By Fred Topel | Image property of respective holders
All right, here we go. Old black and white classics on Blu Ray. How is this going to turn out? We’re talking old film, tricky restoration in the best cases, full frame format and black and white. Don’t worry, Casablanca looks great.
Blu-ray Review: Casablanca
They didn’t go overboard and make it look not like Casablanca. There’s only so much clarity that ever existed, so they don’t add anything to it. Still, you’re watching the film in crisp clarity, with sharp black and white lines and no scratches, dirt or blemishes. It fills the middle of the HDTV screen nicely with solid bars on the side.
A few details that do pop out include the bumps on 3D globe that open the film, shiny sweaty brows that seem to light up your living room, the clear depth of Rick’s club packed with distinct patrons and scenery, cracks in the Moroccan architecture and crisp Parisian street scenes in flashbacks. Focus is still soft where it always was, but a few scenes look oddly like a peek back into the ‘40s, if you were color blind.
I’ve gotta say it’s a nice box too. That massive container takes up several movies’ worth of space on my shelf. It contains a wealth of real world memorabilia, the kind that doesn’t serve as well on disc. The package certainly claims Casablanca place of cinematic importance, wedged in between Carrie and Casino Royale.