New HD-DVD arrivals

Earlier in the week I received my latest order from the ever reliable MovieTyme which consisted of Lost in Translation (2003) and The Frighteners (1996) on HD-DVD. Apparently these films are not officially released until May 29th Stateside but MovieTyme have again come up trumps and beaten the street date.

As it is marking time and things have become quite busy I have not had chance to watch either disc yet but managed to have a quick peak at both in 1080p. I have seen Lost in Translation a number of times, it is a film I hold in high regard and thought the picture on the region one DVD release was of a very good standard. The HD-DVD manages to improve on the SD-DVD with impressive results. The opening shot, of Scarlett Johansson’s backside no less, is very dark and seemingly a little underexposed on both formats but once the film cuts to Bill Murray arrival in Japan the image comes to life. The bright lights of the buildings look incredible and a real sense of depth is given. Other shots such as Bill Murray on the golf course look fantastic. As far as I could tell there were no instances of unnecessary edge-enhancement and film grain is reproduced faithfully. Hopefully I will get round to watching it in full over the coming week but I will not hold my breath.

I have not seen The Frighteners before but I have heard some very good things about it. I did intend to purchase the three disc special edition DVD last year but thankfully never got round to it. The transfer is very grainy, I imagine that this is the intentional look of the film and is a faithful transfer of a film to HD. My first impressions were that it looked very good but not as impressive as some of the other discs that I have seen. I will not pass judgement until I have watched it in full.

So my HD-DVD watchlist is growing already though not quite as long as my SD-DVD to-watch pile which I have completely lost count of. I also have the HD-DVDs of the director’s cut of Payback (1999) and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) to watch. I need more time!

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