Universal’s House of Horrors: Part 1 of 3
All right, you’re thinking, I’ve seen it all. I’ve marvelled at the exceptional level of detail in Spider-man 3, I’ve been wowed by the fantastic grain reproduction in Silent Hill, and I just can’t imagine an image that looks more all-round perfect than Ratatouille. Well, gentle readers, I present tonight, for the viewing pleasure of the hardened technophile, an inside look at the other end of the spectrum: the transfers so repulsive that you’d actually go out of your way to make sure people didn’t accidentally see them and somehow “get the wrong idea” about high definition. Over the course of the next three posts, I’ll be delving into Universal’s swamp of catalogue releases, and we’ll be asking ourselves how some of these travesties actually made it out the front (or back) door in the first place.
Attention, BD fans: don’t go celebrating the assimilation of Universal into the Blu-ray umbrella just yet. This is what you have to look forward to.
Being John Malkovich
(Universal, USA, VC-1, 18.9 GB)
To be fair, this is already a really dingy, unappealing film to look at, but it shouldn’t look this bad.
(Universal, USA, VC-1, 21.1 GB)
This one isn’t even a catalogue title, so why in the name of all that is pleasant does it look like this? Nincompoop reviewers talk about the amazing landscapes on display as if that somehow means the transfer is any good.
(Universal, USA, VC-1, 19 GB)
This one looks like someone took a giant dump on the disc stamper and then had it pressed. People won’t actually believe an HD transfer can look this awful until you show it to them. This is pretty much as bad as it gets.