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Author Topic: NEW DIRECTORS CUT  (Read 222156 times)
Novecento
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« Reply #525 on: 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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« Reply #526 on: December 09, 2012, 11:33:36 AM »

I thought the restoration work was concerned mostly with the Italian audio.  I've certainly not noticed any problems with the English audio.  The new scenes look exactly the same as the YouTube videos.

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?

Things seem to have gone quiet on the further 20 mins or so mentioned by Martin Scorcese but I'd like to see them whatever the quality.

The item in The Guardian in August 2012 stated that there has not been any official announcement from the Leone estate etc so it may have been a bit speculative:

"While there has been no official announcement from the Leone estate, or Gucci and Martin Scorsese's Film Foundation who have been closely involved in the restoration, it is understood that after the Cannes screening it was agreed that more work, including on the audio track, would be beneficial for the newly inserted scenes."

I expected the new scenes in the new BD to be slightly improved but they're not - just the same as the videos at YouTube and LaStampa.it etc.

Some-one on another board has said the encoding is 1080 24.  I don't know. A sticker is attached to the packaging claiming that the new BD contains an extra 26 minutes of previously unreleased material but the video at La Stampa.it, which contains all six blocks of the additional scenes in full, runs for just over 20 minutes only.

The duration of the movie is slightly longer than that quoted on the box - 250 mins 55 secs - but there are a couple of notices in Italian about the restored scenes at the beginning, lasting about 1 minute,  and the usual 30 second intermission.

  
 

« Last Edit: December 10, 2012, 02:08:18 AM by chris » Logged
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« Reply #527 on: 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


« Last Edit: December 09, 2012, 09:33:56 PM by drinkanddestroy » Logged

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« Reply #528 on: 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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« Reply #529 on: 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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« Reply #530 on: December 10, 2012, 02:35:58 AM »

Thanks for posting the review, dj.  Some good points in it.

In 1984 Sergio Leone certainly regretted having to cut 50 mins but by 1988 he said he preferred the 229 min version.  There was a quote from Raffaella some years ago in which she indicated that she preferred the 229 min version.  Andrea Leone seems to be in favor of Leone's original 270 min cut and whilst of course the new BD doesn't really deliver that, it is a step in that direction. Hopefully the journey will one day be completed and the movie given the treatment and recognition it deserves.

The review doesn't mention the grain in the images which is very apparent on some TVs.  There may be parallels with the U.S. and Italian versions of GBU and the differing colors and use of DNR.  I like the new BD more than I did when I first viewed it.

 

« Last Edit: December 10, 2012, 02:50:29 AM by chris » Logged
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« Reply #531 on: 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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« Reply #532 on: 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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« Reply #533 on: 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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« Reply #534 on: December 10, 2012, 05:36:04 PM »

Some-one on another board has said the encoding is 1080 24.

That's just the standard encoding for BDs. It doesn't speak to the quality of the print.

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« Reply #535 on: December 12, 2012, 02:25:13 AM »

There's  a detailed summary of the new BD and a brief comparison with the BD released last year at Movie Censorship:
   
http://www.movie-censorship.com/report.php?ID=898776

 

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« Reply #536 on: December 12, 2012, 02:43:32 AM »

Speaking of the quality of the print - I hope the picture quality issues with the old scenes are a result of compression. The masters and 4K restoration are said to be excellent and the compression can be fairly easily fixed in the next release by using 2 BDs.

  

Even if theoretically this can be fixed by issuing another release on 2 discs, what are the chances you think they'd actually do that, anytime soon?

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« Reply #537 on: December 12, 2012, 02:55:33 AM »

There's  a detailed summary of the new BD and a brief comparison with the BD released last year at Movie Censorship:
   
http://www.movie-censorship.com/report.php?ID=898776

 

Thanks for this link.

so if the 4K restoration looks much better than the original BRD, but the new BRD fucks it up, that doesn't help us much, does it?


I have a dream that one day the studios in this nation will rise up and live out the true intentions of Leone......

and release a beautiful-looking BRD with the new footage... and that in the not too distant future, we'll actually get a 270 - minute version. But as of now, I don't believe shit until I actually have it  Angry Angry Angry

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« Reply #538 on: December 12, 2012, 07:42:47 AM »

Even if theoretically this can be fixed by issuing another release on 2 discs, what are the chances you think they'd actually do that, anytime soon?

On another board some of the Italians are saying it may not be that long but it may just be wishful thinking.

A recent email from  Gustavo van Peteghem of Andrea Leone Films said:

"Ho ricevuto gia' da ieri molte e-mail di disappunto, da parte di appassionati come lei, per quanto riguarda il Blu Ray e come gia' risposto ad altri ne abbiamo preso assolutamente atto e le confermo che prenderemo i dovuti provvedimenti al pił' presto.

Grazie di nuovo per la segnalazione e Cordiali Saluti.

Gustavo van Peteghem"

Roughly translated:

I've received many emails of disappointment from fans like you with regard to the Blu-ray and, as already responded to others, we acknowledge absolutely and confirm that we will take the necessary measures as soon as possible.

Thanks again for pointing this out and Best Regards.

Gustavo van Peteghem

The 4K restoration of the old scenes is complete so it should be a fairly simple matter.  Two months ago, when the Blu-ray was announced, a representative of Andrea Leone Films said they hoped to bring out a box set and Sky.it said:

"Pił avanti verrą anche distribuito un cofanetto con entrambe le versioni."

Roughly translated:  Later a box set containing both versions will be released.

http://mag.sky.it/mag/cinema/2012/10/16/cera-una-volta-in-america-il-capolavoro-di-sergio-leone-torna-al-cinema.html

We don't know for certain if the new BD is region locked and it's possible that a new box set may not be region locked.

Regarding the new scenes and especially the mausoleum scene, most people may be horrified at the suggestion but Scorcese's CGI friends have done a great job with Boardwalk Empire so if there is no practical alternative it's a route that could be explored.

  

« Last Edit: December 14, 2012, 06:26:58 AM by chris » Logged
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« Reply #539 on: December 15, 2012, 06:53:41 AM »

Some Italians say they are using the new BD as coasters.

Amazon.it has stated that the new BD is currently unavailable and they do not know when it will be available again.  Rather optimistically some are saying this may mean that the BD is being withdrawn and a new release is imminent.
 
 

« Last Edit: December 15, 2012, 07:38:47 AM by chris » Logged
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