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Universal’s House of Horrors: Part 2 of 3

Universal

Yesterday, we plumbed the depths of the depressingly underwhelming Being John Malkovich, the improbably soft Brokeback Mountain, and Cat People, one of the worst-looking discs released on either of the HD formats. Incidentally, yesterday, I told Blu-ray users that they had transfers like these to look forward to once Universal started rolling out its catalogue titles on the format, but it turns out I spoke too soon. Blu-ray already has a Cat People of its own: The Longest Day, from 20th Century Fox. Click here to see what happens when John Wayne has a nasty encounter with the grain-sucking machine.

 
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
(Universal, USA, VC-1, 17.3 GB)

Another big steaming lump of cack from Universal. What are they actually thinking?

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

 
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
(Universal, USA, VC-1, 19.7 GB)

This one is actually quite a bit better than the others, but still falls short of acceptable standards. Ample evidence of filtering is present at all times. Really, you need to compare this with the horrendous standard definition DVDs from Criterion and Universal before it even begins to look halfway passable.

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

 
The Game
(Universal, USA, VC-1, 23.6 GB)

Actually, you know what? I’ve seen a lot worse. At least this one still looks like film, albeit film of the rather murky, ill-defined variety. I could be wrong, but maybe this is just what the movie looks like? Either way, it’s a hell of a lot more pleasant watch than Cat People.

The Game The Game The Game The Game The Game The Game

 
Posted: Monday, June 23, 2008 at 12:52 PM | Comments: 8
Categories: Blu-ray | Cinema | HD DVD | Technology

 
Comments

1.

I see you are also at AVS forums....Isn't it amazing how Louigi keeps making silly comments as if he's a troll.

You seem to know what is good and bad on Blu Ray so maybe you can post a few nominations on my Film Grain Allowed thread.

Universal have struck brand new masters for both The Mummy and The Mummy Returns and hopefully they will do so for other movies....Shame about Cat People as i really like that film ( as well as the original version )

I hope The Thing isn't DNRed or edge enhanced when it is released this October onto Blu Ray.

Posted by: FoxyMulder, June 23, 2008 3:15 PM

2.

I notice you give Black Hawk Down 4 out of 10 for image quality.....What's wrong with it as i was hoping to pick it up soon ?

Posted by: FoxyMulder, June 23, 2008 7:49 PM

3.

It’s good to hear that Universal has new masters of the two Mummy films for their Blu-ray debuts, given that both looked fairly underwhelming on HD DVD (a lot of ringing in the first one, poor definition in the second).

Black Hawk Down… really, I’d recommend avoiding it, personally. It has very little definition and some prominent ringing. Actually, it looks not unlike some of these Universal screen captures I posted.

Oh, and I’ll drop by the Grain Allowed thread with some nominations when I get the chance. :)

Posted by: Whiggles, June 23, 2008 11:22 PM

4.

I find it curious to call the Criterion F&L DVD "horrendous". Granted, I'm not a real technophile, but I've watched that disc a thousand times and never seen any problems with the transfer except that one vertical scratch in the flooded room sequence.

I'd like to know what your criticisms of that transfer are. I'm pretty curious.

Thanks!

Posted by: redunbeck, June 25, 2008 2:37 PM

5.

There's nothing wrong with it from a scratch/dust/dirt point of view, but the video is so filtered that there's almost no fine detail left.

Posted by: David Mackenzie, June 25, 2008 6:13 PM

6.

Eternal Sunshine looks fine when you're watching it. IIRC, it was always a pretty soft print, and it retains that in the transfer.

Posted by: Rob, June 27, 2008 1:00 AM

7.

Did all the ringing and smudged out grain come from the print as well? ;)

I’ve watched it from beginning to end, and in my opinion it looks no better in motion than it does paused.

Posted by: Whiggles, June 27, 2008 5:20 PM

8.

Eternal Sunshine is soft but I wouldn't call it horrible. The print I saw had the same look so I'd attribute it to the DI which was filtered. Yeah, excuses, excuses.

The Game. An older transfer but no DNR or EE. Better than the reviews have you expect. Hopefully we'll see a full blown SE with a new transfer ala Se7en someday.

Fear and Loating would be decent if it wasn't so edgy.

Posted by: Kram Sacul, June 27, 2008 9:08 PM

Comments on this entry and all entries up to and including June 30th 2009 have been closed. The discussion continues on the new Land of Whimsy blog:

https://www.landofwhimsy.com

 

 
 
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