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Old 04-14-2021, 08:49 PM   #49
Joseph Goodman Joseph Goodman is offline
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Oct 2008
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I received my copy today, gave it a spot check, and had the following reactions:

-yes, it's encoded in MPEG-2; pixel-peeping at 2x on my Oppo didn't reveal any egregious macroblocking, so it's at least a well-optimized MPEG-2 encode. (my perspective on what constitutes a "good encode" has been hopelessly skewed by the work David M./Fidelity In Motion has put out with Arrow, Indicator, etc., so YMMV)

-It's farcical for Film Detective to market this as from the "original camera negative". One, that would be back in Italy, and be the uncut European version. Two, if this really was from the Technirama negative, it'd be a lot sharper. Three, the overall sharpness and color fringing visible looks an awful lot like other transfers from Technicolor release prints I've seen. Four, Film Detective actually had it listed as being from "an archival 35mm print" on their pre-order page at one point. This ties in to...

-the milky blacks some of the early reviews have pointed out. This could be a side effect of them scanning a release print, with its dense shadow areas, and then trying to brighten the shadows... or they encoded it at the wrong RGB levels. I set my Oppo's colorspace to "RGB PC levels" and that took care of the milky blacks, but it ended up crushing the darkest shadows in the video.

-sound quality is a huge improvement over the Retromedia widescreen DVD.

-Now, within the context of what I was expecting from this disc, i.e. a Blu-ray upgrade equivalent of the old Retromedia DVD, it's a decent disc as far as the feature goes. Film Detective should clarify exactly what it was scanned from, though.

-Some folks have been salty at the inclusion of the MST3K episode, which amuses me, as the first place I saw this film or any peplum was on MST, and it's one of my favorite episodes. It's inclusion here is a botch-job, poorly upscaled to HD, and with the frame rate messed up, as if it were badly de-interlaced to 30fps and then re-interlaced to 60i. The motion during both the host segments and film segments are noticeably choppy.

I haven't taken a look at any of the other extras.
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