New to Blu: Classics > October 31-November 6

Two classics of American cinema receive wildly varying treatments this week on Blu-ray.

The 30th anniversary edition of ET The Extra-Terrestrial lands here with its deluxe digibook packaging intact whereas the 70th anniversary edition of Citizen Kane is a budget release with only the Blu-ray disc of the movie.

In the US, Orson Welles’ newspaper baron classic was issued in two- and three-disc editions, with such extras as the Oscar-winning doco The Battle of Citizen Kane, and the fictionlaised account of its production, RKO 281, on separate DVDs plus a 48-page digibook.

At least the NZ Blu-ray still includes commentaries and extras and is said to benefit from the movie’s innovative deep focus photography techniques.

“The blacks are sharp and could be a little darker, but there’s such a dynamic contrast range here. The gradation from light to dark is perfect, with no signs of banding.

“You can see deep into some shadows, picking up things you’ve never seen before.”

“Employing an all-new HD restoration from original nitrate elements in 4K resolution, a black and white film transfer doesn’t look much better than this …

“The somewhat scrubbed nature of the 60th anniversary DVD release has been replaced by a more film-like look with the film’s original grain clearly visible and not intrusive.”

ET is a terrific finish to Universal’s 100th anniversary celebrations, even if NZ missed most of the ‘specially packaged studio milestones that were released in the US, UK and Europe.

ET The Extra-Terrestrial on Blu-ray is as stunning as you could hope it to be. It’s an absolutely beautiful presentation, free of any overabundant digital manipulation.”

ET dazzles with a lovely, beautifully restored and, yes, filmic 1080p/AVC-encoded video transfer supervised and approved by Spielberg himself; one that I can’t imagine will generate many, if any, serious complaints.”

Other back-catalogue collectibles out this week include SevenBlade RunnerLittle Shop of HorrorsThe Mask and Boogie Nights while being re-issued in 3D double- and triple-packs are Drive Angry/Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, Clash/Wrath of the Titans and Ultimate Boys Collection, which bundles all of these with Green Lantern.

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One Response to “New to Blu: Classics > October 31-November 6”

  1. As much as I love Kane, the bare bones NZ edition is ok as all the US extras are on DVD and have been previously released in earlier editions.

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