That price drop happened today, who knows how long it’ll last. If you haven’t seen the film, now’s your chance to do so for less than the price of a time machine and a 1986 cinema ticket. Wow, has it really been that long since Cameron was in Egypt land?
The secret is out1.
Hint: The problem’s in the lower-right quadrant of the clock face.
Location:Winona Ave,Burbank,United States
Miller’s Crossing is finally available on Blu-ray. I’ve been waiting for this for a long time. Actually, it looks like it was released last August, but it slipped under my radar. That Blu-ray alone is around $18, but it’s also available as part of a very-incomplete Coen Brothers Collection box set with Blood Simple, Fargo, and Raising Arizona for $25.
This meal is the high-point of my day so far.
Oh matzah; You never crash while uploading a huge file overnight, you never corrupt a couple hundred gigs of quicktime files –Why can’t everything be like you?
I’m going to break off a narrow strip of matzah and eat it very slowly to match the length of all these progress bars I’m watching.
For all the criticism and blame Jaws receives from cineastes2 for ending the era of 70s studio auteur3 films, the film responds by just being unassailably great. There are some magical moments –a child imitating his dad’s serious poses is my favorite bit (and I was happy to see it referenced by J. J. Abrams in his Ted Talk as an influence ), followed closely by Robert Shaw’s monologue about the sinking of the U.S.S. Indianapolis. The Jaws theme is well known, but the rest of the score is also memorable –the jaunty ‘Out to Sea‘ comes to mind. The production was plagued with technical problems, which I hope the extras on the disc expound upon at length.
The chances of me buying this disc are pretty high.
It also seems the price has dropped on the Scott Pilgrim vs. the World Blu-ray/DVD Combo. If I didn’t already own this, I’d buy it in an instant. This amazingly-risk-taking film is mostly fantastic, and where it falls short I credit it greatly for trying. A very fun film –artistically bold, fast-talking, with a screwball comedy feel. A great looking and sounding disc, and now at $7.99 it’s cheaper than going to the theater.
This concludes me posting sales-y stuff for today. But I do think both of these films are worthy of multiple viewings, especially by filmmakers.
Since I plan to soon hook a follow-focus up to my DSLR, I’m going to need a way to mount my camera to standard 15mm rails. Special thanks are due to the Cheesycam website for today posting a link to two different rails DSLR rails mounts that are (for the moment) incredibly low priced at around $35-40 with shipping.
If you’ve been thinking about a rails system, you might do well to check these out –I don’t mean to add a false sense of urgency into the mix, but having looked at such items for a while this pricing feels like some sort of anomaly. It wouldn’t surprise me if this price drop only lasts for a very short period of time.
It also wouldn’t surprise me if after a bit of experimentation with this cheap rails mount that I decide a higher quality unit is worth the 10X greater expense. But $36 fits in my experimentation budget nicely.
I’ve always assumed the relatively soft detail recorded by DSLRs was due to the fact that these still cameras lacked processing power to scale the entire sensor’s imagery fast enough to keep up with a 24 or 30 frames-per-second record rate, and instead cheat their way down to a 1080 frame in a faster manner by binning, line-skipping, or otherwise not using every pixel of each frame. But if that’s the reason, and Canon’s newest DSLR is actually scaling the full ~5k image captured at its sensor down to 1080 in a sensible way, the result should look fabulous. If such cameras could use the entire sensor just as they do when shooting a full-resolution still image, and then scale it down to 1920×1080, the resulting image should rival that of any available 1080p video camera (or at least be close to the look of video captured by Canon’s $16k C300). That’s what I hoped to see, more or less, when video clips from Canon’s new 5D Mark III started hitting the net.
Unfortunately, the examples posted so far underwhelm. It appears that the new DSLR is scaling the frames more sensibly, resulting in eradication of moire and aliasing, but unexpectedly the resulting images don’t appear to contain more detail than frames captured by its predecessor, the 5D Mark II. One possible reason may be that the camera by default applies excessive noise reduction as it records video, especially when recording video at high ISO settings. If that’s the case, maybe we’ll see better examples when people post more low ISO video with noise reduction disabled (if that’s possible).
If the culprit is excessive noise reduction, or other intentional softening of the image, it’s also possible that a bit of sharpening of the resulting imagery may clear away the blurring and bring back lost detail (and noise). One promising test posted to the net by Cinema 5D that compares the 5D Mark III imagery with sharpening to that of the Red Scarlet-X, and Philip Bloom’s “My first 48 hours with the Canon 5DmkIII” post, makes this look like a promising area to explore. There’s also this test. Information is starting to come out. Maybe the detail is there in Canon 5D Mark III footage, waiting to be recovered in post or via an on-camera sharpness setting?
I’ve been hoping Canon’s newest full-frame DSLR would again leapfrog the competition in the video space, demolishing aliasing, moire, and recording a beautifully sharp and maximally detailed image. 2 out of 3 ain’t nothing, but that #3 is pretty important. I and the lenses I used to use daily when shooting 35mm film want an excuse to move up to a full-frame DSLR, but for now I’m just watching and waiting to see how things develop. Better examples may be coming from the 5DmkIII (I’m looking forward to Philip Bloom’s review), and the GH3 and Canon’s promised 4k cinema DSLR are yet to be released. NAB is right around the corner.
But there’s a catch –programming that is incompatible with my tastes. Whoever picks the films that show on the main screen at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre has a unique gift for choosing films that I have no interest in watching. It’s amazingly consistent1. Not only do I have no interest in watching what they show there, I often recoil from just the posters, and wonder where they find these flicks. Maybe that will change with the new owners. Maybe they’ll let me program the theatre –surely it’s about time Videodrome and Rubin and Ed play together at a grand movie palace. Cult classics featuring cults, a theme night. That ought to goose ticket sales more than a groupon. Right?
I’m probably going to buy into this deal just because I love that theatre and will undoubtedly end up going there a couple of times this year regardless what they’re showing. Maybe I’ll be surprised by how good the swill is and will stop being such a snob.
- OK, there are exceptions, and I usually jump at the chance to go there and see them. [↩]
I’d expect now that Canon’s put in the processing power to actually scale the entire image captured on their full-frame sensor in a sane fashion (i.e. no binning or line skipping, but actual scaling) before recording into a quicktime file, that may make a huge difference from the DSLR footage we’ve all been shooting for the past few years –I expect no more moire, and much higher detail. It’s scaled from a sensor whose resolution is within the realm of the Red Epic, but whose size and likely light sensitivity is larger. I know the final result is a 1080p quicktime file and not 5k of RAW, but it still could be very very nice.
I look forward to seeing more test footage surfacing on the net, I’m particularly interested in any tests at more optimal ISOs and with noise reduction disengaged or minimized (it likely softens imagery). And I’m also looking forward to the thoughts of professional DSLR cinematography expert and C300 owner Philip Bloom on the matter, as he’ll undoubtedly push the camera to its limits and make the comparisons I’m most curious about. I want to see how sharp and detailed the imagery from this 5k+ resolution sensor scaled to 1080p can be. I’m curious to see how it compares to C300 footage and, dare I say, scaled footage from Red’s Epic-X or Scarlet-X. If Canon’s not taking shortcuts when scaling the full image from their sensor, and the 90mbps i-frame encoding preserves enough detail, it could look amazing.