Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Shameless Distortions

Et tu, Shameless?

Thanks to Chuck Pennington for posting this for us all to gawk at how amazingly hard the Italian inserts on the English track of Shameless' FOUR FLIES ON GRAY VELVET Blu-ray really do suck. Oh yeah, MASSIVE FUCKING SPOILERS are contained within that video, so if you haven't seen the film yet and think you might want to, like, watch the film in some form first.

If memory serves the above clip is all we should have to worry about... but even so, for real, Shameless? You couldn't tell this was completely fucked up and just swap it out with the audio from the restored and completely pristine Italian dub track also included on your own release?

What's especially crazy about this is that, back when Mya Communications released the film on R1 DVD in 2009, they had completely fucked up the English audio, essentially pitching it down by 4% and making the entire film sound like a dying tape recorder was being played inside of a tin barrel. Shameless has reportedly restored the English audio from the English negatives held by Paramount, but then completely botched the Italian inserts! Fuckin' ay, guys...

Also worthy of ridicule is the fact that they color corrected the living snot out of their 56 seconds of upscaled footage - which, unto itself, isn't a bad thing. The problem is they had to manipulate the grayscale so hard that "black" is now the color of rotten key-lime pie, which I'll illustrate with yet another stolen snippet of media:

Oh well, at least it's not Riki-Oh Quality for the WHOLE MOVIE.

The 'upscaled inserts' part itself already kinda grinds my gears, but hey, it is what it is and Shameless was nothing but honest about it. Thing is, though, they could have color-corrected these shots the very same way, cropped the 'scope bars out, and then generated "new" black bars to proper RGB spec. You know how I know this? Because I do it. All. The. Fucking. TIME.

Anthony B. has also posted over on the AVManiacs FORUM, detailing his frustration that Shameless (essentially) used his fansub script without allowing him to fix it up for the big time, despite the fact that he was working with them on the bonus material.  Part of me says, "Who gives a fuck? Mimsy Farmer and Michael Brandon spoke English on set. Nobody else matters." Then the rest of me thinks, 'But why go through the trouble if you're just going to half-ass it anyway?'

These fuck-ups are certainly troubling, mostly because they could have easily been corrected without spending any extra money. It's just a lack of quality control with people who both know and care about what they're doing, and considering I've been avoiding Shameless for their troubles with the BBFC, it's disappointing to see them be just as lax in the presentation department as their half-sister company, Arrow Video.

They - or possibly the original HD telecine operators, I'm not too sure - also managed to do... I don't even know what the fuck there is to say about it. What is this, I don't even--

Banding. It's not cool.

Seriously, I'm too exhausted for this shit right now. Just wanted to make sure y'all knew what you were getting into before you dropped $30 on it. The majority of the film looks and sounds (by all counts) incredible, which makes these all too easily correctable fuck-ups all the more lamentable. Maybe I'll post something more in-depth, if I ever decide I hate my money enough to buy it, but for the time being I'm almost tempted to wait and see if German distributors Koch Media treat the title any better... for 30 Euros in a ridiculous Media Book, if INFERNO is any indication. Urgh.

Wait, do I even like this movie enough to justify importing it?


Kriztoffer Swank said...

lol, I didn't know there was a cel-shaded version of this movie. :O

I intend to pick up the Blu-ray eventually, although it would be nice if by the time they do, Shameless fix all the problems. said...

Another skip for me. I know the DVDBeaver screengrabs aren't always the best, but the banding evident in them is just awful.

As inept as I generally find Shameless / Arrow to be as video labels, I've still pre-ordered DEMONS and DEMONS 2. Hoping beyond hope for good things there, but I have a sinking feeling they'll wind up on eBay like the rest of my Arrow pick-ups.