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Based on Jerzy Kosinski's satirical novel about an illiterate gardener who has lived his entire life behind the walls of a Washington, D.C., house, his only knowledge of the world coming from the TV programs he watches. When his employer and protector dies, he is catapulted into the fast lane of political power.
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My problem is with the Blu Ray. I have both the original DVD of the film (circa 2000) and I now have the brand new Blue Ray as well. By far the Blu Ray has the more perfect and attractive picture, strong contrast, vibrant colors and non-existent grain and artifacts. It simply outshines the DVD in all respects. That said the old DVD version is better. The problem is that the Blu Ray version of the movie no longer looks like the film's original and personalized photography. Being There's photography is now indistinguishable from any other current Hollywood movie and the deliberately soft and slightly muted, autumn-like colors no longer has any connection to the mood of the film.
Top Hollywood cinematographers knew exactly what they were doing and most were very good at matching the directors intention. Now we have young people moving a PC-mouse and messing around with colors, tints, brightness and contrast. They are playing with the entire mood of the film. The look of the photography in Being There on the Blu Ray now pops off the screen to the point of distraction. I saw Being There in the theater and I recall that the original photography was soft and subtle and never drew attention to itself, much like story and the characters. This is the way it looks on the old DVD. On the Blu Ray, now every car driving on DC's dirty Pennsylvania Ave in the winter shine like they were just waxed and detailed. White shirts, bed sheets, handkerchiefs are now way up front and jump off the screen where they should remain unnoticed in the background. The viewer should be focused only on Chance while he is walking through the forest at the end of the film, not being distracted by the now stunning white snow.
I noticed a similar problem with Criterion's Blu Ray restoration of A Hard Days Night. Originally, A Hard Days Night's photography gave the impression of watching an old black and white news real on TV. Now the digital nerds have turned A Hard Days Night into a beautiful looking, ultra clear, ultra sharp piece of black and white eye-candy, as if it was made yesterday on the finest film and with the newest cameras. The original Blu Ray restoration changed the look of the photography, where it no longer fits the TV-documentary-like feel of the time period.
It's one thing to restore the tattered, torn, speckled and worn out prints to their original look. It is another to erase the character of the cinematography by "beautifying" the film with digital shenanigans. This is what has taken place on the Blu Ray restoration of Being There.