View Poll Results: Is colorizing old movies a crock or cool?

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  • hang the ones who do this

    4 30.77%
  • to each his own

    6 46.15%
  • Colorized old flicks? KOOL!

    1 7.69%
  • COULDNT CARE LESS , one way or the other

    2 15.38%
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  1. #1
    Forum Regular pixelthis's Avatar
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    Cool Heresy or progress?

    While at blockbuster tonite I saw a disc on blu of twenty million miles to earth, an old fav that I have seen a zillion times.
    Pics were on the box that were in color tho!
    Seems that a colorized version is available.
    And you can toggle between the two.
    This isnt the primitive tech ted tuner tried to foist on us awhile back,
    it actually looks quite realistic, at least from the pics, I AM GONNA RENT IT AND FIND OUT.
    But what do you think of such chicanery? For me the B&W renders a mood of place and time, to colorize them would be like one of those aluminum christmas trees with the color wheel
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  2. #2
    Sgt. At Arms Worf101's Avatar
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    Welp...

    I for one would've posted this in the "Fave Films Forum" but... I think it depends on the film and the audience. Whenever I put a B&W movie in my 15 year old groans and moans. Perhaps, and I mean perhaps, good colorization might get him to watch a few more "classics" but I doubt it. I think that films wherein the director CHOSE B&W over color should never be colorized. I can't see colorizing "Psycho" or "Dr Strangelove" when Hitchcock or Kubrick could've just as easily done them in color.

    No easy answer I'm sorry.

    Da Worfster

  3. #3
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    Yeah, I agree with Worf. Schindler's list in Technicolor probably wouldn't fly, but I'm indifferent to whether a movie gets colorized or not. But it had better be done well...a bad color job is just embarassing.

  4. #4
    Sure, sure... Auricauricle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Worf101
    I think that films wherein the director CHOSE B&W over color should never be colorized. I can't see colorizing "Psycho" or "Dr Strangelove" when Hitchcock or Kubrick could've just as easily done them in color.
    I agree with you, Worf....Certain films like Soderberg's The Good German were beautifully shot in B&W. To colorize them would be disrespectful to the director's vision, which was to capitalize on the medium. As far as I reckon, Soderberg used the B&W format to show the many shades of gray were involved in the particular situation described.

    On the other hand, I have taken color out while watching some films, thinking that the tone of the movie would benefit. My first was John Avildsen's Neighbors, with J. Belushi and D. Ackroyd. Somehow, I got the sense that the movie's quasi noirish quality would be enhanced by the removal of hue. Although the story is a farce, it's satirical and zany qualities were enhanced by my doing so: I was able to enjoy many subtleties that simply would have been less attended to if my eyes were riveted by the color (or was it Cathy Moriarty's...sweater?)

    BTW: This may be the stuff of another forum, but here's a ticker: Whenever I watch a DVD that extolls the virtues of Blue Ray or some other upgrade, the ad shows the viewer what they are missing: great color and great sound....just look! IS there are a problem, here, Houston? I mean, think about it this way: can you show me how great something is on a system that is NOT the one being advertised? (Ahem. Lessee, here...) If I watch a regular DVD and you show me examples of how much improvement I can experience and you are using my DATED(!) equipment to show me what I am missing out on, well, you just showed me that my clunker is just as capable of producing what you said it couldn't do.

    Think about that fer a minnit, willya?
    Last edited by Auricauricle; 11-06-2008 at 02:54 PM.
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  5. #5
    Forum Regular pixelthis's Avatar
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by Auricauricle
    I agree with you, Worf....Certain films like Soderberg's The Good German were beautifully shot in B&W. To colorize them would be disrespectful to the director's vision, which was to capitalize on the medium. As far as I reckon, Soderberg used the B&W format to show the many shades of gray were involved in the particular situation described.

    On the other hand, I have taken color out while watching some films, thinking that the tone of the movie would benefit. My first was John Avildsen's Neighbors, with J. Belushi and D. Ackroyd. Somehow, I got the sense that the movie's quasi noirish quality would be enhanced by the removal of hue. Although the story is a farce, it's satirical and zany qualities were enhanced by my doing so: I was able to enjoy many subtleties that simply would have been less attended to if my eyes were riveted by the color (or was it Cathy Moriarty's...sweater?)

    BTW: This may be the stuff of another forum, but here's a ticker: Whenever I watch a DVD that extolls the virtues of Blue Ray or some other upgrade, the ad shows the viewer what they are missing: great color and great sound....just look! IS there are a problem, here, Houston? I mean, think about it this way: can you show me how great something is on a system that is NOT the one being advertised? (Ahem. Lessee, here...) If I watch a regular DVD and you show me examples of how much improvement I can experience and you are using my DATED(!) equipment to show me what I am missing out on, well, you just showed me that my clunker is just as capable of producing what you said it couldn't do.

    Think about that fer a minnit, willya?
    IT WAS CATHYS SWEATER.
    Anyway I am renting the B&W, would be interesting to see black and white in blu(heh heh).
    I will tell you one thing, the opening on the Dave Mathews BLU disc is worth the rental alone, the black logo with bright red and yellow neon letters is something else
    And I guess I should have posted this elsewhere, but its about a piece of new tech, not a paticular film.
    Anyway the thing that has impressed me most about blu is its great color saturation and range, will be great to se how it stacks up in B&w,
    its a truism that the only way to judge a pic is with the color turned down, that is the way I was taught to adjust one.
    Cant wait to see an entire film in Blu in B&W
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  6. #6
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    I have yet to see a good colourisation job done on a b&w movie. I don't like colourisation, I think it spoils the mood of the film. I saw a colourised version of The Maltese Falcon, for example, and it made a great, classic movie look simply dreadful. I would rather they spend the money on restoring the movie and cleaning up the soundtrack. Down with colourisation!
    All we are saying, is give peas a chance.

  7. #7
    Sure, sure... Auricauricle's Avatar
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    "Down with colourisation! Down with colourisation Down with colourisation! Down with colourisation!..."

    Sounds like Bastile Day all over again....
    Last edited by Auricauricle; 07-31-2008 at 06:44 AM.

  8. #8
    Man of the People Forums Moderator bobsticks's Avatar
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    I'm not about to tell folks what to watch in their homes but I'm with emsbee insofar as that I have yet to see a really good one. Until they perfect the technology mayhap the cheese is better spent on something else.

  9. #9
    Sure, sure... Auricauricle's Avatar
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    What about the Wizard of Oz jobber that had the first and last parts of the film in color and the rest in B&W?...

  10. #10
    Suspended markw's Avatar
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    This is a matter of personal choice.

    As long as both are available, why get in a huff? Now. if they totally removed the B&W versions I'd have a problem.

    So far I haven't seen a colorized version I prefferred over the original B&W version. A well made monochrome movie can have a heckuva lot of detail that gets "corrupted" when it's colorized.

    The restored Universal monster movies (not the cable) are a wonder to behold. It's amazing how powerful those old B&W movies can be.

  11. #11
    Forum Regular pixelthis's Avatar
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    Cool

    SO I watched the doc on the process, fascinating really, and listened
    to Ray Harryhausen explain that he wanted his monster films in color,
    but expense and technical problems with his process and color film prevented that.
    And the head of legend films explained how it wasnt polygons or edge
    detection, but a new sophisticated vector process or something or other...
    And they still got the fleshtones wrong.
    I guess they are trying to create a new product, but its still not ready for primetime.
    And they might have economized on these "cheap" movies.
    I saw a stooges clip, and a few others, and they got my hopes up,
    they really looked great.
    BUT THE movie I rented, 20 million miles to earth was a "washout"
    These movies didnt get any respect when they were made, and apparently they dont now.
    You can toggle the color on/off with the angle button, BTW, glad they finally figured out something to do with that
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  12. #12
    Suspended markw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pixelthis
    I guess they are trying to create a new product, but its still not ready for primetime.
    And they might have economized on these "cheap" movies.
    I saw a stooges clip, and a few others, and they got my hopes up,
    they really looked great.
    BUT THE movie I rented, 20 million miles to earth was a "washout"
    These movies didnt get any respect when they were made, and apparently they dont now.
    That just shows they can't polish a turd.

    Remember, a lot of the "masters" designed their cinematography specifically for B&W. A lot of their impact depended on a B&W presentation.

    Check out the remastered Uiversal monster series if you want to see some stunning B&W cinematography. There's details hiding in there that will challange a modern TV. Watching the chopped, flaking versions on them on the Saturday Creep Show with Elvira or Zacherly didn't do them justice.

    I hear what Harryhausen was saying. Just like George Lucas, he was cutting edge at the time and so wanted to push the limit which, unfortunately, was not up to his expectations and the technology didn't quite exist yet. Not for for Lucas. He just invested time and money. created ILM, and was able to pull the entire industry up by it's bootstraps.

    As for the stooges looking great in color(ization), well they are essentially a cartoon and their cinematic quality played less of a role to their hi-jinx, which are classics in their own right.

  13. #13
    Sure, sure... Auricauricle's Avatar
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    I agree with you, Mark, in the sense that some directors' visions were placed squarely within the B&W format which was used to the fullest extent possible. While I forsee an argument that there was no other option but to be confined to the medium, there is a vast difference between those whose cinematography was a matter of consequence and those that were superbly rendered. Orson Wells' Touch of Evil opens with a three minute long shot that is considered one of filmdom's greatest achievements. While the sweep, angle and scope of the shot contributed to its stature, it is beautifully etched in a kaleidoscope of B&W values. I think this is the sort of thing that appealed to Soderberg when filming The Good German or Spielberg in Schindler's List. Not only does B&W have great metaphorical value, it is capable of reflecting a very, very keen aesthetic sensibility.

  14. #14
    Village Idiot johnny p's Avatar
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    QUICK THOUGHT HERE:::::::

    Stephen King's new movie "The Mist" although I must admit I haven't seen it..... was presented in theaters in color....

    When this movie comes out on Blu-ray, it's being reported that it will also contain a B&W version, which was King's original intent, but due to studio control, basically saying a B&W movie won't make squat at the box-office, the movie was released in color.

    I like the idea that the Directors (I don't know if King actually directed this though) can basically include "Director's cuts" etc... on blu-ray now, rather than releasing the film (Like Donnie Darko, which comes to mind) and then only AFTER the movie turns into a surprise success, they re-release a new director's cut... making fans of that particular movie, need to re-purchase if they want the director's original intent.


    Mist in B&W..... I like the idea of renting it to check that out. As far as colorizing classics, as long as they leave the option for the original B&W version, I'm all for it! If Dr. Strangelove comes out with a color version, I'll look at it as a feature that I don't need

  15. #15
    Sure, sure... Auricauricle's Avatar
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    Saw the ads....Looks like a fun one for a late night when the wind is ahowl and the moon is full....

  16. #16
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    The Mist is a perfect movie for B&W. It would be a good way to see it for the first time.
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  17. #17
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    Just look at the TV series the Twilight Zone. It was great in B&W but it did not have the same look or feel when the series came back in color.
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  18. #18
    Forum Regular filecat13's Avatar
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    The colorization of film seems like a waste of time and effort, but if someone wants to try to remarket old stuff for a buck, why not? There's a fool born every minute, and people will buy almost anything.

    Heck, how many copies of Dark Side of the Moon do you have? I have at least five, maybe six. Except for the unauthorized DVD-A, they don't even have pictures, let alone video. So throw in a snazzy, new, colorized picture on an old flick, and voila, RESALE!

    Go capitalism!
    Last edited by filecat13; 08-02-2008 at 09:28 AM. Reason: clarity
    I like sulung tang.

  19. #19
    Sure, sure... Auricauricle's Avatar
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    As a person involved in research, I can say that any information gathering shouldn't be considered a "waste of time and effort". People, like me, who become absorbed into the object of their passions and sometimes lose their reason. Like you, I have compiled a number of editions of DSoM and others, because that search for "the perfect sound" was unrelenting....
    Last edited by Auricauricle; 08-02-2008 at 11:04 AM.

  20. #20
    Forum Regular filecat13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Auricauricle
    As a person involved in research, I can say that any information gathering shouldn't be considered a "waste of time and effort". People, like me, who become absorbed into the object of their passions and sometimes lose their reason. Like you, I have compiled a number of copied of DSoM and others, because that search for "the perfect sound" was unrelenting....
    I'm not writing that this poll is a waste of time and effort. I'm referring to the process of colorizing films. I'll amend my post to make it clearer.
    I like sulung tang.

  21. #21
    Sure, sure... Auricauricle's Avatar
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    Just kidding, man! Relax!

  22. #22
    Forum Regular filecat13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Auricauricle
    Just kidding, man! Relax!
    Did you ever notice how when you tell someone to relax, it usually has the opposite effect? Especially if you put it in italics?

    Why is that?

    Is that a form of typographical colorization?
    I like sulung tang.

  23. #23
    Forum Regular filecat13's Avatar
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    BTW, since we're OT, which DSOM do you prefer?
    I like sulung tang.

  24. #24
    Sure, sure... Auricauricle's Avatar
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    THAT'S TRUE!!

    So far, the best version I have heard has been the 1992 Remaster by James Guthrie, EMI/ Capitol.

    Et vous?

  25. #25
    Man of the People Forums Moderator bobsticks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by filecat13
    BTW, since we're OT, which DSOM do you prefer?
    Hey, we need to talk...and everyone flinches...


    ...and FWIW, I like the 2003 SACD hybrid DSOTM, also from EMI.

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