Read Mindjack's Daily Relay
tracking trends and developments
in digital culture

home | archives | about us | feedback

Sunday, November 23, 2003

NY Times on Bad DVDs of Good Films
Here's a good though somewhat dismaying article by Fred Kaplan in The New York Times: When Bad DVDs Happen to Great Films (link requires registration).
Bernardo Bertolucci's "Last Emperor" is a gorgeous film. It won nine Oscars, including the 1987 Academy Awards for best picture, best director and best cinematography. And the DVD, from Artisan Home Entertainment, is one of the most dreadful ever made. Colors are faded, images blurry; if a shot is filled with lines (say, the slats of a roof), they shimmer like hula hoops. It is tragically, agonizingly unwatchable.

Francis Ford Coppola's "Godfather" and "Godfather, Part II," which take up three DVD's in a five-disc boxed set, don't look quite that bad, but — given that they're among the greatest, most beautifully photographed films of all time — the results are dismaying. Images are faded in some scenes, way too dark in others and often speckled with weird distortions. For instance, in the opening shot of "Part II," the close-up of Al Pacino against a dark backdrop, it looks as if mosquitoes are swarming down his face. The movie looks better when it's televised on HBO.

Paramount is making new digital masters of the "Godfather" films for reissue, as single-film discs, late next year. Steve Beeks, Artisan's president, says a new version of "The Last Emperor," mastered from Bertolucci's personal print, will come out next year as well. Neither re-do is likely to carry a banner boasting vast improvement. That would be tantamount to admitting that something was wrong with the lavishly promoted originals.
:: posted by Donald Melanson, 11/23/2003

<< Home

Subscribe to our RSS feed:
Subscribe with Bloglines



Your Ad Here

More from Mindjack:

Daily Relay

Tracking trends and developments in digital culture

Support Mindjack


Mindjack Release
Sign up to receive details of new issues

Archives prior to April, 2005 are from Donald Melanson's personal film blog.


Roger Avary
Bitter Cinema
Cinema Minima
Film Journey
Filmmaker Mag Blog
A Girl and a Gun
GreenCine Daily
Indie Film Blog
IFC Blog
Like Anna Karina's Sweater
Masters of Cinema
Reel Reviews Podcast
Wiley Wiggins

Film Criticism and Theory
James Beradinelli
Bright Lights Film Journal
Combustible Celluloid
Dual Lens
Roger Ebert
European Films
The Film Journal
Jim's Film Website
Guardian Unlimited Film
Long Pauses
Milk Plus
The New York Times
The New Yorker
Not Coming to a Theatre Near You
Reverse Shot
Jonathan Rosembaum
Salon A&E
Senses of Cinema
Slant Magazine
The Stranger
Strictly Film School
The Village Voice

Movie News
Ain't It Cool News
Movie City News
Dark Horizons
The Movie Blog
Cinema Confidential
Coming Soon

DVD News & Reviews
The Digital Bits
DVD Journal
DVD Times
DVD Verdict

Print Magazines
Cinema Scope
Film Comment
Independent Film Quarterly
Inside Film
Movie Maker
Sight & Sound
Total Film

IMDb Search