Sunday, October 18, 2009

Miracle on 34th Street (1994) Blu-ray Review

Disc Size: 22.9 GB
Film Size: 22.5 GB
Film Rating: PG
Region: A

Video
The 1994 remake comes to Blu-ray with a 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 video presentation. The look of the film on Blu-ray is quite soft, mostly due to a filter used to give an almost glowing look to it. I'm not really surprised by the look as I've seen it done on other holiday releases, and have always noted the look on previous home video releases of the film.

The thing that surprised me is the lack of film grain present on this release, it looks almost non-existent at times. Detail was also slightly lacking, many faces exhibiting a slightly waxy look, which is a common sign of DNR (Digital Noise Reduction). While DNR looks to be present, I have to say it's not too bad, and far better looking than most presentations that are affected by it. Textures of clothing and environments stay generally impressive throughout.

Colors on this release are very good, everything looked natural and not overblown. The Christmas environments are colorful and rich, adding strength to the fairly soft look of the film. The Miracle on 34th Street remake won't impress too much visually, but it's definitely the best the film has ever looked. 7.5/10.

Audio
A 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is included, which is decent. The film is front heavy, with surround use thrown in at times. Dialogue was clear, and the film's music sounded beautiful through the front left and right speakers. The most evident time of expanded surround use is when kids start running into the store, almost like a wave coming towards the sand and then finishes. It was actually quite distracting, which is why I remember it enough to mention specifically.

The film is light so I expected the audio to be light, and it meets my expectations overall. Having seen this film many times, I didn't expect an aggressive mix at all, it's decent but bland overall. There really isn't much that can be done to improve the track, it just doesn't compare with the best audio releases. 7/10.

Extras

There are no extras, not even a theatrical trailer. 0/10.

Blu-news Summary
I really enjoy the remake of Miracle on 34th Street, and I watch it every Christmas after the original film. The remake isn't exactly the most original, many scenes almost feel like exact replicas of the original film. I do like the casting in the film though, which includes Richard Attenborough as Kris Kringle, Elizabeth Perkins as Dorey Walker, Dylan McDermott as Bryan Bedford, and the cute and likable Mara Wilson as little Susan Walker.

While I find the original has a bit more charm than the remake, I still find myself enjoying both to be honest. The remake's biggest issue is perhaps being a bit too close to the original, with a bit more commercialism added to it. When you compare the two it's hard to recommend this film over the original, but when you drop the comparison it's certainly enjoyable and strong by itself. 8/10.

The Blu-ray release is average, featuring decent (slightly expected) video and audio presentations, but unfortunately no extras. This Blu-ray release is still 'Recommended' to fans, and possibly 'Worth A Look' to those new to the film.

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