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Old 12-18-2013, 04:16 PM   #221
klauswhereareyou klauswhereareyou is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saucerful View Post
This is one film for which I would be particularly interested in seeing a Caps-a-holic style comparison of the Blu-ray to the DVD. The difference ought to be laughable. Having just seen a few screenshots of the Blu-ray from the review, I'm sure this will be one of the greatest differences in quality from the DVD to the Blu-ray of any of the titles I own.
No doubt. It was almost a total port of the 1995 laserdisc. It along with the first Scarface (1983) dvd put out by Universal in 1998 and the dvd for Spielberg's 1941 look like something you would've seen on the Phillips CDI.

Last edited by klauswhereareyou; 12-18-2013 at 04:49 PM.
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Old 12-18-2013, 04:39 PM   #222
sancho sancho is offline
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I may have to blind buy this.
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Old 12-18-2013, 04:58 PM   #223
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Originally Posted by sancho View Post
I may have to blind buy this.
Yes. You do.

If you like Michael Mann, or are fans of recent films like Drive (which Refn has stated got a lot of influence from Thief), you will love Thief.
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Old 12-18-2013, 06:06 PM   #224
Monroville Monroville is online now
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Well, blu-ray.com's review is out and what can I say?

HERE WE GO AGAIN.

It appears by looking at the screen captures that the entire movie has yet another "modernisticly revised" teal tint applied to the entire run of the film (short of the vault heist scene with the bar burner.. but that's okay, because the other trend is making everything look orange).

Here is a comparison between the Criterion blu-ray and the HDTV release of the theatrical version:

Criterion Blu-ray:



HDTV Theatrical cut:



and they give this blu "a 5 out of 5" for image quality? Really guys?!?
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Old 12-18-2013, 06:20 PM   #225
pro-bassoonist pro-bassoonist is offline
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Originally Posted by Monroville View Post
...and they give this blu "a 5 out of 5" for image quality? Really guys?!?
Yes, most definitely. Assuming that this HD broadcast somehow has a "correct" color scheme is really quite strange to say the least. It literally looks like the judge ran out of the spa moments before he entered the court room.

According to the materials sent by Criterion, the new transfer for the Blu-ray release is supervised by Michael Mann. Having seen the resto, I have every reason to believe that this is indeed the correct look of the film. The nighttime footage from Chicago -- with the psychedelic neon lights -- looks simply beautiful. Cold and very atmospheric visuals, the type of visuals I always thought the DVD should have had.

Really, it is very strange to see that when these new transfers come up the first thing to do is run comparisons with the "correct" DVD releases, or later broadcasts, where just about everything has the pushed up cherry look (meaning prominent pink/red hues) and blacks are boosted to compensate for DVD's limitations.

It is Total Recall scenario all over again, where the blacks were just not as 'good' as they were on the DVD release.

"Revised" implies that something was altered from its original state. I have a very difficult time believing that the "original" look is what was promoted by the DVD (by the default, not true) or a random HD broadcast.

Pro-B

Last edited by pro-bassoonist; 12-18-2013 at 06:24 PM.
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Old 12-18-2013, 06:24 PM   #226
klauswhereareyou klauswhereareyou is offline
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I know it's not total authenticity, but I saw a 16mm print of this about 14 years ago, and it did have a definite blue/green look to it.
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Old 12-18-2013, 06:27 PM   #227
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I would trust the director approved Criterion color scheme over an HDTV broadcast any day...
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Old 12-18-2013, 06:41 PM   #228
welcometothepartypal welcometothepartypal is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sancho View Post
I may have to blind buy this.
I was thinking of blind buying it too. I saw the DVD at a local library and rented it. It was a good film but I think all the hype on this thread raised my expectation to high.

I loved DRIVE and I do like Michael Mann, but I know I'm in the minority when I say it wasn't anything special for me. I respect other people's opinions and I'm not saying you won't love it, it's just I didn't and I'm glad I rented it first.

I was a good movie, it just wasn't a repeater for me.
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Old 12-18-2013, 06:50 PM   #229
42041 42041 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monroville View Post
It appears by looking at the screen captures that the entire movie has yet another "modernisticly revised" teal tint applied to the entire run of the film (short of the vault heist scene with the bar burner.. but that's okay, because the other trend is making everything look orange).
Was wondering how long it'd take for the color crusaders to show up, that didn't take long
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Old 12-18-2013, 06:53 PM   #230
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monroville View Post
Well, blu-ray.com's review is out and what can I say?

HERE WE GO AGAIN.

It appears by looking at the screen captures that the entire movie has yet another "modernisticly revised" teal tint applied to the entire run of the film (short of the vault heist scene with the bar burner.. but that's okay, because the other trend is making everything look orange).

Here is a comparison between the Criterion blu-ray and the HDTV release of the theatrical version:

Criterion Blu-ray:



HDTV Theatrical cut:



and they give this blu "a 5 out of 5" for image quality? Really guys?!?
I was going to bring this up earlier, but ran out of time before I had to leave the house. Looking at the screencaps, I noticed it looked really tealed up and washed out. Comparing it to the HD broadcast proved a drastic change. But as is (probably) the case with The Terminator, this is a "Director-approved" transfer. So Criterion isn't the guilty party in my eyes. It's Michael Mann. Deciding that his first movie should look like all his recent ones. A tired 21st century cinematography cliche, once again applied to a classic film.

I don't recall how the DVD looked to be honest. Yes, the HDTV broadcast does suffer from over saturation of reds; but at least it looks like a movie from 1980, not 2008.

OK, bring on the deluge of "This is how it's supposed to look! This is how it looked in 1980!" posts.
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Old 12-18-2013, 07:04 PM   #231
HeavyHitter HeavyHitter is offline
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Originally Posted by 42041 View Post
Was wondering how long it'd take for the color crusaders to show up, that didn't take long
Come on. Everyone knows DVD is THE standard by which all Blu-rays are to be judged! Sheesh!
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Old 12-18-2013, 07:22 PM   #232
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I don't think it's wrong for people to be surprised, if not disappointed by the color changes. I'm sure people have gotten used to the DVD's colors, having likely spent more time with it than any other transfer, even if it wasn't accurate. I have no idea what it looked like originally, but the difference certainly is drastic. Being Director approved doesn't really mean that it's how it looked originally, so I wouldn't really fall back on that as evidence to anything other than this is what Mann wants it to look like today.
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Old 12-18-2013, 07:24 PM   #233
HeavyHitter HeavyHitter is offline
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Originally Posted by MifuneFan View Post
I don't think it's wrong for people to be surprised, if not disappointed by the color changes. I'm sure people have gotten used to the DVD's colors, having likely spent more time with it than any other transfer, even if it wasn't accurate. I have no idea what it looked like originally, but the difference certainly is drastic. Being Director approved doesn't really mean that it's how it looked originally, so I wouldn't really fall back on that as evidence to anything other than this is what Mann wants it to look like today.
Fair enough, but the odds are far more likely the BD represents what the original film looked like. The lack of standards with DVD was ridiculous really...especially in regards to color. Factoring in the odds as well as being director approved trumps the DVD.
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Last edited by HeavyHitter; 12-18-2013 at 07:34 PM.
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Old 12-18-2013, 07:49 PM   #234
Rich Pure Doom Rich Pure Doom is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeavyHitter View Post
Fair enough, but the odds are far more likely the BD represents what the original film looked like. The lack of standards with DVD was ridiculous really...especially in regards to color. Factoring in the odds as well as being director approved trumps the DVD.
Flat out incorrect. It is clear Mann has revised the color timing just like he did on Last of the Mohicans. This doesn't represent what it "originally" looked like at all, most likely.
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Old 12-18-2013, 07:52 PM   #235
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeavyHitter View Post
Fair enough, but the odds are far more likely the BD represents what the original film looked like. The lack of standards with DVD was ridiculous really...especially in regards to color. Factoring in the odds as well as being director approved trumps the DVD.
I wouldn't count on it. Michael Mann is one of those directors who likes to tinker with his films. Manhunter and The Last of the Mohicans being two examples. In fact, the Criterion release is not the original theatrical cut, so it wouldn't surprise me if he altered the colour a bit too.

I'm speculating though, because I never saw this upon its original release and I have not seen the blu-ray yet either, but those screencaps do look awfully blue.
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Old 12-18-2013, 08:37 PM   #236
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Michael Mann really should leave things alone. I saw it on cinema release and can't remember what the colour balance was like but I don't remember any other films of the era looking like those screencaps but screencaps aren't always a reliable guide to how the film actually looks on screen so I'll wait for my copy to arrive and there's supposed to be a release from Wild Side in France at some point.
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Old 12-18-2013, 08:51 PM   #237
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The MGM HD broadcast of the theatrical version had absolutely no blue tint. It had very natural looking colors. The Criterion screen shots look hideous
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Old 12-18-2013, 08:53 PM   #238
pro-bassoonist pro-bassoonist is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MifuneFan View Post
I don't think it's wrong for people to be surprised, if not disappointed by the color changes. I'm sure people have gotten used to the DVD's colors, having likely spent more time with it than any other transfer, even if it wasn't accurate. I have no idea what it looked like originally, but the difference certainly is drastic. Being Director approved doesn't really mean that it's how it looked originally, so I wouldn't really fall back on that as evidence to anything other than this is what Mann wants it to look like today.
A very good observation, Mifune.

But there are a couple of things to consider here:

1. This film was definitely a trend-setter, so don't look for conventional color grading. To most viewers today it probably does not appear as such, but there was definitely nothing quite like it in the early '80s. I think this is the reason why it ended up in the Criterion Collection.

My memory isn't as good as that of other people who saw Thief theatrically, but I definitely remember the "neon" look the film had (it is a mix of cold blues and greens, this is the best way I could describe it). In fact, even on the DVD release, immediately after the UA logo, you can easily tell that this neon look is still there. Now, the saturation is definitely off on the DVD and the dated pushed up cherry look which so many people believe is the "correct" look on films that were released on DVD probably makes it quite difficult to realize what Mann was going for.

2. Shadow and light are very carefully handled in the film. This is impossible to tell on the DVD. Right in the beginning of the film, when the camera moves between the two buildings (very slowly comes from top to bottom) and captures the light with the falling rain, on the DVD everything looks flat and blurry. Here you have that soft neon look, with the halo effects, which enhances the neo-noir feel. It is a pretty big deal and it is nothing like what is on the DVD. So, yes, you are right, the difference is drastic. But I can't agree that there is a reason to be disappointed -- the new transfer actually restores these unique qualities that were already there.

3. The groundbreaking material. Since Thief there have been quite a few crime films that would essentially reintroduce what the film did in the '80s. Drive is definitely one of them, though Refn's film actually borrows plenty from Hill's The Driver as well. Mann also transferred a lot of the atmosphere from Thief to Heat. If you look at the drive where Pacino goes after De Niro on the highway, there is an edgy but very atmospheric guitar solo that mimics very effectively a similar theme Tangerine Dream have in Thief. Actually, the relationship between the music and the visuals in Heat is almost identical to that in Thief (sans some harmonic differences). The difference is that the city, in this case L.A., isn't the type of character Chicago is in Thief.

The opening sequence in Heat also has a similar structure to that of the opening sequence in Thief. The music becomes the foundation for everything that is to follow.

In Heat, you can even hear the exact same (now retro) electronic effects that Tangerine Dream did for Thief (then groundbreaking material done on latest electronic equipment). If you have the Heat CD soundtrack, listen to track 9 - Steel Cello Lament*.

All in all, I know that it probably does not look quite that way now, but Thief was way ahead of its time.

** This track:




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Pro-B

Last edited by pro-bassoonist; 12-18-2013 at 09:02 PM.
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Old 12-18-2013, 08:53 PM   #239
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Flat out incorrect.
Based on what, exactly?
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Old 12-18-2013, 08:54 PM   #240
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Too much tinkering. No original theatrical cut. Revised color timing. No sale.
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