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The Restored WINGS DVD and Blu-ray out Today!


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*Huge Reviews, and a 5 minute Blu-ray Teaser! *

icon_biggrin.gif Wow! Take a gander! This you gotta see. Amazon just put up a 5 minute promo, featuring excerpts from one of the two documentaries on the Blu-ray edition.Out in stores today. This is fantastic! Now I am really pumped for the release! I was blown away. Thanks much to Greg Nestor for bringing it to our attention. Very impressive. Hopefully, my order will be here in just a few hours from now. Will need to hook my new Blu-ray player back up before it get's to dark. Hope I got home in time.

Let me just say that one of the first things Paramount should do is get all of the Bootleg's off of Ebay. When I looked in November, there were at least 6 different bootlegs, I mean 6 different kind of bootlegs, not the some covers and packaging there. Most looked very official. I don't know if any of those were the Photoplay version or not, probably all from the old 1985 Paramount laser-disc with the Gaylord Carter score, but there sure were a bunch of them. icon_sad.gif I was pretty amazed at just how many .

:-[ Those colored flames you see were in the original film in 1927. They have been re-created here for the very first time since it's original release. So they have been missing from surviving prints until now. I have read about them in the past being absent, even in previously tinted prints by AMPAS and LOC. The tinting and toning effects are supposed to be as close to vintage as they have ever been.

The Photoplay Productions print of 1993 was tinted, but about 75% of it was all gold, with some blue. That's about it. Maybe a little bit a amber in a few scenes. While I'm anxious to hear the recreation of the 1927 J. S. Zamecnik score for the first time, it's still the Carl Davis Main-title theme I keep humming when ever I see a still from WINGS. So it's kind of sad that great work will likely fade into oblivion. As this release will be far more accessible than the Photoplay restoration ever was. Must say this was an unexpected event by Paramount, and Warner's really needs to get cracking and give as us the long since overdue 2004 restoration of THE BIG PARADE, yet to debut on TCM, let alone on DVD or Blu-ray. Classic film fans everywhere need to support this release, son't be waiting for a TCM debut which may be many months from now, or Netflix. Buy the Blu-ray or the DVD. Buy a copy of both. They are surprisingly affordable.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/mpd/permalink/ ... nt_fb_link" target="_blank

icon_smile.gif Big, Big review of the WINGS DVD-Blu-Ray release in the New York Times!

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/22/movie ... r=2&src=tp

Pilot’s-Eye View of the War in the Air
Published: January 20, 2012
THE Academy Award nominations for 2011, which will be announced on Tuesday, will most likely include a few nods to “The Artist,” Michel Hazanavicius’s careful if sometimes condescending pastiche of silent-era filmmaking. Most people seeing “The Artist” will probably be seeing a movie without (much) spoken dialogue for the first time; the trick will be getting them to see a second example, preferably an authentic one.

Conveniently, Tuesday is also the street date for Paramount Pictures’ truly magnificent, high-definition restoration of William A. Wellman’s 1927 World War I epic “Wings,” which the studio is releasing both as a Blu-ray disc and as a DVD. For those unfamiliar with silent film, this would be a very good place to start.

¶ At the first Academy Awards banquet, held at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel on May 16, 1929, “Wings” was honored as the Outstanding Picture of the 1927-28 season, a distinction that over the years has come to be accepted as the Academy’s first Best Picture citation, though that fledgling event also honored F. W. Murnau’s “Sunrise” as the season’s most Unique and Artistic Picture, a category that, unfortunately, had been scuttled by the time the second banquet rolled around.

¶ There were no formal nominations or voting procedures in the early years of the Academy. The winners were simply announced (three months ahead of time for the first awards) by the members of a Board of Judges on Merit Awards. But even if there had been balloting, “Wings” would most likely have been the winner. Still a runaway hit after almost two years, the film was just moving beyond its initial big city, exclusive presentations into national release, re-equipped for its rollout with recorded music and sound effects.

¶ “Wings” possessed many of the qualities that would define future Oscar winners: a huge budget (two million 1927 dollars); a sweeping historical subject that incorporated thrills, romance and sentiment; the leading female star in the country (Clara Bow, at the height of her notoriety as Hollywood’s “It” girl) flanked by a pair of handsome newcomers (Buddy Rogers and Richard Arlen); and an innovative use of technology. (The initial engagements were presented in Magnascope, a process that allows for supersize images for selected scenes, almost exactly as the Imax-ized blockbusters do today.) The modern Oscar winner that “Wings” most closely resembles is James Cameron’s 1997 “Titanic”: a grand entertainment in the something-for-everyone tradition that has been lost in the more recent era of niche marketing. “Sunrise,” though immeasurably the greater film, wouldn’t have had a chance.

¶ Paramount, actually, was coming a bit late to the game with “Wings.” Two previous big studio productions, MGM’s “Big Parade” (directed by King Vidor in 1925) and Fox’s “What Price Glory” (Raoul Walsh, 1926), had already begun the process of romanticizing and reclaiming the traumatic experience of the Great War. But those were films about foot soldiers, while “Wings” — perhaps inspired by the national wave of enthusiasm that accompanied Charles Lindbergh’s 1927 trans-Atlantic solo flight — was about the war in the air, a subject that literally required a new perspective. Paramount’s head of production, B. P. Schulberg, found what he wanted in a young and relatively inexperienced director named William A. Wellman, who had been a fighter pilot with the Lafayette Flying corps during the war and had published a book, “Go, Get ’Em!,” about his experiences.

¶ Today the flying sequences in “Wings” would be executed using digital techniques; in the ’30s and ’40s, they would have been created with a combination of miniatures, rear projection and optical printing. But in 1927 the only way to capture these effects was to perform them in front of live cameras, and Wellman found himself at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio commanding a 220-plane escadrille staffed by Army airmen and Hollywood stunt flyers.

¶ Because the planes were too small to accommodate an actor, a pilot, a cameraman and a camera, Harry Perry, the director of photography, found a way of mounting a camera in the front cockpit so that it could be operated from the pilot’s seat. Those close-ups of Arlen (who had learned to fly in the Canadian Royal Flying Corps), Rogers (who learned to fly during the production) and their comrades are gripping because they are unshakably, unmistakably real: actors filming their own performances, on sets sailing thousands of feet above the ground.

¶ The emotional core of “Wings” is the intense male romance played out between the Arlen and Rogers characters. Their relationship includes some surprisingly tender scenes of physical affection that our contemporary self-consciousness about such matters would make inconceivable in a mainstream film. Yet Wellman, who would include similar if less explicit scenes in later films, puts all of the film’s dramatic weight behind the male couple, to the point where Clara Bow, the ostensible star, seems excluded from her own movie. (She plays a hometown girl who volunteers as an ambulance driver to be on the same continent with Rogers, the boy next door she has grown up loving.)

¶ Commissioned in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of Paramount’s founding, the present edition of “Wings” is a sterling example of the kind of miracles that can be worked when a major studio throws itself — with support from the Film Foundation — behind a major restoration. Working from the badly damaged duplicate negative that survives in Paramount’s archives, a team of technicians from Technicolor’s Restoration Services stabilized the image, removed dirt and scratches, added the appropriate color tinting and even some hand-stenciled effects (bursts of yellow flame for machine-gun fire) while maintaining the tight grain structure of the original photography.

¶ Accompanied by a five-channel stereo rerecording of the original score composed by J. S. Zamecnik and sound effects supervised by Ben Burtt, “Wings” is about as perfect a presentation of a silent film on a home video format that I’ve ever seen. Here’s hoping that Paramount won’t wait another hundred years before tackling a few more titles from their silent holdings. “The Artist” is a fine film, but it seems very small beside the real thing. (Paramount, Blu-ray $29.99, DVD $15.99, not rated) .

Still another Big, Big review in the Smithsonian! This one even talks to people at Paramount with the clear implication that there should be more Silent film releases from their archives! Nothing specific mind you. Maybe BEAU GESTE, and OLD IRONSIDES. I just wish they would consider FORBIDDEN PARADISE, STAGE STRUCK, A KISS FOR CINDERELLA, LORD JIM, and CHILDREN OF DIVORCE.

http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/movies/ ... red-wings/|http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/movies/2012/01/a-newly-restored-wings/

Plus More Strong Reviews at the these links:

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film3/blu-ray_ ... lu-ray.htm|http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film3/blu-ray_reviews56/wings_blu-ray.htm

http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/Wings-Blu ... 15/#Review

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Don't get too excited that you go out looking for it in stores. I went today to Costco, Best Buy, Target, and Frys. No place had it. They also didn't have The Apartment, Annie Hall or Manhattan that came out today. And only the three Hitchcocks are at Costco. I have the Wings on order with Amazon but they haven't sent it yet. And Amazon doesn't cvsrry The Apartment on Blu.

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I got mine from amazon today, it's utterly flawless. worth the wait even if it still took Paramount too long, but it looks like it's selling well so hopefully this will encourage more (the Big Parade, Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse to name a few). with this and the Artist's Oscar nomination, it's looking like silent movie fans are finally having their day in the sun again.

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angry.gif Well, it's not quite utterly flawless I fear. "My Blu-ray copy doesn't play back. Fortunately, the DVD does so i was at least able to see the new restoration.


I got both the *WINGS* DVD and Blu-ray a couple days ago. Watched it{font:Arial} Wednesday evening {font}The DVD plays very well in my two month old Blu-ray player, on my 10 year old TV. For what ever reason, the Blu-ray does not read at all. There is no picture, no audio of any kind. icon_sad.gif I do not know why? The bad thing is that the documentary on restoring the film is only on the Blu-ray. The very first thing I had intended to watch. There are three documentaries on the Blu-ray. Just one of the DVD. Since I don't have another Blu-ray player there is no way that I can check to see if the disc is defective at this time.



The recreated J. S. Zamecnik 1927 Orchestral score is very good. At times excellent. I won't say that it isn't. Nevertheless, I am still partial to the Carl Davis score overall. Maybe partly because I have heard it allot more times. The two musical scores were approached very differently. There is more drama to the Davis score, more comedy it seems to the Zamecnik one. Not that it is lacking in the dramatic in any way. I just wish the Davis score was also included. It's just to outstanding to be forgotten. Fredric Hodges Piano solo during the scene where Richard Arlen is bidding his family Farewell, just doesn't have the same punch of the two pieces that Carl Davis had composed for this sequence. I can't understand why they went with no other instruments during this entire key scene in the film. Like the Photoplay Productions Presentation, the majority of this print is tinted gold. With a little more Blue than previously and some Amber. They also replicated the stencil color process on numerous scenes. Including were we see the French, America, and British flags flying. A striking effect. Not vivid colors, it looked pretty vintage. The print is clearly much better at times than I have seen, other times it is not markedly improved over the Photoplay version, which would have looked great if I had a recording from a better source in it's own right.



There are some scenes with allot of sound effects, but they are well done and do not overpower the music or the action on screen. Very impressive work. This is a spectacular release and I am amazed at the rave reviews the movie itself has been getting all over the place. Mostly, if not exclusively from people who clearly have never seen the film before. I mean WINGS is good, but not that good. I rank it several notches below THE BIG PARADE, and now more than ever Warner's needs to seriously get cracking. Otherwise, by default WINGS reputation is bound to escalate, while THE BIG PARADE will see it's status continue to fade. They must not let that happen. There is no reason whatsoever that it should happen.



Unlike *WINGS,* most of the work on *THE BIG PARADE* was completed 8 years ago. Remastered from the original camera negatives between 2002 and 2004. Therefore, additional costs would be minimal. Why pour a great deal of of money and hard work into a major restoration project of an extremely important and prolific film the highest grossing movie of the 1920's, only to stash it away for another 8 years???



With any luck, the success of THE ARTIST will encourage more major Silent film releases from the big studios soon.



I'm very impressed with the pride that people at Paramount appear to have taken in the *WINGS* project. That is great to hear, and I can't thank you enough. But Brian McKechnie and others at Paramount have to understand that they have many other great Silents stashed in the archive. Starting with the original 1926 version of BEAU GESTE. A fully restored BEAU GESTE complete with the original Hugo Risenfeld score would truly be another highly unexpected dream come true.

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My Blu-ray copy arrived yesterday and I fired up the blu-ray player and put it in and it looks great. I just did a spot check on the movie and the extras, they do look terrific.. I agree about "Beau Geste", like I stated in another thread, I have a copy of "BG" and even with the poor quality you can see it is a masterpiece. So lets hope the powers that be see the handwriting on the wall and start doing justice to these classics...... ?:|

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The UCLA film and television archive is working on a 35mm restoration of BEAU GESTE, but it may be a while before it is completed. When BEAU GESTE was shown last summer at the AMPAS theater it was in 16mm, however, we got to see a bit of the 35mm restoration. While it was still a work in progress at that time, it still looked pretty good. I would guess that it may be another couple of years before the restoration is finished. Maybe by then Paramount will release it on BR.

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Gagman, what player do you have? It is possible that you might need a software upgrade. Of course, it is also possible that the disc could be defective. Take the Blu disc into a store like Best Buy and say you are interested in buying a TV but would like to see how this movie looks on it. I've done that.


Another thing, you said you got the Blu and the DVD of the title. You mean that you both items separately, right? Not a combo/DVD package. Because the U.S. release is a standalone Blu disc.

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It is an LG brand Blu-ray player. Bought it just before Thanksgiving. WINGS is the only Blu-ray disc that I have. Never had one before this. Bought the player mainly because WINGS was being released on Blu-ray and really for no other reason. I wanted the two extra documentaries which are not a part of the DVD release.



I purchased a DVD of THE BLUE BIRD a couple weeks ago. It plays, but you can only hear the audio. The picture is a bunch of scrambled lines. So I didn't expect the WINGS DVD to be any different. To my amazement, It read perfectly. With the Blu-ray though there is nothing. Doesn't even run.



That's why I want to know if anyone else has a defective disc or not? I'm not claiming that it is defective , all I know is that it does not run. Pretty disappointing.

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There are several possibilities.


If one DVD you tried (Blue Bird), didn't play visually but did via the audio, it sounds like a connection problem.

1. Are you using an HDMI connection between your Blu player and your TV?

2. You are not going from the player to an audio receiver to TV, are you?


I have read about problems with numerous LG players. Among them, the 570 and the 590. You mentioned buying it just two months ago, but that the disc doesn't even load. The fault could lie with the player itself. Where did you purchase it? I would definitely look at returning it for a different brand, not an LG. Sony should always be your first choice since they basically came up with Blu-ray. You can now get players under $100.


I believe you are also here in the L.A. area, aren't you? I could swing by at some point to look things over, and bring along a Blu player I have to test the disc.

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> Depressed that I have to buy a new TV in order to watch a Blu-ray.

filmlover was saying just take the blu-ray disc to the store to try it out there on another player, not that you actually have to buy a new TV. it sounds to me like either a simple connection issue or a software update could fix it. blu-ray players are unfortunately like that, sometimes when you buy a new blu-ray you have to update the software before you can watch it.

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Hi, gagman,


Been out all day and just got in. My Wings Blu arrived today and I just did a quick test, and it works perfectly. I won't have a chance to play any documentaries or the film until about Tuesday.


Now, mateo is correct, when I said take the disc you have it to make sure it is okay, that's what I meant, that by telling them you are "interested" in a TV, they can play it for you. You are not going to buy a TV, you are just saying you are interested, though you are not really. (When they test it, and if it works, be sure you don't day, "How come it doesn't work on my player?" because that would be a dead giveaway.


Okay, don't give up on Blu. It's the best thing to have. The problem is you are newbie and have not had any prior playing of them.


1. My top suggestion is for you to take back your LG player. Tell them it doesn't work. Get a refund or a credit. Where did you buy it? Buy a Sony Blu-ray. Even if you buy from Amazon, you can get a Sony Blu-ray for under $100. If you can, buy it at Costco. They are the best on the world for returning something you don't like. STAY AWAY FROM LG PLAYERS AND VIZIO PLAYERS, GET A SONY!!!!!!!!


2. You didn't answer my previous question to you, are you using an HDMI connection from your Blu player to your TV?


3. One thing about Blu discs, they are like computer software and can take up to a minute to load. You may even see a blank screen for a minute while it uploads. I had that in playing the Wings Blu. (Also, there is about a 30-second overture in black for the film.)


4. To get a software update, you can call LG's customer. I am sure they can send a DVD with it on it. Do not try downloading the update over the internet. That may work but it can also backfire during transmission and you will have a large paperweight on your hands.


5. Same as the first. Return your player and get a Sony. LG players are notorious for not playing some items.


I will be out for a few days and won't be able to reply until Tuesday.

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OK, I got this thing to run, and I was able to watch the other two special features! very pleased! Never knew it took several minutes to load up.


The only other problem I have is play back of DVD-R media, and DVD+R. where all I get are a bunch of scrambled lines. You can hear the audio though. Commercial DVD's have worked fine except for THE BLUE BIRD. Going to try it again though. Thanks for all your help!

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Check your user's manual. Some Blu players won't play all DVD-R and DVD+R material. Blus and DVDs, yes..but DVD-Rs, maybe.


As far as loading time, yes, you have to remember that a Blu contains so much more info that it is, in essence, a BD-ROM.


One thing I bet you didn't know - and you will like this - is that unlike DVDs, Blu-ray discs have a coating on them which makes it very difficult to scratch them. If you have a lot of fingerprints on them, take a soft cloth (no liquid or spray should be used), give it a rub and your Blu looks like new.


Welcome to Blu-ray.


btw, here is a good link to find good tech info or to ask questions:


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