Mill Creek releasing ULTRA SERIES on Bluray!!

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Re: Mill Creek releasing ULTRA SERIES on Bluray!!

Postby Millenial88 » Mon Oct 14, 2019 4:17 pm

Terasawa wrote:At least for Toho, all special features must be cleared before being licensed for international use; apparently this is to establish royalties for anyone who appears in them. (This includes commentaries, documentaries, trailers, and even photographs.)


It certainly must be the case for foreign language tracks, which goes a long way in explaining the issue we have here.

I’m at least hoping for an English-subbed BTS documentary or two when we get to the New Generation series.

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Re: Mill Creek releasing ULTRA SERIES on Bluray!!

Postby UltramanGoji » Mon Oct 14, 2019 4:44 pm

Don't expect any special features, honestly. Orb and Geed are due out next month and are likely going to remain barebones.

To be honest, I know it's kind of sycophant-y to say but I'm just glad we're at least getting R1 releases of these series.
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Re: Mill Creek releasing ULTRA SERIES on Bluray!!

Postby Tyrant_Lizard_King » Tue Oct 15, 2019 6:43 am

Mine should be here later today. Now I can stop buying Ultra Q episode by episode from Amazon.
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Re: Mill Creek releasing ULTRA SERIES on Bluray!!

Postby Havoks » Tue Oct 15, 2019 9:30 am

Just received my copies!
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Re: Mill Creek releasing ULTRA SERIES on Bluray!!

Postby Rody » Tue Oct 15, 2019 10:20 am

UltramanGoji wrote:Don't expect any special features, honestly. Orb and Geed are due out next month and are likely going to remain barebones.

To be honest, I know it's kind of sycophant-y to say but I'm just glad we're at least getting R1 releases of these series.

Yeah, it's regrettable not to have any or more on-disc bonus features, but considering everything about the Chaiyo dispute, it's almost a legitimate miracle we're getting these releases, so I'm much more forgiving if they end up bare-bones.
...Also, they're not entirely bare-bones anyway, technically - at least some of them have those booklets included, and I get the impression the booklets will have plenty of content themselves.

MovieSpree has a preview for Ultraseven up now, and to my eyes, the details look more naturally grainy; so maybe Ultraman will just be an unfortunate odd duck.

https://www.moviespree.com/videos/spreeview-ultraseven-episode1

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Re: Mill Creek releasing ULTRA SERIES on Bluray!!

Postby Millenial88 » Tue Oct 15, 2019 1:53 pm

Just got my two steelbooks from Best Buy today and I’m watching the first episodes of each.

Ultra Q is just as crisp as we’ve heard, but I don’t see much of a problem with Ultraman. It’s certainly grainier than Q, but that’s probably due to the fact that Ultraman was shot on 16mm while Q was on 35mm. If the grain was completely removed by the miracle of technology (or if you just rest your eyes), then we probably wouldn’t be talking about it that much. Personally, I think the grain adds to the analog charm.

All in all, I’m pretty damn happy with both of these, although again I hope that Tsuburaya comes to an agreement in the future that allows for Ultraman’s English dub to be properly released at a level of quality that matches the picture remastering.
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Re: Mill Creek releasing ULTRA SERIES on Bluray!!

Postby UltramanGoji » Tue Oct 15, 2019 2:33 pm

Got my sets in the mail today from Amazon. Don't have time to watch anything tonight but the packaging is at least fairly decent with the odd exception of the additional disc spaces in Ultra Q's case (it's a four disc set in a six-disc case).

Rody wrote:...Also, they're not entirely bare-bones anyway, technically - at least some of them have those booklets included, and I get the impression the booklets will have plenty of content themselves.


If the post-UltraSeven shows keep up the quality of the booklets included with these first two, that'd be amazing. I've read most of the info in the Ultra Q and Ultraman booklets from the Eiji Tsuburaya book by August Ragone but they are good little digests for those who haven't. Ultra Q's monster menagerie is oddly missing a few entries, though.
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Re: Mill Creek releasing ULTRA SERIES on Bluray!!

Postby Terasawa » Tue Oct 15, 2019 2:36 pm

Millenial88 wrote:Ultra Q is just as crisp as we’ve heard, but I don’t see much of a problem with Ultraman. It’s certainly grainier than Q, but that’s probably due to the fact that Ultraman was shot on 16mm while Q was on 35mm. If the grain was completely removed by the miracle of technology (or if you just rest your eyes), then we probably wouldn’t be talking about it that much. Personally, I think it adds to the analog charm.


That’s actually the knock against those transfers: the grain and especially video noise has been digitally reduced, resulting in somewhat plasticky skin textures and a less-than-authentic film look. Now, I haven’t seen these in motion yet, but that was really apparent in the screenshots from the DoBlu review.
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Re: Mill Creek releasing ULTRA SERIES on Bluray!!

Postby Shokara » Tue Oct 15, 2019 5:04 pm

While I don't own the actual Tsuburaya Blu-ray set of the original Ultraman, I do have a bootleg Blu-ray rip of it. I can say that Mill Creek's release is virtually identical to the Tsuburaya Blu-ray rip in terms of picture quality. Also concerning the comments about new sound effects being mixed into the Japanese audio track, I can confirm that these new sound effects are also on the Tsuburaya Blu-ray audio.

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Re: Mill Creek releasing ULTRA SERIES on Bluray!!

Postby Tyrant_Lizard_King » Tue Oct 15, 2019 8:02 pm

Haven't looked at them yet but the packaging is really nice. I just got the standard releases myself.
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Re: Mill Creek releasing ULTRA SERIES on Bluray!!

Postby Terasawa » Tue Oct 15, 2019 8:17 pm

Shokara wrote:I can confirm that these new sound effects are also on the Tsuburaya Blu-ray audio.




That's what I feared. Bummer.

I don't care if studios create new sound mixes for their films/TV series. Just don't make the original mixes unavailable. The original soundtrack should be as reverent as the original aspect ratio.
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Re: Mill Creek releasing ULTRA SERIES on Bluray!!

Postby Cookson » Tue Oct 15, 2019 8:38 pm

Got the sets today. Pretty annoying the disks are stacked in the steelbook cases... especially the Ultraman set which houses 3 discs on top of each other on one side and the same on the other.
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Re: Mill Creek releasing ULTRA SERIES on Bluray!!

Postby omgitsgodzilla » Wed Oct 16, 2019 4:36 am

Terasawa wrote:
Shokara wrote:I can confirm that these new sound effects are also on the Tsuburaya Blu-ray audio.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jRp2KsOQX4

That's what I feared. Bummer.

I don't care if studios create new sound mixes for their films/TV series. Just don't make the original mixes unavailable. The original soundtrack should be as reverent as the original aspect ratio.

I've watched the first few episodes of Ultra Q, and I honestly wasn't hearing what people were talking about until Gomess surfaced and started wrecking house. There are definitely some new effects, but the mix isn't totally redone, and the new stuff at least isn't typically that distracting -- the worst thing to me was how they seem to have tried adding some extra punch to the classic Toho gunshot sounds.

Obviously the original mix would be better, and it's a shame it's not on these discs, but this is at least listenable. I was afraid we'd be getting something like the "Destruction Edition" DVD of Gorgo.
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Re: Mill Creek releasing ULTRA SERIES on Bluray!!

Postby G-Matt » Wed Oct 16, 2019 7:33 am

omgitsgodzilla wrote:I've watched the first few episodes of Ultra Q, and I honestly wasn't hearing what people were talking about until Gomess surfaced and started wrecking house. There are definitely some new effects, but the mix isn't totally redone, and the new stuff at least isn't typically that distracting -- the worst thing to me was how they seem to have tried adding some extra punch to the classic Toho gunshot sounds.

Obviously the original mix would be better, and it's a shame it's not on these discs, but this is at least listenable. I was afraid we'd be getting something like the "Destruction Edition" DVD of Gorgo.

The new sound effects are more noticeable on the Ultraman discs.
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Re: Mill Creek releasing ULTRA SERIES on Bluray!!

Postby goji1986 » Wed Oct 16, 2019 6:46 pm

Finally got a chance to check out my copy of Ultraman. PQ is definitely better than what we’ve gotten on DVD before, though there’s a noticeable drop in quality (producing more digital artifacts) seemingly whenever there’s a cross dissolve or serious optical work.
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Re: Mill Creek releasing ULTRA SERIES on Bluray!!

Postby Terasawa » Wed Oct 16, 2019 6:59 pm

omgitsgodzilla wrote:I've watched the first few episodes of Ultra Q, and I honestly wasn't hearing what people were talking about until Gomess surfaced and started wrecking house. There are definitely some new effects, but the mix isn't totally redone, and the new stuff at least isn't typically that distracting -- the worst thing to me was how they seem to have tried adding some extra punch to the classic Toho gunshot sounds.

Obviously the original mix would be better, and it's a shame it's not on these discs, but this is at least listenable. I was afraid we'd be getting something like the "Destruction Edition" DVD of Gorgo.


Different strokes for different folks, I suppose. :/ I'm familiar with the re-worked sound FX in the previous Shout! release of U7. And while that wasn't a disaster by any means, it was distracting and noticeable enough for me. Toho films of the '60s especially have a very distinctive sound design and many of those stock Toho sound effects (reused by TPC in its early series) are iconic. Replacing stuff like gunshots or explosions is like the remixed version of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly with completely new (and terrible) gunshot sound effects. It doesn't feel authentic, and of course that's because it isn't.

I'll probably eventually pick up Q but I can't help but be incredibly disappointed that we can't even get the series as it was seen/heard in 1966 from the company that produced it. I know I take a very hardline stance on this but like I said, respect for the original sound mix should absolutely be as important as preserving the original aspect ratio.
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Re: Mill Creek releasing ULTRA SERIES on Bluray!!

Postby omgitsgodzilla » Thu Oct 17, 2019 6:38 am

Terasawa wrote:
omgitsgodzilla wrote:I've watched the first few episodes of Ultra Q, and I honestly wasn't hearing what people were talking about until Gomess surfaced and started wrecking house. There are definitely some new effects, but the mix isn't totally redone, and the new stuff at least isn't typically that distracting -- the worst thing to me was how they seem to have tried adding some extra punch to the classic Toho gunshot sounds.

Obviously the original mix would be better, and it's a shame it's not on these discs, but this is at least listenable. I was afraid we'd be getting something like the "Destruction Edition" DVD of Gorgo.


Different strokes for different folks, I suppose. :/ I'm familiar with the re-worked sound FX in the previous Shout! release of U7. And while that wasn't a disaster by any means, it was distracting and noticeable enough for me. Toho films of the '60s especially have a very distinctive sound design and many of those stock Toho sound effects (reused by TPC in its early series) are iconic. Replacing stuff like gunshots or explosions is like the remixed version of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly with completely new (and terrible) gunshot sound effects. It doesn't feel authentic, and of course that's because it isn't.

I'll probably eventually pick up Q but I can't help but be incredibly disappointed that we can't even get the series as it was seen/heard in 1966 from the company that produced it. I know I take a very hardline stance on this but like I said, respect for the original sound mix should absolutely be as important as preserving the original aspect ratio.

I absolutely agree in principle. The reason I'm somewhat less let down by this than the Criterion box is that this is Mill Creek -- there was never any material reason to expect anything different from what was on Blu-ray in Japan, except maybe the dubs. The DNR and revised soundtracks suck, but they're what Japan has, so it figures.

The lack of dubs is more disappointing -- their inclusion was never certain, but that was the one thing we knew Mill Creek was trying for, and the only thing anyone actually mentioned.

These things aren't good, but they were predictable, and so they don't really provoke as strong a reaction from me. If it were Mill Creek releasing a big box of Toho '08s, it wouldn't be better, but it also wouldn't have been as controversial or surprising.
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Re: Mill Creek releasing ULTRA SERIES on Bluray!!

Postby UltramanGoji » Thu Oct 17, 2019 6:50 am

Mill Creek is a budget label. They don’t exactly have the same expectations of quality and content that Criterion has. I pretty much got what I expected (and wanted) from these Ultra sets so far.
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Re: Mill Creek releasing ULTRA SERIES on Bluray!!

Postby MaxRebo320 » Fri Oct 18, 2019 1:24 pm

Having owned some bootlegs and digital rips, I can confirm the Mill Creek set uses the exact same transfer as TsuPro's for Ultraman. It does indeed have a lot of (Often unappealing) noise reduction, but it is as far as I know the highest quality version available anywhere (Home video, streaming or otherwise). While I've only seen the Seven BD remaster via online rips (It does appear to be an improvement over Man though), I do have some bootlegs of the 70s shows and can confirm they look excellent, with actual grain intact.

You certainly have to give them credit for supplying Mill Creek with the exact same transfers as their Japanese Blu-Ray releases considering how fearful of reverse-importing Toho and Toei are. Not to mention the Orb and Geed releases coming packaged with their respective movies, something that NEVER happens with Japanese releases (They're always separate releases). I probably sound like a total suck-up here like some individuals on the Criterion thread (The lack of the dub DOES suck hard and makes me fearful of it becoming "lost" forever), but like others have pointed out, considering Mill Creek's status as a "budget" label and Ultraman being pretty niche here in the US, it is a lot more acceptable in comparison to a prestigious label renowned for their high-quality's half-baked release of a much more marketable franchise.
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Re: Mill Creek releasing ULTRA SERIES on Bluray!!

Postby Xenofauna » Fri Oct 18, 2019 6:35 pm

I want to stress that I am very happy with this release but I do want to underline and clarify a fairly common misconception that keeps going around, that being the idea that Ultraman simply looks worse than Ultra Q due to the relative sizes of their respective film stocks (35mm vs. 16mm).

Check out this SUPER 8MM footage that was professionally scanned at 2k. Since it's much more recent footage it might not be a perfect 1:1 comparison but I feel like it really illustrates how much detail is possible when scanning 16mm if 8mm film can look this good.

http://youtu.be/3Nh9BTMWj9M
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