I’ve watched the five-year-old MGM Bluray of Billy Wilder‘s The Apartment a couple of times and I’ve never said to myself, “This is nice but it could look better.” Well, I suppose the 2012 disc could do with a little less DNR heightening, but to my plebian eyes it’s always looked great — extra-sharp detail, rich array of monochrome tones, mine-shaft blacks.
Why then did I pop for the new 4K restored Arrow Bluray version, which will arrive at the end of the week? Because Arrow techs rolled up their sleeves and worked with the original camera negative to restore this 1960 film. They applied standard restoration techniques (dirt and scratch removal, image stabilization, etc.) and presumably delivered a more film-like final product.
But mainly I fell for the Arrow sell. I wanted to believe that I’d notice significant improvements over the 2012 Bluray (i.e., a “bump”), and so I invested in that dream, however likely that may be.
A critic with fanboydestroy reviewed the Arrow disc about ten days ago: “As I haven’t seen the MGM Bluray version, the new Arrow Academy restoration is probably going to be the go-to version for a while. Using a combination of digital and standard restoration techniques, the film looks phenomenal…all cleaned up for higher resolution 4K sets.”