Blu-Ray Is Killing Old Movies

19 12 2008

robocop-feat

So I was watching Robocop on Blu-Ray last night and I’ve got to say, watching it in Blu-Ray format has completely ruined the movie for me.  To give you a little background, I first saw Robocop when I was 9 years old, and it was one of my fond movie-watching memories from my childhood.  He was a fucking robot!  I loved the movie and can honestly say Kurtwood Smith (Red Forman) plays one of the craziest bastards in recent cinematical history.   Now, the quality of Blu-Ray is indeed awesome, and my feelings towards normal DVDs are now identical to my feelings towards non-HD TV channels.  Yeah, you have them, but who the fuck cares?  HD Please.  So, I was “going to piss myself” excited about my memories of gratuitous violence, extreme levels of gore, and over-the-top special effects (for the time) only being more extreme in crystal-clear, color corrected, 1080p glory.  I couldn’t have been more wrong.

More after the jump:

In the picture above you can see the difference between the original film and the enhanced version.  I don’t know if it was the fuzziness, the over all aura of the VHS making movies seem like movies, or my memory not serving me correctly (I WAS 9 years old, after all) but the aforementioned highlights of this film in Blu-Ray format did nothing but turn it into a comedic parody of its badass original self.  Seriously, during the introduction of the ED-209, you can literally see the people at the conference table suppressing laughter at the claymation-like robotic monstrosity.  It looked and moved like it was straight out of a Rudolph special, and the 1080 pixels only served to make it look more ridiculous.

ed

It might as well have been fucking legos

On a side note, Peter Weller was more robotic as a man than he was as a robot.  I literally think they chose him for the film because his chin/jaw would fit perfectly into the robot helmet.

Talent

Talent

The memory-crashing moment for me, however, was when they were in the warehouse just blasting away at Murphy with multiple shotguns.   With the HD version, you can seriously almost see the squib packs and charges they used for the effects.  It was depressing, and something I probably wouldn’t have noticed in the original, grainy version of this film.

I’m going to stop rambling, but I think it should be noted that old films were great just the way they are in all their fuzzy glory.  I think the lack of definition in old movies was necessary to hide the low level effects, making them more plausible and therefore, making the movie an action flick instead of a comedy.  R.I.P…Robocop memories.

Update:

I just realized it looks like I’m bashing the Blu-Ray format in general.  I’d like to make a note that this is not the case. I’m not trying to knock Blu-Ray as far as current and future movies go.  Watching Transformers in the Sony store in Blu-Ray was unbelievable.   I peed a little.  I felt like I could reach out and grab that smug little bastards face.  Iron Man, ridiculous.  However I just wanted to stress the point that old movies should be left in their original formats.  Those VHS tapes are truly the glory of movies past.


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One response

19 12 2008
thewitcontinuum

Fascinated with your article here, especially the side-by-sides of the original movie and the Blu-Ray. I’ve been wondering what all the commotion about Blu-Ray was about and now I see it may not be worth it. (the guy at Blockbuster told us everything will be blu-ray in 5 years–God forbid). Anyway, I too was a fan of Robocop (in my teen years I must confess) and from a woman’s perspective can tell you that Weller got the role because of his sexy lips (bet you didn’t want to hear that.) Those action movie heros in masks have to have them. In any case, I have my Vhs tapes safely stored, hoping they last, and am thinking twice about the Blu-Ray investment. Will be keeping the DVD set.

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