A Bridge Too Far Blu-ray Review
PictureCorrectly framed at 2.35:1 and encoded using the MPEG-2 codec, the picture quality on this 1080P transfer isn't half bad.
First up, it appears that Fox have used the same master that was used for the two disc SD-DVD release a few years ago. That suffered from the odd occasional tear or mark - and those have been replicated here.
The film has been made so that some shots seem to have been filmed through a kind of haze - some of the actors seem to glow at times, but this seemed to be the fashion of the day. However, it does sometimes play havoc with the skin tones. In brightly lit scenes where the haze has been added, flesh will often take on an un-natural bright pink/reddish look, with the actors looking like they might be stood in a giant freezer.
The night scenes, of which there are many, hold their detail brilliantly. The moon gives the impression that everything is bathed in a big silver blanket - certainly something I would try and avoid had I been on the ground at the time!
There's a little solarisation in the busy scenes and in some landscape shots. However, edge enhancement is absent throughout and the general colour palette is solid and accurate.
SoundGiven a lossless DTS-MA audio makeover for this Blu-ray release, one phrase comes to mind - all that glitters is not gold...
First up in the thumbs down column is the dialogue. All to often it disappears into the background and is, for a good part of the film at least, inaudible. In my opinion, to much emphasis has been given to John Addison's score. This wouldn't be a bad thing if the score was any good. It tires to hard to be a “classic movie theme” but fails on all counts. I'm no music expert, but I do have a few movie theme compilations - and this doesn't appear on any of them...
Following on in the “no no” column is the fact that the soundtrack is firmly locked to the front three speakers - apart from the score again. However, for a thirty year old movie, dynamic range is pretty good and the sub kicks in every now and again to wake you up - but it's all too sporadic and brings nothing to the enjoyment of the film.
NONE - apart from a few trailers!
Bearing in mind what is already available on the two disc special edition, Blu-ray users have been short changed by Fox yet again.
This is getting boring now - if anybody at Fox studios takes time out to read reviews on their material, it's been said a million times by a million reviewers - we want more!!
It's not as if you can blame the early adoption any more, is it?
Delayed for the best part of a year due to the now defunct format war, Fox have had plenty of time to get the Blu-ray release of A Bridge Too Far right - but have failed yet again to hit the button.
The film itself is a decent enough attempt at re-enacting the events of Operation Market Garden. Better attempts have been produced since though, most notably in the TV series Band Of Brothers where there was more action in that one sixty minute episode than there is in the entire running time of 176 minutes here.
Picture quality is good taking into account the age of the film - a brilliant restoration job was undergone for the two disc special edition SD DVD a few years ago - and thankfully, it seems that the same print has been used here.
Sound quality is mediocre at best. Too much emphasis has been put upon the score - which in itself, is pretty forgettable.
But it's in the complete absence of any extras where Fox has let us down once again. I'm beginning to feel that maybe I'm expecting a little too much myself whenever I open a disc produced by Fox and check the extras column - but considering what is available for this particular movie, maybe not...
Because of this, I can't recommend an upgrade to owners of the aforementioned SD set I'm afraid. Indeed, if you really want to own this film and are interested in the film making process and the history behind operation Market Garden, I think I could do worse than actually recommend that set over this Blu-ray release - which is sad really.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £24.79
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