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Zulu (1964): Restored UK Master

13 Replies, 10501 Views

Project Info
Zulu has had not one but two problematic Blu-Ray releases. Especially disheartening considering the beauty of the original cinematography, the movie never received the restoration it deserved.

The Paramount UK Blu-Ray was a newer scan but unfortunately grain-reduced, oversaturated, and contrast boosted. Furthermore, it only had lossy audio. Meanwhile, the TT US BD merely resorted to an older scan using higher generation 35mm elements, which had weak color and EE. It did have the film's stereo track in lossless, along with a brand new commentary.

This preservation tries to get the best of both world, merging various audio tracks (synced by Chewtobacca) with a corrected UK video. Luckily, the color was relatively easy to fix, and the highlights were able to be recovered to some extent. A grain plate helped mitigate the noise reduction, which still luckily left more detail than the US BD. 

The result is a video, which looks far more lively and saturated than the US BD but not phonily so. 

Video
  • UK BD - regrained with custom 70mm plate, color-corrected, and highlights recovered
Audio (ALL GENEROUSLY SYNCED BY CHEWTOBACCA)
  • 2.0 LPCM Stereo Mix (from TT US BD)
  • 1.0 LPCM Mono Mix (from DVD)
  • 2.0 LPCM Isolated Mix (from TT US BD)
  • 2.0 DTS Commentary (from TT US BD)
  • 2.0 AC3 Commentary (from Paramount UK BD)
Screenshots

UK BD
[Image: 11_A_NEW_MASTER.png]

US BD
[Image: 11_OLD_MASTER.png]

CUSTOM CORRECTED UK BD
[Image: 11_BD_CUSTOM_brightness_and_temp_not_0.png]


Project Status
Sixth project completed and released! Can be found at the usual places!

Thanks again to Chewtobacca for all the audio work.

Final Product
1080p BD50
(This post was last modified: 2017-05-24, 07:30 AM by The Aluminum Falcon.)
Awesome love this movie too. Great siege film.
I'm ashamed to say Ive never seen this film!!!
Just the other day i was in-conversation with somebody and they we're gobsmacked id never watched it, and thus began a search to find the best version available for my first viewing. I think Ive found it.

Thanks for your hard work Aluminum Falcon. You have some great projects lined up for us.
Sky screwed this and the Italian job with Paramount
(2017-05-06, 11:54 PM)CSchmidlapp Wrote: I'm ashamed to say Ive never seen this film!!!
Just the other day i was in-conversation with somebody and they we're gobsmacked id never watched it, and thus began a search to find the best version available for my first viewing. I think Ive found it.

Thanks for your hard work Aluminum Falcon. You have some great projects lined up for us.

It's a hard movie not to like especially if you like the genre of guys against impossible odds.
Thanks guys for the kind words above. Hope you'll all like the movie, even if you've never seen it before. Smile

This release is now available online.

Also to come this week or next are Le Samourai and Reservoir Dogs. The former is already encoded with a unique grading, pending a final visual test; I might finally try my hand at syncing the audio of the LD (bought today!) with Reservoir Dogs, unless there are any kind volunteers. Big Grin
Glad to finally have a good copy of Zulu. Thanks Falcon, going to download tonight.
(2017-05-06, 11:37 PM)The Aluminum Falcon Wrote: Project Info
This preservation tries to get the best of both world, merging various audio tracks (synced by Chewtobacca) with a corrected UK video. Luckily, the color was relatively easy to fix, and the highlights were able to be recovered to some extent. A grain plate helped mitigate the noise reduction, which still luckily left more detail than the US BD.

Looks like nice work! Some years ago I noticed the contrast and luminance problems when Blu-ray Forum's HD Goofnut posted a series of snapshots of the new release (http://forum.blu-ray.com/showpost.php?p=...stcount=54).

Did you use any special technique(s) for correction (like Dr.Dre's process) or was it standard manipulations? Back when, I tried a contrast/brightness adjustment, which made it look better. Your thread here brought me back to it and I further looked into what I thought was specular highlights. Reading pixel values therein at 255 has changed my thinking on that -- it's more likely damage from them playing around. So I worked up a quick proof-of-concept to move the specular/damaged pixels back into picture-normal range, using "magic wand" selection & "select similar" to narrow correction application in a paint program. The comparison is automatically display-reduced to fit the forum, so "view image" for the full size:

[Image: Zulu_BR_adjust_compare.png]

Can you post this shot from your project to show how your fixes affected the original specular effects?
[Image: jason-and-the-argonauts.png]
"The gods want their entertainment.  The gods of Greece are
cruel!  In time all men shall learn to live without them."
Interesting test, BronzeTitan. Will post equivalent screenshot in morning. Looking briefly, though, I left the contrast slightly hotter, as the highlights in your example seem almost "colored in" (not sure what proper term is).
It's just a proof -of-concept, which often isn't completely worked out. So I tried a little extra saturation, but neglected reducing the reds to counter what must be the saturation-algorithm effect. So pay no attention to that part.  Big Grin

I did drop the 255 values to 224, which might've been a little too far, as regards the specular/damage area. However, if I'm correct about "damage due to processing", the damage should be across the entire color spectrum (not just skin tones). A real test would be to find different objects showing such "highlights", fixable with a single repair approach. I'll look around on that other thread's post to try finding some.
[Image: jason-and-the-argonauts.png]
"The gods want their entertainment.  The gods of Greece are
cruel!  In time all men shall learn to live without them."

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