*The General (Blu-ray)*
I have to admit I was a little nervous about ordering this on Blu-ray. So many prints have come and gone before that I seriously doubted that from what I had already seen on DVD that anyone could make a high definition image from the title. Plus the fact that it was not coing from a major studio like Warner Bros. or Fox, but rather independent distributor Kino International. Well, I am here to say this is a first-rate, gorgeous-looking high-definition print and I am very happy with it.
The image is so well done in places that one could think it was shot today, but through a deliberate sepia tone to make it look old. The image for this 1927 Buster Keaton classic is beyonfd belief in its clarity. Previous versions pale in comparison. It's true there are still white spreckles, etc., on the print, but it is doubtful you will ever find any print better. As it mentions on the Blu case, it was "mastered in HD from a 35mm archive print struck from the original camera negative."
For an excellent comparison of the Blu to previous versions, dvdbeaver.com has a number of photos you can look at: http://www.dvdbeaver.../thegeneral.htm
Like the Kino release from 2008, this Blu comes with the following extras:
- Three musical scores to choose from:
(1) Music composed and conducted by Carl Davis, performed by The Thames Silents Orchestra (in 5.1 Stereo Surround or 2.0 Stereo)
(2) Music arranged and directed by Robert Israel
(3) Theatre organ score by Lee Erwin
- A video tour of the authentic General, presented in association with The Southern Museum
- A tour of the filming locations, presented by John Bengtson, author of Silent Echoes
- Behind-the-scenes home movie footage
- Filmed introduction by Gloria Swanson
- Filmed introduction by Orson Welles
- The Buster Express, a brisk montage of train gags from throughout Keaton's career
My favorite of the three scores is the one by Carl Davis. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 sound fills the room. Beutifully composed and a perfect accompanient for this classic comedy. (The score is also available in uncompressed 2.0. The scores by Robert Israel and the one by Lee Irwin call more upon the period of the film. While that may be more true to the era, the latter two scores lose a lot of the wonder of the film in their antiquity.
The extras mentioned above are all short (one is only a minute long), but they are enjoyable, particularly the various clips of Keaton and trains from several shorts/movies.
Edited by: filmlover on Nov 23, 2009 3:14 AM
It is a great blu ray, the film has never looked better. Undoubtedly they know what they are doing.