The New PQ Tier thread for Blu-Ray - Discussion - Page 757 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #22681 of 22688 Old 07-04-2015, 07:47 AM
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^^^^^^^

You're right Russ, but we DO have a ranking system and if a disc is given a very specific score (in this case, .75), then that's where it should go. Remember, this was placed BEFORE you weighed in. Now it could possibly go at the bottom of Tier Blu the next time Phantom does an update.

My main concern is that we have others wanting to participate and when they see that their scores may not be counted as they should, they will be discouraged and not want to participate in this thread. If you were reading this thread a month or so ago we had a member named "Toe" complaining that his vote wasn't even counted. His case was different than the one I'm calling our attention to, because in that case you had numerous people voting for a disc to be placed at the top of Tier Blu and Toe was the only vote for a much lower placement in Tier Blu. But it still illustrates that people want their vote to count.

I want to emphasize that I truly appreciate Phantom's work in this thread. Without him there would be no thread! But I want to "call a spade a spade" when it is called for, so I believe he needs to place a disc EXACTLY where it is recommended in a case like this...where every poster that weighed in gave it the EXACT SAME placement.

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post #22682 of 22688 Old 07-04-2015, 03:20 PM
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All votes have always been included and always will. Tier 0 gets a little slippery because the database software wasn't really constructed with it in mind. I am always up to fixing mistakes in the Tiers.

Enjoy the fireworks on this 4th of July!

I Origins

recommendation: Tier 2.75*

This came out last year from Fox. The presentation feels completely authentic and transparent, from a strong AVC video encode to the technically perfect and film-like transfer. For a movie revolving around the structure of the human eye, there isn't much eye candy. The gauzy cinematography has decent definition and clarity but doesn't particularly excel in any category.
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post #22683 of 22688 Old 07-04-2015, 03:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantom Stranger View Post
All votes have always been included and always will. Tier 0 gets a little slippery because the database software wasn't really constructed with it in mind. I am always up to fixing mistakes in the Tiers.
Not to "beat a dead horse" Phantom, but just how does that software work? I ask this because you seem to place the top titles right into the "spot" that they are voted into. So, what is it that causes the software to be in issue when placing titles lower in the tier? This is NOT a leading question (I'm NOT arguing!!); I'm just wanting to understand how that works.

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post #22684 of 22688 Old 07-04-2015, 04:20 PM
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The other tiers are simply sorted in alphabetical order and immune to this kind of mistake. All the Tiers are auto-generated after the placements are entered. The placement process in Tier 0 involves having to continually place new entries using decimal places inside a fixed spread. That is a manual process which can lead to the occasional error.

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post #22685 of 22688 Old 07-04-2015, 06:33 PM
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Thanks for trying to clarify that Phantom! I'm not exactly clear as to what is meant by "having to continually place new entries using decimal places inside a fixed spread," but I do know what "which can lead to an occasional error" means. Obviously when The Imitation Game was placed in Tier 0 as ".75" an error occurred, causing it to be assigned a spot right near the bottom of the tier (5 UP from the BOTTOM, to be exact).

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post #22686 of 22688 Old 07-05-2015, 09:52 PM
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Contamination

recommendation: Tier 2.5*

Arrow Video delivers a very strong film transfer for the 1980 Italian movie. Supervised by Arrow's own James White, it's a high-grade new scan from the original camera negative. This is the best the film could possibly look in 1080P resolution on Blu-ray. It is detailed, film-like and with excellent color saturation for the gushing crimson blood. This information has been included in the booklet:

Contamination is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1 with mono sound.

Contamination has been exclusively restored in 2K resolution for this release by Arrow Films. The original camera negative was scanned in 2K resolution on a pin-registered Arriscan at Immagine Ritrovata, Bologna. The film was graded on the Baselight grading system at Deluxe Restoration, London.

Some dirt, debris and scratches have been manually cleaned up using digital tools. The film elements look in very nice condition given that Contamination was a low-budget Italian knock-off. It's a stable image with crisp definition and fairly sharp video. The new color grading has definitely improved flesh-tones and overall color saturation, leaving a balanced color palette with firm contrast.

The transfer has been left unfiltered, leaving high-frequency content intact. This is a very film-like transfer with fantastic grain reproduction, aided by a stellar AVC video encode at very high parameters. Black levels have turned out reasonably well. They don't crush and shadow delineation remains fairly solid except in the darkest shots.

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post #22687 of 22688 Unread Today, 07:19 PM
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Quote:
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The Cell (Canadian import)

recommendation: Tier 2.5


Another exclusive Blu-ray courtesy of Alliance debuted on July 7, 2009 in Canada. The BD includes the 107-minute theatrical cut of the movie only. A director's cut that runs approximately two minutes longer has been available on dvd outside of North America and is not included. Like most other Blu-rays from Alliance, the main feature is encoded using AVC and on a BD-25. Resolution is also in the proper form of 1080p, an item one rarely has to worry about with other Blu-ray distributors but is an occasional problem for Alliance. The film is correctly formatted in its proper aspect ratio of 2:35:1, preserving the eye-pleasing framing and imaginative compositions of director Tarsem Singh.

Sadly the compression suffers at times. The extremely low-bitrate encode often remains stuck in the lower teens. Compression noise and banding, while not rampant, are visible on occasion and too numerous for me to point out each specific scene. Touches of macroblocking also manifest in dimly-lit scenes. Clearly a sub-par job which should not be happening this far into the Blu-ray era. The same firm that handled The Faculty Blu-ray authored The Cell, but video-bitrates looked substantially lower this time for whatever reason. No BDInfo scan exists yet for me to parse the numbers in more detail.

For a catalog title from 2000, the transfer elements look in solid, if not good, condition overall. Other than a hint of dust and the slight haze of the original photography, the picture is clean when the original photography allows. The overtly stylized fantasy-scenes do show marked differences in picture quality than what happens in the actual world. Contrast becomes much deeper and black levels get marginally crushed on purpose. The apparent grain of the opening scenes in the desert look slightly magnified by optical processes endemic to the film and the age of the master.

The Cell still looks good for the most part, though not the demonstration material I was hoping. Outside of the fantasy world the image is nicely sharp, though the color palette favors a blue-tinted shade to it that flattens the image. Inside the killer's mind is a dream-like visual experience that becomes softer with a wildly different coloring. Detail is apparent and shows no signs of having been removed by digital noise reduction. Outside of a few halos on high-contrast edges, edge enhancement is not visible.

An okay effort by Alliance, The Cell belongs somewhere in the middle of tier two. Parts of it are better than that no doubt, while certain stylized scenes would rank much lower in their own right. If the American rights were held by a studio I trust to do a great job on the transfer, I would tell you to hold off on picking up this import. But Warner Bros. simply can not be trusted in that regard and are unlikely to improve much upon the Alliance BD outside of extras.
Years after the Canadian Blu-ray was released (this review is from January...of 2010), we now finally get WB's treatment for comparison. Their competing release came out today. I did some head-to-head comparisons and I am downgrading the older Canadian BD to Tier 3.5.

The Cell

recommendation: Tier 2.5*

The Cell is a visual tour de force by director Tarsem Singh. The former music video director made a splash with the wild, surreal imagery he created for its warped reality. This new transfer from WB makes the Canadian BD obsolete in every way. Better contrast, improved color rendition, far more stable black levels, there isn't an attribute this 2015 BD doesn't improve upon. A trace of sharpening still remains but it's a minor sin when all is said and done.

There are still a few things happening in The Cell that keep it out of the higher tiers. The virtual reality inside Carl's mind is from an older era of VFX. It looks to have been done with softer optical effects, leading to very weak bouts of detail and definition. The film was made in 2000, predating the digital color grading revolution. That leads to some unusual stretches in the fantasy sequences.

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post #22688 of 22688 Unread Today, 11:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantom Stranger View Post
Years after the Canadian Blu-ray was released (this review is from January...of 2010), we now finally get WB's treatment for comparison. Their competing release came out today. I did some head-to-head comparisons and I am downgrading the older Canadian BD to Tier 3.5.

The Cell

recommendation: Tier 2.5*

The Cell is a visual tour de force by director Tarsem Singh. The former music video director made a splash with the wild, surreal imagery he created for its warped reality. This new transfer from WB makes the Canadian BD obsolete in every way. Better contrast, improved color rendition, far more stable black levels, there isn't an attribute this 2015 BD doesn't improve upon. A trace of sharpening still remains but it's a minor sin when all is said and done.

There are still a few things happening in The Cell that keep it out of the higher tiers. The virtual reality inside Carl's mind is from an older era of VFX. It looks to have been done with softer optical effects, leading to very weak bouts of detail and definition. The film was made in 2000, predating the digital color grading revolution. That leads to some unusual stretches in the fantasy sequences.
I haven't seen this film but imdb.com says "Cinematographic Process Digital Intermediate (2K) (master format)". And google has a quote from a book called "Harnessing the Technicolor Rainbow: Color Design in the 1930s" that says "The cell features fifty nine minutes of digitally graded footage..."
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