The Blu-ray Files #003
Batman Begins (Steelbook) – The new HD quality of the long-desired “proper” Batman movie is good, but leaves a little something to be desired. The images tend to seem soft, not quite as sharp as they could be. Wide shots, like those of The Narrows and of the training mountain, look great though. Skin tones are a little redder than normal as well. But overall, its a treat to watch this film in high def.
2001: A Space Odyssey (Steelbook) – The high-def transfer of Kubrick’s classic is so good its hard to believe that this film came from the 60’s. Grain structure is almost non-apparent, yet no amount of detail is sacrificed. Both black levels and white levels are great. This film which is so reliant on visuals really make those visuals stand out in this amazing blu-ray. Also, the Hal 9000 steelbook cover is awesome.
Dances With Wolves – The blu-ray release of Dances with Wolves simply looks incredible. The colours are exactly what they should be; slightly faded but also rich and full at the same time, depicting perfectly the proper sense of place. Motion in the buffalo hunt is smooth and there’s lots of detail in the production design, especially the clothing.
I do have one issue with this otherwise flawless release, which is the fact that only the extended edition is offered, not the theatrical release. This adds an extra 55 minutes to a film which was already running 3 hours before. The new scenes, which mostly focus on the Sioux point of view, are interesting, but they also affect the film poorly overall. The theatrical version by focusing on John Dunbar’s POV only makes the film tighter and more focused, and really invokes the sense of discovery the movie should have. I’m okay with the extended version being available to those who want more, but to ONLY offer that version and not the proper version is a little enraging. Just include them both, like Close Encounters and Apocalypse now did, and give we the audience the opportunity to decide. That’s all I ask.