This week in the New York Times, a look at the group of westerns recently released by MGM DVD, which includes two films of great stature — Anthony Mann’s “Man of the West” (1958) and Andre De Toth’s “Day of the Outlaw” (1959, and pictured above) — as well as some lesser but interesting titles like Joseph M. Newman’s “Gunfight at Dodge City” (1959), Richard Wilson’s “Man with the Gun” (1955) and Sergio Corbucci’s spaghetti western “Navajo Joe” (1966), with Burt Reynolds as a proto-hippie Indian battling the forces of primitive capitalism.
On the Blu-ray front, our faithful informant Dr. Savaard points out this disturbing post (under the 5/08/2008 header) on “The Digital Bits.” Writes the site’s perspicacious editor, Bill Hunt,
“We’ve been getting a few e-mails a week (over the last month or so) from readers who are new to Blu-ray, who say they’re disappointed in the quality of older catalog titles on the format. They disappointed not so much the selection, but the actual video quality. One person said the colors weren’t as vibrant as they were expecting. Another thought the image looked too soft. Several have complained of “noise” on their TV screens when they watched certain older films. It actually took me a while at first to understand what they meant, but now I’ve figured it out… and as a serious film enthusiast, it’s troubling to say the least. That noise some are complaining about? It’s film grain! It seems that many people who came to home theater more recently via DVD, and so who may never have seen older films in an actual movie theater before, simply don’t understand what film grain is. They don’t realize that it’s SUPPOSED to be there.”
The rest of the post, well worth reading, is here.