I wanted to enter the world of High Definition DVD with a true visual feast, a film bursting with rich compositions and vivid colors that would display this new format’s worthiness. Andrew Dominik’s masterful Western The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford definitely qualifies, and aside from viewing this magnificent piece in HD, I also wanted to see if the film would live up to repeated viewings. First, I’ll say the Blu-ray transfer does look incredible. In a film like Jesse James, the subtle and somber mood is so dependent on the visuals, and here Deakins’ color scheme pops with glaring clarity while the fluidity of his camera movement remains epic even on the small screen. Second, Dominik’s vision does stand up and I’d venture to say becomes even more interesting as the historical threads of its subject matter are obscured. The film moves along at such a strange pace, jumping effortlessly from Robert Ford to Jesse James to Dick Liddel back to Bob and then to Jesse all while bringing it together as if the story is on a leisurely walk down historiography lane. Maybe the reason I responded to this film so strongly is because it has such a distinct vision, such a rambling outlook on heroism and betrayal and unflinching style complimenting the characters. I’ll definitely be treading through the murky waters of Jesse James again, and it will be on nothing less than Blu-ray. Unless I get the privilege of seeing it again on the big screen. Now that would be a true visual feast. My original review of The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford can be found here.