents: However despite being technically darker and sharper the BD does not feel as natural as the LD. Once darkened quite a bit, the LD feels like almost 16mm. It’s one of my favorite discs.

The new 5.1 track allows for a bit more breathing room and allows for one to hear the high end more clearly than on the LD PCM. That said, I still like the PCM. I assume the 5.1 is derived from the 4 track master (LCR, filtered out low bass for LFE, mono surround split) despite having a tiny bit of stereo separation in the surrounds. (The 70mm release was a Dolby 4 track with mono surround).

Joker’s reveal is a great example of how to do this. No matter what I put my levels at, no transfer can have the face in complete darkness. There is an outline where you can make out a face just barely, and if you are looking closely enough you can make out a faint ghostly visage. That’s about what I think the print would have resembled. It also feels like something Burton would do-almost Grissom’s A Christmas Carol for a brief second.

The big thing is not necessarily the darkness but the color depth and black levels that have been fubared. I have not seen a Batman print, but the Returns studio archive print from last year that made the rounds revealed that the video transfers on the sequel were severely lacking in depth and blacks thus making the effects and sets stick out like a sore thumb.

I made a self calibration shot using that cowl close up in Returns to try and describe what the print was like. It’s the color depth and black levels that are dense and intricate. I actually think Returns has a deeper palette due to Burton having full reins and being shot in the LA studio under refrigerated conditions. The first film was on the Pinewood set and has always had a grainier and hazy look to it.

I have a feeling if the BD could be addressed, the first film would not be so difficult. Returns would take a helluva lot of work to match the archive print. (That print was so dark and so dense that I felt it resembled paintings. Of course it was Technicolor.) And poor Forever looks pretty bad on BD.

And for all three I really prefer the Dolby Stereo matrix. They may not be as cleaned up or fully discrete, but they honestly perform better. You could probably do a better 70mm recreation for the first film with the 2.0 PCM than the 5.1. And only a handful (11 theaters worldwide) even heard the Returns 5.1 theatrically. That track was done as an afterthought.

http://i62.tinypic.com/f9ftw.png

I got to see a 35mm print of Batman Returns at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood back in summer 2014, right around when this post was written. After reading this passionate post I expected the 35mm print of Batman Returns to have a very dark atmosphere to it. Thoughts of The Godfather levels of darkness ran through my head. Unfortunately, the movie wasn’t that dark. I’d say the Blu-Ray is pretty accurate actually. I specifically paid attention to the shot above which had been posted earlier in this thread. Folks have said the following image is way too light and that Batman’s face should be hidden in the darkness, etc.
However, in the 35mm print I saw his face was just as bright and easily seen as in the image. The Egyptian theater routinely projects everything from 16mm to 70mm and every time I went the projection was top notch, so I don’t think the projectors are to blame. I think this just might be another case of people remembering a movie a certain way when it never was actually like that (like Luke missing the first throw).

The Egyptian were having a Batman themed week, so I also got to see beautiful 35mm prints of Mask of the Phantasm (how I much I would pay for a 35mm print of that!), and Batman '66. Oddly, Batman '89 was digital.

Hmm…that is strange. I don’t doubt you, particularly since the Egyptian is one of the best theaters in the world for presentation. I will say that I wrote that immediately after the screening and was not mistaken as to how dark the print was. I verified with the head facilities manager whom I’m friendly with that the Returns print was on Fuji stock and did not have the Dolby ac3 track. It had the 92 era logos and appropriate wear around reel changes, all indications that it was an original release print.

Did the one you saw have much damage? Any idea if the sound was Stereo SR or 5.1? If it was 5.1 it could have been one of the very, very few made for the small handful of theaters that had playback capability.

Post
#1001822
Topic
Last movie seen
Time

I love the first two Batfilms, can enjoy Forever in spite of the downsides and studio meddling, enjoy the '66 film as it is the series super-episode. MOTP is the best onscreen interpretation despite the runtime and audience constrictions. If anything I find the Burton entries only grow stronger over time. Especially '89, as I’ve always felt Returns was the best thing he ever did. Admittedly I finally stopped finding Vicki annoying after realizing that Basinger was a very last minute replacement, was far better than her awful performance in NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN, and also that I had grown used to the movie on the umpteenth viewing.

For some reason I quote these frequently without realizing it, and more and more people have no idea what I’m saying. Heck, I can’t even quote DIE HARD anymore. What is wrong with people? A samurai exhibit was being prepared at a museum, and I snuck up behind some people to simply say: “It’s Japanese…I know because I bought it in Japan…Bruce Wayne.” Blank stares. Of course it probably didn’t help that upon entering I found myself muttering “Gentlemen let’s broaden our minds…Laurence!”

Also the novelizations for the Batfilms are pretty good if you find them. You get the deleted bit from '89 with the horse chase to city central and drugged cops etc. Many slight alterations are restored, with Forever being a completely different and superior experience. And you all know how I gush over the added bits in the Begins novelization.

Hound of the Baskervilles '59

This is what I always start my Halloween viewings with. I don’t know exactly why, but I start late in the month and go into November. Possibly because I enjoy still viewing horrors when people are already going on about family/Thanksgiving etc.

Tight, taut and form the true classic period of the little UK studio that could. Greater emphasis on the “horror” aspects of the story but all in all something from a bygone age. Cushing is still arguably my favorite Holmes, Lee is in the hero role for one of the few times in his career, Watson is well represented, and there is the classic pairing of Jack Asher photography and Terrence Fisher direction.

One of the agonizingly few truly good Holmes films.
4/4

This post has been edited.

Post
#1001125
Topic
Fullscreen Laserdisc / DVD Preservation
Time

All I know is that the LD SE track is fantastic and that they likely would have made it for mixing to disc in matrix ProLogic. Later on it was likely converted to 5.1 then EQd and changed for DVD.

Post
#1000526
Topic
Last movie seen
Time

SkyderHouseMafia said:

I can never understand how people can flip so completely on films (and music for that matter) that they once loved. The Phantom Menace was the first Star Wars film I ever saw at age 10 and I loved it. Even though I now realize it’s objectively a bad movie I still really enjoy watching it. I actively try to not let any one else’s opinion effect my own personal enjoyment/connection with things, they certainly impact by objective view but I try to enjoy everything I watch as much as I can regardless!
I think in this IMDB ratings/RT score age we’re all getting caught up in whether something is objectionably good or not that we completely forgot to enjoy ourselves.

Absolutely. I still stick up for TPM which is something I don’t do for any subsequent film ask still find things to enjoy in it.

Post
#1000524
Topic
Last movie seen
Time

Casino Royale.

The best bad movie ever made.
The one film they should use to teach everyone what NOT to do. EVER. UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES.
A bomb if there ever was one, a dud, beyond a mess, throwing in the kitchen sink doesn’t even begin to describe it…a production that was a complete nightmare and should have had the plug pulled at any time…
And yet…
God help me I think it is a masterpiece. It gets better every time, it is full of charm, you see flashes of what a Niven Bond would have been like, there are genuine funny moments, the score is a masterwork and has staggering fidelity, the cast is beyond a dream even if most are cameos, and ultimately the painstaking patching together of the mess of materials in the edit bay actually does work in a weird way.
This is the 60’s in a bottle, combined with old studio system excess and spymania.

Thank heaven it exists. It always helps to wash away the bitterness of the increasingly stupid Austin Powers gags.

I may be the only person in the world who feels this way and watches it at least yearly.

And oh dear god, the Colgems stereo USA LP is one of the finest sounding things you will ever hear. Fidelity that knocks you down flat!

And the mono mix is preferable to the 5.1 despite the latter perhaps being from the 70mm run.

Post
#1000520
Topic
Last movie seen
Time

Boyhood is typical of indie films in this era. That is its problem combined with a lack of any real direction. The gimmick in the production won over too many folks who then wrote off the problems due to it being “more authentic” and made over 12 years.

It’s okay, but just okay.

Post
#997304
Topic
Should the prequels and TFA be considered canon?
Time

For me canon is roughly 1977 to just before the New Jedi Order. Despite some ups and downs I think that practically sums up everything pretty well, though I do intend to finally retry NJO onwards.

I hate the “legends” banner so much. But at least they keep the books in print I guess.

Post
#997303
Topic
The Force Awakens: Official Review Thread - ** SPOILERS **
Time

I don’t think the criticism went far enough. Instead of the lack of “sex” it should be that there was no heart in the proceedings.

But worst of all is the complete lack of backstory combined with the fact that TFA really has no driving motivation for any character other than plot advancement. It becomes so darn hard to care. Even the worst of EU materials generally had this. Even the prequels did in spurts.

Watching this just made all the negatives come floating back in my brain.

Post
#995520
Topic
Best inexpensive hifi stereo VCR
Time

Simply put, I’m looking for a decent VCR just to have around in case I ever need it-but one that is actually not a pile of junk and can playback hifi stereo.

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