Customer Review

44 of 52 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful film, but disappointing Blu-ray, 19 April 2009
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This review is from: 2010 - The Year We Make Contact [Blu-ray] [1984] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
Now, I won't use this review to justify the many virtues of 2010. It's a fine film. Is it the masterpiece of the film art that 2001 is? No. Is it more coherent, better structured and more accessible for regular film fans? Yes. It's got really wonderful performances from everyone involved, from Scheider, Mirren, Lithgow and Balaban down through the supporting actors. It also has some excellent visual effects (including some of the earliest CGI) and stunning cinematography. Peter Hyams was never given the credit he was due for 2010, although I did read a nice interview from Arthur C Clarke himself, who thought it was a fine film.

Anyway, if you already like the film, you probably know what I mean.

Right, the Blu-ray. It's disappointing. Is it higher definition than the lousy DVD? Yes, by a mile. But it's grainy, and sometimes fuzzy. Now, I can't say for sure whether this is because the source material for the HD transfer hasn't been restored very well or simply that the original image was inconsistent in clarity. I know it's possible to reprocess a 35mm image and achieve a picture that's actually superior to current HD cameras, like Blade Runner's lovely Final Cut Blu-ray or Baraka, but it costs a fortune and very, very few films will be restored to that level. Given these budgetary limitations, and knowing the quality of cinematography on 2010 is so high, I'm inclined to think this is simply a matter of a poor HD transfer. That makes it all the more disappointing, really, because this beautiful film is just not getting the treatment it deserves because of commercial factors.

The sound mix fine and clear, although nothing spectacular. I didn't get the bass in some scenes that I was expecting, but I do know that a great deal of the score is light on bass anyway, so that's not a fault with the sound mix.

The extras are, as expected, virtually nil. There's the same vintage featurette that was on the DVD, and the trailier. Nothing else. The featurette isn't even the entire documentary that was produced at the time, which I remember distinctly being shown on TV years ago. That was an hour long, this featurette is under 10 minutes, although it's still nice to see.

Again, I would rate this film 5 stars any day, but this Blu-ray is not good enough for the film or its fans.
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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 9 May 2009 22:55:25 BDT
Last edited by the author on 9 May 2009 23:01:07 BDT
J. Aston says:
I expect it will be the same when we eventually get the UK release, but this is the US import you've reviewed here.

As for the question of 'transfer or source', it would seem that source may actually be the limiting factor in this case, with lighting and focus issues:

Quote from above review:

"Although fairly soft due to the lighting and use of photographic filters, the picture has a decent amount of detail and exhibits no signs of Digital Noise Reduction or artificial sharpening. The special effects footage (which was shot on 65mm by an entirely different crew than the live action scenes) looks terrific. The model shots are as sharp, clear, and well-lit as you could hope. If anything, the contrast between the two types of scene is a little jarring, but that's just the way the movie is."

In reply to an earlier post on 10 May 2009 13:55:43 BDT
Mr Ghostface says:
What are you talking about? I got mine from They haven't updated the product page correctly, apparently, because I got mine several weeks ago. I don't even shop from the USA.

I trust you gave me that negative vote just because you got your facts wrong? Thanks for that.

In reply to an earlier post on 22 May 2009 00:12:27 BDT
I agree with Mr Ghostface's review entirely. And I also got mine from Amazon UK so what's with the arrogant presumption that it must be from the US! I don't care what the first poster here says as I have my own copy to watch, and I love it, but the review is right about the quality.

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Jan 2010 12:45:05 GMT
Last edited by the author on 11 Jan 2010 12:09:42 GMT
J. Aston says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Mar 2010 00:37:30 GMT
Mr Ghostface says:
J Aston, well, yes you are wrong as I had this disc on pre-order for a month at least before it was due for release, and Amazon shipped it to me. Why you bothered to post another reply is beyond me, and frankly, if I sound like I was "dissing" the Blu-ray release then I don't care, as it's not very good. I make it crystal clear that I think this is a wonderful movie, but what, I'm supposed to defend a sub-standard Blu-ray release just because I love the movie? That's absurd, so give me all the negative votes you want.
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Location: United Kingdom

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