4 comments on “Summer Vacation Series 2011- Tombstone, AZ

  1. Tombstone has had a long and sorry past when it has come to its releases on video. For we enthusiasts that go back that far this film, despite being released in 1993, never saw the light of day on laserdisc, a definite disappointment. As if that wasn’t enough, when it was finally released on DVD in December 1997 it was in Dolby Pro Logic and while the transfer was widescreen it was a terrible transfer and was not anamorphic. Those anxious to watch the four black coats come down the road in true widescreen wept like Tom Mix at Wyatt Earp’s funeral.

    And so, the erstwhile lovers of home theater and this film in particular, which should be reference material right next to Saving Private Ryan, Jurassic Park and other 90s pheoms, waited and waited, and waited some more. Finally our prayers were answered in 2002 with the Vista Series Director’s Cut, a very nice transfer, a DTS 5.1 mix, a lot of nice goodies and all was well with the world.

    Then came Blu-ray and despite being one of the main purveyors of the format, Hollywood/Disney sat on Tombstone again. It sat patiently in the corner, during the great HD-DVD war it could have been right there saying “I’m your huckleberry, that’s just my game.” But no, it was left. So, it was with great trepidation and expectation I approached this release knowing there was no way it could live down its 1997 release but the Vista release left a lot to live up to. It should come as no surprise it falls in between.

    THE GOOD

    This is the best video transfer yet of this film. It’s a gorgeous 2.35:1 AVC transfer. It retains the grain of the original but otherwise this print is pristine. The colors snap and are vibrant, it’s devoid of any artifacts and despite closing in on 20 years this film holds up well and is visually spectacular. You won’t be disappointed. As the Vista Series transfer was done in 2002 I believe this is an entirely new transfer as I doubt that one was HD.

    The DTS-MA soundtrack sounds great, not jaw dropping but great. You have some nice deep bass rumble from the horses, the shots go flying over your head, etc. I would guess that this is either a straight up sampling of the DTS mix done for the Vista Series or possibly a slight rework from that master material. I don’t believe this is a complete remastering in DTS-MA It sounds good though and you won’t be disappointed.

    THE BAD

    It’s not bad per se but you get less extras than the Vista Series. Why they put some additional material together for a prior release and then leave it off the Blu-ray? One reason usually: to sell the “deluxe edition” Blu-ray at a later date. I wasn’t expecting the little map and the fancy case like the Vista Series but at least give me what I had before. Also there is nothing new here at all. Kurt Russell has made reference to essentially directing this film, George Cosmatos has passed away now, I would have been interested in a Kurt Russell commentary track or some information on the production. This film has a very interesting production history and the extras don’t cover it, instead you get the stale “making of” fluff piece.

    I won’t go into the film, if you don’t know this film by now I can’t help you. It’s easily one of the best westerns ever made and I’m talking right up there with John Ford and the rest. This is a superb flim with an all-star cast and not a poor performance to be found. It’s also got more one-liners than you’ve ever seen in a flim before.

    Overall this is 4/5 stars, it could have been better but I appreciate the effort for the main feature.

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