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Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: White Christmas

October 11th, 2014

White Christmas - Buy from Amazon: Blu-ray Combo Pack

I previously reviewed White Christmas the first time it came out on Blu-ray. I have nothing new to say about the movie, but last time I only got the DVD to review. How does the film look and sound on High Definition? And is the Blu-ray worth picking up if you missed it the first time like I did?

The Movie

Short review: White Christmas is a good, lighthearted movie that benefits from a lot of nostalgia, so many people think it is a classic. In my opinion, it doesn't have enough substance and not enough of the songs are truly great to make it a "classic", but it is still a very good musical. If watching movies with friends and family is part of your Christmas tradition, then this movie is especially worth having in your collection.

The Extras

I was really worried this Blu-ray would just be the same disc as before, but with a bonus CD of Christmas songs to entice people. However, that is not the case. Granted, most of the extras here are from the previous edition, but there are some new items. Again, you can check out the previous review to see what was on the Blu-ray before. The new extras begin with a "Sing-along" mode, which is essentially captions. There are also several Classic Holiday Moments, which are performances of some of the classic songs associated with this movie. Assignment Children is a nineteen-minute look at a UNICEF program that has helped save countless lives. Danny Kaye was the first goodwill ambassador for UNICEF, which is why the humanitarian program is featured on this Blu-ray. The Blu-ray also comes with a 12-song DVD. If you like Christmas music, you will likely enjoy the songs here. However, if you like Christmas music, you probably already own the songs here.

As for the technical presentation, the film looks better than I would have expected, given its age. The level of details is amazing for a film that is 60 years old, as are the colors, which are very vibrant. There is no evidence of digital noise reduction, while there is also not a lot of grain. (Although some shots do have more than others.) There are no signs of print damage that I noticed, nor are there any compression issues. The audio is not as good as the video, but that shouldn't come as a huge surprise to anyone who knows the film was originally filmed in mono. The studio has created a 5.1 surround sound track out of the original mono, while leaving the original mono as an option for purists. It's clear, but there's not a ton of activity in the surround sound speakers.

The Blu-ray costs $23, which is a tad more expensive than most catalog titles, but it also has a lot more extras than most catalog titles.

The Verdict

If you are a fan of White Christmas, but don't have it on high definition yet, then the 60th Anniversary Blu-ray Combo Pack is worth picking up. However, if you have the previous Blu-ray release, there's not enough new here to be worth the upgrade.

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Filed under: Video Review, White Christmas, Danny Kaye