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Senior Shackster
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
The Blu Ray of "South Pacific" looks and sounds identical to the previous special
edition release on DVD except it's sharper and finer grain with the additional pixel
count. The movie was shot in Todd-AO 65mm so it's very sharp to begin with.
As for the content, they included both general release and Roadshow versions
but the latter is severely faded and difficult to sit through other than as a curio
to see what scenes were trimmed. The general release version works fine since
just bits of songs and a few scenes were shortened without affecting the continuity
which was episodic to begin with. Neither version is particularly well edited and
there are long stretches of scenes played in wide shot without any close ups along
with awkward pauses. Director, Logan, came from the stage which is obvious in
his compositions. He also had the tendency to do something annoying in his
movies. Here he uses the weird filters. In "Camelot" he shoots extreme close ups
which go in and out of focus and make the fake beards and make up too obvious.
In "Paint Your Wagon" he shoots most of the movie through a fog filter making
everything look washed out.

This movie is a mixed bag. The songs are catchy, the cast fine but the style
muddled. When the film is photographed in the Hawaii settings it looks
great but when Josh Logan puts those weird colored filters on the camera, it
looks awful. A real mistake and it takes some getting used to. The filters worked in the "Bali Hai" song but the other scenes are very distracting and ugly. When Mitzi
sings that the sky is a bright yellow and they put the filter on to make everyone look
yellow, it's very hokey. I wish Logan had just let the musical numbers play with normal
color on location.

Every time I see this movie, the theme of tolerance is fine but the specifics on
display are troublesome. It sure looks like Cable is having an affair with a teenager
so her ethnicity is less of a concern than the fact that she's a minor and he's an
adult. She's even referred to as a 'little girl' in the dialogue. Wasn't that illegal? Plus
they're in the middle of a World War and he's on active duty. They didn't really
make their case since the relationship wasn't plausible given the circumstances.


I also feel like I walked into the middle of Nellie's romance with the Frenchman.
It wasn't set up. He's on the verge of asking her to marry him in the first scene
but you don't see the lead up or their developing relationship. For me, it didn't
work. The passion they are supposed to have for each other seems artificial.
He went on the mission because Cable convinced him he had nothing to live for
after Nellie rejected him. But what about his kids? And rather than have a final
romantic embrace, they just hold hands which was very anti-climatic. I have a
lot of problems with this story. At least the music is very good and the stereo
sound is one of the film's major assets.


So I recommend the blu ray if you like the musical but if you haven't seen it before,
just beware of the visual distortion contained in the photography.
 

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hello Richard

I watched a few short moments from this yesterday on region 2 DVD.
The fronts have a common foggy dialogue sound with lots and lots of dialogue panning.

The surrounds are monaural and only come in as and when called for.

The LFE.1 really, sigh. If that’s what they think is best than fine, so be it.

http://www.in70mm.com/schauburg/program/index.htm

Looks like a restored version of the Todd-AO for dts70mm was created a while back, wonder if that had the original five-screen fronts?
http://www.in70mm.com/library/process/dts/index.htm

I thinking of doing matrix-five-screen just as soon as my, friend drops off the two more AVR decoders.

The statement made here saying the DVD is 5.0 wired unless someone screwed up the encoding of the authoring? Its happened before on DVD Speed went out in 5.1 but the LFE.1 wasn’t present yet in the special edition seemed like the issue was resolved.
http://www.fulvuedrive-in.com/review/8404/South+Pacific+–+Collector

4-Track Stereo (35 mm mag-optical prints) | Mono (35 mm optical prints) | 70 mm 6-Track (Westrex Recording System) (70 mm prints)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0052225/

Personally I would have seen the original mix was produced and leave the LFE.1 for full spectrum monaural surround and a simple enough diagram on how to re-plug for original playback as it was meant to be heard in 70mm.

Left for outer left
Centre for centre
Right for outer right

Left surround for left-centre
Right surround for right-centre

And that’s a whole lot easier than re-mixing it folding the inner-left and inner right onto the fronts. sigh
 

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Senior Shackster
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792 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
To my knowledge, the new 70mm print with the synchronized DTS audio disc is the original
6 channel mix with some of the hiss removed. I saw the general release verion in 70mm back
in 1978 at the Cinerama theater on Broadway in NYC on it's deeply curved screen. The sound
was great but the print was slightly faded although not too bad. Just slightly pinkish flesh tones.
 

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440 Posts
Hi Richard

Well least the magnetic tracks hadn’t flaked away. I would image some of the bizarre dreamy like colours that mix into the image at certain scenes looked strange.

Well I hope this diagram doesn’t have you, calling for the paramedics! :D This took me about an hour to do, but it was done in my head in seconds.

Its feasible for original 70mm classics to exist on Bluray and even DVD might need a Y lead patched on the LFE.1 with full spectrum monaural surround encoded on to the DVD unless it’s dts-ES encoded then where it will have spare channel.

All that is needed with the die hard fans is simple re-plugging in matter of seconds by swapping around the RCA phone leads.

If dts CD-rom can do it for 70mm and with the space or channels provided on Bluray with its maximum 7.1 it should be real easy it’s the studios that have to prove it to us. I’m feed up at seeing classic mixes condensed down to something they weren’t.

I would allow some poetic licence for .1 channel
 

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Senior Shackster
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Discussion Starter #5
Very impressive diagram.

I would certainly like them to include the original mix along with the re-mixed 5.1 version
on all movies where the elements exist.
 

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Very impressive diagram.

I would certainly like them to include the original mix along with the re-mixed 5.1 version
on all movies where the elements exist.
Hi Richard

Oh, they exist alright they’re just not willing to share with hardcore vintage six-track fans.
 

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Senior Shackster
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792 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Yes they exist on this film but not necessarily every movie released in six track
magnetic sound. All old stereo tracks from the fifties are in a state of decay due
to the unstable nature of oxide data.

As I've stated elsewhere, the reason distributors prefer to keep the dialogue in the
center channel is that it makes it easier for foreign markets to dub it. All they have
to do is replace that channel rather than re-mixing the entire feature if the dialogue
is spread onto all of the channels as it usually was in the original seven, six and four
track versions of the fifties and sixties.
 

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Hi Richard

They need to get there act together and save the original channel configuration and preserve it on digital storage today!
 

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Senior Shackster
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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
They should but there's no guarantee they will...especially in the current Depression.
Most likely everyone will cut corners and just release the film in the re-mixed 5.1 or
7.1 format to consumers. In fact they'll probably slow down the restoration efforts
and just concentrate on the biggest titles that are likely to sell the most units.

Aside from the directional dialogue on the fifties and sixties stereophonic mixes, one
problem for modern audiences is that they rarely used the rear channel and most viewers
today prefer a lively surround. So many will prefer the 5.1 version over the 6 or 4 channel
originals.

The other issue is the stability of digital data. If they made a 35mm track negative of the digital
mix or re-mix then it's preserved. If they just have a CD-ROM or DTS of the mixes then
their long term survival is questionable. Digital isn't archival. It's a high quality but temporary
medium. Elements preserved on contemporary 35mm or 65mm estar base film are.
 
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