Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid—20th Century Fox (Blu-ray)
Fox brings the famous outlaw duo Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid to Blu-ray. This has always been one of my favorites in the genre and Newman and Redford are hilarious as the infamous outlaws on the run from a band of hired guns out to stop their railroad thieving. The film has gorgeous photography, great performances and is always a good time.
I’ve seen this one a few times and I was wondering how well an older film like this would look in HD. I didn't have the chance to pick it up on the short lived D-Theater format unfortunately. Overall I'd say this is a good representation of the original film but some may be disappointed with the softer look. Close ups deliver rich detail and good dimensionality, but the natural photography and sweeping shots are on the softer side. Colors can look slightly muted at times and the print condition wavers in quality with noticeable nicks and scratches here and there. Contrast could be better, but I'd say this transfer is faithful to the intended look of the film. While I have never seen it look better than this, I'd say there is still room for improvement given the quality of some other films from this time.
I must say I was far more impressed with the soundtrack than I thought I would be. The TV presentations of this film are never impressive but this DTS-HD Master Audio mix has a nice open soundstage and a surprisingly full lower end that helps dynamic range quite a bit. Dialogue still sounds a bit boxed in at times but the general sound design isn't nearly as gimmicky as it seems on TV. Surrounds are used sparingly to help with atmosphere, but this is a fairly front heavy mix. The film's musical selections are always a source of laughs for me as Burt Bacharach's work always seems a bit too comical, even for a fairly funny film like this.
All of the extras from the special edition DVD are included on this Blu-ray release. There are two feature commentaries along with a look at the production of the film. Also included is a great look at the real Butch Cassidy and Sundance Kid. Rounding things up are the trailers and a few deleted scenes.
Fox has put together a nice package for this classic. It is by far the best looking version of the film I've seen but I was more impressed with the 5.1 soundtrack. If you haven't seen this film before now is the perfect time.