Author Topic: Alien 40th Anniversary - Cinema re-release in March 2019  (Read 4466 times)

Re: Alien 40th Anniversary - Cinema re-release in March 2019
« Reply #60 on: February 09, 2019, 01:06:31 PM »
Isn't most 4k just offline upscaled 2k anyway?

35mm negatives are deffo fit for it, but optically printed film that makes its way into the cinema is approximately 2k, as checked by printing vertical lines.

Re: Alien 40th Anniversary - Cinema re-release in March 2019
« Reply #61 on: February 09, 2019, 02:07:26 PM »
Is the difference between HD and 4k all that noticable anyway? A friend has a 4k telly and damned if I can spot the difference. Even 720p video looks sharp as a tack. Although, admittedly, the only source for comparison is Youtube.

Re: Alien 40th Anniversary - Cinema re-release in March 2019
« Reply #62 on: February 09, 2019, 02:12:34 PM »
Dunno. I've got a 2010 Samsung and 1080 bluray looks amazing and no pirate 1080 copies or Netflix comes close. Amazon used to, they used to use 10mbps encoding which is about half bluray but a more efficient codec. Now I suspect they've wound that down.

Bluray captures film grain sharply so things can look a bit noisy, Netflix etc seem to smooth this simply by using a lower bitrate.

hermitical

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Re: Alien 40th Anniversary - Cinema re-release in March 2019
« Reply #63 on: February 09, 2019, 02:17:40 PM »
Not read the thread but I'm guessing someone has expressed the mainstream opinion that Alien 3 is actually the best one.

It kind of is my favourite but was scared to come out. Am I a bad man?

kalowski

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Re: Alien 40th Anniversary - Cinema re-release in March 2019
« Reply #64 on: February 09, 2019, 02:34:13 PM »
It kind of is my favourite but was scared to come out. Am I a bad man?
No. People who think Aliens is the best one are the bad guys.

Shit Good Nose

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Re: Alien 40th Anniversary - Cinema re-release in March 2019
« Reply #65 on: February 09, 2019, 02:50:52 PM »
Is the difference between HD and 4k all that noticable anyway? A friend has a 4k telly and damned if I can spot the difference. Even 720p video looks sharp as a tack. Although, admittedly, the only source for comparison is Youtube.

I can categorically say that, with a decent and proper source, the difference between HD and 4K is VERY noticeable.  Even on smaller screens.

Obviously there's only so much you can do with certain films - Aliens, for example, would probably look worse in 4K - but something like Dunkirk is sublime in 4K, and the difference from the standard blu is cavernous.

Re: Alien 40th Anniversary - Cinema re-release in March 2019
« Reply #66 on: February 09, 2019, 02:53:51 PM »
It kind of is my favourite but was scared to come out. Am I a bad man?

No, you're a bald man.


So am I.

St_Eddie

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Re: Alien 40th Anniversary - Cinema re-release in March 2019
« Reply #67 on: February 09, 2019, 02:55:32 PM »
I won't be going to see this because quite honestly, I feel that this 40th anniversary screening is about 40 years too late.

St_Eddie

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Re: Alien 40th Anniversary - Cinema re-release in March 2019
« Reply #68 on: February 09, 2019, 03:03:08 PM »
James Cameron hints that he's working on bringing Neill Blomkamp's Aliens to the big screening.

Great, just what the series needs; a fanwank, James Cameron worshiping, 'muh Noot & Hixs aint ded' Alien 3 retcon.  Directed by a one-hit wonder.  Whoopie!

The tough question these days is which is the least bad out of Resurrection, Prometheus and Covenant?

Easily Alien Covenant.  That seems to be a minority opinion though, as most people tend to like Prometheus but absolutely loathe Alien Covenant.  I find that baffling but there you go.  Probably the same bunch that think that Aliens is better than Alien 3.  Snarf snarf.

I rate Prometheus above Alien Resurrection but I find the former far more infuriating than the latter because it represents such an immense missed opportunity.

At the risk of an potentially inviting this thread into devolving into a load of lists, my Alien series rankings are as follows (from favourite to least favourite)...

Alien (theatrical cut)
Alien 3 (assembly cut)
Aliens (special edition)
>
>
>
Alien Covenant
>
>
>
>
>
Alien 2: On Earth
>
>
>
>
>
Prometheus
Alien Resurrection

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



I bet they do, the dirty old bollocks.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2019, 03:51:57 PM by St_Eddie »

St_Eddie

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Re: Alien 40th Anniversary - Cinema re-release in March 2019
« Reply #69 on: February 09, 2019, 03:43:00 PM »
Edit glitch removal from orbit.  It's the only way to be sure.

Re: Alien 40th Anniversary - Cinema re-release in March 2019
« Reply #70 on: February 09, 2019, 03:51:30 PM »
Obviously there's only so much you can do with certain films - Aliens, for example, would probably look worse in 4K - but something like Dunkirk is sublime in 4K, and the difference from the standard blu is cavernous.

I doubt that. In many ways 70's film stock seems to look better than a lot of '80s action stock. Presumably in' 80s action they went for faster film.

St_Eddie

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Re: Alien 40th Anniversary - Cinema re-release in March 2019
« Reply #71 on: February 09, 2019, 04:09:00 PM »
I doubt that. In many ways 70's film stock seems to look better than a lot of '80s action stock. Presumably in' 80s action they went for faster film.

But Aliens was made in the 80's, so why do you doubt Shit Good Nose, when you're in agreement with him?  Aliens on Blu-Ray has a lot of noticeable film grain.  On the one hand, I'm glad that they didn't DNR the thing to death but on the other; I found it a tad distracting and I can only imagine it would be that much more prevalent in 4k.

To preserve sanity:

Alien
Aliens
Alien Resurrection
Alien vs Predator
Alien3

Oh, come off it!  You're just taking the piss now.

I mean, really.  Fancy forgetting to include Aliens vs Predator: Requiem!  Pfft.

The blu-ray of Alien looks fine (to me at least), but Aliens definitely got the teal look.  It was degrained too.  Apparently, the original theatrical prints were grainy as hell, as was the original DVD and of course, rather than understanding that this was a problem with the original source, people complained... hence a cleaner looking film... that grit and grime that worked in the film's advantage is gone, now.

Did you watch a different Blu-Ray to myself because I vividly recall putting that disc into my Blu-Ray player and being greeted by a sea of grain.

Perhaps there was a lose connection at the back of my player and I just watched 2 hours of static by mistake.  Sadly, it's most definitely a possibility.

Wonderful inclusion of Mac & Me, had me roaring, karma etc

The bizarre thing is that I had posted my list (see above) prior to reading page 2 of this thread (and therefore, hadn't seen Shit Good Nose's post and his Mac and Me gag.  In my list, I too put Mac and Me in there as a joke and then had to edit it when I eventually saw that it had already been done.  Great terrible minds think alike, I guess.

Re: Alien 40th Anniversary - Cinema re-release in March 2019
« Reply #72 on: February 09, 2019, 04:31:54 PM »
What exactly is wrong with film grain? Digital suffers from noise, which is more-or-less the same thing; a difference in interpretation, but actually looks worse. The random nature of film actually smooths this a bit, yet digital noise seems like a day after a migraine.

Grain can look shite on a reasonably sized telly though.

Shit Good Nose

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Re: Alien 40th Anniversary - Cinema re-release in March 2019
« Reply #73 on: February 09, 2019, 04:46:22 PM »
Just clarify my problem with the way Aliens looks is nothing to do with grain - celluloid grain is a good thing and necessary to preserve.

No, my problem with the way Aliens looks is the almost-like-it-was-shot-on-video vibe.  Sort-of soft focus.  Shot through gauze (as I said on a previous page).  A bit hazy.  A bit 80s porn, but without the fucking.  Just looks a bit rubs.

Re: Alien 40th Anniversary - Cinema re-release in March 2019
« Reply #74 on: February 09, 2019, 05:11:17 PM »
Is not the best looking one of the series, I'll grant you. It's the only one whose director isn't known for their stylish visuals. The 80s telly vibe isn't helped by the directors cut, in which Captain Hollister from Red Dwarf turns up.

Shits on 3 in every other respect.

ToneLa

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Re: Alien 40th Anniversary - Cinema re-release in March 2019
« Reply #75 on: February 09, 2019, 05:12:07 PM »
Tell ye what I like about Alien. Sound design. There's this sort of low-rising-low computery background (oooo-OOO---oooo....) sound for ambience. Noticed it in Blade Runner then noticed it in Alien, Ripley reusing assets. Love it. Not afraid of silence.

The atmosphere wasn't there in Aliens (well, "atmosphere" was cause Aliens is fucking mint, but not that kind), or owt since.

Honourable mention to the Alien game released a while ago

Re: Alien 40th Anniversary - Cinema re-release in March 2019
« Reply #76 on: February 09, 2019, 05:34:07 PM »
Tell ye what I like about Alien. Sound design. There's this sort of low-rising-low computery background (oooo-OOO---oooo....) sound for ambience. Noticed it in Blade Runner then noticed it in Alien, Ripley reusing assets. Love it. Not afraid of silence.

The atmosphere wasn't there in Aliens (well, "atmosphere" was cause Aliens is fucking mint, but not that kind), or owt since.

Honourable mention to the Alien game released a while ago

Really I would say you have two filsm/directors coming at similar kinds of subject matter from opposite directions, Scott's film is more art cinema taking influence from stuff like Solaris but pushed into a more conventional plot, Cameron is more pulp cinema given a rather slicker and more serious edge than is typical.

buzby

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Re: Alien 40th Anniversary - Cinema re-release in March 2019
« Reply #77 on: February 09, 2019, 07:27:55 PM »
I doubt that. In many ways 70's film stock seems to look better than a lot of '80s action stock. Presumably in' 80s action they went for faster film.
Alien was shot on Eastman 100T 5247 which was very sharp and fine grained but only average speed (Scott also used it for Blade Runner). Aliens was shot on Eastman 400T 5294 and 5295 for effects shots (5295 had better blue-green separation, optimised for bluescreen work). The T rating is closely related to the ISO exposure rating in still photography film, so 5294 & 5295 were high-speed films and will show more grain.

Alien and Blade Runner weren't exactly brightly-lit films, so I'm not sure why Cameron felt he had to go to 400T when Scott had managed OK with 100T. In the commentary on the Aliens Special Edition Cameron said that he regretted using it due to the grainy look - he said it was a problem with the way the physical film was manufactured or developed (5294 had been in use for 4 years by that point, so it was presumably a faulty manufacturing run rather than unfamiliarity with the handling or processing).

One thing that will look terrible if they do an Ultra HD edition of Aliens will be the back-projected effects shots like the dropship crashing. It would have been better if Cameron had used front projection like Kubrick did in 2001, as the projected image is much sharper.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2019, 07:40:01 PM by buzby »

Shit Good Nose

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Re: Alien 40th Anniversary - Cinema re-release in March 2019
« Reply #78 on: February 09, 2019, 07:34:07 PM »
Tip of the hat to buzby, as ever.


Am I right in thinking Cameron (or someone else as heavily involved) said that he put artificial extra grain back in for the blu ray after everyone complained about the DVD?  Or am I conflating it with summat else?

hermitical

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Re: Alien 40th Anniversary - Cinema re-release in March 2019
« Reply #79 on: February 09, 2019, 07:56:01 PM »
No, you're a bald man.


So am I.

I have a luxuriant head of hair thank you very much. Cascading curls

buzby

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Re: Alien 40th Anniversary - Cinema re-release in March 2019
« Reply #80 on: February 09, 2019, 08:05:47 PM »
Tip of the hat to buzby, as ever.


Am I right in thinking Cameron (or someone else as heavily involved) said that he put artificial extra grain back in for the blu ray after everyone complained about the DVD?  Or am I conflating it with summat else?

He remastered it for the Bluray, and attempted to remove as much of the grain as possible He said this in 2010 during an interview about the Avatar re-release:
Quote from: James Cameron
It's spectacular. We went in and completely de-noised it, de-grained it, up-rezzed, color-corrected every frame, and it looks amazing. It looks better that it looked in the theaters originally. Because it was shot on a high-speed negative that was a new negative that didn't pan out too well and got replaced the following year. So it's pretty grainy. We got rid of all the grain. It's sharper and clearer and more beautiful than it's ever looked. And we did that to the long version, to the 'director's cut' or the extended play.
The facts don't quite marry up with what he said about the negative stock (5294) being new though, as Kodak's timeline states it was introduced in 1983, though he is correct in that it was discontinued in 1987.

One problem that apparently seemed to have happened with 5294 stock was that cinematographers thought that because it was a high-speed film they could get away with underexposing it, which resulted in  loss of detail and very visible grain.

ToneLa

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Re: Alien 40th Anniversary - Cinema re-release in March 2019
« Reply #81 on: February 09, 2019, 08:10:21 PM »
Really I would say you have two filsm/directors coming at similar kinds of subject matter from opposite directions, Scott's film is more art cinema taking influence from stuff like Solaris but pushed into a more conventional plot, Cameron is more pulp cinema given a rather slicker and more serious edge than is typical.

Absolutely. Love both Alien and s but on different merits.

As sequels go, right. You have the idea of Bigger and Better. Aliens is a bloody entire genre shift. That's not even a trite thing now. I can understand why someone might scorn either for not being like the other.... but they're both absolutely boss

Re: Alien 40th Anniversary - Cinema re-release in March 2019
« Reply #82 on: February 09, 2019, 08:10:57 PM »
So they 'pushed' it?

I love it when you expand on things and it turns out I wasn't talking shite.

Film improvement is just as unnecessary as audio remastering. Unless it's actually lost archive footage it was fine the first time.

Re: Alien 40th Anniversary - Cinema re-release in March 2019
« Reply #83 on: February 09, 2019, 08:21:32 PM »
I have a luxuriant head of hair thank you very much. Cascading curls
A luxuriant head of wrong.

Shit Good Nose

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Re: Alien 40th Anniversary - Cinema re-release in March 2019
« Reply #84 on: February 09, 2019, 09:53:32 PM »
Quote from: James Cameron
It's spectacular. We went in and completely de-noised it, de-grained it, up-rezzed, color-corrected every frame, and it looks amazing. It looks better that it looked in the theaters originally. Because it was shot on a high-speed negative that was a new negative that didn't pan out too well and got replaced the following year. So it's pretty grainy. We got rid of all the grain. It's sharper and clearer and more beautiful than it's ever looked. And we did that to the long version, to the 'director's cut' or the extended play.

Ahhh, yeah that's exactly what I was thinking of.  So I just misremembered it.

The facts also don't marry up cos it still looks like 80s soft porn.  Keep expecting Ron Jeremy or Mike Horner to pop up, especially with some of that dialogue.

Johnny Textface

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Re: Alien 40th Anniversary - Cinema re-release in March 2019
« Reply #85 on: February 09, 2019, 11:13:37 PM »
Film grain is a choice.

Phoenix Lazarus

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Re: Alien 40th Anniversary - Cinema re-release in March 2019
« Reply #86 on: February 10, 2019, 08:04:51 AM »
I like film grain.  Very 1970s-nostalgic.

Re: Alien 40th Anniversary - Cinema re-release in March 2019
« Reply #87 on: February 10, 2019, 11:04:04 AM »
I love film and grain, but I've never understood why modern film-makers will go for film stock, but then use the digital intermediate process.  It takes all the old-fashioned filmic charm out of it.

Re: Alien 40th Anniversary - Cinema re-release in March 2019
« Reply #88 on: February 10, 2019, 11:45:40 AM »
Alien was shot on Eastman 100T 5247 which was very sharp and fine grained but only average speed (Scott also used it for Blade Runner). Aliens was shot on Eastman 400T 5294 and 5295 for effects shots (5295 had better blue-green separation, optimised for bluescreen work). The T rating is closely related to the ISO exposure rating in still photography film, so 5294 & 5295 were high-speed films and will show more grain.

Alien and Blade Runner weren't exactly brightly-lit films, so I'm not sure why Cameron felt he had to go to 400T when Scott had managed OK with 100T. In the commentary on the Aliens Special Edition Cameron said that he regretted using it due to the grainy look - he said it was a problem with the way the physical film was manufactured or developed (5294 had been in use for 4 years by that point, so it was presumably a faulty manufacturing run rather than unfamiliarity with the handling or processing).

One thing that will look terrible if they do an Ultra HD edition of Aliens will be the back-projected effects shots like the dropship crashing. It would have been better if Cameron had used front projection like Kubrick did in 2001, as the projected image is much sharper.

You could argue I spose that part of it might be that whilst both were often dimly lit films Scott was more willing to let the shadows in his films actually remain dark but I suspect if theres a technical difference its that Scott was more willing to work with very fast lenses and the smaller depth of field/focus they have. Been awhile since I watched Aliens but I don't recall to many scenes showing shallow focus where as Blade Runner has a lot of that even in shots that aren't facial closeups.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2019, 12:05:32 PM by greenman »

Shit Good Nose

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Re: Alien 40th Anniversary - Cinema re-release in March 2019
« Reply #89 on: February 10, 2019, 01:00:11 PM »
Without wanting to be too generous, but in the spirit of fair play, does the fact that Aliens was effectively a low budget film (even Cannon were working with budgets of about $5+million more at the time) go some way to explaining the technical issues of how bad it looks?