Re: Caveat emptor: Cohen Media's SEVEN CHANCES

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Ed Watz
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Caveat emptor: Cohen Media's SEVEN CHANCES

Postby Ed Watz » Wed Apr 17, 2019 1:41 am

Cohen Media's BluRay restoration of SEVEN CHANCES was released in France recently with little fanfare. If you have Kino's 2011 BluRay with Eric Grayson's restoration of the Technicolor prologue, you may want to see what Cohen Media released as an alternative.

Kino Lorber:
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Cohen Media:
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Images were pulled from an online comparison. The rest of the black & white film has been given an amber tint in the CM edition.
"Of course he smiled -- just like you and me." -- Harold Goodwin, on Buster Keaton (1976)

Ed Watz
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Re: Caveat emptor: Cohen Media's SEVEN CHANCES

Postby Ed Watz » Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:24 am

A screenshot from Cohen Media's "extra" feature - discussing their restoration of SEVEN CHANCES' color prologue:

CM Technicolor prologue.jpg
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Here's a link to the site offering additional comparison images between the Kino and Cohen restorations of SEVEN CHANCES:

http://www.dvdclassik.com/test/blu-ray- ... lu-ray-dvd

The page is in French; an English translation follows below. It sounds as though the CM restoration may have cropped the original image composition ("in order to remove the rounded corners"):

"Fiancées en folie (Seven Chances) is one of thirty films of the Keaton Project, a restoration plan carried out since 2015 by Cohen Media and the Cinémathèque of Bologna, around the works of Buster Keaton filmed between 1920 and 1928. The works were carried out in 4K by Immagine Ritrovata from the best elements provided by the international archives, including "a positive on first generation amber tinted nitrate support" as well as various complementary sources for too damaged shots. The result is quite sumptuous for a film that is over 90 years old. The whole is of a great stability, totally immaculate, but one is especially impressed by the restitution of the silver patina (the fidelity to the grain) and the quality of the rendering of the photograph, precise, detailed, with the range of grays quite nuanced (but blacks decidedly too light, a feature probably true to the original photography). Apart from a few rare shots that we sometimes feel are a little behind, like the introduction in Technicolor bichrome, the viewing conditions are ideal, luxurious ...Compared to the previous reference edition, released by Kino Lorber in 2011, the differences are less obvious concerning the sharpness and the detail but are especially felt for the change of framing (in order to remove the rounded corners), the stability (henceforth found) and the cleaning finally complete. The introduction in Technicolor is also a bit different, probably because the source material is just not the same ."
"Of course he smiled -- just like you and me." -- Harold Goodwin, on Buster Keaton (1976)

William Ferry
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Re: Caveat emptor: Cohen Media's SEVEN CHANCES

Postby William Ferry » Thu Apr 18, 2019 10:18 pm

I don't mean to be snide, but calling this a "restoration" is like calling "The Old Oaken Bucket" Grand Opera, to steal an old comparison.

Ed Watz
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Re: Caveat emptor: Cohen Media's SEVEN CHANCES

Postby Ed Watz » Sat Aug 31, 2019 11:45 am

Can anyone tell the group whether Cohen Media's latest US release of SEVEN CHANCES uses the botched Technicolor transfer from their European release -- or have wiser heads prevailed, and have they upgraded the Technicolor prologue? The Kino release, of course, had a beautiful restoration of the Technicolor footage.

There are several reviews of the new SEVEN CHANCES /BATTLING BUTLER Cohen release online, but none of them address this issue. Nor have I found any description of Cohen's SEVEN CHANCES Technicolor footage on fan websites. If anyone has purchased this BluRay, they are being exceptionally quiet about it!

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"Of course he smiled -- just like you and me." -- Harold Goodwin, on Buster Keaton (1976)

Ed Watz
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Re: Caveat emptor: Cohen Media's SEVEN CHANCES

Postby Ed Watz » Sun Sep 08, 2019 5:41 pm

If a picture is indeed worth a thousand words, this image should speak for itself.

Someone just shared with me a review of Cohen Media's latest US BluRay Keaton release (Volume 3, SEVEN CHANCES/BATTLING BUTLER), which includes this Technicolor screenshot from SEVEN CHANCES:
CM US BluRay Seven Chances.jpg
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Cohen Media apparently used the identical Technicolor restoration that was issued earlier this year for their European release.

I previously purchased Cohen Media's SHERLOCK JR., THE NAVIGATOR, THE GENERAL, and STEAMBOAT BILL, JR. and can recommend them highly. They are without a doubt the best-looking restorations of Keaton's work thus far.

But I'll get by nicely with my Kino BluRay of SEVEN CHANCES. (I also purchased a second Kino BluRay of this Keaton favorite as a backup.)

According to the reviewer, Matt Paprocki, the rest of SEVEN CHANCES looks near-perfect in an amber-tinted restoration. Here's his SEVEN CHANCES review, along with 15 screenshots on DoBlu.com: https://www.doblu.com/2019/08/25/seven- ... ay-review/
"Of course he smiled -- just like you and me." -- Harold Goodwin, on Buster Keaton (1976)

Agnes McFadden
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Re: Caveat emptor: Cohen Media's SEVEN CHANCES

Postby Agnes McFadden » Wed Sep 18, 2019 5:12 pm

This reminds me of a situation years ago with the Chaplin films. My husband was in a store with used disks and found someone had dumped all the Image discs for the Chaplin movies and bought them for me as a present. He was so proud of himself getting those for me very cheaply, but. Was later dismayed to read that the Brits were coming out with a new restored Chaplin set and that's probably why somebody dumped over Image DVDs.

I told him the discs he picked up were BEAUTIFUL copies of the film's(& since we had small kids at the time, I couldn't afford the new restorations anyway). I watched my discs & was very happy.

Then later I see a review of the new British discs and people are saying that they're horrible they're not as good as what's been out people advising folks to hold onto the Image discs if they have them the reproduction is much superior I couldn't wait to share that article to my husband. I said look some person and saw that he was upgrading dumped those disks and paid a fortune for the new ones and got less. You got me the better reproductions at a lower price ..... win!

So, the moral of the story is.....though some new restorations are better, it is not an absolute!
Agnes McFadden


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