An American Werewolf in London

Discussion in 'High Definition' started by indiephantom, Aug 1, 2009.

  1. Grim

    Grim Well-Known Member

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    It all depends on film stock used. Aliens was made 5 years after An American Werewolf in London and is far more grainy and gritty. If you base the quality of HD releases on grain, you're going to be sorely disappointed with many old films. The higher the resolution and the clearer the picture, the more grain inherent in the film itself will be revealed. I guess if it bothers you, stick with the SD version of that film. I'll take the better colors and clarity.
     
  2. Buddusky

    Buddusky New Member

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    As I said the Sci-Fi HD Channel showed it tonight with better picture quality somehow. And just to let you know I have a lot of blu ray discs of films made between the 70s/80s which I'm very happy with and Aliens hasn' t been released on blu ray yet.

    I' ll stick with the blu ray but it should have been better quality than this.
    Have you actually seen the blu ray disc yet?
     
  3. AndresG

    AndresG Member

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    I'd stick with my HD DVD version of the film, looks like there's no big improvements on the BD version and as that wasn't enough, I deeply dislike that Blu-ray cover artwork...
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2009
  4. Grim

    Grim Well-Known Member

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    I have not seen the blu-ray disc, but I had the old HD-DVD and it too was grainy. I still felt it was a vast improvement over the SD release. Considering that the print that was on Sci-fi was probably the same as the one used for the DVD, HD-DVD, and blu-ray, I don't see how it could be better, but I haven't seen it so I don't know. Who knows, maybe they DNR'd the shit out of it. Some people like less grain even if it means the loss of detail. And I know Aliens isn't out yet on blu, but it has been shown in HD before and I have seen a theatrical print of it in theaters. It's a grainy film. Very gritty. I think it was definitely an artistic choice of Cameron's and not low quality film stock. My point is just that grain will be in some, actually many, films, regardless of when they were released or how good the remastering job is.
     
  5. Buddusky

    Buddusky New Member

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    Just telling you on what I' ve seen Grim. This is one of my favourites and I was hoping it would look as good as some of my other favs - The Thing, The Shining, Clockwork Orange, Creepshow ect. It did look much better on the HD channel though, so much my g/f even noticed the difference!
     
  6. Grim

    Grim Well-Known Member

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    The Kubrick films are great films to reference when showing off your HD set up. 2001 is jaw-dropping.
     
  7. Mutilated Prey

    Mutilated Prey Soul Stealer

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    So are we saying there is no real need to upgrade from the DVD on this one? I have the Collector's Edition already
     
  8. Stige

    Stige Active Member

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    well there's the feature length new documentary worth a rebuy
     
  9. Buddusky

    Buddusky New Member

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    Well as Stige says above there's the 100 minute Documentary that is really worth the watch. I had just hoped for better picture quality after all the talk about how good this "new transfer" was going to be.

    As I said above how much better the film looked on Sci-Fi HD, I only wish I had the equipment to put up some screenshots.
     
  10. MorallySound

    MorallySound Mad Mutilator

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    There's always DVDBeaver: http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film2/DVDReviews46/an_american_werewolf_in_london_blu-ray.htm

    Personally, I think the screenshots look great. And depending on the film stock used, grain will me more prevalent depending on that factor at higher resolution as noted in previous posts. It's engrained in the film, so there's no way around really reducing it without losing resolution. Looks like I'll be upgrading to the Blu.

    On the Sci-Fi HD feed, the grain may have been slightly less noticeable because I'm assuming because it's a TV feed, even in HD, the feed will be slightly compressed compared to the content on a BD.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2009
  11. Marv Inc.

    Marv Inc. Active Member

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  12. The Chaostar

    The Chaostar Johnny Hallyday forever

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    This is a wonderful interview! Always great to see the man. Such a cool guy!
     
  13. Matt89

    Matt89 Well-Known Member

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    The screenshots on DVDbeaver look fantastic. I would never consider grain to be a negative aspect of a transfer, considering grain is natural to film. Can't wait to pick this up. It seems that people who are not pleased with the transfer are people who don't like grainy flms. Even blu-ray.com seems to have missed the mark:

    "The film’s age is definitely apparent in the 1080p/VC-1 encoded transfer, with a look that’s softer and more grainy than modern viewers have come to expect."

    I don't know why people seem to think age is why movies look soft. Age has nothing to do with it. It only depends on how the movie was filmed and the film stock used. Seems like An American Werewolf in London was shot in soft focus, like many films from that period (Carrie, Dressed to Kill, Taxi Driver, Network, etc). These movies will never look perfect because they're not meant to look that way. They ARE perfect, however, in the way that they're SUPPOSED to look.

    ~Matt
     
  14. Buddusky

    Buddusky New Member

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    Never new you were an expert filmmaker Matt. On the bottom of the cover it states "The Perfect HI-DEF Movie Experience". Try watching it on a 60 inch screen and see if thats what you get. 28 Days Later looks terrible on blu ray but when you watch the documentary on it the clips from the film look much better than the film itself!

    As for your last statement, you know this for a fact do you?
     
  15. Grim

    Grim Well-Known Member

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    I'm pretty certain the doc on the blu-ray is in 480p. Correct me if I'm wrong, though. This would blur and hide much of the grit and grime that was a result of the, to be frank, shitty cameras they used. Less detail, but the image wouldn't be as hard and grainy as it truly is. I'm assuming that your main peeve is the grain and grittiness of transfers. Some films are going to have it, some films won't. No matter what they do, unless they use DNR, but then you're losing detail. They could have done that with the American Werewolf in London transfer you saw on sci-fi.
     
  16. Matt89

    Matt89 Well-Known Member

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    No I'm not an expert filmmaker, but you don't have to be one to know this. I know this through seeing films from this era and studying films from this era. Most films from the late '60s through to the early 1980s seem to have this faded washed out look. Diffusion lenses, etc. I mean, look at some of the films that have this look: The French Connection looks grainy and washed out. Yes I know Friedkin tweaked the transfer, but he didn't do anything to the amount of resolution the transfer had. The Friends of Eddie Coyle looks that way too, grainy with overblown whites, etc. The Criterion transfer was approved by Peter Yates. Look at DePalma's early films, Spielberg's, Scorsese's...they all look the same way. An American Werewolf in London was approved by Landis as well...same idea here. I'm no expert, no, but you don't have to be. It becomes quite obvious.

    This is exactly what I mean. BECAUSE OF THE WAY THIS MOVIE WAS FILMED it has certain limitations. And, it's not age. It won't look razor sharp the way movies filmed today look because that is not the way An American Werewolf in Lonon was shot. Yes I did say the film looks perfect...yes. But I also added "in the way that it was meant to look." It is as perfect as you're gonna get it to look given the way it was made. I stand by what I said 100%.

    As for 28 Days Later...that was shot on video, so it'll look crap no matter what. I don't really know what else to say.

    ~Matt
     
  17. Buddusky

    Buddusky New Member

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    I am just really disappointed with it after all the hype about the new transfer from Landis on how good it was. After watching Creepshow, which looks great, I thought this would have been a similar story.

    American Werewolf is showing again on SCI-FI HD tonight, which I' ll be recording as the quality looks better to me altogether and I didn't see any loss of detail when I watched it the last time it showed on SCI-FI compared to the blu ray.
     
  18. MorallySound

    MorallySound Mad Mutilator

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    As noted in previous posts, and in the Landis interview above, the Blu-ray transfer is 100% approved by Landis himself in the way he wants the film to look. Grain and all. Grain is natural with film stock, no matter which type of stock, new or old. It's what was intended by the filmmaker. I can see how you could be disappointed as you seem to not be a fan of grain, and as noted, the technicians tweaking a transfer can reduce grain, darken, lighten, pretty much paint a new picture during the process (but it does sacrifice some clarity, even if minuscule [I know this for a fact because I work as an editor - with every generation of effects processing or rendering you'll lose some quality]), but it's down to the director's decision on how the final transfer and digitization should look. Creepshow may look better to you, because that's how they corrected that transfer. The HD TV version may look better for AAWIL to you because it's very slightly compressed, which will reduce the apparent presence of grain because it's very minutely soft focused because of the compression to stream the video off the server.

    From the screen grabs I've seen for 28 Days Later, I think it looks like it should in HD considering the format it was shot in. It was shot with 2 Canon XL1s cameras, which is a DV camera, it's not even an HD format, it's standard definition! Standard def, especially a digital format like DV, will not look great unconverted. In this case, the DVD will look more like it was intended because of the limitations of the source format. Another example of a Blu-ray 'quality' where I believe the transfer to be phenomenal, but every review I've read gives it 1/5 for picture quality is Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter. They all state it's grainy as hell, colours aren't overly sharp, and it's sometimes slightly blurry or washed out. But since it was shot on regular 16mm (some of which is likely to be 'short ends') with a wind-up Bolex, it looks exactly like it should look; it's organic, it's raw, it's NATURAL for what 16mm actually looks like. And to me, that's what Blu-ray is supposed to be capturing, it's showing us the films at the resolution and detail to what the filmmaker's themselves think their films should look (if they've approved the transfers). Warts and all.

    I'm not bashing your opinions, just hoping this will give some clarity to a film's look and the wonderful world of high definition and it's intended presentation of a director's vision.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2009
  19. Anaestheus

    Anaestheus Well-Known Member

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    I had a similar disappointment with Casablanca. Sure, the image was crisp. But the colors were so washed out as to be virtually non-existent.

    Actually, I haven't seen any of the mentioned Blu-Ray discs, so I don't really know what I am talking about here. I just wanted to make a snarky comment.
     
  20. Buddusky

    Buddusky New Member

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    No problem MorallySound, I take everything you've said on board. I don't expect older films to be totally grain free but was just disapointed when I popped the disc in to watch it as it's one of my favourites.
     

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