H D - S E N S E I

A view on Hi-def DVDs by Gary W. Tooze


Introduction: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 5600 DVDs and have reviewed over 3000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction. So be it, but film will always be my first love and I list my favorites on the old YMdb site now accessible HERE.  

Gary's Home Theatre:
Samsung HPR4272 42" Plasma HDTV
Toshiba HD-A2 HD-DVD player (firmware upgraded)

Sony BDP-S300 1080p Blu-ray Disc Player (firmware upgraded)
Sony DVP NS5ODH SD-DVD player (region-free and HDMI)
Harmon Cardon DD/DTS receiver
Ascent (main) + Boston Acoustics (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

Gary W. Tooze








Edward Scissorhands [Blu-ray DVD]


(Tim Burton, 1990)

Twentieth Century Fox Home Video (USA)
Review by Gary W. Tooze

1.85:1 1080p - 25 GB single-layered
Audio: English DTS HD 4.0 Master Lossless audio, DUBs: Spanish 2.0, French 2.0
Subtitles: English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, none

• Commentary by Tim Burton
• Commentary by Danny Elfman
• Featurette

• Theatrical trailer (in Hi-def)

Released: October 9th, 2007
Blu-ray case
24 chapters


Product Description:

Once upon a time in a castle high on a hill lived an inventor whose greatest creation was named Edward. Although Edward had an irresistible charm, he wasn't quite perfect. The inventor's sudden death left him unfinished, with sharp shears of metal for hands. Edward lived alone in the darkness until one day a kind Avon lady took him home to live with her family. And so began Edward's fantastical adventures in a pastel paradise known as Suburbia. 



Quirky and stylistic seem to go hand-in-hand when discussing director Tim Burton. In, possibly his defining film, Edward Scissorhands he invests an obtuse premise, essentially involving societal tolerance in extremes, into viewers acceptance... and it works. Both unique and excessively creative Edward Scissorhands is refreshing, humorous and completely watchable. This film is by no means a masterpiece but it certainly helped establish Burton as a viable and offbeat mainstream force in Hollywood and the film definitely has things to say, much of which is interpretational but not exceedingly poignant. 

Gary W. Tooze



There is a big improvement from the most recent incarnation of SD DVDs of Edward Scissorhands - the 'Anniversary Tin Box' from November 2005 (reviewed HERE). The screen grabs below will bear out that the new Blu-ray edition betters in every usual area - detail and especially color (vibrancy and brightness). Because of the nature of this film I would say these are important improvements.

The MPEG-2 compression on the Blu-ray has but one flaw - it looks so pristine that you can more easily identify special effects (including make-up etc.). This may sound like a compliment but I did find some of my willing suspension tested in the Blu-ray viewing. I never saw this film theatrically but wonder if I would feel the same about that presentation. I am only basing by judgment compared to the SD DVD(s) of the film that I have seen - it's quite possible that the imaginative art-direction sets and dynamic design visuals had an element of expressionism in their creation. Anyway, the bursting colors do really add to the fairy-tale expression of the film. It's much more apparent in hi-def - more fun to watch for sure.


Subtitle Sample


Twentieth Century Fox (Anniversary Tin Box) - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Twentieth Century Fox Blu-ray BOTTOM



Screen Captures


Twentieth Century Fox (Anniversary Tin Box) - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Twentieth Century Fox Blu-ray BOTTOM



Twentieth Century Fox (Anniversary Tin Box) - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Twentieth Century Fox Blu-ray BOTTOM



Blu-ray captures











Dang good! - English DTS-HD Master Audio 4.0 lossless audio sounded fabulous to my ears - some solid separation and two optional 2.0 channel stereo DUBs are offered (French and Spanish). The main track is another strong representation for the storytelling aspects of the film and I had no complaints. Thumbs up!

Optional English, Spanish, Chinese, or Korean subtitles (see above) in a white font with black border support the dialogue.


Aside from the hi-def trailers (which looked excellent) most of the same important extras can be found on the  'Anniversary Tin Box';  two audio commentaries - a laid-back and charming one by director Tim Burton and a second, with obviously more details about the soundtrack and music, by composer Danny Elfman (which has some long gaps). These are pretty good as modern Hollywood commentaries go and there is more to say about the film than you might expect from simply watching it. Almost unnecessary to mention is the so-called 'featurette' - a scant 4.5 minutes filled with sound-bites from interviews. Worth a pass. 


BOTTOM LINE: I have a soft spot for this film for some reason and always thought the SD version(s) were pretty weak in the image department (they certainly are in comparison) and the superfluous 'tin' box is a waste indeed. The colors and detail are more than enough to recommend the Blu-ray if you are at all keen on this cute little fable.



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