Robert Harris, a greatly respected film restorer, has written about the problems with the WSS blu disc at hometheaterforum.com. If you care about this film and, particularly if you were planning on shelling out big bucks for the big box, it's worth reading what he has to say and the discussion that follows.
I have the WSS dvd, I guess the first release as it's 1998. Very watchable, I'm not manic-anal-obsessive about having the latest of the late technology. But I am moving into blu-ray soon so I research all the things I like and see what's going wrong and what's making some astounding new releases!
The movie comes out in 2 days so I assume the clips shown on TV were accurate BR scenes, it certainly looked noticeable better even just on my set! What startled me, what make-up that now looks like blackface on some characters! Lame cliche but it stuck out like a sore thumb on certain actors. It could've perhaps been that "smudging" technique that I read about and saw on "BTTF". Or maybe just the total clear crisp picture finally showed details more subtly hidden 50 years ago. Like when you dim the stage lights just right to affect an illusion.
My new blu-ray copy was defective and has been returned to Amazon. I have 3 blu-ray players & the dvd 'jumped' more that 5 times in all 3 machines! Also, the opening sequence.... 'break into black' (mentioned above).... was a huge 4 seconds long. An entire color bar (green) was missing! Then, the film froze & restarted, when we first see a recognizable New York City .
The colors are screwed up on both the previous DVD and this Blu-ray. The green you remember from the DVD was totally incorrect, and the fade to black you're seeing on the Blu-ray "replaces" the green. At least one other color is totally wrong. For some reason, the studio has been totally incompetent in releasing West Side Story with the Overture CORRECT.
Posted: Dec 31, 2011 - 5:44 AM By: Panavision70 (Member)
The Digital Bits announces fix for the West Side Story blu-ray.
Following quoted from http://www.digitalbits.com/#mytwocents
Okay... we've got one important bit of news to bring you today, which is that we've finally heard back from 20th Century Fox and MGM as to how you can go about exchanging your copy of West Side Story on Blu-ray for a fixed one with the corrected opening titles, and also how you'll be able to spot the fixed version "in the wild".
To request a replacement copy of MGM's West Side Story Blu-ray, please call 877-369-7867 (M-F, 8 AM-5 PM PST) or email email@example.com. They'll arrange a way to make the swap.
As for fixed discs in stores, there is no call out on the packaging to distinguish versions, so you'll need to check the UPC barcodes. The corrected versions carry the following codes:
For the Blu-ray Single: UPC #88390424523082 For the Blu-ray Box Set: UPC #88390424521681
So there you have it. Thanks to our friends at Fox and MGM for providing the information.
Please report back here on how the correction(s) look. My understanding is that they were only fixing the transition from red to blue in the Overture, but I've also heard from a couple of people that it still doesn't look right. Haven't yet seen it myself, so am hoping for the best. Thanks.
I bought a copy today at a store and payed a few dollars more for it than I would have on Amazon just because I didn't want to have to go through the hassle of having to send back a copy that was in fact the "bad" version. Well, I made sure I found a copy with the UPC above, and it still had the green in between the red and blue. I'm pretty disappointed.
As much as I love the film West Side Story from the bottom of my heart (it's my alltime favorite movie...hands down!), I do not plan on getting the new Blu-Ray DVD version of it for the following reasons:
A) I do not have a Blu-Ray (or any kind of DVD) player.
B) I prefer to see this great classic as it's really meant to be viewed...on a great big, wide screen, in a real movie theatre, with the lights down low, and to share this great experience with a whole bunch of other people, whether I know them or not.
C) I have heard/read enough about the problems with the Blu-Ray version of West Side Story that came out last fall for me to be interested in obtaining a copy of it, and to be disappointed. Without knowing all of the facts, West Side Story is a beautiful classic film that deserves far better treatment than it received when it was made into this disastrous Blu-Ray copy.