On 5.22 I posted an opinion that Joseph Biroc‘s cinematography in Robert Aldrich‘s The Flight of the Phoenix (’65), while professionally handled as far as it went, never seemed distinctive enough to warrant any special excitement, and certainly didn’t seem to be prime Bluray material. Quote: “I’ve seen it two or three times on the tube, and as best I can recall it just looks sufficient…it’s nothing more than a professionally shot, decently framed desert-locale thing…I certainly don’t remember any mesmerizing visuals.”


James Stewart in Robert Aldrich’s The Flight of the Phoenix.

And yet DVD Beaver’s Gary W. Tooze writes that Eureka Entertainment’s Region 2 Bluray (which popped two days ago) looks “amazing” and “magnificent,” certainly compared to the unexceptional DVD from 13 years ago. “This 1080p looks fabulous — richer colors, far superior contrast and some impressive detail on the film’s many close-ups…our highest recommendation!”

All I can say is “goddammit.” I was really hoping to blow this one off. You have to set limits and be reasonable about Bluray purchases, but now I’ll have to buy the damn thing, I suppose. It just sounds too enticing. Meanwhile on the other end of the spectrum, LexG may or may not watch this ancient film via the 2003 DVD or on TCM while muttering to himself, “Maybe not great but good enough.” And there’s nothing wrong with that. But once you’ve had a taste of a prime Bluray experience, it’s awfully damn hard to be complacent about anything less.