Release: 4th November 2019
Format: BR / DVD
Frank Capra’s heart-warming masterpiece has been embraced as a cherished holiday tradition by families around the world! George Bailey (James Stewart) sets aside his dreams of world travel to run his father’s small community bank, and protect the people of Bedford Falls from greedy businessman Mr. Potter (Lionel Barrymore). When a costly mistake pushes George to the brink of despair, a visit from a kindly angel (Henry Travers) will show George how the life of one good man can change the world forever. Now you can watch the holiday classic like never before, newly remastered from the original fi lm negatives and more vibrant than ever with stunning clarity!
It seems redundant to wax lyrical about It’s a Wonderful Life. If you have never seen it then there is the answer to why your black heart beats so little. Take your Grinchian self and get thee hence.
What you really want to know is if it is worth your pennies investing in the ‘restored’ version of Frank Capra’s classic. The answer is a mixed one. If you have yet to own a copy of the film, then this is for you. If you are after a definitive version, however, I suspect that the 4K version might be a superior experience. Despite this, the film still looks great in its blu-ray counterpart. This viewing experience of the film is rich in texture, adding a luxurious air, which somehow makes it feel all the more Christmassy. Grain is present enough to add character, contrast is sufficient, and there is a marked upgrade in audio.
The grayscale is pleasing, with well defined blacks, mids and highlights. On the whole, it is a reasonable soft image, but that plays to Capra’s cinematography. So, on the whole, this is a spirited upgrade, but not necessarily the one you might true seek; which is, as previously mentioned, likely a place reserved for the 4K version.
Film Grade (Theatrical): A
Two documentaries make up lion’s share of what is on offer. The resotration doc is especially interesting.
Special Features Grade: C
A stone cold classic that will warm your giblets. Never has it look this good.