ICESTORM / NTSC (frame 390)

Reviewed by dvdfreak

Last modified on Thursday 11th March 2010, 03:40:28 AM

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Label:  ICESTORM Entertainment GmbH (Germany)

Region:  1, 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6
RCE protection:  No
Copyright protection system:  CSS / CPPM

Disc type:  DVD5 (the data occupy 3.79 GB)

Playback time (hh:mm:ss.frames):  1:29:42.01

Video:  NTSC (fieldblended from PAL source)
Aspect ratio:  2.34:1 non-anamorphic*


Bitrate (min / avg / max):  0.39 / 5.00 / 9.06 Mbps

Bitrate (min / avg / max)

Audio:
 

German Dolby Digital 2.0 mono** / 192 kbps

Subtitles: English

Menus available in: English & German


Special features:
 

  • Essay "Socialists in Outer Space" (6 pages***)
  • Biography & filmography
    • Kurt Maetzig (5 pages***)
    • Set designer Alfred Hirschmeier (4 pages***)
    • Special effects artist Ernst Kunstmann (4 pages***)
  • Gallery of set design (8 pages)
  • Newsreels (in German****)
    • "British Filmmakers Visit DEFA" (1:26)
    • "A Rocket in the Soviet Zone" (0:37)
  • East German sci-fi trailers (in German****)
    • "Der schweigende Stern" (3:15)
    • "Eolomea" (2:34)
    • "Im Staub der Sterne" (2:57)
  • DVD credits
    • First Run Features (1 page, in English)
    • ICESTORM Entertainment (2 pages, in German)
    • PROGRESS Film-Verleih (2 pages, in German)
    • Filmmuseum Potsdam (2 pages***)
    • DEFA-Stiftung (1, resp. 2 pages***)

Notes: Only available in "Science Fiction Special-Edition" 4-disc set,
together with "Eolomea," "Im Staub der Sterne,"
CD: "Im Staub der Sterne, Eolomea - die Filmmusik"
& 8-page booklet (in German).

This was probably converted from an older PAL release. I picked screenshots with no or very little movement in order to minimise quality loss, just to show what the film might have looked like if treated properly. However, most of the time it looks like this:

ICESTORM / NTSC (frame 30279)

For comparison, here's the corresponding frame from the original PAL edition (reviewed below):

ICESTORM / PAL (frame 25250)

People keep asking me to include some personal comments in the reviews, but I've got my reasons for not doing so. In this case, however, I'll make an exception - here's what I think about this DVD (set), and what I've sent to ICESTORM in an e-mail:

Hello!
I had ordered "Science Fiction Special-Edition" from Amazon.de, and it arrived yesterday, but when I saw the contents, it really pissed me off! I ordered this SE only because it was supposed to have 16:9 transfer, but all 3 films are definitely NON-anamorphic, and what's more, the PAL/NTSC conversion is a mess! Why is a German (PAL country) DVD encoded in NTSC format at all? And it looks like the people at EUROTAPE Media Services Berlin or Cine Magnetics Digital and Video Laboratories NY are a bunch of idiots - don't they know how to do a proper PAL/NTSC conversion (also known as 3:2 pull-down)? Do you have any idea how this field-blended sh*t looks like on a progressive flat screen? Sorry for the harsh words, but I just can't believe that in 2006, when the HD-DVD is only a few weeks away, somebody dares to release widescreen films with non-anamorphic, and not properly converted video. :-(
Some Special-Edition...
Yours sincerely,
Peter

*it says "16:9" on the cover, but it's a mistake
**difference between channels is -43.46 dB (0.67 %)
***in English & German
****with optional English subtitles


ICESTORM / PAL (frame 326)

Reviewed by standa.e

Last modified on Thursday 11th March 2010, 03:40:31 AM

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Label:  ICESTORM Entertainment GmbH (Germany)

Region:  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 & 8
RCE protection:  No
Copyright protection system:  None

Disc type:  DVD5 (the data occupy 3.79 GB)

Playback time (hh:mm:ss.frames):  1:29:46.02

Video:  PAL
Aspect ratio:  2.39:1 non-anamorphic


Bitrate (min / avg / max):  1.57 / 4.63 / 5.61 Mbps

Bitrate (min / avg / max)

Audio:
 

German Dolby Digital 2.0 mono / 192 kbps

Subtitles: None

Menus available in: German


Special features:
 

  • Trailers
    • "Famous DEFA Movies" (11:27, in German)
    • "Westerns from the East" (2:07, in English)
  • Kurt Maetzig's biography (3 pages)
    & filmography (3 pages, in German)

Notes: 
Getting back from the submenu to the main menu can present a problem - the navigation buttons are missing, so the only way to get back is using the MENU button on the RC, or eject & insert the disc again.


Noshame Films (frame 362)

Reviewed by dvdfreak

Last modified on Thursday 11th March 2010, 03:40:31 AM

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Label:  Noshame Films (Italy)

Region:  2
RCE protection:  No
Copyright protection system:  CSS / CPPM

Disc type:  DVD9 (the data occupy 7.06 GB)

Playback time (hh:mm:ss.frames):  1:29:50.15

Video:  PAL
Aspect ratio:  2.39:1 anamorphic


Bitrate (min / avg / max):  1.22 / 7.03 / 8.70 Mbps

Bitrate (min / avg / max)

Audio:
 

Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 mono* / 192 kbps
German Dolby Digital 2.0 mono* / 192 kbps

Subtitles: Italian & English

Menus available in: Italian


Special features:
 

  • Original trailer (3:09**)
  • US trailer (1:37, in English with optional Italian subtitles)
  • Newsreels
    • "British Filmmakers Visit DEFA" (1:27**)
    • "A Rocket in the Soviet Zone" (0:38**)
  • Alternative ending of the Italian version (2:05, in Italian)
  • Italian opening credits
    • Edition "Sojux 111 - Terrore su Venere" (2:16)
    • Edition "Il pianeta morto" (0:29)
  • "Segnali di vita dal pianeta morto," an interview with Luigi Cozzi (13:45, in Italian)
  • Gallery
    • Books (1:56)
    • Posters (1:20)
    • Artwork (0:50)
    • Photos (1:00)
    • DVD & VHS (1:25)
    • Merchandising (0:42)
    • "Eolomea" (0:24)
    • "Im Staub der Sterne" (0:24)
  • DVD credits (1 page, in Italian)

Notes: Only available in "Stelle rosse: La fantascienza della Germania dell'Est" 3-disc set,
together with "Eolomea," "Im Staub der Sterne"
& 16-page booklet (in Italian).

When I stumbled upon this set a few days ago, I thought: "Finally, somebody released these science-fiction flicks in anamorphic widescreen!" Sadly, "anamorphic" does not necessarily mean "better quality." It might not be apparent in the comparison at the bottom of this page, but it seems that Noshame just took the ICESTORM's non-anamorphic master, and converted (upscaled) it to anamorphic, resulting in very poor definition, and visible lack of sharpness, as you can see in the direct comparison below. What a shame, Noshame!

ICESTORM / Noshame Films
26097 / 26136 | 31801 / 31840 | 40121 / 40160 | 41866 / 41905 | 51690 / 51729 | 77571 / 77610
81992 / 82031 | 98273 / 98312 | 110000 / 110039 | 111198 / 111237 | 127833 / 127872

ICESTORM / PAL (frame 26097)





*difference between channels is -74.04 dB (0.02 %),
resp. -40.46 dB (0.95 %)
**in German with optional Italian & English subtitles

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ICESTORM / NTSC | ICESTORM / PAL | Noshame Films

ICESTORM / NTSC (frame 31295)

ICESTORM / NTSC | ICESTORM / PAL | Noshame Films

ICESTORM / NTSC (frame 38133)

ICESTORM / NTSC | ICESTORM / PAL | Noshame Films

ICESTORM / NTSC (frame 48107)

ICESTORM / NTSC | ICESTORM / PAL | Noshame Films

ICESTORM / NTSC (frame 50199)

ICESTORM / NTSC | ICESTORM / PAL | Noshame Films

ICESTORM / NTSC (frame 61976)

ICESTORM / NTSC | ICESTORM / PAL | Noshame Films

ICESTORM / NTSC (frame 93002)

ICESTORM / NTSC | ICESTORM / PAL | Noshame Films

ICESTORM / NTSC (frame 98302)

ICESTORM / NTSC | ICESTORM / PAL | Noshame Films

ICESTORM / NTSC (frame 117820)

ICESTORM / NTSC | ICESTORM / PAL | Noshame Films

ICESTORM / NTSC (frame 131878)

ICESTORM / NTSC | ICESTORM / PAL | Noshame Films

ICESTORM / NTSC (frame 133314)

ICESTORM / NTSC | ICESTORM / PAL | Noshame Films

ICESTORM / NTSC (frame 153256)

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