The sixth of the Blu-ray releases that comprised Warner Bros. Sept. 7th release date is THX 1138, George Lucas’ original SF film based on his USC student short film.
The feature in the Blu-ray release is identical to the 2004 DVD release (the “George Lucas Director’s Cut”), as are a lot of the extras, so you can catch up with them in our previous review. I’ll just focus on the additions that come with the Blu-ray.
Not a lot was added in general. Of course we get a new 1080p video transfer, although I’m not sure that greatly improved things over the DVD given the age of the movie, but the more recent CGI inserts certainly would benefit. And we get a DTS-HD English audio track, with DD5.1 French and Spanish tracks.
Two new special features were added – another audio track called “Theater Of Noise” – it is basically a sound-effects only (including non-actor dialog and music) track, which offers a unique way to get a feel for all the background chatter. And “Master Sessions”, a collection of video segments with Walter Murch where he discusses some of the groundbreaking work done in the movie. These videos can be cut to when available when a red box pops up on the screen (if enabled). The cut is fairly intrusive, stopping the movie in place, and on some monitors that are slow to adjust to video resolution changes can result in a bit of a wait. It also appears that the video was in a widescreen resolution but is not sent to the monitor that way so it appears squished.
To integrate everything, a Blu-ray style pop-up menu allows you to switch features on and off without interrupting the movie, although you can also switch to the commentary and Theater Of Noise tracks via the “audio” button on most remotes (but you may have to skip through the other tracks in the process).
That said, I wouldn’t go and rush out to do a “technology refresh” for your existing DVD, but if you don’t already have the DVD this would be a better choice.