I sampled THE LADY FROM SHANGHAI yesterday. I've seen this film maybe a dozen times in 35mm over the years, so I was looking for problem areas, especially the scenes on the ship, and also the hill in Acapulco, which in one shot has heavy grain, but it has always looked that way. Needless to say, I ended up watching almost the entire film. Bottom line, I feel that I'm looking at this film for the first time. Except for the one aforementioned shot in Acapulco, all the opticals had wonderful clarity. I also was very impressed in how the close-up back projection shots were integrated into the location footage. Really amazing the wonderful work that was done on this film! I could see not the trace of a shimmer or aliasing anywhere. In other words, there are no compression artifacts that I could see. For me, this may be one of the finest Sony/Columbia image harvests, as it aids one in seeing the specifics of Welles' compositions & camera style within the re-editing by Columbia executives. In other words, there are two LADY FROM SHANGHAIS, Orson Welles' & Harry Cohn's, and for the first time one is able to clearly see Welles' vision within the butchered editing and ellipses. Also, because of the clarity and purity of the images, one is able to see how radical Welles' filming and conception of THE LADY FROM SHANGHAI was. Although this is considered one of the greatest film noirs, THE LADY FROM SHANGHAI is, in many respects, closer to DR. STRANGELOVE or ALPHAVILLE in its dissonant use of sound and image, simultaneously post-modern yet strikingly romantic, than say, OUT OF THE PAST.
I love this Blu ray & I will be watching it again & again. I also thought the sound was wonderful, very clear and with remarkable presence, both belying and yet respecting the analog source material. Now I must say that my screen is only 32 inches though I watch it from a distance of 4 & 1/2 feet, living as I do in a small apartment in Manhattan. Also, my sound system is very low end and basic. So you may wish to wait for a more nuanced review from someone who has watched this with a projector before buying. But these are my thoughts for what they are worth.
As far as the DVD case is concerned, that didn't really bother me. I'm more interested in what is inside, that is, the picture & sound. Of course, it would have been nice if the sound was lossless instead of lossy, and the disc dual instead of single, but as far as watching this Blu ray on my system is concerned, I couldn't tell the difference. I thought it looked and sounded wonderful. I also checked the DVD, which has the same extras as the Blu-ray. In other words, no Eddie Mueller commentary.