The Blu-ray Files #007
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon – One of my favourite films of last decade looks great in high definition. The colours are vivid, whether its the lush greens of the spectacular treetop fight, the orange earth tones of the desert flashback, or the excellent black levels of the night scenes. One thing I did notice is that the subtitle translation here is slightly different than that of the DVD release. I’m not sure which one is more true to the actual dialogue (saying Chief Yu instead of Governor Yu for example), but somehow this Blu-ray version seems to ring truer. I wonder if I’m right.
The Dark Knight (Steelbook) – In my review of the Batman Begins I mentioned that some of the images seemed a little too soft. Well, the Dark Knight has none of those problems and looks as sharp as one of the Joker’s pocket knives, without the lint. This is an incredible experience on Blu-ray and the images really pop out. One interesting thing about this release is that the movie actually switches aspect ratios during the big action scenes, going from 2.4:1 to 1.78:1. The reason for this is because that’s what happened in the Imax theater showings of the film to make he sequences really stand out. I think its neat that they kept that here, though it doesn’t have the same impact. Actually, its barely noticeable, but still neat. Also, I love the steelbook packaging.
Planet of the Apes – For a movie that is over 40 years old, it looks pretty damn good here on this great blu-ray release. Images are sharp and crystal clear. Planet of the Apes has a very distinct colour palate and conceptual design, and they come out brilliantly with this transfer. The Bedrock-like sets seem more authentic and real then ever before. And unlike the DVD release, the cover of this blu-ray isn’t a massive spoiler! Great release of a great film.