'Superman: The Movie' 4K UHD Blu-ray... it's official.

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by The Hermit, Sep 26, 2018.

  1. The Hermit

    The Hermit Wavin' that magick glowstick since 1976 Thread Starter

    It's a very, very fleeting glitch on S:TM's theatrical version 2011 Blu-ray, barely noticeable... just before the aerial shot cuts to Superman landing in downtown Metropolis in order to tunnel down to Lex Luthor's underground lair, he momentarily disappears... like poof, he's just gone for a split-second, which none of the other versions have happen... I don't know if it's my copy or player or it's a glitch in the mastering itself, but it's there even if it's almost imperceptible.

    With regard the Raiders of the Lost Ark Blu-ray; it was taken from a brand new 4K scan of the original camera negative and thus was given a new color timing and soundtrack mix... it both looks and sounds fantastic to me, and I'm quite perceptive to noticeable changes in grading/timing... the truth is, every newly-mastered release will always have differences to varying degrees compared to previous releases. Is the Blu-ray true to Spielberg's original intentions? Based on what I've seen, I think it is, and have no complaints about it... it's not perfect, but not because of the transfer... it seems to be because of the down-and-dirty way it was shot, consequently I'm not sure Raiders would suit a UHD remastering... 4K by itself, without any further bells and whistles in it's overall presentation, seems to be stretching the very limits of that film's cinematography on a hi-def format.

    I'm wondering also if Superman: The Movie might be the same; as others have said, both the highly-diffused photography and optical composite work throughout that film might not lend itself to such a high-resolution/definition presentation... but I await the reviews expectantly and still hope for the best... I'd be less worried/concerned if it was just a new 4K transfer without the additional UHD/HDR... lamentably, Warner Bros. aren't giving us that option on the upcoming set's companion Blu-ray disc, alas...
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2018
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  2. captainsolo

    captainsolo Forum Resident

    Location:
    Murfreesboro, TN
    Thanks for that I’ll have to check my copy.

    As for Raiders it’s actually revisionist. Spielberg himself admitted to redoing the opening to be brighter and more colorful. But it goes much further than that. The source scan aired on Japanese hdtv channels before the BD release so it is possible to see untouched. And of course it still has the digital tweaks like the snake reflection removal. I first saw an early 35mm screening of the new version years ago before the IMAX and BD release and immediately thought something was off. After much research and consulting with Indy fans and pouring over all kinds of materials I really can’t stand the BD. And that’s also how I found out there was a custom mono done in 1981 with a few differences.
     
  3. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR!

    Location:
    Hollywood, USA
    It could be OK. Generally what we do is in HD/4K remastering, we digitize the previous director-approved release and put it up alongside the new one, and try to match it or at least put it in the same ballpark. This also means if the crazy internet pundits pull out the old DVD and compare it to the new release, they'll say, "well, it looks about the same only much more detail and the blacks are more solid," or words to that effect. I try to give the picture just a skosh more "punch" when I can, because a lot of stuff done in the 1980s and 1990s was kind of muddy, but I don't try to veer too far from that.

    In some cases, I may elect to fix an on-set problem that was just not possible to fix decades ago, like an actor who's brightly lit in one shot but standing in a shadow in the next. We'll use some technical tools to match them so it doesn't stand out and look bad. I've been cautioned by some restoration people "not to make it look too good," so we do let obvious mistakes go, since that's kind of a part of the movie. But lighting problems I'll fix. A boom mic coming into the picture and hitting an actor on the head... that's a production problem.

    I can and have fixed day-for-night problems, and I've seen reviews of old movies where they say, "man, the night scenes look crazy/bright in this thing!" When I do the same shot, I'll work on bringing it down to the point where you'll buy it as night time. (Or as we call it "movie night.")

    Fixing an effects problem like the snake reflection in the glass... that doesn't bother me that much. As long as the movie looks good, it's in focus, the color is reasonable, it's not too grainy, there's decent contrast, and it's entertaining, it's fine.
     
  4. genesim

    genesim Forum Resident

    Location:
    St. Louis
    I can't help it. I hate this post. I wish the technicians would stop thinking they are the artists. Leave it alone.

    I don't give a rats ass what the stupid internet fan boys cry about, I care about what matches director's original intent. We are not looking for that "punch".

    In the case of Superman. Ztropic...zoomtific....whatever, we are still talking analog elements that were projected at much higher resolution.

    4K isn't going to magically bring out more than what was there to begin with. It can only get closer....I argue less close because optically printed has tons more detail which I have been over to a sickness.
     
  5. That's far too harsh. Subjective decisions have to be made all the time when striking transfers for new formats.
     
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  6. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR!

    Location:
    Hollywood, USA
    I usually call it "color-correction by gut," because that's what we have to do. You just have to use good taste and experience to make a good subjective decision. I just finished a project last weekend where I only got the reference halfway through, yet when I compared what I did on the previous reels with the DVD from 20 years ago, surprisingly, we weren't that far apart. It didn't take me more than an hour to tweak them a little bit so they were more similar.

    One good thing (on this title that I won't name): I was inclined to make the main & end titles white, but according to the 1990s transfer, they were yellow, so I'm glad I had the old transfer as a reference and was able to make it consistent. They looked better yellow, for sure. But it just shows you: if the technician doesn't know and makes a guess, there's a chance it'll be wrong.
     
  7. genesim

    genesim Forum Resident

    Location:
    St. Louis
    I don't believe in making corrections by gut. I believe in using evidence and most importantly respecting the creators that came before.

    Look at the post above me. There isn't any single bit of science behind the decision, it is OPINION.

    Wouldn't it be great if someone actually did some research, followed through with multiple prints, spent time doing serious comparisons with eye witnesses, climb over every obstacle to make sure and get it right, and most importantly use physical evidence above all else (like director's notes).....

    or again, you get the post above.

    For people that love the films it isn't too harsh at all. It honestly is what makes me want to throw some blurays in the garbage.

    One day I will be starting my company, and you can bet your ass I won't be doing this "color-correction by gut" action. Any changes that are made, not only will they be published, but I won't be scared to defend my actions either.

    Leaders don't worry about popularity when making decisions they beieve in.

    Thankfully companies like Warner Bros. have published their decisions and they are not afraid of taking their talks to the public. It is no secret that they have done a fine job on a great many titles.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2018
  8. Kiko1974

    Kiko1974 Forum Resident

    Being Superman: The Movie, Star Wars or whatever was shot and released on the 70's I doubt that even the director, the DP or the editor remember how their movies EXACTELY LOOKED when they were first released.
     
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  9. genesim

    genesim Forum Resident

    Location:
    St. Louis
    That is why you should rely on notes instead. There are records and the original prints are a great reference point even if faded.

    I think promotional material is also helpful.
     
  10. I never noticed that before - thanks for pointing it out!
     
  11. genesim

    genesim Forum Resident

    Location:
    St. Louis
    I am not thankful ignorance is bliss. ;)

    Now I just have to know. I hope the 4K does fix it.
     
  12. The Hermit

    The Hermit Wavin' that magick glowstick since 1976 Thread Starter

    I'm hoping the upcoming 4K does a number of things, none of them unreasonable;

    1) Proper original color timing without the teal (last year's extended television cut was much closer to the original release; check how blue Supes' suit is in comparison to other Blu-ray versions... exactly how it should look!).
    2) Digital wire removal.
    3) Some rough optical effects cleaned up.
    4) Without the aforementioned glitch.

    As far as the soft photography goes vis-a-vis UHD/HDR, Warner's Motion Picture Imaging are a very reliable mastering division, I have faith they'll do a great job with this new transfer, and it will look wonderful all told... a definitive presentation of the definitive cut of arguably the definitive comic-book movie... hopefully...
     
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  13. genesim

    genesim Forum Resident

    Location:
    St. Louis
    I am on the fence with fixing wires, but I agree on the rest. Warner Bros. does awesome transfers. I have been enjoying Warner Archives (Bogart and Bacall/Hitchcock) releases and of course their incredible catalog titles. I think every movie lover should be slapped upside their head repeatedly with its 4K mastered goodness....onoy to be slapped again if it ever comes put true 4K.

    So pumped for this!
     
  14. The Hermit

    The Hermit Wavin' that magick glowstick since 1976 Thread Starter

    Why?
     
  15. genesim

    genesim Forum Resident

    Location:
    St. Louis
    Because it opens up a can of worms. I dont like digital changing things. I want it to look like the film print. That includes mistakes.

    Believe or not I don't mind seeing it because it doesn't change how I feel about the film.
     
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  16. Encuentro

    Encuentro Forum Resident

    For what it’s worth, I’ve never seen wires in the movie.
     
  17. genesim

    genesim Forum Resident

    Location:
    St. Louis
    Honestly neither have I. Before somoene does it, I would appreciate someone not proving it. Movie take some imagination and Tarantino said it best when he was talking about how very few people really think they are in the situation.
     
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  18. The Hermit

    The Hermit Wavin' that magick glowstick since 1976 Thread Starter

    Interesting and I don't necessarily disagree... BUT (and there's always a but, right?)... I look at it from the perspective of the wires being something that, like the needed color-correction to shots where Superman's suit is green, the filmmakers would indeed have 'fixed' that back in the day had they the time and/or technology to have done so (and indeed did when it was restored back in 2000 for it's DVD release the following year)... this is not a Star Wars 'Special Edition' scenario wherein the shots in question have been fundamentally altered from what was already there, it's just a bit of optical 'house cleaning' if you will (especially when the film is now being presented in 1080p HD resolution), tidying up what they didn't have time for back when before they had to turn the film over for release... I have no problem with it, just so long as that's as far as they go... adding new footage to the film as happened with the 2001 DVD release was absolutely a step too far, in my humble opinion (more so because none of the 'new' footage added anything of substance whatsoever), hence why I'm glad it's the original theatrical version getting the 4K treatment.

    If you've been watching the films on Blu-ray, that's because they were digitally erased (along with some other minor optical effect clean-ups) for the 2006 and 2011 Blu-ray remasterings/releases.
     
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  19. genesim

    genesim Forum Resident

    Location:
    St. Louis
    You probably already have a point that it was fixed up anyway on earlier bluray/DVD even.

    I just hope it isn't because of "HD" presentation because it was always that way in the theater in detail.

    I agree about theatrical presentation being preserved.

    An exception to this is something like Revolution starring Al Pacino where I think the director's cut deserves restoration too because of imposed studio cuts. To me, all cuts should be made available in high quality as long as the theatrical doesn't suffer in quaity.
     
  20. davenav

    davenav High Plain Grifter

    Location:
    Brooklyn, USA
    The film was rushed to completion. The director was fired, so his vision was not adhered to. Superman was effing GREEN in some shots.

    Being purist can be good, but hanging on to shoddy mistakes that the original filmmakers probably cringed at, jut because that's how it was shown to audiences in the day, is ridiculous. Mistakes should not be canonized.

    When I saw Superman in it's original run, I hoped that someone would correct the gaffes.
     
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  21. genesim

    genesim Forum Resident

    Location:
    St. Louis
    Yes I understand but final product is final product.

    Millions of people saw it just fine and it takes nothing away from the finished product.

    Too many times revisionism tries to erase history and that is the problem I have.
    To each his own.

    P.S. shall we start digitally changing classic movies too?? There are lots of parts in Hitchcock films we could make more modern.
     
  22. davenav

    davenav High Plain Grifter

    Location:
    Brooklyn, USA
    I never used the word modern. My point was about mistakes.

    I do believe in original intent. Richard Donner was very vocal about being unable to complete the film his way, citing many continuity, color, and editing issues.

    If the director feels that way, I say make the changes.

    Now, what Lucas did to Star Wars went way beyond whatI'm talking about. That was out and out revisionism, which I'm totally against.
     
  23. The Hermit

    The Hermit Wavin' that magick glowstick since 1976 Thread Starter

    Whilst S:TM was undoubtedly rushed to completion (filming finally wrapped in early October 1978, and they had a mere ten weeks - ten weeks! - to complete it in time for it's mid-December release; editor Stuart Baird has said it was nothing short of a miracle they actually finished it in time), director Richard Donner's vision was very much adhered to and shown in theaters - Donner ultimately got final cut on that film - but he wasn't fired until March 1979, after the spat between himself and the Salkinds' went public and he refused to work with producer Pierre Spengler again unless under strict conditions. Despite since stating that they repeatedly reached out to Donner in the early months of '79 for him to come back and restart work on completing Superman II - which was was supposed to resume in late February that year in time to meet the planned December release date - ultimately the Salkinds' made the decision to release him and go with another, less combative (as they no doubt saw it) director... despite Donner having already filmed approximately 80% of II - minus the Battle of Metropolis, location exteriors/interiors, and blue screen/miniature work - before filming was postponed in the summer of 1977 to concentrate on finishing the first film.

    Donner gave an extremely revealing interview to Cinefantastique magazine in January 1979, wherein among other interesting tidbits, he conveys the sheer anguish of having to work with Spengler, the toll it took on him over nineteen months of filming, and the fact he would not put himself through that again for II unless Spengler was put on a very tight leash... I'll try to find it online and provide a link, it's a remarkably candid interview and likely a factor in his eventual (and shameful, it has to be said) dismissal...
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2018
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  24. genesim

    genesim Forum Resident

    Location:
    St. Louis
    And every story told here can go for thousands of other directors.

    I understand the mindset, but I also appreciate what I grew up with. The green backgrounds I found to be surreal and just a part of the film as I explained a few pages back in detail.

    Modernizing is taking tools not previously availble and "fixing".

    Agree to disagree
     
  25. Kiko1974

    Kiko1974 Forum Resident

    I don't personally have any problem with the corrections done to Superman like wires erasing and color correction so Superman suit looks really blue. Some "grain management" as Vidiot calls it is fine by me, plain DNR like used on Predator and some of the Star Trek original crew movies I think is wrong as it wipes out detail of the picture.
    If Star Wars was to be released on its original theatrical cut I'm sure some tampering would be done like again some color correction and grain management, also some garbage mates could be erased or chromas corrected, all this would be also fine by me but not more.
    The point I'm trying to make is that I like to see my all time classic movies in the best possible way, fortunately we came to a moment that technology allows it, what I don't want to see is a different movie like Lucas did in 1997 with the OT Star Wars movies.
     
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