Sunday, 8 March 2015

i see that even movies get the dress treatment

Some movie video trivia today - sparked by that colourful dress meme that flickered around the internet.

Whilst uploading a bunch of DVDs to iTunes, I accidentally re-encoded an original DVD of The Matrix, from 1999. I noticed that the colour on it was quite different from the one I'd previously loaded - which has a green wash across it.

The newer studio encode kind of misses the point that the original green hue was supposed to be visible only on the bits inside the Matrix as if it was being viewed through a Cathode Ray Tube. And blue for Zion and red for inside the machine. RGB, eh?

Time for a quick Google. It turns out that the studio recut the master to make it look more like the second and third Matrix movies by adding a green hue across the whole movie. To make the box set consistent.

It raises a wider point about the re-mastering that occurs nowadays. It's already obvious that some so-called HD shows on Sky look like upscaled SD and that seems to apply to some of the Blu-rays too, which don't seem to have been cut from particularly high quality source. Equally, some SD DVDs have that extra layering of detail suggesting a very high quality source. I even saw an arabic subtitled Casablanca in colour once, when I was staying in a hotel in Egypt. All that noir lighting gets squandered in the remix. I suppose it illustrates the tinkering that is now possible and the ways that an old movie can be dramatically re-purposed. No wonder there's so many Special Editions/ Extra Footage/ Director's Cuts around.

I usually encode DVDs at their original resolution and keep my limited number of BluRays as discs. The DVDs work out around 1.5Gb, whereas a BluRay might be about 10+Gb, for sometimes a marginal improvement in viewing at normal television distances.

The video extracts of the Matrix above was uploaded by sdude1871 who'd already spotted the weird discrepancies, and decided to do an interesting comparison.

Like that dress thing, I suppose it's in the eye of the beholder.


Pat said...

Sacrilege to colour Casablanca.

rashbre said...

Yes and its a pretty weird all over tan look too.