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An HD DVD that shines

HD DVD

My copy of the recent HD DVD release of Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining arrived on Saturday from Amazon.com. Now I’m only waiting on Full Metal Jacket, and so far, the Kubrick HD DVDs are basically two for two. A Clockwork Orange and Eyes Wide Shut both look reasonably good, if a little underwhelming, whereas 2001: A Space Odyssey and The Shining both look excellent - definitely in the top tier of Warner’s catalogue releases. Now, obviously The Shining is a less visually stunning film than 2001, so it lacks the “wow” moments offered by the earlier title, but this appears to be an excellent representation of the source materials all the same. A bit of light noise reduction is visible at times, but otherwise I’d have a hard time making any specific criticisms.

Oh, and just to weigh in on the aspect ratio issue once again, having flicked my way through various scenes in The Shining (I’ll watch the whole film soon, honest), I find it hard to understand why anyone would prefer the open matte version. The compositions, at 1.78:1 (close enough to the intended theatrical ratio of 1.85:1 for me not to bother splitting hairs about it), are absolutely sublime, and I can only imagine the open matte version looking decidedly wonky (which, judging by the screenshots posted at DVD Beaver, it most certainly does).

 
Posted: Monday, November 12, 2007 at 9:26 PM
Categories: Cinema | HD DVD

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