Tuesday, 13 July 2010

The One Where I Wonder If A Bluey Can Look Too Good

Can a Film look too restored? Can you tweak it too much? Am I really so old that films of my childhood are included in such debates?

The review quotes are systematic to my thoughts on this. If you watch Blu Rays, or have any interest in picture quality etc, the whole piece is worth a read. It's really got me thinking.

A couple of you, specifically those who thought the new BD looked just awesome (to quote HEADGEEK "The print is f--king unbelievably sharp. I'm talking portal into another dimension sharp."), took exception. So be it, I guess. Everyone's got an opinion and this is probably unavoidable. There are also still lots of people who hate those damn black bars on their new HDTV sets, who don't seem to care or notice that AMC HD stretches the hell out of all their full frame films to fit the 1.78 HDTV aspect ratio, and who would prefer to watch the colorized version of rather than the original black and white. ("If Frank Capra made that film today, he would have used color, dammit!")

JMcG and I had a chat about this, before Predators. Can a movie look too good? Jon falls in the camp that thinks the original was pretty sharp, anyway. I've never seen that all the way through, but the general consensus, was much like Ghostbusters (shocking), and Highlander (refuse to buy), Hi Def gave these films a disservice. Made them look old. (Which they are), and worse than the original DVD copy you have.

It seems for some, you can go too far, though.

Hmmm... You can kind of see his point. In a still, he does look wax work. But actually in the film, it looks so crisp. Like it was made yesterday. Or... in the future.

How many films in the history of cinema - even just Hollywood cinema history - have been lost to time? The prints were cut, trashed, have deteoriated or been misplaced completely? A HUGE portion of the films made before 1930 simply no longer exist. This might surprise you, but Martin Scorsese's Film Foundation estimates a whopping 80% of the American films made prior to 1930 are gone forever. Let that sink in for a moment.

Who knows how many of our favorite films today will simply be lost 100 years from now? 

I think that's a really interesting argument. But, with 150 odd Blus, I'm very much living for today. In 100 years, who knows what format Film will take? It's unlikely to involve just sitting in front of a TV and watching, so... does it matter?

Having now watched it. I can confirm a few things.

The image is startling. Crazy good. People have been saying how good Avatar looks, but that was finished last year, and is 90% blu screen/cgi. Predator is over twenty years old. It's jaw dropping how good it looks. I was worried from the screen shot above, it would look fake. Like Dutch's shirt had been done in cgi. No chance. In terms of jaw dropping Blu experiences, it's right up there. 

I'm glad I waited. This is stacked with extras, and although you can pick the original BD up quite cheaply now, it held it's price. Like Robocop, (which suffered a similar grainy transfer), I'm not touching a Blu, if overall, it's inferior to aq copy I've previously owned. Don't get me wrong, I don't sit there watching all the extras - but I'm a completest. I like to know I have the best version available. A bare bones Blu ray will never give you that. Any argument of Superbit DVDs goes out the window.  There's room on a Blu Ray to tackle extras, plus the crispest picture - so pull your finger out, studios.

Secondly, the film holds up. As much as I enjoyed Predators, there is a B Movie element, that is even more obvious, when watched in close proximity to this one. I love that they reference this one so much, and again, it was good to catch that.

Flash is a clearly a massive fan of the soundtrack, and hearing it here, in original form, it was totally original, and ahead of it's time. Apart from terminator, and T2, this is, and always has been, my fave Arnie film. It feels more than worthy being in the collection.

Pop back soon, for Predators 2.

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