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MattMahdi

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Members
Join date
1-Aug-2007
Last activity
29-Nov-2022
Posts
336

Post History

Post
#1473235
Topic
The Star Wars Holiday Special: The Definitive Release (Help Needed) (WIP)
Time

I’m pretty sure that KCCI and KCMO both exist only sans commercials. I’ve always seen a better-looking copy of C-3PO’s “The earthlings at Kenner” toy introduction paired with it, but I’m not sure if it actually was part of that transfer. It’s on the Angrysun disc with some other miscellaneous short videos.

Altogether sounds like a terrific undertaking and one I’m looking forward to seeing when it’s complete!

Post
#1472268
Topic
Preserving the...<em>cringe</em>...Star Wars Holiday Special (Released)
Time

You’re so right (not that I actually thought YOU could be wrong in this, you’re the expert): AngrySun KCCI.

I’m fairly sure that he only did two different transfers so if he did KCMO then I’m definitely in the wrong.

And as you said, the WMAR I’ve seen has a far more elaborate menu than the one he used for KCCI. Had forgotten that completely.

Post
#1472262
Topic
Preserving the...<em>cringe</em>...Star Wars Holiday Special (Released)
Time

Not an idiot.

It’s one of the earliest DVD transfers IIRC. Rikter distributed two versions: WMAR (that was the one with the commercials, right?) and another whose callsign I forget. I think it was too early for KCCI, but even if it wasn’t the video quality is definitely surpassed by more recent transfers.

(KCCI was seen as the gold standard for many years and it was distributed in a variety of forms. Seemed like everyone had their own menuing over the KCCI content. That was the second and last version I purchased, that one from OCP Movie. I then learned about this community and started zealously turning in sellers on eBay (whence came my first version).)

I really shouldn’t be answering a technical question without checking my information at home but I’m at a Super Bowl party and kinda bored…

Post
#1460011
Topic
The Star Wars Holiday Special: Remastered and Restored (Released)
Time

It is a shock to see the Special in widescreen and the opening start destroyers so clear – and then to shift to a fairly muddy-looking main program. Not a bad shock, just a surprise – I’d somehow missed that word in the opening post.

As nobodybutjarjar42 asked a few posts earlier, which transfer did you use? The EditDroid transfer really is fabulous, and if you’re going to be cropping and zooming it’s probably the best place to start.

And if I may offer an opinion…

At times the widescreen seemed too severe. The moment that stuck out the most is when the Imperial officer’s transmission came in looking for the missing trooper. It seemed so HUGE that I wonder if it might have been wiser to aim for an aspect ratio of 1.78 (plain old widescreen TV) rather than the 2.35 you used. Just as pan-and-scan of an old movie to a 1.33 screen was a sad thing once upon a time, here you’ve lost almost half the original image if I’ve done my maths correctly.

That said, a great experiment.

Post
#1459558
Topic
Fantasia - Special Edition laserdisc (Released)
Time

Class316 said:

Take for instance, the social media site GAB. They essentially refuse to moderate any content that is legal speech under US law. Unlike the Facebooks and Twitters of the world that censor viewpoints they don’t like. For this stance, credit card companies deny them service. Google and Apple deny them a spot on their app store. Obviously there is a pc police. People get fired for posts on twitter. Again, pc police. And so on and so forth.

“Ideas have consequences”, Frank Herbert said (and I’m sure many others have echoed him).

If my choices make credit card companies unwilling to associate with me, whether for their own reasons or because of perceived backlash from their stakeholders then that is MY problem.

That said, there is always collateral damage. Living in WA state, I’m reminded of when marijuana was legalized and banks would not deal with companies that sold the stuff because their national standing as corporations put them at potential risk with the federal government. Unintended consequences of well-meaning people who had the neat idea of legalizing the stuff.

I can see your point about a PC police. Things do get taken too far with cancelation culture.

And I also wonder if what we’re doing is, in fits and spurts, trying to work our way into a better world.

We won’t get there by rewriting our pasts, though, a la 1984, but by acknowledging them and moving beyond them.

Post
#1456781
Topic
Fantasia - Special Edition laserdisc (Released)
Time

1. Apologies for a long post.

2. Please understand that I know and love many people who are fundamentalist Christians and wonderful, positive people. When I describe Yancey’s negative upbringing in a fundamentalist church, his experience was the cliched light years away from theirs.

Philip Yancey was born in 1949 in Atlanta, GA. I say that for context.

The quote is from his recently published memoir Where the Light Fell, in which he recounts his disturbingly fundamentalist upbringing and eventual experience of grace.

This is what he experienced one year at church camp (page 145):

Then Ruckman grins and moves from behind the pulpit: “Have you ever noticed how Coloreds make good waiters? Watch them sometime. They swivel their hips around the chairs and hold those trays high without spilling a drop.” He does an exaggerated imitation, and the campers laugh. “Don’t you see, that’s the kind of job they’re good at. But have you ever met a Negro who’s the president of a company? Have you? Name one. Every race has its place, and they should accept it. We can get along fine as long as we stay separate and don’t mix.”

He was raised believing this. He was taught about the Curse of Ham being the cause of dark skin.

Even as a child he noticed that the “doctrine” of the curse of Ham didn’t make logical sense – at the very least it was Canaan who was cursed, not his father Ham, and that it was a drunk Noah who cursed him, not God (page 66). But he believed – because he had no reason not to believe except for the camp cook – that people with black skin were truly inferior in every way to people with white skin.

The KKK was a strong force where he lived.

There was some applause in his high school when it was announced that President Kennedy had been shot because Kennedy had been sending federal marshals to enforce racial integration in the South (page 167).

And this is why the Sunflower scenes make me queasy. I think they’re important as a cultural artifact, but they’re definitely not something to be celebrated as a triumph. We can view the uncut Fantasia as a reminder of how far we’ve come as a nation – but we still have so, so far to go as the news can remind us almost any day. I can watch it uncut, and at the same time I don’t know that I’ll be watching the restored version near so much as I’ll be watching the censored one.

Which may just be because it causes me less feeling of White Guilt.

Yancey’s story is one of metamorphosis, as the title suggests, and as I already indicated he did eventually discover grace instead of a harsh, vindictive, and vicious religious upbringing.

A few years after the camp incident, but before Kennedy’s assassination, when he was in high school and excelling in science and maths, he applied for and won a summer internship at the CDC. He was going to be working under a Dr. Cherry, a Ph.D. in biochemistry from an Ivy League school, and he was nervous going into the situation. He studied and studied a paper Dr. Cherry wrote that was “way over my head” in preparation (page 160).

When I show up for work the first day, I get a photo ID badge and am escorted to Dr. Cherry’s office. The security guard knocks on the door, hears “Come in,” and opens it. I nearly drop my pack of papers on the floor.

Dr. Cherry is a Black man.

In one second, something cracks inside me.

Post
#1455344
Topic
Info Wanted: &quot;The Star Wars Holiday Special (1978)&quot; - youtube copy
Time

Judging from the length, I’d guess it’s one of the hybrid discs that a few people put together a few years ago. Zion did one, Gormaanda did another, someone else did a third. Each one was trying to find the best combination of stunning video quality for the program joined as gracefully as possible with the WMAR commercials.

The WMAR transfer itself is only 1:56:46.

Post
#1454703
Topic
Fantasia - Special Edition laserdisc (Released)
Time

In a way, I’m sad about the banning. Is it permanent or a lockout for a period of weeks?

Please understand: I cannot and will not defend his personal attack nor his choice of language.

And at the same time, he raised points that would have been great in a constructive dialogue. Unfortunately, those got swallowed up in his vitriol.

Post
#1440881
Topic
Preserving the...<em>cringe</em>...Star Wars Holiday Special (Released)
Time

This floated up in a recent eBay visit: “Star Wars Holiday Special 2020 EXTENDED CUT (Blu-ray SPECIAL EDITION 1978)”

https://www.ebay.com/itm/363476765732?hash=item54a0e74c24:g:LcIAAOSwGpJg8YE3

The word “extended” seems to refer to this: “As a special treat a new opening theme was created with an introduction that is exclusive to this release.”

Although it sounds intriguing a) I’m never going to pay for another copy of the Special (made that mistake twice 20+ years ago before I discovered this group and a wonderful online community) and b) I would never want to enrich someone on eBay who’s hawking something that shouldn’t be sold anyway.

Post
#1438734
Topic
Info: Recommended Editions of Disney Animated (and Partially Animated) Features
Time

Earlier it felt like too much work to go in the next room to grab a DVD just to check the same scene. (Still does, actually: who wants to watch a DVD in an age of HD and above?)

But I just realized that I still have a copy of your project on my hard drive, and spinning that up in VLC took no time at all.

So now I’m certain instead of merely believing that I’m right.

The knee that you worked so hard to restore is again absent in 4K.

Post
#1419159
Topic
POLL: Disney scanning
Time

Interesting idea. My only fear – and I did just vote in the affirmative – is a completely closed system. I know that there have been times at OT when I have arrived just in time for projects such as would be featured here, and others where I have just arrived too late and that was that. I’d hope there would be a way for new enthusiasts to occasionally join. (Thinking of a certain private torrent site, frequently mentioned here, that’s been devoid of any invitations for years.)

Post
#1409351
Topic
Info: Recommended Editions of Disney Animated (and Partially Animated) Features
Time

That IS true. Amazing the level of outrage you can get at a knee beneath a cassock.

I seem to recall that the uncensored footage was on one of the supplementary materials – but rotated slightly?

I was (and am) thankful for both the restored sound and visual. Your disc sits in the shelf alongside the other four Mermaid DVDs (1999, 2006, TLM II, and the prequel).

Post
#1409308
Topic
Info: Recommended Editions of Disney Animated (and Partially Animated) Features
Time

MANY years ago – he mentioned on the first page of this topic – Doctor M did a Restored Theatrical Version of The Little Mermaid by pairing the video from the 2006 DVD with the audio from the 1999 DVD. He was that impressed with what Disney did to the audio with the 2006 two-disc release that he decided to remake their disc as something better.

As someone who adores The Little Mermaid, but whose ears aren’t near what they could be, I’m curious what the audiophiles of OT think of the soundtracks on the Blu-ray and 4K discs that followed in 2013 and 2019, and how they compare to the DVDs. I’ve trolled this thread for quite a few years, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen the question raised.

If it has then, of course, my apologies.

Post
#1408344
Topic
Yet another Holiday Special cover.
Time

Oswarez, that’s some disc you created!

I downloaded the copy that Rikter shared and I’m impressed. I saw detail in the Cantina scene that I’d never seen before.

…it took me quite a while to watch it because my wife LOATHES the Special and I wanted to be able to watch and listen to the commentary. Which was an odd one, with the viewers at times listing what else they could be watching but weren’t, but it was a good listen. And the supplementary materials were well chosen.

Ultimately, thanks for your hard work. Nicely done!

Post
#1408063
Topic
Fantasia - Special Edition laserdisc (Released)
Time

I’m not sure how I feel about an uncensored Fantasia.

Getting back to the original film, without a number of digital enhancements, is unquestionably a good thing. But I’m not sure how I’ll feel when I actually see Sunflower present in the film itself instead as an excised curiosity.

Thank you, though, for your perseverance. I’ll look forward to seeing this!