Client List and Reviews


MGM
Bandits
College
Jeepers Creepers
The Greatest Story Ever Told
West Side Story
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
2010
Sex and the Teenage Mind

20th Century Fox
The Sound of Music
Kiss of Death
Santitos
Diary of Anne Frank
Far from Home

Anchor Bay
Laid to Rest

Universal Studios
CB4
McVicar
Quincy, ME
Conan
Miami Vice

Paramount
Gunfight at the OK Corral
Atlantic City
Friday the 13th
The Man who Shot Liberty Valance
Crocodile Dundee
Hell is for Heroes
April Fool's Day
The Desperate Hours
Zulu
Cheers

Arclight
The Sisters

Lionsgate
Retribution
Way of the Gun
American Heart

American Cinema Int'l
Jack Hunter Series

Documentaries
Dirt! The Movie
The Nature of Existence
3 Billion and Counting
Let Freedom Sing

 Sony - Columbia Tri-Star
 
Deadbirds
 
Stark Raving Mad
 Scenes of the Crime
    

Miramax
Summer Fling
The House of the Spirits
Cry the Beloved Country

Disney
Tron

Warner Bros. Advertising
29 Titles

Odd Lot Entertainment
Green Street Hooligans 2

SD Entertainment
Bob the Builder
Care Bears
Angelina Ballerina


Bandits

Full review
What is most impressive about this disc is the stunning transfer, which is full of brilliant, natural colors that reveal a generous level of detail. Black levels and shadow depth are rock solid, too. There are literally no source print or compression flaws to be found on Bandits, though some extremely minor edge enhancement is barely a concern here. Excellent.

Full review
All of the elements for a stunning, knockout transfer of exceptionally fine quality are presented with this offering from MGM. The print itself is in pristine condition without any nicks or blemishes to be found anywhere. Also, this is a pretty brightly lit film containing many outdoor scenes, which of course shows off a wider range of colors. The palette is extremely varied and since this is somewhat of a road picture, we get to enjoy the more brilliant family of hues matted against lots of earth tone browns setting up for more of a stark contrast.
There are also a lot of blue and white skies shown in the daylight shots that only adds more pleasant framing to cinematographer Dante Spinotti’s visuals. Saturation is a peak level allowing these colors to punch up the screen but never to bloom. Flesh tones are perfect and stay that way throughout the entire feature.
Black level is also superior with its blanket-like richness and revelations of shadow detail. Even set to 0 IRE (blacker than black) levels, my display showed ample background detail. The picture had no problems delineating outlines and subtle differences with characters like Willis that wore dark on dark clothing.
Compression artifacts were for the most part absent, but any movie that contains as many brightly lit backgrounds as this one is bound to be plagued with edge enhancement halos. Well, that may be true to some extent, but in this case the results were not that bad. Overall, this is a really good-looking transfer that borders on reference quality.

Full review
The anamorphically enhanced 2.35:1 DVD exhibits a pleasing picture, with outstanding sharpness and detail. Chapter 2 offers a good example of fine definition on this DVD, with the pattern on Bruce Willis’s thermal shirt. Only occasionally do images appear somewhat soft. Colors are rich and well balanced, with natural saturation, accurate fleshtones, and deep blacks. Contrast and shadow delineation are nicely rendered, with superb visual information in the darker scenes. Edge enhancement is really the only major distraction noticed, and even then, it is not always apparent. (Suzanne Hodges)
WideScreen Review Picture Rating: 4.5

Full review
Producing a very sharp and well-defined image, the wide screen transfer is very clean, with almost no imperfections. Colors are strongly saturated, while flesh tones remain natural and very appealing- all of which is a credit to Dante Spinotti’s wonderful cinematography. Blacks have a velvety appearance, plus the contrast is very smooth and the image produces a genuine sense of depth. This DVD-18 allows dual layer authoring to both sides of the disc, with no signs of digital compression artifacts on the wide screen presentation.

Full review
Presented as a DVD-18, MGM Home Entertainment has included a 2.35:1
anamorphic widescreen version of the movie on this disc, as well as a fullscreen version. Both are extremely good and highly detailed. The widescreen image restores the movie’s original aspect ratio and brings out the best of the great cinematography of the production. Colors are vibrant and solid, lending a very natural look to the film with natural fleshtones and vivid hues. Blacks are deep and solid, never breaking up, firmly rooting the image, while the highlights are always well-reproduced without ever being overexposed. It is a flawless transfer that is beautiful to behold.

Full review
Bandits
is presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen. MGM has done a great job at making sure that this transfer displays no imperfections or major defects. The color patterns and black levels all appear very spot-on and solid. I spotted a small amount of edge enhancement in a few areas, but otherwise this is a very nice looking print and MGM should be proud.

Full review
Bandits is presented in a 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer, with a full frame edition included on the disc's flip side. MGM continues to put out some ace transfers, as this one is as clean and sharp as we could want, very impressive work. I saw no print flaws, grain, or compression errors in the least, as this rates as one of the best efforts I've seen of late. This is due in part to how MGM chose to do this disc, which is a DVD-18 (dual sided & dual layered) and that means plenty of space, so no compression worries at all here. The colors are natural in scope, but look gorgeous here, some scenes are reference level, to be sure. No problems to report with the contrast either, as black levels are deep, sharp, and refined throughout. This is an excellent presentation in all respects, terrific work from MGM, a studio that has improved by leaps & bounds of late.
 

The Sound of Music (65mm)

Full review
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has created a brand new transfer of the movie for release on this DVD. Struck from a 65 mm print, the transfer is mesmerizingly clean and colorful. Without grain or noise, the level of detail found in the presentation is simply staggering and gives the film a dimensionality never before seen in any home video presentation of the movie. It is presented in an
anamorphic widescreen transfer that restores the movie's original 2.20:1 aspect ratio and with ease this transfer even eclipses the superb Laserdisc versions of the movie that were previously available. The colors are bold and beautiful, bringing out the best of the stunning scenery the film so adequately captures. The lush greens of the grass, the powerful blues of the skies, the vibrant interior decorations and the lucid nighttime shots, every bit of the movie is perfectly captured on this DVD and put on your screen in the most splendid colors. The disc's black level is dead on and creates deep shadows, and the level of detail is never corrupted by the compression, which presents and image that is entirely free of compression artifacts. You will not believe for a second that you are watching a movie that is almost 40 years old, that is how clean, sharp and clear it looks.

Full review
I can't say enough about the stunning picture quality on this DVD. Struck from a 65mm negative, this transfer is nearly flawless, but goes past that to the point where the image is three dimensional, startlingly clear, and extremely smooth. I doubt most people in theaters saw it look as good as this. This 35-year-old film still was able to provide bright, vivid colors that never bleed or smear. The transfer is anamorphic and retains the original 2.20:1 aspect ratio. While there are a few tiny flaws that only a dedicated reviewer is likely to notice (a bit of shimmer or a bit of pixelation in a few quick moments on small objects), it majestically captures the beautiful essence of the scenery and the film. Few transfers have had this jaw-dropping impressiveness that I have seen, even on new films. . .This is one of the top ten disc sets ever produced by any studio.

Full review
The Sound Of Music is presented in a 2.20:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. This is a thirty-five year old movie, but you wouldn't be able to tell that from this amazing visual transfer. The source print looks pristine with few nicks or dirt marks and the compression is flawless, save a few very minor issues. The colors look so bold and rich they seem to flow across the screen, with no smears at all and flesh tones also appear warm and natural. Just as impressive is the contrast, which boasts complex shadow layering and a very high level of visible detail. Simply put, this is a reference quality transfer and the very best this classic film has ever looked on home video.

Full review
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has done a phenomenal job with their two-disc release of THE SOUND OF MUSIC. Transferred from 65mm, the anamorphic enhanced presentation properly frames the movie at 2.20:1, while displaying amazing clarity and detail. There are some moments in the film where the image becomes soft, however this is due to the fact that the cinematographer utilized filters to give key moments in the film a romanticized look. Colors are rich and glowing; the lush greens of the Austrian countryside are especially well rendered by this exemplary transfer. Flesh tones usually appear quite healthy, although there a couple of occasions where they seem a just tiny bit pale. There are no problems with any sort of chromatic distortion, nor do the more intense hues show any sign of bleeding. Blacks are perfectly rendered and the image displays a surprisingly good level of shadow detail. Individual shots in the film that show backlit characters in silhouette precisely maintain the desired effect thanks to the flawless blacks. This is a truly excellent transfer on every count and Fox should be commended for their outstanding work on this 35-year-old movie.

Full review
Remastered from the original 65mm interpositives for this DVD release, this new 2.20:1 anamorphically enhanced widescreen transfer is the best The Sound of Music that has ever been seen on home video. The new transfer has very little grain and is extraordinarily sharp, tiny details apparent in fabrics and faces. So sharp is the transfer that some moiré artifacts are around edges, but they are not extreme and only present on smaller monitors. Flesh tones are well represented, restoring a nice "peaches and cream" look to the actors' complexions. The blue in the sky and greens in the fields are stable and appropriate, never over-saturated as the previous THX Laserdisc or faded to brown as in early video releases. This film has never had eye-popping color, but more of a soft, pastel appearance that is transferred accurately on this disc. The source is free from dirt and scratches, and contrast level could not be more perfect, with blacks deep and pure, bringing out details in bright areas of the frame. Finally, the whites in this film are white and not blue or cream as in the past. I didn't detect much blockiness or pixilization, so impeccably authored is the video on this DVD. Even owners of the last very good Laserdisc of the film will certainly see that it is time to upgrade to this new DVD, current technology providing a giant leap in quality.

Full review
Love it for its celebration of the joys and challenges of life or hate it for its sugary wholesomeness, but in terms of cinematic artistry, The Sound of Music (1965) is a fabulous film. On DVD, this becomes obvious. Strikingly composed deep-focus shots now display intricate backgrounds in subtly shaded colors that build mood and often comment on the action and characters. (Slight shimmer in some of the magnificent Abbey shots is the transfer's only visual transgression.) The sound is crisp and the 4.1-channel mix works well. Although the mono surrounds aren't used much, the nuns' chorus locates you right in the choir.

Other Sound of Music film transfer links:
Interview with DVD producer Michael Matessino
The Sound of Music Special (THX) with John Sellars

The Greatest Story Ever Told (65mm)

Full review
The image quality is absolutely astounding. The shots of the American Southwest (doubling for the Holy Land) are nothing short of breathtaking. A textbook case of why widescreen is better, even on a TV set - it also made me wonder exactly where this era of filmmaking has gone. Be that as it may, with the sharpness and clarity that this DVD offers, the images in this film show up in wondrous detail!

Full review
When you pop in this DVD, please be sure that you have the largest viewing screen available because MGM has faithfully transferred "The Greatest Story Ever Told" in its original W-I-D-E-S-C-R-E-E-N G-L-O-R-Y with a whopping 2.76:1 aspect ratio! The opening credits are quite tiny, and obviously edge enhanced, but even on a 36 inch screen, the information is still quite a strain to read. It certainly doesn't help that the credits were designed with near-maroon typography on a mustard yellow background. What follows though, is an almost perfect rendering of the film itself, with very few signals that it is a library title from the middle 1960's. The initial reel has a few splotches, which miraculously disappear as the film progresses. The Technicolor® cinematography of Academy Award® nominated William C. Mellor is carefully preserved with its riches of colors intact. In a disappointment, though, the blacks are not nearly as rich as the other colors: the "Temptation" scene (Chapter 7) shows far too much grain in the darker areas of the frame. Alas, during the "Crucifixion" sequence (Chapter 30) , the grain becomes as evident as the picture itself. The image has no significant flaws, however, as flesh tones are accurately balanced to the lighting with contrast levels seeming to be right on the money. Whites are neither bleachy looking, nor do they glisten outside of their element. As previously stated, this film has a beautiful painterly quality to it which is evidenced constantly by Stevens' stunning use of location and actor placement. I suppose that my major gripe is that in this format, "The Greatest Story Ever Told" is not larger than life, as it would be in a theater.

Full review
The Picture:
The first and obvious question about the DVD is, of course, whether the $600,000 Dollars were worth spending - and the answer is a resounding YES. Compared to what the picture looked like before the new color re-timing of the elements was much needed and, fortunately, done with great expertise. There are still flaws such as dust particles and other "film artifacts" here or there visible on occasion, and the elements are a bit uneven as some flickering is also noticeable in some shots, but the restoration in general was worth it. The color palette is deep and very warm, with the tones very natural and just with just the slightest touch of unevenness in some rare scenes, due to the condition of the elements in those cases. The color rendition and fidelity are otherwise on target as is the resolution and detail which are both incredibly precise without added frequency boosts, so no blooming on edges. Some viewers may find the very wide aspect ratio hard to stomach since it is nearly the 2.76 : 1 AR ULTRA PANAVISION is calling for in this instance. The content of the frame is very slightly reduced by overmatting. The credits are basically unreadable, which is also due to the fact that they were made very small and humble in the first place, even for a big screen. The film itself, however, is by no means taken at a disadvantage here. The interior scenes are often a bit too dark, though, hiding some necessary detail. The outdoors are exceptional and very rich in detail and resolution as well as in texture and the depth of the colors. A worthy effort by MGM.

Full review
Image Transfer Review: Greatest Story is presented in it's original, theatrical aspect ratio of 2:75:1; the extremely wide image of Ultra Panavision 70mm, one of most expansive film formats ever used. If you've never seen the film in widescreen, you've never seen the movie, period. The extraordinary vistas and visual composition of the film is finally available at home in its original glory (and anamorphically enhanced to boot). Yes, 2:75:1 is a pretty small image size for the average 4:3 TV set, but the payoff in seeing the complete work is worth it. The only complaint I have is that the opening credits use an almost microscopic font that's virtually impossible to read, even when zoomed in. Some kind of cleanup or restoration must have undoubtedly been applied to the film, as it looks stunningly gorgeous. Color balance is very good, and the film is very clean and crisp. There are no compression artifacts or anything else disc-related; the transfer itself is pristine. Obviously, being aged, the film does have some source problems, the most obvious being the murky night-sequences (or, more often, day-for-night sequences), where sometimes the sky or darker shades are very speckled and have movement in the color. Otherwise, though, the damage to the print is minimal and cleaned up. Fans should be very happy with this disc.
 

Gunfight at the OK Corral (VistaVision)

Full review
Paramount Home Entertainment has made GUNFIGHT AT THE O.K. CORRAL available on DVD in a 1.78:1 wide screen presentation that features the anamorphic enhancement for 16:9 displays. Having sat through previous broadcast and Laserdisc presentations of GUNFIGHT AT THE O.K. CORRAL, I can honestly say that this DVD transfer is nothing short of a revelation. Whereas the colors on previous transfers were wildly inconsistent and rarely gave one the impression of what an original IB Technicolor print might have looked like, the hues here are quite lovely and totally cohesive. The dusty tones of the old west predominate, while more intensely saturated hues occasionally accent the image. Flesh tones tend to have the homogenous quality of a makeup man’s kit, but are never unappealing.  The image itself is quite sharp and very well defined, which is indicative of the larger photographic area of the VistaVision format. Blacks appear accurate, whites are clean and contrast is generally smooth. Although shadow detail isn’t up to the standards of today’s film stocks, the image does produce a nice sense of depth.

Mommie Dearest

Full review
Regardless of the film's artistic and moral shortcomings, the good news is that ardent fans? overplayed VHS copies can now be tossed out thanks to this welcome DVD edition. Paramount Home Video has released "Mommie Dearest" on this
dual-layer disc in a striking anamorphic widescreen format that preserves the film's original 1.85:1 aspect ratio. The source print used for the disc is remarkably clean and shows only an occasional imperfection. The overall transfer is, though, is very clean and free from visible defects or compression artifacts. The color is vibrant, giving greater depth to the film's rich production design, dynamic lighting, and stunning wardrobe. The black levels are deep and true and the contrast is natural, resulting in outstanding detail and a genuinely elegant image.

Jeepers Creepers

Full review
DVD Picture:

The anamorphically enhanced 1.85:1 DVD picture exhibits good color fidelity, with accurate flesh tones, rich hues, and deep blacks. Images are sharp, with nicely rendered fine detail and definition. Contrast and shadow delineation exhibit pleasing balance. The source element is revealing of some film grain and occasional artifacts and dirt. There is little pixelization, but edge enhancement can be bothersome at times. (Suzanne Hodges)

Full review
Jeepers Creepers
is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. Keeping in tone with the movie this print has a documentary-style look to it. Blacks and browns were all solid with a slight amount of grain showing up in the picture (which, says the director, was intentional). There is a bit of edge enhancement and some digital artifacting in a few scenes, but overall this is a solid looking print boasting bright colors and a well rendered image by MGM.

Full review
The wide screen transfer is a very good rendering of a modestly budgeted horror film. For the most part, the image is crisp and nicely detailed, although much of the film is intentionally dark, which creates a murky "what's hiding in the shadows" atmosphere. Colors are pretty vibrant and flesh tones are appealing. All of the hues are completely stable, with no signs of noise or smearing. Blacks are accurate and contrast is pretty smooth. The film element used for the transfer pretty clean, but I did notice a lengthy scratch during the opening moments of the film. Film grain is appreciable at various points throughout the movie, but then again, this is a result of the movie's numerous low light situations. Digital compression artifacts maintain a low profile and are hardly bothersome.

Full review
Presented in both 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen and 4:3 full frame on the same disc, Jeepers Creepers boasts an attractive image that faithfully reproduces the film's dark, neo-documentary style. Intentionally murky, the film exhibits a subdued color palette and a slightly grainy appearance that overall is sharp and good-looking.

On the plus side, blacks are rock solid and colors, again subdued, are still clean and stable. Contrast is also very good in the daylight scenes, though the very dark interiors (especially the climax) often appear so dark it can be tough to discern what exactly is going on. Clearly, have the lights dimmed way down as this transfer absolutely requires the proper viewing conditions to be effective. While the print does display some grain, which as (director) Salva indicates on the commentary was intentional, edge enhancement is noticeable and sometimes distracts. Also, I noticed a few compression artifacts (especially the opening, which was shot in excessive heat and therefore caused picture distortion.) All told, however, despite its dark look, this is a solid transfer and appropriate to the material.

Full review
Jeepers Creepers
gets its peepers in a 1.85:1 widescreen transfer that is anamorphically enhanced. This may not be a perfect transfer, but it is nonetheless a pretty impressive one. One of the best aspects of it are the strong contrasts. About half of the film takes place at night or in very dark settings, and shadow delineation throughout the film is, for the most part, excellent. There are a few moments where the finer details get lost in the darker scenes, but it seems very much as if the filmmaker's intent was to keep those scenes overly dark on purpose, to heighten the scare factor by shrouding the onscreen action in shadows. Blacks are solid, and have a nice amount of depth, giving the shadows that are so prominent in the film a life of their own. The rest of the transfer is top notch as well, with excellent image clarity, and good, strong color saturation. Color levels are so well balanced that there is no bleed, even though one of the main characters wears a bright red shirt for the entirety of the film. Flesh tones do tend to lean a bit to the orange side, but that is really one of the only complaints with this transfer.

Far from Home

Full review
Far From Home: The Adventures of Yellow Dog
is presented in both its original widescreen version, enhanced for 16x9 displays, with a pan-and-scanned version on the flip side of the disc. The widescreen image looks excellent for the most part. Color, including the rich, irridescent greens of the British Columbia rainforests come across nicely saturated, with good contrast. Grain is naturally rendered, detail solid, and the look is filmlike, except for some infrequent shimmering. With dense scenery often suffering on DVD, it was nice to see that there are only minor and occasional compression artifacts, with the overall presentation of the outdoors very good.

Image Transfer Grade:
A-

Full review
The anamorphic widescreen presentation, while not flawless, certainly did justice to the film's beautiful cinematography. Sharpness and detail were often perfect, as the picture remained especially crisp and clear throughout the majority of the film. Fine details and solid depth were often noticed, too.
Some minor edge enhancement and grain appeared throughout the film, but nothing of great concern was noticed. Compression artifacts weren't seen, nor were any print flaws. The film's rich, natural color palette was well rendered, with deep greens and strong colors in general.

2010

Full review
MGM Home Entertainment has made 2010: THE YEAR WE MAKE CONTACT available wide screen only, in a non-anamorphic enhanced presentation. Despite the lack of the anamorphic enhancement, it looks very good on DVD. The Letterboxed transfer restores the film’s 2.35:1 theatrical aspect ratio, without any major compromises to the edges of the frame. This edition is the best video incarnation I’ve seen thus far. The image is crisp and detailed, while film grain is minimal. Color reproduction is equally good, with natural looking flesh tones, well-saturated hues and a solid black level. Digital compression artifacts were seldom noticeable on this DVD.


Diary of Anne Frank

Full review
Fox renders an often exquisite transfer of a difficult film. William C. Mellor's Oscar-winning black-and-white cinematography makes marvelous use of deep shadows and silhouettes, which heighten the film's dark, tense mood and intensify the expression of adolescent emotion. Such a gloomy environment can be problematic on DVD, but Fox's stunning restoration brightens the image without altering the lighting effects. Rich, inky blacks and excellent contrast add both a stark reality and lush tenderness to various scenes, with razor sharp close-ups providing dramatic impact. Subtle variances in the gray level scheme lend the film a surprisingly expansive palette that adapts to the story's ever-changing emotional shadings. At times, the transfer might seem a bit murky, but we learn on the commentary track that Stevens often intentionally lit scenes on the dark side to force the human eye to dig out details. Still, clarity is largely superb and minimal print defects only distract during the blackest sequences. A few noticeably grainy segments interrupt the smooth flow of the transfer, giving it a slightly patchy feel, but for a 45-year-old film, this is an exceptional effort.

Image Transfer Grade: A-

Full review
Fox has done a good job bringing The Diary of Anne Frank to DVD in their Studio Classics series. The B&W image is crisp and even throughout, and George Stevens' characteristic long dissolves (some of them very emotionally affecting) are well-rendered.
 

The Sisters

Full review
The 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen presentation is virtually flawless, featuring sharp, detailed images at all times. The color scheme is vivid, and exhibits very natural, realistic fleshtones that only enhance the beauty of the principal actresses. Shadow and black levels are appropriately deep and handled well, especially during the interior faculty club sequences.
Image Transfer Grade: A

Full review
The Sisters is presented in the original 1.85:1 widescreen ratio.  The transfer is crisp, and the film's rich color scale is expertly translated.


College

What we have here looks good, except for the occasional flashing of the 20th Century logo, with bright colors, a nice level of detail, and carefully controlled contrasts abounding. It really does resemble a quality cinematic experience.

The Way of the Gun

Full review
The colors are accurate and vivid, although the palette is deliberately devoid of bright colors. The blacks are solid, and with this better contrast, detail is considerably improved. Likewise, the skin tones are more lifelike and realistic. The image is crisp and clear throughout, with no trace of dust specks or blemishes. The vista around the Mexican motel is rendered beautifully, with vibrant blues. Also, it appears that some form of DNR was applied since grain is reduced considerably. Still, there are plenty of positive attributes in this Blu-ray release.

West Side Story (65mm)

Full review
MGM has done a spectacular job in preparing this special edition. The 2.20:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer has taken cinematographer Danny Fapp's original Panavision 70 print and given it a whole new life. I would venture to guess you have never seen West Side Story look this good. With little or no evidence of any disruptive digital tampering (and only the rare appearance of dirt), Boris Leven's production designs come through in deep and rich reds, yellows, and blues. One need only look at Maria's bedroom scene during "Somewhere" to see what I mean. The blacks are as equally impressive in both the rumble and during "Cool."  As if a beautiful transfer were not enough, MGM puts the "special" in special edition with more bonus features than you can flip a switchblade at.

Full review
I was pleasantly surprised at how well the original negative has held up through all of these years. The DVD features the film's original 2.20:1 widescreen ratio, enhanced at 16:9 for widescreen televisions. The transfer features some compression artifacts, and the original negative shows some signs of aging. Still, the transfer is golden, with electrifying colors, gorgeous flesh tones and dependable blacks. The experience was so pure that I felt like I was watching "West Side Story" for the first time back in 1961.

Full review
High marks to MGM for a stellar transfer!  This DVD should be considered in the same league quality wise as Singin' in the Rain, My Fair Lady, or American in Paris.  The print is remarkably clear given its age, with very little in the way of noticeable marks and scars.  Images are sharp and clear throughout, with excellent color rendering and no bleeding.  Only one short sequence, where Tony sings "Maria", seemed to have a bit of a color saturation problem, but it only lasts a minute or two, and certainly doesn't detract from the overall beauty and brilliance of this anamorphic transfer.

Full review
MGM's new DVD edition of West Side Story is itself something of a revelation. This new widescreen transfer from original 65mm film elements offers the the best video presentation this film has ever had. The image is extremely sharp and clear. Robert Wise's signature overhead shots of New York in the opening sequence as we travel from the east side to the west are astonishingly detailed yet exhibit virtually no shimmering or jittering. For a film now approaching 40 years old, color rendition is phenomenal. Reds are deeply saturated with no chroma noise and the entire color palette has an accuracy and clarity of detail most much newer films can't match. Brightness and contrast are virtually perfect with excellent black level and shadow detail. This gives the image a depth and naturalness that seems more like looking through a window rather than a TV screen. Filmed in the Super Panavision 65mm format, Robert Wise uses every inch of the widescreen frame making letterboxing essential to the full enjoyment of the sumptuous visuals. This transfer is accurately framed at 2.20:1, matching the Super Panavision framing.

Full review
Considering the age of the film, the quality of the transfer is exceptional with bright, vivid colours and very few marks on the print. An excellent job has been done by all concerned with the restoration. Vitally, it is also presented in its proper widescreen aspect ratio of 2.35:1, preserving Jerome Robbins choreography and the compositions of cinematographer Daniel Fapp exactly as they were intended it to be seen.

Full review
A first-class job here too. The print, barring the extremely occasional and isolated speckle, is in marvellous condition. The colours, contrasts and blacks are strong, and the flesh tones are bang-on. The ratio is a gorgeous 2.20:1 anamorphic widescreen. A truly fine transfer of a fine film.

Full review
Taking into account the film's age (40 years-plus) it still has much to recommend. The film's Technicolor hues are gorgeous. Colors are smashing: near-perfect in their smoothness and clarity, there is no bleeding or smearing nor inaccurate fleshtones to distract. Blacks are also rock solid except in a few sequences where I was able to detect some fading. I was also impressed by the consistent contrast and overall strong detail apparent. Shadow delineation is a just a bit less than optimal compared to the best transfers of this vintage that I've seen, but overall sharpness and clarity are superb

Full review
West Side Story
is presented in its original aspect ratio of 2.20:1 and is enhanced for widescreen televisions. It's a beautiful transfer too, with vibrant, luscious colors, excellent contrast and deep blacks with fine shadow detail. Is it an absolutely pristine transfer? Well, no it isn't. You will see some occasional dirt and small speckles of debris on the print. The film is 40 years old, after all. I also noticed some shimmering around light sources and occasional artifacting. But make no mistake; all flaws considered this is still an excellent transfer. The images seemed so rich, so full of dimension, they nearly burst off the screen at times.

Tron (65mm)

Full review
Disney has gone back and given it the super deluxe treatment in this disc that will make users and programs alike salivate. This massive double disc presentation is awesome. The film has been given a new THX-approved letterboxed transfer and is positively glowing.

Full review
Buena Vista Home Video releases TRON in a new THX certified 16x9 enhanced widescreen transfer (2.35.1). And what a difference it makes! The image is sharp and defined and without the imperfections of the previous DVD release. The neon colors schemes are brilliant, and the black level is deep. With this 16x9 enhanced widescreen version, you can really appreciate the detail of the futuristic set designs, binary vehicles, and computer technology.

Full review
The real world footage is quite nice with vibrant -- if not a bit garish -- colors, only slight film grain, and very solid black levels. As the movie shifts into the computer world the image quality drastically changes. Here the film grain is quite heavy, colors are either muted or neon, and black levels tend more toward gray. But again, this is just how "Tron" looks so the DVD can’t really be faulted.
I found the overall image quality to be very true to the original and mercifully free of any DVD compression artifacts, aliasing, or glaring edge enhancement. This is as good a video transfer as we’re likely to see in the near future.

Friday the 13th

Full review
Incredible job done by Paramount on this film. I've never seen Friday the 13th look so good. The image quality looks like that of a present day film. All the colors appear well balanced and the blacks are superb throughout the night scenes. There are some minor speckles that appear throughout the film and a few scratches show up here and there (most likely from the master print) but given that Friday the 13th isn't Paramount's baby (like Nightmare on Elm Street is for New Line) I feel that they really did a superb job on this transfer.

True Grit

Full review
The anamorphic widescreen transfer is at an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 and overall looks terrific. Black level is not quite as strong as I would like, and while the colors are just a bit faded, they are nevertheless consistently rendered and still capture much of the beauty of the Western scenery of the film. Resolution is terrific, with strong detail deep into the picture for terrific depth and dimensionality. This is a very film-like and three-dimensional image.
The authoring on this dual-layer disc is up to snuff as well showing no signs of compression or authoring related artifacts. The elements used were very clean as no dirt is evident in the presentation. Paramount has done well by this Western classic.

Crocodile Dundee

Full review
Hey, look at that, the Australian outback isn't all grainy and dull. And New York city is actually a big, sprawling city. Amazing how a restoration and transfer that includes the original theatrical aspect ratio an do wonders for a film. This is another fine example of the top notch video quality of even the average Paramount DVD release. Beyond a simple anamorphic widescreen presentation the video quality has been substantially cleaned up, and what you'll see is a Mick Dundee adventure free of grain and absent of significant artifacts or edge enhancement. The various settings appear equally balanced in color and sharpness making for one nice looking disc. Very impressive.

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Colors looked wonderful, especially during the early sequences in Australia before Dundee heads off to America. Colors overall appeared bright, well-saturated and clean. Flesh tones also looked natural and accurate, as well. Not without a few minor flaws, but very nice overall.

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While viewing the 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer for Crocodile Dundee I had a hard time believing that the picture is fifteen years old. This isn't an eye-popping transfer, but it looks very good. Colors are vibrant in scenes taking place in the outback while the grays and blues of New York look fine also. Black levels are fine with good detail, and there is little grain evident throughout. Edge enhancement and pixelation look fine, though what is most surprising is the lack of and scratches or print flaws. This is a great transfer from Paramount.
Image Transfer Grade: A-

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (65mm)

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The picture quality is simply stunning. After watching the VHS tape for fifteen minutes I had to turn it off – there was very little color anywhere, and what was there was a blurry brown and white. It was completely devoid of richness and was much too contrasty. The DVD on the other hand looks as good as the best of them. Incredible greens, deep blues and reds that were completely missing on the tape are all faithfully reproduced here. Sharpness is excellent with plenty of detail and little grain. I didn’t experience any pixelation or artifacts and the print used is remarkably free of defects considering its age.

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Colours are very rich and vibrant. The kids would certainly love this disc - the clarity is exceptional.
Extensive shadow detail helps to bring even subtle details to life in what is a very good transfer.
No compression faults were noticed anywhere (although the flying-car sequences look all the more fake for the clarity of the picture).

Full review
An exceptional transfer for a movie over 30 years old. You'd be excused if you thought the movie was filmed yesterday given it's brilliant quality. The more I watched the movie, the more I thought that somehow the same techniques used to improve the aging Star Wars movies was used here.  It's main strength is the clean image. There is no sight of film noise or dust or speckles to be seen all combined with a crisp image and an abundance of detail. Color is well saturated showing off the chromes and golds of the classic machinery and the vibrancy in the image provides for some even more startling blues and purples. Flesh tones are well balanced and everyone has a nice even coloring.

April Fool's Day

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Impressive!  I’m pleased enough that Paramount decided to put this underappreciated gem onto DVD in the first place, but their anamorphic transfer ranks as one of the best I’ve seen for films from the 80s!  Colors are well rendered and natural looking, images are sharp and clear, detail level is strong, and no grain or compression mars the effects.  The print itself is quite clean, with only one or two brief instances of shimmering caused by apparent aging.  If every movie from that decade looked as good as this, DVD fans would have plenty to be happy about.

Atlantic City

Full review
The 1.85:1 widescreen picture looks great, as is usually the case for Paramount. There's plenty of detail, solid colors and attractive black levels. Only the most occasional speckle detracts from the viewing pleasure.
Image Transfer Grade: A

Airplane II

Full review
Paramount does it again with another beautiful anamorphic transfer of a film that's nearly 20 years old. Blacks are rich and dark, colors are natural and shadow detail is excellent. No artifacting or edge enhancement is visible. I detected zero source print damage. Overall, a surprisingly good viewing experience.
Image Transfer Grade:
A

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

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Wow!  Kudos to Paramount for delivering one of THE very best transfers I’ve seen on DVD for a classic black and white film.  The image quality is stunning throughout, starting with the opening credits set against a wood grain background…the wood is so detailed, you can almost feel the ridges.   From beginning to end, Ford’s images are beautifully tended to.  The blacks are deep, the whites are pure, the range of grayscale is wide, providing for incredible contrast and detail, shot after shot.  The lighting is extreme, but no matter how shadowy the scenes become, there is never a loss of integrity, nor any sign of grain, compression or breakup.  When images move from shadow to light, the transitions are smooth and effective.   This is as perfect as a classic film can get, which is what DVD is all about.

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The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.66:1. The original black-and-white cinematography by William H. Clothier is first-rate, so it is good to report that this disc starts off on the right visual foot. This DVD does look tremendous, and it belongs to a fine tradition of exquisitely photographed John Ford films. Simply put, this DVD looks luminous: a clear, bright picture devoid of any major scratches or debris, and having a fine amount of film grain. The contrast is a wonder to behold, one of the best reproductions of a black-and-white film on DVD. Amazingly deep blacks and luminous whites blend together in an object lesson of what great cinematography together with great DVD manufacturing can produce. Edge enhancement is used so sparingly as to be negligible to the viewing experience, and the fine grain visible gives the overall effect of watching a near-perfect 35mm print of the film.

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The DVD of ’The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance’ is presented in a glorious anamorphic widescreen transfer in the movie’s original 1.85:1 aspect ratio. The transfer itself is extremely clean and without noise, but most importantly, devoid of any blemishes or damages. It is obvious that Paramount did some work on this transfer in order to such a clean and stable presentation. Presented in black and white, the contrast of the film is perfect, with very deep blacks and good highlights that never bloom. The gradient of the gray scale the image conveys is beautifully balanced, creating an image that has depth and a richness the brings out all the subtle nuances in the photography and the elaborate production design. The transfer is virtually free of edge-enhancement and the result is an image that is finely delineated and highly detailed, yet never appears exaggerated or overly sharpened. The compression is flawless without introducing any artifacts of sorts. In a word, this is a marvelous treatment of a classic film that makes you wish every vintage film could look like!

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Image Transfer Review: I'm continually amazed at the pristine digital restorations of older black and white films, and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance represents one of the best examples. The western landscape of this 1.66:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer shines with light and sharpness. This picture stems from an excellent print and lacks the usual dirt specks inherent in even the better transfers from the time period. Although much of the action takes place indoors within confined areas, the visuals are stunning in their simplicity, especially during the shots shrouded in shadow. This picture is miles above previous VHS versions, and makes this disc worthwhile even to fans who already own the video.
Image Transfer Grade: A-

Hell is for Heroes

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Hell Is For Heroes is simply one of the most outstanding black and white transfers I have yet seen on DVD. The 1.85 anamorphic transfer is so pristine I wonder where Paramount has been storing this print! According to the dates on the back of the packaging, it looks like this film was restored back in 1989. Paramount's restoration department, or whoever restored this film, should be congratulated. Outside of the archival war footage that was integrated into the film, the print is flawless. There was no sign of grain, plus the contrast and blacks are first rate. I didn't see any digital pixel breakup, and if there was any edge enhancement, I didn't notice. A truly outstanding transfer.

Fear Strikes Out (VistaVision)

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This is actually a super looking black and white presentation that greatly benefits from the fact that FEAR STRIKES OUT was filmed in the VistaVision process. The image on the DVD is wonderfully sharp and very nicely defined. Blacks appear pure, as do the whites. Contrast is generally excellent, with the picture producing a rich and varied grayscale that gives the impression of great depth.

Zulu (VistaVision)

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Picture
The clarity and freshness of the image on this DVD is quite remarkable.

At last, Paramount Home Entertainment has produced the finest release in almost 40 years of Zulu -- one of the greatest historical action movies ever made, and one of the great war movies. Zulu is based on what historian Michael Glover terms "the most highly decorated battle in British history", the defense of Rorkes Drift during the Zulu War of 1879. Eleven of the defenders received Britain's highest award for military valour, the Victoria Cross. The movie is a landmark in the art of cinema for its extraordinary combination of location, cross-cultural engagement, a real story, good script and fine cast. This 1964 film never looks tired, despite my many years of rerunning it in 16mm, the Criterion laserdisc, the stop-gap Front Row Entertainment Inc. DVD, and now the excellent Paramount DVD. Anecdotally, military colleges have used Zulu to show the power of directed massed musketry, and leadership and teamwork in combat

In the Paramount Home Entertainment Zone 2 release this film at last has received the digital restoration and DVD transfer that it deserves. DVD image and sound quality are equal to current state of the art for a classic film restoration

Full review
Photographed on location by Stephen Dode, this movie features wonderful vistas that really capture the Natal landscape, and the feelings of loneliness and abandonment. (Note: John Sellars of HTV-LA, the colorist for the new Paramount/MGM restoration, informed me that the movie was “shot on 35mm 8perf horizontal (VistaVision) and distributed in 70mm”). Considering the age of the source material, I was very impressed with the quality of the transfer. The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, 16x9 enhanced.  The sharpness of the image is great, but the shadow detail is poor in some of the darker scenes. For example, consider the lack of shadow detail at 30:20.  The colour is wonderful and it is well saturated throughout.  There are no problems with MPEG artifacts.

The Desperate Hours (VistaVision)

Full review
The film’s original ratio is 1.85:1 (VistaVision). What we have here looks to me like the 1.78:1 cheat that is becoming all too frequent. That aside, the video transfer is gorgeous. There is virtually no grain at all, or barely perceptible when it is present. The image is incredibly sharp, with every texture of the steely black-and-white photography coming through. The edge enhancement halo, even around dark-suited Fredric March, is minimal. The speckles are so few as to be effectively non-existent. There is a moment of damage at about the 5:40 mark, in the form of strobing light across the centre of the frame, but otherwise, the film possibly looks even better than it did upon original release.

Full review
Paramount's DVD of The Desperate Hours is a solid rendering of this VistaVision thriller. The frugal backlot locations look fine in the detailed, rock-steady image. The enhanced widescreen framing restores compositional tension lost on full-frame television prints. There are no extras (never fear, Paramount assures us that they're unrated) but you can watch the film in French if you're from Quebec or want to pretend the film is happening in the Bourdeaux wine country. Savant is more than satisfied with the quality of this plain-wrap feature presentation.

Stark Raving Mad

Full review
This movie is in widescreen and enhanced for 16:9 televisions.  The video quality was pretty good.  Taking place in a club at night, just about all of the scenes are dark, as the directors intended.  So colors are not bright and things aren’t vivid, but they are accurately reproduced.  The blacks are dark black, and a good amount of detail is visible in the shadows.  There were a few minor digital artifacts lurking in the backgrounds, but they were very minor.

Full review
Stark Raving Mad has been issued in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen, and all in all is another solid presentation from Columbia TriStar. The image detail is quite good, and colors look pleasing, but refrain from coming across overly bright, and with much of the action set in a dimly lit dance club, that shouldn't be too much of a surprise. The highpoint are the black levels, which are excellent, and generate strong shadow delineation and depth. I noticed no major compression issues, nor was I aware of any source print defects.
 

Scenes of the Crime

Full review
Columbia/TriStar presents Scenes of the Crime in an above-average anamorphic-widescreen transfer of the film’s original 1.85:1 presentation. This is a fine, stable image, full of fine detail and depth. Blacks are strong and deep, and colors are vivid. But perhaps the biggest compliment I can pay this image is that it’s almost completely devoid of artificial sharpening in the form of edge enhancement. I noticed no telltale halos. And I noticed only occasional print flaws such as specks and dirt. Nice job!

Full review
Having steeled myself for B-movie tripe, I was immediately proven wrong. The sheer quality of production values alone is stellar. The image is absolutely crisp, with penetrating blacks, sparkling colors, great contrast and even saturation. Not only is the video squeaky clean, the visual artistry employed was great as well. The most notable shot is a flyover of a cloverleaf highway intersection that is perfectly composited and executed. There were also slow motion effects and color enhancements that made certain moods happen. Lighting was employed effectively to enhance drama in both interior and exterior shots. Rarely have I seen equivalent video quality.

Full review
Presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen, Columbia TriStar has done a decent job with this one. The print does have some noticeable specks, but colors are rendered beautifully, with natural fleshtone levels balanced by deep blacks. A bit of shimmer in spots, but overall a very nice looking transfer.

Deadbirds

Full review
Dead Birds is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. The film throws out some visual tricks to enhance the images, but this transfer never slips and delivers a dynamic, top notch presentation. The colors wander the spectrum from lifeless and dull to quite bright, dependent upon the scene at hand, while black levels remain sharp and flawless throughout. I saw no evidence of compression errors either and aside from some slight grain, I have no complaints with this treatment. I know this had to be somewhat of a challenge to transfer to DVD, but Columbia has done some impressive work and fans should be satisfied here.

Full review
The picture is very strong, too. The colours are excellent, as are the contrasts, flesh tones and blacks. So much of the movie is dark that murkiness could easily have been a real problem here, but the transfer avoids this pitfall easily. There is a little bit of grain and edge enhancement visible, but these issues are minor, and the image is nicely sharp.


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