|French Connection (1971) USA|
First I start with the contrast of the picture. The contrast level is so high that everything has so much blooming effect that the it is hard to watch the movie without squinting. For the record I have calibrated by Sony 40 inch full HD TV using the Video Essentials Blu-ray. I tried to watch the movie using my new Sony BDP-S550 and my PS3, and both showed the same horrible picture. The DVD has the contrast in check and much lower without the loss of picture detail.
Second are the colours. All colours bleed like hell. You can clearly see this in the scene at the villain's mansion when he meets his wife. The red colour in his wife's red hat bleeds all over the wall behind her at 9:38. The DVD's colours are so much better. They don't bleed and the same scene at 9:38 has the red colour of the wife's hat totally in check and no bleeding at all. This bleeding can be seen at all times in the entire movie on the Blu-ray.
Third is the level of film grain. I can accept film grain from old movies, but the picture on this Blu-ray contains such high levels of film grain it almost seems to be a, at least, 5th generation duplicate, perhaps even more.
So with the extreme high contrast, colour bleeding and such high levels of film grain, I have to just warn all people that is even considering buying this Blu-ray to stay clear away.
In the introduction to the movie the director of the movie, William Friedkin, says that this Blu-ray shows the movie as close to his original vision as any release ever has. I just don't know what to think about this. All I keep thinking "Has he seen the movie on the Blu-ray at all?", and if this picture is what he envisioned originally I cannot help but be even more complexed and confused because of the fact that it looks truly horrible. It is so frustrating that the picture was so bad since I truly think that this movie is one of the best crime movies ever made. I will be returning my copy and wait to see if Fox will issue it again with the picture quality that the movie deserves.