I have no respect whatsoever for another “yay Casablanca!” doc that shits all over the original 1.33 or 1.37 aspect ratio by framing the clips in 1.85. The content of the doc isn’t bad but seriously…this is a huge fail for producer-director Gary Leva. Really — what he’s done here is truly awful. And why is this doc being sent around at all? To recognize what anniversary or promote what product? Didn’t Hillary Clinton say back in ’07 or ’08 that Casablanca was her favorite film? Other studio-era films (like HE’s own Treasure of the Sierra Madre) need celebrating more.
From 3.28.12 piece called “Bluray Casablanca Face-Off”: “Yesterday I watched Warner Home Video’s brand-new 70th anniversary Bluray of Casablanca. It’s grainier than the 2008 Bluray, all right, and a bit darker. I quickly wrote two prominent grain-lovers, Robert Harris and Glenn Kenny, with my views, and they wrote me back and I replied and blah-dee-blah.
“It’s darker than the ’08 version and it’s covered in billions of digital micro-mosquitoes,” I wrote. “Yes. It looks more like film in a sense but then again the grain is more distinct. I’m appalled that people who know what they’re talking about (like you two guys) are saying they prefer it to the slightly DNR’ed ’08 version. It’s like a gang of grain monks went into the control room and said, ‘Okay, let’s grain this sucker up!’ Amazing.
“I’ve just spoken to the ghost of Michael Curtiz about this (the Movie Godz put me in touch), and he’s not a fan either.”