Flash Gordon (1980) new 4K restoration from Studio Canal

Discussion in 'High Definition' started by satans-sadists, May 8, 2020.

  1. satans-sadists

    satans-sadists Ghost

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    StudioCanal have revealed that they are planning to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Mike Hodges' Flash Gordon (1980) with a brand new 4K Blu-ray and Blu-ray releases of the recent 4K restoration of the film. The two releases will be available for purchase on August 3rd.



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    COMPLETE PRESS RELEASE:

    STUDIOCANAL is excited to announce the new 4k, Ultra High Definition restoration of Mike Hodge's cult classic FLASH GORDON (1980), in honour of the film's 40th anniversary. The film will be released on 4K UHD Collector's edition, Blu-ray, Steelbook, DVD and digital on August 3rd, with special screenings TBC. FLASH GORDON will also be distributed by STUDIOCANAL in France, Germany, Australia and New Zealand this Summer.

    FLASH GORDON is the 1980 space opera film adaptation directed by Mike Hodges (Get Carter, Black Rainbow) based on the comic strip of the same name created by Alex Raymond and adapted for the screen by Michael Allin (Enter The Dragon) and Lorenzo Semple Jr (King Kong). Produced by Dino De Laurentiis (Serpico, King Kong), with cinematography by Gilbert Taylor (Star Wars IV: A New Hope, Dr. Strangelove), the film is also notable for the soundtrack, which was composed, performed and produced by Queen with orchestral sections by Howard Blake.

    The Flash Gordon comic strip ran as a daily from 1934 to 1992, followed by a Sunday strip which ran until 2003. The comic was an influence on early superhero comic characters, from the costume and inverted narrative of a heroic alien on earth in Superman to Batman's first appearance in the Detective Comics, with its DNA still evident in characters today. Raymond's comic was also an influence on the wider sci fi genre, from James Tiberius Kirk to Star Wars. George Lucas loved Flash Gordon so much, he tried to get the rights from King Features to make the film. However, King Features had Federico Fellini and then Nicolas Roeg in mind before turning to Hodges, but Lucas still cites the comic as an inspiration for his famed space saga.

    "Flash, I love you! But we only have fourteen hours to save the Earth!"

    Our planet is under attack! An unexplained energy wave has pulled the Moon out of orbit, sending it careening towards Earth. Strange natural disasters bombard our world. Baffled scientists are at a loss as to the cause of the chaos. A lone voice – brilliant, but disgraced, scientist Hans Zarkov (TOPOL) – is convinced that these catastrophes are of extraterrestrial origin and predicts that we only have 10 days before the Moon crashes into Earth, destroying all life. Humanity is doomed!

    Realising that he alone cannot stop these sinister attacks he forces football hero Flash Gordon (SAM J. JONES) and New York travel-agent Dale Arden (MELODY ANDERSON) aboard his makeshift rocket ship at gunpoint. Their destination – the mysterious Planet Mongo. On this strange new world all life cowers under the cruel reign of Ming The Merciless (MAX VON SYDOW), an intergalactic tyrant who demands absolute loyalty under pain of death. Aided by his menacing, golden-masked henchthing Klytus (PETER WYNGARDE) he holds the fates of whole peoples in his icy grip, and Earth is but his latest plaything.

    After crash-landing on Mongo Flash, Dale and Zarkov are immediately captured, and taken to the spectacular Mingo City city to face the wrath of Emperor Ming. Flash is sentenced to death, Zarkov to have his mind erased and reprogrammed, while Dale faces a fate unimaginably worse: to become Ming's bride!

    Enlisting the help of Ming's daughter Aura (ORNELLA MUTI), Flash escapes his execution and flees, but his adventures have just begun. Seeking sanctuary in the forest world of Arboria he meets Prince Barin (TIMOTHY DALTON) and undergoes the terrifying trial of the tree insect. Flash prevails but he and Barin are captured by the mighty Hawkmen, with whom Arboria is at war, and taken to Sky City where Prince Vultan (BRIAN BLESSED) forces them into a fight to the death. But with Dale still imprisoned Flash must make friends of these warring princelings and enlist their help to overthrow Ming, rescue Dale and prevent the annihilation of Earth.

    Our only hope is Flash Gordon . . . saviour of the universe!

    For the new 40th Anniversary 4k restoration, Flash Gordon was scanned from the original 35mm negative to produce 4K files. Over 500 hours of manual restoration repaired serious damage that included image instability, scratches and intermittent flicker. The sound was scanned from the original track negative and underwent restoration to improve issues ranging from audio drop-outs throughout the feature and during reel changes, digital clicks and optical distortion. The film was colour graded for theatrical, home entertainment and 4K HDR release, using previous digital releases and 35mm prints as a reference. In line with the Director's vision and the original 35mm cinema release, VFX work was applied to remove the strings in all scenes where visible. This restoration was approved by Director Mike Hodges in May 2020, and will include the first 4K HDR Dolby Vision master of Flash Gordon.

    "I'm very grateful to STUDIOCANAL for this brilliant 4k restoration. The restoration captures perfectly the vivid colours of the sets, skies and costumes. It also corrects some of the problems encountered with the special effects system we used. With Chroma key compositing we could insert skies, rocket ships, hawk-men, pretty well whatever we wanted, into the blue backing built into the studio sets. The problems came later when we had to eliminate, for example, the wires used on the hawk-men. We were eventually successful but even then some 35mm prints were variable and the wires would be back again. With this new restoration that problem is thankfully laid to rest. Of course Chroma key is primitive by the side of the current process, CGI (Computer Generated Imaging). That said I'm pleased we stuck with the old fashioned system. CGI would have been too slick. After all Flash Gordon was a cartoon strip from the 1930s brought back to life on celluloid some five decades later." Mike Hodges, April 2020

    SPECIAL FEATURES AND TECHNICAL SPECS:

    DISC ONE - 4K BLU-RAY
    • BRAND NEW 4K RESTORATION OF THE FILM, SUPERVISED AND APPROVED BY DIRECTOR MIKE HODGES
    • New Lost in Space: Nic Roeg's Flash Gordon (also iTunes extra)
    • Audio commentary with Mike Hodges
    • Audio commentary with Brian Blessed
    • Behind the scenes of Flash Gordon
    • Stills gallery (also iTunes extra)
    • Storyboards gallery (also iTunes extra)
    • Original theatrical trailer
    DISC TWO - BLU-RAY
    • Interview with Mike Hodges
    • Interview with comic book artist Alex Ross TBC
    • Interview with screenwriter Lorenzo Semple, Jr. TBC
    • Episode 24 of Flash Gordon (1979-1982): The Survival Game / Gremlin's Finest Hour
    • Sam Jones's acting start
    • Entertainment Earth on Flash Gordon merchandise
    • Bob Lindenmayer discusses deleted scenes and original endings
    • 35th Anniversary Greenroom
    • 35th Anniversary reunion featurette
    • Renato Casaro extended interview
    • Brian Blessed anecdotes
    • Melody's musings
    • On the soundtrack (Brian May & Howard Blake)
    • Easter Eggs
    THE FIVE-DISC COLLECTOR'S EDITION INCLUDES
    • The 4K Blu-ray plus two Blu-ray discs
    • BONUS BLU-RAY DISC OF LIFE AFTER FLASH, the 2017 feature documentary celebrating the film and it's star, directed by Lisa Downs
    • ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK CD by Queen & Howard Blake
    • 32 page booklet
    • 16 page Titan mini book (The Story of Flash Gordon)
    • Reproduced booklet of the first strip of original comic books
    • Poster of original artwork
    • 4 artcards of various incarnations of Flash film posters across the years
    • 1 sew on 'Flash patch'
    https://www.blu-ray.com/news/?id=26790
     
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  2. KGBRadioMoskow

    KGBRadioMoskow Makes any meat boneless!

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    I always wondered as the years went by, whether I could reach a point of excessive repeat watching of certain movies I love would finally bring me to the point I was sick of seeing them again.

    Man With No Name Trilogy - Nope.
    Die Hard / Die Hard 3 - Nope.
    The Warriors - Nope.
    Raiders of the Lost Ark / Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade - Nope.
    Bubba Ho-Tep - Nope.
    Hellraiser / Hellraiser II - Nope.
    Phantasm - Nope.
    Tremors - Nope.
    Blazing Saddles - Nope.
    Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory - Nope.
    Dragonslayer - Nope.
    Robocop - Nope.
    Time Bandits - Nope.
    The Shawshank Redemption - Nope.
    Jaws - Nope.
    The Thing (1982) - Nope.
    The Blues Brothers - Nope.
    Monty Python and the Holy Grail - Nope.
    Alien - Nope.
    Escape from New York - Nope.
    Star Trek II - Nope.
    The Fly (1986) - Nope.
    Quatermass and the Pit - Nope.
    Batman Begins / The Dark Knight - Nope, but feeling like its getting close.

    Flash Gordon - Yeah, kind of ground out by this one after dozens and dozens of viewings. If this was a vinyl record, I would have worn the grooves out. Love the hell out of it, but not sure I can watch it all the way through again.

    Having said that, this will still be a sure thing purchase. I can't help myself.
     
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  3. x666x

    x666x Well-Known Member

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    I'm in. Problem is the UK won't ship to North America right now. Maybe by then, if they are not sold out.
     
  4. Katatonia

    Katatonia Hellbound Heart

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    Zavvi still do right now. I pre-ordered mine earlier yesterday, but if Diabolik put up a pre-order, I'll probably go with them and cancel it.
     
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  5. Erick H.

    Erick H. Well-Known Member

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    I saw the new DCP of the film in the theater last year with a sellout crowd,it looked fantastic.
     
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  6. Steel76

    Steel76 Well-Known Member

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    Holy shit, this is awesome!
    Flash Gordon in Dolby Vision will (hopefully) be insanely glorious :D

    Pre-ordered!!
     
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  7. Matt89

    Matt89 Well-Known Member

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    Wow that set looks incredible.

    I might have to buy this lol.

    ~Matt
     
  8. X-human

    X-human I ate my keys

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    Jawesome. Definitely getting this. Commentary track with Brian Blessed? That could either be the worst thing in the world or the greatest! So either way I'm in. :D

    Just watched it the other month in tribute to Max Von Sydow and had a blast. It had been a long time and it felt like watching it for the first time. I didn't realize that was Sydow before now; it was as if they simply got Ming the Merciless and let the cameras roll. I also spotted Richard O'Brien for the first time in a minor part. But it's such a great cast. Ornella Muti is underrated and perfect in this. She had that same edge Myrna Loy gave to a similar part in Mask of Fu Manchu (which I really need to see again). And the aforementioned Brian Blessed I love in everything.

    But I also realized the reason why Flash is so great and fun; it was written by Lorenzo Semple Jr. who established and wrote the bulk of the Adam West Batmans in the 60's. You can't miss with a campy genius like that writing the script.
     
  9. wago70

    wago70 Surviving on nostalgia

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    This is great! I remember seeing this film on Showtime - after missing the theatrical release in '80. In late 1981, we had a new discount multiplex open up in Sparks, Nevada that would show 2nd run films. It was our "dollar" theater. Anyway, sometime in 1982 (if memory serves correctly), they showed FLASH GORDON on a double bill with BATTLE BEYOND THE STARS. I remember the house being PACKED that week to see FLASH - and this was well over a year after the cable run. We would try to sneak in to other theaters (even then, they checked tickets often) and we tried to get into this show but couldn't find a seat. Finally, we bought our own official tickets and watched the double feature - late in the run to a pretty big audience. Good times!
     
  10. Katatonia

    Katatonia Hellbound Heart

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    The Blessed commentary is from the old UK DVD SteelBook from years back. It's a pretty entertaining commentary.
     
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  11. sade

    sade Active Member

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    I got excited for a second when I thought the title was about "Flesh Gordon" :D
     
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  12. x666x

    x666x Well-Known Member

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    I don't think you would want to see what comes in a Flesh Gordon boxset. Or do you? ;)
     
  13. zbinks

    zbinks Beset by Creatures of the Deep

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    Arrow has announced a US / CA UHD release.

    https://www.facebook.com/ArrowVideo/photos/a.157131957654140/3300174176683220/

    https://www.facebook.com/ArrowVideo/photos/a.157131957654140/3300178626682775/
     
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  14. Matt89

    Matt89 Well-Known Member

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    Arrow encode > StudioCanal encode.

    So happy about this.

    ~Matt
     
  15. Katatonia

    Katatonia Hellbound Heart

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    I pre-ordered the Limited 4K Arrow set from Diabolik earlier this morning, but I'm keeping my Amazon UK pre-order open for the UK Limited set. I still want the extra swag that comes with it. :p

    We'll have to see how the encodes play out since Arrow are new to the 4K game. It also looks like the various Arrow release(s) have a max of 3 discs for everything including the bonus features, and the StudioCanal has it all spread over 4 discs (not counting the soundtrack CD)
     
  16. zbinks

    zbinks Beset by Creatures of the Deep

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    I'm pretty sure the StudioCanal release is being encoded by David Mackenzie, and I suspect the same will be true of the Arrow release.
     
  17. Matt89

    Matt89 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah just read that David M is doing the encode for both.

    Good to know I don’t have to import this now and risk it getting smashed in the mail.

    ~Matt
     
  18. Katatonia

    Katatonia Hellbound Heart

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    I'm still getting both. :D Flash is actually one of the earliest films I can truly remember seeing in the cinema, at 5 years (almost 6) old... so it's kind of an all-time favorite still.
     
  19. Steel76

    Steel76 Well-Known Member

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    Good to know about the encoding.
    The John Carpenter releases was pretty mediocre at times. In They Live, there are a couple of daytime shots, were it looks like some kind of forcefield of artifacting around the actors.
    The transfers are amazing, but I wish the bitrates were more stable.
     
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  20. ImmortalSlasher

    ImmortalSlasher Well-Known Member

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    That spider scene in the movie always freaked me out. Easily in the top 5 scary spider scenes for me.
     

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