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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars ..."Too" Real For Blu Ray..., 26 Mar. 2009
This review is from: The French Connection [Blu-ray] [1971] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
I'm afraid I have to agree with other reviewers of this Blu Ray version of William Friedkin's masterpiece. It looks awful a large part of the time, which completely ruins the other times when it shines.

Ironically, the problem lies in the film's strength - its gritty portrayal of New York and the drug culture taking a grip of it in the early Seventies. The Director wanted realism - not just in his actor's performances, but literally how their New York playground looked - so he went for that. Movements are blurry, alleyways are hazy, characters are observed from an out-of-focus distance (aping what Popeye Doyle sees) - everything's grimy and washed out - matching the film's down and dirty feel.

Unfortunately when you get outside of the sunny Marseilles sequences and into the seedy bars and restaurants of the Big Apple - the Blu Ray picture resembles worn out videotape - it's really awful. Which is such a shame, because as you watch it again - but this time on the big screen - you realize what a blindingly fabulous film "The French Connection" is - and how it deserved so much better than this (the superb sequel is squeaky clean on Blu Ray - a joy to look at).

In fairness to Fox, the opening credits are squeaky clean - no lines, no scuffs, nothing - no print remains that clean after 38 years, so some restoration has to have been done - unfortunately when you get to the street action - instead of enhancing the watch - the Blu Ray only makes the deliberately grainy effect look even worse.

Half way through it - I couldn't stand to look at it anymore - I turned it off...

Unless you absolutely must own this, rent it first before wasting your hard-earned on yet another dog on this increasingly frustrating format...

What a disappointment.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 3 Jun 2009, 23:32:14 BST
You're right, but for the wrong reasons.

It's actually the director's fault. Friedkin went back to the film for this Blu_ray release, and actually stripped out the colour and re-coloured it as he saw fit. It looks awful, lord knows why they let him do it. The film as it was originally would look great on Blu-Ray, as most things do.

He's planning to do the same to The Exorcist. Hopefully Warner Bros stop him. HE MUST BE STOPPED.

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Jun 2009, 07:56:40 BST
Mark Barry says:
Good call.

I'd heard this too, but wasn't sure it was accurate, so I didn't put it in the review.
But as you say, whatever way you look at it, the print is awful - unbelievably so in certain places.
FC 2 isn't (I reviewed that too) - it's look great.

It's such a shame because French Connection is a fabulous film and deserved better than this - and God knows - it isn't cheap on BR either...
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