I have to agree with every word of this. What a complete and utter disappointment. Of the three, FRISCO was the one I was looking the most forward to. I have to admit I don't have MOTHER WORE TIGHTS on DVD so I have nothing to compare the blu-ray to and I have no intention of buying PIN-UP (which I always found hideous.)I have now had the opportunity to compare this Blu-ray release of Hello, Frisco, Hello with Fox's now defunct DVD release from 2004. And while the DVD used a transfer for which the proper Fox logos had been incorrectly replaced, if anything the image that follows on the DVD is superior in virtually all regards to this Blu-ray reissue, sporting properly framed main titles, and color fidelity that offers better overall saturation and fine detail reproduction. The Blu-ray just looks faded by comparison and I sincerely regret dropping good money on it. Ditto for Pin Up Girl, although in comparing the old DVD to my new Blu, the differences were marginal at best.
But Hello, Frisco, Hello is a severely screwed up transfer. The heavily windowboxed credits aside, there is no breathing around the peripheries of the image on the DVD: the Blu-ray - it's everywhere. And the colors are wan, dull and awful on the Blu. The color on the DVD is more fully saturated by far.
For the life of me, I can't understand why the DVD (taking into account the limitations of decreased resolution and the absence of original materials to work with) looks so much better in terms of color fidelity and overall "lushness." It's almost as if the blu-ray has a dark layer to it that pulls all of the colors down that isn't evident on the DVD. There are dazzling purples, reds, blues, and greens on the DVD that are (to borrow Nick's word) "wan" at best on the blu-ray. The blu-ray looks as though much of it is made from optical dupes even when it shouldn't and doesn't have the corresponding look to the same points on the DVD transfer. There's an obvious increase in resolution but I don't know that it's worth it. ultimately. So I have to ask the question that, if this all about the CRI. why shouldn't it look at least as good as it did 15 years ago?
While I agree with you in theory, I THINK (without definitive proof) that those clips may have been taken from a VHS or laser transfer because they look completely over saturated to me on the doc. The DVD has better, stronger colors than the blu-ray but they aren't quite to that level of bleed.If you want to see what we're missing, look at the "Hello Again, The Re-Making of Alice Faye" mini-doc on Hello, Frisco, Hello. It has a lot of clips from Frisco that seem to be taken from a Technicolor print, with glowing, jewel-like colors and beautiful rosy skin tones on close-ups of Faye. Check out the dress that Faye wears in the "By the Light of the Silvery Moon" number. On the Blu-ray, it's a pale turquoise color. In a clip from "The Re-Making of Alice Faye" you can see that it's a gorgeous light blue. What a difference!
With ALL due respect (and I DO mean that, sir) I just can't buy anymore that that's the only reason for what we're seeing. The (awful) domestic blu-ray release of THE GANG'S ALL HERE was supposed to be the best we could expect from the CRI elements yet lo and behold Masters of Cinema released a disc in the UK that, while not perfect, was miles better in almost every regard. Fifteen years ago, they were able to make a FRISCO transfer with beautiful, jewel like color from (one has to assume) the same extant CRI materials that were used for this, yet everything about the look of this (other than the resolution) is less than that one was. Something else has to be at play here.How many ways can one spell CRI?