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[Proposal] The Abyss (1989) BD
Have you noticed that it's 2015, and still no official BD release of "The Abyss", even if it should have been out last year?

Well, Doctor Sapirstein preceded me with his double project:
sadly, he retired it when he heard about the BD release, but it never happened, and, even if it will happen, maybe we have to wait a lot (how much, is too much) of time... the interesting fact is he made two versions, one was an upscaling of the NTSC DVD, while the other was done using an HDTV broadcast as source.

Even if they were technically good, now they could be improved; the upscale could benefit from both Super Resolution and PaNup technique (yes, I know PAL quality is not that good, but it will be eventually used with a lower percentage); the HDTV used was upscaled from a Japanese 720p source, then cropped to 2.7:1 to get rid of the TV logo and subtitles; now the Cinemax HDTV is available, with a greater quality, but unfortunately it has the so-called "Cameronized" color regrade, and it's "only" the theatrical version...

So, there is room for improvements IMHO; I'd leave out completely the upscaled DVD, and I'd use the Cinemax HDTV to reconstruct the Special Edition, while the added parts will be taken from other HDTV that, albeit of lower quality in comparison to the former, are always better than any DVD upscale.

Well, what do you think guys? And gals, too, of course! Big Grin
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I looked at Dr S's versions when they were (briefly) released and, like you, found the project interesting but flawed. Including two different copies of the same 'special edition' cut might have been intended to provide choice, but in reality it's just confusing.

As I see it, a new project should still include two discs: theatrical and special edition. So that's the Cinemax theatrical (which I assume is the source of the decent 720p version I saw recently) with a regrade for disc one, and your restored special edition for disc two.

You'll want these laserdiscs for colour references and original Dolby SR mixes, of course:

Bigrob mentioned that the earlier disc was transferred from the Super35 source at 1.90:1 - even more opened out than the 70mm screenings would have been. Interesting for sure, but it's unlikely you'll be able to reconcile this extra information with the HDTV sources. Perhaps a straight transfer for a bonus disc?

By the way, on the subject of AR, this is the letter that Cameron wrote in 1993 on the subject of pan&scan. The letter was included with the 1993 p&s Special Edition release - if you're looking for a disc 4, that version might make an interesting historical artefact!
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I read the letter - maybe I have that one included in another of his movies, but I'm not sure... - and I must say I agree with him, but at those times... nowadays, with 4K TV SET and projectors, often the home theater experience (apart size) is, quality wise, better than the real deal... I mean, I'm not forced to see a lot of trailers before the movie, listen to people's comment and pop-corn noises, wait for the pause between first and second part to finish - if I can stand without the need to go to the bathroom, of course! Wink

But when I read this part, I chuckled...

Quote:This situation is even worse if the director of the film is dead,unavailable or doesn't care, and the transfer is done by some well-meaning hourly-paid colorist who must make fundamental narrative decisions about the film (this is essentially co-directing the movie without credit).

Big Grin Big Grin Big Grin Big Grin Big Grin

Well, let's go back to topic... laserdisc versions, I have many; while I'm 100% sure about the widescreen special edition, I'm *pretty* sure I have also the 1.90:1 version somewhere, the fact is that I have still to locate it!

Theatrical Cut and, or, Special Edition? Like you, I thought to do both, even if the TC will be *too* easy to do... Big Grin
Special Edition, at the contrary, will be quite difficult, just because the SE HDTV version quality is noticeable worst than the Cinemax version... but I guess I'll sort it out somehow.
I have also (almost) all possible audio tracks, including the DTS-ES 6.1 full bitrate; the one from laserdisc have to be captured yet, but I must figure out how to fix my capture problems first...

About the "mixed" P&S + 1.85LB talked in the letter, without a reference version, it will be not possible to do it and, even with that, it will be a pain in the... neck to reconstruct it - in comparison, Harmy's DeEd is a walking in the park! Wink so, let's ditch it altogether right now!

Mmh, where are we? Oh, yes, 1.90:1 in HD... let me see... probably this is the same version I wrote about few lines before... so, it could not be made, and... but, wait... what... if... I... add... an... OPEN MATTE version?!?
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Funny you brought The Abyss up spoRv. I was just looking over some information on it.

I was comparing it to other versions and the Cinemax version is missing the Nietzsche quote in the beginning

[Image: vlcsnap_2015_05_09_23h36m06s227.png]

Consequently, the Cinemax version has fewer sonar pings and goes from the Fox logo to the The Abyss title. The DVD, Japanese HDTV and  go from the Fox logo to the quote and then The Abyss title. The transition has several more sonar pings then the Cinemax version.

Also and this may or may not be helpful. There is another master out there besides the DVD, Japanese HDTV and the Cinemax HDTV. It is a 16:9 version and supposedly aired on AXN HD. I have been searching high and low but for an HDTV version so far all I have found is an SD copy:

[Image: abyss.jpg]

It seems to also be the Special Edition version. I'm not sure if it comes from the LD master or something else but if its helps I can send it to you. Its pretty low quality at only 2 GB.

I'd be happy for any version you come up with but after all the talk, personally, I want to see the 1.90 version. That always sounded cool to me.
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About opening: IIRC Cinemax has the same of the theatrical cut...
And yes, I could confirm that I'll use the AXN open matte version (13 GB)... but I hate you because you ruin always my surprises! Tongue Tongue Tongue 
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Good spot on the missing quote, PDB - I didn't catch that when I watched the Cinemax. Shouldn't be too tricky to reinstate using the NTSC as reference.

I know there's some precedent for combining multiple images to increase the visible picture space, but it really doesn't seem to me that the considerable effort will be worth it. The theatrical ratio of the film was always 2.35:1 (or 2.20:1 if anyone's clamouring for a 70mm preservation). That ratio looks just fine on modern systems, regardless of Cameron's analogue-era protestations, and his experiments with recomposing the Super 35 source are really just curiosities now.

That 16:9 copy might have been some use in recreating the 1.90:1 were it not for the logo; as things stand, I'd suggest just presenting those alternative versions as they are, i.e. straightforward laserdisc upscales.
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Confirm: the theatrical version has not the quote, so Cinemax is right! Big Grin

When I'll be able to capture again - really soon I hope - I'll try to check out the 1.90:1 LD (if only I got it, AND, if I can find it...)
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My mistake then, sorry spoRv. I could of sworn that quote was in the theatrical too.

Oops. Sorry about ruining your surprise too. Thought I was helping  I'll walk away in shame  Smile
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There is a HDTV of the remaster out there, so a new Blu of the TC is not really interesting. I don't see the point, the HDTV is awesome looking.
However any restoration of the SE, or preserv of the original LD in 1.95:1 might be cool.
The Pan & Scan version is available on DVD so no need to preserv. Except maybe for the soundtrack.
I say go for the original LD preserv, with perhaps a fix of the SE using the 16/9 asian DVD version.

Could you PM me a direction for the axn version? Thanks!
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(2015-05-10, 06:15 PM)Stamper Wrote: There is a HDTV of the remaster out there, so a new Blu of the TC is not really interesting. I don't see the point, the HDTV is awesome looking.

Well, if the BD (fan preservation or retail) has a different color grading than Cinemax's, frankly I'll go for it... if the Cinemax color grading is right or not, that is a different question that I'm not able to answer, though!

Quote:However any restoration of the SE, or preserv of the original LD in 1.95:1 might be cool.
The Pan & Scan version is available on DVD so no need to preserv. Except maybe for the soundtrack.
I say go for the original LD preserv, with perhaps a fix of the SE using the 16/9 asian DVD version.

If the 1.95:1 is "simply" a more open cropping than the 2.35:1, then the full open matte 1.78:1 should contain it as well; at least, it's always possible to crop the latter at 1.95:1 (wasn't it at 1.90:1?)
If, at the contrary, as it could be suspected, it's a mixed bag (pan&scan and letterbox, like the T2 1.33:1 open matte) then it's another kind of thing... let me find out my old laserdisc, then I'll let you know more.
Laserdisc audio tracks are always included, if exist, I have them or someone could provide them; the DTS 6.1 is a nice addition, I think.

Quote:Could you PM me a direction for the axn version? Thanks!

Sadly I haven't the link anymore; all I can remember is it was on a russian site - not the usual tracker; but if you like the idea, it's better to fix it first, because image isn't perfect like Cinemax, plus the logo, even if not ugly as some others, it's pretty annoying...
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