Thems big claims!
On the positive side, there are a myriad of extras, in addition to the two feature films and 18 classic shorts. We’re given multiple domestic tracks on a couple of the shorts, which illustrate how the films were re-issued. Someone thought this through.
The problem for me is that this set would, and should be, a must own for any serious cinephile, but it lacks in overall quality.
There are some terrific people and entities behind the set, but it’s let down by some of the best hyperbole this side of P.T. Barnum, which I’d surmise came from the marketing side of the project, not being in sync with the restoration and production side.
In short, the claims don’t match the finished product.
Here’s a sample of what I’m seeing, and keep in mind, everything is publicized to be from 2 and 4k scans of original nitrate:
Some of the M-G-M logos appear tacked on
Berth Marks – Soft, dupey
Brats – Overall soft imagery, with some blown-out whites
Hog Wild – Okay with black levels a bit odd in some shots
Come Clean – Soft and grainless
One Good Turn – Soft and grainless
My and My Pal – Overly digitally soft and grainless
Help Mates – Soft, appears digitally scrubbed. No grain. Lite scratches
The Music Box – Digitally cleansed, no grain, underlying dirt and wear
And the features:
Sons of the Desert – overall dupey, obviously not from original nitrate elements
Way Out West – Nice densities, wonderful audio, overall lack of resolution and detail, soft on the verge of going waxy.<br />
Occasional light positive and negative dirt. A wonderful film that appears to have received an overall digital<br />
cleansing that removed high-frequency definition.
In short, these no longer look like film. They’re average appearing video products lacking in overall quality.
The problem is that this set is a big deal. It’s doubtful that anyone, after this has been released, will attempt to do it again. So we have what we have, which is a pity, as it’s obvious that a great deal of effort and funding has gone into the project.
Image – 3 (overall)
Audio – 4.5 (overall)
Pass / Fail – ???
Recommended (as we probably won’t get better)
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