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Author Topic: South Pacific Blu Ray
Paul Adsett
Film God

Posts: 4846
From: USA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted June 29, 2009 11:15 AM      Profile for Paul Adsett     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
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South Pacific was, to my knowledge, never released on super 8, except for the excellent trailer from Derann. It has however been available on DVD for several years in an uninspiring letterboxed widescreen format. But now, on it’s 50th anniversary, Twentieth Century Fox have just released this wonderful film in anamorphic blu ray disc – and it is totally awesome. It’s like seeing it for the first time. The Hawiian scenery never looked so breathtakingly beautiful with details on the distant hills and mountains visible for the first time on a video format. The Technicolor is what you expect of Technicolor, with rich saturated color images. And the Rogers and Hammerstein soundtrack is glorious. This is what film buffs revere about the great classic films, particularly the musicals – a viewing experience that pulls you right back to when you saw this film for the first time in Todd-AO. I know it should’nt, but on Blu-Ray this film looks as good as you would expect to see it in a 35mm theater. Just flawless.
It’s a 2-disc package, and the second disc is just loaded with extra features about the film, including Mitzi Gaynor’s screen test. Seeing this made me realize how important hair styling is in movies. In the screen test Mitzi is wearing shoulder length hair, and although she is obviously displaying her great singing and dancing style, she looks like a normal pretty girl. In the movie however, her hair is trimmed short and swept up, which gave her much more appeal and sophistication. So hats off to whoever her hair stylist was.
Incidentally, Mitzi is still performing, and is appearing in several US cities this year and 2010. She still looks gorgeous.

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Paul Tivy
Film Handler

Posts: 79
From: Colchester, England
Registered: May 2007


 - posted June 29, 2009 12:43 PM      Profile for Paul Tivy   Email Paul Tivy   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I have this disc too and you're quite right - it's stunning. I don't know why you thought it shouldn't have looked as good as a 35mm print, although I know a lot of people here would probably share that opinion. I settled the argument myself recently, at least to my own satisfaction.

A cinema projectionist friend of mine is lucky enough to have a mint condition 35mm Technicolor print of Pinocchio. We watched the first reel of that and then immediately screened the same sequence from the new Blu Ray on a 1080p digital projector. Neither of us could honestly say which was better and it's my bet that noone on this forum could either! Obviously this probably only holds true for the very best transfers, but as far as saying 35mm film is always superior - game over I'm afraid.

This doesn't stop me being a film collector and as others have said before, sticking a disc into a machine and pressing a button is not as satisfying as using a film projector, but that's a different part of the equation as far as I'm concerned.

Tiv

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Paul Adsett
Film God

Posts: 4846
From: USA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted June 29, 2009 02:17 PM      Profile for Paul Adsett     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Tiv, I agree with your opinion on Blu -Ray versus 35mm. It's just that theoretically 35mm film has much higher resolution than HD video.

--------------------
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
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Paul Tivy
Film Handler

Posts: 79
From: Colchester, England
Registered: May 2007


 - posted June 29, 2009 04:52 PM      Profile for Paul Tivy   Email Paul Tivy   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Paul, you're right about 35mm having a higher theoretical resolution than HD video. I imagine the differences between the two would become more apparent the larger the image gets. Our (admittedly) empirical test was conducted with an eight foot screen - mine is smaller than that and as I don't project 35mm either the theory is irrelevant!

Tiv

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Robert Wales
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 100
From: Toronto
Registered: Nov 2005


 - posted June 29, 2009 05:04 PM      Profile for Robert Wales   Email Robert Wales   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Paul, you need to run out immediately and pick up 'How The West Was Won' on Blu-Ray. Make sure you watch the 'Smilebox' version which replicates the original Cinerama effect.

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David Kilderry
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 963
From: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Registered: Feb 2006


 - posted June 30, 2009 03:36 AM      Profile for David Kilderry   Author's Homepage   Email David Kilderry   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Paul, as you mention that South Pacific on the Blu-Ray is in beautiful Technicolor, I take it the transfer is from the 35mm anamorphic print rather than the 70mm Todd-AO? Is there a transfer of both formats on the disc? Are there notes relating to the original elements etc?

All Todd-AO prints were unfortunately in Eastman. It is a shame as the Blu Ray would really benefit from the ultra hi resolution of the 70mm frame.

..........I'll probably buy it anyway!

David

[ July 12, 2009, 04:23 AM: Message edited by: David Kilderry ]

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Rob Young.
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1598
From: Cheshire, U.K.
Registered: Dec 2003


 - posted June 30, 2009 04:21 AM      Profile for Rob Young.     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Paul, can you tell me if South Pacific is regionally coded as I'd love a copy but can't find for sure if it has regional coding or not. Thanks!

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Ricky Daniels
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 576
From: London & Kent UK
Registered: Jul 2003


 - posted June 30, 2009 11:16 AM      Profile for Ricky Daniels   Email Ricky Daniels   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Paul T,

Animation really isn't the choice of professionals when undertaking this kind of comparison.

It’s more usual to use material containing a wide range of 'live-action' scenes, fast motion and various lighting conditions. Most DP's are fond of low lit scenes too especially candle light and the rendering of shadow details.

Try a comparison using some live action footage if you can and you'll get a better idea of the capabilities of 35mm FILM Vs. Blu-Ray (HD).

Good luck!
Rick

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Paul Adsett
Film God

Posts: 4846
From: USA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted June 30, 2009 01:12 PM      Profile for Paul Adsett     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Rob,
Neither the packaging nor the discs specify any particular region coding on the BD copy that I purchased.

--------------------
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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Paul Tivy
Film Handler

Posts: 79
From: Colchester, England
Registered: May 2007


 - posted June 30, 2009 02:50 PM      Profile for Paul Tivy   Email Paul Tivy   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Rob, I imported my copy from the USA and it's definitely region free.

Tiv

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Rob Young.
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1598
From: Cheshire, U.K.
Registered: Dec 2003


 - posted June 30, 2009 04:27 PM      Profile for Rob Young.     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks for that info Paul & Paul!

It's my parent's 45th wedding anniversay on Thursday and I was wondering just what to get them when Paul's review reminded me that this is their favourite film of all time!

I'm going to order a copy right now. I'll see them at the weekend and it can be their present, hopefully they will visit us soon after to see South Pacific in all it's HD glory!

Their fond memories of the film are during it's original theatrical release, which will take some beating, but hopefully the Blu-ray version will prove a premiere to remember all over again... [Smile]

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