Goodfellas SE: Transfer and audio quality

Discussion in 'DVD Video' started by Uncle Milty, Aug 19, 2004.

  1. Uncle Milty

    Uncle Milty Guest

    Any thoughts from those who have picked up this release? I watched it the
    other night, and I thought the picture was passable. I didn't have the earlier
    dvd, just the LD. Basically, while my TV and 5.1 system are far from
    top-of-the-line, I kept thinking that this movie should look and sound better
    than it does. But it was reasonably acceptable (dimly lit scenes came across a
    bit too dark I thought).
     
    Uncle Milty, Aug 19, 2004
    #1
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  2. "Uncle Milty" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    <<Any thoughts from those who have picked up this release? I watched it
    the other night, and I thought the picture was passable. I didn't have
    the earlier dvd, just the LD. Basically, while my TV and 5.1 system are
    far from top-of-the-line, I kept thinking that this movie should look
    and sound better than it does. But it was reasonably acceptable (dimly
    lit scenes came across a bit too dark I thought).>>


    The audio was terrible on the first DVD and it is still terrible on the
    second DVD. The upgrades you will get when you buy the new version are
    the extras disk and the superior anamorphic transfer, which is contained
    on one side of the movie disk. No more flipper DVD -- and no more
    cardboard snapper case, because the new version comes in an Amaray-style
    case. But the audio is still lousy and this spoils what could have been
    a great DVD package.

    For testing purposes, I played both the old 1997 version and the new
    2004 version in two different Sony players. The player containing the
    new 2004, anamorphic version was set up for down-conversion. This
    somewhat leveled the playing field.

    As far as the audio is concerned, the two versions appear to be
    identical, and herein lies the problem. I have always maintained that
    the audio on the original _Goodfellas_ was not well balanced -- at
    least as far as the center channel narration is concerned. While the
    soundtrack is well balanced overall, the narration sequences, with the
    voices of Ray Liotta and Lorraine Bracco, are overwhelmingly LOUD! The
    narration is divided between the front left and right speakers and the
    center channel, but it is greatly overemphasized in the center channel.

    After setting the volume level to a comfortable level at the start of
    the movie, everything sounds good until chapter 2, when Ray Liotta
    begins to narrate in a very loud voice. Turning the center channel down
    does help the situation to a certain extent, but between narration
    sequences, all of the dialog becomes too low. There is no way to work
    around this audio problem. I had high hopes that Warner would fix this
    audio problem on the new version of _Goodfellas_, but they didn't.

    Even when down-converted, the color and brightness level of the new
    version is vastly superior to the old version. This is particularly
    evident in the night scenes, which were very dark in the old version. Of
    course, the new anamorphic transfer has much better detail than the old
    non-anamorphic version when it is not down-converted.

    The centering and picture size of the two versions are slightly
    different: The new version is slightly taller than the old version, with
    a little more picture showing at the top. The new version is
    horizontally-shifted slightly to the right of the old version and it
    shows a little less picture information on the left side and a little
    more picture information on the right side.
     
    One-Shot Scot, Aug 20, 2004
    #2
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  3. >While the
    >soundtrack is well balanced overall, the narration sequences, with the
    >voices of Ray Liotta and Lorraine Bracco, are overwhelmingly LOUD!


    Yeah, but the movie as ALWAYS been mixed this way- including in theaters. The
    laserdisc and VHS also have the narration very LOUD. But even theatrically,
    the narration was significantly louder than that of a standard movie.
     
    Chef Boyardee, Aug 20, 2004
    #3
  4. "One-Shot Scot" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > "Uncle Milty" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    > <<Any thoughts from those who have picked up this release? I watched it
    > the other night, and I thought the picture was passable. I didn't have
    > the earlier dvd, just the LD. Basically, while my TV and 5.1 system are
    > far from top-of-the-line, I kept thinking that this movie should look
    > and sound better than it does. But it was reasonably acceptable (dimly
    > lit scenes came across a bit too dark I thought).>>
    >
    >
    > The audio was terrible on the first DVD and it is still terrible on the
    > second DVD. The upgrades you will get when you buy the new version are
    > the extras disk and the superior anamorphic transfer, which is contained
    > on one side of the movie disk. No more flipper DVD -- and no more
    > cardboard snapper case, because the new version comes in an Amaray-style
    > case. But the audio is still lousy and this spoils what could have been
    > a great DVD package.
    >
    > For testing purposes, I played both the old 1997 version and the new
    > 2004 version in two different Sony players. The player containing the
    > new 2004, anamorphic version was set up for down-conversion. This
    > somewhat leveled the playing field.
    >
    > As far as the audio is concerned, the two versions appear to be
    > identical, and herein lies the problem. I have always maintained that
    > the audio on the original _Goodfellas_ was not well balanced -- at
    > least as far as the center channel narration is concerned. While the
    > soundtrack is well balanced overall, the narration sequences, with the
    > voices of Ray Liotta and Lorraine Bracco, are overwhelmingly LOUD! The
    > narration is divided between the front left and right speakers and the
    > center channel, but it is greatly overemphasized in the center channel.
    >
    > After setting the volume level to a comfortable level at the start of
    > the movie, everything sounds good until chapter 2, when Ray Liotta
    > begins to narrate in a very loud voice. Turning the center channel down
    > does help the situation to a certain extent, but between narration
    > sequences, all of the dialog becomes too low. There is no way to work
    > around this audio problem. I had high hopes that Warner would fix this
    > audio problem on the new version of _Goodfellas_, but they didn't.
    >
    > Even when down-converted, the color and brightness level of the new
    > version is vastly superior to the old version. This is particularly
    > evident in the night scenes, which were very dark in the old version. Of
    > course, the new anamorphic transfer has much better detail than the old
    > non-anamorphic version when it is not down-converted.
    >
    > The centering and picture size of the two versions are slightly
    > different: The new version is slightly taller than the old version, with
    > a little more picture showing at the top. The new version is
    > horizontally-shifted slightly to the right of the old version and it
    > shows a little less picture information on the left side and a little
    > more picture information on the right side.
    >
    >

    not to mention that the new 2004 edition has interviews with most of the
    production and film participants and an intersting and entertaining
    commentary with introductions for each interview outtake. It should be noted
    that non of the films participants except for Marty are actually commenting
    on particular scenes as they show up. These are merely audio interviews
    added to what is otherwise typically a commentary track. You hear the real
    FBI agent being referred to as he talks about the witness program interview
    with Karen and Henry. So there is some live film commentary to scene
    interviews, but not many.

    The best part of all the extras was watching Thelma Schoonmaker and Marty S
    editing the film with her interview and behind the scenes footage of the
    edit process being shown. I would have swept the floors just to see that for
    real. Many people restrict Goodfellas to being the "best of the 90's". What
    about the best Martin Scorcese film! If that's the case, then GF
    (intentionally the name was chosen to mimick the Godfather name) is one of
    the best films ever. It is in my top 30 or 40 choices. As good as Casino is,
    GF is the one. I always thought that Raging Bull was great aswell, just not
    as interesting. Jake Lamatta was a fairly simply minded and uninteresting
    person. He was jealous, that's it. The whole movie is about him yet, he in
    of himself is not interesting enough. You can't deny how cleverly shot this
    film is, however, GF beats it.

    I looked at the box set for Martin Scorcese and thought, wow, he made some
    fairly unimportant films aswell. Alice and who's knocking are throw aways.
    After Hours is sort of interesting but you get pretty tired of Rosanna
    Arquette's moody, bitchy and winey charactor (the same she plays in most
    films) and you certainly don't give a shit about the main charactors
    exploits. Weak film. If it was made by any other director you would not be
    reading about it right now.
    Mean Streets is a good film. There is charactor development and a real life
    feel to it. The last scene where the blinds are drawn is a clever finale.
     
    Tad Bitt§ï£, Aug 21, 2004
    #4
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