Starting last May and extending into July I wrote three or four pieces about Robert Harris‘s attempt to persuade MGM honchos to allow an independently-funded restoration of 65mm elements of John Wayne‘s The Alamo. I jumped in myself at one point and convinced a roster of hotshot directors — Darren Aronfosky, JJ Abrams, Guillermo del Toro, Matt Reeves, Alfonso Cuaron, Rian Johnson, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu — plus actor Bill Paxton and producer Bob Gale to lend support to this effort.
In August Variety‘s Sebastian Torrelio began working on a piece about the situation. The MGM guys nearly stonewalled him to death, and then Variety‘s editors decided to fold his Alamo reporting into a broader piece about classic film restoration…or something like that. Maybe it’ll appear this month or whenever. Don’t hold your breath.
Sometime in late August or early September it was discovered that MGM had asked Jim Hardy‘s Illuminate (formerly HTV Illuminate) to do “inspections” of the Alamo elements for the possible creation of a Bluray, but they hadn’t greenlit a Bluray as of 9.15 or thereabouts. Illuminate is a company you go to (or at least that you went to two or three years ago) to make your Bluray look nice and DNR’ed. In April 2011 I wrote that the “bad” (i.e., overly DNR’ed) Patton Bluray was created by Illuminate, which I called “the ground zero of shiny Bluray makeovers.” In January 2012 I reported that HTV Illuminate was one of the “bad guys” in the West Side Story Bluray debacle.
But Jim Hardy isn’t a bad guy. He’s merely an accomodating businessman. He simply gives video distributors what they want at a price they can live with without getting overly fussy about visual standards.