Echo Bridge Home Entertainment acquired a number of Miramax titles in the sale (they were split between them and Lionsgate), which I was excited about. We would be getting forgotten genre pictures like this on Blu-Ray at reasonable prices. I for one like "Halloween: H20 - 20 Years Later" and was looking forward to the release. What I am confused about is, like everyone else, the way Echo Bridge is treating the films they are releasing. The picture quality isn't horrible on this release. In fact it's the best the film has ever looked on home video. Moreover this is the first anamorphic transfer the film has seen, which is great. BUT for a reason I can't even fathom Echo Bridge has decided to crop the sides of the frame (harkening back to the nightmare that was Pan & Scan) and force the film (which was shot in 2.35:1) into the new HDTV 'fullscreen' aspect ratio (1.78:1). This is totally uncalled for, especially in todays day and age. Things like this shouldn't even be happening. BUT the release is a catch 22 when it comes to the picture quality. Like I said, the image we do get is rather crisp, so you will get a nice (not excellent, mind you) transfer if you do purchase it. Unfortunately, you will be loosing picture due to the cropping. Plus, if you are stuck with the old Miramax DVD, watching it on your HDTV is going to be horrible, since it's a non-anamorphic transfer. Still, you will still want to hang onto that DVD if you are a fan of the film because none of that Collector's Edition's special features are ported over to the Blu-Ray. I am going to go ahead and recommend this release only if you are a die hard fan of the "Halloween" series, because in that case, you will get nice picture quality. If you are a stickler for the technical presentation as a whole, stay far, far away from these Echo Bridge releases.
About the film:
"Halloween: H20 - 20 Years Later" is the true part 3 to the Michael Myers saga. The many films to feature the character (they number 10 in total) are mostly nonsense, but at least this picture actually tries to accomplish something. Brining back Laurie (a good Jamie Lee Curtis) into the mix was the correct thing to do. In fact, they even make the character believable. I like everything they did with the story here but unfortunately it's far too little. The film barely runs 80 minutes rendering the interesting aspects of the story vague. But against it's own sabotage it strangely succeeds. It may not be deep but it's brisk and fun and it's nice to see a conclusion to the Michael and Laurie story. (Ignore every wretched sequel besides this one.)
Side note: I am able to comment on this prerelease due to that it's currently available as a Best Buy exclusive until May 3, 2011.