At first I was excited about the Eureka Entertainment/Masters of Cinema Bluray of Howard Hawks’ Red River, which arrived yesterday. That 1.78:1 menu image is what got me — highly detailed, some apparent DNR refinement, deep velvety blacks, that gleaming Ansel Adams quality. Perhaps that horribly depressing 10.18 review by’s Dr. Svet Atanasov was misleading? Perhaps Hawks’ 1948 classic has been bumped up after all and it won’t be covered in an Egyptian grainstorm? 60 seconds after popping the disc in my hopes were dashed. No bump, no uptick, no nothing — to me this new Red River looks exactly like it has looked for decades. The only difference is that now you can see the grain structure more clearly plus it has vertical scratch marks — terrific! Yes, it doesn’t appear to have been fiddled with. Yes, it honestly looks like film, speckles and all. But as I wrote on 10.21, “When I buy a Bluray [of a classic film] I want something better than the last DVD, and if that means a Bluray with ‘problematic degraining’ then please fucking give me that.” Steppenwolf once sang “goddam the pusher man.” Hollywood Elsewhere’s song lyric is “goddam the purist grain monks.”