Elvis (1979)

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Elvis (1979)

Postby Gabriel Girard » Mon Feb 01, 2010 5:55 am

Thanks for the informative and positive review Dan. As a big Carpenter/Russell fan I've been wanting to see this forever. I'll probably pick it up. Thanks 10 pts easy.
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Re: Elvis (1976)

Postby Steve T Power » Mon Feb 01, 2010 7:21 am

I "tracked it down" a few years back. I was expecting it to be a little light due to the TV source, and it was, but Carpenter shoots the hell out of it, and Russell is the man!

Oddly enough - the version i saw was in 4:3, and it kept messing with me, it didn't have Carpenter's usual use of frame, it looked a little "tall". And Dancini tells us in the review that it's been cropped to 1.78:1, which leads me to believe, based on the 4:3, that Carpenter might have intended it to be that way.
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Re: Elvis (1976)

Postby Dan Mancini » Mon Feb 01, 2010 8:25 am

Steve T Power wrote:Oddly enough - the version i saw was in 4:3, and it kept messing with me, it didn't have Carpenter's usual use of frame, it looked a little "tall". And Dancini tells us in the review that it's been cropped to 1.78:1, which leads me to believe, based on the 4:3, that Carpenter might have intended it to be that way.

It definitely looked to me like Carpenter framed it so that it could play theatrically, if necessary. Compositions were pretty much spot-on at 16:9. I'd wish I could have done an A/B comparison. I suspect that a 4:3 presentation would leave a lot of visual dead space at the top of the frame.

And, thanks, Gabriel. As someone who loves every second of the Carpenter/Russell partnership, I'd say Elvis is definitely worth owning. Now, if we could just get a Blu-ray release of Escape from L.A.
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Re: Elvis (1976)

Postby BrettCullum » Mon Feb 01, 2010 8:33 am

Yes, DANCINI... thank you... thank you very much!

The only thing that disappointed me on this whole thing is the lack of a commentary with John and Kurt. That would have made it just perfect. As it is it still sounds pretty good though... I will definitely be purchasing.
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Re: Elvis (1979)

Postby Movie Mike » Tue Feb 02, 2010 12:05 am

I second the sadness of there not being a Carpenter/Russell commentary as those two are very entertaining when chatting together.
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Re: Elvis (1976)

Postby Patrick Bromley » Mon Feb 08, 2010 9:40 am

Dan Mancini wrote:Now, if we could just get a Blu-ray release of Escape from L.A.


Ask and you shall receive, Dan.
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Re: Elvis (1976)

Postby Dan Mancini » Mon Feb 08, 2010 10:56 am

Patrick Bromley wrote:
Dan Mancini wrote:Now, if we could just get a Blu-ray release of Escape from L.A.


Ask and you shall receive, Dan.

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Re: Elvis (1979)

Postby Andrew Forbes » Tue Mar 30, 2010 9:30 pm

For what it's worth (I'm still skeptical) I got this reply from Shout! Factory in response to my inquiry re:intended aspect ratio:

The film was initially produced as a 4:3 TV Movie. But they did shoot
the film with the 1.85 theatrical format as a possibility so when John
Carpenter went back and turned it into a FEATURE (with additional
footage and a very different edit) it would be "widescreen".

When restoring this film, we sourced the THEATRICAL VERSION as it was
the most complete. You may notice the few scenes that have text or
graphics on screen appear to have been blown up or cropped for this
theatrical version. But in running the entire film side by side a 4:3
version, you will notice that the majority of the film includes more
information - not less as if cropped.

Hope this helps.
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Re: Elvis (1979)

Postby Dan Mancini » Wed Mar 31, 2010 6:22 am

Andrew Forbes wrote:For what it's worth (I'm still skeptical) I got this reply from Shout! Factory in response to my inquiry re:intended aspect ratio:

The film was initially produced as a 4:3 TV Movie. But they did shoot
the film with the 1.85 theatrical format as a possibility so when John
Carpenter went back and turned it into a FEATURE (with additional
footage and a very different edit) it would be "widescreen".

When restoring this film, we sourced the THEATRICAL VERSION as it was
the most complete. You may notice the few scenes that have text or
graphics on screen appear to have been blown up or cropped for this
theatrical version. But in running the entire film side by side a 4:3
version, you will notice that the majority of the film includes more
information - not less as if cropped.

Hope this helps.

Yeah, that's a bizarre reply as it implies that Carpenter shot it hard-matted to 1.85:1, which I highly doubt. I don't, however, doubt their assertion that Carpenter shot it with the intention of it playing theatrically in a widescreen presentation (which it did in Europe). The compositions look quite natural in widescreen. I haven't seen the 4:3 presentation in nearly a decade, but I'd be willing to bet it adds a lot of dead space at the top and bottom of the frame, making it look less cinematic and more like a chintzy television production (I've seen the mini-series a number of times, and don't remember ever being particularly impressed with its visuals until I saw the widescreen DVD).

I was dubious going into the widescreen presentation but, I don't know, for the first time the flick felt like a legitimate entry in Carpenter's work and not just some slap-dash, director-for-hire TV gig. It looks like a Carpenter movie.
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Re: Elvis (1979)

Postby Andrew Forbes » Wed Mar 31, 2010 6:46 am

The 4:3 version is on Youtube, and in some direct comparisons with stills from AV Maniacs' review, it is definitely a case of cropping the 4:3 down to 1.78:1, not the other way around. So now I'm just left with more questions. You're right, though, that the 1.78:1 feels more like Carpenter.
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Re: Elvis (1979)

Postby Dan Mancini » Fri Apr 02, 2010 6:15 am

Come on, man. Just let go of your questions, grab the disc, fry up a peanut butter and banana sandwich, do a little placidyl, and enjoy.
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Re: Elvis (1979)

Postby Andrew Forbes » Sat Apr 03, 2010 4:13 pm

But I can't see my TV from the can.
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Re: Elvis (1979)

Postby Dan Mancini » Sun Apr 04, 2010 6:21 am

Worst case scenario, if the widescreen presentation pisses you off, just shoot your TV with a revolver.
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Re: Elvis (1979)

Postby Steve T Power » Sun Apr 04, 2010 10:26 pm

Awww... Dis ain't No Good! *blam*!
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