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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Marvelous Monsters at a Chilling Cheap Price.
It was with a certain amount of trepidation that I bought this box set. "How on earth can they get these shining gems of early horror look good enough for Blu ray?" I asked myself. Actually it was more a statement of "I hope they don't look crap".

Well they look absolutely amazing! The movies have been lovingly restored and are as crisp as a...
Published 5 months ago by Ghost

versus
6 of 25 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Flawed "Creature" disc. Disappointing.
I just received my copy today and put in my disc to check out the transfers. I don't own a 3D Bluray player so I was watching the 2D Creature disc. I couldn't believe my eyes as it was glitching. The last 3 chapters are unwatchable. What I can't believe even more is that this problem has been reported on amazon and other sites. A real disappointment that these...
Published on 4 Dec. 2012 by paulisdead


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent box set., 31 Dec. 2013
By 
Alan Parkinson "Rosco O Gymru" (Abertawe,Cymru.) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection [Blu-ray] [1931] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
I'll start by stating that I paid only £18 for this box set. I won't review the actual classic films, as if you are interested in this set, then you already know they are classics of their time. The packaging is well presented, discs are two in each fold out wall. The booklet is informative and the postcards are lovely (worth framing for mini posters on the wall). Each disc is packed with plenty of extras. Conclusion: If you are here for the classic films, then buy this set.
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5.0 out of 5 stars By 'em seperate; buy them as a collection in a coffin; buy 'em in the bleedin' blu-box.. BUY them!, 31 Mar. 2015
This review is from: Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection [Blu-ray] [1931] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
Well, your Blu-Ray choices:
THIS way, or, IN a coffin ==>The Classic Monster Coffin Collection [Blu-ray] [1931] [Region Free].
Individually, by title:
______________________
[1931] Frankenstein---------------------[Blu-ray] [Region Free]
[1931] Dracula--------------------------[Blu-ray] [Region Free]
[1932] The Mummy----------------------[Blu-ray] [Region Free]
[1933] The Invisible Man-----------------[Blu-ray] [Region Free]
[1935] The Bride of Frankenstein--------[Blu-ray] [Region Free]
[1941] The Wolf Man--------------------[Blu-ray] [Region Free]
[1943] The Phantom of the Opera-------[Blu-ray] [Region Free]
[1954] Creature From the Black Lagoon-[Blu-ray 3D, & Blu-ray] (60th Anniversary Edition)[Region Free]
_________________________________________________________________________________________

I do not care much for the 1943 version of Phantom of the Opera---or, for THAT matter, the first Mummy movie
[Lon Chaney,Jr's. sequels are MY favorite]--- but, it'd just cost m-o-r-e to buy the other seven discs, seperately.
_________________________________________________________________________________________
Also recommended:
Universal Classic Monster: Complete 30-Film Coll [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]..... YES! THIRTY movies!
WELL worth the purchase [which requires a region-free player], but, dang! the classic MONSTER stuff is all there!
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36 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE U.K. COFFIN EDITION, A REVIEW, 10 Aug. 2012
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Just got in the U.K. coffin edition of this set (which cost $64.88 Canadian in total and arrived in less than a week, was sent on Tuesday and received it on Friday).

So the good news is that the discs are housed in a gatefold packaging and on plastic trays, the downside though is that they are double trays which means that one disc is set on top of another (not touching though) which is a tad annoying but at least the discs aren't slid into cardboard sleeves to be scratched upon removal, and the plastic holding, center hubs release the discs easily (not having to bend the discs in half to free them) and lock back on with ease as well.

The gatefold is itself slid into a cardboard case that has room for the included booklet and the poster cards and then this slides into the coffin, but here too is a slight problem, as the disc case is just a sliver too big for the coffin which creates a tighter fit that makes you worry that either the disc case will mark up or the coffin will eventually split at a seem (it's not a HUGE issue, but it is a tad irksome).

And now for the question that all awaiting this set wants to know, how is the new Dracula restoration?

Well, the picture quality has been improved and Renfield's first meeting with Dracula on the cobwebbed staircase now doesn't look like there's a snow storm taking place (due to all of the white specks and scratches usually visible during this scene in all of this movies other incarnations).

But there are still image issues, such as the close-up of the old ladies hand holding the cross at the beginning of the movie, which is a blurry, out of focus mess (and not done for esthetic purposes nor due to the camera's inability to take sharper close-ups, as the close-up a little later on showing Renfield's cut finger and then the cross falling into view, are so crisp and clear that you can actually see that Renfield's thumb nail has an oddly shaped cut to it) and for all of the talk in the restoration featurette about the removal of the background hiss, it's still there it's just that now, instead of the sound of a waterfall or heavy shower ever present in the background, you hear a lighter, spring shower, but it's still there and still an annoyance (which I don't understand, as the very first foray onto DVD of Dracula, the one with the original 1930's poster artwork on the cover, there's no discernible background hiss at all, but then it's next two incarnations on DVD had insane amounts of it, so why couldn't they have just used the soundtrack from the first DVD on this set?).

Also, there's still an exorbitant amount of image flux, where you can see grain or a lightish gray film, cascade across the image, most noticeable in the scene where Renfield is in his room with Dracula at the beginning of the movie, and really prevalent during the London fog scenes (and no, it's not visible because it's suppose to be fog, it's visible over the fog, like a slight rippling pulse effect, kind of like the camera was filming through sheet rain that wasn't lit to be seen, but a ghost of it is still visible on the image, if that makes any sense).

As for the other films in the set, I haven't gotten to them as yet, but seeing as no restoration was done to these, I'm assuming that the picture quality will be pretty much what you got with the original DVD's of these films as well, as i can't see them being any worse.

Oh, and one more thing, the menu is really annoying, as instead of the usual "Play", "Chapters", "Extras" options we're treated to cryptic symbols, and not cool, monster movie themed symbols either, no, we get these stupid white indiscernible symbols which you really can't judge just by looking, what they do, so you have to play around with them for a bit to figure them out (hint, DO NOT click on the house symbol unless you want to go through the WHOLE disc start up screens again, you know, the stupid screens that you can't skip through but have to sit through to get to the main menu again; I speak from frustrated experience on this one).

Well, I hope this helps some.

P.S. oh, and even though the Dracula restoration quality leaves a little to be desired, it's still worth the upgrade for the overall improved picture quality, but like I mentioned, it could have been better.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Combination of Amazing Quality, fast shipping, wonderfully low price, 24 Nov. 2012
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This review is from: Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection [Blu-ray] [1931] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
First the quality of what I've looked at so far, Mostly the Mummy, one of the weakest regular DVD productions: it's inhumanly good. Though is flows smoothly, each frame has the sharpness and modernity of a still photo shot yesterday! The sound and score betrays the pictures age, but it too has been mastered to a level of quality never before reached and probably not to be surpassed.
The packaging is a bit cumbersome but not worth complaining about. Extra features abound. I've recently seen a TCM real theater screening of a double feature, Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein. I am a firm believer of seeinig films in the theater if at all possible, but this set completely justifies watching them again and again at home.

I couldn't be happier with my purchase. I only hope for a Hammer Films collection on this level containing each of its main horror films: Curse of Frankenstein, Horror of Dracula, The Mummy, Phantom of the Opera, Curse of the Werewolf and perhaps the remarkable strong sequel Revenge of Frankenstein.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dracula's Castle, 19 Nov. 2012
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This review is from: Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection [Blu-ray] [1931] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
If those of you who already own Universal's "Legacy" series are debating whether or not to buy this Blu-ray collection, this review is for you.

I want to put special emphasis on Dracula, as it more than any other Universal Monster movie has suffered extensive damage over the years. The original film negative, having been copied countless times, disintegrated years ago. Since then, we've been left with copies made from secondary sources, and it shows.

For this release, Universal was able to get its hands on an old nitrate copy of the film, which takes us as close to the original negative as we'll probably ever get. From there, the film underwent extensive restoration, of which you can see in detail in one of the extras in the box-set entitled Dracula: The Restoration.

The final result is the best presentation of Dracula most of us will have ever seen, assuming you aren't an 80 or 90+ year old who happened to catch the film on opening day.

The clarity in the film is stunning. I can finally make out details in Dracula's castle that were never apparent before. Gone are the shaky frames (such as the opening title with the Swan Lake musical score) and unstable lighting (flickering).

The prevalent hiss that accompanied the soundtrack has been, for the most part, remedied. There is still a trace of it, but it is no longer distracting.

I could do on, but why waste our time? If you're a fan of Dracula and/or Universal's monster movies, you owe it to yourself to pick this set up. Dracula is the crown jewel in this set for me, just because of how much better it looks now than on DVD, but really, every film is just top-notch.

With Amazon UK's pricing, you can't go wrong. (The U.S. set is nearly 3 times the price for the exact same product.)

*I did notice (very slight) frame-skips (of about a millisecond) in Frankenstein and the Bride of Frankenstein, but I've heard no one else complain about it, so it may just be my disc. But be forewarned, just in case.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars UNIVERSAL BEST BOX-SET., 16 Oct. 2014
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This review is from: Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection [Blu-ray] [1931] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
This for me has to be the best box-set I have ever seen. I have been collecting Blu-rays for a long time and this is a amazing box-set and worth every penny, and i must say all films are just wonderful, the wolf man is the best for me with it's creepy and foggy sets, you could say they were the first of there kind.

It comes with eight cards and a good little book which gives you some good information about the films, all discs have the evil monsters on them and the box-set folds out nicely, and if you are lucky like me you can watch creature from the black lagoon in 3D, and all I can say is WOW!! it's a must. Please buy if you love the classics.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blu-ray version in Coffin box from U.K., 16 Oct. 2012
By 
M. Kenny (USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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Some time ago I per-ordered the set in the coffin box from Amazon U.K. and got a great price. Even now it is about half the price of the U.S. standard box version and it is region-free so it will play on any Blu-ray player in the world (10/19/12 AUK shows that this is no longer available only the standard box set). The Discs are not in cardboard sleeves (as in the photos of the US box version) but rather in plastic trays, two to a card but not touching each other (I believe they are called gate-fold digi-pacs?). (10/12/12: I see the US version of the Coffin box is offered and is actually cheaper than the US standard box set in pre-order). Some people are complaining that the inside box just barely fits into the coffin box and are worried about rubbing or seam splitting. I have found that by gently squeezing the two wide points on the coffin box the inside box slides right in. The book and little "posters" are cute as is the "coffin" box itself for collectors.
As to the discs. I have watched Dracula and the restoration is FANTASTIC compared to older DVD versions. The black and white picture contrast is great, not washed out grays like older versions and the jumps from missing frames and bad editing are gone. The sound track is amazingly quiet compared to the old DVD copies, a tremendous amount of the optical soundtrack hiss is gone (all the screams and groans have been left in(put back in) the soundtrack) The Spanish language version also looks good in Blu-ray except for the third reel which looks bad as it did before as it had to be obtained from an outside source by Universal, this film too would have really benefited from restoration (the bad section starts when Dracula and Renfield have just checked the lease on Carfax Abbey, the picture quality goes from "really good" to "what the heck happened?" and continues to some lesser extent through Lucia's death). I have not gotten to the others yet but will add as I do.
(10/12/12 update) I watched Frankenstein and in Blu-ray the picture quality is really good but the soundtrack is still a little hissy. All the old censored scenes and dialog that were restore in the past are there and look and sound good. This is my favorite of the Universal Monster Pictures and I really enjoy seeing it in a good copy.
I am going to check the Creature From the Black Lagoon next as there have been reports of problems with early copies of the 2D movie. I do not have Blu-ray 3D so I can not check out that version.
(Update 10/14/12). The CFTBL 2D version played all the way through without a glitch and the picture quality is great. This is my least favorite of the "monster" pictures but I am still impressed with the creature suit and well it looks even in Blu-ray. The Mummy is a delight to watch, the picture quality is great and the sound is wonderful. The scenes with no dialog are amazing for the lack of noise so you hear every little sound. The Invisible Man is equally good and the special effects are still amazing. The Bride of Frankenstein is great and Franz Waxman's score sounds great. The Wolf Man was photographed beautifully and it showed in the DVDs but in Blu-ray it is astounding how good it looks (and sounds). This is also true of The Phantom of the Opera. The Technicolor looks marvelous and the music comes through very nicely. I would have preferred a fully restored (by Universal)version the 1925 version but that is my preference.
All in all, if you like these Universal "monster" pictures, or even just half of them, you owe it to yourself to get this collection. You will be impressed by the improvement in the picture and sound quality and will really enjoy watching them again.
I hope that Universal will do this for the sequels and for some of the less popular films (The Raven, The Black Cat, etc). I also hope they would do it for ones that are in public domain and on the market already (The Old Dark House) and even their old silents (The Hunchback of Notre Dame and The Phantom of the Opera [1925]) I believe there is a market for these pictures if restored and put in Blu-ray.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning, 8 Oct. 2012
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All I have watched so far is Creature From The Black Lagoon in 3D and all I can say is "WOW"!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Meticulously restored with a wealth of extras, 5 Oct. 2012
By 
Chris White (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection [Blu-ray] [1931] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
For those who remember the late-night horror double-bill shown on BBC2 during the 1970s, this set is an absolute treat. Even better is the fact that all eight titles have been given a thorough makeover and look completely mint.

Although Dracula, Frankenstein and The Mummy seem to have the lion's share of the extras, the others haven't exactly been short-changed with each of them containing at least a documentary and most with audio commentaries. Dracula includes the Spanish version (also restored) and Creature from the Black Lagoon has both 3D and 2D editions. The eight-disc set comes with a lavish illustrated booklet and artcards, contained in a gatefold digipack holding two discs per panel within an outer slipcase.

Unfortunately, there is a tendency for some of the bonus content (particularly the 100 Years of Universal featurettes) to be repeated across the collection. However, the movies are what it's all about and here are all of the major releases from Universal's 'golden age of horror'.

With the exception of Phantom of the Opera (looking sumptuous in Technicolor), all are black and white and are presented in their proper 1.33:1 Academy ratio apart from Creature from the Black Lagoon, framed in 1.85:1. Sound on all films is DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 mono. The Dracula disc includes a featurette on its restoration; the before and after examples are a real eye-opener, bearing in mind that the film is now over 80 years old.

I've always maintained that - so long as the source elements are pristine - older films are the ideal medium to demonstrate the capabilities of Blu-ray. These cinema classics are now definitely enjoying a new lease of life.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This UK region free set is half the price of the expensive US version. And it is well worth it!! Awesome box set!, 11 Oct. 2012
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This review is from: Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection [Blu-ray] [1931] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
Just got my box set from the UK the other day for a little over 50 US dollars (the US version is 112 US dollars!) and got to say from what I have seen, WOW!! Universal did wonders to these old classics. I hate reviewing something before thoroughly watching it, but I couldn't keep quiet. This is an amazing box set. Do not hesitate on upgrading from anything you have of these movies. They have NEVER looked and sounded so amazing! The discs are packaged in a way so they won't get scratched easily. No sliding in and out of cardboard! Love the way the set folds together and slides into the outer blu ray case and slide it in my collection of other blu rays. Wanted to get the coffin one, but really I don't want the extra bulk that comes with storing something like that (I have enough odd shaped sets as it is).
Cannot wait for each day to end so I can rush home to watch some more of these classics! Makes me feel like a kid watching these fresh looking transfers. Have been a huge fan all these years and its like watching these with a new set of eyes. Simply amazing work Universal has done!
Just wondering why the UK set is so much cheaper than the US set? They seem to be the same discs and possible packaging (the artwork is different). Makes me wonder why so many people are complaining about the high price of the US set when they can get this lovely set and have the left over money to buy more blu rays.
Glad to have found that Amazon UK exists for us movie fans here in the states.
Region coding or not, you don't hear me complaining. Just enjoying the luxary... :)
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