Final Clearance on Select Buster Keaton Titles from Kino

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MattBarry

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Final Clearance on Select Buster Keaton Titles from Kino

PostFri Jan 27, 2017 3:48 pm

Matt Barry from Kino Lorber here. I wanted to share this as I thought this would be of interest to folks here at Nitrateville:

We're having a clearance sale on some our Buster Keaton Blu-ray/DVD releases, while supplies last. Here is the link to the page on the Kino Lorber store:
https://www.kinolorber.com/list/view/co ... nclearance
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Re: Final Clearance on Select Buster Keaton Titles from Kino

PostFri Jan 27, 2017 8:02 pm

Kino will stop producing Buster's stuff?
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Re: Final Clearance on Select Buster Keaton Titles from Kino

PostFri Jan 27, 2017 9:54 pm

They've traded these versions out for Lobster Films' versions. The only one of the first batch that I thought was a bad transfer was Steamboat Bill Jr. The rest of them are very good, especially The General.
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Re: Final Clearance on Select Buster Keaton Titles from Kino

PostSat Jan 28, 2017 6:58 am

It looks acceptable:

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film3/blu-ray_ ... lu-ray.htm

I think they had no camera negative, no fine grain master from camera negative and not even a original print. If I remamber well this films survived in a a not very well made master shot from a print.

Even so the Blu Ray have a image with many details.


bigshot wrote:They've traded these versions out for Lobster Films' versions. The only one of the first batch that I thought was a bad transfer was Steamboat Bill Jr. The rest of them are very good, especially The General.
Keep thinking...

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Re: Final Clearance on Select Buster Keaton Titles from Kino

PostSat Jan 28, 2017 12:06 pm

The shipping is kind of pricey.
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Re: Final Clearance on Select Buster Keaton Titles from Kino

PostSat Jan 28, 2017 1:04 pm

All Darc wrote:It looks acceptable:


The problem isn't the print or the transfer. It's the gamma setting I think. The black levels are elevated and the bright stuff is way too bright. I can correct it when I project it by changing some settings, but it's a pain to go out of calibration just for one blu-ray.
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Re: Final Clearance on Select Buster Keaton Titles from Kino

PostSat Jan 28, 2017 3:01 pm

Saint-Just wrote:The shipping is kind of pricey.


$8.00! Yikes!
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Re: Final Clearance on Select Buster Keaton Titles from Kino

PostSat Jan 28, 2017 5:32 pm

The 35mm source looks like had few details in dark áreas but hidden in shadows, and I suspect they tried to increase gamma to bring some shadow details back, and as result the highlights got a bit weird and the shadows looks like needing more density.

Despite that, accoding reviews the film never looked this good in vídeo.

bigshot wrote:
All Darc wrote:It looks acceptable:


The problem isn't the print or the transfer. It's the gamma setting I think. The black levels are elevated and the bright stuff is way too bright. I can correct it when I project it by changing some settings, but it's a pain to go out of calibration just for one blu-ray.
Keep thinking...

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Re: Final Clearance on Select Buster Keaton Titles from Kino

PostSat Jan 28, 2017 5:45 pm

I have the old DVD box set and the contrast levels were much better than the blu-ray. Like I said... the transfer is fine. They just encoded the blu-ray with the wrong gamma setting. That happens sometimes. If you manually change the gamma it becomes perfect. It's just a pain to have to dig through the menus and change the monitor calibration for just one disc.
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Re: Final Clearance on Select Buster Keaton Titles from Kino

PostSat Jan 28, 2017 6:48 pm

bigshot wrote:I have the old DVD box set and the contrast levels were much better than the blu-ray. Like I said... the transfer is fine. They just encoded the blu-ray with the wrong gamma setting. That happens sometimes. If you manually change the gamma it becomes perfect. It's just a pain to have to dig through the menus and change the monitor calibration for just one disc.


Well, based on this I took the double-dip plunge. Hopefully the 2017 remastered Kino Blu-ray will be more definitive than the earlier "definitive" Kino Blu-ray. :D
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Re: Final Clearance on Select Buster Keaton Titles from Kino

PostSat Jan 28, 2017 7:13 pm

And don't forget the Cineteca Bologna restorations that will be coming out in a year or two. Everyone is cashing in on Buster!
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Re: Final Clearance on Select Buster Keaton Titles from Kino

PostSun Jan 29, 2017 8:27 pm

The Silent Era website reviews the upcoming Blu ray of THE GENERAL:

http://www.silentera.com/video/generalHV.html#Kino2017BD
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Re: Final Clearance on Select Buster Keaton Titles from Kino

PostMon Jan 30, 2017 3:14 am

Scoundrel wrote:The Silent Era website reviews the upcoming Blu ray of THE GENERAL:

http://www.silentera.com/video/generalHV.html#Kino2017BD


Big thanks for the link. I was hoping for a review owing to the fact I already have the superb 2009 Kino BD of The General.
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Re: Final Clearance on Select Buster Keaton Titles from Kino

PostMon Jan 30, 2017 2:17 pm

bigshot wrote:And don't forget the Cineteca Bologna restorations that will be coming out in a year or two. Everyone is cashing in on Buster!


Why didn't Silent Era review 3 AGES? Does Cineteca Bologna have a better print of 3 AGES than what has going around for a couple of decades? Didn't Walter Kerr state that there was a print of 3 AGES in Japan?
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Re: Final Clearance on Select Buster Keaton Titles from Kino

PostMon Jan 30, 2017 3:12 pm

Tommie Hicks wrote:Why didn't Silent Era review 3 AGES?


They did. It's grouped together with reviews of other editions of THREE AGES:

http://www.silentera.com/video/threeAgesHV.html
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Re: Final Clearance on Select Buster Keaton Titles from Kino

PostMon Jan 30, 2017 7:57 pm

CoffeeDan wrote:
Tommie Hicks wrote:Why didn't Silent Era review 3 AGES?


They did. It's grouped together with reviews of other editions of THREE AGES:

http://www.silentera.com/video/threeAgesHV.html" target="_blank


Thanks.
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Re: Final Clearance on Select Buster Keaton Titles from Kino

PostMon Jan 30, 2017 8:31 pm

Here's DVD Talk's review of Kino's new version:

http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/71745/bu ... hree-ages/

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Re: Final Clearance on Select Buster Keaton Titles from Kino

PostMon Jan 30, 2017 11:47 pm

Is the tinting on the old transfer inauthentic? I thought it looked good.
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Re: Final Clearance on Select Buster Keaton Titles from Kino

PostTue Jan 31, 2017 3:28 am

Two conflicting reviews of the new KINO-LORBER transfer of The General are bound to confuse those on the fence trying to decide whether it's worth it to double-dip.

My inclination would be to go with Keaton's original intent ...or tint, if that's how the film was released..., but more information is needed. Not sure which review to go with at this point. It might take DVDBeaver screen capture comparisons to break this tie. :?

If the sepia tinting was wrong then why did KINO use it for their "struck from a 35mm negative" transfer back in 2009? Then there's the Cohen Collection 4k transfer on the horizon. I'd like to buy every HD silent release that comes out, but my shelves runneth over. Aaaarrgh!
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Re: Final Clearance on Select Buster Keaton Titles from Kino

PostThu Feb 02, 2017 1:35 am

I grabbed a copy of the box set. I hadn't finished buying all the separate discs (I have two copies of the shorts collection, one with a booklet, one without for some reason.. so now I'll technically have three plus the new shorts set that just came out) and this was a pretty cheap way to end up complete.
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Re: Final Clearance on Select Buster Keaton Titles from Kino

PostThu Feb 02, 2017 10:58 am

My first exposure to THE GENERAL was from the Image SILENT CLASSICS Laserdisc,
which was black and white.

I can tolerate the sepia toning of the KINO Blu ray but I hope the eventual Cohen release will be
black and white as well.
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Re: Final Clearance on Select Buster Keaton Titles from Kino

PostThu Feb 02, 2017 1:28 pm

Scoundrel wrote:My first exposure to THE GENERAL was from the Image SILENT CLASSICS Laserdisc,
which was black and white.

Mine was a choppy 16mm print that I think came from the collection of the University of Manitoba, screened at my local art college. I think I was still in junior high at the time, but seeing that print of The General was definitely a formative experience.

I still have that Image/Silent Classics laserdisc, it has a Carl Davis score, and I'm not sure if that's ever surfaced anywhere else on DVD. Does anyone else know for sure? I recall the picture had a bit of jitter to it, but I've hung on to it because I love Davis's music for it.
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Re: Final Clearance on Select Buster Keaton Titles from Kino

PostThu Feb 02, 2017 2:28 pm

s.w.a.c. wrote:I still have that Image/Silent Classics laserdisc, it has a Carl Davis score, and I'm not sure if that's ever surfaced anywhere else on DVD. Does anyone else know for sure? I recall the picture had a bit of jitter to it, but I've hung on to it because I love Davis's music for it.


The Carl Davis score is listed in the write-ups for the 2008/2009 Kino DVD/Bluray releases of The General. I haven't double-checked though.

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Re: Final Clearance on Select Buster Keaton Titles from Kino

PostThu Feb 02, 2017 9:52 pm

Rick Lanham wrote:
s.w.a.c. wrote:I still have that Image/Silent Classics laserdisc, it has a Carl Davis score, and I'm not sure if that's ever surfaced anywhere else on DVD. Does anyone else know for sure? I recall the picture had a bit of jitter to it, but I've hung on to it because I love Davis's music for it.

The Carl Davis score is listed in the write-ups for the 2008/2009 Kino DVD/Bluray releases of The General. I haven't double-checked though.

Double-checking my own copy, and there it is: "Music composed and conducted by Carl Davis, performed by the Thames Studio Orchestra". The score is in DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and uncompressed 2.0 stereo, so I'm guessing it's a new mix of the score that's on the laserdisc, for digital surround sound. Weirdly, the laserdisc says "digital stereo" on the cover, and MONO on the label! I should give it a spin to see what the case is.

(The 2008/9 blu-ray also has a Robert Israel score, and a theatre organ score by Lee Erwin, for those that were wondering.)
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Re: Final Clearance on Select Buster Keaton Titles from Kino

PostSun Feb 05, 2017 2:00 pm

Scoundrel wrote:My first exposure to THE GENERAL was from the Image SILENT CLASSICS Laserdisc,
which was black and white.

I can tolerate the sepia toning of the KINO Blu ray but I hope the eventual Cohen release will be
black and white as well.


I suspect it will be B&W given the stills used on the Cohen site. I don't wish ill of the new KINO-Lorber restoration, but it wouldn't surprise me if this reboot doesn't do too well given the conflicting reviews and pending Cohen release mastered in higher resolution.

I'm still curious about the earlier sepia tinting decision. From a clarity standpoint I don't have an issue with the 2009 BD version, but if Buster released The General without tints then I can't fathom why the decision was made to arbitrarily impose something other than the auteur's original intent. It's just perplexing.
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Re: Final Clearance on Select Buster Keaton Titles from Kino

PostMon Feb 06, 2017 6:25 am

I don't get it. I've read both of these reviews, and I don't see either of them saying the tinting is not authentic. At the time that THE GENERAL was released, tinting was still predominantly the rule rather than the exception. In fact, tinting adds to the effect that Keaton wanted for the film, to be "so authentic it hurts." In the best tinted prints of THE GENERAL -- including the original Kino Blu-ray -- the film looks like a Matthew Brady photograph come to life. (Talk about "galloping tintypes"!) The tinting also brings out the wood grain background of the subtitles in a way that B&W prints don't.

Speaking for myself, I first saw THE GENERAL in B&W on public TV back in the 1970s, but the first time I saw it theatrically was in a beautiful multi-tinted print. And ever since that time, whenever I've seen THE GENERAL in B&W, it looks overcast to me.
Last edited by CoffeeDan on Mon Feb 06, 2017 12:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Final Clearance on Select Buster Keaton Titles from Kino

PostMon Feb 06, 2017 11:11 am

The original Kino blu-ray of The General is one of the best presentations of a silent film I've ever seen. The only way it can be bettered is with better film elements to work with, and Cohen is more likely to have that than Lobster Films. Lobster has been putting out some unspectacular transfers lately. I suspect that they're trying to get stuff out quick before other better transfers get released and it becomes impossible to compete.

I love Lobster's Charley Bowers and Max Linder sets. I hope they'll dive back into doing films that we wouldn't get otherwise rather than mining the same ground that has been mined a million times before.
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Re: Final Clearance on Select Buster Keaton Titles from Kino

PostMon Feb 06, 2017 3:47 pm

bigshot wrote:The original Kino blu-ray of The General is one of the best presentations of a silent film I've ever seen. The only way it can be bettered is with better film elements to work with, and Cohen is more likely to have that than Lobster Films. Lobster has been putting out some unspectacular transfers lately. I suspect that they're trying to get stuff out quick before other better transfers get released and it becomes impossible to compete.

I love Lobster's Charley Bowers and Max Linder sets. I hope they'll dive back into doing films that we wouldn't get otherwise rather than mining the same ground that has been mined a million times before.


Carl uses a ten point scale but rarely if ever goes beyond nine for a commercial video release. He was pretty definitive in his 2009 review of the video quality (9/9). Since we're not discussing Star Trek: Voyager, (7/9) isn't likely to be seen as a visual upgrade.
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Re: Final Clearance on Select Buster Keaton Titles from Kino

PostMon Feb 13, 2017 8:13 pm

Judging by Carl's review at Silent Era, I don't think I'll be "upgrading".
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Re: Final Clearance on Select Buster Keaton Titles from Kino

PostMon Feb 13, 2017 8:17 pm

The description of the Buster Keaton Collection Blu-ray box says that the included version of THE GENERAL is the Lobster version. That is different than the version in the standalone Blu-ray, yes?
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