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[proposal] LADY SNOWBLOOD 1 & 2
#1
So there are now two BD releases of these films: the UK Arrow edition and the US Criterion edition.

The Arrow edition was unfortunately mastered in RGB colour space, resulting in grey black levels and a washed-out look.

Criterion have reportedly done their own scan but it looks horribly contrast-boosted with over-saturated colours.

You can observe a comparison between the two releases here.

I'm proposing that a capable party might like to take the Arrow edition and either simply tweak it for BD compliant colour levels or perhaps do a more discretionary adjustment.

If they had access to the Criterion release as well, they might prefer to use their slightly higher quality audio (assuming it matches). From the looks of things, the subtitles on both releases are identical but I do like that Criterion have them within the picture, making them compatible for people with 21:9 displays (*cough*).

I can assist in providing the source materials for either/both releases if necessary.

Seems to me like a simple job for someone with a bit of experience and a half decent PC. Unfortunately, I have neither!

Any takers?
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#2
I know this is an unpopular opinion (especially here), but do consider that Criterion have presented the film with its intended contrast and colour timing. The Arrow may well represent the original negative (albeit with incorrect luminance levels), but how the negative looks--in all its 'natural' glory--is rarely what the filmmaker intends his/her final film to look like. That would be an incredibly boring world, especially for a hyper-stylised film like this one.
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#3
Fair enough. I agree that the Arrow disc, while likely fairly representative of the negative, may not necessarily be faithful to the intended look.

But the Criterion seems to be a step too far forward in the right direction, to me.

My preference lies somewhere between the two.

There's more comparisons available now at caps-a-holic, including the German REM release of the first movie.

http://caps-a-holic.com/c_list.php?c=2851

http://caps-a-holic.com/c.php?d1=7270&d2=7267

The REM uses the same source as Arrow but with correct IRE levels. It really makes a big difference!

Anyway, time to stop complaining and actually watch the movies...
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#4
Overall, I prefer the look of the Criterion but think it might have gone a bit too far in terms of contrast. The ideal look for me would something in between but closer to the Criterion than the REM. In terms of color, I like the Criterion but prefer the REM when it comes to the distance shot of beach that was included in the comparison.
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#5
So, I've noticed this RGB authoring problem is quite widespread. While it is most common in transfers originating from Japan (both films and concert video footage), it is by no means exclusive to them. Shout Factory's recent ROAD HOUSE release and many of Severin's titles immediately jump to mind. I've experienced it with such regularity, that I decided to make a custom user setting on my projector for just such instances, where changing the player's settings to Full RGB is ineffective, or too disruptive (since it requires stopping and restarting the movie).

I made it by calibrating the contrast & brightness using the appropriate test patterns with my projector's HDMI input set to "expanded" (which mimics the RGB colourspace of these discs), and then returning it to "standard" afterwards. It's better than doing it by eye while the movie is still playing, and preserves as much of the image contrast as possible while bringing the blacks down to true black.

The result is quite pleasing, and ridiculously convenient. Give it shot on your viewing device if you crave deep blacks and despise the smokey look these discs possess.
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