Lawrence Of Arabia - Which Dvd Should I Get?

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by antonkk, Oct 19, 2004.

  1. antonkk

    antonkk Forum Resident

    Location:
    moscow
    I'm kinda confused. There are 2 versions which are considered good. The 2-disc version with extras and the new superbit without them. How do they compare? I'm really interested in the great, powerful 5.1 mix plus decent picture but I also would like to know more about the movie (Peter O'Toole gives probably the best performance of all time here) and Lawrence, the historic person. So it narrows us to basically 2 very important questions:
    1 - Is the pircture/sound THAT better on Superbit to sacrifice the extras?
    2 - Are the extras worthy?


    :confused:
     
  2. Mr. Winston

    Mr. Winston New Member

    It depends, do you want a great picture or great extras? I don't have a HD monitor and I don't see the problems people say is wrong with the 2 DVD set in the tan case. Other people swear by the superbit. Myself, I wanted the extras that were available only in the first 2 DVD set, such as documentaries from filming in Jordan. I'd suggest go with what you really want.
     
  3. dmac

    dmac New Member

    Location:
    Boston, MA
    As I understand it, the superbit edition is the only one with a transfer approved by the restorationist, Robert Harris. Apparently the 2 disc edition had all sorts of color timing issues.
     
  4. thegage

    thegage Well-Known Member

    I have both the 2-disc and the Superbit, and was disappointed with the picture on the 2-disc release. Even on my 34-inch widescreen capable Sony the better quality picture of the Superbit is noticeable. If I were doing it with both versions available, I'd buy the Superbit and find a way to rent the 2-disc since I only watch the extras once.

    John K.
     
  5. jpm-boston

    jpm-boston Active Member

    Location:
    Boston, MA
    Go with the superbit. This is the type of movie you need to see on a big screen television. I agree with John K. rent the two disc edition for the extras.
     
  6. greg_t

    greg_t Active Member

    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    Superbit all the way. The superbit has far superior image over the 2 disc limited edition set and the DTS soundtrack is wonderful. As Dmac pointed out, the superbit transfer was supervised by film restorationist Robert Harris, who restored the movie in the late 80's with Director David Leans approval. The original 2 disc has colors wrong and I believe some audio errors. As Robert Harris puts it, it is not David Leans vision of lawrence. Also the LE has added in edge enchancment. The superbit is a new transfer from the HIDEF master with no additional edge enchancment added. Robert Harris personally supervised the DVD transfer to make sure that what you see on the disc is the closest thing to David Leans vision that has ever been on home video. So with the superbit you not only get the true version of Lawerence, the video quality is far better than the 2 disc LE.
     
  7. peterC

    peterC Aussie Addict

    Location:
    sydney
  8. John Moschella

    John Moschella Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Christiansburg, VA
    This one is a no-brainer, get the Superbit, its got a much better picture. Having said that, the 2-disc set has some of the best extras I know of including a nice history lesson on the Middle East. So get the Superbit or get both.
     
  9. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden MichiGort Staff

    Location:
    Livonia, MI
    The Superbit is the way to go. The color timing is greatly improved and some ugly audio editorial glitches have been fixed.

    That being said, the best DVD-ROM extra I have ever scene is the "Archives of Arabia" feature on the limited edition version. If you have a PC w/DVD-ROM it is a very cool reference on both the film's production and the history upon which the film is based.

    Regards,
     
  10. Ed Bishop

    Ed Bishop Holding Pattern

    When I bought my PC, chose to have a DVD-ROM, just for the hell of it, didn't know if it would ever be used beyond occasionally scanning a film. Then LOA came along....some amazing stuff on it accessible only this way, and made the investment well worth it.

    But yes, you need both editions if you love the film: Superbit for the improved quality of the film itself, and the SE for the big load of bonus material.


    :ed:
     
  11. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden MichiGort Staff

    Location:
    Livonia, MI
    I guess as an alternative, you could get the Superbit and a good book on the making of the movie. There was a really good book called "Lawrence of Arabia: The 30th Anniversary Pictorial History" by L. Robert Morris and Lawrence Raskind that came out in the early 90s. It looks like this:
    [​IMG].

    Regards,
     
  12. Todd Fredericks

    Todd Fredericks Forum Resident

    Location:
    New York City
    I can take it one step forward.

    Get the Superbit, the book, and take a history class (plus a weekend at the beach for the sand)..... :)
     
  13. Mal

    Mal Phorum Physicist

    Location:
    Brighton, England
    If you love the film as much as I do you'll end up with both DVD editions :agree:.
     
  14. ronbow

    ronbow Well-Known Member

    Location:
    St. Louis MO
    I've loved the movie since its initial release; it sounds like my 2-disk cloth-covered DE and 30th anniversary book are deemed insufficient, and, now, of course, it appears that I need to start trolling for a good price on the superBit edition. (thanks loads guys - :winkgrin: )
     
  15. Ed Bishop

    Ed Bishop Holding Pattern

    Ron,

    Ask a question here and like as not, it'll cost ya more money! :laugh: Well spent, however!:)


    :ed:
     
  16. Jeff H.

    Jeff H. Well-Known Member

    The Superbit version of "Lawrence" is where it's at!!! Absolutely stunning picture quality!!!! It's also the only place you can get it with the great sounding DTS 5.1 soundtrack. The standard 5.1 track is great also. The extras on the other release are good but IMHO aren't really essential. This is one of those DVD's you buy for movie itself, definitely extra money well spent.
     
  17. Mr. Winston

    Mr. Winston New Member

    Like I've said, its up to the viewer and what is desired. I don't have a high grade monitor and the picture on the first 2 DVD release looks fine to me. Maybe if I do upgrade to a HDTV, I'll check out the superbit, but until then "Do what thou wilt" :D
     
  18. b&w

    b&w Active Member

    I'll throw in my useless opinion. The SuperB is definitely the way to go for the movie/sound part of the equation. It's not even close. As for the extras in the 2 disc set, indeed if your a true fan of the movie, you'll have to buy both. My personal opinion is that no matter how large a home theater screen environment this movie is seen in, that you still don't quite get the full visual impact as seeing it in a truly large screen like a Hollywood Manns Chinese. My point is if you get the chance to ever see it on large screen do so, all the things that are marvelous about the movie visually are only magnified. I however am biased as the first time I got to see this movie was in a CinemaDome like presentation at the original 89 restoration.
     
  19. Mr. Winston

    Mr. Winston New Member

    I know what you mean. My father saw this when it premiered in the 1960s on a 70mm screen, and when he saw it on cable TV in the 1980s, he was disappointed. It remains one of his favorites, but he admits that watching it at home on video "just isn't the same as the experience he had in the 1960s"
     
  20. The 2-disc set of Lawrence Arabia came out first in 2000. I was impressed with both audio and video. It's worth buying not only for the extras but for the overall quality of the DVD.

    Then the Superbit version came out on 2003. I bought it too because I really like the movie.
    There's only a slight improvement in the video quality but for me, it's really nice to have both versions.
     
  21. greg_t

    greg_t Active Member

    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    It's not only that the superbit is better in terms of audio and video, which it is on both fronts, but that the 2 disc original lawrence DVD according to Robert Harris is NOT David Leans Lawrence of Arabia and that Lean would be upset if he saw what had been done to his film in that version. The superbit more closely represents what the director envisioned, and more than anything else, that's why it's the superior version. In that respect, it doesn't matter if you're watching on a 100" front projector or a 19" TV.
     
  22. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden MichiGort Staff

    Location:
    Livonia, MI
    The color timing differences are illustrated very well by the frame comparisons linked above. There is a tilt towards magenta on the original DVD releases whereas the desert and sky look distrinctly blue and yellow (and freaking hot, as intended), on the Superbit.

    Regards,
     

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