david hare wrote:
It sounds odd for me to say it but I really have arrived - to my own immense surprise - at a point where I would rather watch something like a really well executed WBArchive (including print damage and other scuffles) like Travels with my Aunt , or better still the amazingly gorgeous Yolanda and the Thief which looks like a vault IB master/to digibeta. The Oppo I play back with these days upscales the SD WBAs for instance like cream for a cat, but the Oppo is ruthless in revealing every flaw in the master (and the encode) for a not so good BD. Like the hideous new Kino Nothing Sacred. Or the totally dreadful Fox/Paramount My Fair Lady fuckup ofalltime.
I know what you mean. My fear is that a lot of the companies responsible for issuing Blus really have little idea what they're doing, and have thus focussed on a couple of factors (e.g. sharpness, absence of grain, absence of 'damage') without regard to the age or provenance of the material they're working with. And I suspect we're going to see more and more incompetently scrubbed and messed-with transfers like that Don't Look Now
one, or (my eyes!) Le Samourai
. Fortunately, we have Criterion, MoC and - most of all, in my opinion - the BFI doing things right (when they're holding the reins), but as David says, by now I've seen a number of Blu transfers that are distinctly inferior to a great DVD transfer up-rezzed by my Oppo. A good player can
make a silk purse out of an unadulterated SD sow's ear, but if a clumsy technician has already added a hideous clasp and sequins and thick canvas shoulder-strap to the sow's ear, you're stuffed.
I don't know if I could even begin to agree with this statement.
You make it sound as if there is some ongoing problem with companies consistently producing disappointing releases. Precisely the opposite is true, and precisely companies such as Kino, who used to routinely
produce very problematic DVDs, have become rivals of Criterion and the likes.
This year we saw such an impressive slate of catalog titles done right. From Warner to Gaumont in France, I could not manage to add everything I wanted to my library. And each month I add a pretty large number of discs.
And when it comes to the likes of BFI, for example, let's just say that I would have never bet on them to produce such beautiful BDs for Barbet Schroeder's More
and The Valley
. Add to the mix Before the Revolution
I am sorry. The various companies that release on Blu-ray actually put a lot of care into their releases, and it clearly shows.
You want to talk about consistency and problems
, well, you can look at Facets and Televista, they are still as "consistent" as they were during the glory days of DVD.
As far as DVD-R's (archive) are concerned, I've added around 15 from Warner/MGM and 7 from Sony to my library. The only ones I am somewhat pleased I have are Le streghe
and Riot On Sunset Strip
, because they were so difficult to get for years. However, no amount of upconverting magic can hide how terrible the transfers these discs have are. It literally feels like you are watching with goggles on. Of course, if you are watching your films on a 40-46' inch TV, then maybe the goggles-on effect may be a little easier to tolerate.