Blu ray screencaps from Gladiator.
Gladiator was first released on blu ray in 2009, unfortunately for discerning viewers, there was an absolutely huge amount of digital noise reduction ( DNR ) and edge enhancement ( EE ) on the transfer and scratch removal tools had removed arrows and spears, the reason for this monstrosity reaching the marketplace is that someone had made a mistake and was using an old outdated master, if you had read all the reviews at Amazon and various online sites you might be forgiven for thinking it was a perfect release, so many five star reviews praising the release, there was of course a small minority of viewers who condemned the release and some probably wrote to Ridley Scott regarding the matter.
Ridley Scott was making Robin Hood when this was released and thus was too busy to even see the transfer, it's my opinion that Scott did eventually see the blu ray release and privately made his views known, throughout 2010 Universal/Paramount slipped replacement copies onto shelves containing a new pristine transfer. In Europe the new release was labelled a 10th anniversary release and potential buyers could easily see it was the new transfer, in the USA there was no such labelling and even now it is hard to tell if it's the new transfer just by looking at the case, this release is the Universal 10th anniversary release from Germany, it came out late 2010.
Image quality is substantially improved over the old release, its a more film like image with a lot more detail in every frame, some people might complain about the skintones, Ridley seems to like the newly fangled orange/teal look and many of his older films are being released with this colour scheme, i never saw this film at the cinema and so i cannot say if it had this look or not but i do think in this particular instance the skintones look right to me, blue skies look gloriously blue and while i do not like the skintones in some films being given the orange/teal look, this is not one of them, it works just fine, i actually wonder if they are trying to give films the old Technicolor look and that is the reason for so many films being given a colour makeover, some films seem to work with this new look while other films suffer, i'd rather they just kept the original look.
The sound quality is excellent, all your speakers will get a great workout, the music is fabulous and you will hear rich detail within the soundtrack, bass is deep and luxurious, it's a dts-hd master audio 5.1 track and it's superb. The old DVD had a 6 channel soundtrack with a rear centre speaker being used, the information should still be there to recreate this if you have the equipment and wish to do so. I have not tested this so cannot be sure but feel free to give it a go and if it works then that's great.
View blu ray screencaps of Gladiator below. Click twice for the full HD image.