New to Blu: Classics > August 7

Landing today is a raft of classics and back-catalogue bargains, led by one of the funniest movies ever, Planes, Trains and Automobiles.

NZ’s one of the last territories to see this 1987 gem on Blu-ray, which has been given a Ford-worthy rather than prized Porsche HD transfer.

“The John Hughes comedy classic hits Blu-ray with a generally satisfying if only somewhat troubled picture quality.

“The 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 encode (1.85:1) is a definite upgrade over previous releases, showing better definition and resolution overall.”

“The bad news is that Planes, Trains & Automobiles is another Paramount catalogue title that suffers through some unsightly noise reduction.

“The good news is that the end result is nowhere near as atrocious as what was seen in another recent release of a 1980s vintage film, Footloose.”

“There’s some softness here and there and some minor artifacting from time-to-time, but it’s nothing huge, and while that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it’s the same softness and artifacting from the DVD, as far as I can tell.

“A great movie deserves to look as great as it possibly can, and Paramount short-changed PTA in a big, bad way.”

The Great Escape – 50th Anniversary Edition also is less than great.

The Great Escape improves clarity and colour over the DVD, but suffers from an overall appearance that is, at best, average and, at times, troubling.

“We’ve seen better work for similar era movies and I implore the studios involved to do better when we know they can.”

“The transfer is a big improvement in image stability and granularity. The negative has faded just enough to interfere with the transfer, yet colours are consistently good.”

“In a film running almost three hours long, there’s plenty of instances where things look quite nice – impressive depth of colour, great detail, and inky blacks – making the good ultimately outweigh the bad by a pretty good margin.”

Also new are Terms of Endearment, War Games and:

  • Marathon Man (“the high-definition transfer has been struck from a dated source, but the basics are in decent shape”)
  • An Officer and a Gentleman (“the image is fine-grained, detailed and richly coloured”)
  • Romeo + Juliet (“given the fact that Romeo + Juliet is so hyperkinetically colourful, it’s no surprise that the film’s 1080p/AVC-encoded transfer is grade-A eye candy”)
  • Sum of All Fears (“a detailed transfer but ultimately never as good as it could, or should look”)
  • Wayne’s World 2 (“the resolution has been noticeably boosted, making for an exceptionally clean and clear visual upgrade”).
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One Response to “New to Blu: Classics > August 7”

  1. The staggering speed at which Blu-ray prices have fallen has only been matched by the increasing number of hack transfers being foistered onto the medium.

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