Images

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released from Arrow and the films on them.

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rapta
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Images

#1 Post by rapta » Wed Dec 13, 2017 9:23 am

Postcard inside my copy of The Apartment confirms an upcoming Arrow Academy release of Robert Altman's IMAGES (1972)! :D

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Ribs
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Re: Forthcoming: Images

#2 Post by Ribs » Wed Dec 13, 2017 9:25 am

Ooh, I don’t think there’s been postcards for Academy titles before!

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tenia
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Re: Forthcoming: Images

#3 Post by tenia » Wed Dec 13, 2017 9:40 am

Good to learn at the same time that the Apartment copies are already available (somewhere).

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rapta
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Re: Forthcoming: Images

#4 Post by rapta » Wed Dec 13, 2017 10:22 am

There was talk of at least one more Altman from Arrow but I incorrectly assumed it'd be something like Thieves Like Us, Quintet, or the already-restored A Wedding. Had some doubts they could get Images, but happy to be proven wrong. Never seen it, but it should be a good follow-up to 3 Women and MoC's That Cold Day in the Park.
Ribs wrote:Ooh, I don’t think there’s been postcards for Academy titles before!
Nope, a first as far as I'm aware. The card was for The Love of a Woman, if that's of any interest to you! :)
tenia wrote:Good to learn at the same time that the Apartment copies are already available (somewhere).
I pre-ordered from the old Arrow store if that's any help, but had no idea it was on its way (no dispatch email). It's a hefty release!

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tenia
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Re: Forthcoming: Images

#5 Post by tenia » Wed Dec 13, 2017 10:49 am

rapta wrote:There was talk of at least one more Altman from Arrow but I incorrectly assumed it'd be something like Thieves Like Us, Quintet, or the already-restored A Wedding.
Since there only is this one yet-to-be-announced title on the card, I suppose other Altman releases might not be too far away in time.

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Re: Forthcoming: Images

#6 Post by beamish13 » Wed Dec 13, 2017 11:30 am

Wonderful news. I saw an excellent Q&A with editor Graeme Clifford when UCLA screened this, and I hope they get him and Rene Auberjonois on the disc. The score by Yamashta Stomu/John Williams is stunning-maybe we can get something on its creation as well.

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Banasa
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Re: Forthcoming: Images

#7 Post by Banasa » Wed Dec 20, 2017 12:50 pm

Announced for March 19/20.
The early seventies were a period of remarkable activity for Robert Altman, producing masterpiece after masterpiece. At the time he came to make Images, MASH and McCabe & Mrs. Miller were behind him, with The Long Goodbye, California Split and Nashville still to come.

Originally conceived in the mid-sixties, Images concerns a pregnant children’s author (Susannah York, who won the Best Actress award at the Cannes Film Festival) whose husband (Rene Auberjonois) may or may not be having an affair. While holidaying in Ireland, her mental state becomes increasingly unstable resulting in paranoia, hallucinations and visions of a doppelgänger.

Scored by an Oscar-nominated John Williams, with “sounds” by Stomu Yamash'ta (The Man Who Fell to Earth), Images also boasts the remarkable cinematography of Vilmos Zsigmond (Close Encounters of the Third Kind).

SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS
• Brand-new 4K restoration from the original negative, produced by Arrow Films exclusively for this release
• High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
• Original English mono audio (uncompressed LPCM) soundtracks
• Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
• Audio commentary by Samm Deighan and Kat Ellinger
• Scene-select commentary by writer-director Robert Altman
• Interview with Robert Altman
• Brand new interview with actor Cathryn Harrison
• An appreciation by musician and author Stephen Thrower
• Theatrical trailer
• Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by the Twins of Evil

FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Carmen Gray and an extract from Altman on Altman"

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Finch
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Re: Images

#8 Post by Finch » Wed Dec 20, 2017 3:14 pm

Academy are outperforming the Video line for the 2018 output again, at least on the evidence of the line up revealed so far. I go hot and cold on Altman but I loved 3 Women and Images sounds up my street.

rwaits
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Re: Images

#9 Post by rwaits » Wed Dec 20, 2017 3:30 pm

Images makes a great companion piece to 3 Women. Absolutely bonkers mind bender of a movie, with a creepy score by John Williams. An under appreciated little Altman gem ... I'm so happy to see this one get the royal treatment.

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Re: Images

#10 Post by Costa » Fri Feb 23, 2018 1:57 pm

a first review for Images:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lfrpyyI ... be&t=1m36s" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

he says the grain is overwhelming at times but that doesn't bother me at all since I love grain.
And I also remember watching the DVD, there must be excessive grain in the original film due to the quality of film it was printed on?
it looked like that..

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rapta
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Re: Images

#11 Post by rapta » Sun Feb 25, 2018 9:22 am

It's an in-house 4K restoration. I'm not worried at all. And besides, grain is supposed to be there.

Costa
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Re: Images

#12 Post by Costa » Sun Feb 25, 2018 5:00 pm

Not so favorable review:
http://www.dvdmg.com/images.shtml" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

I'm concerned a bit about this bit:
" The movie went with a blue-oriented palette"

I don't remember any blue-oriented palette.
more like grey I'd say..

An "acceptable visual presentation" for a 4K restoration doesn't sound good.
Although I have hopes and I attribute this to the author's unfamiliarity with the film.

But, I have to see screenshots before i order anything.

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Gregory
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Re: Images

#13 Post by Gregory » Sun Feb 25, 2018 5:37 pm

What an authoritative review. Good thing so much of the first part of it was devoted to showing just how little the reviewer knew about the film before sitting down to write about it.
Though dated, the image appeared generally adequate.
In what sense is the image "dated"? (Keep in mind this is from the "technical" part of the review.)
Occasional instances of softness interfered at times
It shouldn't interfere with anything. Is this implying that every shot in the film should have been in sharp focus but softness was somehow introduced in the restoration?
Is the reviewer familiar with the photography of McCabe and Mrs. Miller and The Long Goodbye? It doesn't appear he's reviewed them.
Costa wrote:But, I have to see screenshots before i order anything.
I'm sure there will be some coming.

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Re: Images

#14 Post by cdnchris » Sun Feb 25, 2018 8:41 pm

Costa wrote:
But, I have to see screenshots before i order anything.
I don't think you should worry: it looks really good. It'll be a bit before I get screen grabs and Beaver will more likely get some up soon but I think you'll be happy with how it looks once some go up.

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tenia
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Re: Images

#15 Post by tenia » Mon Feb 26, 2018 6:28 am

Gregory wrote:Is the reviewer familiar with the photography of McCabe and Mrs. Miller and The Long Goodbye? It doesn't appear he's reviewed them.
1. The Long Goodbye current master IS dated and I certainly wouldn't hold it as perfectly faithful to the original photography.
2. I don't to defend the writer but one doesn't have to have explicitly reviewed something to know about it, or the techniques it uses, etc etc.

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Gregory
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Re: Images

#16 Post by Gregory » Mon Feb 26, 2018 1:57 pm

1. My point was about Vilmos Zsigmond's cinematography itself, not the master. Sometimes a soft, hazy look is intentional, yet that's never stopped a ham-fisted reviewer from pointing out softness as if it's evidence of less-than-optimal transfer or mastering.
2. Yes, obviously. I meant there to be an implied "for what it's worth" attached to what I pointed out about the lack of reviews of the relevant Altman films on the site.

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Re: Images

#17 Post by MichaelB » Mon Feb 26, 2018 2:19 pm

Gregory wrote:1. My point was about Vilmos Zsigmond's cinematography itself, not the master. Sometimes a soft, hazy look is intentional, yet that's never stopped a ham-fisted reviewer from pointing out softness as if it's evidence of less-than-optimal transfer or mastering.
Tell me about it. I still vividly recall some idiot giving 3/10 for picture quality for White of the Eye, which was an absolutely state of the (then) art 2K ArriScan off the original camera negative and looked exactly as I remembered it from 35mm screenings. The really galling thing about that review is that if the reviewer had actually watched the disc properly or read the booklet, he'd know all about the high-contrast high-grain look of the flashback sequences being entirely intentional, but instead he implied that it was some kind of mistake on Arrow's part.

And, later, someone moaned about The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Miss Osbourne being "too soft", as though Walerian Borowczyk should have gone against all his previous visual principles and adopted a hard-edged modern video look to satisfy visual illiterates who confuse "quality" with "sharpness". It's not too soft, it's appropriately soft, as supervised and approved by the man who originally shot it.

I've only had time to dip into Arrow's Images, but it looks exactly as I'd expect it to look, given the director and cinematographer (and, more specifically, the style they more famously adopted in the films that bookend this one). Anyone expecting a sharp picture on this title is living in a dreamworld - if you never got one in 35mm, you're not going to get one on Blu-ray, unless something's gone badly wrong with the transfer.

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Re: Images

#18 Post by cdnchris » Mon Feb 26, 2018 3:06 pm

It looks great. Grain is nice (and not all that heavy really) and I guess there's a slight softness but it's the photography. Colours are fine too.

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tenia
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Re: Images

#19 Post by tenia » Mon Feb 26, 2018 3:59 pm

Gregory wrote:1. My point was about Vilmos Zsigmond's cinematography itself, not the master. Sometimes a soft, hazy look is intentional, yet that's never stopped a ham-fisted reviewer from pointing out softness as if it's evidence of less-than-optimal transfer or mastering.
I know that, but when you're looking at a movie only through the prism of its video release, the artifacts of the age of the master might pass for a technical shooting choice sometimes. I've never seen The Long Goodbye before watching it on BD, and while I don't doubt the movie is quite soft, I'm also quite sure the BD makes it softer than it should. You're right in a way that the trained eye can still makes out the difference between one and the other, but I too often read things based on how a movie looked on video and how it's all an artistic choice etc only to find years later the video presentations were all wrong and the movie actually never was supposed to look like that.

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Re: Images

#20 Post by David M. » Mon Feb 26, 2018 6:17 pm

Every time this subject comes up, I'll say the same thing:

What display is the reviewer using, and how is it set up? Ask if it's been calibrated by a competent engineer. If it hasn't, there's a 99% chance the reviewer is not seeing what's on the disc.

This is not to deflect criticism where appropriate - I'm just pointing out that an "overwhelmingly grainy" transfer is probably just normally grainy, but is being turned into edge enhanced soup by TVs in their default modes.

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tenia
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Re: Images

#21 Post by tenia » Tue Feb 27, 2018 4:49 am

People need to remember that outside of the setup's setup, some reviewers simply aren’t experienced enough or have the wrong expectations. I’m quite certain that some reviewers, even with a calibrated set, would still get the wrong conclusions.

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Re: Images

#22 Post by MichaelB » Tue Feb 27, 2018 5:28 am

Oh, so am I. Part of the problem here is that the breadth of knowledge needed to be a good Blu-ray reviewer is pretty vast - and in the overwhelming majority of cases the pay doesn’t come even the tiniest bit close to being appropriate for the skillset required. (In a lot of cases, reviewers aren’t paid at all.)

And the younger a reviewer is, the less likely they are to have grown up with this stuff on 35mm, so for them the task is even harder. I’m probably from the last generation which routinely watched things on 35mm, both in first run and rep cinemas, and I’m the wrong side of fifty (only just, but still). So I can sympathise with someone being confronted with a film shot by, say, Vilmos Zsigmond or Geoffrey Unsworth and instinctively thinking “it’s not sharp enough” because they most likely don’t know any better. They might also complain that Institute Benjamenta looks “too grey”, even though the look was closely supervised by both directors and their cinematographer, who were all extremely precise about what they wanted.

But, by the same token, this is why reviewers need to keep an open mind and be constantly willing to learn - and, if necessary, revisit previous opinions in the light of subsequently accumulated knowledge. I’ve never understood the mentality that as soon as a review is published it becomes sacrosanct - understandably, it’s hard to correct something in print, but online it’s a doddle.

And I have infinitely more respect for someone who’s demonstrably prepared to learn from their mistakes than I am for someone who merely doubles down and insists that they’re right, even when the evidence is completely against them. 

When it comes to technical assessments, it’s frequently not a matter of opinion - for instance, I called Gary Tooze out the other day for highlighting “a hint of green” on a disc that I knew for a fact (since I co-produced it) contained a pure black-and-white encode. So either he’s imagining it, or his own equipment is adding it at his end, because it provably isn’t on the disc. (But Gary’s one of the better ones when it comes to correcting his mistakes.)

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tenia
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Re: Images

#23 Post by tenia » Tue Feb 27, 2018 5:56 am

Well, I’m only 31 and have never ever touched film stock and am routinely called out on this when I’m challenging a restoration, no matter how transparent I can be to this, and how logical my reasoning about the challenge can be.
For instance, I’ve recently discussed Eclair’s choice not to have pure blacks on some of their restorations and how this choice is inconsistent from a restoration to another one; and the yellow under-contrasted look of many Ritrovata restorations. In both cases, I was told “what do you know ? Have you ever worked with HDCAM SR ? Have you ever touched a color probe ?”, no matter how hard I explained my reasons for challenging those.
MichaelB wrote:But, by the same token, this is why reviewers need to keep an open mind and be constantly willing to learn - and, if necessary, revisit previous opinions in the light of subsequently accumulated knowledge. I’ve never understood the mentality that as soon as a review is published it becomes sacrosanct - understandably, it’s hard to correct something in print, but online it’s a doddle.
Part of the reasons probably just is routine. Once it’s published, you just go on to the next one. You might be too busy with the next reviews to go back to the older ones. Also, except for a strong mistake, you might not take this time to go back and correct half a point on a grade or something like this.
I’ve come, for instance, to realise that many discs I’ve reviewed and found the soundtrack to be under-mixed might simply be using the theatrical mix and not a Near Field one. I have no idea how long it’d take me to go back at all of these just to add this info. Knowing it won’t change my final grade, I just won’t go back and try and track them all to complete these. However, it’s clear that the next time I encounter this, I won’t forget about this possibility.

But in some cases, where I felt I just was too generous or too harsh (though it’s often too generous – no matter how mediocre a BD can be, it’s hard to give it less than the average if you can spot the High Def bump), I’ve started re-adjusting the scores. It helps remaining consistent with what you see now. You might watch for the first time an older disc and feel it actually wasn’t so good as said at the time... except it’s now 5 years later so you know better. For instance, there’s no way the first version of Patton would get a pass now, but when it was first released, most people raved about it (just like Baraka and The Dark Knight).

However, if I'm caught on the spot, I'll correct the review straight away.

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Re: Images

#24 Post by mfunk9786 » Tue Feb 27, 2018 1:02 pm

My cats love grain too, but recently we've had to switch to grain-free food to get them to lose a little weight.

Wait, what are we talking about?

gap
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Re: Images

#25 Post by gap » Wed Feb 28, 2018 5:47 am

Tenia, where do you post your reviews?

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