Halloween 35th Anniversary Edition

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Halloween 35th Anniversary Edition

Postby tucco » Mon Sep 30, 2013 2:35 pm

I just wanted to point out a couple of things. There is a major sore spot with a lot of people about some key elements that were left out of the new 7.1 mix. In fact, it is a deal-breaker to me, and I will be listening to the mono mix from now on. The scene where Annie yells, "Speed Kills!!!" at Myers when he is driving his car past the girls as they are walking down the street. Up until now, for 35 years, the background music rises in pitch after Myers slams on the breaks in his car. For some reason, on this new 7.1 mix, the pitch does not rise at all. It is an absolute crime to remove the key element that makes this scene work. It renders the scene pretty darn ineffective, in fact.
One of a few reasons why I think this release is closer to a failure, than not. It is not just mere nitpicking to be horribly disappointed in a thing like that. I just thank my lucky stars that the mono mix DOES have the original elements intact.....although it's just not enough consolation for many, many people who now have no use for the new 7.1 mix.
As far as the new transfer, the actual detail and sharpness is indeed amazing, and is a wonder to behold, however the muted look of the color palette is absolutely not the way longtime fans have remembered this film. Not by a long shot. Which brings me to the following point. This is the second time cinematographer Dean Cundey has signed off on the new color timing as what was "originally intended". Those looking forward to seeing the "Cundey 'blue night'" will have to look at the SD DVD from the early 2000's. The awesome blue overtones and amber hues have been terribly muted for this release, and I find myself wondering just what Cundey's "original intention" actually was. How can two releases in a row, both be the original intent? If we had the sharpness of the new transfer + the color palette we all remember, it would be a wonderful thing! We do not get that here, and it is a shame. Again, this is the second time Cundey has signed off on a color-timing.
As far as extras, the new commentary track is so painful to listen to, what with Jamie Lee Curtis' ceaseless exclamations that you can hear Carpenter clearly getting annoyed at Curtis' hyperactive exuberance. I'm glad that she is in awe of Carpenter but she interrupts him so much it becomes unbearable. Have a listen an you will see what I mean. He can hardly get a sentence off.
I'm not gonna complain about past extras not being ported over to this release because we are all familiar with the drill: Keep your other disks to view past special features. -I'm fine with that-
When you add up the failings of this release, it becomes obvious that it is more than merely "not definitive", but mostly a blown opportunity and half a sham.
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Re: Halloween 35th Anniversary Edition

Postby Mach6 » Thu Oct 03, 2013 5:08 pm

Thanks for the warning Tucco. The only reason I had any interest in buying this new version was because of the Curtis/Carpenter commentary. So, Curtis just hogged up most of it huh(?). :cry: I’ve heard from other reviewers how disappointing it was too. I guess I can close the wallet & just keep the “normal” Blu Ray I got out of the $7.99 bin several years ago.
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Re: Halloween 35th Anniversary Edition

Postby Dan Mancini » Mon Oct 07, 2013 6:30 am

Mach6 wrote:Thanks for the warning Tucco. The only reason I had any interest in buying this new version was because of the Curtis/Carpenter commentary. So, Curtis just hogged up most of it huh(?). :cry: I’ve heard from other reviewers how disappointing it was too. I guess I can close the wallet & just keep the “normal” Blu Ray I got out of the $7.99 bin several years ago.

I think these critics are smoking crack, frankly. I've side-by-sided the two Blu-rays and there's no question that the new one is a HUGE improvement over the old.

Re: The 7.1 mix: it's a new mix, spatially different than the original. Of course every music cue and effect isn't going to sit in the mix the same way. If you're a purist, you ought to be listening to the mono anyway. The 7.1 is a fine add-on and I guess I could understand the complaint if the original mix wasn't present, but I'm baffled as to how an optional remix can make the release "a failure."

Color timing is an art, not a science—particularly when Halloween was made. There's what Carpenter and Cundey intended, what was originally released in theaters, and what fans remember. Of the three factors, I think the third is completely irrelevant . . . not least because memory is a slippery thing. Frankly, I thought the color timing on the old Blu-ray was superior to the fakey blown-out blues on the earlier Cundey-approved transfer. Having said that, I think Cundey got it right this time—at least as far as home video viewing is concerned. Nothing appears boosted or manipulated. The title sequence, in particular, is stable as credits saturate from yellow to orange and then fade to yellow again. The movie is allowed to be dark—it doesn't give way to black crush, but doesn't have a ton of boosted contrast to reveal unnecessary detail. I have no idea how the image compares to how the movie looked in theaters in '78, but anyone who claims he does is full of crap. That was a long, long time ago and there's been a ton of variation in how Halloween has been presented in the years since.
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Re: Halloween 35th Anniversary Edition

Postby tucco » Wed Oct 30, 2013 4:40 pm

Dan, I said "closer to a failure", NOT a "failure"......The mono track actually sucks too, plenty of the dialogue is near impossible to hear. The classroom scene, before the teacher says "Laurie", "answer the question", the teacher's dissertation about fate is almost impossible to hear. It's like that throughout the mono track. The alternate audio track does not console me at all, since signature audio earmarks (like my above complaint) are ruined. I stand behind my comment, I never said it was a failure. I said "closer to a failure"; which it is, as I've recounted.
As for the look of the film I acknowledged the awesome clarity of the image. I did not reference how the movie looked in theaters 35 years ago but I have never seen it look so drab color wise, especially the outdoor scenes.
This is not to even mention the shitty bonus features.
Yes, this release is half or a sham, in my belief....

Have a happy Halloween guys! Cheers
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Re: Halloween 35th Anniversary Edition

Postby Dan Mancini » Thu Nov 07, 2013 12:04 pm

Three things:

1. Some of what I wrote earlier was directed at critics in general, not your post specifically. I think the earlier kerfuffle about Cundey-approved and non-Cundey-approved transfers was mostly noise from people who have no clue what they're talking about.

2. You're right about the extras being a disappointment, but I don't really watch extras more than once so I guess I can't complain. Plus, I liked the (lengthy) Jamie Lee Curtis doc.

3. I've watched the BD multiple times now, and have listened to both audio tracks. There is nothing, and I mean NOTHING, wrong with the tracks that isn't attributable to the limitations of the source. The 7.1 is a fine expansion. It has none of the craziness of, say, the first release of Star Wars on DVD where Ben Burtt basically drowned out John Williams' score with sound effects. The changes basically come down to the 7.1 being an expansion and being lossless, both of which make it, well, the same but a little different. It's better than the earlier 5.1 mix, though it definitely plays best when it plays loud (i.e., when dialogue sits at a comfortable volume and music and effects are allowed to run free). The mono sounded just fine to me too. I'm not sure we heard/watched the same disc.

Bottom line: I don't plan to buy Halloween again until we all have 4K gear and Blu-rays seem quaint (which is pretty sweet because I've bought it many, many times).
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Re: Halloween 35th Anniversary Edition

Postby tucco » Sun Nov 17, 2013 2:40 am

Oh I know that Dan, no worries!
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