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Old 08-12-2007, 06:23   #61
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Originally Posted by Wendell Armbruster View Post
This book is called, quite nicely, The Magnificent Showman and it's by a guy called Mel Martin, of whom I have not previously heard. According to Amazon it's out on 1 March 2008 and weighs in at 228 pages. This is not the same book as Neal Rosendorf's who has posted in thread above and who I tried to email but failed. His book appears to have vanished. I will definitely order Mr Martin's book - obviously worth a punt since there is nothing else to read on Sam. Apparently, Martin has also done the commentary on Fall of the Roman Empire.
I'd never heard of Mr. Martin previously either. I agree it's "worth a punt". By March, my finances should be in better shape anyway. (Certainly hope so!)
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Old 08-12-2007, 14:14   #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wendell Armbruster View Post
This book is called, quite nicely, The Magnificent Showman and it's by a guy called Mel Martin, of whom I have not previously heard. According to Amazon it's out on 1 March 2008 and weighs in at 228 pages. This is not the same book as Neal Rosendorf's who has posted in thread above and who I tried to email but failed. His book appears to have vanished. I will definitely order Mr Martin's book - obviously worth a punt since there is nothing else to read on Sam. Apparently, Martin has also done the commentary on Fall of the Roman Empire.
The book is already available actually, despite the date which Amazon gives, because I've got it. Mel Martin also provides a commentary track, with Bronston's son, on the new EL CID DVD.
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Old 08-12-2007, 19:35   #63
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The book is already available actually, despite the date which Amazon gives, because I've got it. Mel Martin also provides a commentary track, with Bronston's son, on the new EL CID DVD.
Ah! What is your opinion of the book? "Worth a punt?"
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Old 08-12-2007, 20:02   #64
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Ah! What is your opinion of the book? "Worth a punt?"

I'm glad to have it. It covers Bronston's major films in detail.
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Old 20-12-2007, 15:56   #65
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El Cid is now up for pre-order at DVD Pacific (why no affiliate link?) and Amazon.com for 29/1/08 release. Two versions; a Deluxe and a Limited Collectors Edition.
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Old 14-01-2008, 22:53   #66
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First review of "El Cid" at DVD Savant (sorry, I don't know how to do links).
www.dvdtalk.com
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Old 14-01-2008, 22:58   #67
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First review of "El Cid" at DVD Savant (sorry, I don't know how to do links).
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This will get it.
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Old 14-01-2008, 23:29   #68
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Well, as always with the Savant, you can't tell what this thing's going to look like. For someone in the business, he knows shockingly little about transfers, color, formats, etc. The box lists the ratio as 2:35 which would seem to confirm that this was not taken from a large format negative - worth a mention at least, no?
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Old 15-01-2008, 19:39   #69
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I already have the DVD. I saw the film when it was first released but I certainly can't recall after all these years how the film looked on the screen. Nevertheless the colours look dull to me and the picture certainly has too much contrast. However, the DVD includes the original 1961 trailer and that looks just the same, so maybe the DVD picture is accurate! The 1993 restoration trailer is on the DVD as well and the colour on that actually looks more vibrant which is odd because I understand that the DVD was produced from those same 35mm restoration elements (picture is 2.35:1). Sound quality is very good and overall the DVD is much better than all the other versions which have been issued in different regions, some of which have been truly appalling.

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Old 15-01-2008, 20:55   #70
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El Cid most certainly did NOT have dull colors - it was VERY colorful - do you have any of the import DVDs - I'd be curious to know how it compares to those, color-wise. And, of course, 2:35 is not the correct ratio so that is a bit off-putting. I wonder if the 70mm neg is lost, and if the other Bronston 70mm negs are lost. Obviously, King Of Kings' 70mm neg was not lost and the resulting DVD from that source is rather excellent with great color.
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Old 15-01-2008, 21:12   #71
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I have the French and German DVDs. The French picture is slightly brighter than the new region 1 but is still very contrasty. The German DVD is not so bad as regards contrast but the colour on both is just as dull as the new region 1 version. I certainly can't believe this is how the film looked originally. The photographs in the reproduction of the souvenir programme which is included with the box set has bright vibrant colours, which is surely more representative of what the film looked like. Sadly, I suspect we will never see EL CID as it originally appeared in cinemas.
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Old 17-01-2008, 22:07   #72
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The Beaver does a comparison of the new El Cid.
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Old 18-01-2008, 06:56   #73
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Now I'm really bewildered. Beaver and Savant say the new DVD is magnificent but on this forum a regular contributor says the colours are no better than the French DVD which I have. The colours on the French DVD are seriously and conspicuously wrong, so whom should we believe?

Anyone else bought this new DVD yet?
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Old 18-01-2008, 07:53   #74
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I'm puzzled by those Beaver comparisons because they look much better than the picture displayed on my Pioneer plasma screen. To me, the colours on the new DVD look similar to the French DVD. I will be most interested to hear what others think.
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Old 18-01-2008, 17:52   #75
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I'm puzzled by those Beaver comparisons because they look much better than the picture displayed on my Pioneer plasma screen. To me, the colours on the new DVD look similar to the French DVD. I will be most interested to hear what others think.
I am frequently baffled by the Beaver and his caps and his comments. Things that he's said had dull colors have been okay, and things that he's said have too saturated colors have been awful and nothing like they should have been. As soon as I get my hands on this puppy you will know the tale.
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Old 18-01-2008, 20:49   #76
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As soon as I get my hands on this puppy you will know the tale.
Many thanks. I'll hold fire on this DVD until we've had your opinion.
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Old 19-01-2008, 12:16   #77
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Wasn't El Cid shot in Technirama? So it would have been an 8-perf 35mm negative, not a 65mm one - and 2.35:1 would have been the intended ratio for 35mm release. (70mm "Super Technirama 70" prints would certainly be 2.2:1.)

Mind you, I have no idea which elements exist. I did see a 70mm print in the early 1990s at the National Film Theatre - with the exception of a few sequences it had almost entirely faded to pink. A few years later I did see the 35mm restoration which needless to say looked much better!
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Old 20-01-2008, 21:21   #78
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Wasn't El Cid shot in Technirama? So it would have been an 8-perf 35mm negative, not a 65mm one - and 2.35:1 would have been the intended ratio for 35mm release. (70mm "Super Technirama 70" prints would certainly be 2.2:1.)

Mind you, I have no idea which elements exist. I did see a 70mm print in the early 1990s at the National Film Theatre - with the exception of a few sequences it had almost entirely faded to pink. A few years later I did see the 35mm restoration which needless to say looked much better!
Yes, for 35mm it would have been 2:35. But the film was a roadshow in 70mm and that ratio, as you state should be 2.2:1, which this DVD is not, from what I'm reading.
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Old 23-01-2008, 06:11   #79
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Got the DVD. Watched the DVD. Well, it's not a disaster by any means, but it certainly isn't what it could or should be, both clarity and color-wise. Certainly there is color in the film, but none of it pops the way it should because there's too much brown in the transfer (such an easy fix in the telecine room). I owned a 16mm IB Tech print (letterboxed, before that term existed), and the color was spectacular - deep rich reds, gorgeous deep blues, very saturated when it needed to be (sunsets, red uniforms, deep blue skies and sea). At least there ARE blues here, but they're not deep because of the brown bias - and the reds lean to orange rather than vivid red. The skin tones are pallid and pasty and flat. I refuse to believe that after all this waiting that this is the best we're going to get. I have no idea if the Super Technirama neg exists or is usable, because they neatly sidestep any discussion of that with the old fellow who is the keeper of the Bronston material. They seem to have done all this work off a 35mm interneg, which is not the same thing as going off the original Technirama neg.

Comparisons: This is head and shoulders above the Japanese DVD - clarity is 1000% better, and the Japanese DVD was greenish throughout. Someone posted a comparison screencap, I think, over at the HTF and you can see it clearly. I can't remember if the Beaver actually did a comparison but if he did it was only the Japanese DVD. Apparently no one who's doing comparisons has the French DVD. I do. Again, in terms of clarity, the new transfer is the obvious winner. In terms of color, the French DVD is not perfect, but it's a little more accurate with a little less brown - you can see it right away in the first scene - it's too dark, but the colors are slightly better and truer, and that goes for the skin tones (based on a cursory skip-through).

In the new transfer, the contrast is a little milky and washy, and that most certainly could have been fixed. Sound is very robust and the score sounds great, except for the Overture, which sounds very high-endy and unpleasant.

So, if you love El Cid (as I do), this new transfer, while hardly perfect, will probably do until they actually get someone in the telecine room with an IB Tech reference print or, at the very least, someone who understands the difference between brown and blue.
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Old 23-01-2008, 06:59   #80
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Got the DVD. Watched the DVD. Well, it's not a disaster by any means, but it certainly isn't what it could or should be, both clarity and color-wise. Certainly there is color in the film, but none of it pops the way it should because there's too much brown in the transfer (such an easy fix in the telecine room). I owned a 16mm IB Tech print (letterboxed, before that term existed), and the color was spectacular - deep rich reds, gorgeous deep blues, very saturated when it needed to be (sunsets, red uniforms, deep blue skies and sea). At least there ARE blues here, but they're not deep because of the brown bias - and the reds lean to orange rather than vivid red. The skin tones are pallid and pasty and flat. I refuse to believe that after all this waiting that this is the best we're going to get. I have no idea if the Super Technirama neg exists or is usable, because they neatly sidestep any discussion of that with the old fellow who is the keeper of the Bronston material. They seem to have done all this work off a 35mm interneg, which is not the same thing as going off the original Technirama neg.

Comparisons: This is head and shoulders above the Japanese DVD - clarity is 1000% better, and the Japanese DVD was greenish throughout. Someone posted a comparison screencap, I think, over at the HTF and you can see it clearly. I can't remember if the Beaver actually did a comparison but if he did it was only the Japanese DVD. Apparently no one who's doing comparisons has the French DVD. I do. Again, in terms of clarity, the new transfer is the obvious winner. In terms of color, the French DVD is not perfect, but it's a little more accurate with a little less brown - you can see it right away in the first scene - it's too dark, but the colors are slightly better and truer, and that goes for the skin tones (based on a cursory skip-through).

In the new transfer, the contrast is a little milky and washy, and that most certainly could have been fixed. Sound is very robust and the score sounds great, except for the Overture, which sounds very high-endy and unpleasant.

So, if you love El Cid (as I do), this new transfer, while hardly perfect, will probably do until they actually get someone in the telecine room with an IB Tech reference print or, at the very least, someone who understands the difference between brown and blue.
Many thanks for that. As the new transfer beats the French DVD, I'll buy this Miramax DVD but, because it is still far from perfect, I'll wait for the price to drop in a few months time.
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