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Messages - Scarabaeus

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If you can play Region 2 DVDs, look for german releases of "Hügel der blutigen Stiefel" (Boot Hill). There are some with an english dub, e.g. on They also have a DVD of "Zwei Himmelhunde auf dem Weg zur Hölle" (All the way boys), which amazon states as having engish audio, but you should confirm that before ordering.

I recently got a few box sets of the two, from germany (mostly german audio, sometimes italian as well, and very rarely some english audio or subtitles) and working my way all the from "Rita nel West" to "Troublemakers". I'll let you know which ones I like best.

So far, I like their first non-western collaboration "All the Way Boys" best. "Watch Out, We're Mad" is also great, and is available on DVD in the US. "Two Missionaries" is a bit lacking. Right now, I'm busy with the Bud Spencer "Flatfoot" movies, which are good in their own right. My memory of the other recent ones is a bit hazy, since I've been a teenager when I last saw them.

Once Upon A Time In The West / Re: Scorsese Restoration !
« on: December 05, 2007, 11:54:14 AM »
If you have a 1080p TV, even if it's only 42", HD source material makes a big difference. A BluRay looks so much better than a standard anamorphic DVD, every little details pops out.

And about the concerns that the Technoscope film material is not good enough (compared to footage shot in Cinemascope): Even big productions nowadays, like "Pirates of the Caribbean", shoot on "Super 35", which has only slightly more area for widescreen pictures than Techniscope (24 instead of 22 mm wide).

The Colossus of Rhodes / Re: Colossus of Rhodes R1 DVD 6/26/07
« on: June 17, 2007, 05:38:09 PM »
Spatacus, Spatagus is Asparagus' brother

You guys crack me up! Nonetheless, it's spaRtacus.

Sergio Leone News / Re: Vote for Leone on IMDB's daily poll, TODAY!
« on: April 13, 2007, 09:49:33 PM »
What a list...  :(
Only five of them are worth mentioning: Hitchcock, Kurosawa, Kubrik, Wilder and, of course, Leone.

Sergio Leone News / Re: R1 Leone SE's to be released in June
« on: April 07, 2007, 10:01:46 PM »
Film is shot at either 24 or 23.97 (that is, 24 / 1.001) frames per second.

To convert it to NTSC without blending frames into each other, one frame is used to create 3 video fields, and the next frame to create 2 fields, etc. (3:2 pulldown), resulting in the video rate of 60 resp. 59.94 Hz

For PAL at 50 Hz, there is no even rate conversion, so they use each film frame to create 2 video fields (2:2 pulldown). This consumes 25 film frames per second, therefore the 24 to 25 fps speedup. This also raises the pitch of the audio.

There are some DVD players that perform a reverse 2:2 pulldown and slowdown, and then output either NTSC with 3:2 pulldown, or HDTV modes like 1080p24 fps, which can look really smooth on a display at 72 Hz (24 * 3).

Sergio Leone News / Re: R1 Leone SE's to be released in June
« on: March 27, 2007, 09:21:17 AM »
The releases are up on, for $20.19 each, or $67.49 for the Leone box set. No pictures, yet, and not much information either.

The listing for GBU is mixed up with some animated Moby Dick movie, though...

I wonder why they don't release BluRays at the same time. I recently read this on a german computer news site, which might explain it:
Translation of Q&A with Danny Kaye, Fox:
"On the topic of video encoding, Kaye stated that every film is encoded with every codec (MPEG2, MPEG4/AVC/H.264, VC-1) and then a decision is made on the used codec after inspecting the different results.
With some films, where no optimal source material was available, a decision was made not to release the movie after reviewing a complete MPEG2 encoding. He did not want to reveal any titles, because the studio was afraid this would reflect badly on future releases of these movies. In fact, after encoding some of the films with a more efficient codec and a higher bitrate, an optimal result could be acheived after all."

The old techniscope material might have too much film grain noise to allow an effective encoding in these high resolutions.

Sergio Leone News / Re: German "Duck, you Sucker" sold out?
« on: March 03, 2007, 09:32:34 AM »
Solved the mystery. Apparently, there will be a geman "special edition" two-disc release with a steel box in late april:

Sergio Leone News / Re: German "Duck, you Sucker" sold out?
« on: March 03, 2007, 09:18:16 AM »
Yes, I knew it was "only" the 6 second horse scene, and I already own the UK release. But the german release would have had the added benefit of the german track (I know, silly me, but I don't speak italian).  Guess I have to wait for a high definition release...

It's really strange that they would take this release out of print after just a year and a half.

Thank you all for the info!

Sergio Leone News / German "Duck, you Sucker" sold out?
« on: February 27, 2007, 07:41:41 PM »
I just got a response from, where I ordered the german "gold edition" of "Duck, you Sucker" ("Todesmelodie") last december, that this 2005 release is permanently out of stock. 8-(

As far as I know that's the only release with every last second of the movie, is that correct?

General Discussion / Re: Fistful of Dollars
« on: February 19, 2007, 08:04:28 AM »
I just checked the horrendous U.S. MGM version (how you can encode widescreen as non-anamorphic on a DVD is beyond me) and the much better, complete german paramount DVD. Both don't contain a scene as you describe it. Clint is left on his back after being beaten, then there's a soft blend to Mario Brega and the other guy opening the door the next morning, after which they are surprised by the barrel coming down the ramp.

I've never seen the original theatrical release, being born in '68. Anybody out there remebering a scene like that?

There is one scene where Clint is examining the barrels in the storage room earlier and finds the gold. When he first breaks in to the room, the big barrel is already at the top of the ramp.

Sergio Leone News / Re: Whatever happened to that OTHER book about OUATITW?
« on: February 13, 2007, 07:32:01 PM »
I think you mean
which was discussed here:

The site was lat updated a year ago, and I haven't heard any news.

There is one more book, which was recently re-release, that I'm planning to check out:
"Für ein paar Leichen mehr. Der Italo-Western von seinen Anfängen bis heute"
"For a few bodies more. The Spaghetti Western from it's origins to today"

It's in german, but does anybody know more about it?

Sergio Leone News / Morricone/Frayling on Fresh Air
« on: February 13, 2007, 06:38:59 PM »
The NPR program "Fresh Air" had a show on Feb. 2nd with two segments: "Appreciating the Music of Ennio Morricone" and "History of Westerns with Christopher Frayling".

You can find the show and description here:

Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Rumsfeld Resigned
« on: November 11, 2006, 09:53:06 AM »
It makes a difference to him personally and politically. By jumping before he was pushed is finally an admition of failure in itself within Bush's govenment, the warmongering piece of garbage that he is. Let's hope he will face criminal charges now, resulting from his cotract fixing and profiteering from the deaths of thousands of Iraqi civiilians. To see him die in prison would be the icing on the cake.
It's happening:
US Lawyers to Seek Criminal Charges Against Rumsfeld in Germany

Hmm are you a Sony Salesman  ;D I can't wait to see it in BR/HD, still won't beat seeing the films in the cinema.

No, but I work in the industry. I'm writing software for media processors, and I get to play with all this high-res stuff every day :)

I agree with your feelings about film vs. digital, nothing beats a clean, new copy on a good projector. Unfortunately, most copies are rather worn out, and most projectors aren't in pristine condition either. For a digital picture to match film, you'll have to wait until 4k (4096x4096 pixel) technology is avaiable to the masses. Give it a decade or two.

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