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The Girl Who Was DVNR’d Too Much

DVD

My copy of The Mario Bava Collection Volume 1 arrived yesterday. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to go through it in depth (that probably won’t happen till the holiday on Friday, or perhaps Thursday night), although I did rip the Tim Lucas commentary on The Girl Who Knew Too Much to my MP3 player, and listened to it today at work (which I can do when I’m doing data entry and licking stamps - it’s a little harder to do when I’m on the phone to someone!). It’s a solid, very interesting track and well worth listening to, although I don’t think it’s quite on the same level as the track on Blood and Black Lace, the only other Lucas commentary I’ve heard (to date). I’m a big fan of his style of mixing factual information about the cast and crew members, and the production, with his and other critics’ interpretations some of the key elements in the films he discusses, and it’s a format that I personally try to emulate in my (admittedly inferior) fan commentaries. (Speaking of which, I’d really like to do another of these one day, if I ever get the time.) There are quite a few blank spots in this track, in comparison with that of Blood and Black Lace, although it’s possible that these only jumped out at me because I was listening to the audio without any visuals.

I’ve also had a look at the presentation of the disc itself. I must say that I really like the menus Anchor Bay have gone for with this, and presumably the other discs in the set. They’re static and clearly laid out, but stylist and well-designed, with music from the film in question playing in the background. As far as the transfer is concerned, I get the impression that Anchor Bay have used the same rather tattered print that was the source of the old Image Entertainment DVD. I’ve no idea whether or not a more pristine source exists, but, to tell you the truth, I’ve always considered print damage to be a far less obnoxious artefact than the variety of types of digital interference that can be added at DVD level. The latter applies to this new transfer, which has been heavily noise reduced, presumably in an attempt to conceal the admittedly at times severe print damage, as well as slightly edge enhanced. The result is a transfer that looks superficially superior, and will probably fool a lot of the online review sites, but which in my opinion is not as good as its predecessor. I personally believe that restorations should either be done by hand (i.e. manually “painting out” individual instances of damage) or not at all. The film now looks a little too false and processed, at least based on the scenes I looked at. I’ll give it a closer look when I get the chance, and will of course do a full image comparison, probably at the weekend, but for the time being, my judgement is that I prefer the Image disc for its presentation of the film itself, but prefer the new Anchor Bay disc for its excellent commentary.

 
Posted: Tuesday, April 03, 2007 at 7:00 PM | Comments: 3
Categories: Cinema | DVD | Gialli

 
Comments

1.

I got my copy today. The first four films all look like they came from the same sources as the Image discs, same colours, running times, subtitles, the lot. The Girl Who Knew Too Much and Black Sabbath have been cleaned up to get rid of print speckles (the prints of Black Sunday and Knives Of The Avenger were pretty clean already, but I dare say they've been tarted up a bit). I'll leave you to investigate the DVNR issues, but TGWKTM definitely looks a bit more "digital"!

It's good to see Kill, Baby... Kill! in a decent English-friendly version at last. It looks much better than the full-frame VCI disc, similar to my French version - it's a clean print but the actual transfer has a lot of "digital grain" (best way I can explain it). It's fine to watch, but the picture looks a bit two-dimensional, lacking depth. Almost more like a painting than a photo, when you look closely.

It'll be interesting to see what they do with Vol. 2, as most of the source materials are (presumably) in worse shape. It'd be great if Anchor Bay could find some clean new prints, but we'll see...

Posted by: Philly Q, April 3, 2007 10:55 PM

2.

My set hasn't arrived yet.But will soon.
This DVDNR business isn't a cool thing but at least we get to see the movies.Another Giallo to add to my collection.It's not that this is an expensive set.
True,a new and improved transfer for these films would be preferred though.

I never bought the Image DVDs,I wasn't ready for Bava at that time.
At least it looks better than the French disc right?
DVD Beaver

Looks to me (with my little knowledge of these things) they "cleaned" that one up also.But with a bad NTSC -> PAL conversion.

Posted by: Crystal Plumage, April 4, 2007 6:18 PM

3.

Yeah, I’m pretty sure it looks better than the French disc, which, you’re right, looks like a standards conversion, perhaps sourced from the Image disc itself.

Having had a brief glance at the other discs in the set, I’d say Kill, Baby… Kill! looks the worst, while Black Sabbath looks the best.

PS. Something weird happened with the link to DVD Beaver, which explains why your post was flagged for moderation. I’ve edited it slightly, because the link text was slightly too long and was mangling the layout of the page.

Posted by: Whiggles, April 4, 2007 6:21 PM

Comments on this entry and all entries up to and including June 30th 2009 have been closed. The discussion continues on the new Land of Whimsy blog:

https://www.landofwhimsy.com

 

 
 
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