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Old 09-02-2019, 07:36 PM   #1
kishiro kishiro is offline
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I finally got my hand of one of the few Alfred Hitchcock movies I've never seen; Blackmail. Hitchcock's first Talkie from 1929. yay

The Kino Lorber release consists of 2 discs. Disc one containing the Silent version and the Talkie version in 1.33:1 aspect Ratio. Disc two contains the Talkie version in 1.20:1 aspect ratio.

So far so good... But it's not. Both the Talkie versions have problems. The 1.33:1 version is horizontally stretched (I don't no why it was even included). The 1.20:1 version is actually not 1.20:1, but rather 1:12:1 and vertically stretched! Damn !!

Also the Black bars on both Talkies are not totally black but have a RGB value of R3 B3 G3 instead of 0 (zero). The silent version looks good though, geometry is fine and the black bars are properly black.

I'm sad....



Why is QC so bad. How hard can it be to check the aspect ratios before release.... Do you think they'll release a fixed pressing ?
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Old 09-02-2019, 07:42 PM   #2
koberulz koberulz is offline
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Kino is currently insisting the disc is correct.
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Old 09-02-2019, 07:42 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kishiro View Post
[Show spoiler]I finally got my hand of one of the few Alfred Hitchcock movies I've never seen; Blackmail. Hitchcock's first Talkie from 1929. yay

The Kino Lorber release consists of 2 discs. Disc one containing the Silent version and the Talkie version in 1.33:1 aspect Ratio. Disc two contains the Talkie version in 1.20:1 aspect ratio.

So far so good... But it's not. Both the Talkie versions have problems. The 1.33:1 version is horizontally stretched (I don't no why it was even included). The 1.20:1 version is actually not 1.20:1, but rather 1:12:1 and vertically stretched! Damn !!

Also the Black bars on both Talkies are not totally black but have a RGB value of R3 B3 G3 instead of 0 (zero). The silent version looks good though, geometry is fine and the black bars are properly black.

I'm sad....



Why is QC so bad. How hard can it be to check the aspect ratios before release.... Do you think they'll release a fixed pressing ?
This has also been raised in both the Hitchcock forum and the KL forum. I would check both of those threads for updates.
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Old 09-02-2019, 07:50 PM   #4
James Luckard James Luckard is offline
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Yep, this issue was raised on a couple of other boards and I posted in the Hitchcock and KL threads.

KL then asked me to post instead in a new thread they started focusing on KL discs after their release:
https://forum.blu-ray.com/showthread...0#post16777430

Sadly, they have made it quite clear that their opinion is there is no error with the disc. They have confirmed there will be no replacements.

Also discussed here on the main KL thread:
https://forum.blu-ray.com/showthread...8#post16739108
See their response here:
https://forum.blu-ray.com/showthread...3#post16776673

And discussed here on the HItchcock thread:
https://forum.blu-ray.com/showthread...0#post16739110

Last edited by James Luckard; 09-02-2019 at 07:58 PM.
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Old 09-02-2019, 07:51 PM   #5
koberulz koberulz is offline
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They did say the same thing about Kind Hearts and Coronets until the screenshot evidence was too overwhelming to refute.
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Old 09-02-2019, 08:13 PM   #6
James Luckard James Luckard is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by koberulz View Post
They did say the same thing about Kind Hearts and Coronets until the screenshot evidence was too overwhelming to refute.
I haven't been following how that disc was resolved, but there have been lots of caps posted for Blackmail and KL's position remains that their disc in roughly 1.10:1 is:
A) the correct aspect ratio
B) the same aspect ratio as all previous releases
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Old 09-02-2019, 08:38 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Luckard View Post
I haven't been following how that disc was resolved, but there have been lots of caps posted for Blackmail and KL's position remains that their disc in roughly 1.10:1 is:
A) the correct aspect ratio
B) the same aspect ratio as all previous releases
Thanks for the feedback and info James.

This does not not sound promising...
Guess I have to fix/re-author it myself and make my own BD-R version.
Damn... more time and money spent fixing stuff that shouldn't be a problem.
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Old 09-02-2019, 08:42 PM   #8
GeoffOliver GeoffOliver is offline
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Thank god for that wheel closeup giving us a perfect tool to measure this problem. Praying this gets resolved.
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Old 09-02-2019, 08:51 PM   #9
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Luckily for me the silent version is the only one I’ll ever watch going forward, much better IMO than the talkie version, but yeah, what the hell is up with Kino and their pathetic pattern of denial of demonstrable provable errors and refusal to take responsibility and fix?
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Old 09-02-2019, 08:56 PM   #10
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They’re doing their typical denial thing. There won’t be a replacement.
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Old 09-02-2019, 10:48 PM   #11
James Luckard James Luckard is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WaverBoy View Post
Luckily for me the silent version is the only one I’ll ever watch going forward, much better IMO than the talkie version
Yep, the silent version is the real news here. This is the first ever home video release of the BFI restoration, and it's worth picking up the KL BD for that alone.

Sadly it's also the first ever BD release of the "talkie" version, but it hasn't been restored, so honestly the existing DVDs of it look almost as good as the BD, (though, admittedly they all have PAL speedup).
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Old 09-02-2019, 11:51 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Luckard View Post
Yep, the silent version is the real news here. This is the first ever home video release of the BFI restoration, and it's worth picking up the KL BD for that alone.

Sadly it's also the first ever BD release of the "talkie" version, but it hasn't been restored, so honestly the existing DVDs of it look almost as good as the BD, (though, admittedly they all have PAL speedup).
The talkie version being longer, however, would indicate it has more and/or longer scenes, so wouldn’t it be considered the preferable edit of the two?
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Old 09-03-2019, 03:38 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Filmmaker View Post
The talkie version being longer, however, would indicate it has more and/or longer scenes, so wouldn’t it be considered the preferable edit of the two?
It does have more material, but honestly I watched them over two nights and didn't notice exactly what the difference is, other than
[Show spoiler] the famous "knife, knife, knife" dialogue scene
in the "talkie" version, which is an extended version of a scene in the silent version.

They're surprisingly similar, and while the "talkie" version was the groundbreaking one and the one that was most available on home video for years, the silent version is actually the one that was most widely seen at the time, according to Wikipedia, and there's a purity to it that's really nice.

The use of sound in the "talkie" version feels very gimmicky, and the lead actress was dubbed, because she was Czech and had a thick accent. Since they couldn't do any sound in post then, the dubber had to be on set, and she and the actress just tried to speak roughly simultaneously. Needless to say, it's not entirely successful.
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Old 09-03-2019, 04:12 AM   #14
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Isn't this "stretching" the exact same issue with a couple of their Fritz Lang silents? Even worse than the denials of any one particular disc, on this aspect ratio thing they have done a similar error multiple times.

I guess on the bright side, at least 1 of the 3 versions is actually presented correctly. Is the silent at least considered the "main" presentation of this film?

Normally I don't get too bothered if an "alternate" presentation that is presented as an extra has an issue, though I think for this film alot of people might probably want to watch the talkie version - and it's a shame they screwed it up not once, but twice. I mean geez.
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Old 09-03-2019, 05:14 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AgentOrange View Post
Is the silent at least considered the "main" presentation of this film?

Normally I don't get too bothered if an "alternate" presentation that is presented as an extra has an issue, though I think for this film alot of people might probably want to watch the talkie version - and it's a shame they screwed it up not once, but twice. I mean geez.
The silent version is basically a completely different film. It's 9 mins shorter than the "talkie" version.

It's a strange case. For decades, the "talkie" version was the default version most widely available on home video.

However, on this set, the silent version is a big selling point, because it's restored.

That said, the "talkie" version is of equal value. I wouldn't say either one is an "alternate," they're basically companion pieces.
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Old 09-03-2019, 05:14 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AgentOrange View Post
Isn't this "stretching" the exact same issue with a couple of their Fritz Lang silents? Even worse than the denials of any one particular disc, on this aspect ratio thing they have done a similar error multiple times.

I guess on the bright side, at least 1 of the 3 versions is actually presented correctly. Is the silent at least considered the "main" presentation of this film?

Normally I don't get too bothered if an "alternate" presentation that is presented as an extra has an issue, though I think for this film alot of people might probably want to watch the talkie version - and it's a shame they screwed it up not once, but twice. I mean geez.
I would personally consider the silent version the “main” presentation of the film, as it began production as a silent, and the silent version was the most widely seen at the time and is pretty much flawlessly done, while the talkie version seems a bit creaky in comparison.
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Old 09-03-2019, 08:38 PM   #17
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I wonder if Kino got sent a 2K DCP (1.90:1 AR with ~1.20:1 matting) and a standard DCP resolution of 2048x1080 for cinema use, and they just resized and squeezed it into 1920x1080 (16:9) and called it a day. If you do that you'll get an approximate distortion which is somewhat close to fudging ~1.20:1 into ~1:12:1. (almost) This is just pure speculation on my part, but I can't think of any reason on how you could f*k it up so bad. Unless you really try to screw up on purpose that is.
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Old 09-18-2019, 10:31 AM   #18
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Review by Neil is up;
https://www.blu-ray.com/movies/Black...228273/#Review
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Old 09-18-2019, 11:13 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WaverBoy View Post
I would personally consider the silent version the “main” presentation of the film, as it began production as a silent, and the silent version was the most widely seen at the time and is pretty much flawlessly done, while the talkie version seems a bit creaky in comparison.
Yep the silent version has better sets, camerawork, acting etc. Just better all round.

The talkie version was shot on a tight budget and timescale, and it shows. There's jarring continuity between how the rapist guy's room and the shop are laid out when it cuts between original silent footage and new talkie version footage.
Also the talkie version is scratched to hell and and back and not restored like the silent version.
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Old 09-18-2019, 12:52 PM   #20
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..is it possible that BFI themselves might release this movie in europe in the near future.?...surely they wouldn't commit the same errors....
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