I have seen many fabulous restorations of old films in the past, and even though this restoration does not compare to that of Lawrence of Arabia or Gandhi, Columbia-Tristar did a really good job. Unfortunately, this Academy Award winning Best Picture did not get the DVD release it deserved. If you have not seen his film, here is a synopsis from the press release:
“KRAMER VS. KRAMER is a story of contemporary relationships, values and choices. Returning home late from w…rk one night, a career-obsessed Ted Kramer (Hoffman) is told by his wife, Joanna (Streep), that she is leaving him. After a lifetime of being “somebody’s wife,” she’s going off to find herself, leaving Ted to care for their six-year-old son. Ted, while trying to hold down his job, gets to really know his son as few fathers do: cooking his meals, taking him to the park, understanding every need and fear. For the first time in his life he feels like a fulfilled parent. But then Joanna returns — and she wants her son back.”
I have a hard time realizing why this, an academy award-winning best picture, could not get at least a 5.1 audio track. Unfortunately, Columbia-Tristar decided to release this film with only a mono audio track (in both English and French). The sound from the single channel was good, but how good can mono sound really be? In the days of 6.1 EX and DTS, mono just does not cut it. Even though this is not an epic film or an action-packed thriller, this picture deserves better. Furthermore, a commentary track would have been beautiful for this film. Any award-winning film deserves a commentary track to educate why this film was as good as it was. Sadly, this commentary track was also not included.
I love to see old films get re-released with beautiful a new, clean, and restored picture. Kramer vs. Kramer is 22 years old, and the transfer looks really good. Sure, the coloration looks 22 years old, but that cannot really be fixed. On the other hand, the digital transfer and restoration of the original print are done beautifully on this DVD release. Even though this film did not get a very nice sound treatment, at least it got the video treatment it deserves. The film is presented in its original theatrical aspect ration of 1.85:1, and the full Frame version was not included on this release.
Once again, this picture deserved more in terms of special features then it got. The only special features that were included on this disc are a Making-Of Featurette, trailers and production notes. The menus are not animated, and the menus had no real presence. One positive about the special features is the Making- Featurette. This documentary was rally great. It was 45 minutes long, and it included all of the cast and crew, and walks the viewer through every aspect of the film. All-in-all, the special features were poor on this disc, but this documentary was a nice exception to that…. It really impressed me.
Special Features List
- Documentary – “Finding the Truth”
- Production Notes