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Author Topic: Universal classic DCPs
Lincoln Spector
Film Handler

Posts: 44
From: Albany, CA, USA
Registered: Mar 2012


 - posted 03-16-2017 03:36 PM      Profile for Lincoln Spector   Author's Homepage   Email Lincoln Spector   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The two worst DCPs I've seen, not counting ones transferred from bad film elements, were The Big Lebowski and Rear Window.

What do those two films have in common. They're both controlled by Universal, and they're both very popular classics. So popular, in fact, that I would guess that when the studio decided to transfer old movies to DCP, these two would likely have been amongst the first transferred.

And, not surprisingly, the earliest DCP transfers were probably among the worst.

Has that been other people's experiences?

This kind of makes me worried about an upcoming presentation of Do the Right Thing off DCP. I saw this film in November in an exceptionally beautiful 35mm print.

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Allan Barnes
Film Handler

Posts: 62
From: GRAND BEND, ONTARIO, CANADA
Registered: Mar 2009


 - posted 03-19-2017 08:54 PM      Profile for Allan Barnes   Author's Homepage   Email Allan Barnes   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Don Knotts films are good DCPs

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Martin McCaffery
Film God

Posts: 2099
From: Montgomery, AL
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 03-20-2017 09:46 PM      Profile for Martin McCaffery   Author's Homepage   Email Martin McCaffery   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
In The Heat of the Night looked like it was copied off of a DVD.

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Leo Enticknap
Film God

Posts: 6356
From: Loma Linda, CA
Registered: Jul 2000


 - posted 03-21-2017 12:44 AM      Profile for Leo Enticknap   Author's Homepage   Email Leo Enticknap   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I can't remember the last time I showed a Universal classic DCP: I think it could have been Jaws last summer. IIRC, it was nothing special, but nothing egregious, either.

The studio that really does seem to me to have an issue with crappy re-release DCPs is Warners. The infamous 2001: ASO DCP has been ranted about ad infinitum on F-T and elsewhere. We recently received a complaint email from someone very senior and well known in the industry (sorry, don't feel comfortable saying who on a public forum) complaining that the DCP of A Clockwork Orange he saw looked washed out and lacked contrast. I haven't seen it with my own eyes and so can't comment on it personally, but I do know that the projector's colors had been shot and the light measured at 14 only about a week before that show, so I don't think that the problem was with our projector. And I looked at their DCP of Badlands last week (KDM opened a day early, so I had a brief look at it out of curiosity): it looked low bitrate and digitally noisy to me.

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Lionel Fouillen
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 229
From: Belgium
Registered: Nov 2002


 - posted 03-21-2017 07:16 AM      Profile for Lionel Fouillen   Email Lionel Fouillen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Last December I went to a theatre that was showing the Universal Monsters. Only saw Frankenstein and The Mummy, which were excellent (as much as it can be considering the original material).

I'd like to see now a 4K transfer of North by Northwest. Too bad they only restored Vertigo in the 90's for 70mm theatrical presentation. "North" wasn't Universal, but now could be the time to bring it back to the big screen.

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Martin McCaffery
Film God

Posts: 2099
From: Montgomery, AL
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 03-21-2017 09:01 AM      Profile for Martin McCaffery   Author's Homepage   Email Martin McCaffery   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Just realized I was a bit off topic, Heat is UA not Universal.
Looking over out list since adding digital, I don't recall any of the Universals being particularly great or awful.

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Leo Enticknap
Film God

Posts: 6356
From: Loma Linda, CA
Registered: Jul 2000


 - posted 03-21-2017 12:52 PM      Profile for Leo Enticknap   Author's Homepage   Email Leo Enticknap   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
We always play the 35mm versions of the 1930s horrors. As a general rule, the prints that come from Universal are photographically superb, but getting scratchy, dirty and worn from many years of intensive use - not surprising, given that these are iconic, often played movies, and the prints now in circulation are getting on for 20 years old.

The best quality copy of In the Heat... I've ever seen was a 16mm IB print in England about 25 years ago. I've seen it on 35 a couple of times, too, but both prints were pink and grainy.

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