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captainsolo

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13-Mar-2009
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20-Nov-2019
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Post
#1295893
Topic
Last movie seen
Time

Apocalypse Now for the 40th anniversary.

Mystical, indescribable, powerful and immortal. The theatrical cut is definitive but the new 4K restoration is stunning. The three versions are presented well, the original sound mix is on disc and the new Atmos track has super low frequencies in the LFE track but is still respectful to the original audio mix. While the compression isn’t so good on the included Blu-rays it is still a better 1080p experience than the old discs.

For $22 and SIX discs including all three cuts in HD and 4K , new extras and all old extras it’s a no brainer.

Post
#1295892
Topic
Last movie seen
Time

The Chairman (1969)

This film is Bizarre. Bizarrely edited with a bizarre tone that goes all over the place. Forgotten today with middling to negative reviews.

Yet I’ve tried to see this film for years and found myself enjoying it through its weirdness. Gregory Peck plays an ex-spy professor who goes to China in the midst of the Cold War in a US-British-Soviet joint mission to retrieve a formula for growth enzymes. And yes, setup wise it’s very TORN CURTAIN esque.

A communication device is installed in his skull to permit satellite transmission back to HQ so they can hear his entire journey…except for the fact the neglect to tell him that there is a small explosive charge inside the device that can be implemented if they feel the mission is going sour or when he comes into contact with the titular character…aka where John Carpenter probably got the idea for the similar device in Escape From NY.

I always knew of this as the movie where they put a bomb inside Greg Peck’s head and darn it if it doesn’t somehow work! Sure it’s problematic as hell and will cause you to throw your arms up in incredulity but Peck is stunningly charismatic in essentially a Bondian role and J Lee Thompson directs many scenes very well despite the tone and script being all over the place. The scene where Peck’s character actually meets Chairman Mao is handled brilliantly and is multilayered to say the very least. The action climax is well cut and then the tag ending has echoes of 3 Days of the Condor almost.

Basically had this been made five years later it would have been darker and better. As it stands it is intellectual, well made if inefficient and somewhat plodding. Which of course makes it better than 99% of what hits screens today.

Post
#1295888
Topic
Last movie seen
Time

DuracellEnergizer said:

I know this is blasphemy, but I’m gonna say it anyway: Vertigo isn’t a masterpiece. It could’ve been a masterpiece — it had the makings of one — but the flashback broke the movie. Whether Madeleine was being possessed by the spirit of Carlotta or not; whether Judy and Madeleine were one and the same or not; whether Scottie’s deduction at the end was accurate or the delusions of a man gone off the deep end — all should’ve been left unanswered and ambiguous.

Also, Madeleine was as pretty as a rainbow, and about as charismatic as a rainbow trout. Why Scottie chose her over Midge, a zesty woman with actual personality, I’ll never understand. Guess he prefers to rob the cradle of love.

Finally, that ending — it’s so abrupt, it’s almost comical.

★★★★★★☆☆☆☆
Let me put my analyst cap on for a sec…

As much as it pains me to hear someone saying all that you’re not alone. The reveal breaks with screen trends and most reviews and audiences hated the things you mentioned. But it is because of the break with traditions that the film is so completely different, experimental and special. For decades the film’s reputation was not good at all and then you couldn’t even see it until the battered version was reissued in 1983.
There are still some who disagree with the reveal halfway through but it sets up the crux of suspense in ways that Hitch had never done before or since. It becomes an act of emotional and character suspense rather than story driven. From that point onwards it becomes a matter of what will Scottie do if he finds out, or will he find out rather than just: will such and such character get out of a jam? And it also compounds the emotional story on Judy’s side and allows the audience into her genuine emotion which only heightens the suspense, sadness and absolute tragedy. The ending is built to over the entire picture and it’s doomed denouement is perhaps the greatest climax and end shot in the medium.

But to each their own. I get where you’re coming from but this is all what helps to make VERTIGO so different. If it had ended with the tag ending in Midge’s apartment saying Elster was caught by police overseas it would have robbed the picture of so much power.

But it is nice to hear someone talking about how great Midge is and how Scottie is so dumb that this wonderful, fun, warm, intelligent, vivacious woman is right there the whole time and totally adorable. This makes her final departure in the hospital so completely devastating because at that point she is never going to ever be in Scottie’s mind as anything near the ghost of his obsessions and is thus also gone forever. In fact the final shot of her in the film in the doorway is almost like a specter itself.

Post
#1295887
Topic
Last movie seen
Time

Anchorhead said:

One of my favorite films of all time and by far my favorite Robert Redford film. Considering the amount of time I’ve spent reading anything and everything, I’ve felt a kinship with Joe Turner for decades. Also for me, my favorite Faye Dunaway film. She’s perfect in this. LOVE her character.

An absolute 5 out of 5 Sparrow Hawks.

Condor is one of those films that really, REALLY grows on you far more over time. The first time it’s a great thriller and one of the better spy films of the decade. Eventually it sinks in and hits you like a load of bricks. Every last detail works beautifully and even the love story is convincing. I don’t know if there is a better or more believable Redford role and the drama is heightened by the fact that he plays a man who is completely in over his head and a bookworm at that long before Jack Ryan was “just an analyst”. The interplay between him and Max Von Sydow is priceless.
Again this is a picture that only grows in stature. The ending is extremely deep and perfectly open ended in the best possible way that so many 70’s films were. While it is reminiscent of MARATHON MAN and others of the same ilk, Condor has its own identity but is still one of the truly timeless films of the decade that isn’t talked about enough. And essential for spy nerds.
This reminds me I still really need to read the book and get the Blu-ray. I had been holding off because there are two different versions in Europe with different transfers/extras. I just have the trusty Laserdisc.

I’ve always loved Sydney Pollack in interviews, lectures and general thought process but usually never liked most of his later films all that much. They’re good and all but just not quite my thing usually. Condor is right up there at the top for me but my favorite is THE YAKUZA which I think is his masterpiece.

Post
#1295725
Topic
<em><strong>Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge</strong></em> (Disney Theme Park)
Time

The entire experience feels disconnected and it is very disheartening to see the park is all about the new materials with their signature blandness running rampant. Of course the parks have opened with limited attractions and the like but the whole thing just looks so…Empty!
I have a relative who works at WDW but the GE wasn’t opened fully yet when I went to visit. They had an opportunity to try and get me in the employee preview but despite it being very difficult to get in-I didn’t even feel like trying to get in as the other sections that deal with SW in the park besides Star Tours have the same feeling of emptiness. There’s some props scattered around one section where they do meet and greets with characters and then one room off of there that has a Cantina bar prop wall for photos. Most of it is also all about the new films so the occasional OT or PT prop/mention feels really weird.

But the prices attached to everything-especially the breakdowns for families to go is just insanely high.

Post
#1295724
Topic
Han - Solo Movie ** Spoilers **
Time

I thought the Crispin book trilogy did a good job at not shoehorning in absolutely every characteristic and also spreading the origin over three novels was a good touch.

A pure Daley adaptation would be a dream come true and would most certainly make me cry with joy. Nowadays it would likely be better if animated. It’s no secret I consider Daley’s writing the heart of the SW spirit and his Han books the best non-film SW stories ever and probably Star’s End most of all.

If I ever met Harrison in real life, I’ve always wanted to ask him one thing:
“If it’s no trouble would you mind saying a Han line for me?” “No, it’s not from the films but from Brian Daley’s Star’s End”
I’ve always imagined what it would be like to hear Harrison say the line “Ask Rekkon” when Han gets the drop on the baddie by using his wits before he blasts the traitorous villain out of the Falcon’s airlock into the cold depths of space. The venom in Han’s words in that moment go beyond the gunning of Greedo in that he has personal revenge on his mind and it beautifully ties into the human side of Han that he so carefully tries to hide.

Post
#1295721
Topic
George Lucas: Unreliable Narrator &amp; Time Travelling Revisionist...
Time

The more digging you do: the more you scratch your head, tear your hair out and simply say: WHY?

Why the constant rewriting of history? Why the need to downplay other’s contributions? Why the shift in focus away from making films and telling stories?

The biggest eyeopener is reading Zombie’s Secret History book that agonizingly traces the route the telling and retelling and rewriting has taken over the years.

And to be honest I have no answer. I STILL can’t figure it out. Kubrick put it best in an old interview: “If I made as much money as George Lucas, I would not decide to become a studio mogul. I cannot understand why he doesn’t want to direct films anymore, because American Graffiti and even Star Wars were very good.”

As for the SEs originally being prep for the Prequels in terms of acting as a tech demo: Absolutely right. However Coppola got into the same scenario and that ended up as AN Redux-Yet he and everyone involved has NEVER removed the original superior version from circulation and in the newly completed restoration includes both versions along with a third newer cut.
Whereas it seems George was like: oh hey now I can finally fix this thing…and this…and this…and oh that’s nice…

Which is totally fine so long as you don’t try to actually hide away the original works and even perpetuate claims that they no longer exist. That’s the problem and has always been the issue. The exact same thing happened to THX-1138 and since it is a cult film practically no one speaks of it.

Post
#1288361
Topic
Damn Fool Idealistic Crusader-My Youtube channel about film transfers, Laserdisc and film theory
Time

This weeks stream:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GfNRk7F-jVQ

Thanks guys! The name is something I’ve wanted use for years.

The Scooby box is pretty cool. The first version was an actual plastic van but just had the discs shoved in foam in the top. This one is just a box but still cool.
The best news is that the series is coming to Blu-ray at the end of this year.

Post
#1287582
Topic
Damn Fool Idealistic Crusader-My Youtube channel about film transfers, Laserdisc and film theory
Time

I finally started making videos of my Laserdisc collection because I got tired of the general lack of info on the format for most online videos and the fact that no one discusses transfers etc.
So if you’re interested or simply bored and have some spare time I’ve been doing uploads where I go through each title one at a time and discuss the transfer, sound, packaging and a little history. My channel has now expanded to simply be about all media formats.
Primarily I talk about transfers, but there is a bit of film history and theory.

https://www.youtube.com/user/duckyousuckr

Admittedly these videos are very low fi but I was tired of “LDs suck or were stupid” videos or mere pickup ones without detail.
I’ve been doing some livestreaming so stop by if you are interested.
This week’s livestream is at 8:30 tonight.
https://youtu.be/1dcospBFuWU

Post
#1287558
Topic
Dr. No Rare Uncut Version 1st Beta/VHS release 1982
Time

Williarob said:

JayArgonaut said:

captainsolo said:

Like all the non-scope Bonds for the SE DVD, GF was cropped to 1.78:1. While this is still around the safe limits for framing flat matted widescreen the SE DVDs did crop a bit too much on all five done this way and the 1.66 is the best ratio for the initial three in terms of composition.

Thankfully the 1.66:1 OAR was restored for the GF UE.

Here’s a fun fact: 1.66:1 is not the original theatrical aspect ratio for the first three Bond films, the correct AR is 1.85:1. Since the mid-fifties, the most common AR in the UK was 1.75, but Kinematograph Weekly specifically lists 1.85 as the intended ratio for the first three Bond films. This documentation is from a British trade journal at the time of principal photography so it’s as good as gospel:

Imgur

A big thank you to Bob Furmanek of the 3D film Archive (http://www.3dfilmarchive.com/) for pointing this out to me this weekend.

Now, like most of you, I like minimal cropping, so I’m glad there are 1.66:1 versions available, but it’s also nice to know how people saw it in theaters in 1962. Looking at an original IB Tech film frame from a 1962 print, we can see that there is slightly more picture information available, my math puts it at around 1.58:1 if you include all of it. I believe it was hard matted in camera to 1.66:1 so there is probably a little more picture information on the sides on the original negatives than made it onto this print.

Imgur

That’s spot on. The initial MGM widescreen LDs for DN-FRWL-GF are indeed at about a 1.58 ratio and reveal more than any other matted widescreen release.

While these work fine in 1.78 and 1.85 it requires careful framing which is not often done. Criterion did a better job on LD at 1.75 than MGM did in 1.78 for the SE DVDs for example. I prefer having 1.66 as it gives them perfect breathing room and all compositions seem improved over the tighter framings.

Post
#1287555
Topic
The Wizard of Oz (1939) - Fan Preservation (HELP NEEDED)
Time

Many films were actually released with tints originally but this didn’t always carry over to all prints, reissues and eventual video releases. Some early sound films supposedly had tints to them, and the sepia scenes in THE SEA HAWK were missing until the Laserdisc reissue finally put them back-same goes for the red tinted ending fire of MIGHTY JOE YOUNG.

The Criterion release is mastered from MGM’s Tech IB print, which then MGM did their own movie only version of twice over. Then for the Ultimate Oz set they remastered it in CAV and added their own extras. The initial DVD release is a port of this master and I believe it was the subsequent remastering for the DVD boxset reissue in 2005-2006 or so that introduced the error in the mono mix.

To be honest all of the versions look good for their respective times. I’m hoping the new 4K release will be as good as the supposedly better encoding of the new master locked onto the 3D disc.
Of course if the new disc even has the mono I’m sure it will be the defective track of the DVD mono that has been carried over already.

Post
#1287553
Topic
70mm print of GOUT on Saturday in Academy Theater in CA!
Time

All Dolby 70mm shows were mono surround unless specifically mixed for split surrounds, which only became more and more common in the mid to late 80’s-and even then was rarely used. in70mm.com has an excellent list by year that indicates where it is known that titles came in split surround on 70mm prints.

So you either have 4.1 or 5.1 technically speaking in modern channel designations, and a second sub track would really only mirror the already existing sub track. ESB and ROTJ were Dolby 70mm with mono surround.

I too think the asking was more of a formality as I don’t see how there would be any legality binding it to George’s say so since he pretty much signed over everything.

Post
#1287386
Topic
70mm print of GOUT on Saturday in Academy Theater in CA!
Time

Dolby 70mm incorporated the old Todd AO system for 70mm playback of Left, screen left, center, screen right, right, mono surround.
Instead of using the screen left and right channels as mixes were done from a LCRS four track master-Dolby took the low end and specifically mixed it to come out of the unused two screen channels and eventually some theaters moved placements to become in effect the first subwoofer in a modern theater context. It’s sort of confusing as to how these tracks should be presented in modern codec to be accurate: 4.0, 4.1 or 4.2.
This was done partially to compete against Sensurround which was attempting a comeback and other systems as mentioned above like Fox’s own Sound360 and Warner’s Megasound which was supposed to have some pretty impressive low end.

Apocalypse Now in 1979 was the first release to have split stereo surrounds but only in its 70mm version. This is why it is said to be the first 5.1 track in theory. Superman tested this a year prior but that mix was not released.

Mono was still dominant and it was not thought that Dolby would be widely accepted especially since there had been many format to come and go quickly. Stereo was still not very well utilized and most theaters would do it badly. That’s why Kubrick stuck with mono. On ESB Ben Burtt and others specifically mixed the Dolby stereo to have all the relevant information in the main two channels so that if anything went out you could still enjoy the film and not lose anything. Dolby Stereo was an unknown factor and not expected to take off like it did. Thus the mono mix was done last for the general main release and intended as the final definitive mix.

Post
#1287139
Topic
<em><strong>Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order</strong></em> (Video Game)
Time

canofhumdingers said:

That’s kinda too bad. I always dug that dismemberment cheat code for Jedi Outcast. Once I found out about it I wouldn’t play the game without that turned on. It just felt so much more “right”. And it was always hilarious the random times you’d casually walk by a Stormtrooper without attacking and he’d literally fall to pieces at your feet.

I played with mods and cheats in Outcast on PC so much that I goofed around more than playing the game.

Dismemberment on, load pit stage, spawn 1000 stormtroopers and dark jedi, invincibility on, spawn a few Landos and hero characters…
LET THE GAME COMMENCE!

As always I hope we can have at least a good SW game but usually I get severely disappointed. If it controls well and isn’t full of micro transactions then I guess I’m okay with getting it on sale.