51 of 56 people found the following review helpful
We all know the film's great, but what about the blu-ray?,
This review is from: Dr Strangelove [Blu-ray]  [Region Free] (Blu-ray)You'll have to read the product description for all the extras and subtitled languages - what interests me is the film itself.
To say the film is perfect would be stretching the truth a little. The trouble (as viewers of the various DVD editions will know) is that Dr Strangelove was not filmed in a consistent aspect ratio, so every subsequent editor has to decide how to combine the full frame shots (1.33:1) with the matte in camera shots (1.66:1). To me it seems obvious that the open matte scenes were meant to be cropped to match the rest, but obvious is not a term usually associated with Kubrick. Nevertheless the makers of the blu-ray have done just this, presenting the entire film in 1.66:1. This results in thin vertical black lines either side of the picture when viewed on a 16:9 television, or an equal-sized border when viewed on a 1920x1200 monitor.
In my opinion this is a better solution than the mixed format of all the DVD releases. Besides which, this is how the film was originally seen in cinemas - at least in Europe; in the US it was apparently projected in 1.85:1. However, various sources (mostly tied with the mixed-aspect ratio LaserDisc and DVD releases) assert that Kubrick actually intended the film be projected in mixed format.
Then there is the matter of picture quality. Kubrick sometimes seemed to go out of his way to find grainy film stock, but in this case it was probably justified as the entire film is shot at night (even on the bomber flying over Russia). What this means, however, is that the blu-ray is not the dramatic improvement over DVD that is seen in other films. But I think this is as good as it gets. The detail, brightness and contrast are superb and there are no scratches or other defects that I can see, and I don't think the film grain - even in the external airbase shots where it is excessive - should be edited out.
All in all I suppose that DVD owners who prefer the mixed 1.33:1 and 1.66:1 aspect ratio format will probably not bother buying this blu-ray, and the same issue might persuade some new buyers to choose the DVD, but for everyone else the blu-ray is easily the disc of choice.
Finally, although I said I wouldn't mention the extras I am mildly disappointed that the excellent original film trailer is not included. I don't think this is on any of the DVD releases either and I recommend looking it up on YouTube.