Play Misty For Me Special Edition Blu-ray was released November 10 from Kino Lorber Studio Classics.
Play Misty For Me comes to Kino Lorber Studio Classics Blu-ray as part of their big push of Client Eastwood classics. While most of these films have had prior releases, they tended to be unimpressive — low on features or simply older or unimpressive transfers. KL’s new releases are upgraded with additional features, handsome packaging, and in many cases new masters.
Universal brought Play Misty for Me to Blu-ray in 2015. That edition included a couple of featurettes and some image galleries, but had a rather poor transfer of the film with garish edge enhancement and chonky digital noise. Kino’s new edition seeks to improve on both with a new 2K scan as well as additional bonus features.
At a glance, the new restoration seems softer, and it is, but the reason is superficial. Universal’s older transfer apparently employed artificial sharpening, you can see throughout that the video has telltale artifacts and chunkiness.
Aside from the softness, KL’s new restoration has the upper hand. A clearer image, much more robust colors, and a slightly wider cropping which captures more of the frame at the edges.
Right off the bat I did notice that the opening titles had slightly different placement and opacity, which leads me to believe the older transfer had digitally recreated titles while the new transfer scanned the original ones (speculation on my part).
Here’s one of the more apparent contrasts of noise. Observe the white “Cinzano” lettering which is smooth, albeit blurry, on the new transfer but noise-riddled (and artificially sharper) on the old one.
Of all the screen captures I took, this one seemed the most demonstrative of digital noise. Even though the older transfer “feels” sharper that the new one, it exhibits an unnatural, cakey texture dude to artificial sharpening.
Viewing Clint’s head on this next comparison, you can really see the difference in additional screen area captured by Kino’s tranfer.
Deeper color saturation helps the new transfer pop to life.
Additional screenshots rounding out the look of the transfers:
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Except where noted, all 16:9 screen images in this review are direct captures from the disc(s) in question with no editing applied, but may have compression or resizing inherent to file formats and Medium’s image system. All package photography was taken by the reviewer.