I, too have been waiting long enough for this to be released on Blu-Ray. I'm sick and tired of Warner Brothers not even taking this release seriously!! It makes me ill to see such other, blatantly CRAP films being released on Blu-Ray, while this excellent film from Robert Zemeckis goes ignored! Time to start an email or letter-writing campaign!! To insult all of us fans, here it gets released on "standard" DVD, on the same disc as..... "Sphere!" (WHAT THE F***)??? "Sphere" doesn't come close to matching the brilliance of "Contact!!!" I'm so pissed at Warner's for this! Somebody at that company has to wake up and understand that "Contact" has a huge fan-base and doesn't deserve the second-hand treatment it's received thus far. Hell, I even got in touch with Criterion! If Criterion can release such a crap movie as "Armageddon" in a re-mastered format, with special features and tons of blahblahblah from the producers and director, why couldn't it do the same with a far more superior film like "Contact?" "Armageddon" is truly one of the worst films ever made!! It's corny and embarrassingly rah-rah in it's patriotism and silliness!! It really is AWFUL, IMO! So why did Criterion release it???? PAYOLA - big time, from (and for) Michael Bay - the worst of the worst offenders in Hollywood today! it just boggles my mind!!! AAACCCKKKKK!!!
Well, Crichton is dead and it was Carl Sagan who wrote the original 1986 novel, not Crichton. At any rate, I agree that many crappy movies are released on bluray while Contact is still being treated as a B movie (and even THOSE have bluray releases!)
Looks like it's their using the old film master they used for the DVD from years ago..:-( So I kind of fear the PQ on this upcoming BD.. DNR!!! NOOOOO .. Also look at the BD back cover art! It's the same as the old DVD!! NO new features!!... I love this movie but I am going to wait on a review before I pick this one up.
It's not the old DVD video master -- the Blu-Ray reportedly boasts 1080p VC-1 video, accompanied by a Dolby TrueHD soundtrack. The spinning-vortex launch sequences alone should sound absolutely stunning in Lossless HD, to say nothing of the entire rest of the film.
Also, as far as supplements go -- three audio commentary tracks, plus all of the previous DVD resources, are being included. Sure, I might've liked a recent retrospective documentary or something, but those tracks alone are pretty damned comprehensive all by themselves. Just give me everything that was released beforehand, plus Blu-Ray picture and sound, and I'll be more than happy.
(Plus, there's a new 5.1 isolated score track, which the DVD didn't offer.)
Bad news is offical.. and I am right! "Looking at the comparison captures from the 1997 snapper-cased DVD - it seems the older transfer has vertically stretched the image to some degree with longer faces. But, most unfortunately, the Blu-ray has issue of it's own including egregious use of DNR. Not to sound like Johnny Cochran but "those who project - will reject". It was even visible on my 60" plasma - but probably more because I was looking for it. " http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film2/DVDReviews47/contact_blu-ray.htm They did use the same master that was used from the 1997 DVD release.. As for the 5.1 isolated score Is on my DVD!
No sale from me! Shame on Warners for this travesty! One of my favorte movies treated like a budget bin release!
I do not see any vertical stretching when comparing my new Blu-ray copy with the DVD. Might there be copies of this that are specially enhanced for 16x9 TVs? Perhaps this feature stretches the picture? I've read about this, but haven't seen it.
The picture quality, while not reference-grade, looks very good to me. Vastly superior to the DVD, but not overly cleaned-up to look like wax, either. Retains the appearance of film with some retention of grain, some flicker, and other little flaws - but very clear, rightly-proportioned, and vibrant. While trade-offs were made, I don't think this print looks like "video" at all. Personally, I do not think the studio went over-board with color corrections, either. The dvdbeaver link includes images which exaggerate the color differences, but are not inaccurate. (This review held me back from buying the Blu-ray until the price fell so low that I couldn't resist. Now I'm glad I pulled the trigger.) I think blu-ray.com has a review that is worth reading for anyone still on the fence.