THE TROUBLE WITH HARRY - BD50 - R0 - Checkdisc date 6th August 2012 Length 01:39:23 / AVC / DTS-HD MA 2 Ch. 48kHz / Confirmed AR 1.85:1
These are my rough viewing notes about the technical quality of the *UK* Blu-ray:
Upshot: Despite a few unusual technical issues which have been present in previous masters of this film (described below), this disc is quite a knockout. Many frequently gorgeous looking shots. Superb resolution and good encoding.
The opening credits look nice, and the first shot of the film lets you know immediately that this disc is going to be a VistaVision Blu-ray stunner. Beautiful resolution/detail, strong and consistent colours. No noticeable DVNR, very fine grain, no noticeable heavy-handed digital screwiness.
However, the second shot of the film, another establishing shot at 00:02:01, exhibits a strange effect where the white roofs of three buildings ghost considerably. It’s very apparent, and this shot has bizarrely been used on the (offputting) motion menus. So you get a good fix of it there on repeat.
Slightly worried, and now on the lookout for this problem recurring, the next 15 or so shots (mostly of the kid with the toy gun walking through the autumn leaves) look phenomenal. This strange ghosting appears again at 00:03:41 on a shot of the kid immediately after he’s spotted Harry’s body, and very noticeably once more on Edmund Gwenn’s cap and face throughout a shot at 00:05:21, when he discovers Harry’s body.
By now I was quite worried by this ghosting, despite the amazing quality of the image generally and the strong colours. Fortunately, despite being on the lookout, I can’t really remember any further ghosting issues jumping out at me during the rest of the entire film.
There is a strange brief ‘jump’ of missing frames at 00:04:24 which seem to cause a sound sync issue when Edmund Gwenn stands up.
There’s very little damage or sparkle (tiny white/black dust speckles) in the first half of the film. Some shots have sparkle, and then the next shot might have none at all, which is odd. I seemed to notice a little more in the second half, from around the 55th minute onwards.
I can’t account whatsoever for colour authenticity, other than to say that the colours are consistently strong and look good.
All the issues described above sound worrisome, but Dave Pattern at http://www.hitchcockwiki.com has confirmed that the ghosting issues and the instance of missing frames appear on previous DVDs and HD TV broadcasts, so they have not been introduced by this Blu-ray. My overriding memory of this disc is that 99% of it looked absolutely wonderful.
Initially I put this down as a 7, but because the ghosting imperfections are apparently in the original neg, and based on my other scores, this one has to be a strong 8/10. One of the nicest looking Blu-rays in the set. On further consideration could rise to an 8.5