Bullit on Blu-Ray

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Last week I got round to watching the recent US Blu-Ray release of Bullitt which speedily arrived from the excellent supplier MovieTyme for ??11.99. This was the first HD title I played through my old projector, which is capable of outputting HD video at 1080i, rather than my LCD television and I was most impressed with the results. The main reason for this is that recent Blu-Ray releases from Warner use the highly regarded VC-1 compression codec rather than the outdated MPEG-2 codec. If studios were to adopt this codec for all Blu-Ray releases it would probably be my format of choice but currently I stand firmly by HD-DVD.

Whilst not an overwhelming transfer this is most certainly the best has ever looked. The film is generally quite dark in colour but during the daytime scenes, and especially the iconic car chase, the transfer is particularly strong. For a film from the late 1960s the results are marvellous and once again there are no compression artifacts or any noticeable problems with the VC-1 encoded transfer. I had also forgotten how good this film is and the closing scene in the airfield reminded me of a similar closing scene in Michael Mann’s excellent thriller Heat. The disc also features a full-length documentary on editing in film which is presented in 1080p HD. This could probably be my favourite Blu-Ray release so far.

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