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"The Natural" Blu-Ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Cinescott, May 26, 2011.

  1. Cinescott

    Cinescott Supporting Actor

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    In a word, awesome. I've loved this movie from the time of its release in 1984 to today. Watching the blu-ray is like re-enacting that very first theatrical experience. Although not the "director's edition," I found this transfer to be on-par with so many other Sony releases that are handled with care and respect for the material.

    I've not read any other reviews, but I personally found this blu-ray edition to be a stellar example of the way catalog blu-rays should be handled. There are a lot of "magic hour" shots in this film and they come through wonderfully. There's a light amount of grain, but the detail is very pleasing. A DTS-MA soundtrack that makes Randy Newman's iconic score sound better than ever. There may be a bit of DNR, but it was never distracting to me. The amount of grain through the whole disc indicates to me that it's used lightly. There were only a couple of occasions early on where facial detail seemed a little flat. Hard to tell if it's source or not.


    Baseball's a favorite sport of mine and no movie could serve as a better love letter for it. As a funny aside, I remember thinking in '84 how Robert Redford looked far too old to be playing the title role and now I am the same age as he was then. Funny how perspective changes.
     
  2. benbess

    benbess Cinematographer

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    Nice review. With you there on the age thing. As I kid I watched Star Trek TOS series and I thought that "Bones" was great but kinda old. I'm the age he was in the show now, and I sometimes have bags under my eyes almost as big as his to prove it...He doesn't look so old to me now.
     
  3. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Producer
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    Does the Blu-ray include both the theatrical and director's cuts? I haven't seen it for so long, and the last time I watched it, it was the director's cut - if you were to ask me today what the difference was I couldn't possibly tell you.


    One of Randy Newman's best scores, if not his best, in my opinion.
     
  4. Cinescott

    Cinescott Supporting Actor

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    No, this is only the theatrical cut, which is fine with me, since I never really felt the director's cut added much. If memory serves, there was a scene or two in the beginning to establish more of a back story for Roy Hobbs and a few other edits that didn't change much. IMO, the changes were pretty unnecessary, so the omission doesn't bother me.
     
  5. gomezfan69

    gomezfan69 Stunt Coordinator

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    Beat me to it.
     
  6. gomezfan69

    gomezfan69 Stunt Coordinator

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    ...
     
  7. Cinescott

    Cinescott Supporting Actor

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    "The Natural" is also an example of how Blu-ray can make a tremendous difference with a home viewing experience. There's a lot of back lighting of characters in this film, the most famous of which is the scene with Glenn Close standing in the stands wearing a broad brimmed hat lit by the sun. In fact, Glenn Close talks about the scene in one of the documentaries and says she feels it was that moment that sealed an academy award nomination for her.


    Previous video versions muddied these scenes up. Blu-ray brings the cinematography in "The Natural" into razor-sharp focus and it's fun to see this favorite in a whole new way. Light doesn't get blown out or blend in where it shouldn't. In simple terms, this is the way the movie was supposed to look and it's beautifully shot, obviously with a lot of time given to making each frame look "right." It's times like this when I absolutely love Blu-ray and Sony for taking their time and providing fans of this film with a real treat.
     
  8. David Coleman

    David Coleman Supporting Actor

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    I love the transfer to THE NATURAL. While it will never be known as razor sharp (given the way it's shot), it's a very detailed transfer that's very true to what I remember in the theater. I was surprised how well the audio sounded given I was never impressed with the DVD's audio, but it brings out the beauty of Randy Newman's score.
     

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