Preferred Halloween (1978) transfer

Discussion in 'Reader Polls' started by shape22, Oct 29, 2010.

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Which is your preferred transfer of John Carpenter's Halloween?

  1. THX DVD with Dean Cundey's approved color timing

    62.2%
  2. Blu-ray presentation

    37.8%
  1. shape22

    shape22 Well-Known Member

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    After re-visiting Anchor Bay's THX DVD edition with Dean Cundey's approved transfer, I was struck by how strongly I prefer it to the Blu-ray presentation.

    So for those of you who have both of these discs, which do you prefer? The creative team's preferred color timing? Or the vastly improved detail of the Blu-ray disc?
     
  2. horrorlover

    horrorlover Member

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    I have the DVD with the correct colors, I didn't buy the blu ray because of reading that they did some tinkering with the colors. Don't worry though very soon Anchor Bay will probably release a new blu ray of Halloween with a "new" transfer and better colors.
     
  3. Ash28M

    Ash28M Active Member

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    I have no problem with the Blu-Ray. It's the best I've ever seen the films look.
     
  4. Erick H.

    Erick H. Well-Known Member

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    I prefer the earlier copy.
     
  5. Hellbilly

    Hellbilly Active Member

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    I've watched the DVD countless times so I know how it looks. These days and the next couple of years I will be watching the blu because of the breathtaking fine detail.
     
  6. Angelman

    Angelman OCD Blu Ray Collector

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    I'm with Shape22 - Cundey's IS Halloween for me.
     
  7. wago70

    wago70 Surviving on nostalgia

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    The THX DVD for sure. Now what I'd REALLY like to see is all that great unseen footage Don May of Synapse unearthed some years ago!
     
  8. Katatonia

    Katatonia Hellbound Heart

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    The Blu-ray certainly looks good and the details are crisp, but I prefer the Cundey approved transfer overall.
     
  9. rhett

    rhett Administrator

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    If this were between the 25th Anniversary Edition and the THX DVD, I'd no question chose the THX disc. The Blu-ray rights a lot of the wrongs from the 25th DVD, though, and considering it's much sharper I can't really see myself going back.
     
  10. welb25

    welb25 New Member

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    what is the consensus regarding the colors? I know the THX dvd was Cundey approved but did the colors of the original theatrical release have that strong blue and orange hue of the THX dvd? I have the THX dvd, the 25th Ann. dvd, the Blu, and the Criterion laserdisc and to me THX dvd is the one that doesn't seem to fit color-wise. On my display The Criterion LD has nowhere near the dramatic colors of the THX dvd and is much closer in color timing to the Blu.
     
  11. shape22

    shape22 Well-Known Member

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    There's a ton of debate on the net. Many people claim some type of expert position based on their 30+ year-old memories of seeing Halloween on the big screen. I don't put much stock in that type of stuff.

    The Cundy-approved transfer has been supported by a lot of credible people. Don May Jr. posted this at Home Theater Forum:

    "Well, you don't have to worry about the claims being dubious... I have hours of the original 35mm camera neg for HALLOWEEN (all the b-roll stuff... hours of it) and of the reels I've taken a look at (within the past year or so, mind you), all the blue lighting is definitely there, in full-force.

    The negatives were untouched and stored in air-tight containers and the images on the b-roll looked like they were shot yesterday. Nothing was faded and the blue was there. One of the shots I looked at was a scene where nancy Loomis is stuck in the window and little Kyle Richards comes into the laundry room. The blue was so rich, bright and vivid coming through the windows it looked surreal. So, on the original untimed negatives, they had the blue lights blaring! Actually it's a funny blooper as little Kyle tries to pull Nancy's leg, gives up, turns to the camera and just sorta shrugs!

    Anyway... Next time I'm in LA, I'll try and do a few scans of the frames to show folks that the blue lighting is definitely supposed to be there."

    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/forum/thread/262615/htf-blu-ray-review-halloween-1978

    Don is obviously a credible guy who's repeatedly demonstrated a great commitment to accurate film preservation. Since he posts here as well maybe he can elaborate some more.

    Bill Lustig also has spoken in favor of Cundey's approved transfer. Damin J. Toell at HTF spoke directly to Bill:

    "I spoke to Bill Lustig in person this evening. We discussed Halloween. He has not seen the new AB release. However, he told me that he was personally present for the color correction process of the 99 disc. So was Dean Cundey. Cundey was there for the entire color correction process, not merely some kind of post hoc signing off as has been suggested. Lustig says that the 99 disc represents the original color scheme. It's Lustig's opinion that Halloween ushered in the cliche of blue moonlight, and that to neutralize the nighttimes blues would be a big loss. AB could have easily made their new transfer match the 99 color scheme.

    This post was in reference to the Divimax release. Lustig is extremely familiar with Halloween and how it looked. He also was involved in the making of that DVD and the documentary on the disc. Cundey, the director of photography for the film, was involved in the transfer and approved it."

    http://forum.dvdtalk.com/archive/t-444830.html

    I can't find any recorded quotes from Cundey or Carpenter. But I'm more than willing to accept what Don and Bill have to say about the color timing of Halloween.

    All this said, the reason I posted this poll question was to see what's more important to everyone here--accurate color timing in standard resolution or the vast improvement in clarity, detail, and contrast you get with the Blu-ray transfer. So even though I believe the Cundey-approved transfer is the only "correct" one (since it preserves the look of the film as intended by the creative team), the poll is all about your personal preferences.

    Thanks for the participation in this thread. Halloween is near and dear to me. And I'm enjoying everyone's thoughts on this subject.
     
  12. maybrick

    maybrick Well-Known Member

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    I prefer Cundey's color timing, but I could forgive the 25th anniversary transfer for lack of blues if only the green grass wasn't so distractingly and overwhelmingly GREEN and therefore contrary to the fact that the film was supposed to take place in late October.
     
  13. blu

    blu New Member

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    I agree. Halloween is my favorite horror film and I was blown away by how good the BD looks.
     
  14. Kolpitz

    Kolpitz Purely and Simply Evil

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    My vote goes to the Blu-ray. It may not be the original theatrical color timing but I'm okay with that because the transfer blows all other releases of the film out of the water. I had heard a rumor years ago that the THX DVD was the way that it appeared in theaters; the way Cundey shot it. But, the 25th Anniversary DVD was the way that Carpenter had always wanted it to look (as it was he who tweaked the colors and approved the transfer). This could be complete bullshit but, even if it is true, who's to know whether Carpenter wanted it this way originally or if he simply had a Lucas-esque change of heart (he's made no effort to hide his love of money). Either way, the Blu-ray (as Rhett pointed out) is a hybrid that fixes a lot of the grievances with the AE disc while presenting the film as if it's brand new.
     
  15. Erick H.

    Erick H. Well-Known Member

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    I have seen the film in the theater and I just screened Universal's archive copy of TERROR IN THE AISLES which also features several scenes from HALLOWEEN.The blue tone was always in the film.As to which transfer you personally prefer,to each his own.
     
  16. Copyboy

    Copyboy Member

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    I can't vote in this one. I LOVE the blue lighting and that's how I remember seeing the movie the first time it scared the hell out of me on TV back in '81. When I saw the Blu-ray last year it was so crisp and clean and beautiful that I have to admit I didn't even notice the blue lighting was missing from it!
     
  17. shape22

    shape22 Well-Known Member

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    It is complete bullshit. Neither Carpenter nor Cundey had anything to do with any of the transfers after the THX edition.

    Nothing wrong with preferring the Blu. The additional detail is amazing. And I know some people prefer the more natural colors. And as Rhett said, even if you like the original color timing, it's tough to go back and give up all the benefits of hi-resolution. But the Blu does NOT accurately represent the look that Carpenter and Cundey intended.
     
  18. Kolpitz

    Kolpitz Purely and Simply Evil

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    Like I said, I wasn't saying that it was true. Probably just a rumor started by some fanboys, trying to justify the color changes. Here's what it says on IMDb:

    "It also had a new transfer approved by John Carpenter,which caused some controversy amongst fans, as he apparently adjusted the color quite severely, a radical departure from the previous transfer supervised by D.P. Dean Cundey."
     
  19. SaxCatz

    SaxCatz New Member

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    Normally, I would be the purist and argue that the THX DVD transfer, with its apparently accuarate color-timing is the only way to go. However, I never saw this film in theaters (that was 5 years before I was even born) and my entire memory of how the film should look is based around early TV, and later VHS, viewings.
    I owned the THX DVD and though that it looked vastly different from what I thought the film should look like. I never researched why. But I did buy the Blu-Ray shortly after its release and gave the THX DVD away. The Blu-Ray, in addition to be far sharper and more vibrant (this was an impressive transfer for 2007), was closer to my recollection of what the film should look like.
    While I admit that the THX color-timing may be more accurate, my vote goes to the Blu-Ray as it is a far sharper, brighter and clearer transfer of the film that looks the way I grew up thinking it should look.
     
  20. shape22

    shape22 Well-Known Member

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    Kolpitz, I apologize if you thought I was trying to attack you. My frustration is with Anchor Bay and the Internet Movie Database, not you. I hope you'll forgive my overzealousness to refute that report.

    I've seen the IMDB blurb about Carpenter approving the color timing changes too. I think you're absolutely right about it being fanboy-generated misinformation. If Carpenter had approved the changes, doesn't it seem logical that the packaging would have promoted this? The THX DVD packaging trumpets Cundey's involvement.

    It really would be nice to have direct access to Carpenter and Cundey. We could put all this stuff to bed for all-time instead of trying to piece it together.
     

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