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44 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great 2-disc set
A couple of the negative reviews on this page are actually referring to a very poor earlier DVD; yet Amazon (in their wisdom) have posted them on this page! Finding the best DVD (or the best copy for the money) is tricky enough without mixing the reviews up. It looks like they've posted the wrong product details as well. For the record, I'm talking about the NTSC R1...
Published on 9 Sep 2008 by N. C. Bateman

versus
42 of 42 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars What are Universal and the BFI up to????
Amazon have done their worse with most of the reviews in this page. Most of the positive ones refer to the excellent two disc DVD NOT the appalling Blu Ray actually for sale whose quality is far inferior to the DVD! What on earth are UNIVERSAL up to releasing this poor, flicker filled, faded and scratched print on HD! It should be withdrawn and burned! The documentary on...
Published 19 months ago by Adrian Drew


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42 of 42 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars What are Universal and the BFI up to????, 16 April 2013
By 
Adrian Drew (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Amazon have done their worse with most of the reviews in this page. Most of the positive ones refer to the excellent two disc DVD NOT the appalling Blu Ray actually for sale whose quality is far inferior to the DVD! What on earth are UNIVERSAL up to releasing this poor, flicker filled, faded and scratched print on HD! It should be withdrawn and burned! The documentary on the disc concerned with the "restoration" of the BFI source material, although interesting, shoots the company in the foot, as the end result is terrible! I have never previously seen such poor contrast ratios or weak black levels on a DVD let alone a "restored" blu ray. Shame on both Universal and the BFI for allowing such a release to go ahead! Buy the Warner release - which is far far better - but if you have the earlier two disc Universal DVD, you might not even need to do that! The only good news is that the audio/radio extracts on this blu ray are good - but they were already on the older DVD too. There have been numerous complaints about several Universal Blu Ray releases (ie a couple in the Hitchcock Masterpiece Collection are very poor for example) so surely the time has come for this company to look more carefully at the quality control of it's transfers and not distribute such sub-standard releases as this shocker!
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65 of 67 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars citizen kane blue ray uk, 24 Nov 2012
The UK Universal Bluray is a different print from the the USA Warner BD.. release... the UK release is hugely inferior in picture quality with much print damage and poor contrast.....The USA release is completely free of these problems and is a superb presentation...The Region 1 release is Region Free.....
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37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Beware!, 27 Jan 2013
Whatever you do, DO NOT BUY THE UK VERSION.
I was very pleased to receive the remastered version until I watched it. Quite possibly the worst remastering attempt ever. In the restoration documentary someone refers to the fact that it would be too time consuming to clean up every frame of the film. On one level I can see his point, however when you're dealing with a film of this importance, I think it deserves that level of respect. The print is dirty & has scratches throughout. The grade is awful.

In complete contrast (pun intended), the US release is a dream. The print is great, as is the grade. Someone clearly has spent time on every frame.

I am returning my UK version to the production company, not the retailer, to ask for a full explanation of why they bothered to release this absolute mess.

The US version may be more expensive but you'd be better off burning the money you'd waste on the UK release......and that is exactly what they should do with their masters of this rubbish. Orson Welles would be disgusted.

Great film though!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Restoration? What restoration?, 15 Nov 2013
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The picture quality on this BFI "restoration" is a disgrace. It was so bad, I was actually angry watching the film. Yes, there is fine detail here but the image is chock full of print damage with flickering, vertical white lines throughout, accompanied by an overly bright image that gives a drab greyscale of no real blacks and no real whites. My anger then worsened when I switched on the restoration featurette to hear the nerve of the BFI actually saying the image quality wasn't cleaned up properly because it "wouldn't have looked right" and would have "compromised the age and authenticity of the film" (actual quotes). What an unbelievable, patronising thing to say, put up against the superb restoration work done by the people at Eureka and Criterion. I mean, what are those latter two video labels thinking by making old films look pristine and beautiful again? They should hang their heads in shame!! The BFI know best! Maybe Eureka and Criterion should start releasing their new Blu-rays with the prints looking as though they've been dragged along the floor of a pine forest and through the occasional muddy puddle. As the BFI might say... that's the way to do it!

I'll leave you with this verbatim final quote from the restoration featurette by Paul Collard, Vice-President of Film & Digital Services at the BFI. He says...

"We're very, very sensitive to how much restoration we do, and it all comes down to experience of knowing what to leave in and what to take out".

Well, in that case, Paul, maybe it's about time you and your team were taken out of all future restorations at the BFI, as it seems you have little regard for film restoration and little regard for the people waiting to buy your product. You should be ashamed of yourself!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars How to ruin one of the best films of all time., 5 Sep 2013
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I could write a long review that would say little favourable about this release. It's almost as if Universal and BFI want to destroy Welles' reputation. This is not a Blu-ray quality version of the film. It is taken from a poor quality reel and is appallingly re-mastered. Universal should withdraw this and issue a public apology.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars one of the wrst blu-rays ever released, 28 Dec 2012
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But typical of universal who seem to release rubbish almost weekly . Hitchcock blu-ray colection, david lynch (fixed in the end) and now this. The warners US version is region free and is brilliant this looks like it was restored by someone they picked up off the street. avoid at all costs get the us version from amazon US .
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Citizen Kane 2012 Universal UK blu-ray, 12 Dec 2012
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the restoration bonus feature on this UK blu-ray 2012 release of Citizen Kane lasts about 6 minutes long, that's about 5 minutes longer than the time actually spent restoring this film if the dire picture quality is anything to go by.it pains me to write a negative review of this classic as it should be the crowning jewel of Universal's re-issues on blu-ray.this for the most part is not even VHS quality.very disappointing with constant flickering throughout and vertical lines running through most of the movie.i find it hard to believe that the usually quality conscious BFI let their name be associated with this.sadly and painfully one to avoid on UK blu-ray
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44 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great 2-disc set, 9 Sep 2008
By 
N. C. Bateman (Brighton, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
A couple of the negative reviews on this page are actually referring to a very poor earlier DVD; yet Amazon (in their wisdom) have posted them on this page! Finding the best DVD (or the best copy for the money) is tricky enough without mixing the reviews up. It looks like they've posted the wrong product details as well. For the record, I'm talking about the NTSC R1 two-disc with a gold band at the top. The picture is a great improvement on earlier editions (at least one of which had sync problems, too). There's a lot more detail visible and with a film shot in gorgeous, deep-focus B&W that makes a big difference!
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113 of 127 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Flawed DVD publication, 6 Nov 2000
By A Customer
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This review is from: Citizen Kane [DVD] [1942] (DVD)
It goes without saying that this movie is a 20th century masterpiece from a cinematic and dramatic genius. Being a film that undoubtedly gains through repeated viewing it would seem a natural for the new digital medium. However this DVD release is marred by the quality of the print which looks like it could do with some serious restoration but more importantly by the abysmal quality of the DVD digitisation. It appears suspiciously as though this disc was produced from a 30 fps NTSC video master and standards converted to 25 fps PAL frame rates, badly. Consequently the viewer is almost constantly aware throughout the movie of the 'jaggies' caused by the TV interlace which is very prominent on edges, excessively so during movement. Frankly this not good enough for a 35mm movie of this importance and particularly so on a high priced DVD. It's release in this condition would seem at best cynical and at worst insulting to both the audience and the work of a great filmic artist. As if to underline the cheapskate nature of this release the disc lacks any additional supporting material in the form of interviews and documentary footage. This is all the more bizarre given this was such a controversial movie and one which led to the dramatic and untimely end of the directors Hollywood career. If you're a fan or even an ordinary movie goer and think you're going to enjoy the benefits of digital quality with this magnificent film you'll probably be disappointed. If it wasn't for the power of the movie story telling this disc would be practically unwatchable. Looks like the money grubbing bean counters have won out once again. Disgraceful.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Warners' Region-free US Blu-ray is the one to get - the UK Blu-ray is terrible, 17 Dec 2012
By 
Trevor Willsmer (London, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
NB: As is Amazon's Wont, they've very unhelpfully bundled all the reviews for various editions and formats together. This review refers to the US Warner Bros. region-free Blu-ray releases.

In all the hundreds of thousands of words written about Citizen Kane, one of the most rarely repeated is Martin Masheter's observation in Movie Collector magazine that it's one of the few great films that's really great fun, but it certainly bears repeating. Love, loss, emptiness, the corruption of power, human tragedy, the remarkably mastery of technique, the innovative deep focus photography, the groundbreaking non-linear screenplay, all are carried along by a surprising level of wit, both verbal and visual as injokes ("Don't believe everything you hear on the radio") rub shoulders with insight, keeping the film fresh, entertaining and endlessly quotable. Like its main character there may ultimately be less to it than meets the eye - it can be neatly summed up as `money can't buy me love' - but it's still a fascinating attempt to make sense of a man who, for all his power and influence, may not even be there to make much sense of.

Welles certainly bestrides the film like a colossus (though one who modestly bills his lead performance last in the credits and shares his directorial credit card with cinematographer Greg Toland's credit), playing the role with a twinkle in his eye that fades as a lifetime's disappointments and his failure to get love on his own terms take their toll, but still allows supporting players like Everett Sloan and Joseph Cotton to make their mark without feeling the need to constantly upstage them. And it still has one of the all-time great pickup lines: "I run a couple of newspapers. What do you do?"

Warners haven't exactly pushed the boat out with their region-free US Blu-ray release of their Ultimate Collector's Edition by coming up with anything new, offering the same impressive extras as their fine two-disc DVD set: audio commentaries by Peter Bogdanovich and Roger Ebert, interviews with Ruth Warwick and Robert Wise; newsreel footage of New York premiere, the specially filmed trailer narrated by Welles and introducing the cast, storyboards, call sheets and stills galleries, sketches and stills with commentary by Ebert, deleted scene storyboards, press ads and pressbook extracts and premiere stills montage. Unfortunately the feature length documentary The Battle for Citizen Kane has been released on a separate DVD rather than upgraded, as is the previously separately available cable movie about the making of the film, RKO 281 (the latter only available on the Ultimate Collector's edition, which also comes with a 48-page book, reproduction souvenir program, 10 studio memo reproductions, 5 art cards and, if you bought it from Amazon.com, an extras-free DVD of The Magnificent Ambersons). For tighter pockets, Warners released a two-disc digibook edition without the last two features (RKO 281 and The Magnificent Ambersons). But it's the excellent transfer of the feature itself that impresses the most, especially compared to the poor UK and French editions of the film from other distributors that didn't have the benefit of the studio's restoration budget. It's region-free too, so any of the US editions is the way to go to see the film at its best.

Here's a breakdown:

US Ultimate Collector's edition (3 discs):
Disc One (BD) includes audio commentaries by Peter Bogdanovich and Roger Ebert; interviews with Ruth Warwick and Robert Wise; newsreel footage of New York premiere; original theatrical trailer; storyboards, call sheets and stills galleries, sketches and stills with commentary by Ebert; deleted scene storyboards, press ads and pressbook extracts and premiere stills montage
Disc Two (DVD) includes 113-minute documentary The Battle Over Citizen Kane.
Disc Three (DVD) includes RKO 281.
Plus 48-page book; reproduction souvenir program; 10 studio memo reproductions; and 5 art cards.

US Standard 70th Anniversary digibook edition:
Disc One (BD) includes audio commentaries by Peter Bogdanovich and Roger Ebert; interviews with Ruth Warwick and Robert Wise; newsreel footage of New York premiere; original theatrical trailer; storyboards, call sheets and stills galleries, sketches and stills with commentary by Ebert; deleted scene storyboards, press ads and pressbook extracts and premiere stills montage
Disc Two (DVD) includes 113-minute documentary The Battle Over Citizen Kane.
48-page digibook packaging

The UK Blu-ray seems to be an upgrade of the old 2-disc UK DVD:

Anatomy of a Classic - a 50 minute feature presented by Barry Norman
Audio Commentary by Film Historian Ken Barnes
The original film budget
Welles off-screen (the original 1938 radio broadcast of The War of the Worlds and Welles' 1945 commercial recording of Oscar Wilde's The Happy Prince)
The Restoration of Citizen Kane
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Citizen Kane [DVD] [1942]
Citizen Kane [DVD] [1942] by Orson Welles (DVD - 2004)
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