Warner Home Video’s new The Maltese Falcon Bluray is quite nice as far as it goes — slightly sharper than the most recent DVD, inkier blacks, more of a true-celluloid look — but it’s not as drop-dead beautiful as their Treasure of Sierra Madre Bluray, which I went apeshit over a few days ago. I guess I was expecting a new dimensional creamo experience, and this didn’t quite happen when I popped the disc in.
For whatever reason (i.e., the quality of the photographic elements in 1941 as opposed to 1948?) aren’t as finely tuned as those for Sierra Madre, and watching this new Falcon is just not a levitational thing. It doesn’t have that “oh, my God, look at those values and that razor-sharp quality” feeling. I’m not panning it. The Warner Home Video guys did a solid job and made a fine-looking version that slightly tops the DVD, but I knew 20 seconds after the film began that that “wow” quality we all know and love — call it exceptional silver schwing — just wasn’t happening.