The Blu-ray Files #004
Close Encounters of the Third Kind (30th Anniversary Ultimate Edition) – One of the great visual films of the 70s also looks great on blu-ray. The colours are perfect and the wide shots look great. There is a lot of film grain present however. Now, I know that film grain is a touchy area for high def transfers; too much grain and the film looks shabby, not enough and the film starts to lose detail. Grain is a natural component of film and is needed to maintain integrity, but regardless there still seems like a tad too much here. But on the other hard, it does make it really feel like a film of its era which simply looks like it did when it first was released.
After my rant on Dances With Wolves’s extended edition, I should mention here that this package includes three copies of the film (the original, the special edition, and the director’s cut of the two of them together). Thankfully, they gave us the choice of which to watch, the way they should.
Saving Private Ryan – The first thing that jumped out of me here was the heavy grain, and for a film only 13 years old I didn’t expect that much of it. Though t only seems heavy in certain parts, like the graveyard scenes and the scenes at the Ryan’ farm. However other moments like the breach battle are amazingly sharp and clear. I could really pick out even small details like patches on the uniforms. The sound is also very clear and also allows small things to be notivced, like how one shot up the beach at Normandy is actually a first person point of view of Capt. Miller. I never knew that before without the great sound detail that comes through here.
The Bridge on the River Kwai – One of the great epics also looks great in high definition. At first I was worried as the opening shots had very washed out colours and looked pretty bad (this also occurs in the final shots as well). However, this must be a problem with the original negative, because the rest of the movie looks fantastic and the colours looks naturally vibrant. This is a great film which really feels like its been brought back to life with blu-ray technology.