Like almost all Bluray critic-columnists, DVD Beaver‘s Gary W. Tooze likes or respects almost everything he sees, and if he’s less enthused about this or that Bluray he’ll always phrase his concerns with the utmost tact and delicacy. He wants those freebies to keep arriving in his mailbox. On top of which Tooze is a notorious grain-worshipper. He actually gets off on that covered-in-digital-mosquitoes effect. The swarmier, the better.

All to say that Toooze’s rave review of the new Champion Bluray (Olive Films, 4.23) has to be taken with a grain of salt.

“What a huge improvement!,” Tooze declares. “Everything is superior about the new Olive Films 1080P transfer. It shows textured grain, there is a lot more information in the frame, contrast is significantly more layered and [the] detail naturally rises, [and] quite dramatically. My words are less-impacting than simply looking at the screen captures below. The sound is lossless mono and also improved — notable in Dimitri Tiomkin‘s powerful score. As typical with Olive, there are no extras. We still give this Blu-ray a BIG thumbs up!!”

I was reminded during the Shane aspect-ratio brouhaha that the Bluray websites are mostly if not entirely about servicing Bluray distributors and averting their eyes from controversy at all costs. (Home Theatre Forum and are the occasional exceptions-to-the-rule.) The Shane thing was a fairly major story, but if you had been only reading DVD Beaver, Digital Bits, High-Def Digest and DVD Talk you wouldn’t have known it was even happening. The people who run these sites are avid Movie Catholics but they have next to no balls when it’s time to man up. They’re basically in business to get along.