Posted by: John McGerr | July 19, 2009

Movie Musings3


I am a bit of a gadget nut – I have been known to go out and get the latest fad, just to have it, but not always to be the first. I was one of the last of my friends and siblings to own a mobile phone, staring off with a bog standard model and upgrading. I have considered getting that ultimate sign of the tech nerd – the iPhone but am considering going sim free if I ever do upgrade. Being a fan of music and movies I upgraded my home cinema system last year, going the whole hog and getting a high definition plasma tv, a surround sound system and as my dvd player a Playstation 3. My one main concern with this upgrade was that I watch a lot of old movies and was concerned that the upscaling feature of the playstation might make the movies unwatchable. Not sure why I would think this, just one of those irrational fears. My experience has been positive I’m happy to say. For the majority of the material I watch the screen is crystal clear and some more modern transfers upscale beautifully and would pass for hi-definition. The kye word in the last phrase is transfers – let’s compare two movies I own. One was released in 1951, the second in 1952. The first film is the African Queen, the second is the Quiet Man. Both of them, in their day were noted for the cinematography. Even on a standard tv both of them were full of rich vibrant colours, especially the Quiet Man. The DVD version of the African Queen was nicely done and on the high definition screen looks sharp and clear. However the disc I bought of the Quiet Man was disappointing. Unless when the scenes were in bright light the colours looked dull. In places you would think it was one of those colorised versions.  Where the scene was shot in a dark location the film looked poor. It’s a pity as the film is one of my favourite John Wayne movies. My experience with DVD’s has been positive. I have seen movies from the 1920’s to the 2000’s and all have looked well on both standard and high definition tv’s – it’s just a shame that, now and again, slipshod works gets done and a classic movie is left that little bit worse for it.

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