"Fox's new Blu-ray of The French Connection is already raising a controversy on the web, for William Friedkin's personally supervised transfer. The original movie had a purposely ugly look; release prints were slimy, grainy and colorless. (I can see the Fox people in 1971 approving any mess that came from Deluxe as ready for the screen: "Looks terrible! Good Work! Ship it!") The previous DVD release worked digital magic to bring out all the color and detail in Owen Roizman's cinematography, reducing the grain and boosting the colors to the point where some of the mid-winter scenes looked downright cheerful.
In a new HD featurette, , Friedkin demonstrates his revisionist rationale. He wanted to mute the colors and retain a lot more grain, yet not lose the sharpness of Roizman's images. To that end he had his colorist create an element that oversaturated and de-focused the color. This smeary color image was very lightly superimposed over a B&W rendering of the film, resulting in a sharp, grainy movie with pastel colors. Because the colors are de-focused, they don't stay strictly "within the lines" of objects. Gene Hackman is as sharp as a tack, but his red Santa Claus suit bleeds softly all around him. Blacks clog up at night with almost a hi-con look. New York appears cold and inhospitable. It's an interesting effect that indeed achieves Friedkin's stated goal of creating a degraded color image. And he makes no bones about stating that it'll stay that way because that's the way he likes it!
The audio is stronger than ever before in the lossless Blu-ray format; Don Ellis's screeching, nervous jazz score sounds great, and is isolated on an extra audio track. Also included is a trivia track with facts on the making of the movie and the true French Connection case as reported in Robin Moore's book. Photos are included on the track but they've been made too small to see much of anything.
The extras, many in HD, fill two discs. The feature disc contains two commentaries, one with Friedkin and one with Gene Hackman and Roy Scheider. The second disc is home to a long list of HD featurettes. Anatomy of a Chase takes Friedkin and producer D'Antoni back to Brooklyn to retrace the famous car chase, step by step, riding part of the way in the correct model Pontiac car. Hackman on Doyle is a new interview with Gene Hackman on his memories of the Oscar-winning role. Friedkin visits the office of (now) movie producer Sonny Grosso in Friedkin and Grosso Remember the Real French Connection. Grosso discusses his later partner Eddie Egan and the case that made them famous. In Scene of the Crime Friedkin meets actor/advisor Randy Jurgensen below the Brooklyn Bridge, to talk about the dicey experience of shooting on the streets and blocking traffic on a New York expressway.
Cop Jazz examines the music of Don Ellis, and Rogue Cop: The Noir Connection relates The French Connection to the older tradition of "bad cop" movies, referencing HD clips from several of Fox's noted films noir.
Color Timing is director Friedkin's demonstration of how he obtained his new look for The French Connection. He uses several HD clips from John Huston's Moby Dick, a 1956 movie that experimented with a similar color treatment using Technicolor printing capabilities.
A selection of Deleted Scenes available on earlier discs has been retransferred, and the older docus The Poughkeepsie Shuffle and The Untold Stories of The French Connection are present as well."
miercuri, 18 februarie 2009
DVD blu-ray la French Connection !
un nou transfer controversat ! maan, they try ! un alt motiv pentru a lua Blu-Ray dar poate-mi trece...din cronica de pe DVD savant !