A friend asked for reactions to the Hitchcock Masterpiece Bluray Collection, and I offered the following: “Viewings have been haphazard with deadlines and screenings, but I’m very pleased, as expected, with Saboteur and Shadow of a Doubt, which seem absolutely perfect and gleaming with silver. And color-wise I’m quite happy with The Man Who Knew Too Much (sharp, crisp, luminous images with awesome detail in CU shots), Rear Window (heavenly velvety blacks), The Trouble With Harry (bursting with eye-popping fall colors) and, as already stated, with Vertigo for the most part.
“I’m even okay with The Birds as far as it goes. It doesn’t appear to have been remastered, but it looks five times better than the most recent DVD. It’s only that Mr. Hitchcock’s handling of children’s behavior was atrocious, embarassing. Each and every time a little kid shows up in a Hitchcock film I start clenching my teeth, waiting for the awfulness.
“I tried watching Rope and couldn’t stand the staginess and weak color. I hate the old-fashioned gauziness of Torn Curtain for the most part. Marnie is almost laughably bad in spots. And I haven’t yet watched Frenzy or Family Plot. Poor Hitch was over as a world-class artist-auteur at the top of his powers after The Birds. Or after Psycho, really, as even The Birds shows signs of complacency, the motor slowing down, a hardening of the creative arteries.
“I’ve naturally ignored Psycho and North by Northwest as they’re the exact same Bluray discs previously issued.
“Oh, and the cardboard book binder is already falling apart. The glue is giving out and the discs are falling through the slots on the wrong side. So the person in charge of overseeing manufacturing of the binder needs to be called on the carpet.