Senior HTF Member
- Feb 8, 1999
- Real Name
- Robert Harris
The original post, which I had deleted at the request of Fox marketing has been located, with a huge thank you to Felix Martinez! I have shortened slightly, without changing the character of the piece. I will warn those who may not know my occasionally odd sense of humor, that this was written with: A. Steam being emitted from my ears, quite like an animated character; B. With about as much dry humour as might be mustered under the circumstances. C. As should be telegraphed by the final line.
I've been waiting since the day that Patton was announced by Fox on Blu-Ray to see one of the great war films impeccably transferred and released on a format that could finally do it justice for home video purposes.
A copy arrived at my office mid-day, and once I was able to take a break I viewed the opening ten minutes or so on a Sony 30" XBR CRT that I use for finite work.
It looked glorious.
But the real test would come when it was projected onto a large screen, the way that many home video aficionados view their discs.
The film seems to have been impeccably transferred from what appears to be a 65mm element. I use the word appears, as I can't be certain.
Color, densities, black levels all appear to be dead on and perfect.
I love this film.
Brilliantly photographed, I believe on Eastman 5254 negative.
Why then, when viewing it was I thinking of the Data, of the coming 5k Red Epic?
My mind actually left the film, and went into digital territory.
If this had been shot with an early version of the Epic I thought, might it have had more detail than 65mm?
What would it look like?
I finally figured out what troubled me.
I knew that I wasn't viewing film.
I can tell the difference between a Blu-Ray disc and film by many means.
The easiest way to tell is by weight.
Patton on Blu-Ray weights possibly an ounce.
On film it would probably hit the scales at around 600 pounds.
It was definitely Blu-Ray.
But it didn't look like film. It looked like scrubbed data, shorn of its high frequency information. I'm certain that the film has more information than I'm seeing.
The image is impeccably clean, with only an occasional bit of errant dirt, which is welcome.
So why am I thinking "here we go once again," and feel as though I'm attempting to climb a greased flagpole.
This is a meticulously created BD disc of one of our greatest films.
Everything about it appears to be absolutely, delightfully perfect.
But it seems to be yet another example of film that no longer looks like film.
The reality of this situation is that I'm probably preaching to the wind. This is a disc that will be wonderfully reviewed, and the public will revel in the image's clarity and brilliance.
They will be pleased.
Do I like this Blu-Ray of Patton?
Can I recommend it?
Without a doubt.
Can I live with it?
If there's no alternative.
I cannot however, get over the point that film should look like film, video should look like video, and data like data.
And here is a film magnificently photographed in 65mm, that looks like data.
No real detail. Pretty, colorful images.
For a disc that I was looking forward to giving five stars and an extremely high recommendation, with nothing higher possible...
I give a hearty Recommended. Fox marketing would like to be slapped on the back, and hear the words "Job well done!"
This is great filmmaking and story-telling at the highest level.
Presented on Blu-Ray disc as really clean, good-looking data, which somehow gets me thinking of Louis Pasteur (1822-1895).