Price: 25,800 yen
Running Time: 2:09
Wolfgang Peterson’s films generally all have a warm look to them, and this one is certainly no exception. While at first the picture appears to be muddy looking, continued watching shows that reds and oranges tend to be over saturated and highly emphasized throughout the film. The film generally has a soft look to it with only certain scenes showing that sharp HD-like picture you come to expect. The scene where Frank is sick at one of the rally conventions is one of them, exhibiting a sharp detailed picture, with a multitude of colors (red, white and blue of course) dominating the scene. Each balloon is sharp and contrasted very well against the sea of convention goers. Fleshtones in this scene also do not exhibit the green tinge that they do throughout most of the film.
With the exception of the foot chase through the park between Frank and Leary, most of the outdoor scenes appear washed out in comparison. They appear dull, lack detail and with the exception of the orange/red haze over the picture, are under saturated. Quite a bit of the picture is overly dark in most scenes as well, very sad for a movie of this caliber.
Compression artifacts are also present, and while not too distracting (appearing more on characters than in actual scenic scenes), are visible and sometimes detracting. This disc exhibits more of the mosquito type MUSE compression artifacts instead of the grainy analog artifacts.
In comparison to the DVD release (ironically one of Sony’s first DVD releases), the DVD is leaps and bounds better. Picture is brighter, appears to have more detail in each frame, and the colors appear quite a bit more accurate (not over saturated or muddy looking).
Sound was reviewed in the EFM track. The soundstage is open with music and action sequences, but during any interior dialog scenes, the center channel gets the most workout. Low frequency effects are used during music scored for the chase scenes, but the surround channels are used very little. All the action appears to be in the front speakers.
A great movie with decent picture that is passable but barely. The film transfer I speculate was one of the early and first films Sony’s High Definition Facility transferred and thus has probably been through the ringer again with the latest advances in film transferring technology. Additionally, this is one of the early films released to the MUSE Hi-Vision format. In comparison to the DVD, I recommend the DVD.