ZULU on Blu Ray

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by townsend, Nov 11, 2008.

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  1. townsend

    townsend Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Plano, Texas U.S.
    Though not released in North America, it is region free:


    From perusing the review, it looks like a fine job was done with the video transfer, especially considering the fact that this is a 44-year old film.

    One of my favorite movies of all time. Love Michael Caine in in this movie. And John Barry's soundtrack is fantastic.
  2. darkmatter

    darkmatter Gort Astronomer Staff

    Thanks for the heads up and the link, I have bookmarked the site :cheers:

    Simon :)
  3. Hawkman

    Hawkman Supercar Gort Staff

    New Jersey
    You're killing me!!!! Well...I suppose that I have to get a Blu-rau player now! :D
  4. Dennis Metz

    Dennis Metz Born In A Motor City!

    Fonthill, Ontario
    Will any Blu-ray unit play PAL?:cheers:
  5. Rachael Bee

    Rachael Bee Miembra muy loca

    I've been following a thread about Zulu over at AVS and it appears to be another major DNR victim along the lines of Patton. It's a Paramount title and it's the eldest film they've comitted to BD yet. So, they have no scorecard on handling deep catalog titles yet.

    Reportedly, Sky Network in the U.K. sponsored the restoration of the film because it's immensely popular across the pond. I'm not clear who actually performed it. Apparently, this restoration amounted to little more than severe grain removal that also takes high frequency detail right out with the bathwater.

    I'd love to have a copy. I'm afraid to order. The folks I've been listening to were right about Patton, The Longest Day, and many other discs in the past. I'm sure the disc will look better than any DVD edition but on bigger displays it will proably lack the fine detail we're accustomed to on BD. They're talking about waxy faces, same as Patton and The Longest Day.

    I'm afraid to order....
  6. townsend

    townsend Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Plano, Texas U.S.
    Did you read the review? I'll excerpt the relevant paragraphs:

    "Presented in its original aspect ratio of 2.20:1 (actually the print is closer to 2.23:1), encoded with MPEG-4 AVC, and granted a 1080p transfer Zulu arrives on Blu-ray via Paramount Pictures-UK. Well, this print will spur a number of passionate discussions and I predict that there will be some, ironically, paramount exaggerations. Here’s why:

    First, the transfer Paramount have delivered is stunningly clean and free of blemishes, specks, marks, or debris. I am certainly stunned to see such an incredibly fresh presentation for a film that has received a fair share of questionable SDVD treatments. Second, I see very little grain here. There is some but arguably not as much as I expected to see. Contrast is certainly at a very high level and even during the night scenes there is a great deal of clarity which is flat-out stunning. Third, the color-scheme is absolutely breathtaking. I am unsure how a 44-year old film could reveal such lush colors but take a look at the screen caps and let me know if you think that I might be exaggerating. So, the big question is why would Zulu create a lot of controversy? Because there will be plenty of claims suggesting serious DNR alterations. I personally see a good amount of detail.In fact, this print is an enormous improvement over the SDVD release and in motion the Blu-ray transfer looks incredible to me. (Note: Please note that this is a region-free release which you will be able to play in your PS3 or SA regardless of your geographical location)."

    And toward the end, he concludes as follows: "The transfer is certainly very impressive but will probably prove to be too controversial as I predict that there will be a number of critics on a mission to belittle it. I don’t and I would not share such dismissive attitude. In the United States Zulu is yet to be released or announced as upcoming. Given the lack of region-coding this is indeed a disc that I must Highly Recommend."

    Though I've never seen it in blu ray, I did read about the problems with Patton; that sounds like a disaster not worth owning. However, judging from this review, I don't think Zulu followed suit. Be careful not to throw the baby (Zulu) out with the bathwater (Patton). This review is positive enough for me to give it a shot. To each their own.
  7. Rachael Bee

    Rachael Bee Miembra muy loca

    I did read the review and I read reviews along the same lines about Patton. The screenshots I've seen at AVS have not impressed me. Hey, Patton has good colour. I'm tempted to buy a copy but the reviewers I've learned to trust over at AVS have proved their worth in the past.

    Even the Blu-ray.com reviewer says things that worry me like how grainless the night shots are. I don't believe they should be. He saw less grain than he expected in the film.

    Since I have never owned the film on home video I'm tempted to get one warts and all. The last time I saw it was on an LD that my dad checked out of the University of Tennessee libraary. That must of been in the early 90's.

    I'm stille on the fence, pondering. I've learned not to trust many of the reviewers out there.
  8. Rachael Bee

    Rachael Bee Miembra muy loca

  9. townsend

    townsend Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Plano, Texas U.S.
    Rachael, thank you for the AVSforum link. (I have read 100s of threads from this site, mainly in the plasma forum, and learned a great deal.) I read the discussion, as well as the review linked. The reviewer, who had strong reservations, concluded:

    "Worth the import? There’s no doubt this is the best Zulu has ever looked on a home video format, just not the best it could be. Fans wanting to pick this up will have to decide whether the processing is enough to bother them or not. Some might not be distracted, for others it will be a deal breaker." [my emphasis added]


    That's good enough for me--it's better than my remastered standard DVD of Zulu, and both reviewers conclude it's the best the movie has ever looked on a home video format.

    We can endlessly whine about what it could have been (cf. my whining thread about bundling of DVDs :o). 12.99 English pounds is a trivial amount to risk, especially in light of the expense of home theater systems.

    Again, thanks for your contribution to this thread.:)
  10. Rachael Bee

    Rachael Bee Miembra muy loca

    I concur that 13 Pounds Sterling is not a huge sum to get a copy of Zulu. Hey, winter is coming. TVA and KUB have raised my utility rates significantly. I'm being much more careful with my money than in the past! I'm thinking I should order no more than 5 BD's per month.

    I might try a copy of Zulu at some point. I've ordered about a half dozen ITV BD's from the U.K. in the past year. I'm no stranger at Amazon U.K. or Sendit.com . I'm generally more intrested in catalog itles than the new releases. So, Zulu is right up my alley. That's why I've been lurking on that Zulu thread at AVS since it started.

    So, I've been plucking daisy peddles, buy it, buy it not, buy it, buy it not.... :laugh: Oh how I wish Zulu was a Warner or ITV title.... :)
  11. monewe

    monewe Well-Known Member

    One of my all time favourite movies.
  12. His Masters Vice

    His Masters Vice W.C. Fields Forever

    Sydney, Australia
    Don't worry. Blu-ray discs aren't PAL or NTSC as those are not high definition standards. High definition (1080p) is universal.

    Since the disc is region free it will play in any Blu-ray player.
  13. Rachael Bee

    Rachael Bee Miembra muy loca

    There's a twist though. I have one ITV BD from the U.K. that does have extras in PAL. I can hear them but not see them. I've noticed that some plasma sets do display PAL. So, some U.S. sets are going to be able to display PAL extras but certainly a minority.

    This is just something to consider when looking at titles released in Region B, Europa.
  14. Anselm

    Anselm New Member

    Portsmouth, UK
    Have to say that Zulu is one of the finest Blu Ray transfers I've seen, especially considering the likely age and condition of the source masters.
  15. daglesj

    daglesj Forum Resident

    Norfolk, UK
    I tell you what this is all about, we've just become spoilt brats and forgotten what we were subjected too just 10 years or so ago.

    Have we not forgotten that any movie we watched on TV (or bought on VHS) was always a dirty, smudged, scratched and faded pan & scan copy found at the bottom of the cupboard?

    Lets enjoy how far we've come and how much better us movie fans are catered for these days.
  16. Rachael Bee

    Rachael Bee Miembra muy loca

    I finally got a copy. I don't think it's one of the finest transfers I've seen but it's pretty good. The colour is the strong suit, IMO. The alleged noise-reduction isn't nearly so bad, IMO, as some folks have alleged. I'm sure it had a bit but it's a far cry from Patton, for example.

    Shoot fire, I shore enjoyed Shootout At The Zulu Corral... :laugh: It plays like a Brit "western" to me.
  17. townsend

    townsend Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Plano, Texas U.S.
    I just watched Zulu in blu-ray all the way through for the first time. I have a habit of buying blu-rays, and not getting around to watching them for years.

    I think this transfer is impressive. Maybe I am immune from "de-granulation" and DNR, but this blu-ray looks fantastic on my 50" Panny plasma. The colors are almost overwhelming. In fact, I think they could tone down the red of the British soldiers uniforms. As they are, they could stop traffic.

    But maybe the real uniforms were actually that bright red color? No wonder the British colonial empire eventually crumbled . . . in what natural environment (jungle, desert, savannah, etc.) does red function as camouflage?

    I know . . . guerilla warfare and camouflage started later in the history of warfare.

    Michael Caine is brilliant in this film. Since in the beginning credits it mentions "introducing Michael Caine," I take it he was no where near the headlining actor he was to become. I have enjoyed Caine's acting for the past fifty years, and still do.

    There are so many older movies they bring to blu-ray, and after reading reviews and examining screenshots (which, no doubt, are slightly dumbed down for purposes of posting), I just can't justify buying the blu-ray. Not so in this case for me. YMMV.
  18. georgecostanza

    georgecostanza Active Member

    United Kingdom
    Michael Caine decided to walk around like Prince Philip. with his hands behind his back , inspecting the troops etc. The studio heads saw the rushes and sent a memo, saying get that man to do something with his hands !
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