I’ve said that I won’t even flirt with the idea of buying a 4K Bluray player until the distributors start issuing 4K discs of classic or quality-level films instead of bullshit CG fantasy flotsam.
But I’m open to streaming. Last December I was more than pleased by the micro-detail in a 4K streaming version of Lawrence of Arabia that I bought on Amazon, even though it wasn’t real-deal 4K due to intense compressing. I’ve been told this version is probably delivering between 2K and 4K, but that the physical 4K Lawrence Bluray, due later this year, will be the real prize.
Five or six weeks ago I streamed a 4K Brownfellas, but I found it too lentil-soupy — too dark, too many red faces, too inky.
Last night I watched a 4K streaming version of The Bridge on the River Kwai, and I have to say that while 15% or 20% of it looked like 1080p with the color cranked up, 80% or 85% looked phenomenally sharp and vivid. From a certain purist perspective the detail and general vibrancy are almost too much as I’m certain that reserved-seat audiences at the RKO Palace in 1957 didn’t see images this clean and needle-sharp. I’m not complaining, mind — this new Kwai stream delivers an unmistakable 4K bump.
Hell, I liked it so much that I bought it lock, stock and barrel, as I did the 4K Lawrence stream three months ago.
I’m also noticing that a UHD Bluray of Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven will pop on 5.23.17.
If they keep this up I might actually spring for a 4K Oppo Bluray player later this year.
“Every now and then the digital cache-ing would slow down and the 4K sharpness would fuzz out, but for the first time in my life I was noticing textures (wood, sand, wardrobe threads, even the subtle composition of fine cement in the opening credits sequence) that I’d literally never seen before, not with this degree of crispness and clarity, and that’s saying something.”