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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Verdict is still out on this one, 30 Aug. 2013
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This review is from: The Brides Of Dracula (Blu-ray + DVD) [1960] (Blu-ray)
It is difficult to know how to review this Blu-ray release. I guess it depends on whether this is a first time buy, you have owned the previous UK release or the R1 release.

Let me start by saying that the original master that Universal had was destroyed in a fire some time ago. For this Blu-ray a different print has been used, which seems to have been in marginally worse shape than the one used for the R1 dvd. It therefore makes it very difficult to make an adequate comparison as Final cut have obviously had their work cut out to bring this up to a releasable standard. If you have owned the R1 dvd prior, one of the first things you will realise is that this (BD)is presented in a different ratio 2:1 which crops a significant section from the bottom of the screen. Secondly, there is a high dose of grain on this release. Some would say that's a good thing, others not. But at times is overpowering (obviously that's just my opinion).

Colour saturation on the bd is different from the R1 release, but is extremely pleasing and there is a increase in detail with it being in HD. However on comparison with the R1 dvd , you may wonder if it is an improvement at all.

This BD wins considerably over the previous UK dvd release, which was heavily cropped in the 4:3 ratio

The BD offers some limited extras which are interesting in the main. However there is no commentary or subtitles for the hard of hearing.

To sum up, stay clear of the Uk dvd. If you want a choice either seek out the R1 dvd which looks smoother, is vibrant and in the correct ratio, or opt for this BD. The image is pretty good,with marginally increased clarity due to the transfer in HD and is also vibrant, but be aware suffers heavily (and this is just my opinion) from having way to much grain and is in a ratio that is generally agreed to be incorrect.

EDIT: Opinions of the Blu-ray seem to vary depending on which edition of the film you owned prior or have seen. Higher ratings seem to be coming from those who have not experienced the original restoration that was release as the R1 Universal box set.On the other end of the spectrum there are those that despise this release for the reasons mentioned.

For those that are interested. Final cut have presented this BD in the style of Studio canals Hammer titles packaging, but minus the slipcase.It does however feature artwork which represents one of the original Uk posters.

EXTRA NOTE: the same transfer used for the R1 dvd was also used by KOCH MEDIA R2 german dvd release. This edition still doesn't have extras but is in the correct ratio and has fantastic artwork.
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Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-9 of 9 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 30 Aug 2013 22:18:01 BDT
Adrian Drew says:
What a fabulously informative review. I had no idea that the original was lost. That said I'm sticking to my Region One DVD which is a great transfer. A.D.

Posted on 30 Aug 2013 22:41:57 BDT
wabrit says:
I'm still hoping that Universal will have better source materials for a Region A release than the ones that they released to Final Cut; I suspect that the German R2 DVD release will remain the best way to see this film for now.

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Aug 2013 23:10:34 BDT
I hope they do create a better transfer. this film deserves one.

In reply to an earlier post on 31 Aug 2013 06:56:18 BDT
Adrian Drew says:
I don't think this is likely as Universal have a very mixed record with it's releases. Their transfer of Marnie and Family Plot and the shocking "restoration" of Citizen Kane ( so inferior to the Region A Warner version) are all really bad. The issue of "grain" on this present release of "Brides" coupled with the wrong aspect ratio etc etc make me very glad I kept my excellent Region 1 release having thrown away the wretched 4 x 3 UK release of a few years prior. This is all such a shame as "Brides" is an enjoyable and beautifully designed film. Having seen Arrow's new version of "The Fall of The House of Usher" it really shows what can be achieved and in every way is superior to the "Brides" blu ray. If the source material is truly lost I suspect this is the end of the story so if you want the full frame impact (and there is a big difference) see the German or Region 1 prints.

In reply to an earlier post on 31 Aug 2013 10:09:47 BDT
Im inclined to agree with you there Adrian. Its interesting to see customers perceptions of the new Blu-ray. Those that haven't owned or seen the R1 release have opted for a much higher rating. Hence why I have tried to address both angles.

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Sep 2013 09:01:35 BDT
Adrian Drew says:
Following the various corespondances on this disc I'm surprised to see that there is virtually no comment on the "grain" issue. Watching it on big screen video projection was not a happy experience. Upscaled the Region One looked infinitely better. Seeing the more relaxed full frame - especially in such sequences as where the vampire looks down from above - is more effective too. It's all such a shame.

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Sep 2013 13:19:19 BDT
This sums up the Blu-ray far better than I ever could.

http://www.avforums.com/movies/The-Brides-of-Dracula-review_11339/blu-ray.html

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Sep 2013 14:06:06 BDT
Adrian Drew says:
What an excellent summary of the situation we have on the AV Forum and the comments which followed were interesting too. I suggest that those Amazon reviewers who have given this blu ray five stars take a look at the AV review too. Many thanks for alerting us to it. A.D.

In reply to an earlier post on 6 Sep 2013 17:18:06 BDT
If the version is cropped at the bottom to make it fit into a 2:1 ratio, then it has been sized up so that the original celluloid grain, normally cinematic and pleasant, has increased in size, making it difficult to bear at times. Yet another mistake of this release, then.
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