Friday, October 16

Dawn of the Dead finally done right in High Definition

the gang after witnessing Anchor Bay's treatment

I'm aware Anchor Bay released a BD edition awhile back as part of inaugural Blu-ray roll-out. The problem was wanton use of digital noise reduction, color tinkering, excessive scratch correction, and contrast boosting with their Blu-ray and Divimax DVD releases. The good news is after all this time Arrow Films in the United Kingdom have debuted a Blu-ray this week that fixes these issues by leaving the film alone. Not only does this release have an improved transfer, but a lossless PCM 2.0 stereo (most likely split-mono) track instead of the fake 5.1 remixes and lossy Dolby mono track of the stateside HD disc.

Here's the specs over at DVDActive. Looks like the Blu-ray is the theatrical cut (Romero's preferred version) while the DVDs are Argento's cut and the Cannes Festival cut. Here's DVDActive's review as well (listed as region free). Note the screenshots aren't from the Blu-ray, scroll down to the bottom of the review and click the nine "Image" links for full resolution BD captures. It looks wonderful with grain (finally!), fine detail, and rich color absent from the smooth and sickly gray gloss of the Anchor Bay Blu-ray. The set is currently exclusive to HMV (listing here) for six months and then available everywhere in the U.K. afterward. I ordered a copy myself and will post my take upon receiving it. This film was a large portion of my reasoning buying into Blu-ray in the first place; just like in 1998 when I bought my first DVD player.

Anchor Bay Blu-ray (from TOP / Arrow Blu-ray (from BOTTOM


Anthony1138 said...

Looking forward to your comparison between the AB and the UK BR. Also curious about how the UK DVDs hold up against the AB DVDs. Since I haven't bought a BR player yet, I'm in no rush, but will be picking up one of the Dawn BR releases eventually.

Frank White said...

Here's hoping for a single disc release. I'm already up to my eyeballs in the various SD cuts of the film

Jayson Kennedy said...

Actually Arrow's prior DVD didn't look much different from AB's Divimax DVD. So judging by their Blu-ray captures the studio perhaps decided their DVD treatment wasn't good enough for HD unlike Anchor Bay.

Jayson Kennedy said...

I know where you're coming from Knarf, but it's Dawn, dude... ;P

Unknown said...

nice, mo zombies! you dare tread upon the staircase?

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