Originally Posted by Art Sonneborn
Thanks for the mini review. Too bad that they feel compelled to clean them up when it sounds like really,they don't know how.
Well Robert Harris would disagree with you there:http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htf/...o-blu-ray.html
Motion Picture Archivist
Local Time: 04:52 PM
Local Date: 10-17-2008
A few words about...™ Dr. No - in Blu-ray
Make no mistake. Dr. No was a film made on a tiny budget, which it outshines at virtually every turn.
I've heard numerous tales about precisely how the Bond series got its start, and the one that I believe came from a UA exec who delivered the news to Mr. Broccoli and Mr. Saltzman.
After meetings at UA, the pair were ensconced in their Manhattan luxury hotel, and on a particularly hot day, the air conditioning had gone down. When the exec arrived, he found the pair in their suite, nervously pacing in their shorts.
The word from UA was positive. They were going to finance their film.
And they were going to allow them to shoot...
From these inauspicious beginnings came probably the greatest financial blockbuster of all motion picture series, now hitting number 22.
I'll say it again. Dr. No was an inexpensive film -- probably around one million or less. For those who have not seen the early films in the series, don't expect hundred million dollar extravaganzas. Just terrific filmmaking on a budget.
I presume that it was photographed on Eastman 5250, the same emulsion that was exposed by Freddie Young to capture Lawrence of Arabia, and like many popular films, the original negative saw its share of use.
M-G-M and Eon made a prudent move in permitting Lowry Digital to scan, digitize, and work their magic on the elements. A featurette produced several years ago describes the work performed as restoration, and while I'm not certain whether the actual work performed was restoration or digital cleanup, the final result on Blu-ray is nothing less than spectacular.
There is also something of major importance to the home theater community to be learned here that has measurably increased the carbon footprint of the web since the release of Patton and The Longest Day months ago. And that is a very simply fact regarding noise and grain reduction.
Noise and grain reduction are not, in and of themselves, bad things.
The correct post facility, using the correct (here Lowry's proprietary) techniques, can make a huge difference in the viewing pleasure of films from the last half of the twentieth century.In this case, a film cropped to 1.66 and therefore enlarged for home video has an attractive sheen of delicate moving grain. Having worked with 5250 and 5251, this does not appear to be the original grain, but good, natural looking grain of a slightly later vintage. And the overall image is beautiful.
What does this mean?
Simple. It means that with the proper tools and the right people behind them, grain can be removed or reduced WITHOUT AFFECTING THE RESOLUTION, DETAIL OR HIGH FREQUENCY INFORMATION.
Dr. No, via the wizards at Lowry Digital, looks far better than it has any right to look. The overall viewing experience is superb. The disc arrives at a street price with a full list of extras of around $23.
The question that I raised earlier, as to whether this film is truly "restored" in the full sense of the word really doesn't come into play here. The single overriding fact is that the Blu-ray is as perfect as it can be. Any modifications to grain in moving toward the final resultant image are secondary, as unlike some of the other films which we consider classics, and which may actually depend upon the original grain structure, the Bond films are and always have been, pure visceral entertainment of the highest order -- more fashion than art, great story-telling, and as they moved from production to production, eventually produced on the grandest of budgetary scales.
This is merely my first look at the new Blu Bonds. I need to spend some quality time with them as I can find the time, and will report back with findings.
Suffice to say that the first episode, Dr. No, went well beyond my expectations. A very high quality disc representing the birth of a behemoth series.