Posted February 14 2013 - 01:03 AM
Dear Ray: Here's at least one from 2012 that positively stank - Von Ryan's Express. What was the point of doing a hi-def scan when color correction was never even an afterthought? Purplish blacks, jaundice granite and pumpkin orange flesh tones don't work for me, nor should they for anyone else. When I voted for Fox it wasn't with one movie in mind. Still, Von Ryan's Express is a pretty good example of the sort of slap dash, hit or miss way Fox seems to be handling their library. Fox suffers from an overall lack of consistency - and a blatant misrepresentation of hi-def - and a continued and renewed spottiness in their overall output. I could provide you with a list: starting with their regurgitation of old digital files bumped to a 1080p signal on The Greatest Story Ever Told, Mystic Pizza, Much Ado About Nothing: to name but three. In the case of The Greatest Story Ever Told they didn't even try - dipping all the way back into MGM's ultra-flawed elements from 1999 and simply using them for a 720 signal bumped up to 1080p. I contacted Fox back then about this title on Blu and was told that they could not confirm a new scan had been performed. That's just double talk - a way of admitting that it hasn't without actually saying that it hasn't. I could also point to the fiasco that remains West Side Story. A fiftieth anniversary should look like that on Blu?!?! Or how about their disregard for remastering the rest of the Bonds for their 50th anniversary Bond box set?!? Goldeneye, anyone?!?! Fox likes to slap "we have brought this title to home video using the best possible surviving elements" before some of their older titles. But let's be honest, when they want to do better they have proven that they can. Check out their Laura blu-ray and you'll see just how much a title can improve over its DVD incarnation with just a little time, effort and yes - money - being spent. Fox doesn't seem willing to apply the same quality control on every title. They release three or four at a time, but give maybe one the consideration it deserves. That's unacceptable. If its worth being brought to Blu in the first place, then it's worth being done right. No exceptions to the rule! If the market for a particular title isn't there just yet, the title shouldn't get released or should, but through a third party distribution like Twilight Time - a limited run to cash in as best as they can. But every movie coming to hi-def deserves utmost consideration. You cannot mask flaws in hi-def. So long as the consumer was kept ignorant of just how good movies could look on home video (a la the bad ol' VHS/Beta/laserdisc days) we were willing to accept an old movie looking...well...old. But advancements in restoration, preservation and remastering have shown us the promised land. The studios can't go back and pretend the hi-def revolution didn't happen where catalogue titles are concerned. Because Fox/MGM repeatedly has chosen to 'pretend' with the consumer, while still advertising each and every Blu-ray they put out as "the ultimate hi-def experience" is another reason why I think they deserve closer scrutiny and a complete fail as the year's worst. RE: Paramount - I'll agree they were scant to nil on the catalogue home front. But everything they put out - which wasn't much, I'll grant you - was perfection. I can't really fault Paramount for not doing more when what they did represented some of the finest work done on home video 1080p. We could all poo-poo and say more should have been done, as it undoubtedly should have fora 100th anniversary. But I actually respect the fact that Paramount didn't just go the route of just slapping any old junk on a hi-def disc without the proper restoration so that they could gloat about how many titles they had on sale for their anniversary. Quantity will never trump quality. NEVER!