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The latest HD image quality rankings

HD DVD/Blu-ray

Time for the latest high definition image rankings update. This one is particularly noteworthy because, thanks to a combination of buying various titles myself and renting a handful to give the once-over, I’ve been able to add Blu-ray releases to the list. (I would have liked also to have added Hostel and S.W.A.T. to the list, but some dumdum managed to render the rental copies I received unreadable by attacking the data surface with some sort of CD cleaner and a rather coarse rag.)

Of the new additions, there are a few surprises. Chiefly, it seems that once again my views on image quality are out of step with those of the bulk of the reviewing populace. Silent Hill was held up to be wildly inconsistent, with some moments of awful image quality, when in reality it is a stunning-looking disc. Fantastic Four and Tears of the Sun, meanwhile, both received charitable if not outright ecstatic reviews, when in actual fact it turns out that both have been subjects to a disturbing degree of digital manipulation. Of the two, Fantastic Four is the worse, but Tears of the Sun is not what I expect from HD either: edge enhanced and with a strangely “waxy” look to it (not to mention more compression artefacts than I’ve seen on any other Blu-ray title), it sums up the sort of excessive tinkering I hate to see in a transfer. Perhaps, though, these fake-looking, processed, edge enhanced titles are what people actually want? How else can you explain the rave reviews of the likes of Brokeback Mountain on HD DVD, and of standard definition titles like The Lord of the Rings, Final Destination 3 and the remake of The Hills Have Eyes? The same goes for the HD DVD of Batman Begins (which, along with some other titles, I also rented), which is the worst-looking Warner disc I’ve seen this side of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Far be it for me to say “Everybody’s wrong except me”, but sometimes that’s genuinely how I feel.


  • Corpse Bride (Warner, USA, HD DVD)
  • Serenity (Universal, UK, HD DVD)
  • Serenity (Universal, USA, HD DVD)
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Warner, UK, HD DVD)
  • The Descent (Lions Gate, USA, Blu-ray)


  • Looney Tunes: Rabbit Hood (Warner, USA, HD DVD)*
  • King Kong (Universal, UK, HD DVD)
  • The Bourne Supremacy (Universal, USA, HD DVD)
  • The Adventures of Robin Hood (Warner, USA)
  • Miami Vice (Universal, USA, HD DVD)
  • Silent Hill (Sony Pictures, USA, Blu-ray)
  • Doom (Universal, UK, HD DVD)
  • Casablanca (Warner, USA, HD DVD)
  • Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (Warner, UK, HD DVD)


  • Unleashed (Universal, USA, HD DVD)
  • Red Dragon (Universal, USA, HD DVD)
  • Constantine (Warner, USA, HD DVD)
  • Looney Tunes: Robin Hood Daffy (Warner, USA, HD DVD)*
  • Land of the Dead (Universal, USA, HD DVD)
  • V for Vendetta (Warner, USA, HD DVD)
  • The Machinist (Toshiba, Japan, HD DVD)
  • Sleepy Hollow (Paramount, USA, HD DVD)
  • Million Dollar Baby (Warner, USA, HD DVD)
  • Batman Begins (Warner, UK, HD DVD)
  • Van Helsing (Universal, UK, HD DVD)


  • Wolf Creek (The Weinstein Company, USA, HD DVD)
  • The Exorcism of Emily Rose (Sony Pictures, UK, Blu-ray)
  • Tears of the Sun (Sony Pictures, UK, Blu-ray)
  • Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (Universal, USA, HD DVD)
  • The Mummy Returns (Universal, USA, HD DVD)
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Warner, USA, HD DVD)
  • Enemy of the State (Buena Vista, USA, Blu-ray)


  • Fantastic Four (20th Century Fox, UK, Blu-ray)
  • Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (Paramount, USA, HD DVD)
  • An American Werewolf in London (Universal, USA, HD DVD)
  • Brokeback Mountain (Universal, USA, HD DVD)
  • Basic Instinct (Studio Canal, France, HD DVD)

* Found on the The Adventures of Robin Hood HD DVD.

Posted: Friday, February 09, 2007 at 12:21 PM | Comments: 2
Categories: Blu-ray | Cinema | DVD | HD DVD | Technology



Nice list; what were the issues you had with Batman Begins?

Posted by: aw, February 10, 2007 1:25 AM


I found it to be rather soft-looking, and with some edge enhancement. It wasn’t bad or anything, but it definitely didn’t wow me.

Posted by: Whiggles, February 10, 2007 1:26 AM

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