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I Don't Understand The Raves Over this Blu-ray....
on November 14, 2009
Let me start by offering my sincerest apologies for having to be the first reviewer to rate the newly restored Blu-ray release of the classic 1951 "A Christmas Carol" less than the 5 stars everyone else has given it. This English movie version of the beloved Dickens tale has rightfully earned the respect and admiration that it gets. There has never been a better acted or more moving film adaptation than this one...hands down!
Like so many other people who own some prior version of this classic, I was thrilled to learn that it was re-mastered on Blu-ray. I relied on these 6 favorable Amazon reviews to gain the confidence I needed to take a chance on purchasing this film, since it was hailed as looking and sounding better than it ever has. Despite some reviewers claiming that it was not without flaws, I took that chance. Well folks, when it comes to re-mastering older films it's a gamble. In my opinion, I felt I lost this bet. Yes, the film does seem brighter and in better focus. However I was not expecting to see the picture bending in certain frames or going in and out of focus between scene changes. I also did not expect to hear the obvious audio splices and drop-out like it did a few times. I'm not sure (or confident) that the re-mastering was made from the best possible sources; but if it was, then the sources have deteriorated horribly over time.
I wasn't expecting miracles (perhaps this is the best that this movie can be made to look), but can only give this Blu-ray release a lukewarm recommendation. I still adore this movie and always will, flaws and all. Happy Holidays to you all!
UPDATE: In response to a commentator of my review, I watched my older DVD version (also produced by VCI Home Video) and found that many of the defects that I mentioned were in the Blu-ray were non-existent in my older DVD. Notably, I'm referring to the bending and splices in the video and the audio drop-outs. Amazing! The Blu-ray improved the sharpness of the video but introduced defects at the same time. Clearly, the best sources were NOT used in the remastering.