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Author Topic: Wizard of Oz Blu ray
Paul Adsett
Film God

Posts: 4915
From: USA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted October 03, 2009 09:45 AM      Profile for Paul Adsett     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The Wizard of Oz - Blue Ray

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Well, being an El Cheapo I did'nt want to pay $86.00 for the new 70th Anniversary Blu Ray of The Wizard of Oz , which comes complete in a large box with a book, a watch, poster cards etc etc. So I went for the bare bones $19.99 single disc edition special at Wal Mart ( an amazing price for a new BD release), which still includes some nice extra features. But if your a real Oz afficianado then the ultimate collectors set is for you - I have seen it opened up and it is a gorgeous package of memorabilia.
For this Blu Ray release, Warner Brothers had access to the original 3-strip Technicolor separation negatives (actually three black and white negatives). They did 8K resolution scans of each individual black and white strip and then digitally removed scratches and dust specks from each strip on a frame by frame basis. The three frames representing cyan, magenta, and yellow were then re-aligned on a computer to get perfect registration, and the color re-introduced using existing film prints and props to replicate the original color levels. The whole process took many technicians almost 9 months to complete, so they essentially 'rebuilt' the film from the original 3 camera content getting registration accuracy superior to the original Technicolor process, which was of course a mechanical alignment process. In the extra features on the disc there is a discusiion of the whole restoration process, and the thing which is really apparent is the enormous responsibility that Warner Brothers felt to get this one just right, because of the iconic status of the film. As they explain it, they have not changed the appearance of the film at all, just revealing perhaps for the first time the full unblemished beauty of the original camera material. So how did they do?
Well I have seen Oz dozens of times, but I can honestly say I have never seen it like this. There is simply a level of detail in the scenes that is like seeing the whole film for the very first time. For instance the Scarecrow's face is now revealed as being made of Burlap - you can clearly see the individual strands of the material. And you can see just about every brick in the yellow brick road. The colors are what you would expect from a Technicolor original - vivid and fully saturated, truly the Technicolor rainbow. Mercifully, Warners have been gentle with digital noise reduction on this film, and the grain is still detectable in all the scenes and there is no sense of artificiality or edge enhancement. The sound is great, with a modest level of suround effects added where appropriate.
Warners have clearly given this BD release the extra love and care it deserves and they have succeeded admirably.
Highly recommended, and just the reason you need to jump into blu ray, particularly with BD players now available for less tha $150.00

[ October 03, 2009, 03:01 PM: Message edited by: Paul Adsett ]

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Michael De Angelis
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1261
From: USA
Registered: Jul 2003


 - posted October 03, 2009 04:21 PM      Profile for Michael De Angelis   Email Michael De Angelis   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Paul,

A phenomenal review. It's good to know that the original elements were used and especially that meticulous care was employed to replicate the proper lighting, density and color on the DVD - exempting a digital artist to hypothetically assign color hues and values according to interpretation.

I have seen an 16mm IB print about ten years ago, and the last IB Tech release in the theaters by Warner Brothers back in 1998. The burlap on The Scarecrow was evident. The Good Witch's crown costume was a disappointment. It was so clear, that it appeared as a piece of makeshift mesh materials that was not all that glistening and ragged around the edges. [Eek!]

For those that are not fortunate or wealthy to own an IB print, then this is the way to go.

I picked up this quote from Wikipedia regarding the added features.

quote:
The Wizard of Oz was released on Blu-ray Disc on September 29, 2009 for the film's 70th anniversary in a four-disc "Ultimate Collector's Edition", including new bonus features about Victor Fleming and the surviving Munchkins, the telefilm The Dreamer of Oz: The L. Frank Baum Story and the miniseries MGM: When the Lion Roars. A DVD version was also released as a Two-Disc Special Edition and a Four-Disc Ultimate Collector's Edition. As previously mentioned, the September 23, 2009 one-day-only theatrical 70th anniversary showings were also a promotion for the various disc releases six days later.


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Christopher P Quinn
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 210
From: Bedfordshire
Registered: Sep 2008


 - posted October 03, 2009 07:02 PM      Profile for Christopher P Quinn   Email Christopher P Quinn   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Paul,
Great review and I am now chomping at the bit to get my hands on a copy. UK release date 22nd of November.
If it had been available I might well have been tempted with the box set, but not going to be available to the UK B region as far as I know. And probably just as well for me.

I have just done a test with my newly acquired Miss Potter blu-ray with the 2006 DVD. The difference is amazing, I can’t wait to do the same with Wizard, as I suspected and now have read from your review, I’m sure it will blow me away. This fully justifies me buying a copy to replace my DVD.

There are many review sites you can visit on the internet, but getting reviews like this from real film collectors, who understand the mechanics of film, is in my opinion worth more. That is why I like to read and discuss DVD and blu-ray here.

Thanks Paul,
Chris.

BTW, Is Burlap what we in the UK call Hessian? [Confused]

WARNING! Miss Potter blu-ray in the US bought on Amazon.com is not compatable with US machines.

[ October 04, 2009, 07:31 PM: Message edited by: Christopher P Quinn ]

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Stuart Fyvie
Film Handler

Posts: 90
From: Amersham
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted October 03, 2009 07:25 PM      Profile for Stuart Fyvie   Email Stuart Fyvie   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Is the US disc a multi region disc or is it locked for Region A?

Stuart

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Paul Adsett
Film God

Posts: 4915
From: USA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted October 03, 2009 08:37 PM      Profile for Paul Adsett     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
No worries for you Stuart - it is a multi region disc and is loaded up with language options for just about any country in the World!

Chris, I have never heard of Hessian, but what is known as Burlap in the USA is the material used for sacks of wheat and grain.

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The best of all worlds- 8mm, super 8mm, 9.5mm, and HD Digital Projection,
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Stuart Fyvie
Film Handler

Posts: 90
From: Amersham
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted October 04, 2009 07:21 AM      Profile for Stuart Fyvie   Email Stuart Fyvie   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks for that, I will order the US disc today. As a side not, I often find the packaging and artwork superior in the US versions. Our artwork (UK) looks a bit shabby in comparison to the US

see:

http://www.play.com/DVD/Blu-ray/4-/10852050/The-Wizard-Of-Oz-70th-Anniversary-Edition/Product.html

Our stuff is mainly designed for the local chavs in the video rental shop!

Even back to laserdisc days, the lovely varnished laminated sleeves were way ahead
of our locally produced stuff, and that was even from the same studio...

Stuart

I still have my beautiful fold out Criterion 'Dracula' disc.

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Christopher P Quinn
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 210
From: Bedfordshire
Registered: Sep 2008


 - posted October 04, 2009 08:07 AM      Profile for Christopher P Quinn   Email Christopher P Quinn   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Ah Paul, just a bit old sacking, and yes that’s Hessian. I have never heard of burlap before, but if anyone asks me in the future what Hessian is called in the states i can say, why burlap of course. [Wink]

Stuart, you’re so right, packaging over here is inferior to what can be found in America that is because we in the UK will not complain, and until we do we will always get inferior products and services.

So the Wizard of Oz is region free, Interesting. [Smile]

Chris.

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Paul Adsett
Film God

Posts: 4915
From: USA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted October 04, 2009 09:42 AM      Profile for Paul Adsett     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The complete Oz Collectors set is being limited to 250,000 copies and each box is given an individual serial number. I have seen them on display in several book stores in the Orlando area and its a very impressive package. I wonder how well they will sell at $86.00 each, although Best Buy has them on sale for $58.00. And will this set be sought out by collectors some day?

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Christopher P Quinn
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 210
From: Bedfordshire
Registered: Sep 2008


 - posted October 04, 2009 11:15 AM      Profile for Christopher P Quinn   Email Christopher P Quinn   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Paul i have done it, but don't tell her indoors [Wink]

I couldn't resist the box set, as i am the biggest fan of the film. Amazon have it for $51.99 cost me £38.00 including shipping to the UK, which i thought was a bargain, and as you say could be a sort after box set one day. Being region free was a good move by Warner.

Heres the link to amazon...
http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/The-Wizard-of-Oz-Blu-ray-Review/6366/

And here is a link to blu-ray.com who have screen shots...

http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/The-Wizard-of-Oz-Blu-ray-Screenshots/6366/

I can't wait now and hope the box set makes it to me in good order.

Chris.

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Tony Stucchio
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 625
From: New Jersey
Registered: Dec 2005


 - posted October 05, 2009 03:29 PM      Profile for Tony Stucchio   Email Tony Stucchio   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
And will this set be sought out by collectors some day?
Use this very simple formula: If I buy it, no it won't be sought out by collectors some day. If I don't buy it, it will.

Or, when I try to sell it, it will sell for my starting bid on eBay (around 19.99). But 2 days after by auction ends, 2 people will bid another one up to $250.

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Paul Adsett
Film God

Posts: 4915
From: USA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted October 05, 2009 06:44 PM      Profile for Paul Adsett     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Well done Chris, I am sure the package will more than exceed your expectations and the movie itself will knock you out. The DVD's are coded by Region , but the Blu Rays are thankfully region free.

--------------------
The best of all worlds- 8mm, super 8mm, 9.5mm, and HD Digital Projection,
Elmo GS1200 f1.0 2-blade
Eumig S938 Stereo f1.0 Ektar
Panasonic PT-AE4000U digital pj

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Del Phillipson
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 670
From: Derbyshire, England
Registered: Dec 2005


 - posted October 10, 2009 12:34 PM      Profile for Del Phillipson   Email Del Phillipson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks for that Paul, I've just ordered the big box 1 from Amazon, you've certainly whet my appetite, Oz is my favourite film.

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