This has to be the godfather of all epic's. Even the mighty "Ben-Hur" cannot rival this for sheer epic scope and vision. I cannot imagine any film director today being allowed to even attempt a production as grandiose as this. This was a huge undertaking that took nearly a full year to shoot. The end result is nothing short of cinematic perfection.
David Lean will be remembered for his three most successful offerings "The Bridge On The River Kwai", "Doctor Zhivago" and this. All three are monster productions with sumptuous visuals and faultless storytelling, but "Lawrence Of Arabia" is top of the pile. Even if you have a 60 inch plus HD screen in your living room, it will not be big enough, only the grandness of a cinema screen can truly service Lean's vision.
CGI, if used for the right reasons, is a good thing. When you consider SFX from a mere 10 years ago, it's improving all the time, however if this film had a shot for shot remake done today, many moment's would be captured digitally in front of green screens. Now this may look fine to the human eye, but you would lose the very essence of epic scale and sheer enormity that this film delivers to jaw dropping effect.
The words that spring to mind for this movie: Sumptuous, bold, brave, epic, gorgeous, majestic.
A must see!
Columbia and Sony Pictures have granted this film with an MPEG-4 AVC encoded, 2.20:1 framed, 1080p transfer onto a 50GB Blu-ray disc as epic and perfect as the movie itself. BRAVO SONY!
Firstly it's worth mentioning that this was shot on 70mm film stock, which means we get four times the resolution of standard 35mm at source. Secondly we have to look to the restoration and remastering, the movie has been re-scanned at 8k resolution then transferred to 4k, this is quadruple the resolution of 1080.
The result of this painstakingly precise and delicately handled effort is as jaw-droppingly gorgeous as the movie itself. The image is UNBELIEVEABLE! This is 50 years old and yet it surpasses the picture quality of movies shot in the last few years. I cannot overestimate how amazing this looks, especially if you have owned previous standard def DVD versions.
It would of been a complete travesty if a film with visuals as gorgeous as this had been given a shoddy transfer. I must also commend Sony for not jumping on the digital enhancement buttons, we do not get any digital scrubbing by way of DNR or Edge enhancement. This looks very natural and extremely filmic.
Thanks to the 70mm film stock grain is practically non existent and is only detectable in wide shots which feature plenty of sky, even then it's extremely fine and provides a wonderfully filmic look to the proceedings.
Contrast and colour timing are spot-on, the vibrancy of the colouring is a wonder, and never appears unnatural. Skin tones are strikingly accurate. Detail, clarity and image depth are remarkable when considering its age. Fabrics, facial features and objects all look incredible.
The blacks and darks are again faultless, rich, inky and vibrant with fantastic delineation and no crushing.
The movie is a wonder and so too is this Blu-ray.
I've waited 5 years for this and my god was it worth it. I don't believe this film could possibly look any better, well maybe when 4k OLED TV's arrive.
A must own.
THIS DISC IS REFERENCE QUALITY.
Film 5/5 Transfer 5/5