Originally Posted by PRO-630HD
The Universal release is a bit of a mixed bag. Some of the film contains nothing short of excellent PQ. All of these scenes are non optical or non-effects shots and have a light layer of film grain and are exactly the way a catalog bluray should look. Now as soon as we get into the effects shots Universal goes crazy with the damn DNR! Any effects shot or opticals gets very soft (opticals typically decrease resolution slightly and increase film grain) and the layer of film grain present in the optical or effects shots disappears as happens when DNR is used heavily. I can understand you don't want the optical effects shots swimming in a layer of film grain like in some Harryhausen picture, but if DNR is used it should be to bring the grain level in the effects shots on par with the rest of the film so the grain level is consistent throughout and more importantly preserving as much detail as possible. Lowry did this exact approach with the Bond films although admittedly a bit too much DNR throughout.
Did you see the film theatrically? I didn't, so I can't say for sure, but I'm not inclined to believe what we are seeing here is a curiously selective over use of DNR. The film's look is highly
processed and stylized, and makes abundant use of CG and other computer enhancements. Does any modern film make use of old style, analog film composites ? That's when you would see the look of grain increasing. This is all digital.
Compared to certain scenes, I think we are seeing a relatively faithful translation of a highly processed and artificial looking source.
Overall it looked decent to me. The DVD was also quite soft in spots and on the whole this is a substantial increase because of the better color, deeper black levels and better resolution. I'm happy with my purchase (though extras would have been nice, they aren't essential to me).
I'd forgotten how much I enjoyed this take on the material. Great cast and production. Even the the lead, who I thought was a weak link the first viewing, I see now gives a nicely nuanced performances that I enjoyed more this time around. And Issacs is a blast. Good show deserving of more attention.