This is topic Dracula, Hammer 1958 Blu Ray £8.99 delivered !!! in forum General Yak at 8mm Forum.

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Posted by Mark Todd (Member # 96) on January 06, 2015, 06:32 AM:
Hi I suppose this is more for the UK members but Amazon themselves have the Hammer first Dracula for £8.99 delivered at the moment in the UK.

Supposed to be superb and they also have I think the Reptile and Twins of Evil about the same.

They are usually very silly prices as if around £8 or £9 usually they would probably sell about 50 copies per one or two at the high prices.

Anyone got or seen the qaulity of these ones ?

Best Mark. detailpage_o01_s00
Posted by David Skillern (Member # 607) on January 06, 2015, 08:02 AM:
Hi Mark,
The Blu Ray of Dracula has a slight blue hue to it - but with the reinstated censored scenes and excellent documentaries - it is well worth the asking price - I think I paid £12 or £13 for mine when it came out last year - I also have the derann release which still has excellent colour - but I would recommend this blu Ray .

Posted by Mark Todd (Member # 96) on January 06, 2015, 09:11 AM:
Do you think its a step up picture wise from the DVD David ? I don`t have that anyway.

Sadly I won`t be in a possition to get great features film wise, well at least for just over 6 1/2 years if I last myself !!!

There are one or two others of them around that price as well I see.

I`d love to get Qautermas and the Pit, even the DVD looks fantastic. Same on Mummys Shroud. Those two are actually my 2 favourite Hammers.

Best Mark.
Posted by Maurice Leakey (Member # 916) on January 06, 2015, 09:22 AM:
Postage is only free if the order is for £10 or more.
Posted by Rob Young. (Member # 131) on January 06, 2015, 11:23 AM:
Mark, it is a massive improvement compared to previous DVD releases.

Many forums were up and arms at the time of release about the colour not being true to the original; the truth is most that criticised it were jumping on the bandwagon of rumour-ville and hadn't actually seen it.

Personally, I have absolutely no issues with the colour balance at all.

The Reptile is especially stunning, with huge amounts of detail, and the colour balance looks very like the Derann feature release, which was in itself very good and taken from quality Rank negatives.

Twins of Evil hasn't had quite the same level of care and the master material certainly isn't as good as Dracula, Reptile, or "Plague of Zombies", which is also superb. That said, again it is a huge improvement over previous DVD versions.

Quatermass and the Pit is also stunning quality; just flawless.

Hammer went through selected titles to give them an HD make-over and whilst it hasn't always been plain sailing (they released "Dracula Prince of Darkness" with out of sync sound!) they have endeavoured to correct errors and give these films the highest quality release possible, as they all deserve.

Have a look at Hammer's web site for blogs over the last few years regarding these releases.

Considering the work involved and the quality of the releases, these prices are an absolute bargain and I wouldn't even think twice about replacing a DVD copy with these Blu-ray versions.
Posted by Mark Todd (Member # 96) on January 06, 2015, 07:31 PM:
Hi Rob, thanks for the link.

I hope to build up a few over the next couple of years.

I only do features on VP now but I find the lower end say XGA LCD machines look very filmie, just my own opinion, at least it means you can get classic belters like these onto the wall or screen.

Best Mark.
Posted by Andrew Woodcock (Member # 3260) on January 06, 2015, 08:12 PM:
Use Panasonic for LCD Mark. Second to none with their Epson panels, screendoor masking effect and the must have HDMI inputs for 4K / 1080p inputs, red rich lamps etc etc.

Same spec as many others including the Epson, but they have been at the game since the outset and do have the wherewithal to give you the best LCD image out there IMHO.
Posted by David Skillern (Member # 607) on January 08, 2015, 01:34 PM:
Sorry for the late reply - but I would definitely go for Dracula on Blu ray colour and sound and the extras - the whole package is stunning and well worth picking up - I've watched the blu Ray more than the derann print.

Posted by Adrian Winchester (Member # 248) on January 09, 2015, 09:10 PM:
The additions from the Japanese print caused the most excitement, and help to make this release a must. As for the colour, I think it's acceptable but I feel it was a misguided decision to not consider the original Technicolor look of the film as definitive, because there's no evidence that those who worked on the film were not 100% happy with this. However, it's considerably less blue than the bluish Derann prints in circulation, although I'd say that for colour you still can't beat the Derann prints that are not bluish!
Posted by Mark Todd (Member # 96) on January 11, 2015, 09:23 AM:
Hi well got mine and think its nice, but I do think there is not a great difference between the DVD and the Blu Ray, well not as much as I was expecting.

The colours are perhaps a little pale, I wonder if there is no IB tech master about now ?

Anyone had the Mummy`s Shroud yet, whats that like please, the dvd is good already.

Thanks , Best Mark.
Posted by Adrian Winchester (Member # 248) on January 11, 2015, 08:57 PM:
The pale/cool colours were an artistic decision, not something that represented the master material. I think the argument went that Technicolor gave the film a warmer look than was intended by its makers, but I don't think there's a shred of evidence anywhere to support that view. It would be funny if a US release of the film finally appears and restores the Technicolor look. That would start the whole argument off again!

[ January 12, 2015, 09:53 PM: Message edited by: Adrian Winchester ]
Posted by David Ollerearnshaw (Member # 3296) on January 12, 2015, 01:51 PM:
I watched both Curse Of Frankenstein & Dracula in 2013 at my local videma, while Curse seemed to have more subdued colours. Dracula seemed a lot more vivid in colour.

Why do they mess with films? Just do the best transfer possible, and leave the rest alone.

I'll look at buying the discs later this week. That is if they are still at that price.
Posted by Mark Todd (Member # 96) on January 12, 2015, 06:08 PM:
Yes on Dracula a bit more Technicolour whoooph would of been nice but still chuffed to bits.

Got the origional 58 trailer on Kodak LPP and it has a bit more bang about the colour.

Best Mark.
Posted by Rob Young. (Member # 131) on January 13, 2015, 11:03 AM:
"Why do they mess with films? Just do the best transfer possible, and leave the rest alone?"

Well, because it just isn't that simple.

It's like saying, "why not just make the best film print possible?"

In the past, with VHS and even DVD, no one ever really commented upon "colour balance".

I personally think that's because we were all more concerned with whether or not a fairly decent image had made it to the format.

Even in commercial cinema, 35mm, there would be changes in colour balance between reels. Sloppy by the labs, but true. When watching blockbuster movies in the 80's and 90's, you would frequently see a colour shift as each reel changed.

But you quickly became used to the "new" colour balance.

When making a new transfer for HD release, even from an interpositive, a choice has to be made in mastering to provide a uniform colour balance for the final result.

Of course labs used to do this to provide prints and frequently they would introduce variations (they shouldn't have, of course, but no one is perfect!), yet we all seemed happy about it so long as it was sharp and didn't have too much negative dust, bounce or weave.

Now take "Dracula"; the best master material has been used for scanning and the results cleaned up as best as possible given the budget.

Someone has to make a decision upon colour timing. It's just part of the process, not interfering, and is based upon direction from, hopefully, the DP, or failing that, any relevant reference or direction from production.

On one of the "Dracula" documentaries, a poor chap sits there and explains his choice of colour balance for the final Blu-ray just have to feel for this poor bloke, given the onslaught of criticism that would follow the discs release.

Now, as I have said, personally I have no problem with the colour balance. If I were to compare it with other format releases, it may be that I would prefer one to the other.

But then, I have Derann Disney releases on super 8 that vary in colour from one reel to the other.

I'm tempted to say that we, as film collectors have become "spoilt" with the quality that new HD transfers have to offer; would we ever have critiqued "colour balance" on super 8 releases so heavily? I know some later releases were blue, but they were just plain wrong.

Point is; this is not "interfering"; this is making new technical judgements for "new" releases (the type labs and video transfer folk used to make without criticism).

Sometimes. I think, we are too eager to jump upon the bandwagon of criticism, rather than appreciate the virtues and hard work that goes into such new release.

I think the people involved really tried their best to get this release right. Whether or not we the viewers agree or not with the result is a different matter, but I never recall this much discussion over colour timing back in the day of super 8; we were more concerned about how well we could see and hear it!

I could go further with colour temperature references on displays (modern TV screens, projectors), as opposed to lamp temperatures on film projectors, but I'll leave it for now!

Just my opinion.
Posted by Mark Todd (Member # 96) on January 13, 2015, 03:28 PM:
The last of the Mohicans 92 is a situation where the DVD looks far far nicer colour wise than the Blu Ray, shame as a great film.

The blu Ray also suffers from a mugginess the dvd doesn`t. The DVD projects afr better than the blu Ray at 10 feet wide.

I hear on Blu Ray, Oliver is not so good and The Great Escape too sadly.

Anyone had those yet ? any thoughts.

Best Mark.
Posted by Rob Young. (Member # 131) on January 15, 2015, 03:04 AM:
True, Mark, they don't always get it right, especially earlier Blu-ray releases which were rushed to cash-in.

A friend of mine brought around "Escape From New York" last week, and on my 6ft wide screen it looked little better than DVD, with lack of resolution and lots of edge enhancement; clearly not from a proper HD master, but from all the Blu-rays I've seen it was rather the exception.

Regarding "The Mummy's Shroud", "The Reptile", "Plague of Zombies" & "Quatermass and the Pit", I think you'll be delighted with the quality...all taken from really good master material and with spot-on colour.
Posted by David Ollerearnshaw (Member # 3296) on February 07, 2015, 02:28 PM:
Well I bought Dracula & The Reptile. They were a little cheaper too. Both were good, but I'm sure when I went to see Dracula at the local Vidima the colours seemed more viberant.
Posted by Ricky Daniels (Member # 95) on February 08, 2015, 05:53 AM:
The problem is that today with so much information and chat on the internet EVERYONE is an expert, though mostly ill-informed! When I was a Senior Telecine colourist for broadcast the best transfers were those that were left to the colourist and maybe just the DP... anymore input always led to design by committee with usually nobody in 100% agreement over the final grade and some just making comment for their own vanity and personal gain without a care for the actual product. With colour grading there are basic rules to get the image into the natural look ballpark then usually minor adjustments to get 'a look' and yes, the monitors must be adjusted to be 100% compliant with well established professional standards groups recommendations for consistent reference. These transfers were conducted at 142 in Soho using various teams... It's a shame the QATPit team didn't conduct all of the transfers! Another point, with Dracula and the inserted censor cuts... This is now NOT the original UK release so why not present 2 versions on the disc(s)? To be honest this project has been flawed at times and no doubt due to design by committee IMO.
Posted by Brian Fretwell (Member # 4302) on February 08, 2015, 08:33 AM:
My two pennies worth is that if you are watching the film in a cinema, or an equivalent home cinema, you would be seeing it in a dark room and the colour balance of your eyes would adapt the image more to your brain's liking. (This is why daylight and tungsten lamps don't look too different when seen in isolation and your eyes and brain have time to adapt.)
Watching on a TV in a room with lights on or in daylight might give a totally different impression of the colour balance.

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