House Cleaning

The Old Dark House: Renovated?

The Bates Motel and mansion newly restored in high-definition Blu-ray?

The concept elicits shudders that Alfred Hitchcock never intended. By digitally “enhancing” the 1960 “Psycho,” Universal has done far more than expose Janet Leigh‘s facial blemishes: It has compromised the film’s brilliantly evocative black-and-white cinematography.

High-def remains the bane of classic Hollywood fare, revealing much the director sought to hide, including toupee netting, makeup lines and beads of sweat.

Do we really need to count the feathers on the stuffed owl in Norman’s parlor, or see a sharper silhouette of Mrs. Bates in the upstairs window? It’s as if  a searchlight has now been trained on the darkest of Old Dark Houses.

Also, this 50th anniversary disc is so embedded with promotional materials and “Psycho 101” trivia that it takes forever to load and navigate.

“Mother,” a.k.a. Mrs. Bates, would be appalled.

2 Responses to “House Cleaning”

  1. John E. Says:

    I bought this mainly for the commentary, but have yet to watch it. Now I’ll be looking out for the toupee nets and beads of sweat, which is unfortunate. If you ever watch the first 10 minutes of Tim Burton’s original Batman in HD, the makeup on the crooks is so apparent that it jolts you out of the picture. And worse, there’s a 3-second bird’s eye shot of Batman that is distinctly animated and even more jarring.


  2. jreyes87 Says:

    I’ve yet to upgrade to Blu-Ray but mainly because of the cost of re-buying all this movies. I guess somethings are better when maintained in their original state.


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