Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection [Blu-ray]
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To call these movies "classic" is really somewhat of an understatement for fans. These are basically the gold standard for horror films and Universal has finally given them their due. I was fortunate enough to borrow a review set for 2 days in anticipation of receiving my own set that was pre-ordered the same day it was announced. One week to go and I can watch them again! I made notes as I watched and spent a great two days and nights with this set.
With that said, this review will focus on the video/audio quality of the set and not the films' content. Basically, what everyone is wanting to know is whether or not this upgrade is a major step up from the legacy series DVD sets. Other than containing the more popular top tier titles and only one of the sequels (Bride of Frankenstein) the answer is YES this is a HUGE upgrade. In fact, once you see these transfers on a properly calibrated display you will NEVER want to watch them any other way. I simply can not imagine them looking any better when first released (other than a few missing frames here and there these days) and the audio is most definitely the best it has EVER sounded. Major kudos and hats off to the team at Universal that did this fantastic job of restoration.
The included booklet is very nice but doesn't contain anything the more than casual fan doesn't already know.Read more ›
Universal's eagerly anticipated UNIVERSAL CLASSIC MONSTERS: THE ESSENTIAL COLLECTION arrives on Blu-Ray this week and pays a new, glorious high-definition tribute to eight of the studio's genre benchmarks, all presented in fresh, and impressive, 1080p AVC encoded transfers marked by a surprising amount of detail.
Looking at Tod Browning's 1931 DRACULA is virtually like gazing upon the Bela Lugosi classic for the first time. The movie is best remembered for its opening Transylvanian set-piece that introduces viewers to Lugosi's unforgettable count, and while the London sequences tend to be static and dull by comparison, the increased detail seen here in the Blu-Ray's HD presentation even makes the talky, latter sections of the picture more interesting. In fact, without any overt use of DNR, this ranks as one of the studio's most satisfying catalog transfers to date.Read more ›
The "Jewel In The Crown" of the set is DRACULA. While critical response to the film varies, the DVD includes both the Bella Lugosi and the so-called "Spanish" Dracula, as well as the option to play the Lugosi version with or without the recent Philip Glass soundtrack as well as memorable bonus material. The weak link the collection is THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA; the Claude Rains remake isn't a patch on the original, and it is a pity that the silent Lon Chaney version was not offered instead. Still, the Rains version has its charms, and it far surpasses later film versions of the same title.
While each of the DVDs included can be purchased separately, those wishing to have all these titles will find the box set more cost-effective. Sure to delight fans of Universal horror classics and fans of classic film in general; strongly recommended as an essential.
GFT, Amazon Reviewer
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Just like a great Saturday matinee, you'll find all the monsters in your childhood dreams running around in their original film classics. Read morePublished 5 days ago by Scott Kirkland
all 8 Universal horror films from the 1930's thru til the 1950's are now on blu-ray
as the Universal classic monsters collection
in Beautiful 1:33:1 1080p HD transfers... Read more
Great may want to do a more universal format. Had trouble playing on one of my DVD players, it would not read it. It was a SamsungPublished 4 months ago by James H McGee
A great collection, picture quality is the best. A must for any collector.Published 4 months ago by West Montgomery
They did a great job on those old classic and hours of special features the Creature from the Black Lagoon has two versions 3D and 2D under water is so clear nice job 2-channel... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Kenneth J Brower
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