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Is GOUT resented?

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 (Edited)

I'm new to this fan-restoration subculture of Star Wars aficionados and I hadn't really been aware that the 2006 DVD bonus feature release was called "GOUT" or even what most people's opinions of it were.

Obviously it was a highly deficient release by 2006 home video standards, even more so by current ones, even as a mere "bonus feature" on a double dip DVD release.

Personally while it is disappointing to see the films presented poorly relative to the high definition expectations of today's viewer I'm of the opinion "at least we got something" despite the fact that this represents something of a compromise to my integrity. I bought and payed for the set. It was a validation of the cynical marketing ploy that this set really was. However, I have a collection of the theatrical trilogy in widescreen format on a medium that won't degrade and capable of a presentation that is 100% digital. Boycotting it would have been a case of cutting off ones nose to spite ones face.

While some fan made laserdisc ports look better than the GOUT in some scenes and some instances, the DVD release is superior overall and might even have been relatively well received had it come early in the life of the DVD format when laserdisc ports were more common, than at the moment the DVD format had already passed its peak.

I've yet to obtain any fan-altered copies sourced from or using materials from GOUT but I have recently converted my discs to anamorphic and it really does look better on my 42" screen played from a native anamorphic disc than the 4:3 letterbox originals did using the TV's zoom function. So I'm pretty content that this, for the forseeable future, is how my Star Wars viewing will have to be done.

Which reminds me - is anyone putting their despecialization versions on hold until the Blu Rays are out? If nothing else these releases will provide the best available source to begin such a project with.

 

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^^Yeah 2006 is really late for LD ports, those were most common from 1997 to the early 00's maybe 2001/2002. Mostly due to LD publishers retaining the rights to release of their LD transfers and deciding to put it on DVD.

Did u use the g-force script?

And combining the gout with HD video would be a really bad idea, plus I'm pretty sure HD rips of the SW trilogy have been circulating for years now anyway. You don't need HD video, I watched a DVD of a film that was shot on 16mm on a projector the other day, and the quality really was stunning; sad to say that the gout looks so much worse (by no means the worst dvd quality out there).

Close Encounters and ET got decent releases (eventually) it's absurd that the s.w. trio has not.

I think the best that can be done atm is a hybrid version between the dvd's, I haven't seen the results yet, but it can't be worse than the original gout (rofl)!

__Valeyard.net

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The "GOUT" was a slap in the face to those of us who want to see the originals preserved properly.  It was the last Lucasfilm product I've purchased, and will remain so until they change their tune about preserving the OOT.

a trolling bantha

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Amen to that brother. That slap in the face is what recently brought me to this lovely community. I could not bear to watch the DVDs I bought in 2004 more than once, and I absolutely resent that I had to buy a second copy of them to get the GOUT.

It wasn't an accidental slap either, George wanted to piss off the people who wouldn't accept his revised vision and gave us the bare minimum, when it would have been far easier and cheaper than he claimed to give us a decent transfer.

I resent the GOUT for its quality, I resent Lucasfilm for their cash-grab release and I have resented George ever since I saw the theatrical release of Star Wars "Special Edition" in '97. No offense to 97SE fans; he has ruined the memories of three generations of fans now and that version is not available on DVD either. Where is your GOAT?

I recently got dark_jedi's GOUT V3 and the difference in color correction, antialiasing and grain removal while retaining detail is amazing. Add to that the elimination of camera shake, anamorphic presentation and six different audio tracks to choose from: I finally feel like I am watching Star Wars again, not compromising my integrity.

(Thanks dark_jedi, gforce and everyone who worked on it, in case I don't make it back to that thread).

I guess as you say, it's better than nothing. It's digital and won't degrade. It allowed the above-mentioned guys to turn it into something a lot more acceptable. I guess after saying he would never release it and getting most of us to buy the POS 2004 set, it made sense for George to take our money again.

I'm with you ChainsawAsh, Lucasfilm won't get another cent from me until the OOT is properly restored. "Jedi Rocks" in 1080p? *shudders*

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I must say I think seeing the GOUT release as a deliberate slap in the face is a bit unrealistic. They just took the fastest, easiest, least effort approach by pulling their master tapes from the Laserdisc era and dusting them off a bit. I actually like the way they look anyway, its almost a grindhouse look.

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Fair enough. I don't. I didn't hold back because this thread is about resentment after all. I'd be interested in hearing if others think it was just the easiest way to give us the OOT or if George wanted to deliberately release an inferior version to convert more to his revised vision. In my mind he has become a petty, ignorant man who I can easily believe would have those kind of intentions.

From the standpoint that it was a bonus disc and was actually released in some form: OK, maybe not a deliberate slap in the face. More like a younger sibling waving a hand right in front of your face while yelling "I'm not slapping you! I'm not slapping you!" The fact is he knew he would get a lot of people's money twice and that the ones most looking forward to the GOUT release would be the most disappointed.

Forcing revisions into a classic work of art and destroying the originals that so many hold dear IS a deliberate slap in the face however, and the fact that the OOT was not restored and released properly in the first place with the '04 set is the real issue.

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I think it was deliberate because it would have been just as easy, and just as inexpensive, to make it anamorphic.  It's basically setting one flag. I can't believe it didn't occur to people at LFL so I have to assume it was intentional

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The anamorphic thing isn't even the real issue, because it would still look almost as bad even if they'd resized it.  The failure to do even a half-decent transfer from a moderately abused but still watchable film print with some minimal touchup, let alone an actual restoration, is the problem.

I love what G-force's AviSynth script does for the GOUT, but the low resolution, DVNR smear, and the worst instances of jaggies can't be corrected by any means, and we're pretty much stuck with them.

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Converting to anamorphic does involve upscaling the picture slightly. This is almost the last thing any studio or mastering facility wants to do. The only benefit I can really see is one of convenience - of not having to adjust your 16:9 TV/projector to make the image fill the screen horizontally. I converted my set to anamorphic only for this reason. Remember that the laserdisc masters were originally only ever intended to be seen on a standard definition 4:3 screen, and when viewed this way they look barely distinguishable in terms of clarity from the anamorphic SE DVD's. While lucasfilm may have added a bit of additional DVNR to the laserdisc masters to tame some of the more excessive grain and noise, this doesn't mean it wasn't already present on the master tapes. Some form of analog or digital noise reduction was standard procedure when preparing home video content in those days. The releases of course look atrocious in absolute terms on a full HD screen, but still better than the analog playback of a laserdisc player would - but changing them to anamorphic does not magically make them look much different. I've played around with sharpening, contrast boosting, grain removal and color adjusment on sections of the footage but find this always has more negative than positive effects on the overall quality so my anamorphic conversion involved upscaling only.

Relative to the age of the masters and the limitations of a standard def source though, I think they look rather good and certainly better than many a fully anamorphic transfer I've seen.

Of course by 2011 standards, now that the crossover from SD to HD is deeply entrenched throughout the consumer domain, the release is fairly ludicrous. But they could *just* get away with it 5 years ago. If they'd released them that way in 1998 or 9 they might have been fairly well regarded. 

 

 

 

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The GOUT is essentially what a Star Wars DVD release of the OT would have looked like in 1997/1998.

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yeah except Lucasfilm still did Laserdisc in 1997, and not DVD.

Also VHS.

The 1999-2000? phantom menace laserdisc for the Japan market was also before Lucas made the splash to DVD with star wars.

“Always loved Vader’s wordless self sacrifice. Another shitty, clueless, revision like Greedo and young Anakin’s ghost. What a fucking shame.” -Simon Pegg.

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RU.08 said:

And combining the gout with HD video would be a really bad idea...

I beg to differ!

THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK Despecialized Edition HD 

 

https://picasaweb.google.com/109609428403596349302/HarmySTheEmpireStrikesBackDespecializedEditionComparisons#

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kd4aJ9IoRLY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y9HeMEL7cww

 

STAR WARS Despecialized Edition HD

 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yz00ItrA2CE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BfSq0VG3sC8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dEzXVDDz0tY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AZgZIzswT6c

 

 

 

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Harmy said:

RU.08 said:

And combining the gout with HD video would be a really bad idea...

I beg to differ!

THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK Despecialized Edition HD 

 

https://picasaweb.google.com/109609428403596349302/HarmySTheEmpireStrikesBackDespecializedEditionComparisons#

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kd4aJ9IoRLY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y9HeMEL7cww

 

STAR WARS Despecialized Edition HD

 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yz00ItrA2CE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BfSq0VG3sC8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dEzXVDDz0tY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AZgZIzswT6c

 

 

 

You may indeed differ, sir :)

I am curious to know why HDTV footage is regarded more highly as a source than the '04 discs. Surely it is just that exact content upscaled to HD? Is it the quality of the upscaling that the TV station is capable of that makes it more desirable than working directly with the discs and upscaling the output yourself?

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No, it isn't, it is true 1080p. When they did the scan for the 2004 DVD, they made it @ 1080p. Here are some comparisons someone made ages ago:

http://www.pauliesworld.org/swhighdef/sw4_1.html

http://www.pauliesworld.org/swhighdef/sw4_2.html

There would be no reason for me or Adywan to do our edits in HD, if the source was just an upscale.

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That's what I figured. But I also didn't think stations would have access to or be allowed to broadcast an HD source allowing people to capture it before the Blu-rays became available for sale. With the money involved I figured they would upscale DVD quality for anything not yet released in HD... Lucky for us :)

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Had the gout been released in the early years of DVD as the Definitive Collection set just on DVD, maybe it would have been excepted and even welcome.

Fans waited from the advent of DVD for that set to come out though, and in that time anamorphic dvd became mainstream, and so did restored and cleanud up versions of movies with all sorts of bonus features and 5.1 sound.

The fact the films were released in 2006 with no new transfer, non anamorphic, only stereo dolby 2.0 not even PCM, and not in 5.1 or restored meant it was a joke of release.

The fact that by 2000. 2001 they were already doing restored versions of films in HD 1080i makes the 1993 transfer in 2006 even more laughable, since by then they had 2k scans as the baseline i think and 1080P as the final release not less than 480P resolution,  the master for gout was interlaced too.

Somehow they made the dvd progressive from a non progressive source, but not fake upscaled letterbox to anamorphic that would be too hard.

“Always loved Vader’s wordless self sacrifice. Another shitty, clueless, revision like Greedo and young Anakin’s ghost. What a fucking shame.” -Simon Pegg.

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Converting to anamorphic does involve upscaling the picture slightly. This is almost the last thing any studio or mastering facility wants to do. The only benefit I can really see is one of convenience - of not having to adjust your 16:9 TV/projector to make the image fill the screen horizontally. I converted my set to anamorphic only for this reason. Remember that the laserdisc masters were originally only ever intended to be seen on a standard definition 4:3 screen, and when viewed this way they look barely distinguishable in terms of clarity from the anamorphic SE DVD's.

I disagree. Having gone through SW:ANH GOUT frame-by-brame from start to finish I can clearly see that the port from the D1 tape (or D2 whatever it was) isn't perfect anyway: there are IVTC errors in there (though only a handful here and there). I've never encountered a NTSC telecine DVD that I couldn't IVTC without errors in avisynth; for instance Chriterion's Robocop comes to mind; that's a straight port off their LD tape complete with DVNR smeering and all the rest of it just like the GOUT; except they didn't even IVTC it before releasing it on DVD (mind you that was in the early years of DVD).

They had to convert it between PAL and NTSC anyway; PAL is an upsize, NTSC is a downsize depending on which way they went (and they went both ways apparantly going from NTSC to PAL for SW and ESB and PAL to NTSC for ROTJ). Not doing an anamorphic job is really slack. Plus, considering the clarity and detail in the 04 DVDs it is unacceptable that they didn't do the same for the GOUT. It's not the only DVD like this, The Exorcist comes to mind: the theatrical version was not updated when the special edition version (which I don't like as much) was released, and I don't understand why that is either. If there's any interest I might be able to do a similar thing for this movie using avisynth as I've been doing for SW (and I have both the NTSC and PAL versions of the Exorcist, reason being I bought the PAL version first and I wanted to see the Exorcist III so I boubht the NTSC boxset off Amazon and a great price that has all the movies in it!)

The DVNR is on the master tape, yes we know that. That means they needed to scan the altered scenes from the negative again. Blade Runner, Close Encounters and E.T. all have their theatrical versions intact in modern transfers on the DVD alongside the altered later versions (though it took forever for close encounters to be released on DVD too).

LD's were not designed for display on everyday TV's, they would have offered almost no advantage over VHS if that was the case. They were for the high-end market with the very best TV's, projectors, etc.

__Valeyard.net

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RU.08 said:

 

LD's were not designed for display on everyday TV's, they would have offered almost no advantage over VHS if that was the case. They were for the high-end market with the very best TV's, projectors, etc.

 

Well, that's just not true, LD is miles away from VHS regardless of the TV you're using to display it (it does depend on the player though, I'll give you that). Of course you'll see more of a difference on a high end TV or a projector but there'll still be a big difference on any TV (at least one produced in the 80s and later). It is similar to DVD vs. BD, on a small cheap 720p LCD you will see less of a difference than on a 60" 1080p high-end plasma but that doesn't mean there won't still be a huge difference on the 720p LCD.

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S_Matt said:

 However, I have a collection of the theatrical trilogy in widescreen format on a medium that won't degrade and capable of a presentation that is 100% digital. Boycotting it would have been a case of cutting off ones nose to spite ones face.

 

Exactly. And I do have a laserdisc sourced anamorphic version but the official dvd blows it out of the water in terms of clarity and lack of video noise. It also feels much more authentic because any of the grain or film tears is not obscured by a bunch of blurriness. It's one thing to watch a beat up and unrestored version of a movie since you are seeing the movie as it is or was at one point in time. But I find it unbearable to watch a video that looks like a vhs with generation loss. It looks like all this dirt is on a projector and you can't set it to focus on the screen properly, or like a flat screen tv with terrible blur and motion smearing.

The improvement of the unaltered dvd over the laserdiscs does show why the dvd format was such a huge hit. Without even putting any real effort, LFL got pretty much as good as a high quality studio master tape on a consumer medium.

See, higher resolution is not nearly as important as many seem to think. Lack of junk obscuring the picture is a far bigger deal. I've played How to Train Your Dragon blu ray and dvd on the same player hooked up to the same 1080i HDtv via HDMI and I barely noticed any difference. The trees in the background had more detail. But most people won't notice that.

This is why blu-ray has not been as successful as dvd. Salesmen will swear until they're blue in the face that the difference from blu-ray to dvd is far greater than dvd to vhs. By resolution capability, they may be correct. But that's not the real thing people notice as much.

Not being in focus is a much more obvious flaw. And that's what vhs fuzzyness did to everything. This is why if you ever have the choice between a standard def video camera with manual focus and a HD one of comparable quality with auto focus only, you should get the manual. Heck even my Hi8 camera with a manual focus can get sharper video than some tiny camcorders that might says HD on the side but only have auto controls.

http://youtu.be/lwsKeDI2ghk

 

In fact, assuming the Star Wars blu-ray is the same 2004 transfer, I bet the blu-ray will not look as improved over the 2004 dvd as the 2006 dvd did over the laserdiscs.

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I resent a couple of things about the GOUT.

First and foremost, it is inexcusable that it wasn't anamorphic. People can talk all they want about how back at the beginning of the DVD format it would have been fine, but this wasn't released then so that argument is invalid.

Secondly, the forced double dip. Some choose to look at it as a simple cash grab or fuck you to the fans, but I don't think that's it. This was more than just pissing on the fans, it was a coldly calculated move to insure that the GOUT could never outsell George's preferred cuts of the films. It made it impossible for we the fans and consumers to vote with our dollars and definitely show George that our preference is the unaltered original trilogy, because every sale of the gout is also a sale of the SE, and having already released the SE's previously on their own, the GOUT could never overtake it. Now George can say "I made the unaltered trilogy available, but my SE's outsold them by a large margin."

It was a dick move. If George had any balls he would have given us a bare bones remastered release and let us decide which version of the trilogy would win.

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I think the sub-par quality of the GOUT was definitely deliberate, as if to say: "Here are the original versions you requested, now see how much better the new versions are?"

Thankfully there are people like Harmy here to give us faithful recreations of what the GOUT should have been.

I do agree that the quality of these "bonus discs" would have been acceptable during the infancy of DVD, maybe between 1997-1999... but in 2006? It indeed was a slap in the face.

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I certainly resent the GOUT.  It was acceptable on obsolete televisions, and if they came out in the late 90's, I wouldn't have such hatred for them.  But to release these in 2006, when the HD switchover was impending, and with such massive marketing, was total dickery.  The entire reason for those releases was the unaltered films, and they became barely watchable within a year.

That’s impossible, even for a computer.

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Well, if you want my opinion, I'm glad we got the GOUT on official DVD. To me, having something original or unaltered is precious in the digital format. I mean, if we never got the unaltered trilogy on official DVD, then what? The OT would be stuck on DVD with the 2004 SE while every other movie gets released on DVD as they were originally seen (Exceptions include unrated cuts, director's cuts, and extended editions though some people would like to own the original/theatrical version of any of those films with those said cuts). I know the 2006 transfers weren't the best but as someone who has the Dr. Gonzo fan set (no offense to him), the official release transfers look better in comparison (there's at least a little bit of more grain and detail) and George even went the extra mile to recreate the original 1977 opening crawl (complete with the lower case "r" in "rebel".). As for anamorphic, I don't care for that (incidentally, I cared when it came to Brazil from Criterion but that's because it had a new transfer which also incidentally was released the same year as the GOUT!). I still watch my films on DVD with the black bars (1.66:1-2.40:1) becuase I like to see the bars (especially the cinemascope ones). And if it wasn't for the release, we wouldn't have a new source for preserving our own preservations of the OOT. So be proud, be happy. I am. And although I'm not happy with the changes Lucas made to the Blu-Ray, I'm still happy to be a Star Wars fan.

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ThiefCobbler4ever said:

... and George even went the extra mile to recreate the original 1977 opening crawl (complete with the lower case "r" in "rebel".).

 It wasn't a recreation, it is the original 1977 opening you see on that disc.

We want you to be aware that we have no plans—now or in the future—to restore the earlier versions. 

Sincerely, Lynne Hale publicity@lucasfilm.com

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Not to mention that you don't seem to understand what anamorphic means. When you play the 2004SE DVDs they are anamorphic, yet they do have the black bars at the top and the bottom to keep the original aspect ratio, if you watch the GOUT and don't zoom it (thus further decreasing the quality) you get huge black bars on all four sides.

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