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Mask of the Phantasm-WAC Blu-ray release!
#1
Amazing WAC release from a 2K scan. Presents both matted and 1.33 open framings.

Here's my mini-review from bluray.com:

Just finally got to run the new WAC transfer after it arrived.
Wow.
I also did some comparisons for those like me who are insanely curious about our favorite films.

My personal history with the film: Grew up with the animated series as a very young child and begged to see MOTP on theatrical release simply because it was the show I watched weekly on the big screen. Ever since then I have owned every version and have been a loyal defender of it. This is one of those big: "You mean you haven't seen.." titles I feel I HAVE to show people.
The best Batman feature there is, and where the TAS crew really goes for broke outside the normal TV constraints. Still the best comic adaptation to date, with Batman Returns as the best live action adaptation.

The new disc is a must own. Period. End of story-even for those who have never seen it before or who are mildly interested. All of the things from the old transfer we've lived with for years are gone. Thankfully there are no big color shifts or changes-mainly just being able to better experience the original artistry as it was intended due to the 2K scan and enhanced range of...well everything. The old letterbox master dated back to the LD and was put to DVD hastily and early thus it's not even the best DVD it could be. The 1.33 open DVD master seemed to have been done later and fared better but was still very outdated.
The big news is the overall pink/pale cast that was over the whole film is gone and replaced by many greater nuances of color and shadow. All aliasing is gone as is the compression noise and many of the dirty frames have been rectified. I saw the briefest of specks and dirt specks but this is inherent to the actual animation cels. It's staggering to see the animation truly move with a fluidity to it in HD. I would say this is certainly a taster of what TAS episodes could look like in HD properly scanned and non-altered.
And they even had the decency to do it right and provide both matted and open framings of the new HD master!!
I viewed the matted framing as I'm most used to it from my LD viewings over the years and the few brief recollections of the theatrical screening all those years ago. The new widescreen does have a bit extra breathing room here and there compared to the old one so it is better in that regard, but still plainly obvious that it is far too tight and was designed for 1.33:1.

I did notice the handful of soft shots people have mentioned. They are almost all closeups and very infrequent but it is noticeable that they go hazy for a second. Almost in a way like gauze filters for actress's closeups in the studio era if you think about it.

http://caps-a-holic.com/c_list.php?c=4240

This shows the color cast of the old 1.78 DVD Laserdisc port and how it is gone, the slight bit of headroom on the new BD 1.78 framing, and the 1.33 comparisons.

Now...here's where it gets interesting. The film is a Dolby Stereo release and decodes properly into ProLogic IIx. All of the slight sound panning moments ares till there so thankfully nothing was altered and the lossless mix is near perfect...except that it comes across as maybe too perfect.

I think they used master materials that when played back makes the recorded dialogue and effects more crisp and clear. Much of the dialogue has a greater clarity that wasn't quite there before along with finer detail on all effects. The Laserdisc PCM by comparison isn't quite as detailed but seems to have a warmer tone to it that-and this may be because I am so used to this-seems slightly preferable to my ears. I think the LD would have been from the Dolby Stereo printmaster and the BD is likely drawn from the original mix master itself before it was sent for the 35mm print preparation.
(The LD is full CAV by the way and before this new WAC release was the preferred way to view the film as it was without the DVD's downsides and had far superior audio encoding.)

Ultimately: this is the best we could have hoped for. WAC has done what should be done for this film in presenting a maxed out fresh transfer of both framings with audio that is clearly from the original source. And to top it off they included a nice little disclaimer before the 1.33:1 version explaining the difference and why it is important to preserve both. Now I know how badly I would have wanted to see extras, but do you even see the studio doing a regular release with even an iota of attention to detail that this has gotten?

Fantastic. I never thought I'd see the day this was on BD-let alone from a new scan of both framings.

My only real complaint is that the iconic artwork on the new disc has gone teal. It's quite blatant when placed alongside my older copies above. Thankfully this is nowhere in the transfer but it did admittedly give me some trepidation when pulling the new disc out of the mail.



Post your thoughts here, and if at all interested get this disc ASAP. It's that good. And especially tell me if it's just me hearing the audio difference.
Damn Fool Idealistic Crusader
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Thanks given by: The Aluminum Falcon , antilles


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