Well for the theatrical experience anyway. The “detail” in prints is 1-2K not anywhere near 4K (although they have much richer dynamic range than digital) and most prints have little shadow/highlight detail, the exception being dye-transfer prints that retain the same detail level into the shadows/highlights. Blurays and 2K/4K restorations are often sharpened way beyond the sharpness of prints as well. This is not a limitation of prints - films like Alien were shot in anamorphic and transferred using contact-printing so there is little to no loss of sharpness between the negative and the final prints.
So then I should get rid of this since it shouldn’t exist to own? Mastered in 4K and is older than ALIEN. (Warning, shit cover design.)
You’re telling me I’d need to watch it properly if the scan were a low resolution of an outdated print? Not the 65mm~70mm print but a 35mm answer print?
Same goes for this too, I bet. ALSO older than ALIEN. https://www.blu-ray.com/movies/2001-A-Space-Odyssey-4K-Blu-ray/224350/
Indeed. 4K transfers should be technically superior, in terms of detail retention and consistency of performance, every time.
But that’s not what films shot in the 1970s were designed for - even TV and home video would have been a distant afterthought. It was all about rendering the best possible image on those theatrical prints, and all the creative decisions in the filmmaking process had that firmly set as their end goal.
4K (and, to be fair, Blu-ray) are fantastic at wringing visual information out of archival film materials - it’s among their chief selling points - but they’re aimed at achieving a much different purpose than the one those materials were created for. Hence my concern about claims of ‘original intent’, which is always a dicey issue with this technology.
This isn’t some bullshit whingey tripe about some George Lucas revisionism this forum is so bitchy about. Too much complaining about comparing it to an older print on an outdated format such as VHS, Laserdisc, and DVD. Hell, the current Pet Semetary 4K+Blu-ray disc has fucking weird color timing but is revisioned. ALIEN doesn’t regarding the Theatrical Cut. Same goes for BLACK HAWK DOWN. 2K upscales don’t count.
So yes, perhaps this does recreate the theatrical experience of seeing this within the same day or a week of opening in 1979. I’m keeping the official 20th Century FOX 4K UHD release and this fan “restoration” will be a nice bonus disc, not a replacement.
EDIT: By the way, no need to pay attention to me, I’m a fucking dumbass.