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Old 08-06-2007, 12:28   #241
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The Beaver on the HD release of THE COWBOYS:
http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/DVDReview/cowboys.htm
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Old 08-06-2007, 18:21   #242
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Posted this in the classic western thread, but since it's the Duke and this thread was nowhere to be seen, I'll repost it here - my thoughts on Rio Bravo:


Well, Rio Bravo is here and it's fascinating. Anyone, ANYONE who says this is a grain-free transfer is a complete idiot (well, need I say more). It's not AS grainy as the previous transfer because the previous transfer is a complete and utter mess from start to finish. I briefly a/b'd the two transfers this evening. The first transfer is a washed-out colorless travesty. The new transfer has better contrast, but is way too dark. It has less grain. Because the contrast is better it has more saturated-looking color, with an emphasis on the "looking." Is it right? Of course not. It's a bit better I suppose, but it's too orange and brown - maybe someday someone in the Warners telecine room who does the classic film transfers will wake the hell up and realize that there is a little color called BLUE. Once that happens, maybe the classics will start looking like they should. So, once again, Warners has taken one of their all-time classic films and done it a complete disservice. This time, unlike The Searchers, it doesn't seem to be fooling as many people. It IS sharper than the previous transfer, so, I suspect for many they will, as always, equate sharper with perfection - afraid not. I will say this - there is, at least, a "hint" of blue in the sky - just a hint, but better than the previous transfer where there was none. However, the sky should have blue, real blue - you cannot have a white sky AND white clouds - it doesn't work that way. Maybe our wonderful Photoshop expert Danny Berk can do a couple of frame grabs from this new DVD and show us how it should look.

It's funny - just prior to doing the comparison, I ran the new French DVD of Some Came Running, and while one wishes it were just a hair sharper and a hair brighter, it is a transfer with great color. I'm sure when it comes out in the US that correctness will be "fixed" and we'll have another nice brown transfer.

Color me nauseated, I'm afraid.
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Old 08-06-2007, 18:24   #243
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And The Cowboys:

On the other hand, and solidifying my thought that someone else is doing the transfers on films from 1970 on, Warners new transfer of The Cowboys is a lot better than the previous transfer - sharper, better and truer color.
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Old 09-06-2007, 23:19   #244
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Has Lionsgate done anything at all with the Republic catalogue since re-acquiring it (Aside from putting DVDs back into print)?
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Old 09-06-2007, 23:21   #245
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Has Lionsgate done anything at all with the Republic catalogue since re-acquiring it (Aside from putting DVDs back into print)?
Short answer is no. Just repackaged everything .
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Old 11-06-2007, 17:42   #246
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One of the most ineptly executed, vile, poorly written, badly acted, ill-conceived, inadventently hilarious pieces of cinema I've watched in years. Like an Ed Wood film without the charm, the heart (or Ed Wood), even the score is a hoot; fellow card carrying pinkoes, I've just watched Big Jim McLain...
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Old 21-06-2007, 12:29   #247
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The Beaver comparing standard and HD releases of The Searchers:
http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/DVDRev...-searchers.htm
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Old 21-06-2007, 18:53   #248
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My HD-DVD copy of Rio Bravo arrived today and - considering the carping about its transfer quality - I'm pleasantly surprised at how good it looks on my display. True, it's not a great transfer on the level of the recent The Searchers release but for a 1950s movie it's good enough for me. I find it similar (though improved) to the grainy look of the 2001 release of Rear Window, though with the increased density of colour that Hi-Definition gives a disc. I hadn't seen the movie for a number of years and I need to get back into Hawks' leisurely style; I'd forgotten as well that it plays like a talky comedy but with superb action sequences. And I'm sure I must have blocked out from my memory the extended scene in the jailhouse with a crooning Dean Martin and Ricky Nelson (though, hey, it's not that bad, I'm even pretty fond of it now I'm in my old age). I was never a fan though of the John T. Chance/Feathers scenes and time hasn't improved them. The commentary from critic Richard Schickel and John Carpenter is entertaining but runs out of puff.
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Old 21-06-2007, 19:03   #249
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I watched the SD version again a couple of days ago (the new SE is on it's way to me), and after all this talk about the latest iteration being too dark, it struck me the previous DVD is just too damn bright.

The interiors seem lit up like Christmas trees, and with those orange shrouded lanterns I can't believe that was the original intention.

Once upon a time I winced at the Martin/Nelson scene, but now I love the songs. Just love 'em. The major incongruity to me is all the talk of urging an alcoholic to have a beer. I mean, beer can't do any harm now can it...
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Old 21-06-2007, 19:08   #250
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The major incongruity to me is all the talk of urging an alchoholic to have a beer. I mean, beer can't do any harm now can it...
If it's a budweiser it can't ! but I think that reflects an American assumption that beer is not that much stronger than lemonaide. Real drinking is done with a shot of whisky.
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Old 21-06-2007, 19:17   #251
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If it's a budweiser it can't ! but I think that reflects an American assumption that beer is not that much stronger than lemonaide. Real drinking is done with a shot of whisky.
Of course, real drinking done by real men. In dirty glasses (*spit* - *p'tangggg!*).
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Old 21-06-2007, 19:42   #252
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Curiously, in the extras on the HD-DVD Rio Bravo, which are shown in standard definition (not HD), the film's excerpts look cleaner in the "lower" definition, perhaps better. I have no technical expertise in this area but HD appears to heighten (even exaggerate) film grain. So John is probably better off with the SD.

"The sun is sinking in the west, the cattle go down to the stream
The redwing settles in her nest, it's time for a cowboy to dream."

(Dammit, Dino's got me whistling that darn song, now !)

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Old 21-06-2007, 20:58   #253
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Maybe it is a sign of mellowing, but I've come to really love those leisurely scenes in the jailhouse in Rio Bravo. It's not that I disliked them before but, having watched the film again recently, I now feel that they're the parts of the movie that I enjoy the most.
All that horseplay between Wayne, Brennan and Dino are what gives the film it's unique charm and heart.
Even old Stumpy's grating rendition of Deguello on the harmonica seems endearing to me.
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Old 22-06-2007, 12:05   #254
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Maybe it is a sign of mellowing, but I've come to really love those leisurely scenes in the jailhouse in Rio Bravo. It's not that I disliked them before but, having watched the film again recently, I now feel that they're the parts of the movie that I enjoy the most.
All that horseplay between Wayne, Brennan and Dino are what gives the film it's unique charm and heart.
Even old Stumpy's grating rendition of Deguello on the harmonica seems endearing to me.
These scenes give the movie a lot of its feel and charm, especially the camaraderie between the principals. I simply adore that movie. And Dino's song is a winner, although it's his superb dramatic performance that makes the movie for me.
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Old 22-06-2007, 16:25   #255
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Like the posters above, the song sequence gets less irritating the more I watch the movie and, whether or not it's incidental, the older I get.

Wonderful movie though - shame that John Carpenter couldn't find more to say on the commentary track since he obviously adores the film.
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Old 23-06-2007, 15:31   #256
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The Cowboys; Deluxe Edition arrived today, yes it's grainy (and I'm never adverse to some grain), but my God what a stupendous improvement over the mess that was the first edition. For a start this one has some decent colour in it, it's much, much sharper and detailed, and Warners has removed most of the hundreds of nicks and marks that afflicted the first iteration. Very nice indeed.

I've just watched the featurette The Cowboys; Together Again which left a big daft grin on my face, the boys, Roscoe Lee Browne (bless him), Mark Rydell and Bruce Dern (he relates 'that' story and Warners have neatly excised the f-word!) telling some wonderful and endearing tales of the film and, in particular, working with the Duke.

I'm with Rydell; I think this is one of Wayne's top five performances on film, no matter that - or even because - it comes in the late autumn of hs career. And I also reckon that John Williams score, a terrific Copland pastiche, is one of his best too.

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Old 28-06-2007, 11:35   #257
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My HD-DVD copy of Rio Bravo arrived today and - considering the carping about its transfer quality - I'm pleasantly surprised at how good it looks on my display.
After a quick scan through my SD version, I concur; at the very least the interiors look like interiors. Not perfect, not a disaster.
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Old 07-10-2007, 23:57   #258
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Picked this up from the HTF; a fascinating article on the wonderful Hondo.

Clears up a whole lot of misconceptions regarding the movie's OAR and the the 3-D process used.
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