The New PQ Tier thread for Blu-Ray - Discussion - Page 717 - AVS | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #21481 of 22231 Old 05-31-2014, 10:13 AM
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The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

This is excellent movie with a great soundtrack. Highly recommended. As far as BD PQ is concerned, overall it's very good.
The movie offers plenty of scenes that are visually spectacular. Partially shot in Iceland, the landscapes are beautiful. Many outdoor scenes offer great clarity and depth. Color and contrast is strong. Black levels/shadow details were not often tested but overall fared well enough. The whole movie has a light, yet fairly noticeable amount of grain.
The biggest problem with this movie was it was inconsistent from shot to shot, with some (closeups) looking sharp as a tack and others looking fairly soft and even murky. Not reference quality but the majority of the movie looks very good, so I think it belongs somewhere in tier 1.

Ranking...1.75
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post #21482 of 22231 Old 05-31-2014, 02:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wattheF View Post

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

This is excellent movie with a great soundtrack. Highly recommended. As far as BD PQ is concerned, overall it's very good.
The movie offers plenty of scenes that are visually spectacular. Partially shot in Iceland, the landscapes are beautiful. Many outdoor scenes offer great clarity and depth. Color and contrast is strong. Black levels/shadow details were not often tested but overall fared well enough. The whole movie has a light, yet fairly noticeable amount of grain.
The biggest problem with this movie was it was inconsistent from shot to shot, with some (closeups) looking sharp as a tack and others looking fairly soft and even murky. Not reference quality but the majority of the movie looks very good, so I think it belongs somewhere in tier 1.

Ranking...1.75

Thanks for the excellent review! I almost rented this the other day and you have surely given me the desire to rent it on my next trip to the video store.

I have about 40 minutes left of The Monuments Men. The PQ has been consistently good.
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post #21483 of 22231 Old 05-31-2014, 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted by djoberg View Post

Thanks for the excellent review! I almost rented this the other day and you have surely given me the desire to rent it on my next trip to the video store.

I have about 40 minutes left of The Monuments Men. The PQ has been consistently good.
Thanks. I didn't write a review for The Monuments Men but I agree the PQ was very good through out.
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post #21484 of 22231 Old 05-31-2014, 04:08 PM
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The Monuments Men

To "cut to the chase," this was yet another "demo-worthy" Blu....NOT reference, mind you, but one that you could still grab off the shelf to show off the virtues of High Definition on Blu-ray.

DETAILS and DEPTH stood out in this one, especially in any of the daytime, outdoor scenes. You'll be WOWED by some of spectacular cinematography, with lush views of France and Germany (I'm assuming these were actual shots in those countries). One shot in particular that caused me to be riveted to my KURO screen took place on a winding mountain road as several jeeps made their way to an ancient castle in the distance. The details of the road, surrounding foliage, and distant mountains were mesmerizing and the outstanding depth made the castle look as if you were actually in the jeep, drawing closer with each acceleration of the pedal. They also showed many cities that had been reduced to ruins through multiple bombings and there again details and depth were amazing. Facial details (up close) were very good, but not at reference level.

Colors, when on display, were magnificent. Contrast was generally strong. Flesh tones were, in the main, spot-on (there were a few indoor scenes where they seemed a bit off). Black levels were good to very good, but I must confess that they faltered at times. In *some* very dark scenes my "black" bars took on a dark gray look, which always results in taking me out of the movie for a moment or two. I did end up skimming various dark scenes a second time around and these were the only area of inconsistency in the movie. Blacks could be deep and inky with stellar shadow details...and the next dark scene could be less-than-stellar resulting in a loss of shadow details and depth.

All things considered this was still very pleasing to the eyes. Initially I was thinking of the bottom of Tier 1, but after skimming through various scenes again I've decided to bump it up a notch....

Tier Recommendation: 1.5*
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post #21485 of 22231 Old 05-31-2014, 05:37 PM
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Was the color-timing particularly skewed one way for The Monuments Men? It's good to see you back from your hiatus, Djoberg.

What I want is the original The Secret Life of Walter Mitty on Blu-ray.
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post #21486 of 22231 Old 05-31-2014, 09:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Phantom Stranger View Post

Was the color-timing particularly skewed one way for The Monuments Men? It's good to see you back from your hiatus, Djoberg.

Thankfully this title was, for the most part, free of the typical ORANGE or TEAL color-timing that characterizes many period pieces (and especially "war" movies). Having said that, some of the interior scenes had saturated colors, with a few shots leaning toward a golden hue (but nothing that I would call bothersome). My understanding is that all of the daytime, outdoor scenes were shot on film and all of the nighttime or indoor scenes were shot using the Arri ALEXA digital camera. Those scenes shot on film were actually sharper, more detailed, and came across with a pleasing "natural-look." I don't know all the variables that played into the color saturation in the interior shots, but I found those shots to be quite acceptable. You know I'm not a fan of egregious color-timing, so be assured that I most definitely would have sounded an alarm had this been another ORANGE or TEAL mess.

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post #21487 of 22231 Old 06-01-2014, 03:44 AM
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R.I.P.D (2D)

Okay so it wasn't top tier but for the most part R.I.P.D had me handfuffed to my seat in terms of PQ. Sporting a golden hue, we are treated to a clean, detailed picture which is free of noise and grain. Strong colours with good facials, notably those of Kevin Bacon which stood out the most. One night time scene in the harbour was memorable as an eye candy feast, albeit brief. Occasional softer shots were witnessed but not to any major detriment.

Tier 1.5
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post #21488 of 22231 Old 06-01-2014, 07:26 AM
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Originally Posted by djoberg View Post

The Monuments Men

To "cut to the chase," this was yet another "demo-worthy" Blu....NOT reference, mind you, but one that you could still grab off the shelf to show off the virtues of High Definition on Blu-ray.

DETAILS and DEPTH stood out in this one, especially in any of the daytime, outdoor scenes. You'll be WOWED by some of spectacular cinematography, with lush views of France and Germany (I'm assuming these were actual shots in those countries). One shot in particular that caused me to be riveted to my KURO screen took place on a winding mountain road as several jeeps made their way to an ancient castle in the distance. The details of the road, surrounding foliage, and distant mountains were mesmerizing and the outstanding depth made the castle look as if you were actually in the jeep, drawing closer with each acceleration of the pedal. They also showed many cities that had been reduced to ruins through multiple bombings and there again details and depth were amazing. Facial details (up close) were very good, but not at reference level.

Colors, when on display, were magnificent. Contrast was generally strong. Flesh tones were, in the main, spot-on (there were a few indoor scenes where they seemed a bit off). Black levels were good to very good, but I must confess that they faltered at times. In *some* very dark scenes my "black" bars took on a dark gray look, which always results in taking me out of the movie for a moment or two. I did end up skimming various dark scenes a second time around and these were the only area of inconsistency in the movie. Blacks could be deep and inky with stellar shadow details...and the next dark scene could be less-than-stellar resulting in a loss of shadow details and depth.

All things considered this was still very pleasing to the eyes. Initially I was thinking of the bottom of Tier 1, but after skimming through various scenes again I've decided to bump it up a notch....

Tier Recommendation: 1.5*
Great review and I agree completely with your assessment and ranking.
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post #21489 of 22231 Old 06-01-2014, 12:52 PM
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The Red Violin (CA import)

PQ is horrible, easily the worst out of hundreds of Blu-rays I've watched. While encoded as 1080p24, it appears to be upconverted from 480i60, and it's a terribly-done upconversion at that. Picture is soft, but worst are the motion artifacts, a result of either poor deinterlacing or bad frame rate conversion. Often after a scene switch, it takes a few frames before the picture clears up. Those first frames are full of ghosting (double image). It had me digging through my projector's menus trying to figure out what frame interpolation I'd accidentally turned on, before realizing that the problem was with the source itself. Colors are muted and details are soft or nonexistent. Atrocious.

On the plus side, AQ is decent.

Tier Recommendation: 5.0 (Coal)
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post #21490 of 22231 Old 06-01-2014, 01:11 PM
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The Red Violin (CA import)

PQ is horrible, easily the worst out of hundreds of Blu-rays I've watched. While encoded as 1080p24, it appears to be upconverted from 480i60, and it's a terribly-done upconversion at that. Picture is soft, but worst are the motion artifacts, a result of either poor deinterlacing or bad frame rate conversion. Often after a scene switch, it takes a few frames before the picture clears up. Those first frames are full of ghosting (double image). It had me digging through my projector's menus trying to figure out what frame interpolation I'd accidentally turned on, before realizing that the problem was with the source itself. Colors are muted and details are soft or nonexistent. Atrocious.

On the plus side, AQ is decent.

Tier Recommendation: 5.0 (Coal)
That is one of those Alliance BDs probably featuring a HD transfer intended for syndication or broadcast. They likely had to deinterlace it from 1080i video made from an ancient telecine. It was a New Line release in the States, I doubt Warner Bros. ever gets around to releasing it here.

There is a huge hole in the Blu-ray market for films made between the early 1990s to around 2004, before studios switched to higher standards for their initial high-definition transfers. Older catalog titles from the period are probably not worth investing in a new film scan from the camera negative for a home video release, which is why we see so many films from the period arriving on Blu-ray looking very suspect in picture quality. The recent release of Ravenous (1999) by Scream Factory appears to have fallen victim to this trend.
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post #21491 of 22231 Old 06-02-2014, 03:03 PM
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The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Quote:
Originally Posted by wattheF View Post

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

This is excellent movie with a great soundtrack. Highly recommended. As far as BD PQ is concerned, overall it's very good.
The movie offers plenty of scenes that are visually spectacular. Partially shot in Iceland, the landscapes are beautiful. Many outdoor scenes offer great clarity and depth. Color and contrast is strong. Black levels/shadow details were not often tested but overall fared well enough. The whole movie has a light, yet fairly noticeable amount of grain.
The biggest problem with this movie was it was inconsistent from shot to shot, with some (closeups) looking sharp as a tack and others looking fairly soft and even murky. Not reference quality but the majority of the movie looks very good, so I think it belongs somewhere in tier 1.

Ranking...1.75

What he said....and MORE!

The first half of the movie left me thinking, "What's so great about this movie?" (including the PQ), but then the second half kicked in and I was instantly drawn in. The first half takes place mainly in San Francisco and I was turned off by the color-grading (here we go Phantom!), which had WAY TOO MUCH TEAL! There were some very good shots though, especially facial-closeups of Shirley MacLaine (her aging face was chock full of texture, as were her neck & hands, which were filled with wrinkles and age spots) and some very detailed shots of San Francisco's buildings, streets, and foliage. It seemed that the majority of this half took place where Mitty worked (at Life Magazine), and again it was almost all TEAL. The movie moved VERY SLOWLY and seemed awkward to me.

Then the ACTION began, where Mitty's adventures in Greenland, Iceland, and Afghanistan unfolded. The scenery was breathtaking in Iceland and Afghanistan and the PQ couldn't have been more SHARP and DETAILED. I was mesmerized by many of the scenes, and by the amazing soundtrack that went along with them. I had noted previously that the texture in Shirley MacLaine's face was fantastic....well, wait until you see Sean Penn "up close and personal." There were a couple of scenes where ORANGE hues came into play (most notably when Penn and Stiller are playing soccer in Afghanistan) and flesh tones suffered as a result.

I did enjoy the grain structure. As my colleague noted, it was "light" and thus it featured a very nice "filmic" look!

Black levels were, for the most part, excellent. Daytime shots with sunshine and snow/oceans displayed brilliant whites. In other words, the CONTRAST was indeed STRONG.

Okay, you get the picture...this is somewhat of a mixed bag, with, as wattheF intimated, many inconsistencies. But when shots were good, they were really, really, good...REFERENCE material!! So, in trying to "balance things out," I believe this is indeed demo-worthy and I'm going to echo the recommendation of my peer and go with...

Tier Recommendation: 1.75*

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post #21492 of 22231 Old 06-02-2014, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Phantom Stranger View Post

That is one of those Alliance BDs probably featuring a HD transfer intended for syndication or broadcast. They likely had to deinterlace it from 1080i video made from an ancient telecine. It was a New Line release in the States, I doubt Warner Bros. ever gets around to releasing it here.

It would have been far better to release the Blu-ray with that 1080i transfer than this mess. But I guess then they couldn't check the marketing checkbox of "1080p video!"
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post #21493 of 22231 Old 06-02-2014, 07:07 PM
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AnoHana: The Flower We Saw That Day (complete collection)

recommendation: Tier 1.0*

The 2011 anime series features vibrant animation in a top-notch set released by NIS America. Spread over two 2 BDs, the AVC video encode perfectly encapsulates the 1080p video without banding in a flawless manner. Rendered in bold, splashy colors with crystal clarity, the animation is indistinguishable from theatrical fare.

This is definitely a cut above in terms of picture quality, it bypasses the various technical problems associated with a number of the other anime distributors. More importantly, a lot of care has been exercised with the animation itself.
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post #21494 of 22231 Old 06-03-2014, 05:05 PM
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McLintock!: Authentic Collector's Edition

recommendation: Tier 1.75*

Paramount finally releases their version of this John Wayne film from 1963, featuring a 4K film transfer from the original camera negative. It has slipped into the public domain, allowing Olive Films to release their own Blu-ray about a year ago. While I don't have direct access to Olive Films' version, Paramount's edition from the original film elements has a stunning transfer and almost certainly looks better. I would be calling this an impeccable film transfer if some ringing hadn't been added to the video. The amount of detail packed into each frame is excellent.

Saturated colors pop off the screen in this comedic Western, the cinematography has all the traits desired by picky videophiles. Extremely faithful grain reproduction, a lack of filtering, perfect black levels- the scattered halos visible at times are the only things keeping this out of a much higher placement in Tier One. It's a very nice effort by Paramount with a high-caliber restoration, encoded to maximum technical specifications.

An interesting bit of trivia...McLintock! was first released to theaters on November 22, 1963.
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post #21495 of 22231 Old 06-03-2014, 09:15 PM
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The Legend of Hercules

Oh boy, where do i begin? This one is just a mess in every way possible. The movie itself has one of the worst plots with some of the worst acting I have seen in a long time. Seriously, its bad. As far as BD PQ goes, I believe that too is a mess. I will admit that at times the movie is visually impressive but it is riddled with inconsistency and technical issues. The very first shot of the opening scene exhibited easily the worst color banding I have ever seen on bluray. Btw, many other scenes had color banding as well. Unacceptable! In some scenes the Director seemed to be going for a highly stylized look with the color pushed heavily towards a golden orange hue and contrast pushed to the point where it looked blown out. This was the case in most of the battle scenes. The movie has some really poor use of CGI as well. On the other hand there were scenes that looked fantastic, dare I say almost reference. Some of the bright outdoor shots were real eye candy showing excellent detail, depth, color and contrast. But these were few and far between. Many other shots were soft and even noisy. Black levels varied from very good to washed out and murky depending on scene.
I would not be surprised if there were other technical issues that i didnt pick up on as well. It seems as though many corners were cut on all levels of production. Im having a hard time coming up with a ranking because of the inconsistencies and issues but I did find myself saying wow that looks great a few times. Overall the negatives outweighed the positives so for now I will go with...

Ranking 3.75
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post #21496 of 22231 Old 06-03-2014, 10:14 PM
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The Legend of Hercules was directed by Renny Harlin, a spotty director at best.
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post #21497 of 22231 Old 06-04-2014, 07:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Phantom Stranger View Post

The Legend of Hercules was directed by Renny Harlin, a spotty director at best.
Yeah spotty is how I would describe the PQ in this movie as well. The good parts seem to be related to getting lucky more than anything else!
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post #21498 of 22231 Old 06-04-2014, 11:09 AM
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I just picked up Lone Survivor this morning but won't be viewing it until late tonight or tomorrow. The reviews I've read so far are all very good...for both the movie and the PQ. Has anyone reading this seen it?

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post #21499 of 22231 Old 06-04-2014, 12:25 PM
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I just picked up Lone Survivor this morning but won't be viewing it until late tonight or tomorrow. The reviews I've read so far are all very good...for both the movie and the PQ. Has anyone reading this seen it?

I picked it up last night as an impulse buy. Sadly I'll be lucky to even get to it by the end of the weekend, but will look forward to your feedback!

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post #21500 of 22231 Old 06-04-2014, 01:23 PM
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I picked it up last night as an impulse buy. Sadly I'll be lucky to even get to it by the end of the weekend, but will look forward to your feedback!

And I'll be looking forward to a review from you!

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post #21501 of 22231 Old 06-04-2014, 05:39 PM
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I watched a downloaded copy of it. Movie was excellent and PQ was quite good. I can't wait to see it on a real blu.
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post #21502 of 22231 Old 06-04-2014, 06:33 PM
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I just picked up Lone Survivor this morning but won't be viewing it until late tonight or tomorrow. The reviews I've read so far are all very good...for both the movie and the PQ. Has anyone reading this seen it?

It's good. I don't do ratings like you guys do but I wouldn't be surprised if it's up there on PQ rating. It's great all around with PQ and SQ, I'd say it would be a good demo disc. There's some good bass too if your sub is up to the task.

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post #21503 of 22231 Old 06-04-2014, 08:10 PM
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It's good. I don't do ratings like you guys do but I wouldn't be surprised if it's up there on PQ rating. It's great all around with PQ and SQ, I'd say it would be a good demo disc. There's some good bass too if your sub is up to the task.

Sounds good! I'm just about to slip the disc into my Pioneer Blu-ray player.

Glad to hear the AQ is great too, with some good bass. I believe my "sub is up to the task." It's a SVS ported cylinder sub that has a flat frequency response down to 20 Hz...it start's rolling off at 18 Hz. It is extremely accurate, with DEEP & TIGHT bass!

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post #21504 of 22231 Old 06-04-2014, 08:47 PM
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Sounds good! I'm just about to slip the disc into my Pioneer Blu-ray player.

Glad to hear the AQ is great too, with some good bass. I believe my "sub is up to the task." It's a SVS ported cylinder sub that has a flat frequency response down to 20 Hz...it start's rolling off at 18 Hz. It is extremely accurate, with DEEP & TIGHT bass!

I have a feeling you'll like it. smile.gif Helicopters and RPG's... hehe. I only said "up to the task" cuz I think in the Movies with Bass thread that a lot of the bass is ~25hz and below.

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post #21505 of 22231 Old 06-04-2014, 10:46 PM
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About Time

recommendation: Tier 1.0


I feel its current placement in Tier 1.5 could be higher. About Time has very impressive video quality, especially when its setting moves to the panoramic seascapes of Cornwall. The extreme clarity and pristine definition had me thinking of Tier 0 outside of the London scenes.

Universal's presentation is technically perfect with a strong AVC video encode, lacking noteworthy processing. A wisp of aliasing briefly appears that is almost certainly endemic to the digital photography. For a sentimental film that veers on romance, the color timing is rather neutral with an even color palette and realistic flesh-tones.

A lack of serious depth and pop to the cinematography are probably the only factors keeping this one from Tier Zero.
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post #21506 of 22231 Old 06-04-2014, 11:10 PM
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Lone Survivor

SWEET!! We can finally add another live action movie to the REFERENCE TIER!

I'm tired so I'll make this short. DETAILS abound in nearly every shot of its 2-hour running time, whether it's the Afghanistan terrain (though it was actually filmed in New Mexico) with its gorgeous mountains, forests, and deserts, or the MANY facial close-ups revealing every bit of blood, sweat and tears (and also pores, snot, cuts, dirt, grime, etc.). I hadn't seen texture in faces like this since the Transporter trilogy. Details in clothing was also amazing. DEPTH was also phenomenal with scenes so real that you felt you could reach out and touch a tree or a soldier. FLESH TONES were as good as they get. COLORS were vivid. SHARPNESS & CLARITY were off the charts!

About the only gripe were blacks levels that became a bit murky with a smidgen of noise, but these were limited to a couple of fleeting shots. In all other cases blacks were deep and inky with finely-rendered shadow details.

I would say this is most definitely one of the best live action Blus to date and I'd place it at about the .33 mark in Tier 0. To be more precise, I'd put it right here....

Tier Recommendation: Tier 0 (right above Live Free or Die Hard)

PS The audio was stellar with plenty of action in the surrounds during gunfights and helicopter flights, and some very impressive bass in multiple scenes. The movie was also excellent!

Viewed from 7.5' using the equipment listed below....

Pioneer Kuro Elite PRO-151FD....Pioneer Elite BDP-05....Onkyo TX-NR717

Cambridge Soundworks MC305 Fronts & Center...Cambridge Soundworks Ambiance Surrounds....SVS PC12-NSD
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post #21507 of 22231 Old 06-05-2014, 07:31 AM
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47 Ronin

If you can look past the mediocre (at best) acting, this is an entertaining movie with overall very good PQ on bluray.

Strengths include top notch clarity/sharpness with facial details on closeups looking as good as it gets. Color was well balanced and seemed fairly neutral to my eyes. Brightly colored character costumes popped with great texture. Bright outdoor scenes and landscapes at times looked brilliant. Overall it was a very clean presentation without any obvious issues.

The one area that PQ faltered was black levels. They were consistently below average. There seemed to be a conscious effort to preserve shadow details, which BTW were excellent, but this was at the cost of a truly deep black. Even in the darkest areas of any shot, at no point during the movie did it come even close to matching the pitch black letter bars on my ST60 plasma. It was most notable during dark scenes which looked murky. It became obvious that the lack of a good black level was holding back all areas of PQ as some moderately lit scenes had a slightly washed out look. I couldn't help but wonder how much better even the already great looking brightly lit scenes could have looked. It's too bad because it is the only thing keeping this movie from being reference level.

Although its not consistent, this BD could still be considered borderline demo-worthy because it has some very impressive scenes. I am debating where to rank it but right now I am feeling a bit generous.

Ranking...1.75
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post #21508 of 22231 Old 06-05-2014, 08:12 AM
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^^^^^

Good review wattheF!

Just so you know, it's alright to be "feeling a bit generous." We need more "generous raters" on this thread! biggrin.gif
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post #21509 of 22231 Old 06-05-2014, 09:49 AM
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Thanks!
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post #21510 of 22231 Old 06-05-2014, 01:30 PM
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Steins; Gate: Part 1

recommendation: Tier 1.75*


I was looking for reasons to rank this 2011 anime higher as it's a brilliant series with interesting animation and thoughtful character design. Alas, Funimation's AVC video encode contains obvious banding that can't be overlooked. The Japanese program was released by Funimation in the Fall of 2012 and looks fairly similar to their other releases, including compression standards with a few deficiencies for modern animation.

The picture quality itself has a subtle palette with complex shading. Perfect black levels produce nice pop to the characters in front of the detailed background art.
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