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Sandra Merkatz

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Everything posted by Sandra Merkatz

  1. Sorry for the double post, I couldn´t edit the previous one! I have another technical question: let´s pretend you do the exact same shot (same angle, same lighting, same object, etc.) with an HD camera and with a celluloid camera (of course a good one!). Which one can show more details?
  2. Thank you :) I was puzzled by the mention of "35 mm" and thought that maybe they mean the celluloid. Why do they use these cameras? Do they show more details then "celluloid cameras"? Or is it because they want a certain look that can´t be produced with film stock?
  3. Hello! I just saw "Sin City 2" on Blu-ray, and was interested how they shoot it, so I looked in Imdb and found this info: Camera: Arri Alexa M, Fujinon Premier Cabrio Lenses Printed Film Format: 35 mm (spherical) (Fuji), D-Cinema (also 3-D version) I don´t know any of them, but I wonder if they shoot that movie with digital camers (without negatives, without celluloid) or not. Maybe someone can help me? :) Greetings, Sandra
  4. I am surprised to read that! I only know the DVD and the Blu-rays, which were all bad. I´m curious how the 4K version looks and if they release it in Europe too. (But I won´t buy it, because there will still be this ridiculous censored scene - I guess you know which one I mean - and this scene is censored on every version. So I wouldn´t recommend it, except when the scene is uncensored now). Greetings, Sandra
  5. I want to add, "The Vampire Lovers" also has a little "insider"-joke. In the movie "Fearless Vampire Killers" by Roman Polanski, Ferdy Mayne played the main vampire who bites the woman. In VL, he plays a good guy, who gets bitten by the main female vampire. I think that was done intentionally, to switch the roles here. :) Greetings, Sandra
  6. I´m sorry, but doesn´t this discussion about Star Wars fit better into a new thread? :)
  7. I don´t want to go too much off topic, I´ll just answer your last reply in this thread if that´s ok for you :) I know about the loudness war, it´s horrible how they turn up the volume or the basses just to sound "modern" or whatever. I´m always very careful when a cover says "Remastered" ... however, I usually only buy classical music on CDs, and only then when it´s performed on period instruments in historic informed performances (HIP), there you don´t have that loudness war, at least I don´t see one. Of course we have different opinions in some topics, for example CGI, because I think a film should be made with a camera, not a computer, but that´s ok - let´s agree to disagree :) To return to the topic: it´s hard for the interested viewer to find out what Blu-ray did it right. Who knows what colors or lighting are correct? And the correct light and color is VERY important for a movie. It´s the same problem with HIP-CDs, by the way. I don´t want to buy a CD and just listen to it, I also want to know what instruments they used, if the conductor studied different sources, and to what conclusions he came. Usually in newer recordings they write about this, but it´s not easy to have fun with a movie or a piece of music if you are more interested in it. Since I read Michael Caines book, I´ll never see a movie without thinking about how it has been made. I just see actors now doing their hard job, tryin to make it look as if everything is natural and normal, trying to hide the fact that they probably waited for many hours to shoot this scene. And since I knew a little bit more about lighting (also thanks to the members here :) ), I begin to pause scenes and try to find out what they did. I ask myself, what do I see? What do I not see? What could be the intentions? But when a Blu-ray shows a movie in a wrong way, it´s hard to analyze anything, because I want to analyze the work of the director, not the failures of the movie company. Greetings, Sandra
  8. I just don´t buy Blu-rays that destroy the picture, and I don´t buy them when I have doubts whether the picture is correct or not. And: I don´t want to give the companies my money for what they have done, and support them. What´s up with the famous movie "La Strada"? Look at the difference between the UK and the JP- version. Maybe the director wanted it to be so dark, to have that intimacy, that mood, and the other BD is too bright. Or he wanted it to be bright, and the other BD is too dark and sets the wrong mood. As long as I don´t know which one is right (or if neither of them is right) I wouldn´t buy it. Who or what is "Bazin"? Greetings, Sandra
  9. I think the main problem is, that they use DNR to remove the GRAIN, because they think, it doesn´t look "modern" enough, or grain is some dirt. I absolutely don´t have a problem with removing dirt; for example, they did a wonderful job for the Indiana Jones movies on DVD, cleaned frame by frame, but they didn´t use DNR. When you remove the grain, you lost picture information, so the DNR-program has to "blur" it in order to fill the missing spots. That´s why so many details are lost on those Blu-rays. Speaking of Indiana Jones: "IJ and the Temple of Doom" and "IJ and the Last Crusade" are good on Blu-ray, but I hesitate to buy "Raiders of the Lost Ark" on BD, because I´m not sure if they changed the color. Look at these examples, a comparison between the old DVD and the BD: The Blu-ray looks too bright and artificial to me. Just some torches with small fire, and so much light? The DVD looks better to me. In this case I´m not sure too which one is correct. Indy is in a dark cave, the only light comes from a torch, but which one is correct? The BD-version looks too bright for me, and there are some details missing. Also, notice that the frame is smaller on both sides. (And notice the great picture quality on the DVD! That´s what you get when you only put the movie on the disc in order to minimize the compression. Of course you see the compression on the big screen and in close ups, but the IJ-DVDs are one of the best I know. The strange thing is, that the Blu-rays for part 2 and 3 are identical with the DVDs, no different colors. Greetings, Sandra
  10. A little off topic, but still: This funny but also sad picture from different rock-concert-audiences shows what´s wrong today: Greetings, Sandra
  11. (Warning: this review contains spoilers!) I just saw that movie now. Oh. My. God! That movie is awful!! I don´t even know where to start … I like the movie “The Vampire Lovers” from 1970 (I call it “VL” from now on) very much, it has a suspenseful story, good actors (especially Ingrid Pitt as Carmilla), of course some nudity, but it always fits to the plot and doesn´t seem uninspired. Also the settings and especially the mood is very good! And there is real erotic in that movie, full of fantasy, not like a soft-porn. Of course VL is not a really great, groundbreaking movie, it´s not “Nosferatu” or something like that, but I always compare movies with other movies who have the same goal. That´s why I compare “Twins of Evil” with “Carmilla”, both are from the HAMMER studios, both are made about the same time (1970, 1971). But let´s talk about “Twins of Evil”. The title itself is wrong, because only one of the sisters is evil, the other one is the “good” one. But of course “Twins of Evil” sounds better. The story itself (especially the ending) is absolutely predictable! The evil vampire dies, the evil sister dies, the fanatic witchhunter Peter Cushing dies, and the good sister is saved by her boyfriend. Boring! Compared to VL, ToE doesn´t have any plot twists or surprises. The actors, especially the two sisters, are disappointing (except for Peter Cushing, who is a convincing fanatic witchhunter, who later doubts his actions, when one of his own family is accused to be a witch). The sister, former Playboy models (because Playboy models are good actors …), act very wooden and facile. The evil one is rebellious and devious and shows that very point-blank, while the other one is the nice and shy one. Probably they didn´t act well, because both are dubbed by other women in the original English-version. You don´t even hear their voices. They also don´t have much scenes together, and when they do, mostly they stand side to side to each other and react to other people talking to them. The main villain, the vampire Count Karnstein (who looks like a young Jimmy Fallon btw), is played very poorly and so over the top and theatric, that you can´t take him serious. He isn´t creepy or scary at all. When I think of Ingrid Pitts much more subtle villain Carmilla … when you looked at her, you never knew what she is thinking, and she could be seductive, dangerous, but also tragic at the same time, without doing faces or laughing like the villain in silent movies, who bound the girl on the railroad track. Of course: both VL and ToE try to entertain the audience with erotic scenes too. But the question is HOW they do that. And VL does it right, in my opinion, because they worked very much with words, with the way someone looks or with gestures. But you won´t find erotic scenes in ToE, instead just a VERY ungraceful sex-scene between the resurrected Carmilla and Count Karnstein. (I´m glad Ingrid Pitt refused the offer to play Carmilla in a cameo again!). This scene is ridiculous: it is filmed in a bad way, in one shot Carmilla grabs a candlestick and does obscene gestures on it, which would be ridiculous even in a real porn-movie, and worst of all, the whole scene is absolutely UNNECESSARY to the plot! It slows the plot down, it´s not erotic, it´s just boring and unnecessary. But there are also some plot holes that annoy me. For example, why is the body of Carmilla in a big coffin made of stone inside the castle of Count Karnstein? In Sheridan LeFanus novel, Carmilla turned to dust at the end. At the end of VL she was beheaded and didn´t turn into dust (at least we don´t see her doing that), but we don´t get any explanation for that. Later, Count Karnstein stabs a girl who is lying on the coffin, and the blood is dripping on Carmilla, and she gets resurrected just because of that? Also, after the horrible sex-scene, what happened to Carmilla? She doesn´t appear again in the movie. But the biggest plot hole for me is this: when the castle is attacked by the angry mob, and the evil vampire sister is decapitated, Count Karnstein kidnapps the good sister and took her into the castle. But why didn´t he bite her? All he does is dragging here through hallways, and just when the hero of the story wants to save her, Karnstein tries to bite her. Why didn´t he bite her in the first place when he had the chance to? At least the mediabook is good. A well written booklet with lots of nice pictures and much information like the release dates in the cinemas, the name of the voice-actors who dubbed the movie, etc. etc.(they also say that both sisters were obviously cast because of their looks, not because of their acting skills, so it´s a good-researched and critical booklet, not full of promotion and praises of how good the movie is). There is much bonus material on the Blu-ray too, like a long interview with the actor of Karnstein, a Super 8-version of the movie, picture gallerys, an audio commentary etc. The sound format is 2.0 Mono, they didn´t do an upmix but release it in the original sound format, which is good for me. I wouldn´t recommed this movie, even to HAMMER-fans, because this is one of the worst. Better watch "The Vampire Lovers"! I added some phots I took with my mobile phone; it shows two pages of the booklet and the Blu-ray disc itself. They quality is poor, I know! Greetings, Sandra
  12. I´m sorry, but this thread is not about the quality of different critics. The NC said that movies in the 90s didn´t handle this theme very well, and I thought that this statement fits to the discussion before. Thank you. Greetings, Sandra
  13. The Nostalgia Critic added a new video just a few days ago, called "Top 11 Strangest Yet Best Couples". I usually like his reviews, because he is objective and fair. When he doesn´t like a movie at all, but there are maybe 1 or 2 good scenes in it, or some good ideas that aren´t worked out well, he mentions this instead of just saying "This movie is bad". One of the couples are Violet and Corky from the 1996 movie "Bound", and what he says fits in this discussion I think. Here is a transcript I made from that part: Do you share his opinion about the 90s films and their portrayal of gay people? But I didn´t add this film to my list, because for me it´s more a crime-thriller, a Film Noir with a lesbian couple in it. Greetings, Sandra
  14. Oh, I didn´t know that. That makes sense to me. I thought those English subtitles only come together with the movie, and can´t be "separated". That means, there is the original negative withouth the subtitles, just the picture, and they added those titles with optical printing. But how can those subtitles be on the old DVD? Does that mean, for the DVD they did not use the original negatives? And why are the "original subtitles" there in other scenes (like the one with the phonograph cylinder)? Shouldn´t they be gone on the original negative too? Now I have to look how optical printing works, maybe I´ll find a good page that explains that :) But still: forced subtitles? I mean, I know that movie nearly word by word, I want to be able to turn those white subtitles off. They are distracting for me and doesn´t fit into the beautiful images :( Greetings, Sandra
  15. Hello! I´m so happy, because finally I´ve got my new Blu-ray of the movie "Twins of Evil" from 1971, from the HAMMER-studios, with Peter Cushing! I never saw the movie before. (The German title "Draculas Hexenjagd" is absolutely ridiculous, it means "Draculas Witchhunt" and has nothing to do with the plot I´ve already read. Typical German translations of the 70s -.-) In Germany, there is a company called Anolis. They bought the rights for many HAMMER-movies and sell them in beautifully made, but limited mediabooks, and as a standard Blu-ray. In different unboxing-videos on YouTube I saw that the mediabooks are of high quality. They are quite thick and stable, the cover feels like leather. Inside there is a booklet with lots of photos (but not just some screenshots of the movie itself, but photos you don´t find that often, for example Behind the Scenes-shots or posters from other countries etc., so they invested time in making those BDs) and a long text about the movie and the actors, especially written for the Blu-ray. The booklet is not loose, it is attached inside the mediabook, with good quality paper. For "Twins of Evil", there are two mediabooks and one regular Blu-ray, as you can see here: The mediabooks are limited to 500 pieces, and are sold out. I´ve got mine new and in the original packaging, of course I had to pay a little more for this. Here is mine, still in the original packaging: I will be hard to open that thing of course, but I bought it not to sell it to collectors but because I usually like HAMMER-movies and I want to see the film. I read that Carmilla, the vampire, has a cameo in this movie. I also read the novel "Carmilla" by Sheridan LeFanu and I saw the HAMMER-movie "The Vampire Lovers" from 1970, with Ingrid Pitt as Carmilla and again Peter Cushing. So I´m curious what she will do here. When I have watched it, I will write a review here! Greetings, Sandra
  16. Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazlewood - Jackson Again Nancy Sinatra, this time together with Lee Hazlewood, altough I´m not a fan of his voice. The original version by Johnny Cash and June Carter is great too, but I love the arrangement here, it has more drive, and I like the little syncopic way Sinatra sings "And I´ll be dancing on a pony keg". (Unfortunately I never understood what "You turn-a loose-a my coat" means, maybe someone can explain me?) Greetings, Sandra
  17. I just took some photos right now for you to compare. I made the photo with my cellphone, so the quality is not good though. This is was it looked on the first release and in the original picture: You can´t see it on the photo here, but the color of the font is more reddish, NOT white, the typeface fits to the movie as well as the color. (When they show this movie here on TV, those subtitles are in German, but still with the same typeface. So this is the "official" version in which the movie came out in the cinema. For the Blu-ray they removed these subtitles and put in those: I don´t get the point here: why would they remove the subtitles that belong to the movie, in order to replace them with unfitting, forced subtitles? In my opinion, they either should have left the original English subtitles in the movie, or they remove them and let the viewer decide if he want to have subtitles. But it gets crazier: in other scenes they left the original subtitles in the movie, just like in this shot that I took from the 4K BD: What happens when you turn the subtitles off, do they still appear? By the way, look especially for the close up of faces, how many details you see, like the scar on Van Helsings face, or the close up shot of the book Van Helsin reads, you see all the details on the paper, it looks as if the book is really in front of you, not blurred. Oh, and the great mask of the old Dracula! The make-up artist tried a new kind of make-up, different layers, so under the top layer you could see veins and blood vessels and it would look more natural. He tried that new technique on Maggie Smith in "Hook" in order to let her look like a 100 year old woman, and did it better on "Dracula". On the Blu-ray you can see all those details on the mask much better. (The book "Vampyr" Van Helsing is reading is written in German. On the BD I could read what is standing there - it doesn´t make any sense, it´s just some random German words, and if you look closely, you can see that the phrases are repeating itself over the pages. There is NOT standing what Van Helsing is reading "Here is the shocking history of Prince Dracul" etc.) Greetings, Sandra
  18. You´re welcome :) By the way, does the American Blu-ray also have those forced subtitles, for example in the beginning of the movie, when Dracula speaks Romanian? Greetings, Sandra
  19. Thank you for the answer, now I understand it :) I was just wondering if you can create artificial shapes with the lighting, or if all shadows on a face in a portrait are "real" and cannot be faked, only altered in their brightness. When I see this picture from the opera singer it looks as if the cheek starts to be more sunken in (not extremely of course) at the edge of the shadow. I marked it green. But when I understand you correctly, I must not trust this, because in reality the cheek might also be round and not sunken in at all, and it could be just a fake shadow that creates the illusion that the cheek is deeper than the cheekbones It´s not easy to ask questions about this topic only with words, especially when your English skills are as horrible as mine :( Greetings, Sandra
  20. In other words, if you can "trust" the shadows in a picture.
  21. Let me ask in another way: of course you can put on shadows on her face, darker and brighter shadows, with flags etc. But if you want to have a shadow, you have to have an object that creates shadows, right? Take the picture as an example: a photographer can decide how dark the shadow is on her right cheek, he can also say "I don´t want to have a shadow there" and put light on it, but can he also fake a depth on the face that isn´t there? Can he light it so that her cheeks look very sunken, altough they are not? I´m asking because as a viewer I want to know if I can deduce from the shadows how the face looks, where the "higher" parts are (like cheekbones etc.) and where "sunken" parts are (like cheeks, eyes, etc.). Maybe a photographer want to create the effect that the eyes are very deep inside the head (for a creepy image), can he achieve that only with light and shadows? Greetings, Sandra
  22. I think I´ve got it now: key light from above, a bit of fill light a bit from the left. I like that portrait also because it has some kind of dynamic, as if the woman was moving. The picture doesn´t look inflexible, it doesn´t look like the photographer was saying "Ok, stay this way, don´t move, then you have the perfect light". In a way, it looks to me like she is moving, maybe because of that nose shadow that isn´t "perfect". There is another general question I have, not only about this picture, but generally. Can light create "fake" cheekbones and make them higher or lower, or is it sometimes even supposed to? And is it supposed to create artificial, fake depth, altough there is not dept on the object? I mean, when a part of the face is higher (let´s say the cheekbones) and another part is lower (like the cheeks), the lower part will be darker and in the shadows, while the higher parts are highlighted. But can you also fake all of that? I marked the edges of the cheekbones here: Are those natural edges due to the higher and lower parts of the face, or can you also fake that? (Sorry, it´s really hard to explain!) Greetings, Sandra
  23. Thanks for the suggestion, but I wouldn´t consider "But I´m a Cheerleader" as a "good" or more serious movie. For example, the movie "Bloomington" is quite bad, badly acted, a stupid story, and very clichee-scenes with the typical piano-music. Or "Loving Annabelle", which is just a modern remake of "Mädchen in Uniform", but not very well made. Greetings, Sandra
  24. No fill light? Because one cheek is more brighter then the other one, which is quite dark. Greetings, Sandra
  25. I don´t really understand it :( You mean, there is one keylight in front of her, maybe a little higher then the eyes, and the shadow comes from her leaning towards the camera? If this is correct, I understand it. But what else did they do? Which light comes from which direction (from our POV)? I think there is some light from the left, because her left cheek looks not so dark as her right does. Greetings, Sandra
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