I've heard innumerable mentions of how good or bad the blu-ray transfers are, but little comparison between them and the deluxe remasters offered in the velvet Masterpiece collection. Too often recent blu-ray releases of classic films offer little improvement over remasters slaved over in their last releases. Are these significantly improved in image and sound? Or just upped to their 1080 original mastering rate (they were all already remastered in hi-def). Inquiring and thrifty minds want to know. I'm always the first to blow his money on new blu-rays, but have been burnt enough to question such an outlay on duplicating more discs (especially such an expensive set. Someone please respond SVP.
Is there a difference between the Blu-ray and the last DVD releases? YES! Take a look at THE TROUBLE WITH HARRY. WOW! It was Hitchcock's first use of Paramounts VisaVision process and it's a beauty. VERTIGO is a big improvement. Haven't look at every disc yet but I suspect the Blu-ray will be a improvement in each case. That said, some of the discs could have (and should) be been much better. Spot checking THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH leaves me with opinion that the colors aren't balanced properly and the sharpness of the VistaVision is not there. With this set and previous released Hitchcock films there are now more of his films in the Blu-ray format then any other director -- by far!
Um, no. The reviews usually indicate below the review as to which version the review is for (DVD vs. Blu-ray) but, having said that, Amazon does have a bad habit of combining reviews. There are legit Blu-ray reviews here. Buying the DVD based on your advice is a mistake.
Having said that most of the titles here look from good to excellent with some titles having some problems.
1) The Man Who Knew Too Much-Has color shifts that occur between shots related to the aging of the negative. This should have been caught and corrected during the transfer stage. 2) The Birds-Has been restored and looks quite good considering what they had to work with--a film with multiple process shots which results in problems with grain, colors and other artifacts. That said, it has never looked better even if it isn't perfect. It's a nice restoration. 3) Marnie-Has problems with inconsistent grain and other issues. Is it watchable? Yes, but Universal needed to put a lot more work into this title 4) Frenzy-The titles have been corrected although the film does still suffer from too much use of digital noise reduction but is hardly a disaster. 5) Family Plot-Looks horrible and is inexcusable. It looks worse than an upscaled mediocre DVD transfer. There are problems with pixelation, grain and a whole slew of other issues. This one should NOT have been the worst looking given that this is the most recent film in the collection.
The titles that have some problems vary from minor to major issues.
Saobteur, Shadow of a Doubt, Rear Window, Psycho, North by Northwest, The Trouble with Harry, Vertigo, Topaz all look exceptional. Torn Curtain looks good.
You could wait until they are released individually (like Psycho and North by Northwest) or, if you can find a deal, this is worth picking up. I don't regret it.