This is a quick, first impressions review. I'll post an update once I've had a chance to take in the bonus film on the DVD included in this dual format, BFI Blu-ray release of Ozu's Early Summer.
First, the good news. The transfer IS sharper, clearer and has improved contrast over the Tartan DVD 'Noriko Trilogy' version of this film that I've previously seen. You can see more detail in faces and expressions - which is a major bonus, given Ozu's minimalist approach to cinematography. You can also see more fine object detail.
Now to the bad - or not so good - news. There is a significant amount of print damage - such as scratches, flecks, spots and other issues. These ARE present in the Tartan DVD version (I went back to check), but clearly the BFI has not tried a super extensive restoration here. No doubt it would be a very challenging job. There is also noticeable wander of the print from cut to cut. The picture moves a fair amount during cuts. Once again this is present in the Tartan release. Lastly, the audio is standard definition mono. However there are no serious issues with it. Besides most of the audience will probably be watching with subtitles at any rate. (There is the option to watch without subtitles.)
I will post back with an update about the extras but I did notice that there's a little booklet with details about Ozu and about the film. This also mentions that the BFI will - eventually - release 32 (!) of Ozu's films on Blu-ray, apparently.
The packaging is not as attractive as Tartan's gate-fold type 'Noriko' boxset, but is serviceable.
Overall, this film is an above average improvement on the DVD of the film - I'd give it 4/5 stars. If you are an Ozu fan, I'd recommend it as an upgrade from the DVD. However if you're new to Ozu you may wish to get hold of the 'Noriko' boxset (or perhaps some of his later colour films, which are wonderful too!).
The BFI's other current Ozu Blu-ray releases should be with me soon (Tokyo Story and Late Spring - which ironically then replaces the entire 'Noriko Trilogy' I've mentioned here). I'll try to get reviews up for those soon too.