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« #495 : December 01, 2012, 08:02:05 AM »

Someone on the Blu-ray forum just posted the following:

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It has already been reported that this new edition has a lot of compression problems (go figure, one disc only for a 4h20m movie), and you may be interested to learn that the PR guy of 'Andrea Leone Productions' (Andrea is one of Sergio's sons) is already apologising for that, whilst saying they will try and distribute a better version someday in the future.

It's reported that the new BD is Region B Locked and the duration of the movie is 246 mins, so PAL/50HZ encoding may be an issue.

I'm not too well-informed on these things, but I thought 50/60Hz was only an issue with 1080i content and not 1080p?

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« #496 : December 02, 2012, 02:43:41 AM »


There was a previous statement that at a future date there will be a further release. I can't remember the exact wording but I think it was hoped that this release would include both versions of the movie and possibly some extras.
 
 

Should I get greedy and hope that the future release will contain the additional 20-25 minutes that was not restored at Cannes, but which was part of Leone's desired version (and which Scorcese referred to in at least one interview)?

For now, I guess I'll just hope that we in American can get to see the Cannes version sometime in the not too distant future  >:(


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« #497 : December 03, 2012, 06:07:47 PM »



I can't believe this has been classified as "Film per tutti" (film for everyone) on the back :o It's a little violent for that isn't it ???

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« #498 : December 06, 2012, 03:36:11 PM »

I've just received the new extended version and have viewed it alongside WB's original 229 min Blu-ray.   :(

 

did you get the new version on blu ray or dvd?


So the new scenes are of noticeably poorer quality than the rest of the movie? And what about the original 229 minutes -- do those look better/same/worse than on WB's blu ray?


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« #499 : December 07, 2012, 04:27:44 PM »

Deal killer.



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« #500 : December 09, 2012, 05:08:47 AM »



These were my thoughts when I first viewed both BDs side by side:

The picture quality of the new scenes is poor and they look similar to those on YouTube.  Surprisingly the picture quality of the other scenes is not as good as that in the original BD.  The brightness has been turned up, there's a lack of contrast, poor blacks, color tinge and pixellation and no meaningful detail in the shadows.  The movie looks flat to me and I'm not sure the defects are just down to compression.

The only positive thing I can say about it is that it's good to have a legal copy of the new scenes and see how they integrate into the rest of the movie. If the other 20 or so minutes mentioned by Martin Scorcese are ever released, I will still purchase a copy no matter how low the quality is.

  

Thanks for the info, chris.

This is very disappointing.

Previously, there was some discussion about how supposedly the studio that handled the restoration of the new scenes also did a restoration of the original 229 minutes, that it would be worthwhile to see just for that, etc.

Well now it's obvious that's a bunch of bullshit.

Of course, being a huge fan of Leone and OUATIA, I will still buy this blu ray disc (if/when it ever makes its way to America), and if the additional 20-25 minutes are released, then yeah, I'll buy that too. But this really fucking sucks. Very disappointing after having waited all this time.

I am still happy they did the restoration. Even if I won't be watching the new scenes all that often, I guess it'd good to know how those holes in the story are (supposed to be) filled in. (Especially the explanation of how Noodles met Eve, rather than having her just show up on the beach while Noodles and Max are discussing business).


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« #501 : December 09, 2012, 07:08:53 AM »

Several people who have seen the new BD are saying it's not that bad so I had another look using different TVs and Blu-ray players.

On some TVs it looks quite good and there is better definition in some of the scenes. You can now clearly read the sign above the gates of the Boys Reformatory to which Noodles is taken.

The images can look grainy which some are saying is compression although this can be eliminated, if needed, by altering the TV settings.  I don't regret my purchase in the slightest and hopefully, if new versions are released, some of the criticisms such as compression will be addressed.

It's now available on Amazon.co.uk as well as Amazon.it and whilst the disc and packaging don't mention region locking, I don't know anyone who has yet tried to play the disc in a U.S. Blu-ray player.

 




but don't blu ray discs have so much available memory (25GB for single layer, 50GB for a dual layer), that space/compression never be an issue, even with a movie that's approximately 250 minutes long? ie. if a blu ray disc has poor picture quality, that just means that whoever is handling the technical shit did a bad job with it, and not that the poor quality is due to compression cuz of lack of space or whatever (that's why movies on br are always only a single disc, no double disc is ever necessary, since each disc has so much memory).

I mean, if the issue really is the space/compression, couldn't they just put it on 2 discs? would that solve the problem? I don't know shit about technical stuff, but is this just plain and simple a bad motherfucking job by the Cinematagrophique Bologna or whatever the fuck is the name of the restoration company that was supposed to be the savior of OUATIA? (How about we star some petition for Criterion to get on the case -- aren't they known for doing the best restorations?)


Finally, just wondering how the sound is on the new br disc?


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« #502 : December 09, 2012, 07:14:38 AM »

There were reports in August that the film had been pulled from circulation pending further restoration work. Was this additional restoration completed, ya know, before they released this Blu-Ray?

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« : December 09, 2012, 07:17:49 AM MatViola »
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« #503 : December 09, 2012, 10:52:22 AM »

Deal killer.

Totally.

There were reports in August that the film had been pulled from circulation pending further restoration work. Was this additional restoration completed, ya know, before they released this Blu-Ray?

It certainly doesn't look like it.

I thought the restoration work was concerned mostly with the Italian audio.

I didn't realize that. However, didn't Scorsese say they are planning on adding in a further 20 mins or so in any case?

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« #504 : December 09, 2012, 01:58:56 PM »

here are the two public email addresses for Andrea Leone Films, if anyone wants to ask them them about this:

rl@andrealeonefilms.it  

mfb@andrealeonefilms.it


« : December 09, 2012, 09:33:56 PM drinkanddestroy »

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« #505 : December 09, 2012, 05:49:05 PM »

The review at amazon.co.uk:

Quote
4.0 out of 5 stars
No great revelations in the new footage and a very disappointing Italian pressing, but a must for lovers of the film 9 Dec 2012
By Trevor Willsmer HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
Format:Blu-ray
After decades of rumours and false starts, not to mention the multiple cut American versions that existed over the years, the almost-complete extended version of Sergio Leone's Once Upon a Time in America finally reaches Blu-ray and DVD, albeit only in Italy at the moment. Thankfully the disc is English-friendly, with English soundtrack and subtitle options as well as Italian. Not so thankfully the now 250-minute film has been put on one extras-free single disc with very disappointing picture quality. While you expect to make allowances for the 22 minutes or so of restored footage - though perhaps not quite as many as are needed here - the same shouldn't be said of the rest of the film, but sadly the picture quality is largely substandard, lacking detail, not coping well with shadows and with very different colour grading to the 229-minute theatrical version that gives it a kind of metallic sepia tone that will be recognisable to any of the film' fans who saw the lavish large promotional brochure for the film that has become a collector's item. But for now, Warner's uncharacteristically substandard disc is the only game in town if you want to see the longest version of the film.

Strictly speaking this isn't quite a director's cut, and not just because it's been restored by Leone's children from his own cutting notes. The 229-minute version was his preferred version, but he planned to incorporate the deleted scenes into a longer version for European TV that got abandoned in the wake of the film's disastrous initial reception. There's nothing here that's essential to the story or which adds much to the film: this is more a version for people who love the film and want more. Louise Fletcher's restored scene at the cemetery is fairly redundant and not particularly well played (it also boasts quite atrocious picture quality), Elizabeth McGovern's Katherine Hepburnesque death scene from Antony and Cleopatra tends to slow the picture down and much of the rest is filling in gaps: in this version, Noodles is a witness to the car bomb that kills a senate hearing witness, while his relationship with Darlanne Fluegel is much more fleshed out (albeit awkwardly placed after the rape scene), underlining his sexual immaturity. There's a brief exchange with his chauffeur about the Nazis and Jews ("Jews don't have to be like Italians and look up to criminals") but it's clear that producer Arnon Milchan's performance led to that being cut from the film. The longest addition is a final scene with Treat Williams' Jimmy Hoffa-like union boss and James Woods that shows how the balance of power between the two has shifted, but while it's interesting it spells out too much of what's coming in the finale and is a bit redundant.

The greatest strengths remain those of the 229-minute version: the elegiac mood, the unhurried visual storytelling that makes such an impression in the opening of the film in particular, the ambitious structure shifting between three different time periods as it follows the workings of its anti-hero's memory, the details whose importance don't become apparent until a second viewing such as the bricked up door in the bar, Ennio Morricone's melancholy and yearning score, and the excellent performances from De Niro when he still cared about his work, James Woods and the underpraised child actors who do such an impressive job of embodying the actors who will play the gang in the main body of the film. It's what we've already seen that makes the film such a spellbinding and surprisingly rich and complex experience for those who are on its wavelength. Yet while there are no great revelations and no great transformations in this extended version, it's still a must for lovers of the film. It's just a shame that this version hasn't been mastered on home video with the kind of care and attention it deserves.



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« #506 : December 09, 2012, 09:53:30 PM »

Thanks for the review, dj.

Just wanna point out that the review is wrong when he says that the 229-minute version was Leone's originally preferred version and he only wanted the other footage for a longer TV version.

Leone originally intended a much longer version (possibly in 2 parts) but ultimately had to chop it to 229 minutes, which as we know is 45-50 minutes less than he really wanted. It MAY be true that once the 229 MV was released, Leone believed it was the better version; I believe he did make comments to that effect, but who knows if he meant it or was just trying to save face. It is also true that there was talk about a longer version for European TV which never materialized. However, it is incorrect to say that the version Leone intended all along was 229 minutes (unless every word Frayling wrote about this subject is dead wrong, a prospect I highly doubt especially since by the time of OUATIA, Frayling was already close with Leone and seems to have been involved, on the set, etc. It's pretty clear that the most through info in his book is on OUATIA. Unless this reviewer has some reliable source that completely contradicts every word Frayling wrote about this movie, he is wrong to say that Leone's originally intended version was 229 minutes).


Anyway, it is sad to see how badly this new blu ray disc sucks. If the poor quality is the reason for the delay of its release in America, then I am very happy about the delay; better get it right, even if it takes more time.


btw, was anyone here at any of the theatrical screenings of the new version in Europe? How did the original 229 minutes look at those screenings?


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« #507 : December 10, 2012, 06:12:07 AM »

In 1984 Sergio Leone certainly regretted having to cut 50 mins but by 1988 he said he preferred the 229 min version.  
The salient point. Because intentions change.



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« #508 : December 10, 2012, 06:28:09 AM »

The salient point. Because intentions change.

That could be the case. Or it could be that he was trying to save face/sell his movie.

Who knows.


After viewing the restored scenes, I'll say that there are some which I think are important and some which I don't.

I don't like the Debra as Cleopatra scene, although I think it's important to have something separating elderly Noodles's meeting with Carol and his later meeting with Deborah. The way it seems in the 229MV, he meets Debra immediately after he meets Carol, in the same building. So while I would get rid of that Cleopatra scene, I would prefer some other way of showing us passage of time/place, that the meeting at Bailey Foundation nursing home is not the same place as Deborah's dressing room 


I'm not sure I like  how the new version makes it more of a literal mystery with the car and the license plate, etc. Although in the 229MV, there really is no explanation for why the hell Noodles is so interested in this Bailey story. And I've discussed at length how I believe the scenes with Eve are very important.


I am unsure about the scene with elderly Bailey and Jimmy O'donnel. My biggest problem is with the placement of the scene: this scene is supposedly the moment when Max is informed he must commit suicide; yet the scene takes place just before Noodles meets Bailey -- long after Bailey has given Noodles the suitcase with the contract, and sent him the party invite, which would indicate that Bailey already knew long before that he had to commit suicide... And my biggest problem with that scene is Jimmy's explicit statement that he wants Bailey to kill himself; that could have been handled much more subtley than "I hope I heat a shot ring out..."

----


Anyway, I can't REALLY have a firm opinion on anything until I see the full 250 minute version straight, rather than seeing the scenes separately on YouTube.

let's go Warner Bros., move your ass on this


 


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« #509 : December 10, 2012, 09:46:58 AM »

That could be the case. Or it could be that he was trying to save face/sell his movie.

Who knows.
You don't, that's clear.



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