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 Posted:   Apr 18, 2024 - 11:30 AM   
 By:   Solium   (Member)

I have to say what little I see here it doesn't look good. As others have said the restoration looks like A.I. generated images. Most notably in the increased sharpness around edges. Look at the hair or nostrils. Also the faces look to waxy.

Now I'm not a film grain purest, I think film grain looks too extreme in HD so I support some grain removal, but I'm not in favor of DNR'ering something to death where it looks flat or waxy.

In this case Cameron used a new A.I technology to limit grain levels while increasing sharpness.

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 18, 2024 - 12:27 PM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

Cameron is one of my favourite directors, but his hatred of grain annoys me. There is gorgeous grain and texture in ALIENS that needs to be preserved. It's part of the film's very DNA! Hence, I'm very worried about this 4K version. A colleague of mine, who's also an ALIENS buff, tells me it's too clean. But I'll have to see it with my own eyes first.

I'm gonna cling on to my 2003 ALIEN QUADRILOGY DVD set like my life depended on it!

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 18, 2024 - 12:33 PM   
 By:   Rameau   (Member)

Ha, over on blu-ray.com there's 8404 posts & 865,517 views on this (& counting), mostly outraged. It seems that the film now looks like it was shot on digital last year. I was tempted, but I have the old Blu-ray & it'll do. I watched it around a year ago, & maybe won't watch it for another few years.

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 18, 2024 - 12:58 PM   
 By:   TheAvenger   (Member)

I hate excessive grain and I love Aliens, but Aliens has always been a very grainy movie, even in the original theatrical release (it was shot on fast 100 ASA Kodak 5247 film stock using predominately wide apertures which was not ideal). And there are plenty of horror stories -some true, some apocryphal- about why various transfers for home release were also poor quality.

So initially I was very excited about the 4K release but I have to say I’m pretty worried about it having read so many reviews.

It won’t stop me buying it of course but my excitement has been tempered somewhat.

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 18, 2024 - 1:51 PM   
 By:   GoblinScore   (Member)

This is a good, telling 11min video comparing blu to 4k.

https://youtu.be/nqMiw8k07sU?si=oqSiKLNbfDi9dnaH


I'm not smooth enough to embed. Channel is Forgotten Tomatoes.

They just scrubbed the grain out, smoothed everything. I'm in the No Thanks camp.
Still hung up on the teal push (still even a useable phrase??), as I remember the original Fox VHS with more blue tones.

 
 Posted:   Apr 18, 2024 - 3:20 PM   
 By:   Solium   (Member)

Film grain is fine when projected in the theater. The image is soft so the grain isn’t so noticeable.

But when transferred to hi-def home viewing or streaming the grain is drastically enhanced and I argue it’s not intended to be that prominent. Thus some grain reduction is required to minimize its effect.

Two recent Disney titles come to mind. The remaster of Cinderella and The Sword in the Stone. In TSITS Merlin’s blue robe is so excessively grainy it sparkles with artifacts. It’s gaudy looking and just as unwatchable as overdoing DNR scrubbing.

 
 Posted:   Apr 18, 2024 - 6:32 PM   
 By:   Col. Flagg   (Member)

I hate excessive grain and I love Aliens, but Aliens has always been a very grainy movie, even in the original theatrical release (it was shot on fast 100 ASA Kodak 5247 film stock using predominately wide apertures which was not ideal).

5247 was Kodak's slow stock. ALIENS was shot on 5294 (ASA 400, tungsten-balanced), Kodak's high speed stock. It was also shot flat – not scope – so less of the frame was used and that made grain even more pronounced than usual.

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 18, 2024 - 8:39 PM   
 By:   GoblinScore   (Member)

I hate excessive grain and I love Aliens, but Aliens has always been a very grainy movie, even in the original theatrical release (it was shot on fast 100 ASA Kodak 5247 film stock using predominately wide apertures which was not ideal).

5247 was Kodak's slow stock. ALIENS was shot on 5294 (ASA 400, tungsten-balanced), Kodak's high speed stock. It was also shot flat – not scope – so less of the frame was used and that made grain even more pronounced than usual.


Cheers Col.

This is just about my favorite post in months here, aside from dragon53's wonderful updates.

 
 Posted:   Apr 18, 2024 - 10:38 PM   
 By:   Amer Zahid   (Member)

I Just got this but haven't played it yet. Im glad I have the old DVD and Bluray box sets but I'm open to see how much it has been processed to match todays format. How much can you tweak an aged artifact?

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 19, 2024 - 12:31 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

My issue is that many see grain as a problem, as merely an artifact of older technology that needs to be removed. But the thing is, it's also very much an integral part of the aesthetic - it has consequences for how the light emanates through the screen, it has consequences for how TANGIBLE the world on-screen feels and so on.

It's not that I think digital filmmaking is bad. In the right hands, like a Michael Mann, or when it's a deliberate indie aesthetic (like Sean Baker's TANGERINE, shot on cell phone cameras), that can be very beautiful too. But nothing can beat old analogue film stock. I know it's too cumbersome to shoot films like that these days, but at LEAST let us have the old films preserved the way they are. If you're going to restore and remaster them (which is fine), then at least do so based on the original conception. That's why I think my 2003 DVD restorations are perfect -- remastered, yes, but keeping the old aesthetic. I haven't even "upgraded" to the Blu-rays for that reason.

But just for curiousity's sake, I AM going to see this new 4K version.

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 19, 2024 - 12:46 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

When the Blu-ray was released, Cameron was quoted as saying:

"It's spectacular. We went in and completely de-noised it, de-grained it, up-rezzed, color-corrected every frame, and it looks amazing. It looks better than it looked in the theaters originally -- because it was shot on a high-speed negative that was a new negative that didn't pan out too well and got replaced the following year. So it's pretty grainy. We got rid of all the grain. It's sharper and clearer and more beautiful than it's ever looked."

This makes it sound as if excessive grain was not what Cameron originally wanted in the theatrical version, although some people, apparently, have grown to love the original look.

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 19, 2024 - 12:48 AM   
 By:   Phil567   (Member)

Cameron is one of my favourite directors, but his hatred of grain annoys me. There is gorgeous grain and texture in ALIENS that needs to be preserved. It's part of the film's very DNA! Hence, I'm very worried about this 4K version. A colleague of mine, who's also an ALIENS buff, tells me it's too clean. But I'll have to see it with my own eyes first.

I'm gonna cling on to my 2003 ALIEN QUADRILOGY DVD set like my life depended on it!


I have that 2003 quadrilogy set! When l received it for my birthday l carefully opened it so that the shrink wrap is still on it including the silvery sticker that screams "9 DISC SET 2 VERSIONS OF EACH FILM NEARLY 50 HOURS OF BONUS MATERIALS!"

l wonder if collectors would pay a premium for my copy because it still has the sticker :-).

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 19, 2024 - 12:54 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

Must have been a great birthday gift! I've gone the obligatory rounds with these films. First as VHS copies of TV screenings, then original VHSes, then the ALIEN LEGACY DVD box, then the ALIEN QUADRILOGY DVD box. I stopped there.

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 19, 2024 - 12:55 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

This makes it sound as if excessive grain was not what Cameron originally wanted in the theatrical version, although some people, apparently, have grown to love the original look.

There's no excessive grain. It's just Cameron being Cameron. He hates grain and would love all of his films to be pristine and digital-looking, like they were made today. That just doesn't work.

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 19, 2024 - 1:20 AM   
 By:   chriscoyle   (Member)

When the Blu-ray was released, Cameron was quoted as saying:

"It's spectacular. We went in and completely de-noised it, de-grained it, up-rezzed, color-corrected every frame, and it looks amazing. It looks better than it looked in the theaters originally -- because it was shot on a high-speed negative that was a new negative that didn't pan out too well and got replaced the following year. So it's pretty grainy. We got rid of all the grain. It's sharper and clearer and more beautiful than it's ever looked."

This makes it sound as if excessive grain was not what Cameron originally wanted in the theatrical version, although some people, apparently, have grown to love the original look.



An artist’s work is their conception from start to finish. They see blemishes and faults that they wish weren’t there. It doesn’t matter what others think. Cameron will always see Aliens that way.

 
 Posted:   Apr 19, 2024 - 1:53 AM   
 By:   Ny   (Member)

I've never even noted 'excessive' grain in Aliens. The film has a rich atmosphere and the grain is part of that.

The only time grain becomes bothersome to me is when it's actually 16 mm or it's a very poor effort at a night shoot.

Grain, as a by-product of a chemical reaction, has a natural shape to it, and it directly corresponds to the measure of light in a shot, it changes with changes in that light, and the change is smooth.

Digital interference, on the other hand, is not natural, and does not correspond directly with anything in the film, it is added on top, and looks FAR worse when its noticeable.

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 19, 2024 - 2:22 AM   
 By:   Rameau   (Member)

I remember buying the old DVD Alien set, & Aliens was so grainy I found it almost unwatchable (I certainly don't remember all that grain at the cinema), but then the Blu-ray was released & all that grain was tamed, & I'm happy with that. Since then, technology for this stuff has raced ahead, allowing Cameron to go way further, & it looks like they've used the same scan as for the old Blu-ray (no new scan), but now smoothed & somehow sharper.

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 19, 2024 - 3:19 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

I've never even noted 'excessive' grain in Aliens. The film has a rich atmosphere and the grain is part of that.

The only time grain becomes bothersome to me is when it's actually 16 mm or it's a very poor effort at a night shoot.

Grain, as a by-product of a chemical reaction, has a natural shape to it, and it directly corresponds to the measure of light in a shot, it changes with changes in that light, and the change is smooth.

Digital interference, on the other hand, is not natural, and does not correspond directly with anything in the film, it is added on top, and looks FAR worse when its noticeable.


Well said, totally agreed!

 
 Posted:   Apr 19, 2024 - 3:50 AM   
 By:   Solium   (Member)

I’m going get the Blu Ray of Aliens ASAP before it’s sold out! I may still get the 4K out of curiosity.

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 19, 2024 - 5:25 AM   
 By:   TheAvenger   (Member)

I hate excessive grain and I love Aliens, but Aliens has always been a very grainy movie, even in the original theatrical release (it was shot on fast 100 ASA Kodak 5247 film stock using predominately wide apertures which was not ideal).

5247 was Kodak's slow stock. ALIENS was shot on 5294 (ASA 400, tungsten-balanced), Kodak's high speed stock. It was also shot flat – not scope – so less of the frame was used and that made grain even more pronounced than usual.


You’re absolutely right, it was Alien that was shot on 5247.

 
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