Amazing! Watching Shock Treatment on DVD is like watching the movie
first time. I can't believe how bad the VHS copies compare to the sharp and
colorful resolution of this new release. Now, I am in the US, and I have a
PAL Region 2 copy. I'm able to play it on my regionless player, but just in
case, I also converted to NTSC Region 1 for playback on other players as
well. My background is film editing and cinematography. I am going to
explain my thoughts on few levels of topics for the DVD version:
Video: The video is unbelievable! No over exposed areas or unsaturated
colors, or blurry lines! This film was shot Technicolor and this DVD
certainly compliments this color process. I compared my VHS copy to this and
it is like night and day. As many of you know, video presents colors at a
very under saturated tone where in film, color saturation is high. Film also
holds greater amounts of color information than standard video does, and the
color in this film is wonderful. Also, this video is so sharp that you can
actually see the visible film grain. Contrast levels are a big improvement.
Blacks are black, whites are white and there is no bleeding. Overall, any
fan should buy this DVD merely for the beautiful color improvement.
Audio: I was disappointed here. The pseudo stereo only means that they
the original mono track, split it, then increased volumes on some
frequencies to simulate stereophonic audio. Because it is not analog video,
the NTSC hiss is gone, therefore making the audio clearer. I wish the
offered both mono and stereo tracks. Does anyone know if the US version will
feature 5.1 track? Anyways, to be honest, 5.1 remastering is not difficult
nor expensive to do and I am a little disappointed they did not consider
this. For my own personal copy of Shock Treatment I have edited the original
AIFF audio tracks and upconverted them 5.1 channel (took my about 40 hours
to do the entire film). Basically I was able to have singing vocals and
dialogue emit only out of the front channel speaker major instrumentals only
in the two front side speakers and backup singers/low instrumentals from
back channel speakers. Using appropriate software, it is not difficult to
isolate sounds and frequencies. After I isolated sounds using Sony Acid and
Pro Tools, I used Vegas to assign the channels and export as an MPEG format.
Overall, I am trying to say that this DVD sounds awesome as 5.1 and they
should have invested the time to get it remastered as the movie deserved it.
DVD menus, etc: Very static menus and very boring. At least the menus
blue. One good thing is that there are English subtitles. The theatrical
trailer is pretty cool too.
Aspect Ratio: All of you seem real excited about the aspect ratio
film being a 16x9 format. I admit that it is very nice to see it widescreen,
but I am a little confused about a few things I noticed. I compared the 4:3
version to the 16:9 version. In the 16:9 version we lose vertical space!
Yes, that is what confused me. For example, in "Bitchin' In The Kitchen", in
the VHS version we can see about 1' below Brad's lavaliere microphone and a
few inches above his head. In The 16:9 version, the black bar just touches
the bottom of the mic and the top of his hair. This leads me to suspect
there was some cropping added to the bars. But, after long thoughts about
this, I finally figured it out. The film's original negative aspect ratio
was probably 2.21:1. This DVD is presented at about 1.85:1. I am not sure
why they didn't keep the intended ratio, but it definitely looks like
cropped sections out to make it 1.85:1. Regardless, all this means is that
while we lose some vertical space, we gain horizontal space.
Film Transfer: Hmm. I was under the impression that FOX no longer had
original film stored. However, this DVD does look like an original telecine
transfer. If you recall from the VHS versions, you can see certain film
artifacts; even those projection blips in the upper right corner ever 20
minutes or so. This means the VHS version was a duped copy, not a telecine
transfer. In this DVD, there are no projection imperfections, blips, or
scratches. Big improvement for the theatrical trailer featured on this disc.
I can't wait to see what the US version will look like!