Comments from Giles

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Giles
Giles commented about AFI Silver Theatre on Aug 8, 2013 at 12:18 pm

well in terms of the mixes of Hyde Park this is what blu-ray.com’s review says about the mix:

“Hyde Park on Hudson features a lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix that is fairly modest in its sonic ambitions and therefore doesn’t offer much “wow” factor in terms of tremendous immersion or surround activity. Dialogue is almost uniformly anchored in the front channels, leaving the surrounds to capture some well done ambient environmental effects and the charming minimalist score. There are occasional moments of sonic activity, notably when Roosevelt marauds through the countryside in his specially equipped roadster, and, late in the film, when the King and Queen attend a picnic that has Native American performers as well as a gaggle of guests. Those moments are really nicely alive and utilize the surrounds quite smartly. Fidelity is excellent though dynamic range is relatively limited.”

and ‘Anna Karenina’

“Anna Karenina’s stirring DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track throws open the theater doors and embraces every nuance of the film’s sound design, from its windswept fields to its spacious ballrooms, crowded train stations, hushed drawing rooms and beyond. Rear speaker activity is all at once subtle and engaging, using directional magic and cross-channel seamlessness to great effect. The resulting soundfield is satisfying and expansive, drawing the listener onto Wright’s very literal stage and giving them the freedom to stroll from scene to scene. LFE output, meanwhile, grants gravitas and presence as needed, lending its weight to chugging trains, thundering horses and other low-end elements. All the while, dialogue is clear, intelligible and perfectly prioritized, dynamics are rewarding and Dario Marianelli’s Oscar-nominated score surges and relents with poise and power. All told, Anna Karenina sounds as magnificent as it looks, and arguably even better.”

~

it’d be strange that the 35mm prints of these films would be inferior and have less sound elements. I noticed that the 35mm prints of ‘Les Miserables’ had really subdued surround sound, but the 7.1 mixed DCP was dramatically different and better.

Giles
Giles commented about AFI Silver Theatre on Aug 8, 2013 at 11:41 am

I know that in the heyday of 35mm Dolby Digital sound, you could tell when the surrounds weren’t turned on, if the trailer wasn’t in surround you could bet the feature wouldn’t be either. You wouldn’t believe how many times I’d go out to an employee during the trailers and say – the surrounds aren’t on – ugh, how frustrating. Secondly, you could also tell when you were listening not to the digital track when the reel change would occur, if there was an audible tick, it was the analogue track. Digital LPCM audio is less faulty. Although over at the Angelika I’ve noticed twice two flaws, one where one trailer was encoded with so high, I had to cover my ears. Last week during the trailers before ‘Blue Jasmine’ the audio was distorted and sounded like the front left channel was frizzing out, thankfully someone got up and told someone and the audio got fixed.

Giles
Giles commented about AFI Silver Theatre on Aug 4, 2013 at 7:42 pm

so wait, I’m confused – are not the other two auditoriums STILL not upgraded? Was that why ‘Samsara’ was not on auditorium #1’s screen?

@ sguttag: is the audio upgraded to playback 7.1 audio on all three screens?

Giles
Giles commented about AFI Silver Theatre on Aug 4, 2013 at 10:45 am

Did anyone catch the debut of the new DLP system with ‘Samsara’ this weekend? I wasn’t able to make it to the Saturday or today’s screening. Thursday’s screening was off of a bluray since the completion wasn’t in time for that presentation. How’d it look? How’d it sound ??

Giles
Giles commented about AMC Tysons Corner 16 on Aug 3, 2013 at 12:15 pm

There seems to be a constant problem with the ETX screen (alignment of the two projectors). Actually I thought the Atmos mix of ‘Man of Steel’ was pretty dynamic and intense – notably when Zod’s helmet malfunctions, the whole auditorium was a buzz with sound emitting from every nook and cranny of the soundfield – it was the ‘wow’ moment of the Atmos mix. I personally find that the volume level seem to mask any attempt to convey and pinpoint over the head sound effects from the ceiling speakers.

Saw ‘The Wolverine’ on the ETX screen – no problems thankfully, in fact, the very prevailent out of focus flaws I’ve had encountered at past screenings weren’t present. The Atmos mix was hit and miss, good effective use of the surrounds, but the front screen sound seemed subdued and not that well utilized. ‘Iron Man 3’ in Atmos seemed pretty pedestrian, ‘Wolverine’s was slightly better but not by that much.

has anyone heard of the actual dimensions of the ETX screen? No one at the managers desk seems to want to divulge this info or even know what is it – the generic ‘it’s three stories high’ answer seems like a cop out answer. Other screens advertise their specility screen dimensions here though it just makes AMC seem elitist.

Giles
Giles commented about Phoenix Theatres Union Station 9 on Aug 3, 2013 at 9:26 am

I was there about a month ago having a meal in the downstairs food court and all I saw was the original entrance still boarded up.

As I recall about the theater this was the only in-town AMC theater to feature 8-channel SDDS sound on the Ave. Grand screen. I saw ‘Lost in Space’ and ‘Heavy Metal’ (reissue/SDDS-8) and they sounded amazing!

Giles
Giles commented about AFI Silver Theatre on Jul 26, 2013 at 7:09 pm

^ oh now wait Jodar, let’s not be dissing the validity and worthiness of Lifeforce to not have a new 70mm print w/ DTS sound – ;)

I’m not fully understanding why you’re bemoaning the lack of surround sound on 70mm prints – if and when there wasn’t supposed to be there in the first place. Comparing them to newer soundmixing doesn’t seem very fair. Which begs the question: what were the pre-1977 movies that had aggressive surround sound? My first theatrical experiences in the retrospect were ‘Close Encounters’ and ‘Star Wars’. And gathering from the quad mix on the bluray: ‘Tommy’ (1975)

the echo chamber sound flaw shouldn’t be there, since all auditoriums are supposedly THX approved.

Giles
Giles commented about New life for Old Town Theater on Jul 23, 2013 at 10:08 pm

and apparently they can show ‘film’ (or projected video) since they are hosting the GI Film Festival on the 31st of July.

Giles
Giles commented about AFI Silver Theatre on Jul 23, 2013 at 10:07 pm

as far as I am concerned, Fox is one of the prime studios that SHOULD be encoding it’s DCP’s with the original 5 screen channel mixes.

Giles
Giles commented about AFI Silver Theatre on Jul 23, 2013 at 9:49 pm

^ damn it

I really REALLY don’t understand why the five screen channel configurement isn’t being archived/encoded as such on the DCP’s when some theaters like the AFI Silver could replicate the original 70mm mix – since five speakers are already there in the first place. Secondly, the left center, right center channels are there for the taking on DCP … [well? – this isn’t rocket science folks, considering 7.1 is achievable as well as object based sound placement in Dolby Atmos – adding two additional channels to the immediate left and right of the center channel shouldn’t be THAT difficult – ???].

The only recent soundmixers that best implement panned/directional dialogue to excellent effect is the sound folk over at Pixar – listen to say ‘Toy Story 2’ on bluray and character voices are placed in the phantom space between the left-center, right-center speakers

Giles
Giles commented about AFI Silver Theatre on Jul 23, 2013 at 8:58 pm

that’s odd regarding ‘Lifeforce’ – with the lack of surround sound, since I distinctly remember it, when I saw it last year. There seems to be some differing information if the film in 70mm was five front + mono surrounds or three front/split stereo surround (or three front, mono surround + two bass channels: ‘baby boom’). The DVD and bluray have the surrounds in stereo.

In terms of 70mm 6-track sound, most of the pre-1979 films, was five front speaker/mono surrounds, hence why a lot of 70mm films sound front heavy and light on the surrounds.

I don’t know if you’re joking Jodar, but the upcoming presentation of ‘The Sound of Music’ is DCP, not 35mm (or 70mm for that matter). curious to know how this sounds since it’s 5 front/mono surrounds (70mm), but the DVD is 5.0 (three front/stereo surround) AND the bluray is 7.1 (three front/four channel surround + bass).

Giles
Giles commented about AFI Silver Theatre on Jul 14, 2013 at 8:28 pm

aside from two instances of misaligned reel changes and one scene where Noel Coward and Gertrude are swimming (the image looked tinged slightly yellow) “Star!” (in 70mm) looked and sounded amazing!! what a rare treat.

Giles
Giles commented about Smithsonian and Warner Bros. team up for movie theater on Jul 13, 2013 at 3:07 pm

why hasn’t this been updated/included in the DC theater listings?

Giles
Giles commented about Reston Town Center Multiplex Cinemas on Jul 13, 2013 at 2:40 pm

finally made it over to see a movie on the BTX screen. I liked how the screen pretty much used the entire wall, and the 7.1 audio of ‘The Lone Rider’ was thunderous and aurally intense.

Giles
Giles commented about Capri Theater on Jul 13, 2013 at 2:22 pm

wow, looked at their facebook page, $5 for a first run 3D movie (‘Monsters University’)– that’s dirt cheap.

Giles
Giles commented about Capri Drive-In on Jul 13, 2013 at 2:12 pm

I’m confused, the screens look to be 2.35 aspect ratio fixed, yet for movies that are 1.85 – do they crop off the tops and bottoms to fill the entire screen? This looks to be the case of the picture of ‘Monsters University’ framing on their facebook page.

Giles
Giles commented about Cinerama Films at the Gaslamp Theatre on Jul 7, 2013 at 8:04 pm

how is the audio encoded on these DCP’s (three front channels + discrete surround and bass) or in the original cinerama configurement that includes the five channels behind the screen – this can be achieved on DCP, but I haven’t heard of any film/DCP archived as such.

Giles
Giles commented about 70mm Film Series Returns to the AFI Silver Theatre on Jun 30, 2013 at 10:05 am

yes, check out the documentary ‘Cleopatra: The Film That Changed Hollywood’ on the bluray which talks about the scissoring of the film and most notably features a pivotal scene that isn’t in either the cut down 3 hour cut AND the roadshow version.

Giles
Giles commented about 70mm Film Series Returns to the AFI Silver Theatre on Jun 30, 2013 at 7:54 am

speaking of ‘Lawrence’ it is rather interesting that the AFI will be showing it in 70mm and the 4K DCP – while the 4K has discrete surround, the original mix is five front channel + mono surrounds. Very strange that ‘Cleopatra’ didn’t have surround sound, since the bluray does. I didn’t bother seeing the restored ‘Cleopatra’ over at Landmark Bethesda since they screened it on the small screen (auditorium #1) – I might check it out here though.

Giles
Giles commented about Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum on Jun 30, 2013 at 7:46 am

from the museum’s website: “The Bullock Museum features Austin’s premiere IMAX Theatre. This 400-seat, state-of-the-art theatre uses innovative IMAX technology to create the ultimate film experience. Unlike many IMAX theatres, ours is equipped with an IMAX projector that has both 2-D and 3-D capabilities. The Theatre can also show special films on a movie-quality 35mm projector.” The audio system is comprised of 44 speakers.

Giles
Giles commented about 70mm Film Series Returns to the AFI Silver Theatre on Jun 29, 2013 at 10:38 am

what’s very unfortunate, well in not only that 65mm still yields the highest resolution over “4K digital”, is that the five front channel soundmixes (prior to 1979 70mm 6-track: three front, two surrounds, plus bass) aren’t retained as such in DCP form – until studios start archiving the sound elements properly in DCP form (which does account and accommodate left/center and right/center channels), 70mm films/mag sound will always be superior.

Giles
Giles commented about AFI Silver Theatre on Jun 29, 2013 at 10:19 am

more specs: Christie (4K) projectors, 7.1 surround sound on all screens, digital 3D as well.

Giles
Giles commented about 70mm Film Series Returns to the AFI Silver Theatre on Jun 29, 2013 at 10:17 am

yes, the theater does have 4K digital projection.

Giles
Giles commented about AFI Silver Theatre on Jun 27, 2013 at 6:53 am

another facebook message/confirmation is that playback can be projected 4K. Here’s also a link to the mini 70mm film fest that also makes mention to the Silver’s new DCP system: http://www.afi.com/silver/films/2013/p62/70mmspectacularpart2.aspx#sound

Giles
Giles commented about East Building Auditorium on Jun 24, 2013 at 8:29 pm

since this isn’t mentioned in the theater overview outside of the AFI Silver, the National Gallery can nearly screen every type of “film” presentation (except 70mm): 35mm, 16mm, HD-Cam, DCP, digibeta