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 Post subject: Re: Looking for Pokemon LD
Posted: 03 Jan 2021, 05:44 

Not sure if that's a upscale. To me at first glance, the colors for the US release appear to have been darkened based on those two frames provided, especially notable in Ash's skin tone. But now even I'm noticing his green gloves seem to be a richer shade of green too. I can't help but wonder if they've used some computer based color correction software that made automatic color adjustment choices frame-by-frame. I can live with it, but why was it done in the first place? If you look at the context of the scene setting it daytime and he's outside, so slightly washed out colors and less dramatic shades would've made a lot more sense for a daylight setting.
To my eyes the linework makes it look like an upscale (thickness, haloing), and I can't speak to Pokemon in particular, but it's often the case with older kids' anime that you can't just use the Japanese video footage and call it a day. Dub edits weren't just about objectionable content, they were also there to fit the expected commercial breaks of US television. It was common to speed up or shorten little segments to make the runtime work. Re-editing the Japanese HD video to match the English language track would be pretty painstaking work, so it wouldn't surprise me if they just used the best available footage that already had the edits present.

More details on the theatrical cut of the movie for anyone who's interested: the main issue that would make the LD of the movie desirable (or at least worth preserving) is that the "Kanzenban" or "Complete" version that's available today replaces a considerable amount of the original footage with updated backgrounds, re-animated cels (colored digitally, I think), and CGI. I think there are three reasons why these changes aren't more of an issue among Pokemon fans: one is that the English theatrical release was already based on the Kanzenban version, and the VAST majority of English-speaking Pokemon fans don't care about the Japanese version of the anime so they probably don't know about the new footage at all; two is that the Kanzenban version contains substantial new scenes at the beginning which were much better received than, say, Han talking to Jabba at Mos Eisley; and three is that it's easy to argue that some of the visual changes are improvements. The theatrical Japanese cut is certainly rougher around the edges, and not all of the changes are poorly-aged CGI.

That said, the changes and loss in charm are considerable to the point where if this were any other movie I think there'd be a lot more notoriety around the unavailability of the theatrical version.

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 Post subject: Hiya!
Posted: 03 Jan 2021, 06:33 

Hi all, newbie here. I'm in my late twenties and didn't grow up with laserdisc, but when I learned about its fascinating technical specs for such an old technology (especially in the sound department) it was just too interesting for me to ignore. I also love the covers, to the point where I'm pretty jealous that none of the media I had as a kid (VHS, CD, DVD) came in giant covers like these. So now I've got a small but growing collection with a mix of favorite live-action movies and anime on LD (the NGE set is now one of my most prized possessions), and I'm enjoying tinkering with my AV setup to get them looking as good as possible when I feel like putting one on! (Understanding of course that there's no magic wand to put interlaced composite video in the same ballpark as a reference-quality UHD-BD. I'm here as a tourist of tech history, and other than with Star Wars I'm still going to go with blu-ray most of the time. Though if I ever come across a case where I can really tell that the LD has a better sound mix than the BD, I'll definitely think about ripping the BD video and the LD audio to make a file with the best of both worlds.

Tl;dr: Hi!

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Posted: 04 Jan 2021, 23:32 

GOOD public transportation is way better than owning a car. If you live in Chicago, NYC, DC, SF, a college town, much of Europe or anywhere in Japan, cars are a luxury you may not want. In most of the US though you pretty much have to own a car. It sucks. It’s a total screw job.
(Northern Virginian here) DC won't be on that list for long unless politicians in all three of Virginia, DC, and Maryland can finally agree that Metro is worth supporting even as a net expense. When I visited Japan I was floored that the Tokyo metro's trains had a full timetable for the entire day instead of just general guidelines on how often trains will show up. In DC it's more like "every six minutes during rush-hour, plus or minus ten minutes, unless the tracks are on fire at the moment." :roll:

So many missed opportunities in the US to build and improve public transit. It's depressing.

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 Post subject: Re: Looking for Pokemon LD
Posted: 08 Jan 2021, 06:02 

Thought I'd post this here instead of making a new topic: I was going to submit an update to the Pokemon movie page, Pokemon: The First Movie: Mewtwo Strikes Back (1998) [ZMLZ-102] , about the aspect ratio. For starters, the Pikachu's Vacation short is shown in its original aspect ratio of 4:3, which could just go in a misc. information field, but I'm pretty sure the listed aspect ratio for the main feature of 1.85:1 is wrong. Going by a picture I took of the screen in 4:3 mode and corrected for perspective in IrfanView, I think the actual ratio is something like 1.67:1, not as wide as 16:9 so part of the picture is lost on a normal zoom to compensate for letterboxing on a 16:9 TV.

Can someone else who has this disc corroborate this? I want to be sure this isn't just something screwy with my setup before submitting the update.

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 Post subject: Re: "Travel" Movies
Posted: 09 Jan 2021, 20:59 

I'd throw The Muppet Movie in the mix, especially for this classic number:

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Posted: 10 Jan 2021, 18:41 

The inferior quality is not true. With the right scaling equipment LD's look gorgeous on modern Ultra wide displays.
Just because LD can look really good with the right equipment doesn't mean it has comparable quality to modern formats. You're still limited to 480 horizontal lines per frame, which puts a lower ceiling on how well an SD format can capture the content of a frame of film than 1,080 or 2,160 lines can (and no, the analog nature of each line on LD is not enough to make up for this, especially not when we're talking about a composite interlaced signal). I simply don't believe anyone who tells me that their chain of video equipment can make even the best LD look as good as the UHD-BD of Lawrence of Arabia on a good TV.

The biggest shortcomings of blu-ray and UHD blu-ray are the result of poor video/audio production practices and don't extend to all discs. The biggest shortcomings of laserdisc are part of the format itself. It's just like how no vinyl record can match a properly mastered CD. Frustration with lousy CDs, DVDs, and BDs made by companies that don't care anymore is a great reason to collect and use older formats, but I don't think we should confuse this with the capabilities of the formats themselves.

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Posted: 10 Jan 2021, 23:01 


I never claimed that it is as good as an UHD-BD. The upscale quality brings it to a properly mastered DVD or slightly higher level.
Laserdisc has however a big advantage over UHD-BD. It's not crippled by DRM crap.

I refuse to upgrade to anything 4K because of all the DRM hoops they want me to jump through.
I think we're misunderstanding each other, then. The OP was talking about the quality of LD being inferior to modern formats (not DVD), which is the claim I thought you were disputing. Beg pardon if I misread your post.

I hear you on DRM, it sucks. While it's not a deal-breaker for me, I loathe its existence and have no qualms about circumventing it for the purpose of preserving a personal collection or applying subtitles to foreign releases that didn't come with them for example. I agree that no DRM (or worse yet region codes) is a big point in LD's favor.

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Posted: 13 Jan 2021, 00:41 

I checked out a few episodes of CCS on CR, and it really is very lushly animated and charming. It's a good thing it was made when it was and not a few years later, when the apex of hand-painted cel animation on TV gave way to the early digipaint efforts (shudder).

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Posted: 13 Jan 2021, 18:48 

Last week I got a copy of Home Alone 2 with seemingly identical mint marks (DADC Japan) to the one listed on the database. Are there usually multiple copies of a title with the same mint marks?
Always, not just usually. It's an ID for a specific pressing, not a specific physical disc, so what you're seeing is to be expected. If they were different, then you'd want to add them to the page after double-checking the catalogue number.

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Posted: 20 Jan 2021, 05:05 

firehorse_44 wrote:
Viewed Ralph Bakshi's roto-scope epic "THE LORD OF THE RINGS"

Truly the best anime.

My favorite scene is when Boromir's dying and they drew his moustache as growing straight out of his nostrils.

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Posted: 20 Jan 2021, 16:38 

Yeah, jokes about the animation errors aside, Bakshi gets a lot of credit from me for having more vision than basically any western animator at the time. The Flight to the Ford scene in his LotR is a real standout for its psychedelic intensity. (And it gets Tolkien-nerd points for keeping the original dialogue between Frodo and the Black Riders, cough cough Peter Jackson cough)

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Posted: 23 Jan 2021, 00:20 

Out of the reams and reams of remakes out there, the only one I can think of where most people I've talked to prefer the remake to the original is Ocean's Eleven. (Note, I don't count Ben Hur as a remake because it's not a remake to have separate attempts at adapting the same source material.)

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Posted: 28 Jan 2021, 17:05 

Princess Mononoke for the umpteenth time, probably my favorite movie. It's rare to see a film with such precise moral clarity, neither erasing the nuance of its conflict nor engaging in false equivalence. And there are just so many scenes that give me chills every single time. It staggers the mind to think that Miyazaki hand-inspected every last cel of animation.

The first time I watched it as a teen, I had to put it on again immediately to show my younger brother, then again when my parents came home to show them. Only movie I've ever watched three times in one day.

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Posted: 05 Feb 2021, 01:45 

I've decided that the first half of episode 25 of The Super Dimension Fortress Macross is on the short-list for my favorite 10-ish minutes of anime. I'll wrap in spoiler tags my thoughts on this magical example of concision in screenwriting, not that anyone should care about Macross spoilers in 2021:
The episode begins with Milia ambushing Max in the park at night with a knife and just failing to kill him. The mid-episode commercial break takes place during Max and Milia's wedding reception. In the context both of the episode and of the overarching plot of the show, it somehow completely works.

Not saying this episode is a towering cinematic achievement or anything (the animation in the knife fight is laughably bad even for TV, and Macross is pretty corny however you slice it), but this simply fills me with joy. When you think of TV anime you think of everything getting dragged out over as many episodes as possible, and endless will-they-or-won't-they when it comes to romance, so this just feels like a breath of fresh air. And I love how it plays as both a pretty funny joke and a legit development in the plot.

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Posted: 06 Feb 2021, 01:21 

Clear exaggeration by Ebert. If you're trying to make a funny movie, leave no stone unturned!

Some of my favorite funny names from movies/shows:
Dr. "Frahnk-en-steen"
President Skroob
Gaylord Focker
Biggus Dickus

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Posted: 09 Feb 2021, 00:42 

Something to bear in mind when talking about analog vs. digital is that analog comes in a number of different flavors. The analog of film and the analog of video are quite different, and conversion from the former to the latter loses a lot of the former's "analog-ness" by limiting the picture to a set of discrete 1-dimensional lines that together approximate a 2-dimensional picture. When not subjected to excessive digital tinkering, the increased resolution on the Y-axis of 1080p and 2160p can capture more of the analog character of film than SD video (digital or analog) can, at least by that measure. The first time I saw a blu-ray on a family friend's big flat-screen TV was revelatory; it was the first time watching a movie on a TV felt remotely like watching one in a movie theater for me.

EDIT: I'm with you 100% on paper vs. screens, though. Even the most impressive e-ink solutions I've seen (and they are impressive) don't feel as nice as a real book. There's something about the completely physical, non-technological nature of paper that allows my nerves to relax more.

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Posted: 12 Feb 2021, 03:47 

Just watched The Court Jester, which took a long time to get on blu-ray for some reason (the transfer is excellent, though!). Great fun, and has maybe the funniest exchange of wordplay in any movie, the "vessel with the pestle" scene.

One thing that stuck with me when I first saw it at around five years old was a line at the end of Danny Kaye's introductory number during the credits: "What starts like a scary tale ends like a fairy tale." That was an especially nice touch for the children in the audience who can't necessarily tell a silly movie from a serious one yet - a sort of contract that no matter how much trouble and danger the heroes may get into, there's going to be a happy ending, so it's safe to stay and watch.

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Posted: 13 Feb 2021, 23:08 

Yeah, the main reason I'm even considering an AC3 demodulator is because I love me some Hollywood blockbusters and I don't want to accidentally buy a disc I can't play without extra equipment.
In that case you don't have to worry. AC-3 tracks take the place of just one of the analog tracks; all the discs have normal digital tracks as well. The directionality won't be as precise, but it'll still sound just as good as other LDs even without AC-3 capability.

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Posted: 18 Feb 2021, 02:43 

je280 wrote:
Yes, if you can afford them they are the dogs bollocks.


Dogs' bollocks, elephant condoms... I thought we wanted to keep these discs clean! :lol:

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Posted: 18 Feb 2021, 02:55 

Don't know why but RETURN TO OZ is a film I have never seen, am I missing out?
I'd recommend it to most, with the caveat that in terms of complexity and emotional maturity it's definitely a kid's movie, just a kid's movie that was clearly made with the express purpose of scaring the s**t out of kids. Worth seeing if that sounds like something you're game for.

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Posted: 23 Feb 2021, 19:04 

Unfortunately the composite is removed in the European version of the LG C8, which seems mad.
Pardon if this is an obvious question, but do you see a yellow 3.5 mm port on the back of your C8? That's a combination yellow-red-white RCA AV input. You just need a little 3x female RCA to male 3.5 mm adapter. I got one that came with my LG C7.
Am I right in thinking that I won't be able to listen to commentaries unless I collect the white and red leads as they store the track and the Toslink cable doesn't carry it?
The sound side is really confusing me.
Correct, toslink will not send analog audio, and you can expect commentaries when present to be on analog tracks. The red-white leads will carry both digital (non-DTS and non-AC3) and analog tracks depending on which you select with your remote. I always just use the red-white unless the disc has DTS or AC-3; it keeps it simple.

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 Post subject: Re: Is this an audio issue?
Posted: 24 Feb 2021, 17:23 

I've been told that DTS will pass through my optical lead which is why I've ordered Jurassic Park.
What is 4.0? Two front speakers and two back?
If you have a modern receiver, DTS should work fine through your optical output.

"4.0" is misleading. It refers to 2.0 stereo tracks on disc that in production were downmixed from 4.0 sources (left, center, right, rear) in a such a way that a receiver can roughly split it up into the original 4.0 mix on the fly and map it to your speakers appropriately. On the database this will typically be labelled "Dolby Surround." As far as cabling is concerned they are simple stereo tracks.

I think I will take a look at my amp next and work out how I convert tracks into the surround that will use my rear speakers.
Yes, get to know your amp better. Any modern amp should have modes that use all speakers even when playing back two-channel sound.

The best thing to do is read, read, read. Read your amp's manual, read your player's manual.

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Posted: 25 Feb 2021, 02:49 

As someone who grew up with an average CRT in the early 2000s (albeit with DVD and VHS, not LD)... I'd still take the big 4K TV with a decent deinterlacer in between. I was literally just thinking this evening while watching an LD, "This still looks better than anything I saw on the old TV at home before we got a flatscreen." It's brighter and clearer, the color's better, details in dark areas aren't getting crushed, I'm not losing a bunch of picture to overscan, etc. Granted, if I could go back in time and tweak the settings of that average CRT now that I know more about video in general than anyone in my house did growing up, maybe it'd be a different story.

I miss the simplicity and no-fuss compatibility of CRTs (especially for games), but I can't say I miss the results when it comes to movies (and anime in particular).

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Posted: 27 Feb 2021, 21:05 

That Dokaben set was so cheap (1500 yen) I wonder if it was a mistake. Anyway, I just nabbed it, and if nothing was fishy and it gets here I'll fill out its DB info.

Not familiar with this series, but I'm a huge baseball fan and absolutely adore Koshien Stadium. I had the privilege of going there once for a Hanshin Tigers game, and the crowd was just insane. Packed to the gills (47,000+) on a weeknight against a last-place team (Yakult Swallows), and they had a soccer crowd's energy. Totally different experience than a regular season MLB game (which is already one of my favorite things!). And the Koshien high school tournaments are one of the best traditions in sports. I'd love to catch one of those games in person some day. You never know, there could be a future NPB or MLB legend playing!

Anyway, hope the discs get here and as described. I didn't notice until it was too late, but something about the site's address fields is screwy; it put my apartment number above my street address.

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Posted: 03 Mar 2021, 01:55 

Following up on the Dokaben boxset (which got here faster than I expected!), I think the 1,500 yen price was an actual mistake, especially considering Wikipedia describes the manga as "one of the most popular sports manga of all time" so Japanese demand can't possibly be that low. The box is in immaculate condition, and while I've only unsealed the first disc so far, it looked and played perfectly. Picture quality's perfectly fine, too. The set begins partway into the series as suspected, but at a sensible starting point (the main character decides to attend high school instead of going to work, with the intention of continuing his scholastic baseball career (from what I can gather with my limited Japanese)), and going by the list of episode titles it appears to end at a sensible stopping point (28 eps. total on 7 discs).

So far I can follow it well enough, so I'm looking forward to some roughly animated, modestly exaggerated baseball anime. Thanks again gypsy for the find! I'll see if I have time this weekend to fill out its info and take cover pictures.
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