13 and 2/3 years ago a desecrated version of The French Connection — grubby, splotchy, desaturated — was released on Bluray, and fans hit the roof. It was a bizarre experimental remastering from director William Friedkin that everyone (including director of photpgraphy Owen Roizman) hated. A much more palatable version was released on 2012, and the complaints stopped.

I may be mistaken but I seem to recall that the only person in the world of critics and columnists who gave a thumbs-up to the 2009 version was David Poland. From that point on the term “Poland Curse” applied to every which way.

Now another Bluray debacle is upon us, and it took me six damn weeks to pay attention. The new 4K Heat Bluray, approved by Michael Mann and released by Disney’s 20th Century video division, is covered or more precisely smothered in needless shadow and murk, like a black scrim thrown over everything.

I watched the 4K version last night, and right away I knew something was wrong. “Why is everything darker?’, I asked myself. We naturally expect 4K to deliver some degree of enhancement — a noticable “bump” or upgrade of the film’s well-known visual quality. Well, the 4K does not deliver a noticable uptick. In fact it’s another desecration. It’s Heat with the lights turned down and a heavier emphasis on blue-gray. It’s Heat covered with a black stocking. It’s basically a vandalizing.

I was so pissed off by the 4K disc tHat I took it out and popped in the 1080p Bluray version. The Bluray is much, much more pleasing to the eye./