Friday, September 3

Hang on to those Blair Witch DVDs...

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Blu-ray.com just posted this review of Lionsgate's The Blair Witch Project, another $9.99 Best Buy exclusive, and it's immediately clear the studio screwed up the transfer. Like the VHS edition, the picture is zoomed-in for a full screen presentation. Most people assume the original aspect ratio was 1.33:1, but the film was windowboxed with curved edges to mimic a full 16mm frame. The old Artisan DVD preserves this quality; yet for some reason Lionsgate decided to drop this for the Blu-ray. Judging by these 1080p captures, the studio also noise reduced the entire feature (especially evident in the B/W 16mm), making it actually look worse than the DVD instead of the "best" it could possibly be. On a similar note, it's funny how the review site gave the natively 480p standard definition and then further degraded 28 Days Later on Blu-ray a 4.5/5 for picture quality, but gave the mostly Hi-8 shot Blair Witch a 2.5 and totally missed the smeary DNR or aspect ratio alternation.

DVD / Blu-ray

3 comments:

Jack J said...

I've got an old VHS of this. Maybe it's time to upgrade. TO DVD! Haha. The artisan release is only £3 from Amazon. :D

Great info, thanks!

Tristan said...

I have to disagree with you Jayson. I've seen both side by side. Yes, Lionsgate screwed the pooch a bit by "zooming" the frame to crop the rounded edges. However, I see no evidence of noise reduction and the clarify of the B&W 16mm footage is leagues ahead of the old Artisan DVD.

Jayson said...

I disagree, checking it out last night, the transfer is extremely clumpy. It's obvious LG simply took the SD transfer and mucked it up.

...do you dare tread upon the staircase?
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