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The Music Man (Blu-ray)

When conman Harold Hill (Robert Preston) arrives in River City, he intends to employ his usual scam of equipping and training a boys marching band and then getting out of dodge as fast as he can. Things go awry when he falls in love with the town librarian (Shirley Jones) and inadvertently enriching the town with a love of music.

Adapting a popular Broadway musical to the silver screen doesn't always produce spectacular results, especially when the magic of live theater getting lost in translation. Sadly, that's the impression I have of The Music Man. While the performances by Preston and Jones are commendable, the glacial pacing had me nodding-off midway through the second act and by the time the marching band makes its appearance all I could muster was a yawn and a glance at the clock.

No other studio seems to eek the most out of an older film than the Warner Brothers. Whether it's Gone with the Wind, The Wizard of Oz, or Robin Hood they seem to make the old classics shine on Blu-ray this is no exception. The print is in very good shape and the colors burst off the screen in all their Technicolor glory. Detail is particularly strong, especially in the foregrounds, and flesh tones never look smeared or unnatural.

It seems like every studio is migrating to DTS-HD Master Audio as its codec of choice and the remastered 5.1 track sounds pretty good. Stereo spread is decent across the front and the surround speakers are relatively quiet until a musical number strikes up.

The supplements feature an introduction by Shriley Jones, a couple of featurettes, and a theatrical trailer (all in SD).

In hindsight, I probably shouldn't have watched this after a 14-hour workday because the slow pacing put me to sleep. The restoration is outstanding and I'm going to give it another try when I'm well rested. Recommended for fans.

Email any comments or questions!

Release Date: February 2, 2010
Studio: Warner

Movie: 6/10
Picture: 9/10
Sound: 8/10

Review System

Source
Oppo BDP-83 Blu-ray player

Display
JVC DLA-RS1 projector
Stewart FireHawk screen (76.5" wide, 16:9)

Electronics
Onkyo Pro PR-SC885 pre/pro
Anthem PVA-7 power amplifier
Belkin PF60 power conditioner

Speakers
M&K S-150s (L, C, R)
M&K SS-150s (LS, RS, SBL, SBR)
SVS PC-Ultra subwoofer

Cables
Monoprice HDMI cables (source to pre/pro)
Best Deal analog-audio cables
PureLink HDC Fiber Optic HDMI Cable System (15 meters) from pre/pro to projector

Acoustical treatments from GIK Acoustics

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