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Eraser cover

Blu-ray Reviews: Eraser

Not previously published
Last updated 12 October 2009

1996 - Warner Bros Entertainment Australia Pty Ltd
Director: Chuck Russell
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, James Caan, Vanessa Williams, James Coburn, Robert Pastorelli, James Cromwell, Danny Nucci, Andy Romano, Nick Chinlund, Michael Papajohn and Joe Viterelli

Movie: 3.0 Picture: TBA Sound: TBA Extras: Nil

No review as yet.

Running time: 115 minutes
Picture: 2.35:1, 1080p24, VC1 @ 14.90Mbps
Sound: English: Dolby TrueHD 16/48 3/2.1 @ 1773kbps (core: Dolby Digital 5.1 @ 640kbps); 2 x French, German, Italian, Spanish, Japanese: Dolby Digital 3/2.1 @ 640kbps; Spanish, Portuguese: Dolby Digital Surround 2/0.0 @ 192kbps
Subtitles: English for the Hearing Impaired, French, German for the Hearing Impaired, Italian, Italian for the Hearing Impaired, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Spanish, Portuguese, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish
Extras: Nil
Restrictions: Rated MA (Australian rating); Region Free

The following video bitrate graph was generated by BDInfo 0.5.2:

Eraser video bitrate graph

Comparison: Blu-ray vs PAL DVD

Here are some comparisons between the Australian PAL DVD and the Blu-ray versions of this movie. Both the DVD version was one I had previously purchased, while the Blu-ray version was a commercial copy provided to me by Warner Bros Entertainment Australia Pty Ltd.

In the following examples, at the top of each is the full frame (suitably shrunk down) used in the comparison, with a 250 pixel wide detail from the frame underneath. The left side is from the PAL DVD. The image was captured digitally from the disc (using VideoReDo Plus), scaled up from its native 720 by 576 resolution to 1,024 by 576 (to present in the 16:9 aspect ratio), and then, in order to be comparable to the Blu-ray version, from that to 1,920 by 1,080. The detail is from that last scaled version, and has not been rescaled again. The right side is from the Australian Blu-ray (captured using the command-line media player MPplayer). This has not been scaled at all.

Since different applications were used to capture the two frames, I am not normally comfortable comparing the brightness or colour between the two. For those visitors from NTSC lands, generally PAL DVDs are just a touch sharper than NTSC DVDs.

It seems to me that razor sharp focus was not an outcome high on the priority list for the movie makers. At no point in the movie does it reach above about average in sharpness and clarity. Nonetheless, there are improvements yielded by the Blu-ray, such as the elimination of MPEG2 noise artefacts around the lettering here:

Comparison 1

Look at the door handle and you can see the increased coherence of the Blu-ray:

Comparison 2

This shot shows that the Blu-ray is delivering about all the detail and sharpness that is available. Even so, Arnie seems out of focus, but still you can see wrinkles and shadows on his coat which are just invisible on the DVD:

Comparison 3

Blu-ray gives readable text, DVD doesn't:

Comparison 4

On this scene, the MPEG2 artefacts and loss of detail in the DVD are made worse by macro blocking, none of which troubles the Blu-ray:

Comparison 5

© 2002-2009, Stephen Dawson