Monday, May 31, 2010

The Unfaithful Wife is Back in The Bedroom

Yeah, yeah, I know. I'm very slow.
So how do we make that fact into a drinking game?

Well, this is just... weird. In putting together the Kentai Films DVD of Sato's THE BEDROOM I checked a couple scenes on both the UK DVD and the Japanese VHS side-by-side, hoping I could figure out why the difference in runtime was so massive. The UK DVD cuts a 13 second shot of a man stripping his wife's underwear in an alley (despite the fact that he's forcing her to have sex still being quite evident - oh, that wacky BBFC!), but the difference in runtime after that is still well over 2 minutes!

So I'm thinking maybe the UK transfer was from a 'real' PAL source. That'd explain about 2 and a half minutes' difference, despite the UK DVD being an NTSC release. It's clearly a dump of Wide Sight's hard-subbed VHS transfer from the mid 1990s, so it's not unthinkable that the two cuts were sourced from separate NTSC and PAL transfers - at least initially. The title sequences are completely different too, so it's also possible that Sato (or a meddling producer?) decided to re-edit the film's pacing subtly by cutting a frame here and a shot there... I think it's just 24fps vs 25fps, though. I really do.

I'll admit it, the UK DVD is marginally sharper than the Japanese VHS, but it's also much noisier, has absolutely wonky contrast and constantly strange looking color timing, is littered with print damage and has nasty looking hardsubs. he Japanese tape, naturally, looks like any old fuzzy VHS, but at least it's not infected with virtually unreadable subtitles...


Anyway, the Kentai DVD will include the Japanese VHS bonus materials - a trailer for 盗撮レポート 陰写/TURTLE VISION*, and a brief interview with director Hisayasu Sato - as well as the alternate UK title sequence, and the "extreme" scene the BBFC deemed too damned hot for Glasgow (and the rest of Scotland, plus parts of Wales).

The UK titles are clearly printed to 35mm while the Japanese tape has video generated titles, and of course the on-screen titles are completely different. The UK release is "Unfaithful Wife, Disgraceful Blame" (or so Wide Sight tells me - I'm too lazy to check the kanji myself) while the Japanese release is "I'll Rape You And Kill You In My Dreams"/夢の中で 犯して殺して, marking the single best exploitation film title, EVER, in any fucking language.

It's been a good while since I've had to use DVDLab Pro, so the actual authoring will take a day or two while I get all the bugs out of the menus and multiple VTS structure.

*Yeah, the actual English title would be something like "Vouyer Report: Shady Copy", but keep in mind that most of the English titles Sato films go under were made up by some crazy non-Japanese speaking uberfan who just made all this shit up...

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Do You Remember...

...the Song of Wind and Trees? The tumultuous days of  our youth?

For those who don't, the restoration of this important boys love anime OVA - much like the young Gilbert the story tempts the heterosexual hero with - is a cruel, catty manwhore that toyed with my heart and patience for longer than I would like to admit, and in the end made me submit to him... on my own terms, of course.

I did everything in my limited power to restore the title from VHS, nearly gave up hope that something better existed, and finally got my hands on a decent looking LD. Shortly after the original DVD was finished, Kentai Films had a major meltdown, and in a way, I've been picking up the pieces ever since... but that's quite enough ancient history for one day.

So, here's the short of it:

Original LD Recording

Color Corrected/Composite Rainbows Minimized/Laser Rot Removed


Dirt Removal

Original LD Interlacing

New 'Blend' Progressive Frame

Essentially, the transfer will be 24fps with nothing but deinterlaced frames. Why? Because the 3:2 pulldown is completely shot due to blended fields, none of the data being deleted correlates to additional animation frames, and there's just no justifiable advantage to keeping the whole thing 30fps interlaced when that makes compression suffer, and doesn't allow for film artifact correction like stabilization. The new transfer won't let you pick your favorite deinterlacing method, and for that I do apologize, but the multitude of advantages in the restoration this method offers should more than make up for you not being able to use YADIF on it.

There's a few more tweaks I'd like to try, but what you see is largely what you should expect.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Kentai's Home.

As much as I have enjoyed finishing off my last kaiju-scale war between man, dub track and subtitle, it's... well, it's still good to be back. At least for now.

GAUSU's restoration hit a minor snag due to frames being dropped. The short version is this: Neat Video is not, I repeat, NOT designed to be loaded by AVISynth. (Or any program that isn't VirtualDub - nope, not even VirtualDubMod). No, seriously - you will drop frames.  And you wouldn't like me when I drop frames. It's since been re-encoded, and is still incredibly fucking awesome, so I just need to finish off the menus and author this beast once and for all.

As for poor ol' GUYVER? *Sigh* I swear, I fucking give up. I'm probably just going to patch the subtitles in after a once-over and be done with it for the time being. Maybe later on I'll denoise the crap out of it, since the LD is anything but pretty, but this is one of those situations where I spend weeks tweaking it only to find new and exciting flaws in every iteration. Sometimes, I just have to call it quits to release anything at all. Sad, I know.

At least we'll never have to worry about overheating again. I finally switched out the old midtower for a massive fulltower that's as silent as it icy with a total of four built-in fans on top of the massive hunk of a CPU fan I've got in there now. I'm idling in the 30s, even on a hot day! I'm as happy as a sadist wearing cleats tap dancing on a sea of lepers!

As for THE BEDROOM... 'nuff saif.

Other stuff is on the way - a LOT of stuff at that -  but plans change with the direction of the wind, so I'd like to keep those close to my chest until there's something worth unveiling.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Ichi the Scaler vs Fat the Interlacer

BEHOLD! Ichi the Killer in High Defini-

...ah, fuck.

I just don't feel like dragging my Blood Bag SE DVD out now - the fact that there is zero appreciable detail difference between the "1080p High Definition" transfer and an 853x480 downscale of the same material is enough to tell us everything we need to know.

Maybe the licensor wasn't cooperative, I don't know. All I do know is that this damn thing is an upscale, and now even photoshop backs me up. The worst part is that this is still the best release of Ichi out there, but once again, I can't recommend that anyone picks it up if they already own the special edition DVD. The difference is marginal, at best... So let's just hope that DEATH KAPPA looks better, or something.

In similar-yet-unrelated news, I think I've figured out why the Dragon Dynasty release of THE KILLER was an interlaced HD standards conversion:

This German DVD transfer, sourced from the same master as the recent DD Blu-ray, has several random shots with "hard" interlacing artifacts (combing) that can't be gotten rid of with standard 2:2 cadence detection. If this were pitched down to 24fps, the progressive 1080p transfer would have the same combing artifacts, and would effectively cease to be a genuinely "progressive" anything. That doesn't make the shoddy release permissible, not by a long shot, but at least it's finally starting to make sense.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Brainmeats Can Melt. Did You Know That?

THIS is how I feel right now.

The past week has been delicious capitalist Hell. I basically produced a licensed R1 from start to finish - MPEG and AC3 encoding, editing subtitles, English audio restoration, designing menus, the works - but instead of wallowing about in my new riches via the traditional champagne, hookers 'n' blow buffet, I'll be spending at least the next week straight finishing off the audio and subtitle editing for yet another upcoming release. In terms of sheer minute-per-minute content, that sucker will be - by far - my largest completed project yet.

Standard Kentai Films projects are on hold until further notice.