The Manchurian Candidate (2004/Blu-ray)
B- Sound: B- Extras: C- Film: D
people ask me why filmmaking has become so bad, one thing I point out is the
extent of which recycling and remakes have made releases so bad. Jonathan Demme’s horrid 2004 remake of the
classic The Manchurian Candidate was
actually cast and marketed as of it could be some kind of serious prestige
film. Instead, it is one of the worst
remakes of all time. We first looked at
this turkey on HD-DVD, which you can read more about as follows:
Blu-ray version is here as Paramount continues to be the only other studio
besides Warner to issue their HD titles in both formats. As has been the case before, but a bit more
so in this case, the Blu-ray is not quite as good looking as the HD-DVD.
HD trailers of the film have surfaced on both the initial demo discs for
Blu-ray and HD-DVD, and in both cases, it was the worse HD trailer in the
bunch. The 1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High
Definition image is not as bad as those trailers, but cinematographer Tak
Fujimoto, A.S.C., gets carried away with the close-up shots further dragging on
an already problematic film. Color is
somewhat muted throughout and fancy blowings-out of the image are further
annoying when the film has nowhere to go.
In this Blu-ray version, definition is sometimes closer to how bad those
trailers were. The Dolby Digital Plus
5.1 and DTS 5.1 mixes are quieter and more underused than you would think, with
the quiet approach making things drag even further. This is not a demo disc for this format and
if you need Denzel in Blu-ray, Crimson
Tide is on the way from Disney soon.
again include Demme and Pyle on an audio commentary that makes you realize how
much worse things really were here, 6 deleted scenes with more commentary if
you need it as an option, outtakes with the same option, the trailer in HD,
Schreiber screen test and three featurettes.
They too are painful to watch.
Hopefully, this is the end of HD appearances of this bomb, though Warner
just announced the Total HD disc that can carry both formats. Paramount should quit while they are ahead. I can’t imagine the need to produce more
copies of this one.
MGM/Fox issues it on Blu-ray, try the original film on DVD, which you can read
more about at:
- Nicholas Sheffo