The New PQ Tier thread for Blu-Ray - Discussion - Page 732 - AVS Forum
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post #21931 of 21958 Old 10-12-2014, 04:43 PM
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Edge of Tomorrow

Here is yet another demo release, although in my first viewing I'm inclined to put it towards the bottom of Tier Gold. (I must confess that the nature of the film, with its "twists and turns" and fast-paced action scenes, demanded my attention to the point where I wasn't focusing on the PQ like I normally am. I promise to pay FULL attention to the PQ on my next viewing.)

Despite my "confession" above, I did see enough to draw some fair conclusions. DETAILS were far and away the best virtue on display, whether we're talking facial close-ups, clothing, weaponry, flying debris (in multiple explosions), etc. SHARPNESS came next, though I must say there were several instances of softness where depth also suffered. BLACK LEVELS were satisfying but there were a couple of dark scenes where they veered into the "gray zone" (in both the picture on and the top & bottom bars). FLESH TONES were good. COLORS were pleasing when primaries appeared, but the majority of the film features strong blue hues or de-saturated colors.

Having just watched Transformers: Age of Extinction, where EVERYTHING was nearly flawless and pure eye candy, I am compelled, in comparing the two, to drop this one a whole tier from that placement. In other words, I'm going with....

Tier Recommendation: 1.5*

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

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post #21932 of 21958 Old 10-13-2014, 01:35 PM
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Great review Denny, we got a UK release here today so I'm picking it up this week! Disappointed it didn't make it into Tier 0 but 1.5 is still a solid score

I also have a review pending for The Railway Man so stay tuned.....
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post #21933 of 21958 Old 10-13-2014, 03:41 PM
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Thanks Russ!

I'll be looking forward to your review on The Railway Man.

I have Captain America coming up next and then the new X-Men.

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post #21934 of 21958 Old 10-13-2014, 04:22 PM
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Am I the only one who felt AMAZING SPIDERMAN 2 is soft?

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post #21935 of 21958 Old 10-13-2014, 04:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davcole View Post
Am I the only one who felt AMAZING SPIDERMAN 2 is soft?

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I thought it was "sharp as a tack" with the exception of a couple of CGI shots where softness did appear.

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post #21936 of 21958 Old 10-13-2014, 05:22 PM
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I'll definitely be checking out the new X-Men this week.

The Scribbler

recommendation: Tier 2.75*

This new BD from XLrator Media comes on a BD-25, encoded at decent parameters. Shot on the RED digital camera, there is some scattered noise and occasionally crushed black levels. This is a psychotic, mind-bending superhero film, so everything has a colored, almost psychedelic tint to its look. The transfer is free of processing except for Scribbler's CGI. Close-ups exhibit excellent detail and pinpoint sharpness. Wider shots are a little softer and more erratic.

Independent productions are always so hit-or-miss but I think everything on display in The Scribbler was consciously intended by its filmmakers. This is a satisfactory 1080P presentation of average quality.
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post #21937 of 21958 Old 10-13-2014, 07:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djoberg View Post
Edge of Tomorrow

Here is yet another demo release, although in my first viewing I'm inclined to put it towards the bottom of Tier Gold. (I must confess that the nature of the film, with its "twists and turns" and fast-paced action scenes, demanded my attention to the point where I wasn't focusing on the PQ like I normally am. I promise to pay FULL attention to the PQ on my next viewing.)

Despite my "confession" above, I did see enough to draw some fair conclusions. DETAILS were far and away the best virtue on display, whether we're talking facial close-ups, clothing, weaponry, flying debris (in multiple explosions), etc. SHARPNESS came next, though I must say there were several instances of softness where depth also suffered. BLACK LEVELS were satisfying but there were a couple of dark scenes where they veered into the "gray zone" (in both the picture on and the top & bottom bars). FLESH TONES were good. COLORS were pleasing when primaries appeared, but the majority of the film features strong blue hues or de-saturated colors.

Having just watched Transformers: Age of Extinction, where EVERYTHING was nearly flawless and pure eye candy, I am compelled, in comparing the two, to drop this one a whole tier from that placement. In other words, I'm going with....

Tier Recommendation: 1.5*

Viewed from 7.5' using the equipment listed below....
Thanks Denny. Sorry for an off topic question, but I am curious what you thought of the audio/LFE? A lot of folks are loving this track and curious to get your take on it if you don't mind. I have my copy sitting here, but wont get to it until probably Fri.

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post #21938 of 21958 Old 10-13-2014, 07:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toe View Post
Thanks Denny. Sorry for an off topic question, but I am curious what you thought of the audio/LFE? A lot of folks are loving this track and curious to get your take on it if you don't mind. I have my copy sitting here, but wont get to it until probably Fri.
Hey Toe,

I have no idea what hindered me from commenting on the audio in my review, for it was positively stellar! I had heard from various reviews (and the Master Bass Thread) about the amazing opening with some very strong LFE lasting up to 10 seconds, so I "cautiously" set my receiver at -14 (instead of my normal setting of beween reference and -10). It was indeed a "house-shaking" event (not "room-shaking," but "house-shaking"), so, with my wife one level above me I decided to keep the volume at that setting. I was satisfied on every level, with pleasing bass/LFE throughout, precise and enveloping action in the surrounds, and crystal-clear clarity in the center channel.

Having said that, I do wish I had been alone, for I would have possibly turned the volume to near reference after the first 30 seconds. My wife is leaving for Minneapolis on Friday so maybe I'll give it another viewing then and crank that baby up!! Also, I was truly thankful for the performance of my SVS sub, for even though there was plenty of serious LFE it never distorted or seemed to be stressing. Of course it does have a limiter on it and I'm glad it does. I can only imagine how well your multiple SVS subs are going to sound!

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post #21939 of 21958 Old 10-13-2014, 07:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djoberg View Post
Hey Toe,

I have no idea what hindered me from commenting on the audio in my review, for it was positively stellar! I had heard from various reviews (and the Master Bass Thread) about the amazing opening with some very strong LFE lasting up to 10 seconds, so I "cautiously" set my receiver at -14 (instead of my normal setting of beween reference and -10). It was indeed a "house-shaking" event (not "room-shaking," but "house-shaking"), so, with my wife one level above me I decided to keep the volume at that setting. I was satisfied on every level, with pleasing bass/LFE throughout, precise and enveloping action in the surrounds, and crystal-clear clarity in the center channel.

Having said that, I do wish I had been alone, for I would have possibly turned the volume to near reference after the first 30 seconds. My wife is leaving for Minneapolis on Friday so maybe I'll give it another viewing then and crank that baby up!! Also, I was truly thankful for the performance of my SVS sub, for even though there was plenty of serious LFE it never distorted or seemed to be stressing. Of course it does have a limiter on it and I'm glad it does. I can only imagine how well your multiple SVS subs are going to sound!
Thanks for the great report! Looking forward to the movie and A/V.

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post #21940 of 21958 Old 10-15-2014, 10:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djoberg View Post
Edge of Tomorrow

Here is yet another demo release, although in my first viewing I'm inclined to put it towards the bottom of Tier Gold. (I must confess that the nature of the film, with its "twists and turns" and fast-paced action scenes, demanded my attention to the point where I wasn't focusing on the PQ like I normally am. I promise to pay FULL attention to the PQ on my next viewing.)

Despite my "confession" above, I did see enough to draw some fair conclusions. DETAILS were far and away the best virtue on display, whether we're talking facial close-ups, clothing, weaponry, flying debris (in multiple explosions), etc. SHARPNESS came next, though I must say there were several instances of softness where depth also suffered. BLACK LEVELS were satisfying but there were a couple of dark scenes where they veered into the "gray zone" (in both the picture on and the top & bottom bars). FLESH TONES were good. COLORS were pleasing when primaries appeared, but the majority of the film features strong blue hues or de-saturated colors.

Having just watched Transformers: Age of Extinction, where EVERYTHING was nearly flawless and pure eye candy, I am compelled, in comparing the two, to drop this one a whole tier from that placement. In other words, I'm going with....

Tier Recommendation: 1.5*

Viewed from 7.5' using the equipment listed below....
Disappointed...was hoping for tier 0 on this one.
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post #21941 of 21958 Old 10-15-2014, 10:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davcole View Post
Am I the only one who felt AMAZING SPIDERMAN 2 is soft?

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I wasn't overly impressed with this title either. A bit soft yes.
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post #21942 of 21958 Old 10-15-2014, 11:14 AM
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This doesn't directly pertain to the Tiers but I would like everyone to know that noted British distributor Arrow Video is attempting the opening of an American branch. The first announced BDs are Mark of The Devil, Day of Anger, Blind Woman's Curse, and The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Miss Osbourne. Arrow is known in the UK as a fine purveyor of cult and genre movies.

Arrow has decided to crowdfund this venture using a Kickstarter approach:

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/arrow-video-usa

After a rocky start on Blu-ray, they have shown an increased commitment in recent years to newly-struck film transfers from the best available elements. They've also abandoned using filtering and other forms of serious processing in the transfers they control. They've turned out a number of quality-looking catalog BDs in the past year, including a new Time Bandits transfer.
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post #21943 of 21958 Old 10-15-2014, 12:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wattheF View Post
Disappointed...was hoping for tier 0 on this one.
Your viewing experience may differ from mine (as it did with your take on The Amazing Spider-Man 2), so give it a chance and then weigh in. Having said that, I did rate it 1.5 and that's NOT a shabby placement. I have a lot of Tier 1 Blus in my Blu-ray library and I often use them for showing off the virtues of HD on Blu-ray.

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post #21944 of 21958 Old 10-15-2014, 02:52 PM
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Edge of Tommorow

Reminded me of Elysium in parts - high resolution and lots of detail, especially in the armour suits. Mid range shots sometimes flagged but they occupied a small portion of the film. Loved the slightly muted colour scheme in daytime scenes -Felt this allowed all that detail to flourish.
Not quite tier 0 but definitely not dissappointing!

Tier 1.0
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post #21945 of 21958 Old 10-16-2014, 08:05 PM
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Captain America: The Winter Soldier

We have ANOTHER WINNER folks!! By "winner" I mean another serious contender for Tier Blu or Tier Gold. Personally I think it's a shoe-in for the one of these with its dazzling clarity/sharpness, exquisite details, vibrant colors, accurate flesh tones, and deep blacks. This was free of any artifacts or anomalies of any kind, with the exception of some soft focus shots (the first one being at approximately the 36 minute mark in the apartment of Steve Rogers) that were rare and short-lived.

In comparing this with two recent outings (Transformers: Age of Extinction and Edge of Tomorrow), I'd say this should land somewhere in the middle of their placements. I gave the former a Tier 0 (.5) and the latter a 1.5, so I'm inclined to put this right here....

Tier Recommendation: 1.0*

Viewed from 7.5' using the equipment listed below....
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Last edited by djoberg; 10-17-2014 at 07:10 PM. Reason: I'm changing my placement recommendation!
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post #21946 of 21958 Old 10-16-2014, 08:14 PM
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I hope to watch X-Men: Days of Future Past tomorrow night. I have a strong feeling I'm in for "yet another" top tier Blu-ray! Of course I'm speaking of its PQ, but the AQ has also been amazing in the three Blus mentioned above and reviewers are singing the praises of the X-Men release for its stellar audio track. On top of that, the movies themselves have been very good, except for Transformers (though I did find it the best out of the franchise).
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post #21947 of 21958 Old 10-16-2014, 09:43 PM
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I've heard a lot about X-Men being great, so I will watch it this weekend.
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post #21948 of 21958 Old 10-17-2014, 07:19 AM
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I'll look forward to your review Phantom!

I'm having second thoughts regarding my placement of Captain America. I might have gone too high considering the number of soft shots sprinkled throughout the movie. I recall a scene being as sharp as possible and then softness would intrude in the next shot. It was very obvious, such as the scene in the apartment of Steve Rogera (aka Captain America) that I referred to in my review.

I want to hear from others on this title, but right now I'm thinking I wouldn't be surprised if others give a it a low Tier 0 or even a 1.0.

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Last edited by djoberg; 10-17-2014 at 12:36 PM.
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post #21949 of 21958 Old 10-17-2014, 07:27 AM
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The Fault in Our Stars

Tier Recommendation: Tier 1.0


Others may put this obvious tearjerker into Tier 0 and I wouldn't blame them...in fact, what I initially thought was banding turned out to be a thin layer of clouds in the night sky (which became obvious in different shots of the stars). Otherwise, the image is bright, artifact free, and sharp and textured almost to a fault - one character kept wearing this leather-type jacket that made me eye the textures the entire time instead of paying attention to this dialogue heavy film.

I watched this movie because I enjoyed the book and while the movie got both my gf and my parents (yes, my dad cried) - I didn't feel that it had the same emotional impact as the book.

Either way, if you're at all interested in the genre, I'd give this one a look because it looks really phenomenal.

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post #21950 of 21958 Old 10-17-2014, 07:31 AM
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X-Men Days of Future Past 3D

Tier Recommendation: Tier 1.0


Most of this film is beautifully shot and I'm wondering if it wouldn't be a Tier Blu contender but for the fact that 3D has a tendency to soften some shots. However, the 3D effects were quite good and I'm not sure if I'll take the time to watch the 2D version (I leave that to the more experienced hands--and eyes--of djoberg and phantom) because the 3D really added to the cinematic experience.

I'm looking forward to other people's reviews...and it should be noted that the soundtrack is a downmix from a theatrical Atmos track, so there is lots of directionality and lots of use for all channels--very similar to Gravity and the new Transformers in that regard.
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post #21951 of 21958 Old 10-17-2014, 10:18 AM
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Batman: The Brave and the Bold (The Complete Second Season)

recommendation: Tier 1.25*

Warner Archive rescues this excellent cartoon for release in a limited edition Blu-ray set. These episodes, spread over two BD-50s, were originally broadcast on Cartoon Network back in 2009. The animation is reasonably polished, producing a vibrant, crisp palette with wonderful black levels. The digital transfer is a quality one, encoded at moderate compression parameters without introducing significant artifacting. A touch of banding is endemic to the original animation's solid backgrounds, though it is a fairly rare sight.

Some animated programs don't look much better on Blu-ray in 1080P than they did during broadcast at 1080i resolution. This is not the case here, Batman: The Brave and the Bold benefits quite nicely from this higher quality presentation with improved chroma resolution and better depth. I'm very glad to own it on home video in a format that perfectly preserves the digital masters for posterity.
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post #21952 of 21958 Old 10-17-2014, 12:42 PM
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Quote:
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X-Men Days of Future Past 3D

Tier Recommendation: Tier 1.0


Most of this film is beautifully shot and I'm wondering if it wouldn't be a Tier Blu contender but for the fact that 3D has a tendency to soften some shots. However, the 3D effects were quite good and I'm not sure if I'll take the time to watch the 2D version (I leave that to the more experienced hands--and eyes--of djoberg and phantom) because the 3D really added to the cinematic experience.

I'm looking forward to other people's reviews...and it should be noted that the soundtrack is a downmix from a theatrical Atmos track, so there is lots of directionality and lots of use for all channels--very similar to Gravity and the new Transformers in that regard.
You've really whetted my appetite for this title! In "most" cases the 2D version will be better than the 3D, especially in the area you noted (i.e. soft shots in the 3D version vs. the 2D version).

I was glad to read that X-Men had a Dolby Atmos track in the theaters, for my experience with the downmix track of Transformers was great...it sounded better than any other Dolby TrueHD or DTS Master Audio track that I can recall.
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post #21953 of 21958 Old 10-17-2014, 07:07 PM
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X-Men: Days of Future Past

I'm going to cut to the chase. This was another STUNNING Blu-ray and was equal to or greater than Captain America: The Winter Soldier. I say greater based on three things: 1) It didn't have distracting softness creeping in (this is the 2D version, so it looks like it is superior to its 3D counterpart); and 2) Sharpness and details were more plentiful in this title; and 3) Black levels were absolutely exemplary in every scene, and my black bars blended right into my KURO's bezel). I really loved the colors too, which seemed to a be a tad more bold (wait until you see Mystique's blue suit and red hair....WOW!!).

Okay, so I had placed Captain America: The Winter Soldier at Tier 0 (.75). I'd like to change that placement to 1.0 and put this Blu in the Tier 0 (.75) spot.

The audio was phenomenal!! I had my volume at -10 and it was Audio Nirvana on every level....amazing precision in the surrounds, crystal-clear clarity in the center channel, and mind-blowing bass/LFE in my sub.

Tier Recommendation: Tier 0* (.75)

Viewed from 7.5' using the equipment listed below....
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post #21954 of 21958 Old 10-17-2014, 07:12 PM
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I forgot to add, for those who are fans of the X-Men franchise, this is clearly the BEST ONE in my humble opinion! I loved every minute of it!!
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post #21955 of 21958 Old 10-18-2014, 01:36 AM
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Looks like we are being very spoilt of late!.....or is it a case of BR finally hitting its intended stride!?
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post #21956 of 21958 Old 10-18-2014, 12:39 PM
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X-Men: Days of Future Past

recommendation: Tier 1.0*

I am of two minds on this disc from Fox. Roughly fifty percent of it landed in Tier 0, rendered in stunning, unfiltered detail. Given the huge amount of VFX and CGI, it surpassed my PQ expectations. The other fifty percent of the movie was closer to Tier 1.25/1.5, which still signifies it as a quality presentation. I ended up splitting the difference and ranking it in Tier 1.0, though I have no problem if the final verdict lands X-Men: Days of Future Past in the highest Tier.

I also got around to watching The LEGO Movie on Blu-ray, though I come here to find out its current rank in the middle of Tier 0 is very close to where I would have figured it.
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post #21957 of 21958 Old 10-19-2014, 08:06 AM
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What's with the weird motion artifacts in XMen? Reminds me of the early days of films shot on video.

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post #21958 of 21958 Old 10-19-2014, 06:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davcole View Post
What's with the weird motion artifacts in XMen? Reminds me of the early days of films shot on video.
To which artifacts do you speak? The scenes in the future were practically all CGI sets from what I could tell, with green-screen work.
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