It’s been available in many different flavors and two cuts of home video products, and now makes its way, via Studio Canal to 4k UHD Blu-ray.
The results, promoted as a difficult restoration make a suitable case for treatment.
As an overriding question, one might ask “Is this a restoration?”
or, “Was this a restoration initially?”
Having not seen data files, I’m unable to answer that question.
Much has been made of the fact that the company performing that work discovered that the element – presumably the OCN – from which they were working, was not the un-cut version, which had opened as such in the U.S., but was cut to an R shortly thereafter. About a minute of material had been deleted, which is actually odd, as it could have just as easily been deleted from the printing dupe or IP, leaving the OCN intact.
Presuming that the trims were derived from an IP or dupe, they appear seamless in the new 4k release, and that’s a plus.
If one presumes that this was a true restoration, and I have no doubt that it was, the 4k UHD Blu-ray does not exhibit it as such.
Whether dumbed down during compression, or authoring, grain structure is not always original. There are instances of frozen grain, what some may call DNR, and when it comes to HDR, while it’s generally fine and plays nicely with projectors, daylight backgrounds occasionally tend to blow out. Color is generally pleasant and almost natural, although there are times when it rises a bit too far. Whites are also generally clean, but not always.
I’m wondering how many fingers might have touched this project, and if there was one single set of eyes on it throughout, managing the project.
All of this is said to have been overseen and approved by the director, and if that’s the case, there’s nothing wrong with anything we see on screen.
It just isn’t original, and therefore not a restoration, even if the original data files are a true restoration.
But then, there’s always the possibility that the filmmaker saw and approved the original 4k files, and they were massaged afterwards.
What should all of this mean to the average viewer?
In the end, viewed from a nominal seating distance, any problems with grain structure, and massaging of the image won’t be noticeable.
If one does, however, take a close look at many outdoor long shots, you’ll see detail pop, almost as if someone is attempting to make the shots look like Midsommar, and with zero visible grain.
Were parts of Basic Instinct shot with the Panavision Millenium in 8k?
A superb entertainment, presented in 4k UHD Blu-ray in a perfectly acceptable manner, as long as one isn’t too close to the screen.
As an aside, I was attending a Vertigo event in Los Angeles, and had arrived with Miss Novak. Shortly thereafter, Miss Stone approached me, and asked that I introduce her to her counterpart from an earlier Hollywood era.
Standing silently with them as they shared stories, was a highlight of the evening.
Two magnificent and very intelligent woman just chatting about their careers.
Image – 4
Audio – 5
Pass / Fail – Pass
Upgrade from Blu-ray – Yes
Plays nicely with Projectors – Yes
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