Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Re-Animated Opticals

Here's a pair of stills I thought I'd already shared...

Let's keep in mind that this opening shot is an optical effect, and as such it was always going to be grainier/softer than the rest of the movie - and yet the advantage on the upcoming 4K master is still pretty goddamn dramatic. There looks to be nearly 10% more image uncovered on the left hand side of the frame, the grain structure has snapped into focus in a way I suspected had been possible from the start, and the color... good gravy, just look at the color on those trees on the upcoming TLEFilms restoration!

I can't wait until this thing comes out. Every single review citing "80s film stock" and "low budgets" are going to just have to eat the bag on this one; Re-Animator is poised to blow everyone away, and the fact that it took a horrendous HD release to get someone else to offer to do the film right is a blessing and a curse all at once. If nothing else, it should settle these misunderstandings that a film made for less than a million dollars should, by default, look like anus - with any luck this'll be every bit as presentable as My Bloody Valentine, Night of the Creeps, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th Part 2, Alien 2: On Earth, Evil Dead 2: 25th Anniversary Edition, Halloween II, or any number of similarly low-budget films shot in the 1980s on 35mm.

I actually had a chance to speak with Brian Yuzna at a screening about two weeks ago, and he confirmed that the film labs themselves are doing these restorations without any direct involvement from the film makers. If the samples we've seen so far are any indication, I'm not going to lose any sleep over Stuart Gordon and Friends not looking over everyone's shoulders; this looks fantastic, and I can't wait to see what the masters for a non-optical effect scene looks like. I also got to ask Stuart Gordon why he wasn't involved with Bride of Re-Animator, and he had a great response; "The deal was set for an R-rated sequel, and I just didn't think we could top the original film with that limitation." Sound reasoning, I've gotta say.

And just in case you guys aren't aware, Second Sight has said they're going to use this restoration, so you won't have to deal with Deutsch packaging or avoiding a censored FSK board approved release if you'd rather go the UK route. Presumably all of the EU versions will be "Region B" locked, but at this point if you aren't at least considering a region hacked player, you've got nobody but yourself to blame for getting shitty releases of great films.

EDIT: And just for fun, here's a comparison to show you just how much more image on all sides the new 4K TLEFilm scan has compared to the old 1080p HDCAM SR master:

Just... wow.