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Category:    Home > Reviews > Fantasy > Comedy > Fairy Tale > The Princess Bride (MGM Blu-ray)

The Princess Bride (MGM Blu-ray)

 

Picture: B ††††Sound: B ††††Extras: B †††Film: B+

 

 

Although we were disappointed with the Anniversary Edition of The Princess Bride on DVD, we have higher hopes (and standards) for this newly released Blu-ray.For more in-depth coverage of the film and that previous DVD, you can read about it here.There is little doubt that this film has charmed audiences now for over two decades and perhaps even second generations of viewers, which is why this modern day classic needs to be treated as such and given proper treatment for home viewing.While the DVDís never satisfied those needs, this Blu-ray experience should bring the magic back.Or will it?

 

As much as I was hoping that this Blu-ray could rectify many of the issues that plagued all of the home video releases to this point, and especially the DVDís that have been released, the Blu-ray fails to ultimately impress.That being said, itís certainly sharper, more refined, and the 1.85 X 1 anamorphic transfer looks superior on the 1080p High Definition Blu-ray, and yet still suffers from some of the same issues from the previous DVD we covered.In fact if you want a direct comparison, you need not go far as Fox has included the same Anniversary Edition DVD along with the Blu-ray.Same poor transfer, same supplements, but here you can get a quick idea of how soft the image is and how dated it looks, even though itís not necessarily that old.

 

The Blu-ray mainly suffers from softness that is particularly abundant in shots with greater depth, close-ups are not nearly as bad, but overall the film has a lackluster appearance and colors seem even smudgy, even the contrast on the colors appears to be set really high, this is noticeable on certain colors like red and green.Reds appear far too bright and near-bleeding, while the greens are unpronounced and look lumpy.Skin tones are natural looking, but do not have the overall refinement that we are seeing on Blu-ray and we are well-aware by now the capabilities of the format, even on older titles.

 

Since the picture is still problematic that leaves us with the sound, which is improved over the DVD as we finally get the film in DTS, not to mention a lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio mix that delivers the best audio presentation of the film to date on home video.While the mix is still rather forward heavy, the articulation is finally as coherent as the film is probably going to get, this is a film that has moments where the speaking parts can be difficult to understand, even though itís one of the most quoted films of itís time, that is perhaps only because people who can quote the film have seen it enough to know all the lines.Andre the Giant has several moments where is audio is faint due to his accent and booming voice, even Inigo Montoya (Mandy Patinkin) has moments where is accent is difficult to hear his lines, and especially moments with Miracle Max (a nicely disguised Billy Crystal).The Blu-ray corrects this though with lossless audio that restores the pristine nature of the vocal track from the studio and while the overall fidelity is still limited, this is perhaps as good as weíll ever get.More active scenes send the surrounds into a greater frenzy and the overall soundtrack is pleasing, sweeping at times, and never dull.

 

Extras are plentiful and repeats of what weíve seen before, but itís good to get both the Blu-ray and the DVD edition here, even if there are still issues with the overall quality of the transfer and we can only hope that one day this will finally be resolved, in fact a 25th anniversary restoration wouldnít hurt.Fans will buy this film no matter how many times it gets released, so thatís not an issue.In the meantime this should hold over even the leanest appetites.

 

 

-†† Nate Goss


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