Knowing I had this coming from BlockBuster I've been keeping an eye on the thread. Fun, wondering what I'd think about it (I'm picky, but not crazy.)
Random thoughts - Speilberg says, more than once, in a feature that it looks better than any 35mm projected ever did. So, there's that.
"Grain" is very consistent throughout, except where it's not
Some scenes are a bit too scrubbed, but all others it's consistent. I didn't notice the grain crawl or whatever around moving objects.
Contrast is excellent, thankfully. A little over saturated for my tastes, but par for the course for me.
It manages to be surprisingly clear and sharp, but without that subliminal sense of digititus, over sharpening that plagues so many "artificially perfect" encodes.
The sound freaked me out. I know absolutely nothing about the original sound and what's been altered. All I know is this is the first time for me where I preferred the original sound. The 7.1 was seriously getting on my nerves - reminded me of the American Graffiti version they released with new sound, can't remember what they called it, but the sound was completely detached from the reality of the scene (this was a theatrical release.) I got the same impression from the 7.1 here - the mono was much more realistic to me - like production sound. I kept wanting to like the 7.1 - the scene that got me off it permanently was where they were at the docks, everyone was piling into boats to go after the bounty, and Dreyfus and Scheider were yelling at the guys in a boat to not overload it.
The mono sounded like what it looked like - an outdoor scene with the motor sound drowning out the dialog. The 7.1 sounded like a decent first effort by the rookie sound guy, motor sound carefully placed, at just the right level, all perfect and nice. Except it's not a perfect and nice scene, it's anarchic and chaotic and should sound like it. The mono does to me.
I'm only half way through (had to walk the dog) so I'll be curious about the sound effects later that people are talking about, but really, I'm stunned that I'm enjoying the old mono mix (as true mono - center and sub.)
Viewing on pro cal'd 64" plasma from 80".