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Old 12-01-2022, 09:01 AM   #821
fdm fdm is offline
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I started tonight out with The Neon Bible as well, was drawn in by Gena Rowlands. Enjoyed it well enough.

After that I did get to Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts. Pretty good, was a little drawn out maybe (or I was ), but a nice watch nevertheless.

Been a while since I watched Death In Venice (on TCM), but yeah I recall it having two ways of interpreting the title. I also remember the existence of the Most Beautiful Boy documentary but don't think I've seen it.

And just now tried to watch Of Time and the City again. It seems pretty interesting, but between no closed captions and my wanting to not have the volume up too loud decided to put it off for another time. At least this time I will try and remember it next time it shows up. Failing that I can possibly dig out the dvd I buried in some box somewhere.
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Old 12-01-2022, 11:38 PM   #822
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Let me clarify/explain further. What I really meant is (analog) Dolby ProLogic surround sound, which is 4.0 channel analog audio derived from matrix-encoded 2.0 stereo: Left, Center, Right are full range audio, and the 2 Rear surround speakers play the same rear channel content to both rear speakers
And yes both the Roku and the Apple TV 4K for Red had Dolby ProLogic surround sound being generated through my Denon receiver, via its Dolby Surround setting... but just for Red. I don't believe there is a flag associated with such content, so you may have to set your receiver to its Dolby Surround (or ProLogic) setting in order to get the additional surround content to appear in your Center and Rear channel(s). All you (should) need is stereo 2.0 coming from your streaming device to get any matrixed content that may be there decoded.

The thing/trick is that what's offered on the channel does not necessarily match what's on their discs, since they really don't seem to care that much about the audio content. So with Blue and White they got lazy and only provided unmatrixed 2.0 stereo audio (if that); and with Red somehow they managed to provide matrixed stereo 2.0 audio, giving you the Dolby Surround sound.

This technology has been around since the time that video tapes went from mono to stereo in the late '80s. Maybe some day Criterion will make it to the late '90s with their channel's audio.
You're referring to Dolby Pro Logic (I) (that could decode 4 channels from a stereo encoded source). It was found in analog surround receivers during VHS. By the time receivers were supporting Dolby Digital, they were also getting Dolby Pro Logic II. Dolby Pro Logic II takes a standard stereo source and martixes it to 5.1. It doesn't have to have Dolby Stereo encode: in fact blu-rays tend to just have 5.1 surround track or PCM stereo. Dolby Surround is the next iteration where it will matrix stereo or 5.1 to your full Atmos speaker configuration.

With my Denon, I have Dolby Surround, DTS:X Neural, and Auro-3D upmixers. With its remote app, I can see that a source is stereo and then it will be put out to 7.1.4 of my speakers (with Dolby and DTS, Auro goes to 5.1.4). I find the overhead effects can be pretty convincing on some scenes with a 5.1 source, and stereo tends to be good about having most all the sound in front with dialogue center. The movie surround modes my receiver has is also multichannel stereo or native stereo/5.1/7.1 of the source.

I found this thread because I just tried signing up for Criterion today. I can understand them not having 4K, since they have a few titles and want to encourage people to buy their discs. However, I am very surprised that the platform doesn't support Dolby Digital+. Even all live TV apps support surround sound. I know a lot of their catalogue is stereo or mono...but they still do have content from the 70s on that is surround sound. I suppose I'll still keep the service because of the selections and interesting collections/picks. I'm just seeing complaints about them not supporting surround going for 3 years: doesn't seem they're too pressured about getting current with their streaming technology.
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Old 12-02-2022, 04:21 AM   #823
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I'm just seeing complaints about them not supporting surround going for 3 years: doesn't seem they're too pressured about getting current with their streaming technology.
I did my part, they pretty much blew me off and said you want good sound buy the disc. I told them I already do.

Of course if hundreds or thousands had complained instead of the handful that bothered, maybe it would be different. It will be an even bigger joke if they ever go 4K and still stick with their shitty sound.
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Old 12-03-2022, 05:06 AM   #824
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the screwball comedies collection is pretty great. there might be a few youíve seen, but a ton of stuff iíve never even heard of.
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Old 12-04-2022, 07:27 PM   #825
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I did my part, they pretty much blew me off and said you want good sound buy the disc. I told them I already do.

Of course if hundreds or thousands had complained instead of the handful that bothered, maybe it would be different. It will be an even bigger joke if they ever go 4K and still stick with their shitty sound.
Yeah, I just got their form letter last night saying if I wanted the best quality, buy their discs. I had indicated I figured they'd want you to buy the 4K disc for those titles, but no surround when all other services do??

They did let me know that they use Vimeo as their player. Vimeo is still stuck with stereo, however this year they announced they partnered with Dolby to offer Dolby Vision (since iPhone records video with Dolby Vision). Weird in that announcement they also didn't say they were adding Dolby Digital I would have thought Criterion is a big enough commercial company to not use a platform intended for home produced movies vs a more professional one that supports more movie standards.
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Old 12-05-2022, 02:24 PM   #826
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Yes, Vimeo is really holding them back in terms of quality. It also has remarkably deficient adaptive streaming. Most services these days can ramp up and down the bitrate based on network health, and buffer enough content during healthy passages, that playback is smooth even under challenging circumstances.

But Vimeo hasn’t figured this out.

On the same network connection I can stream 4k uhd hdr smoothly with a player that uses Apples generic player, or YouTubes engine, or HBO’s system, or even Amazon, not to mention smooth 1080p with thing like Hoopla and other smaller outfits.

They’ve also given short shrift to the mobile experience by locking down the ability to output to a large screen like a TV….whereas basically every other service has figured out how to enable this.

All that said, I am frankly less worried about the audio.

I have a serious surround system but as long as Criterion offers up the original soundtrack format, which they almost always do, I’m good with that.

I realize many people want a remixed for surround sound soundtrack. I wouldn’t mind the option but it’s not a deal breaker for me.

Luckily almost everything is in the original format.

Last edited by nathan_h; 12-05-2022 at 02:32 PM.
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Old 12-05-2022, 05:58 PM   #827
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Perhaps you watch different films on the channel than I do, but I've seen numerous films there that originally had better soundtracks than the channel supports. So for me almost everything is not really.
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Old 12-05-2022, 08:40 PM   #828
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All that said, I am frankly less worried about the audio.

I have a serious surround system but as long as Criterion offers up the original soundtrack format, which they almost always do, Iím good with that.
I have seen that they have some more modern movies that are intended to have surround. Then, the platform is forced stereo....so you don't have discrete mono for old movies. So for me, it's the principle of the matter.
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Old 12-09-2022, 01:33 PM   #829
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are there any december deals for Criterion Channel?
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Old 12-09-2022, 06:59 PM   #830
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are there any december deals for Criterion Channel?
I don't think there have ever been any deals for the Channel, beyond Charter members getting a discount when the service first launched.

IMO, just sign up and dive in - it's worth it!

Edit: I'm wrong. There was a deal last year, I think, but I don't recall the specifics.
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Old 12-10-2022, 09:27 AM   #831
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The other deal is subscribing for a year is cheaper than subscribing month by month.

--

Watched the film Blood & Donuts. Found it pretty entertaining, worth a watch. Check it out.

Oh by the way, don't miss The Keep which is also expiring in a few weeks, especially if you haven't seen it.

Last edited by fdm; 12-10-2022 at 09:36 AM.
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Old 12-12-2022, 04:56 AM   #832
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Perhaps you watch different films on the channel than I do, but I've seen numerous films there that originally had better soundtracks than the channel supports. So for me almost everything is not really.
Fair enough! I may have overstated things by claiming that 95% of the movies = "almost everything".

But I just did a quick review of what's streaming on the channel right now. And less than 5% of their content was originally shown in something other than one or two channel audio from what I can find.

Roadshow type US big studio movies had multi-channel sound in the 50s and 60s. And there are consistently a few of those streaming on the channel. But that's way less than 1% on their own.

Most US and international releases were in mono....and gradually became stereo in the mid 1970s. And the CC tends to preserve those two channel mixes right up to the mid 1990s, when multichannel mixes became mainstream.

At that point, Criterion drops the ball. I would like to see them do better.

But there are relatively few movies on the channel from the 1990s to the present, and many that are there are indie or international so they were often just one or two channel at best, anyway.

None of that helps you if you want to watch one of those movies of course!

AND: Don't get me wrong, I would love for Criterion to up their game, get better bitrates, and make the multichannel soundtracks available for films that weren't mono or stereo or two channel when released. But my biggest gripe is that their video player in general is so crappy. It's embarrassing for an organization that built their reputation of director approved transfers, original aspect ratios, and premium prices for laserdiscs -- all in the name of preserving the art. Their bitrates, buffering, and so on significantly lag even other small streamers. (And yet, I was a charter member, having first lost my heart to FilmStruck, and will probably continue to be one.)

That said, I readily admit that I seldom watch stuff from the 1990s to the present, so I guess I have a more myopic view. And if I was watching more recent stuff, I'd likely feel differently.

Last edited by nathan_h; 12-12-2022 at 05:01 AM.
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Old 12-14-2022, 04:26 AM   #833
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Once they got beyond some of their technical hurdles (streaming sometimes iffy, the streamers themselves sometimes fairly flaky), Filmstruck had it right, at least in terms of the soundtracks. Some of their content was you really had to want to see the movie, but a lot of the rest of it was also done well (given it is/was streaming…).

I don't seem to have much in the way of actual streaming issues with the channel nowadays (aside from when my ISP has left me high and dry again (knock on wood a bunch of times, but for a little bit now they've been better lately (famous last words), I must have been recorded last time and referred to technical support people that would actually do something (yeah right )), PQ is usually pretty good, depending on the source.

A lot of the more modern films they feature come and go, so even though there's a good number of them I may have watched (I lean towards foreign films myself), the lame audio on many of them left me feeling like it could have been better if only… Even my old dvds usually have better audio. Take what I can get I suppose.

And now I return to my dvr and/or prime to finish up my juggling act for the night.
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Old 12-29-2022, 01:00 AM   #834
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It's that time of the month again...

Time to catch up on a few films before they expire from the Channel.

Other Expiring Picks I've already seen:
  • The Black Cat
  • The Blob
  • Frankenstein
  • The Invisible Man
  • The Lair of the White Worm

All are solid horror recommendations, but The Black Cat is easily the best of the bunch IMO.

Last night, I watched Blood & Donuts. I actually saw it many years ago on Joe Bob's Drive-In Theater but I could never remember the name of it. Drove me crazy for years! When it dawned on me last night that this may be the same movie I had been wondering about for so long, I grew very excited. A google search today confirmed my suspicions. I wasn't even originally planning on watching it, so this was a happy accident indeed.

It's a low-budget Canadian indie from 1995 starring Gordon Currie as "a sensitive vampire" (Joe Bob's description, which I never forgot) and featuring acclaimed director David Cronenberg in an acting role as a local mob boss. That should tell you everything you need to know.
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Old 12-30-2022, 07:53 AM   #835
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Blood & Donuts was pretty good. I can see that as something Joe Bob might have shown.

Not really much else stood out enough from the expiring list in the end (as something I'd not already seen or I didn't have laying around somewhere), so that's pretty much all I've got for this month. Spent my time mostly elsewhere this month.

Just looked to see if I'd suggest anything else for this month aside from the obvious classic black and white ones, and the ones I mentioned before. Came up with one other I'd recommend to check out: Verhoeven's Black Book; I really liked it when I watched it years ago, I'm a big Verhoeven fan for good reason.
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Old 12-30-2022, 09:35 PM   #836
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I watched He Ran All the Way last night before it expires. Great performances by John Garfield and Shelley Winters in what is otherwise a standard-issue home invasion noir. Key Largo, Blind Alley, and The Desperate Hours are all better examples of that scenario, but this is still good.

Between all of those, Violent Night, and the original Funny Games, I've seen six home invasion movies this year alone (along with Funny Games U.S. a decade ago, Better Watch Out a few years back, and random Home Alone movies in the same timeframe). Not bad for a storyline I don't particularly gravitate toward. Maybe I'll finally watch Labor Day in 2023.

He Ran All the Way was John Garfield's final film before the Hollywood blacklist robbed him of his career and robbed us of more great performances. The only other movie I've seen him in is The Sea-Wolf with Edward G. Robinson, which was excellent. (It was on the expiring list a few months ago.)

The subtitles/captions for He Ran All the Way were pretty inconsistent though - some sentences weren't captioned at all - which is annoying.

Tonight, I'll probably go for another John Garfield movie - either The Postman Always Rings Twice or Out of the Fog (or maybe both), and that will be it for me for this month. If I skip Postman, it's just because that's a famous and acclaimed enough movie that I expect it will either show up elsewhere soon enough or return to the Channel eventually.

I also re-watched The Lady Eve (not expiring yet). Barbara Stanwyck and Henry Fonda are always great!

Last edited by DaBargainHunta; 12-30-2022 at 09:41 PM.
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Old 12-31-2022, 06:31 PM   #837
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaBargainHunta View Post
Tonight, I'll probably go for another John Garfield movie - either The Postman Always Rings Twice or Out of the Fog (or maybe both), and that will be it for me for this month. If I skip Postman, it's just because that's a famous and acclaimed enough movie that I expect it will either show up elsewhere soon enough or return to the Channel eventually.
I ended up going with Out of the Fog. Absolutely fantastic. Highly recommended!

I doubt I'll be able to get to The Postman Always Rings Twice in time, but like I said, it's a big enough movie that it will inevitably show up elsewhere or eventually return to the Channel. It's currently $5 on iTunes, or $15 in a 4-movie bundle.
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Old 01-01-2023, 10:17 AM   #838
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Garfield was one of the best. I'd guestimate I've seen about half of his films. So glass still half full.
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Old 01-01-2023, 10:46 AM   #839
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what time do the new films usually show up on the 1st?
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Old 01-02-2023, 10:20 AM   #840
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Quote:
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what time do the new films usually show up on the 1st?
The expiring ones usually stick around for several hours into the next day, how long seems to depend sometimes on the day of the week (or maybe not).

So the news ones show up after the expiring ones expire, probably not that much later than your post.
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