Second in a series explaining how my front projection screen compels me to shop, this time I’m finding too many fatal flaws in my current DVD collection.
Now that my source component and display device were optimized, I wanted to spot check my favorite movies from my DVD collection. First up the restored Akira: edge enhancement all over the place, close to unwatchable. The special edition and DTS versions all use the same transfer, I think it was an HD telecine so hopefully Pioneer (or whoever owns the DVD rights these days) can release a new version without the over sharpening. Next, Blade Runner, one of the first DVDs released, looks terrible: it’s non-anamorphic, so I get a window-boxed picture on my widescreen (black bars on all four sides), it’s a shaky transfer (almost like it was cammed by movie pirates) and has very noisy and flat shadows (this is one shadow=rific flick). Unfortunately, because everyone involved in its production are suing each other we may never see a new home video version. Luckily, Mark Cuban shows Blade Runner in high definition on HDMovies every once in a while. These are just two examples, but enough to discourage me.
I needed some new reference quality DVDs. This was one of times when I wished I kept up my Widescreen Review online subscription so I could search their large review database for movies I liked and also had spectacular visuals. I picked up Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy (just the theatrical versions, they’re already long enough). Return of the King is the best transfer of the three and it is really a visually detailed disk from the grotesque textures on the orcs’ faces to Aragorn’s sexy stubble (according to Wife_o_Geek, this actor should not shave, he doesn’t clean up well).
The Ring trilogy kept me occupied for a few nights but I still needed more. Check in soon for the third part of this series focusing on Sony’s Superbit DVDs.