Yesterday was quite a delay for deliveries for me, starting with the arrival of the third and final season of Veronica Mars from DVD Pacific. Veronica Mars is not a show that I wholeheartedly adore, but I did enjoy the previous two seasons on DVD to varying degrees, and I found myself with a definite desire to hear how the story ends (although, by all accounts, there is little sense of closure in the final episode due to the amount of confusion as to whether the show would be picked up for a fourth season). If nothing else, the move out of the high school environment which dominated Seasons 1 and 2 should provide a much-needed change of pace, while I understand that, mindful of how difficult it was for viewers to get into the previous seasons midway, the producers broke Season 3 into several “mini-arcs” rather than going for one continuous year-long mystery.
Up next: the 2-disc Collector’s Edition of Mission Impossible 3 on HD DVD, also from DVD Pacific (dang, those guys should be paying me royalties!). From the brief glance that I took at it when it arrived, the transfer is every bit as good as I remembered - a virtually flawless presentation and one of the few times I can remember seeing a film photographed in anamorphic Panavision looking this good in high definition I suspect this is due to the fact that Panavision has lost a considerable amount of popularity with filmmakers in recent years, with Super35 tending to be the preferred process for shooting 2.39:1 titles these days. As a result, most Panavision titles released in HD are older, catalogue titles, many of which come from weaker masters. Not so with Mission Impossible 3, which is crisp and clear throughout, with nary an edge halo or soft shot to be found, and only a couple of compression issues preventing it from receiving full marks (we’re talking 9.9/10 stuff here).
The third and final delivery yesterday was the R2 Italian release of Inferno, from DVD.it. This particular release, which is very interesting, will be the subject of a dedicated post that I hope to upload at some point tonight.
Finally, today, the HD DVD release of Seed of Chucky arrived from, you guessed it, DVD Pacific. (Oh, shut up - I like this film, even if it’s in a “so bad it’s good” way.) I really wasn’t sure what to expect in terms of image quality for this one, but I’m pleased to report that it looks very fine indeed. It comes from a film element rather than a digital intermediate, but it’s one of the best film-sourced HD transfers I’ve seen recently, especially from Universal, who have churned out some decidedly underwhelming-looking catalogue titles this year. A handful of shots, and even a couple of entire scenes, look noticeably softer than the rest of the film, but at its best, it has a nicely crisp appearance without looking processed in any way. A very high 8/10, and it would have been a 9 if not for the softer scenes.