Track Media / Sinister Film (frame 802)

Track Media / Sinister Film

Reviewed by dvdfreak

Last modified on Monday 01st June 2020, 10:57:11 PM

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Label:  Track Media / Llamentol (Spain)

Region:  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 & 8
RCE protection:  No
Copyright protection system:  None

Disc type:  DVD5 (the data occupy 4.18 GB)

Playback time (hh:mm:ss.frames):  1:20:08.01

Video:  PAL
Aspect ratio:  Varies from 1.38 to 1.33:1 non-anamorphic


Bitrate (min / avg / max):  1.45 / 5.07 / 8.74 Mbps

Bitrate (min / avg / max)

Audio:
 

Czech Dolby Digital 2.0 mono* / 192 kbps

Subtitles: Spanish

Menus available in: Spanish


Special features:
 

  • Short film "King Lávra" (28:27, music only)
  • Cast & crew (2 pages, in Spanish)
  • Karel Zeman's filmography (4 pages, in Spanish)
  • Awards (1 page, in English)

Notes: 
OK, here goes - I've got 2 pieces of information for you: a good one & a bad one. Let's stick to the tradition, and have the bad one first - the Spanish DVD edition of "The Fabulous Baron Munchausen" is the same cut version as seen on the Japanese disc (for details, have a look at the missing scene index above). And now for the good one - Track Media's transfer looks just great! It's much, much sharper, shows a little more picture on all four sides in most scenes (while showing less at the bottom in a few), the blacks are deeper, and the contrast seems better to me as well. On the other hand, the colours appear to be slightly muted, or - as the case may be - Broadway's are oversaturated, but who knows...?

*difference between channels is -63.81 dB (0.06 %)


ČT1 HD DVB (frame 418)

ČT1 HD DVB

Reviewed by dvdfreak

Last modified on Thursday 19th March 2020, 10:44:20 PM

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Label:  ČT1 HD DVB (Czech Republic)

Region:  n/a
RCE protection:  n/a
Copyright protection system:  n/a

Disc type:  n/a

Playback time (hh:mm:ss.frames):  1:19:50.44

Video:  MPEG-4 AVC, 1080i50
Aspect ratio:  1.37:1


Bitrate (min / avg / max):  3.29 / 10.13 / 15.92 Mbps

Bitrate (min / avg / max)

Audio:
 

Czech Dolby Digital 2.0 mono* / 448 kbps

Subtitles: None

Menus available in: None

Special features:
 

None

Notes: This is a recording from ČT1 HD's digital satellite broadcast.
Its purpose here is to provide a kind of reference for
the DVD releases reviewed above & below.

To see the screenshots in glorious Full HD 1080, click here.

*difference between channels is -105.33 dB (0.00 %)


KZM (frame 320)

KZM

Reviewed by dvdfreak

Last modified on Monday 29th June 2020, 02:29:32 PM

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Label:  Karel Zeman Museum (Czech Republic)

Region:  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 & 8
RCE protection:  No
Copyright protection system:  None

Disc type:  DVD9 (the data occupy 7.30 GB)

Playback time (hh:mm:ss.frames):  1:19:54.15

Video:  PAL
Aspect ratio:  1.37:1 anamorphic


Bitrate (min / avg / max):  0.24 / 7.49 / 9.29 Mbps

Bitrate (min / avg / max)

Audio:
 

Czech Dolby Digital 2.0 mono* / 224 kbps

Subtitles: Czech & English

Menus available in: Czech & English


Special features:
 

  • "Zrození filmové legendy" ("The Birth of a Film Legend," 4:57**)
  • "Proč Karel Zeman film natočil" ("Why Zeman Made the Film," 3:37**)
  • "Obsazení filmu" ("The Cast," 2:17**)
  • "Nejlepší trikové scény I" ("His Best Special Effects I," 1:00)
  • "Nejlepší trikové scény II" ("His Best Special Effects II," 0:51)
  • "Legenda pokračuje" ("The Legend Continues," 3:17**)
  • "Životní příběh" ("His Life Story," 7 pages, in Czech & English)
  • Filmography (2 pages, in Czech & English)
  • "Karel Zeman Museum" (1:13)
  • "The Land of Moonlight (Clarinet Factory)" (4:42)
  • "Journey to Karel Zeman (Clarinet Factory 5.1 Mix)" (8:09)

Notes: 
OK, here goes:

  • Firstly, this is the "authorized" version of the film, not the longer one (6 minutes of extra / alternative footage; see here).

  • Unlike the Museum DVDs of "Journey to Prehistory" (slight improvement in PQ) and "The Fabulous World of Jules Verne" (significant improvement), clearly based on newly created transfers, the box blurb "Scanned for the first time from original film elements" does not seem to hold true for this one - to my eyes, it appears to originate from the same source as the Spanish, Polish and Italian releases, but - due to additional processing (more on that in a sec) - it actually shows less detail (observe e.g. the stripes on Baron Munchausen's costume and on the wall behind him in frame 65297). I wonder why they didn't use the comparatively recent hi-def scan the Czech TV channel 1 HD aired on November 6, 2010...? True, it'd need some colour correction, that is, assuming the Museum's DVD sports the correct colour scheme, and it should - supposedly (I may as well say "evidently" - check out the slightly more pronounced blue tinting of frame 82233 [green in ČT1's broadcast!] or the purplish cannon blast smoke in frame 100732), Universal Production Partners colour corrected these films for KZM... Or did they use AND colour correct the hi-def transfer after all? I'm confused... No, it can't be, since the geometry is different:

ČT1 HD DVB | Karel Zeman Museum

ČT1 HD DVB (frame 65370)

  • Edit: Scratch that (Done! ;-)), one of the UPP employees confirmed they had indeed created brand new 2K masters for all three films, but converting them to DVD format (and the consequences thereof - more on those in a sec, really) had been up to Karel Zeman Museum / their "authoring house" (a certain Tomáš Frelich, going by this article). Regarding the fact that UPP's transfer (in this particular DVD incarnation) looks rather similar to the one the Spanish, Polish and Italian releases were based on - and this, again, is my own "fabulation" - it just goes to show that both of them came from the same source and / or were colour corrected against the same reference.

  • Now, about the "additional processing" / conversion from 2K to D1 (720×576); not sure which order these have been done in, but it's obvious that some kind of automatic scratch & spot removal tool has been set loose here at one point, as evidenced by the all but obliterated raindrops falling from the flowers after the storm in the following example (a JavaScript animation):

Track Media / Sinister Film | Karel Zeman Museum


0 % loaded...

  • RE the DVD down-conversion, and the incomprehensible decision to encode these "Academy ratio" films 16:9 enhanced, i.e. "pillar-boxing" the 1.37:1 picture inside the 1.78:1 frame - by popular demand (of my friend and fellow reviewer standa.e ;-)), let me elaborate on the claim I made in my review of "Journey to Prehistory:" To begin with, here's a "raw" frame exactly as encoded on the Museum's DVD:

Karel Zeman Museum (frame 65297)

  • As you can see, the picture is horizontally "squeezed" and flanked by thick black bars (the "pillars") on the left & right - clearly, a significant part of the limited (by today's standards) SD resolution is "lost" (well, not actually lost, but rather not taken advantage of). But does it really affect the quality / level of detail preserved on the DVD? "It sure does, Ma'am," but don't take my word for it - let me show you instead; of course, it wouldn't prove anything was I to start my experiment with the already fumbled KZM encode, and I don't have access to the original 2K master, but I do have here the next best thing - my 1080i recording of ČT1 HD's broadcast. So, let's begin, shall we? ;-) With some light technical background:

    • The broadcast is 1.37:1, the same as the Museum's DVD, but I also did the "exercise" with the picture slightly cropped to get a perfect 1.33:1 ratio in order to make the final comparison a little more effective (you'll see what I mean when we get there).

    • I use AviSynth for all my video editing; in this particular case, I used its Spline64Resize filter for downscaling from 1080i to D1, and Lanczos4Resize for upscaling the resulting frames to the display resolution of 1024×576 (16:9 enhanced) and 768×576 (4:3), respectively.

    Okay, there's not much to add - these are the frames as they'd look encoded on the DVD (again, observe the thick black borders for "16:9 enhanced"):

1.37:1 (16:9 enhanced) / 1.37:1 (4:3) | 1.33:1 (16:9 enhanced) / 1.33:1 (4:3)

ČT1 HD DVB (frame 65370)

  • And this is what you'd see on grandma's widescreen telly (the images here are lossless PNGs to ensure that any perceivable difference in quality is not down to compression):

1.37:1 (16:9 enhanced) / 1.37:1 (4:3) | 1.33:1 (16:9 enhanced) / 1.33:1 (4:3)

ČT1 HD DVB (frame 65370)

Uncanny, isn't it? And in case of the 1.33:1 ratio, even the picture size is identical (this is what I meant ;-))! There's just the little matter of the 16:9 enhanced version lacking detail (observe e.g. the stripes on the Baron's costume and on the wall behind him)... QED

Anyway, time to wrap this up, so - the conclusion: Whatever my quibbles with this DVD are, I still do recommend it not only to Karel Zeman fans everywhere, but to anybody interested in seeing a piece of the good ol' movie magic - believe me, it's worth it!

*difference between channels is -84.60 dB (0.01 %)
**in Czech with optional Czech & English subtitles


KZM / Blu-ray (frame 420)

KZM / Blu-ray

Reviewed by dvdfreak

Last modified on Monday 01st June 2020, 10:57:11 PM

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Label:  Karel Zeman Museum / Bontonfilm (Czech Republic)

Region:  A, B & C (?)
RCE protection:  n/a
Copyright protection system:  AACS

Disc type:  BD50 (the data occupy 43.16 GB)

Playback time (hh:mm:ss.frames):  1:19:53.01

Video:  MPEG-4 AVC, 1080i50
Aspect ratio:  1.37:1


Bitrate (min / avg / max):  0.00 / 22.99 / 59.57 Mbps

Bitrate (min / avg / max)

Audio:
 

Czech DTS 2.0 mono* / 384 kbps

Subtitles: Czech & English

Menus available in: Czech & English


Special features:
 

  • "Zrození filmové legendy" ("The Birth of a Film Legend," 4:58**)
  • "Proč Karel Zeman film natočil" ("Why Zeman Made the Film," 3:37**)
  • "Obsazení filmu" ("The Cast," 2:18**)
  • "Nejlepší trikové scény I" ("His Best Special Effects I," 1:00)
  • "Nejlepší trikové scény II" ("His Best Special Effects II," 0:51)
  • "Legenda pokračuje" ("The Legend Continues," 3:22**)
  • "Karel Zeman Museum" (1:13, MPEG-4 AVC, 1080i50)
  • "The Land of Moonlight (Clarinet Factory)" (4:42)
  • "Journey to Karel Zeman (Clarinet Factory)" (8:09, Dolby Digital 5.1 / 384 kbps)

(Unless noted otherwise, all extras are MPEG-2, 576i50 (16:9), Dolby Digital 2.0 / 192 kbps.)

Notes: "The Fabulous Baron Munchausen" shares the disc with "The Fabulous World of Jules Verne"
& "Journey to Prehistory."

The Fabulous Baron Munchausen, we meet again...
     You know, this site's been built around Baron Munchausen, that is, around the first ever release of Karel Zeman films anywhere in the world: the massive - and at the time massively expensive - Japanese collector's box, well, two of them, containing virtually everything Zeman ever made...
     The DVDFreak banner (used exclusively @ ZÓNA - the place where this all started) actually features the Baron flying leisurely on a cannon ball...
     And this is the 9th version of the film I've reviewed here (I had to go and update the site's "engine" to be able to include it - I never expected having more than 8 in one comparison); according to my friend and former collaborator, standa.e, an idea presents itself that concluding DVDFreak's existence (as - due to my workload - it's been slowly dying over the last few years) with reviews of the Karel Zeman Blu-ray collection would be somehow appropriate...
     Well, perhaps it would, but not with this particular release! :-P Verily, it does look better than its SD counterpart(s), but it's not been restored - unless you count the (automatic) scratch removal or whatchamacallit that cleaned the picture up a treat (these "improvements" were already bestowed upon the DVD - see also the "raindrops" example I provided here):

ČT1 HD DVB (frame 33058 / 33059 / 33060 / 33061 / 33062 | 55255 / 55256 / 55257)
KZM / Blu-ray (frame 33065 / 33066 / 33067 / 33068 / 33069 | 55281 / 55282 / 55283)

ČT1 HD DVB (frame 33058)

So there's lots of room for (genuine) improvement in PQ alone; the soundtrack could do with a bump up to lossless too... And I just fail to understand the parties involved stubbornly ignoring the existence of the longer cut - why not include the additional footage as an extra at least, for God's sake?!
     Ah, whatever - DVDFreak might "diminish, and go into the West," but the wait for the ultimate edition of Baron Munchausen is still on...

To see the screenshots in glorious Full HD 1080, click here.

*difference between channels is -77.06 dB (0.01 %)
**in Czech with optional Czech & English subtitles


The Czech Film Foundation / Blu-ray (frame 716)

The Czech Film Foundation / Blu-ray

Reviewed by dvdfreak

Last modified on Friday 05th June 2020, 09:34:42 PM

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Label:  The Czech Film Foundation (Czech Republic)

Region:  A, B & C (?)
RCE protection:  n/a
Copyright protection system:  None

Disc type:  BD-R25 (the data occupy 22.98 GB)

Playback time (hh:mm:ss.frames):  1:24:53.00

Video:  MPEG-2, 1080p24
Aspect ratio:  1.37:1


Bitrate (min / avg / max):  3.84 / 36.85 / 41.73 Mbps

Bitrate (min / avg / max)

Audio:
 

Czech Dolby Digital 1.0 / 192 kbps

Subtitles: None

Menus available in: None

Special features:
 

None

Notes: 
Billed as an "exclusive collector's edition," this bare-bones BD-R is available as a "perk" for the supporters of Bijáky.cz, a.k.a. The Czech Film Foundation.


To see the screenshots in glorious Full HD 1080, click here.


KZM / Restored / Blu-ray (frame 692)

KZM / Restored / Blu-ray

Reviewed by standa.e

Last modified on Monday 01st June 2020, 11:01:20 PM

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Label:  Karel Zeman Museum / Bontonfilm (Czech Republic)

Region:  A, B & C*
RCE protection:  n/a
Copyright protection system:  AACS

Disc type:  BD50 (the data occupy 31.80 GB)

Playback time (hh:mm:ss.frames):  1:24:49.23

Video:  MPEG-4 AVC, 1080p24/1.001
Aspect ratio:  1.37:1


Bitrate (min / avg / max):  0.00 / 32.02 / 56.82 Mbps

Bitrate (min / avg / max)

Audio:
 

Czech DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 mono / 1,831 kbps

Subtitles: Czech, Czech for the hearing impaired & English

Menus available in: Czech & English


Special features:
 

Extras accessible from both English & Czech menus:
  • "Film Adventurer Karel Zeman - Trailer" (2:34)
  • "The Fabulous Baron Munchausen - Trailer" (1:40)
  • "Showreel - Restoring a World of Fantasy" (2:34)
  • "Karel Zeman and the World" (5:05)
  • "Karel Zeman Museum" (1:17)
  • "The Making of Baron Munchausen" (5:13 in total), comprising
    • "Why Zeman Made the Film"
    • "Playing with Perspective"
    • "His Best Special Effects I"

Only accessible from the Czech menus:
A more detailed review can be found here (Czech only).

To see the screenshots in glorious Full HD 1080, click here.

*as printed on the cover; verified regions A & B


Second Run / Blu-ray (frame 692)

Second Run / Blu-ray

Reviewed by standa.e

Last modified on Monday 01st June 2020, 10:57:11 PM

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Label:  Second Run (UK)

Region:  A, B & C*
RCE protection:  n/a
Copyright protection system:  AACS

Disc type:  BD50 (the data occupy 45.10 GB)

Playback time (hh:mm:ss.frames):  1:24:49.23

Video:  MPEG-4 AVC, 1080p24
Aspect ratio:  1.37:1


Bitrate (min / avg / max):  13.45 / 30.00 / 51.33 Mbps

Bitrate (min / avg / max)

Audio:
 

Czech LPCM 2.0 mono / 2,304 kbps

Subtitles: English

Menus available in: English


Special features:
 

  • "Film Adventurer Karel Zeman" (1:41:48, in Czech, English & Japanese**)
  • "Facts and Fibs: Michael Brooke on Baron Munchausen" (36:11, in English)
  • "The Birth of a Film Legend" (5:10, in Czech**)
  • "Karel Zeman and the World" (5:05, in Czech, English & Japanese**)
  • "Why Zeman Made the Film" (3:46, in Czech**)
  • "The Cast" (2:23, in Czech**)
  • "Zeman's Special Effects Techniques" (1:49)
  • "Karel Zeman, the Legend Continues" (3:30, in Czech**)
  • Trailer (1:40)
  • Museum Karel Zeman (1:17)

  • 16-page booklet (in English)

A more detailed review can be found here (Czech only).

To see the screenshots in glorious Full HD 1080, click here.

*as printed on the cover / disc label; verified regions A & B
**with burnt-in English subtitles


Criterion Collection / Blu-ray (frame 1147)

Criterion Collection / Blu-ray

Reviewed by dvdfreak

Last modified on Monday 29th June 2020, 02:29:32 PM

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Label:  Criterion Collection (USA)

Region:  A
RCE protection:  n/a
Copyright protection system:  AACS

Disc type:  BD50 (the data occupy 44.42 GB)

Playback time (hh:mm:ss.frames):  1:25:07.21

Video:  MPEG-4 AVC, 1080p24/1.001
Aspect ratio:  1.37:1


Bitrate (min / avg / max):  0.00 / 35.58 / 40.63 Mbps

Bitrate (min / avg / max)

Audio:
 

Czech LPCM 1.0 / 1,152 kbps

Subtitles: English

Menus available in: English


Special features:
 

  • "Film Adventurer Karel Zeman" (1:41:51, in Czech, English & Japanese* Dolby Digital 5.1 / 640 kbps)
    • Trailer (2:27, in Czech, English & Japanese** Dolby Digital 5.1 / 640 kbps)
  • Museum documentaries
    • "Why Zeman Made the Film" (3:44, in Czech**)
    • "The Cast" (2:21, in Czech**)
    • Special-effects techniques (3:29, Dolby Digital 2.0 / 192 kbps)
    • "Karel Zeman, the Legend Continues" (3:33, in Czech**)
    • "Karel Zeman and the World" (5:08, in Czech, English & Japanese**)
    • Restoration demonstration (2:37, in Czech*)
  • Museum promo (1:20, Dolby Digital 2.0 / 192 kbps)
  • Trailer (1:43, in Czech**)

(Unless noted otherwise, all extras are MPEG-4 AVC, 1080p24/1.001, Dolby Digital 1.0 / 192 kbps.)

  • 4-page leaflet (in English)

Notes: Only available in "Three Fantastic Journeys by Karel Zeman" 3-disc set,
together with "Journey to Prehistory" & "The Fabulous World of Jules Verne."

Special thanks to my good friend John S. for making this comparison possible! (c:

To see the screenshots in glorious Full HD 1080, click here.

*with optional English subtitles
**with burnt-in English subtitles

Česká verze / Return to index

Track Media / Sinister Film | ČT1 HD DVB | KZM | KZM / Blu-ray | The Czech Film Foundation / Blu-ray | KZM / Restored / Blu-ray | Second Run / Blu-ray | Criterion Collection / Blu-ray

Track Media / Sinister Film (frame 4239)

Track Media / Sinister Film | ČT1 HD DVB | KZM | KZM / Blu-ray | The Czech Film Foundation / Blu-ray | KZM / Restored / Blu-ray | Second Run / Blu-ray | Criterion Collection / Blu-ray

Track Media / Sinister Film (frame 11031)

Track Media / Sinister Film | ČT1 HD DVB | KZM | KZM / Blu-ray | The Czech Film Foundation / Blu-ray | KZM / Restored / Blu-ray | Second Run / Blu-ray | Criterion Collection / Blu-ray

Track Media / Sinister Film (frame 30905)

Track Media / Sinister Film | ČT1 HD DVB | KZM | KZM / Blu-ray | The Czech Film Foundation / Blu-ray | KZM / Restored / Blu-ray | Second Run / Blu-ray | Criterion Collection / Blu-ray

Track Media / Sinister Film (frame 43325)

Track Media / Sinister Film | ČT1 HD DVB | KZM | KZM / Blu-ray | The Czech Film Foundation / Blu-ray | KZM / Restored / Blu-ray | Second Run / Blu-ray | Criterion Collection / Blu-ray

Track Media / Sinister Film (frame 47175)

Track Media / Sinister Film | ČT1 HD DVB | KZM | KZM / Blu-ray | The Czech Film Foundation / Blu-ray | KZM / Restored / Blu-ray | Second Run / Blu-ray | Criterion Collection / Blu-ray

Track Media / Sinister Film (frame 65794)

Track Media / Sinister Film | ČT1 HD DVB | KZM | KZM / Blu-ray | The Czech Film Foundation / Blu-ray | KZM / Restored / Blu-ray | Second Run / Blu-ray | Criterion Collection / Blu-ray

Track Media / Sinister Film (frame 81438)

Track Media / Sinister Film | ČT1 HD DVB | KZM | KZM / Blu-ray | The Czech Film Foundation / Blu-ray | KZM / Restored / Blu-ray | Second Run / Blu-ray | Criterion Collection / Blu-ray

Track Media / Sinister Film (frame 82733)

Track Media / Sinister Film | ČT1 HD DVB | KZM | KZM / Blu-ray | The Czech Film Foundation / Blu-ray | KZM / Restored / Blu-ray | Second Run / Blu-ray | Criterion Collection / Blu-ray

Track Media / Sinister Film (frame 101261)

Track Media / Sinister Film | ČT1 HD DVB | KZM | KZM / Blu-ray | The Czech Film Foundation / Blu-ray | KZM / Restored / Blu-ray | Second Run / Blu-ray | Criterion Collection / Blu-ray

Track Media / Sinister Film (frame 109350)

Track Media / Sinister Film | ČT1 HD DVB | KZM | KZM / Blu-ray | The Czech Film Foundation / Blu-ray | KZM / Restored / Blu-ray | Second Run / Blu-ray | Criterion Collection / Blu-ray

Track Media / Sinister Film (frame 119481)

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