Published on January 26th, 2009 | by Chris0
Battle of Britain (1969, Blu-Ray)
This is the first of a new category of reviews, namely Blu-Ray. Yeah, I finally got a Blu-Ray player to go with my new 1080p LCD (thanks extended warranty!) and I figure what better way to use it than to go back and revisit all these great war films in 1080p goodness, with the help of Netflix of course!
The first is the 1969 eye-candy epic, Battle of Britain. You can read my original review of Battle of Britain here. As such, I won't go into the plot or any of those details, as you can read it on that article, but rather these Blu-Ray reviews will focus more on the format, and what it gives you that plain-old DVD does not.
The problem with Battle of Britain on BD is that there isn't anything which truly sets it apart. Matter of fact there is *nothing* on this disc but the film, which I was sorely disappointed at. No extras of any kind, save for the remastered 5.1 audio, and a DTS-HD track which I couldn't enjoy since my receiver can't handle it....
But the 5.1 audio remaster is quite impressive, most notably where it comes to the soundtrack. The remaining sound effects I really couldn't tell any major difference in, save for a few deep-bass explosions. A big huge flaw though, is that the German is *not* subtitled by default. You have to switch on the subtitles for these scenes, and switch them off again during the English sections... a big faux-pas on the disc producers' behalf. Maybe it was just my player, but I'm thinking not.
And the picture was absolutely wonderful, albeit a bit grainy, which is no fault of blu-ray. The details of the aircraft (the real stars of the film) came through beautifully, down to every rivet and stain. However, the so-so special effects were even more obvious, especially the composited explosions, "duplications," and models. If ever a film deserved to get a Lucas-ish "Special Edition" this is the one. I could see some noise and dirt in a few places, but for the most part it looked fairly clean, and the colors didn't appear faded. I should say that I am not that anal about artifacting and the like as some are, and I just didn't notice any.
I'm still miffed about the lack of extras on the disk, but the incredible picture and 5.1 remix somewhat made up for it. If you've already got Battle of Britain on DVD, you'll probably be content with it. But if you really want to go that extra mile in terms of picture and sound, then Blu-Ray is where its at.
Summary: I'm still miffed about the lack of extras on the disk, but the incredible picture and 5.1 remix somewhat made up for it. If you've already got Battle of Britain on DVD, you'll probably be content with it. But if you really want to go that extra mile in terms of picture and sound, then Blu-Ray is where its at.