How to remove large dark spots from footage

I’m trying to clean up old stock footage of a nuclear explosion, and it’s covered with scratches & splotches. I’ve tried the “BCC Dust and Scratches” plugin, but I think the spots are too large; same with BCC Noise Reduction. So I’m trying to use PixelChooser to select only those portions of the frame that are very dark in color, and to try to lighten them or replace the color in them. I’m following the PixelChooser tutorial, and I’m not having much luck. I’m using a Key on my Matte, and when I select the dark colors with the eye droppers, the matte only seems to select the outer edges of these spots. I’m just not able to get the desired results this way, it seems.
I’ve been trying to use the BCC+Grade plugin, is there a better one to do what I’m trying?
Can you advise on how I might proceed? At this point, I’m tempted to load my footage into After Effects and fix the spots by hand frame by frame, but that is of course insanely time consuming.

Hi there,

If you would like to send me a frame or short clip I’d be happy to review it and offer you my advice on how best to restore it with the tools that are included in Continuum. You can send that to me at peterm(at)borisfx(dot)com.