The New PQ Tier thread for Blu-Ray - Discussion - Page 726 - AVS Forum
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post #21751 of 22111 Old 08-06-2014, 06:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wattheF View Post
With such a glowing review I was a bit surprised to see a rank of 1.5. May I ask what held you back from ranking it any higher?
It's still a 1968 Technicolor film despite the fantastic transfer. The Swimmer lacks the kind of depth and delineation seen in better ranked discs. A couple of scenes use soft-focus lenses for stylistic purposes and one extended shot near the end has exposure problems, likely inherent to the original cinematography.

In terms of getting the most from a film's innate visual appeal, this is the absolute best catalog transfer I've seen in 2014. However, it's not the best-looking when you consider more expensive and professional productions. That honor would go to The Agony & The Ecstasy since that film always looked better to begin with and received a nearly as great film transfer. I believe Sony's archival team prepped The Swimmer's 4K master. They have gotten better and better in the past few years at getting everything possible out of a film scan and transparently replicating it in 1080P.

It's truly stupendous work when everything comes together, like on The Swimmer's Blu-ray. The film elements are in pristine condition with no apparent degradation, I don't believe the camera negative was getting handled much over the intervening years. Ironically, less popular movies tend to remain in better condition since the negatives are hardly ever touched.
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post #21752 of 22111 Old 08-06-2014, 07:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantom Stranger View Post
It's still a 1968 Technicolor film despite the fantastic transfer. The Swimmer lacks the kind of depth and delineation seen in better ranked discs. A couple of scenes use soft-focus lenses for stylistic purposes and one extended shot near the end has exposure problems, likely inherent to the original cinematography.

In terms of getting the most from a film's innate visual appeal, this is the absolute best catalog transfer I've seen in 2014. However, it's not the best-looking when you consider more expensive and professional productions. That honor would go to The Agony & The Ecstasy since that film always looked better to begin with and received a nearly as great film transfer. I believe Sony's archival team prepped The Swimmer's 4K master. They have gotten better and better in the past few years at getting everything possible out of a film scan and transparently replicating it in 1080P.

It's truly stupendous work when everything comes together, like on The Swimmer's Blu-ray. The film elements are in pristine condition with no apparent degradation, I don't believe the camera negative was getting handled much over the intervening years. Ironically, less popular movies tend to remain in better condition since the negatives are hardly ever touched.
Good stuff! Thanks for the info Phantom.
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post #21753 of 22111 Old 08-09-2014, 05:22 PM
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Before Midnight

recommendation: Tier 1.0*

I could have sworn someone had already ranked this in the PQ Tiers but nothing turned up. Its picturesque setting in the Greek Isles makes for perfect demo material, despite it being a dialogue-laden film. Before Midnight was filmed in crystal-clear definition with Arri cameras. Since there are no digital sets involved, you get pristine 1080P video practically untouched in post-production.

The transfer is flawless and has that type of window effect found in the best visual material. This Blu-ray presentation by Sony could definitely be ranked higher than the Tier 1.0 score I gave it. I thought the lack of extreme depth and pop were the only factors keeping it out of the highest level. A technically perfect BD with extremely appealing visuals from beginning to end. Now when are Before Sunrise and Before Sunset going to hit Blu-ray?
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post #21754 of 22111 Old 08-12-2014, 08:46 PM
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God's Not Dead

I arrived home from our trip and found a copy of this movie in my mail, a gift from my oldest daughter. The PQ is quite good, with excellent DETAILS (in clothing, campus buildings, foliage, and especially in facial close-ups), appreciable DEPTH, warm and vibrant COLORS, satisfying BLACK LEVELS and SHADOW DETAILS, accurate FLESH TONES, and, in most scenes, above average SHARPNESS & CLARITY.

The only negatives that I noticed were some soft focus shots, a bit of noise in a couple of shots, and a few instances of banding.

If not for the rare anomalies just mentioned, I would be tempted to go with a low Tier 0 or a high Tier 1. It's still a definite Tier Gold contender and I'm in favor of....

Tier Recommendation: 1.5*

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Oh yeah, and for the record...GOD'S NOT DEAD!!

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post #21755 of 22111 Old 08-13-2014, 02:06 PM
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^^^^^^

Also, FTR, I'm not actually endorsing the movie itself, for I was disappointed in the approach the Christian filmakers took in *defending* the existence of God. They resorted to human reasoning and logic in debating the issue instead of simply using Scripture coupled with scientific facts to make their case.

The acting was also quite bad except for the two male leads and one really has to "suspend disbelief" on several occasions.

On a postive note, if you like the Christain Rock group The Newsboys you'll like the ending!

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post #21756 of 22111 Old 08-13-2014, 03:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djoberg View Post
...and one really has to "suspend disbelief" on several occasions.
No kidding...
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post #21757 of 22111 Old 08-13-2014, 03:19 PM
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Rage

recommendation: Tier 1.75*

Nicholas Cage's hairpiece shines in clear definition in his latest, direct-to-video film. Filmed using RED Epic cameras, the digital video is razor-sharp but lacks the kind of dramatic detail found in reference-caliber BDs. Some early scenes have a noticeable yellow push in their digital color-timing, turning flesh-tones into a slightly unnatural experience.

Aside from possible filtering on a few lead actors, this is clean video given a solid presentation in 1080P. There are no serious problems marring the transfer and this BD likely replicates Rage's digital intermediate pretty well. Minor compression artifacts are introduced in a handful of the darkest scenes.
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post #21758 of 22111 Old 08-13-2014, 03:29 PM
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The Amazing Spiderman (2012)

I recall this disc getting lukewarm reviews upon release so I held off buying.

Picked it up this week for £6 and was not disappointed!

As noted, it's slightly darker than previous outings but that doesnt stop the Red Epic doing its thing as there is fantastic clarity and depth to be had here.

Much of the action takes place at night but thats a good thing - black levels are excellent and work in web spun harmony with perfectly pitched contrast.

Daytime scenes are slightly muted and restrained but still looked good. I could only count a few moments where the picture looked softer and less attractive.

Regardless, I remained impressed enough to rank this....

Tier 1.0
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post #21759 of 22111 Old 08-14-2014, 10:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rusky_g View Post
The Amazing Spiderman (2012)

I recall this disc getting lukewarm reviews upon release so I held off buying.

Picked it up this week for £6 and was not disappointed!

As noted, it's slightly darker than previous outings but that doesnt stop the Red Epic doing its thing as there is fantastic clarity and depth to be had here.

Much of the action takes place at night but thats a good thing - black levels are excellent and work in web spun harmony with perfectly pitched contrast.

Daytime scenes are slightly muted and restrained but still looked good. I could only count a few moments where the picture looked softer and less attractive.

Regardless, I remained impressed enough to rank this....

Tier 1.0
I did a Thread Search on this title and came up with nothing! I thought my placement recommendation was close to yours but I could be wrong. What is the exact title of this Blu?

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post #21760 of 22111 Old 08-14-2014, 11:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djoberg View Post
I did a Thread Search on this title and came up with nothing! I thought my placement recommendation was close to yours but I could be wrong. What is the exact title of this Blu?
Im sure there was a review in this thread Denny. The disc is The Amazing Spiderman
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post #21761 of 22111 Old 08-14-2014, 11:48 AM
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Ps - I dont think the thread search facility is as good with the forum 'upgrade' so maybe thats the issue.
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post #21762 of 22111 Old 08-14-2014, 12:05 PM
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The name is actually "The Amazing Spider-man"

It's the hyphen vs. not-hyphened phrase that makes the difference to the search.

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post #21763 of 22111 Old 08-14-2014, 12:07 PM
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The name is actually "The Amazing Spider-man"

It's the hyphen vs. not-hyphened phrase that makes the difference to the search.
Thanks!
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post #21764 of 22111 Old 08-14-2014, 12:16 PM
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Phantom scored 1.5, Djoberg 1.25

Reviews on p659
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post #21765 of 22111 Old 08-14-2014, 12:32 PM
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I keep a private master list of all scores, off this site. Here are the previous scores in the Tier thread for The Amazing Spider-Man:

1.5 The Phantom Stranger
1.5 Gamereviewgod
1.25 djoberg
1.5 patrick99

If I remember correctly, I thought Amazing Spider-Man straddled the line between 1.25 and 1.5.
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post #21766 of 22111 Old 08-14-2014, 01:39 PM
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Thanks Phantom

At least we all agreed it wasn't tier 0

;-)
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post #21767 of 22111 Old 08-14-2014, 04:48 PM
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I had forgotten it was hyphenated so hats off to fredxr2d2!
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post #21768 of 22111 Old 08-14-2014, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by rusky_g View Post
Thanks Phantom

At least we all agreed it wasn't tier 0

;-)
But it came ever so close!

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post #21769 of 22111 Old 08-14-2014, 06:51 PM
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Joy Ride 3: Road Kill

recommendation: Tier 1.5*

This transfer looks to have been digitally smoothed on some level, despite its impressive clarity and contrast. The 2014 release is fairly sharp with inky black levels. On the surface level you would think this kind of picture quality might deserve a better ranking. Something is off about its high-frequency content and robotic-like consistency.

The less said about this movie, the better.
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post #21770 of 22111 Old 08-14-2014, 08:55 PM
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Devil Dog: Hound of Hell

recommendation: Tier 2.75*

This is a television film from the late Seventies, starring Richard Crenna. The now-defunct Blu-ray distributor Media Blasters put this out on BD back in 2011 through their Shriek Show imprint. I picked it up on a whim since new copies can be had for a song on eBay. Expecting a garbage transfer from a faded print, Media Blasters struck a fresh film transfer direct from the camera negative for this release. It packs a surprising amount of definition and detail, as the 35mm negative looks in nearly pristine condition as evidenced by the 1080P presentation.

These types of small independent distributors will often skimp and cut corners when they can but that is not the case with Devil Dog. Media Blasters gives it a BD-50 with a superb AVC encode. Properly retaining its original broadcast ratio of 1.37, the 95-minute main feature retains an unadulterated grain structure in mostly film-like fidelity. I say mostly, only because the transfer is a little too clean. There is possibly some minor filtering done to the transfer, though it does not interfere with the film's grain structure or significantly impacts its level of fine detail.

This is a cleanly-shot, brightly-lit film, common to television productions of the era. There is the occasional soft shot, intended to help out the female lead. The biggest visual problem is the bright picture, occasionally washing out the contrast. The color palette represents an average improvement in saturation over DVD resolution. Black levels are on the light side, not quite reaching inky levels of darkness.

It should be mentioned that two brief FX scenes, involving the actual form of the titular dog, are included in what appear to be from videotape sources. My guess is that the hokey FX were not included on their film source and Media Blasters had to utilize a videotape source for those scenes to be complete. They don't alter my grading, one lasts less than forty seconds and the second scene is a couple of minutes near the end.
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post #21771 of 22111 Old 08-16-2014, 07:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rusky_g View Post
Ps - I dont think the thread search facility is as good with the forum 'upgrade' so maybe thats the issue.
The upgrade was aweful and they still haven't fixed the issues. I can't even use the thread search on the mobile version.
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post #21772 of 22111 Old 08-16-2014, 07:28 AM
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Likewise Wtf :-(
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post #21773 of 22111 Old 08-16-2014, 07:45 AM
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Rio 2

I was excited to see my son got this Blu as a birthday gift. The movie itself was fun and entertaining.

As far as PQ goes...INCREDIBLE is how I would describe it! Rio looked excellent but the second installment takes it to another level.

Clarity and sharpness are as good as I have seen. I did a bit of pixel peeping and noticed that even from about 2 feet away from the screen the picture still looks perfect. That is the kind of PQ that reminds me of Monsters University! Textures and details of the animated characters is top notch. The detail in the backgrounds is also a clear level or 2 above most. There are some scenes with some very impressive photo realism. What really sets this Blu apart is the colors. Vibrant and punchy with a wide pallet. Black levels and contrast are also excellent. The onscreen depth was amazing with an almost 3D feel.
The picture is flawless all around.

I almost immediately realized that this disc would contend for a spot on the very top of the Tier 0 list. I can honestly say it should rank no lower than 2nd overall, right behind Monsters U. At this level it comes down such minute differences that without a side by side comparison it may be tough to pick one over the the other (that still may be inconclusive). Needless to say, this one is a real gem. Another viewing of each movie could lead to a different result but for now...

Ranking- Tier 0 (right behind Monsters U)

Viewed on Panasonic 60ST60 from a distance 6 feet.
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post #21774 of 22111 Old 08-16-2014, 08:19 AM
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Divergent

Overall this is a good yet inconsistent offering from Lionsgate. I found the movie itself to be entertaining.

Aside from a couple fleeting soft shots, Divergent offers up a picture with very good detail and clarity with almost zero "film grain". There were some nice looking long distance landscape shots. Most closeups are sharp with a satisfying and realistic texture. This was also helped by the overall neutral, however limited, color pallet that lead to natural looking skin tones. Contrast was subtle yet satisfying.

This was the case for most of the outdoor and indoor daylight scenes, which leads me to the negatives. There are two major issues holding back the PQ of this Blu.
Firstly, black levels. They range from mediocre to below average. On all dark scences blacks looked murky and washed out with lost shadow details. This also lead to a picture lacking in depth and punch at times.

The other issue is color banding! It's severe in a few scenes. This is unacceptable in my opinion. I also thought I may have seen some minor artifacting of some kind in a couple dark scenes.

I found these issues to be distracting and they can't be overlooked. They knock what could have been a solid mid tier Tier 1 blu down a notch (at least).

Ranking- 2.75
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post #21775 of 22111 Old 08-16-2014, 09:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wattheF View Post
Rio 2

I was excited to see my son got this Blu as a birthday gift. The movie itself was fun and entertaining.

As far as PQ goes...INCREDIBLE is how I would describe it! Rio looked excellent but the second installment takes it to another level.

Clarity and sharpness are as good as I have seen. I did a bit of pixel peeping and noticed that even from about 2 feet away from the screen the picture still looks perfect. That is the kind of PQ that reminds me of Monsters University! Textures and details of the animated characters is top notch. The detail in the backgrounds is also a clear level or 2 above most. There are some scenes with some very impressive photo realism. What really sets this Blu apart is the colors. Vibrant and punchy with a wide pallet. Black levels and contrast are also excellent. The onscreen depth was amazing with an almost 3D feel.
The picture is flawless all around.

I almost immediately realized that this disc would contend for a spot on the very top of the Tier 0 list. I can honestly say it should rank no lower than 2nd overall, right behind Monsters U. At this level it comes down such minute differences that without a side by side comparison it may be tough to pick one over the the other. Needless to say, this one is a real gem. Another viewing of each movie could lead to a different result but for now...

Ranking- Tier 0 (right behind Monsters U)

Viewed on Panasonic 60ST60 from a distance 6 feet.
Excellent review! I agree 100% with your analysis. So, the next time Phantom does an update he can bump it up from #5 to #2 where it deserves to be placed!

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post #21776 of 22111 Old 08-16-2014, 03:23 PM
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Batman: Assault On Arkham

recommendation: Tier 2.0*

The new animated release from WB has somewhat ordinary animation and a video encode that falters with banding. They actually included the short main feature, running at 75 minutes, on a BD-50. That could have led to a better video encode with higher parameters, but the extra space largely goes to waste on a suspect AVC average common to WB's animated BDs.

As for the animation itself, Batman: Assault On Arkham is darker than normal. The black levels are a little milky at times, surprising for pristine digital animation. Aside from the two-part Dark Knight Returns, WB's recent animated films hitting straight to video are the product of standard character designs and less-than-perfect fluidity.
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post #21777 of 22111 Old 08-17-2014, 02:59 AM
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Anyone seen The Railway Man yet? Looks like a high tier contender...
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post #21778 of 22111 Old 08-17-2014, 10:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djoberg View Post
Excellent review! I agree 100% with your analysis. So, the next time Phantom does an update he can bump it up from #5 to #2 where it deserves to be placed!
Thanks. Yes I think it's clearly a bit better than Smurfs 2.
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post #21779 of 22111 Old 08-17-2014, 12:31 PM
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Quote:
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Anyone seen The Railway Man yet? Looks like a high tier contender...
I know we were sent it for review but I think Gamereviewgod took it.

Quote:
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Thanks. Yes I think it's clearly a bit better than Smurfs 2.
Speaking of Smurfs 2, it's part of a 3 for $20 deal this week at Best Buy.
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post #21780 of 22111 Old 08-17-2014, 09:29 PM
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Knights of Badassdom

recommendation: Tier 2.0*

A rather newish release, coming out in April of this year. The Indie comedy/horror is courtesy Entertainment One, providing Knights with very solid technical parameters. The only scenes that truly falter are the ones set at night. The rest looks very good, probably deserving Tier One.

It does lack top-notch detail, a result of the digital cinematography. The transfer has not been grossly tinkered with, this is crystal-clear imagery which is fairly sharp. Black levels could be better in the darkest shots but the consistent exteriors provide a pleasing contrast.
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