First of all, I would like to thank the uploaders and the individuals responsible for this scan. This is one of my favourite movies and it’s great to be able to see what it was like in theaters.
I’d also be interested in seeing a comparison of these 35mm scans with the 2018 4K release
That is a comparison of some shots from 35mm, HDTV, 4K and Blu-Ray. As far as I know, these are all the official gradings of the film. Another grading by KK650 was recently published but it was done on the green filtered Blu-Ray and is still different from the rest.
Sidenote: Anyone who saw this film first on home release should check out the HDTV. It may be inaccurate, but it was a real trip for me seeing it how I first watched it.
The 4K is really a great copy, and probably the best version to watch now. However, some may be sensitive enough to its flaws to ruin the experience. It still colors the scenes artifically which is not present in the 35mm scan (if you look for greens, they are often an artificial enhanced green). Also, the blues are dialed up quite a bit in the 4K all around (see the light in the lobby elevator). Lighting and color enhancements like this still make for a different watching experience than the original (based on the 35mm scan).
Another problem with the 4K release is inconsistent grading between different shots (Ex. MS to CU).
In this example, Neo’s face has a warmer color tone in the CU and a cooler tone in the MS. It happens often, and in some scenes the background will change color tone. This is an extremely disapointing flaw and I have no idea how something so obvious could go unchecked. Some other scenes have blue on character’s faces that is artificial, and because it’s introducing a color and not enhancing it the result looks almost colored in:
There is one CU of Neo between these shots so some might not notice, but the difference is distracting to me and takes me out of the scene.
Overall the 4K has much more vibrancy than the original had and very specific color enhancements all over the place, some more noticeable than others. These negative aspects also appear in the rest of the films.
Unfortunately the 35mm scan is a little too low of quality IMO and it’s somewhat misleading to give the impression that this is what was seen in a theater. When you project through these slides the image on your theater screen will be much different from this video file. Some scenes (like morpheus in Neo’s room, second link) are so extreme color wise that I can’t believe it was the original intention. I will say it’s a nice reference to gauge overall color balance and exposure of the original showing. We really wouldn’t be able to tell how modified the 4K really was without it.
Since the 4K seems to be the closest to the original, maybe it could serve as a reference to grade this 35mm scan. I think the 4K is a little too specific with its modifications to regrade properly, but who knows.
PS I’m not playing the 4K remaster on an HDR screen, so if someone notices their experience is different to what I’ve described please let me know.