I recall first seeing Greystoke, Hugh Hudson's highly detailed, huge-budgeted and beautiful retelling of the Tarzan story, at the Gomillion screening room. It was a 70mm screening print, and probably the first to be struck from the negative.
The 6-track stereo was amazing.
The experience was unforgettable.
Now, almost three decades later, courtesy of The Warner Bros. Archive Collection, I can pop a one ounce disc into my Oppo and relive that experience, albeit on a slightly smaller screen.
Before going into any discussion of the film or Blu-ray, kudos must be paid to Rick Baker, who (as he had before) created the apes for Greystoke, taking what had been learned before and moving the art forward.
One of the more interesting things is that rather than going for generic gorillas, he and his team created pseudo-apes, allowing for more audience recognition of the ape characters, as well as the ability to follow them as they age.
There is a great article on Mr. Baker and his work in Cinefex Number 16. Seek it out for further details. For those who enjoy film, but are not Cinefex subscribers...
Photographed by the great John Alcott in Super Techniscope (35/3), scanning the original elements created some minor problems for the WB team, as grain was generally accentuated, and the layers of smoke, fog and mist occasionally seen in the film, could become problematic. For those who have been waiting for Greystoke to hit retail, I'm betting that massaging these details may have been the hold-up.
The final result is nothing short of amazing.
Perfect color, density, shadow detail, grain structure, black levels... all in place.
Audio in DTS-HD MA 5.1 is as superb as it ever was, which is very superb.
The film was edited by Anne V. Coates, who is known for some other work in the UK a bit earlier.
A glorious Blu-ray presentation of a brilliant film, from the director who brought us Chariots of Fire.
As to the WB Archive Collection, if they went public, I'd be on line buying shares.
Image - 5
Audio - 5
Very Highly Recommended.