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The Matrix Laserdisc Preservation "Help Needed"

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Hi everyone, there is currently an auction on eBay for an extremely rare Laserdisc of The Matrix. This version of the Matrix is essentially the same master as the original VHS release and will have theatrical color timing (as well as an excellent 5.1 track). As of right now there is 14 hours left to bid.

I am looking for financial help to attain this LD and have it properly preserved. I have made arrangement for a member to do the capture and post-processing if we win the auction. I will, of course, pitch in for a majority of the cost. If you are willing to make a donation put in in the comments and I will keep a public list of donors.

Thanks! 😃

Update: I lost the auction at the last second, but not to worry, I’ll be saving towards purchasing the LD from lddb.

Pledges:
Me - $150 (subject to increase if needed)
williarob - $10
craigbillet - $10

Goal: $170/$300

It was the 2016 election…I regret this name choice

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Amazing how much that still goes for after all these years. The Hong King full frame LD never seems to turn up at all.

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

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The Matrix LD vs DVD

LaserDisc screenshots:
https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1KUf_JQYIaBWduPFP9l2ssI3Osf9CI9jv

Scandinavian 2006 DVD box set
https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1f7p_J2mwao3v6Der972IgD1KAnJNeTXG

…and the color grading of BOTH is completely different to the original 35mm…
so save your money and forget the mess cause this is precisely one of the cases
where te DVD and the LD received altered transfers (some say the producers wanted it that way for the DVD)
https://forum.lddb.com/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=7944

BTW
The Matrix (1999) US LaserDisc PCM (17665) @ FanRes

MATRIX Formats Kung Fu fight scene VHS DVD BLU-RAY 4K ULTRA HD
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-PYOx-GS9y4

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marin888 said:
…and the color grading of BOTH is completely different to the original 35mm…
so save your money and forget the mess cause this is precisely one of the cases
where te DVD and the LD received altered transfers (some say the producers wanted it that way for the DVD)
https://forum.lddb.com/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=7944

That’s interesting. I’ve always heard that the LD for The Matrix was theatrically timed, but those screenshots say otherwise.

I would say that it would still be worth preserving the LD just so we have the LD’s color grade as well, but if the Scandinavian DVD is from the same master (which I think is what you’re implying), then it could be a decent idea to get that and sync it to the LD audio (that I didn’t even know got preserved)

It was the 2016 election…I regret this name choice

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This post from the lddb is very relevant here and in general

It’s so funny how all people are complaining about “history revision” yet have no experience whatsoever in this business. I’m a film restorer and colorist. Here’s a little thing for you all to consider before you start yelling how inaccurate modern releases are:

During the 80s and 90s, most TV manufacturers (especially Sony with their Trinitron sets) had such terrible accuracy out of the box with major blue push. We do see this kind of torch mode today of course, but back then there was really not as much interest for consumers to calibrate their displays and as the movie studios have always been interested in making money, most films that appeared on home video and Laserdisc were to a certain point color timed to compensate for these inaccurate sets (hence red push was very common on masters in this era of time). This meant that pretty much every DVD you’ll find by MGM released prior to 2005 or such will have an overly reddish tone and all share the exact same characteristic. Only problem however is that most of these films had much more sophisticated color timings than what we saw on VHS and DVD yet people still take this for granted.

And this becomes extremely clear when you start to have a look at the physical films in an archive. Theatrical prints, even though they never tend to have much sharpness, are usually what we go after. And they rarely have much in common with an outdated VHS, Laserdisc or DVD. Of course we can still have a look at a home video release just for the sake of it, but we know that it has been going through way too many compromises to be used as a reference.

For instance, I had the chance to check out Thief on a Swedish 35mm print from the early 80s. I kept the new grade that’s used on the Criterion and Arrow releases (Director’s Cut only), as people have complained for years for it being inaccurate. Look at this comparison: http://www.caps-a-holic.com/c.php?go=1&a=0&d1=3606&d2=5422&s1=33376&s2=50607&i=6&l=0
And guess what? This scene was so cold and blue, even when only going through a photochemical process, that’s it’s not even debateable. The MGM was so off you wouldn’t believe it, while the restoration by Criterion keeps it all intact.

Many people complained about the Scanners Blu-Ray by Criterion yet relatively few (in contrast) seem to even have seen it. I’ve got the BD myself and have honestly no doubt that it’s an accurate presentation of the films intended look. The entire process was also supervised by David Cronenberg himself and from my experience, both directors and cinematagraphers tend to remember the color timings and gradings that were used for their films.

As a colorist at one the oldest film archives in the world, I have no intention in changing how the films I grade are supposed to look. I can do plenty of research before I settle down with my work, but sometimes you will have to take a chance if it’s unclear just how the film was really supposed to look. Then I will have to look at other factors that play in and try to make a decision from there, but I don’t go to Blu-Ray.com or this forum to ask for suggestions. I have a very difficult time believing that someone who hangs around there or at this place, who I don’t know through my job, would be of any help when I’m facing a problem like that.

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SilverWook said:

Amazing how much that still goes for after all these years. The Hong King full frame LD never seems to turn up at all.

I would love to see a decent version of The Matrix in Open Matte 4:3. The Russian TV broadcast with blu ray colors is fine, but that LD would be even better!

It was the 2016 election…I regret this name choice

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Chewielewis said:

This post from the lddb is very relevant here and in general

That is interesting about old home video releases having their colors altered to make up for inaccurate TV sets. Would you still trust the 35mm scan that has been done over the LD in this case? I do know that a lot of people were saying that it is way to oversaturated and blown out (maybe it was unique to that specific print)

It was the 2016 election…I regret this name choice

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trillary dump said:

Chewielewis said:

This post from the lddb is very relevant here and in general

That is interesting about old home video releases having their colors altered to make up for inaccurate TV sets. Would you still trust the 35mm scan that has been done over the LD in this case? I do know that a lot of people were saying that it is way to oversaturated and blown out (maybe it was unique to that specific print)

I wouldn’t trust the LD at all. It’s clear from the 35mm that the theatrical presentation bears no resemblance to the early home releases.

I’m trusting Bill Pope that the UHD is how it was supposed to look.

I think its clear that the 35mm theatrical presentation had so much extra processing in it that made it basically unusable for the home release.