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The Lighthorsemen: Director's Cut [Laserdisc sourced + extras]
#1
Currently up on MySpleen, Karagarga, Cinemageddon and will go up on Cinematik when their uploads open up soon. If there are other places you think this might be appreciated, either let me know, or upload it yourself.

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While it makes sense that there would be little to no US fanfare for The Lighthorsemen (1987), an Australian film about historical Australian war heroes, what's difficult to understand is why this film, which has been released in Australia, Germany, and a number of other countries, on both DVD and Blu-ray, has never been available in both widescreen and in its director's cut. You could get the director's cut in a shoddy transfer that was cropped to 1.78. You could get the theatrical cut Blu-ray in 2.35, with a recently recorded director's commentary. But never at the same time. And even when the German disc claimed deleted scenes, it didn't have all of them. The only option was the Lumivision laserdisc from 1996, which included a different commentary by director Simon Wincer (Free Willy, Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man, Quigley Down Under), the trailer, and a clip from the 1940s film "40,000 Horsemen," also about the same situation covered in "The Lighthorsemen."

Well, I've transferred my laserdisc, and added Mario Millo's wonderful score as an option. You can listen to it as a single image slideshow as individual tracks or as a whole. This could have been done very easily with DVD Lab Pro, but, like the problems I had with my Sid & Nancy torrent, the words were blurry and hard to read, but this time I just found a workaround with DVDStyler. And then had to correct the workaround with, of all things, DVD Shrink.

The video transfer was wildly complicated, because the laserdisc was not perfectly authored when it was released, and the first 20 minutes or so were seemingly smushed. Add to that, the scenes cut from the director's cut were not well preserved, and so the color correction seems a bit off during some of those scenes (and there was a bit too much contrast). However, I'm fixed the aspect ratio issue, and there is a moderate adjustment after said 20 minute mark (give or take a few minutes) where the letterboxing slightly changes, but the image looks correct throughout. Otherwise, it's a laserdisc transfer made anamorphic, and all the analog haziness/softness inherent to laserdiscs is as it should be.



http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0093416/reference


Audio............: Dolby Digital 2.0/2.0
Subtitles........: English
Video Format.....: NTSC
Aspect Ratio.....: 2.35:1
DVD Format.......: Anamorphic
DVD Source.......: Laserdisc
DVD Distributor..: Custom
Program..........: DVD Styler/TMPEG Authoring Works 5
Average Bit Rate.: 7.6 Mb/sec

General
Complete name : Y:\THE_LIGHTHORSEMEN\Final Disc\VIDEO_TS\VTS_01_1.VOB
Format : MPEG-PS
File size : 1 024 MiB
Duration : 18mn 30s
Overall bit rate mode : Variable
Overall bit rate : 7 736 Kbps
Writing library : encoded by TMPGEnc Video Mastering Works 5 Version. 5.0.5.32

Video
ID : 224 (0xE0)
Format : MPEG Video
Format version : Version 2
Format profile : Main@Main
Format settings, BVOP : Yes
Format settings, Matrix : Custom
Format settings, GOP : M=3, N=18
Duration : 18mn 30s
Bit rate mode : Variable
Bit rate : 7 166 Kbps
Maximum bit rate : 8 000 Kbps
Width : 720 pixels
Height : 480 pixels
Display aspect ratio : 16:9
Frame rate : 29.970 fps
Standard : NTSC
Color space : YUV
Chroma subsampling : 4:2:0
Bit depth : 8 bits
Scan type : Progressive
Compression mode : Lossy
Bits/(Pixel*Frame) : 0.692
Time code of first frame : 00:00:00:00
Time code source : Group of pictures header
GOP, Open/Closed : Open
GOP, Open/Closed of first f : Closed
Stream size : 949 MiB (93%)
Writing library : TMPGEnc Video Mastering Works 5 Version. 5.0.5.32
Color primaries : BT.601 NTSC
Transfer characteristics : BT.601
Matrix coefficients : BT.601

Audio #1
ID : 189 (0xBD)-128 (0x80)
Format : AC-3
Format/Info : Audio Coding 3
Mode extension : CM (complete main)
Format settings, Endianness : Big
Muxing mode : DVD-Video
Duration : 18mn 30s
Bit rate mode : Constant
Bit rate : 224 Kbps
Channel(s) : 2 channels
Channel positions : Front: L R
Sampling rate : 48.0 KHz
Compression mode : Lossy
Stream size : 29.6 MiB (3%)

Audio #2
ID : 189 (0xBD)-129 (0x81)
Format : AC-3
Format/Info : Audio Coding 3
Mode extension : CM (complete main)
Format settings, Endianness : Big
Muxing mode : DVD-Video
Duration : 18mn 30s
Bit rate mode : Constant
Bit rate : 192 Kbps
Channel(s) : 2 channels
Channel positions : Front: L R
Sampling rate : 48.0 KHz
Compression mode : Lossy
Stream size : 25.4 MiB (2%)
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#2
Never seen this one but heard of it many times. I assume the DC is the way to go for a first viewing?
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