Top positive review
18 people found this helpful
Totally seduced by performance - only average Blu-ray video quality!
on 9 September 2011
This review is for the newly restored Blu-ray version of Carmen. This filmed version has been reviewed many times but as far as I am aware only two other persons have reviewed the Blu-ray versions. With this in mind I will concentrate my attention on the technical quality of the disc. Suffice to say that I agree wholeheartedly with the majority of people who commend the quality of the performance. It is superb and Julia Migenes is a fabulous Carmen. So sexy! How could anyone fail to be seduced by such a performance!
But now I must turn my attention to the video quality. I should say at the outset that video quality is important to me and I expect high standards from Blu-ray discs. However, there are many films of a similar vintage where the Blu-ray restoration has been far more effective. At the start of film the quality was reasonably good but it has to be said that the video quality dropped off as the film progressed and the quality soon deteriorated during the outside night scenes or where the lighting levels were lower. The video is on the soft side and the picture sharpness is only up to medium to good dvd levels - certainly not Blu-ray quality. I suspect that the fault lies with the original print rather than the restorative process. Who was the lighting engineer, I wonder? The video quality does improve quite a bit in the final 2 chapters but that does not wholly compensate for the large proportion of the film where the quality is not even up to a good modern dvd.
However, this is a historic film with fabulous performances from all the lead singers. For me it is the benchmark Carmen, despite a slight disappointment with the video quality. There is a choice of soundtracks, all of which are good although I preferred the 5.1 HD Master Sound mix. There is a good picture within picture chapter selection and the disc comes with a couple of informative extras. Most of these extras are in standard definition and at least one is reassured that the Blu-ray version is an improvement on the standard dvd.
The video quality must lead to a drop in the star rating. However, rest assured that the performance is top rate and is deserving of 5 stars!