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captainsolo

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13-Mar-2009
Last activity
28-Sep-2022
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Post
#1486245
Topic
The Kenobi <s>Movie</s> Show (Spoilers)
Time

I finally saw the Mandolorian after people kept asking me over and over. It has issues but at least felt like an old Dark Horse Star Wars Tales comic or something for the most part. So I had to watch these as an Obi-Nerd.

My two cents: You can tell the production values went down here immediately. Some dodgy effects shots and the photography continually has flat empty visuals. There are moments that do recall fan films and not in the good way. (The awful staging of the chase in the trees cracked me up as did the certain cameo.)

The draw is the return of Obi-Wan and McGregor is giving a really good performance…with not much to do. The plotting and villains are so one note it’s quite dire. Actually I think the villains are truly dire. I threw my hands up early on at how silly it was.

I do agree the opening has TFA vibes.

Of all the solid or great Obi-Wan tales already out there…they sorta took a mishmash general approach with zero surprise or depth. You could’ve shot Miller’s Kenobi novel without changing a thing and it would’ve been great. Or they could’ve done the opening books of The Last of the Jedi series which is where I thought they would go seeing the setting of Ep2.

It’s especially disappointing as I’ve played around with my own Obi-Wan solo story script ideas for years. They could’ve gone for something with real depth. My idea was to do George’s “space western” with Ben being like the haunted James Stewart characters of Anthony Mann’s psychological westerns-on a journey of eventual redemption. Even thought of dropping Ben on Nar Shadaa to stop a secret Imperial force-sensitive children’s facility.

The lead performance is great and on point. For me that’s about it.

Post
#1478418
Topic
Batman (1989) 35mm Opportunity
Time

I’ve done waaaaaayy too much research into the original Batfilms.

The gist of it is that WB finally did new transfers of all four and restored the darker look to the Burton films that was never before on video. The 2005 SE DVDs and 2008ish Blu-rays were a bit closer but still not there.

I’ve unfortunately only been able to see a studio held print of Returns as an adult. So on 89 all I can do is speculate. There is a tad bit of teal creeping in on the 1080p disc of the 4k master that on the UHD disc is very very minimized. The audio remix is filth.

Returns is the disc I have major issues with. They brought in the darkness but all the cold blues have gone full teal. This was never an issue before and negates the otherwise great work done. This teal look is nowhere to be found on WB’s own 1992 studio vault Fuji release print I saw a few years ago. Unfortunately whenever I bring this up people call me crazy in spite of stating my case politely and having a recent frame of reference of a vintage print properly projected.

In the Face to Face music video you can see brief clips of telecine footage with darkness and the correct dark blues.

So 89 seems largely okay but need the theatrical audio restored. Returns needs a full color regrading plus theatrical audio.

The audio is a bit complicated. On 89 the older pre-2005 discs have a bassier and warmer mix. The LD was Dolby surround and the flipper dvd upped that same mix to 5.1 discrete.
The 2005 SE DVD had dts and Dolby 5.1 with 89 having a touch more high end clarity at the cost of all that wonderful bassy warmth. This 2005 audio was ported to Blu-ray in TrueHD.
There is also apparently a mono mix floating around on 16mm prints.

Avoid the Atmos remix at all costs which painfully destroys the sonic identity of the film.

Returns was the premiere Dolby 5.1 film but most heard it in Dolby Stereo SR and 99% of prints were SR only. The print I saw was as well. The mixes are the same but the 5.1 gives you greater discrete clarity. Yet the 2.0 SR has nice warmth and an old school 1992 flavor.
The LD if you can find an non rotted copy preserves the theatrical 2.0 SR. The 5.1 on the flipper dvd sounds relatively the same as the 2005 Dolby/DTS and Blu-ray but I haven’t done a waveform comparison.

Avoid the Atmos remix at all costs.

Don’t get me started on how Forever has a better 2.0 surround mix than 5.1 mix.

Post
#1475804
Topic
Audio commentaries
Time

I’ve done this since college and tried a variety of ways. I do this just for my own enjoyment and because I usually don’t have time to rewatch the film with commentary. I still put commentaries on my digital audio player for listening on the go. To be honest I prefer listening to them without the film.

I like to extract the file (usually ac3) without converting in program and will then convert to flac for playback on my device.

For dvd the easiest thing is to get the dvd audio extractor program. It works like a charm and will let you directly extract an audio track or convert to different formats.

Blu-ray is much more convoluted. It took me ages to figure out but essentially due to the nature of the format you have to go about making a backup as if you were going to add a film to your own personal media server-then once you’ve done that you will be able to extract the audio commentary file itself before deleting said backup. It’s a bit time consuming and frustrating just to put the commentary on your portable player. You also have to deal with some tracks being hi-res which doesn’t work on most portable players so it will require down conversion in that instance. Useac3to is the most helpful bit of software in the world for extracting audio from various files.

Post
#1425303
Topic
Star Trek Deep Space Nine - NTSC DVD Restoration &amp; 1080p HD Enhancement (Emissary Released)
Time

I’m just getting into ds9 for the first time and coming to the s1 dvd from the TNG Blu-ray remaster is a big jump. After digging around it seems the reason there’s aliasing and rainbowing confined to the effects shots is that they didn’t apply good comb filtration to the effects which is why the interiors look fine. They apparently used the source broadcast edited tape and thus the series is stuck that way unless a full reconstruction is done.

There is some discussion on LD groups that the LDs handle this better and this have a better looking picture depending on hardware but of course the series wasn’t completed on the format and only had later seasons done in Japan. But they do have pcm Dolby surround…I want too many LDs…

Post
#1425288
Topic
Star Trek: The Original Series preservation (a WIP)
Time

I’ve traveled down this research path for a little while now and as far as I can tell it essentially boils down to this:

The original video masters existed in a variety of masters tweaked and untweaked starting with the initial VHS and LD releases here in the US from 16mm sources. In Japan they got the big Log boxsets that added PCM mono but appear to be ports of the same USA LD masters otherwise and they all have apparently Season 3 opening credits. Some claim the Japanese LDs have spiffed up transfers and other say the opposite. In my experience most Japanese LDs do port US picture masters.

For the first DVDs of the two episodes per disc they went back to the existing masters and brought them into the digital realm-and also upmixed the original mono to 5.1. They also have 2.0 tracks but sadly these are not mono but Dolby surround versions of the 5.1 upmix. I thought I would have to track these down for a mostly untouched TOS but apparently the main plastic shell 2004 DVD set reused these disc masters with better bitrate and encoding-representing the final release of the 16mm sourced video editions that closely resembled the original broadcast appearance-albeit without the original mono.

When the remastered versions arrived on DVD and then HDDVD they lacked original audio and effects but were the first time we saw what the new scans and cleanups looked like. Finally the BDs arrived and added the original effects plus lossy mono but more clearly showed these were indeed 2006 era transfers riddled with DNR. That said they look very good and more like film-but they do look different to the earlier appearance and how the broadcast would have looked. The audio remix appears to have been done again with new effects and nowt like the original 5.1 on first dvds which merely spread around the mono.

The monos seem for the most part intact but you do notice some new effects here and there and some episodes have the new theme rerecording downmixed in mono for some reason. It is the first time since the final VHS run any form of mono is on a TOS release but infuriating they couldn’t just give us proper lossless mono and no DNR to make a definitive TOS BD release.
They really need to do it again and finally do it right.

I’ve often thought about getting the Japanese LD boxes but they are very expensive and I don’t know if the mono quality is worthwhile enough to justify the purchase. One could get the entire run on VHS on the 1994 blue spine ediiton for hifi mono but still the japanese pcm would be best overall. Has anyone been able to make a definitive list of all Blu-ray mono differences?

Post
#1425286
Topic
Star Wars Video Games - a general discussion thread
Time

Yoda Stories on GBC was both infuriating and terrible-yet it helped to pass the time on long car rides.

I think the best new SW game in years is the modern 2017 Stern pinball machine that comes in a variety of editions. If you get the chance to play it-it is so loaded with modes and missions to select that you feel it needs a long manual to explain-yet is still a blast to play.

Post
#1424784
Topic
Star Wars 2006 GOUT DVDs - is it still worth buying them?
Time

doubleofive said:

captainsolo said:

That’s why I still don’t have all three JSC or Faces lds. The price gouging is nuts on all SW. Just recently I realized there was a fancier version of the 97SE letterbox vhs set with some nice swag. I thought hmm I wonder what those go for. $75+ nope.

The swag is so good though. I now have two of the medals that come with the sets, and I took the staples out of the “Art of the Special Edition” booklet (which is the exact content as the appendices of the “Art of” books) last night and got good scans of every page.

And I got 5 frames of Jabba’s ass, which is perfect.

Don’t remind me…I really want one of these boxes now.

Haha “now with 5 collectible Jabba ass frames!”

Post
#1424783
Topic
Eurospy movie recommendations?
Time

Sooooo many to choose from. Usually you have to choose between the spoofs, the knockoffs, the serious spy dramas and all the foreign films.

At the top of the heap you have the Harry Palmer films which are three serious spy dramas that have completely different styles form the other. The Ipcress File is a masterpiece and the best serious spy film of all IMO.
The two Flint films are loads of fun and essentially a witty take on the 60’s spy craze.
The 1967 Casino Royale spoof is a madcap, wtf insane production that has an overloading embarrassment of riches and you can’t take all of it in in only one viewing.

We did a spy knockoff and spoof themed episode of the Laserdisc wolfpack podcast a little while ago: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V9XSc7KrBpE&list=PL1x8jwqGXR0j_x_6Ey1pxBF2sMT9T7eQw&index=23

Post
#1424781
Topic
Rank The Indiana Jones Films
Time

It’s really frustrating the UHD releases will have no original audio and only new Atmos remixes. Hopefully the new transfers for Temple and crusade are good and Raiders isn’t the revisionist infuriating Blu-ray version…but I’m not hopeful…

For me Raiders and Temple are masterworks, Crusade has great moments but is the tired rehashing ROTJ style “let’s finish this” of the three-and Skull never happened. KOTCS was a nightmare and makes everyone’s Prequel complaints look like nothing.

Most of the novels are excellent and loads of fun-but never get brought up outside of diehard Indy fandom. I finally completed the set and plan to do a rereading of the series this year.

Post
#1424779
Topic
Favorite Steven Spielberg directed movie?
Time

I think about trying to rank my favorites of his sometimes and roughly would go:

  1. Raiders
  2. Temple
  3. Jaws
  4. Duel
  5. Crusade-though it is a weaker film it’s still Indy and I adore Indy.
  6. CEOT3K-1977 theatrical version
  7. Sugarland Express
  8. Empire of the Sun

I think all of these are great films. I also like 1941 despite its issues. Everything else is debatable but I really have no use for the films he’s done in the past few decades. Minority Report, Munich and AI were nice surprises among the forgettable to terrible others.

Post
#1420346
Topic
<strong>Jedi Knight</strong> games | Dark Forces, JK: DFII, JK: MOTS, JKII: Jedi Outcast, JK: Jedi Academy
Time

JK on PC was the game that made me realize the potential of SW in gaming. It’s still outstanding and then came Jedi Outcast which blew everyone’s minds and is still unequaled in lightsaber/force combat. Jedi Academy had many great extra features and abilities but didn’t feel as impressive as Outcast overall. It’s a shame the series was left dormant.

I really should read the Katarn stories and novels.

Post
#1420343
Topic
Star Wars Battle Pod : New arcade game!
Time

The standard single cab version is the one I played a few times-it sits at an extreme angle so the screen is tilted forward and you’re sort of looking upwards at it which gives a great immersion feel.

Unfortunately the game itself is like an extremely watered down on rails version of Trilogy Arcade mixed with Rogue Squadron that for players of either results in no real challenge.

The challenge for me is still finding non destroyed or messed up Trilogy Arcade cabinets. But I play even messed up ones because now it’s so darn elusive and getting a high score run with messed up screen, joystick, buttons or crosshairs can be a mega challenge.

Post
#1420340
Topic
The Definitive Theatrical Audio Mix?
Time

Mono. Hands down no contest.
The irony is that everyone thought of Star Wars for the Dolby Stereo or the 70mm baby boom bass enhancement-but no officials ever thought that theaters would seriously implement Dolby systems across the board. The mono mix was done last and was intended as the keeper track for general wide release and was thus heard on most prints throughout the country for the rest of the long run.
You do find yourself missing some of the stereo mix identifiers and the stereo separation, the mono rear surround and more technically advanced experience…but then are confronted by what I think may be the pinnacle of single channel film mixing. I even think the score is better mixed in the mono in terms of levels and balance and of course it immediately makes a direct connection to adventure films and serials of old which were also mono.
Jaws had already shown an amazing mono mix for 1975 and then along comes SW which goes far beyond that-but of course now this mix is lost to time in the general populace and its fixes were implemented into the 1997SE mix which was then bastardized and ruined in 2004, 2011 and 2019.

The monos for ESB and ROTJ were more intended for 16mm and other editions but the mono ESB is another custom mix with differences stemming form the 70mm mix in places and some things turned up in the 1997 SE mix again. ROTJ is more of a folddown from the Dolby Stereo.

This carried over into Indy where Raiders also has a custom mono with line differences, Temple has a mono presumably designed for 16mm and I think was the last custom designed LFL produced mono track.

Post
#1419681
Topic
Star Wars 2006 GOUT DVDs - is it still worth buying them?
Time

That’s why I still don’t have all three JSC or Faces lds. The price gouging is nuts on all SW. Just recently I realized there was a fancier version of the 97SE letterbox vhs set with some nice swag. I thought hmm I wonder what those go for. $75+ nope.

I feel I’m lucky enough on LD to have the SWEs, Technidisc ANH, non rotted complete definitive collection, JSC ANH and faces ROTJ on LD. TPM Japan also goes for a bit but I was patient and finally got one without obi for cheap. I still would like to get the other two JSCs someday.

I used to tell people to just get the SWE trilogy and that will work best overall for $15-25. Now I tell them just get the SWE as cheap as you can find them. Even the letterbox vhs iteration of these goes for more because of the vhs market explosion.

Post
#1419670
Topic
<strong>Rogue Squadron</strong> - N64 / GameCube / PC - video game series thread
Time

Rogue Squadron was and is a joy. I’ve always been more of an arcade nerd and was never very good at full flight sims so the original N64 title became a favorite since it was the game that came with my system. I still think it’s the best of the three overall though Rogue Leader was a huge leap forward. Rebel Strike tries to do new things but the implementation didn’t really work. I rented Battle for Naboo once years ago but have never played it 100%.
I had NO idea there was anything about a fifth Factor5 game!!!

Post
#1419669
Topic
<strong>Shadows Of The Empire</strong> : Lucasfilm's mid-to-late 1990's EU multimedia project
Time

This was a brilliant campaign that no one has ever really replicated. Most only remember or know the game these days which to me has always been a frustrating experience. The Perry novel is the heart and a good starter book for new to EU fans though some parts always felt a bit off.
I loved the purple blast art on the toys and that they made special figures. I had the disguised Chewie at one point and my Slave I was the SOTE box though that got thrown away years ago…
I still haven’t read the comic version or bought the soundtrack CD so I really should do that.

Post
#1419668
Topic
Damn Fool Idealistic Crusader-My Youtube channel about film transfers, Laserdisc and film theory
Time

I’ve been trying to keep a decent upload schedule of different things in addition to doing some podcast episodes with the Laserdisc Wolfpack. Since my Batman commentaries went well I started doing the original Bond films and just recently posted my track for Octopussy if you’re interested: https://youtu.be/UN9NK-3mPPY

Post
#1419667
Topic
Vader's voice change in the OT
Time

I’ve always thought they changed the recording setup and technique as everything became more advanced and of course they had a significantly higher budget and more time. Personally I’ve always liked the tinnier sounding '77 Vader just as I prefer him more mysterious and not the typical Vader people think of. I LOVE how they made Brock Peters sound in the radio drama and there are many days where I even want to say out loud I prefer that version…

There are many reasons why I always tell people the 97SE mix was the last time SW ever sounded good and this is yet another reason. In 1997 they added some new effects for the new stuff but largely just brought the original 4 track design into the 5.1 environment, added mono mix fixes and tweaks to try and make a fantastic 5.1 experience that stayed relatively faithful to the original track design of all three films. Then in 2004 they took this work and pissed all over it by inducing many changes, EQ tweaks, new changes on top of old ones, voiceover dubs, flopped surround channels on ANH, messing with the music levels and adding an unnecessary EX phantom rear center. Then these got bumped up to 6.1 for the 2011 BDs with some issues fixed but even more awful new changes added.

You can put on D+, BD or 2004 abominable DVDs and then play the 97SE LD ac3 and just watch people’s minds get blown. Sure the 97SE 5.1 isn’t always fully historically accurate but they did an amazing job for the time and it’s got some really intense LFE usage which must give an idea of the 1977 70mm baby boom experience people had.

Post
#1419663
Topic
Star Wars 2006 GOUT DVDs - is it still worth buying them?
Time

When the first efforts here made drastic improvements to the GOUT way back then I knew that major releases could and definitely did have issues and it helped me go down the rabbit hole of studying film transfer histories.

If you really want the GOUT discs it’s a bit of a challenge now. Most places or listings have them around $60-100 or more as so many people are unfortunately convinced they are the only “original versions”. I’ve worn myself out explaining them still and their lineage. Sadly the costs of LD and VHS editions are still sky high for usually the same reason regardless of edition.

The DC or Faces LDs destroy the GOUT in terms of PCM vs DD 2.0. Heck I’d go even further and say the VHS hifi has more of a punch and I’m a geek that has both pan n scan and letterbox boxsets of the VHS Faces.