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Mobius > European Cult Cinema > THE CAT O'NINE TAILS

Description: Blue Underground Blu-ray

Mark Tinta - June 10, 2011 01:06 AM (GMT)
Anyone else get this yet? While I don't think it's anywhere near the abomination that Michael Mackenzie's Land of Whimsy review makes it out to be, it is the first time I've been mildly disappointed with a Blue Underground Blu-ray release. The detail and clarity are fine and the film probably looks as good as it possibly can. But there's instances throughout where the transfer just seems too bright for its own good. Sometimes it helps, but just as many times it doesn't. It's distractingly bright at times. I put my INFERNO Blu-ray on to see if I was imagining things, and I'm not. The CAT Blu-ray transfer is just not on the level of INFERNO or DEEP RED. I could be an issue of the source or the elements, but it's almost like they tried to make it look TOO good. So yeah, in some ways, it's an obvious improvement on the decade-old DVD transfer, but it's not completely..."right," either.


Chris Stangl - June 19, 2011 07:56 PM (GMT)
I've watched the BU Blu a couple of times now, and I reckon I'd say about the same thing. It looks a little bright where the DVD was too dark. There are comparison screenshots in the usual places which indicate that fine details are smeary even in comparison to the DVD.

I just spent some time toggling between the Blu-ray and DVD. The DVD is so dark and yellowy that it looks like a different movie. Textures might be more detailed, but it is murky enough that particularly in dark scenes the Blu-ray opens up parts of the screen that weren't discernible before. Having previously only seen CAT on DVD and VHS, I don't know that I'd ever noticed Lori and Arno walking down the street, visible in bird's-eye view under the opening titles before we meet them at street level. The figures are barely visible on the AB DVD. Personal Conclusion: the ancient DVD has its own host of problems and the Blu is a worthwhile but imperfect upgrade.

For the interested, the above Land of Whimsy review & attendant comments thread speculate on how and why this smeary look occurred. When things veer into talk about the possible application of "fake grain," I'm fairly lost at sea and relying on expert testimony. So I dunno; I do know Michael Mackenzie has a sharp, informed eyeball or two, but I don't think this disc is hell on earth or even "shockingly bad," and wouldn't compare it to wet newsprint.

Domenick Fraumeni - June 20, 2011 11:13 PM (GMT)
So, is it better then say, upscaling the DVD?

Adam Tyner - June 21, 2011 09:58 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (Domenick Fraumeni @ Jun 20 2011, 07:13 PM)
So, is it better then say, upscaling the DVD?

Undoubtedly. I think even the disc's most vocal detractors would say it's still well-worth the upgrade.

I'll admit that when I first put the BD on, I couldn't see what Michael was talking about at all, but there was a moment about halfway through where my eyes decided to attune themselves to the problem, and from that point on, I couldn't NOT see it. The clarity of that noise up front gives a false impression of sharpness, and when I found myself able to look through that, everything underneath is kind of a mush.

I think I'm more likely to believe that this is a result of the way BU's Italian telecine/mastering/whatever service of choice has their equipment configured rather than the DVNR->fake grain to hide it theory, but I have no idea.

Domenick Fraumeni - June 22, 2011 02:59 AM (GMT)
I'm wondering if any of the Imports available share this same issue. I'd love to upgrade, but this smearing problem is a real turnoff.

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