Hollywood Elsewhere to Sony’s Grover Crisp, Roundabout Entertainment’s David Bernstein, restoration guru Robert Harris & everyone else who pitched in:

Last night I watched Part One of Sony’s all-new Lawrence of Arabia 4K UHD Bluray, and I’m trying to think of a more sophisticated way of saying “wow!” What if I use boldfacing and capitalizing and say “WOW!“?

When it comes to assessing 4K Blurays HE is all about “the bump,” and holy moley, does this puppy deliver in that respect! The bump effect is almost startling — a dramatic, unmissable upgrade from not just the 2012 1080p Bluray but even the 4K streaming version that I purchased in December 2016. Due to the sharpness, radiance, steadiness and consistency, and augmented by HDR-10 or Dolby Vision.

A thousand conveyances to you and yours for delivering the most exciting and orgasmic home video experience of my life — a mind-blowing eye bath.

This gives me hope that I might notice a similar bump effect from the forthcoming 4K Bluray of Spartacus, which of course is also drawn from (a 6K scan of) large format elements.

I was especially impressed with the rendering of LOA‘s nighttime scenes. David Lean and dp Freddie Young didn’t shoot them after dusk, of course, but they really look as if they might have been. I’ll be watching Part Two sometime later today or tonight, and I can’t wait for the Jose Ferrer “beating in Derra” sequence and the “no prisoners!” moment on the way to Damascus.

One small problem: I didn’t want to listen for the 179th time to Maurice Jarre’s overture so I flipped forward a chapter, naturally presuming it would take me to the Columbia logo and the main titles. No! It took me to Peter O’Toole painting a watercolor map in his “nasty dark little room” in Cairo. I adore the main title, fatal motorcycle ride and St. Paul’s funeral sequences. But the way to see them on the 4K is to either submit to the overture or fast-forwarding. (I don’t like fast forwarding as as rule — I only use chapter stops.)

By the way, even the 4K UHD Dr. Strangelove looks slightly different. The faces look less white or glare-y. They have a grayish graded quality. And, for some reason, the bars on the side that render the image in 1.66 are no longer black — they’re now very dark gray.

I don’t have a huge amount of interest in watching the other four in the package (Gandhi, A League of Their Owen, Jerry Maguire, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington) but I’ll get around to them.