21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars
Review on Picture Quality, 23 Sep 2011
First, let me say I do not work for Icon or Hammer. Second, I own a 46" flatscreen with a 5 speaker surround system and watched the films on a blu-ray player. I am not an expert or DVD picture geek, but I do feel qualified to give an impartial viewpoint on the state of these two films' presentation on this DVD release.
Quatermass Xperiment: The film has speckling throughout its run, which is never heavy. There are very few moments where I found it distracting. The major negative for this print is the thin white lines which appear on screen just before the 49 minute mark and last for a little over 5 minutes. They are on the right and left of the screen and are fairly distracting, though they do not interfere with any picture information. Film grain throughout is perfectly acceptable. Despite what another reviewer wrote, I noticed no instances where the picture is "blurry". The blacks are definitely not as sharp as one would see in a remastered print, but while the picture is occasionally soft, it is not blurry.
There are a few instances of tinny sound. Again, these do not make it difficult to understand what is being said, though they can prove mildly distracting. Overall I would give the picture a fair rating, with the sound above average.
Quatermass 2: The opening scene, which is less than two minutes long, is extremely grainy. I had no trouble seeing the action however. This grain clears up as the titles begin. The condition of the rest of this print is good with acceptable grain. There is less speckling throughout than Xperiment and only one brief instance of a thin white line on the left hand side of the screen (less than a minute) about 3/4 of the way through the film. There are a couple reel change marks in the upper right hand corner during the film, again, they do not affect the information on screen and are only mildly distracting at worst. Furthermore, the picture's aspect ratio is correct. Another reviewer said the picture looked compressed and the actor seemed taller and skinnier. Not on my copy. A simple trick to tell if the ratio is off is to look at a round object such as a tire or a radar screen. It should look round not oval. That's fine here.
There are a couple instances of tinny sound again, with some volume issues here and there. As with the first film, I had no problem understanding the dialog during these points.
The bottom line is this: These films are not remastered, but for the price and their age they look pretty darn good. You can wait until they are given the Blu-ray treatment or until they are cleaned up for another DVD release, but you'll be paying a lot more for them at that time, and who knows when that will be. If you're a hardcore film fanatic looking for a great picture then you'll probably want to wait. I'm more than satisfied with these so I can finally have the movies in my home collection, since the only ones available here in the U.S. are used copies of the original releases from DD/Icon and cost a bundle. So, 4 1/2 stars for the movies themselves, 5 stars for the price and 3 stars for the overall quality of the prints.