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In defence of the 2004 DVDs

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I've just seen the light!

All this time I thought the blue colour-cast to the Tantive corridors was due to poor quality control. But no, evidently, George Lucas aimed for the colder, bluish tone!
http://www.dvdscan.com/sw_comp_2.htm

And the crushing of the blacks and loss of shadow detail? Lucas apparently wanted to "emphasize the mood and the things about to happen".
http://www.dvdscan.com/sw_comp_3.htm

Full article is here if anyone wants to read it (I'm too lazy). I'm sure there are more amazing revelations in there somewhere. Post to this thread if you find any.

(I just remembered reading somewhere the explanation of Luke's green-coloured lightsabre aboard the Falcon. Apparently, the lightsabre is set to "training mode" - presumably to stop him from accidently slicing off parts of his own anatomy during his practice sessions.)

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(I just remembered reading somewhere the explanation of Luke's green-coloured lightsabre aboard the Falcon. Apparently, the lightsabre is set to "training mode" - presumably to stop him from accidently slicing off parts of his own anatomy during his practice sessions.)


I actually assumed that as a kid. It just seemed to make sense to me. "Why else would he be waving that thing around in a space ship?", I used to think to myself.

Creator of Star Wars Begins, Building Empire and Returning to Jedi
Follow me on twitter @jamieSWB. Please support me at - http://www.patreon.com/jamiebenning/

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Originally posted by: Moth3r
All this time I thought the blue colour-cast to the Tantive corridors was due to poor quality control. But no, evidently, George Lucas aimed for the colder, bluish tone!


Someone should have told the director of Episode III -- the Tantive corridors there are nice and snow white!

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You serious about that green lightsaber thing being training??

On a different note, I just got a lovely hi-def TV today and the 2004 DVDs look far better through that than I previously thought. Like many here, I was a bit put-off by the bluish tint to everything, but it really didnt seem so bad.
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What did you use to calibrate your set?
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Hehe - I figured a 'calibration' question was going to come as soon as I hit 'reply'........
The TV and my Monitor are just done by - dont hit me - 'auto'.....
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SMACK!!!

"Every time Warb sighs, an angel falls into a vat of mapel syrup." - Gaffer Tape

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*THUMP*

Hmm, funny how the training mode was never mentioned in any of the books/novels/games before...

Crushed whites and blacks, and oversaturated colour have unfortunately become the current trend for Blockbusters. The general public likes the impression of extra 'punch' or 3D look that is gives the image. It also makes plasmas and LCDs that have poor shadow detail and elevated blacks not look so bad in comparison the movie. The overuse of colour to intone mood is also a current trend - it treats the cinema goer like an idiot. Instead of a slightly cold (blue) grade to help convey menace you get a blue tinted scene to force the idea down your throat. Love scenes have insanely red sunsets and colour grades to match.

So it looks like Lucas just wants to make Star Wars fit in with the current 'look'. It weirds me out because you have gritty realist 70s film styling with a current colourful/smooth/slick look washed over the top, it just doesn't sit right.

It is a shame because it is kind of like listening to music with the treble turned right up, for a few minutes you think wow I am hearing more detail, but after a while it grates on the ear and becomes unlistenable. Crushed movies feel that way to me when I watch them, it gives them a cartoony look which is kind of OK if that is part of the feel (like a superhero/comicbook movie), but I think detracts from the cinematic look of a film. 70s movies were perhaps a little too flat, but the realism of that look fit well with science fiction, it gave it a grounding which helped you suspend your disbelief. The gritty texture of the sets in movies like Alien, the text based industrial look to the computer screens and readouts in Star Wars, Alien, 2001 made all the crazy stuff easier to believe. The look of the 70s cinematography also helped in that it had that same 'every day' quality to it (it would be considered almost a 'documentary' look now).

The smooth slick look kind of feels hyper real (or fake) which when combined with a story that is unrealistic/futuristic just makes it harder to believe IMHO.
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I dunno...to be honest, I like the way it looks inside the Tantive on the 2004 DVD's better than the other versions.

However, almost all of tattooine is much to dark, as is mos eisly.

The fact that there are full on aliens and creatures that disappear on the 2004 dark versions is embarassing. People like Chewie and Greedo...instantly dissapear.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v167/bgiffen/bigbluerig.jpg
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OUCH!! I said not to hit me!!!!

I think the worst thing the colour 'correction' did was to turn the Empire blue instead of grey.......
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This is quite laughable.

Perhaps the heavy blue tint was deliberate, and not a mistake; we can't say for sure. But regardless, it is in bad taste and ruins the look of the movie. Once noticed, I've never been able to un-see it, and it irritates me to no end. Even my dad, who doesn't look closely at any of this, can see the blue and finds it distracting and wrong. He far preferred the look of the laserdiscs when I asked him his opinion and compared them.

I read through that article, and the part about the sound mixes particularly pissed me off. It disparages the '97 SE mix and praises the 2004 as far superior. I am of the complete opposite opinion. That writer found the great prominence of the music in the '97 mix to be a significant fault, where I find it to be one of that mix's most enjoyable aspects. The over-emphasis of the sound effects in the 2004, particularly in the bass registers, is absolutely hideous and quite un-listenable. This accords with what Laserman said above about matching the films to modern sensibilities, which treat the filmgoer like an idiot--the tendency towards overuse of bass in movie sound these days is really annoying. The '97, from what I can tell, was mixed deliberately to sound like the mono mix in many places--hence the prominence of the music.

The *only* thing good about the 2004 dvd is the level of detail in the picture.
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Thats why I can't watch the DVD's anymore also, I'll notice the crazy red level and blue tint.
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Originally posted by: BigBlueRig
I dunno...to be honest, I like the way it looks inside the Tantive on the 2004 DVD's better than the other versions.


Maybe you should petition Lucas to fix Episode III to be more in line with his latest thinking about the Tantive corridors, as seen on the 2004 DVD.

The director of Episode III clearly didn't understand what Lucas really wanted the corridor to look like.

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Originally posted by: Karyudo
Originally posted by: BigBlueRig
I dunno...to be honest, I like the way it looks inside the Tantive on the 2004 DVD's better than the other versions.


Maybe you should petition Lucas to fix Episode III to be more in line with his latest thinking about the Tantive corridors, as seen on the 2004 DVD.

The director of Episode III clearly didn't understand what Lucas really wanted the corridor to look like.


don't worry it will be fixed in the '07 release because it never fit his "vision"
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Hey, I can understand where you guys are coming from, and I do think it is ludicrous that it was ever changed to begin with...but for some reason, the latest one sort of catches my eye a little bit better. However, I cant say the same for the rest of the DVD...just the Tantive.


And as for Episode III....I really could care less. I hardly ever watch the prequels. It has been over a year since I have seen Episodes I and II, and a good six months or so since I have seen III. As far as consistentcy goes for those...I couldnt care less. Thats not "my" trilogy.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v167/bgiffen/bigbluerig.jpg
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So he wanted the laser flashes to be colder as well?
The now two-tone blue 'full white screen' on the laser hits on the Tantive where it used to be 100% white seems a bit suspicious.

He either decided to go for a colder feel for the corridors, but then did it so horribly heavy handedly that he didn't give a rat's about the blue tint across that whole sequence including the space battle, or it wasn't meant to be blue. You can't have it both ways.
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The thing that riles me the most, is I really would have welcomed a technically fixed trilogy.
Just doing the comps digitally instead of optically, getting rid of the matte lines, colouring in the sabres where required and fixing bad jump cuts with the sabres and the dodgy camera shakes etc. Even removing the cardboard people at the end.

All of this I would have welcomed, it would have made the films far more watchable, but unchanged as far as the story, drama and overall look of the film were concerned. If anyone wanted to see the glitches as an example of how 70s technology was limiting, then the laserdiscs or a release of the OUT like we are now getting easily fills that role.

But dressing them up to be a late 90's style film is just jarring, (especially when so many of the crappy glitches aren't fixed anyway!) but even that would have been OK if a proper version of the OUT was released on DVD.

It is soooo frustrating that they claim it can't be done, when the actual amount of scenes that need to be put back in to satisfy 90% of fans is really small.
Could they really not put the original greedo scene back in? They had to restore those elements to create the new scene.
Could they really not just leave out the Jabba scene in ANH, or the rontos, or the hovering crapodroids around the stormtroopers.

Creating an 'almost' original release of ANH would be so so easy for them, it drives me nuts that they won't do it, and won't release the elements at a decent rez to allow others to do it.

I'm eagerly awaiting to see how the PAL release of the OUT comes out, but am determined that a glitch free version of ANH will be done, and if Lucasfilm won't step up to the plate....
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I'm eagerly awaiting to see how the PAL release of the OUT comes out, but am determined that a glitch free version of ANH will be done, and if Lucasfilm won't step up to the plate....


I have had a sneek peek at the PAL OUT DVD and I was not as dissappointed as I thought I would be. There is a fair amount of telecine wobble, and of course the film dirt and scratches remain, but overall I was pretty pleased given lack of attention Lucasfilm have given this release. I will take a closer look on the 12th!

Creator of Star Wars Begins, Building Empire and Returning to Jedi
Follow me on twitter @jamieSWB. Please support me at - http://www.patreon.com/jamiebenning/

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I agree completely with Laserman about the crunching of colors on certain films. The fake colors and digital (de)grading RUINED Lord of the Rings for me along with the ATROCIOUS handheld camera fight scenes. I just hate that flat digital look which has no depth of field, resulting in foreground objects being softer, background objects being sharper as compared to film or even analog video.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
[url=http://www.uploadfile.info]http://www.uploadfile.info/uploads/c4d2b9dbb1.jpg[/url]
vs
[url=http://www.uploadfile.info]http://www.uploadfile.info/uploads/ed66559a13.jpg[/url]
Which do you prefer? Remember that this scene took place after sunset in the book

I see it with television too. I think ESPN (US sports channel)had a better picture in the mid 90's than they do today. It wasn't in HD but the colors were more vibrant and accurate. Exposure was more seamless without harsh bright spots or shadows. And it didn't have terrible digital compression like now, which on its SD channel looks worse than some videos on Youtube. Bill Hunt of the digital bits said it was the worst digital compression for an HD broadcast he had ever seen. What is the point of 1000 resolution lines if poor compression chops it in half? It appears ESPN auto fixes their contrast and boosts the saturation but that just overdoes it. Here's an representation using photos I took.
bad color, contrast & exposure (the flash was too bright)
[url=http://www.uploadfile.info]http://www.uploadfile.info/uploads/ba9e64830a.jpg[/url]

Same picture but "fixed"
[url=http://www.uploadfile.info]http://www.uploadfile.info/uploads/3991449c18.jpg[/url]

How it should have looked from the start (I partially covered the flash, picture unadjusted)
[url=http://www.uploadfile.info]http://www.uploadfile.info/uploads/785c0b6293.jpg[/url]
I would greatly prefer seeing this image in standard definition than the above two in HD.

I also really hate those new plasma and LCD tv's that have such a terrible contrast ratio (they don't display a "true black"). I couldn't see anything except dark grey watching E. T. on my family's Sony Wega LCD. In my opinion that product should have been rejected by quality control and thrown in a junkyard. Poor standards for these new tv's are a real shame because the biggest reason why movies look so much better on dvd is today's newer anamorphic transfers have a vastly improved contrast ratio. The original and new dvd releases of "Blade Runner" show this.
How Blade Runner might look on most LCD or plasma tv's.
[url=http://www.uploadfile.info]http://www.uploadfile.info/uploads/25776b2e5a.png[/url]
The actual image. (these two are from a HD screencap posted on this site)
[url=http://www.uploadfile.info]http://www.uploadfile.info/uploads/1135b3404e.png[/url]

Take back the trilogy. Execute Order '77

http://www.youtube.com/user/Knightmessenger

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Tube TVs have the best picture, without a doubt. However, the problem is they're limited in their size, and everybody seems to want a bigger TV these days. Personally, I'd prefer a smaller tube set with a better picture than a larger plasma or lcd TV with a lesser picture.

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These incessant historical revisions are insulting, and those who defend them should know better. No matter *what* Lucas originally intended for the sequences, they aren't even remotely balanced, internally. The original theatrical release of Star Wars had tons of internal timing issues, none of which have been corrected, ever. Rolling an entire shot in one direction doesn't solve its internal inconsistencies. I have spent more than 2 years meticulously correcting every frame of ANH, and I can promise you that almost no two shots back-to-back are balanced anywhere near modern standards (or 70's standards, most likely). Once a sequence has been internally balanced, then you can make overall decisions about how you want to time the scene, colorwise, but not before. This has never been done.

And the green lightsaber thing is laughable. But no more so than any of the other myriad unforgivable color issues with the 2004 DVD's, like the supersaturated reds or completely absent laser bolt glows, or Obi Wan's purple saber, etc., etc., etc. There comes a point at which this stuff needs to stop being considered opinion and acknowledged as the sub-par, unprofessional hack job it is. The issues with the 2004 DVD's are Post-Production 101-type issues that I would've fired most interns for, and sure as hell wouldn't see from one of my guys unless it was supposed to be a joke. The 2004 DVD's are by every definition a technical embarrasment, and as amateur a low-standard as we'll likely ever see for a film of this significance. Given the historical importance of this film, the materials available, the technology at hand, and the talent willing, this is the worst DVD release in history. Period.

_Mike

View the Restoration and join the discussion at StarWarsLegacy.com!

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I have to agree. LFL keep pushing these half-finished products out the door. In some respects you cant blame them. The 2004 DVDs sold well. The new ones will sell well. The ARE a business after all. I think they are just playing the market. The 2007 Box set will probably have had a lot more work done on it - possibly (*gasp*) - a branching version?????
They are using these intermittent releases to fund that.
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Originally posted by: Laserman
The thing that riles me the most, is I really would have welcomed a technically fixed trilogy.
Just doing the comps digitally instead of optically, getting rid of the matte lines, colouring in the sabres where required and fixing bad jump cuts with the sabres and the dodgy camera shakes etc. Even removing the cardboard people at the end.

...

Creating an 'almost' original release of ANH would be so so easy for them, it drives me nuts that they won't do it, and won't release the elements at a decent rez to allow others to do it.

I'm eagerly awaiting to see how the PAL release of the OUT comes out, but am determined that a glitch free version of ANH will be done, and if Lucasfilm won't step up to the plate.... But Laserman... isn't that like colourization - "well we would have filmed it in colour if we could, but were were techincally unable to do that at the time, and so we're colourizing the movie to bring back our original vision"... or what about replacing stop-motion effects in Robocop 1 and 2 with CGI? Hmm?

I think Lucas hears "we don't want ALL the changes, we just want THESE ones".

And he's in charge, he can edit them all he wants... and the last thing he'll ever be obligated to do is edit them the way some fans may want them. I'm fine with this... in fact, I've started to like the SE a little more now... don't get me wrong - it's still awful... but there are parts I like. However, I would prefer the O-OT to the SE. There does not need to be any changes, or fixes for me. They don't need to go back to Terminator 1 and paint out the visible wires... it's fine how it is. They don't have to go back to The Exorcist and paint out the wires (which took me at least 5 viewing to finally see)... it's fine how it is. They don't have to paint out the wires in any old movie, they don't need to fix the glitches... I much rather see it how it was when released - they're not "perfect"... they don't have to be perfect... they just have to be original. And I'm not THAT fussy... you know, many directors cuts are fine - as mostly they don't try to hide technical limitations of the time - but the original should still be available.

The DVD is exactly what I want. It's theatrical, it's DVD quality... it's unaltered. Ok... it may not be the highest DVD quality ... but it'll still be better then my vhs tapes.. or the LOOK DVD's that I have... or the other ld-rips I have like dr-gonzo's.

Waa Waa I want I want I want I want. FFS this is what I want, it's perfectly acceptable - it's not the greatest ever quality - but hey I can live with that. The soundtrack should be excellent though! The menus are beautiful.I would greatly prefer seeing this image in standard definition than the above two in HD.
I have to agree there.
Some were not blessed with brains.
<blockquote>Originally posted by: BadAssKeith

You are passing up on a great opportunity to makes lots of money,
make Lucas lose a lot of his money
and make him look bad to the entire world
and you could be well known and liked

None of us here like Lucas or Lucasfilm.
I have death wishes on Lucas and Macullum.
we could all probably get 10s of thousands of dollars!
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Originally posted by: Mielr
Tube TVs have the best picture, without a doubt. However, the problem is they're limited in their size, and everybody seems to want a bigger TV these days. Personally, I'd prefer a smaller tube set with a better picture than a larger plasma or lcd TV with a lesser picture.


AMEN!! I recently bought an HD tv. What'd i get? a 30 inch phillips with a REAL picture tube!! & the salesman (a teenage kid) couldn't comprehend when i stated that i absolutely do not want an LCD, and preferably not a plasma. he began to explain to me that the reports of them burning out quickly/ dead pixels etc were blown out of proportion. While tose things were a concern of mine (& still are, he didn't convince me), i also brought up the issue of picture quality. Standing right infront of the tvs, plasma, LCD, & a good tube, he looked at me straight faced & said, "the LCD looks really nice to me..." It pained me to hear it, as, staring at the same tv's, i could plainly see NO black on the LCD display anywhere, while the Plasma was totally crushed & the tube looked great! At any rate, the picture on my new tv is amazing with REAL blacks & great color/ etc. I've calibrated it with the only instrument i have (my trusty eyeball - dont hate me!) but i think i did a respectable job. Of course, all the factory setting options have everything set way too high (especially color & sharpness, ugh!) All adjustments are on a scale of 100 & i have everything set in the 30's & 40s.

One odd thing i have been confused by though is the sharpness settings. When watching digital cable (both SD & HD) the picture looks good with the sharpness around 40 to 50. but when watching dvds & laserdiscs, i have to turn it up to about 65. Below this, i get painfully visible halos, much like very bad edge enhancement or having the sharpness on a regular tv set too high. If you turn the sharpness way down, you get sort of a "double vision" looking crazy blurry image. if you crank it up into the high 80s or 90s, you get the results you'd typically expect with sharpness too high (loss of detail, psuedo-artifacting, halos, etc.) But in the lower midrange settings, you get a really nice picture with these infernal freaking halos!! It just doesn't make sense to me. Unless digital tvs use the sharpness filter differently than analogue ones... But, like i said, it does this on dvd's AND laserdiscs, so i'm fairly sure it's not really bad edge enhancement (not to mention it's consistent along every disc i've tried). But again, it doesn't do this when i'm watching cable (that i've been able to tell), just other input devices. Any ideas?

Just so i don't completely derail the thread: I hate the way the STAR WARS dvds look. I've actually found that with a minor amount of tweaking my standard settings on my new tv, and of course zooming in so the image isn't surrounded in a sea of black (like the new oot will be...), i can get my DC laserdiscs to look pretty darn good. Not as good as modern dvd standards mind you, but certainly good enough to not be distracted by picture quality while enjoying my favorite films ever.
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Mmm - strange about the LCD tellies. I just replaced my tube telly with an HD Hyundai LCD, and the difference in quality is phenomenal. I agree about the 'total black' argument, but the quality of the image really is excellent.