Here’s someone else who doesn’t pay import duty
The HD DVD of The Adventures of Robin Hood arrived from Deep Discount DVD yesterday, and I’m pleased to report that Warner have delivered another stellar disc. It’s becoming quite apparent that, at Warner, there are two processes through which a title can go. The first, which has given us discs like Constantine, Million Dollar Baby and V for Vendetta, delivers a noise reduced, slightly edge enhanced transfer. These are good-looking discs, but not up to the standards I demand. The second, which has given us discs like Corpse Bride, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, and now, seemingly, The Adventures of Robin Hood, results in an image that seems to be more or less completely untampered: sharp as a tack, appropriately grainy (or not, as is the case with the all-digital Corpse Bride), and no edge enhancement in sight. A couple of scenes in Robin Hood show some slight ringing, and I’m currently investigating to determine whether this is caused by edge enhancement applied to the transfer, or something else endemic to the source materials (optical process shots, for example, often result in what nowadays we would refer to as edge enhancement).
As for the film, I found it to be a hoot: gloriously colourful, outrageously camp and filled with swashbuckling adventure and melodrama. Not the sort of thing I usually go in for, but I was suitably entertained and found it to be an enjoyable enough way to kill an hour and a half. The high definition Looney Tunes cartoons look gorgeous too, although something is up with the sound on both of them, with a lot of crackling that sounds decidedly digital in nature during the high frequencies. I’ve tried two different sets of speakers, so it’s not my sound system, and I can therefore only assume that this is a mastering fault.
On the not so positive side, only one of my four Christmas DVDs has arrived (Looney Tunes Golden Collection Volume 4), which means that, if they don’t show up by tomorrow (I’m not confident), they’ll be too late.