I have not seen the German Koch edition, which was discussed in a separate thread. This one is a fully-loaded disc that contains almost everything from the Koch (the interview with Jack Arnold was not included here), plus a boatload of other extras.
The black and white film from 1957 is presented here with an aspect ratio of 1.85:1. For the most part it looks very good, but the image is variable. What I think represents reel 2 is a bit softer than the rest. Occasionally in motion the grain does not look natural, particularly in the early sequence aboard the yacht at which time an odd, metallic mist covers the protagonist, leading to his shrinking woes. But, for the most part everything seems very acceptable, even excellent. Black levels and shadow detail are good.
Hidden from view on the cover art is the fact that this edition features a commentary track by Tim Lucas, which is wall-to-wall, well-researched information, typical of his contributions. There is a lengthy documentary about Jack Arnold’s Universal career, narrated by Tom Weaver. As with the Koch edition, there is a 10-minute silent Castle Films digest edition that is in pretty rough shape — too bad they didn’t use the 17-minute Universal 8 sound edition. There are two trailers for the film, and an interview with Jack Arnold’s son. Finally, there is a beautiful 24-page booklet that includes an essay by Kim Newman.
The audio is uncompressed PCM mono. Optional English subtitles can be accessed. This is Region B locked.
I am glad I waited for this release, as I think it is, at this point, the definitive one. Perhaps Arrow will put out a U.S. edition that matches this
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