Saturday, January 05, 2008

Sweeney Todd: Color

Yes, this blog is starting to sound like a broken record, stuck on Sweeney Todd, but I obviously really liked this film (and my iPod is stuck on the soundtrack).

One thing that occurred to me today: I have caught a few of the TV spots for the film, and I am amazed at how beautiful the images look. Of course, I noticed this in the theatre, but now I'm convinced that whoever is in charge of projection at my local Starplex Cinemas doesn't know what he or she is doing. Not only was the entire film too dark, but it was washed out, with even less color than Burton intended.

The film is intentionally without a lot of color, save for the free-flowing blood, but in the TV spots, you can see the sharpness of the images and the colors (and I don't even have an HD TV -- it looks incredible on my good old analog set).

Now I can't wait to get the DVD so I can see it the way it should be seen.


Blogger badMike said...

That's something Roger Ebert used to write about a lot when he was healthy -- The tendency of projectionists to dim down their projection bulbs in a misguided notion that it makes them last longer. I'm pretty sure the bulbs are fairly expensive, so projectionists probably are under orders to keep costs down. Ebert used to write about how brightness didn't affect a bulb's lifespan.

And I finally saw the movie on Friday. I really enjoyed it's look and the story and the performances, especially Borat's, but the music wore me out after a while.

1/06/2008 7:58 AM  
Blogger Chris Hansen said...

Yep, I've read Ebert's many rants about this practice, and I assume that's what's happening here, too. Sad that no matter how much he writes about it (or has written about it), it doesn't seem likely to change. Maybe digital projection will change that, but I don't know for sure how digital projection "bulb settings" are maintained, so if they can find a way to do it with those projectors, I'm sure they will.

As for the music, I have heard that from some others, and in truth I usually have the same reaction, but I didn't here for some reason.

1/06/2008 9:38 AM  

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