The New PQ Tier thread for Blu-Ray - Discussion - Page 758 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #22711 of 22725 Old 07-26-2015, 01:48 AM
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Dracula Untold

Very good, but not amazing. Some solid black levels (mostly). Facial details a bit lacking. Sharpness and depth reasonable but not the best. I'd hoped for just a little bit more overall.

1.75
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post #22712 of 22725 Old 07-26-2015, 07:48 PM
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Justice League: Gods and Monsters

recommendation: Tier 1.25*

Like most animated DC films, Justice League: Gods and Monsters looks incredible in 1080P resolution on Blu-ray. The sharp, angular line-work features some very interesting new character designs for Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman from Bruce Timm. Animated in colorful clarity with perfect black levels, the vivid animation looks fantastic. Warner Bros. provides a BD-50 for the relatively short 75-minute main feature. The adequate AVC video encode averages 17.92 Mbps. A touch of minor banding is visible in a couple of shots but the clean animation is presented in flawless condition directly from its digital HD master.

These direct-to-video efforts from WB and DC Comics usually share a range of common visual features. The traditional two-dimensional animation retains a hand-drawn appeal from the heroes’ comic book roots. Most of the attention and focus is provided towards getting the characters right. Facial detail tends to suffer a bit in comparison to theatrical animation. Animated using a digital ink-and-paint process, the perfect contrast and rich black levels make for a very appealing appearance in Hi-Def video. This particular movie has slightly tighter art than is the norm. The polished character designs fluidly move in space and backgrounds show a creative approach to the familiar locations of the DC Universe like Metropolis and Apokolips.

BDInfo scan:

Code:
                                                                                                                 Total   Video                                             
Title                                                            Codec   Length  Movie Size      Disc Size       Bitrate Bitrate Main  Audio Track                          Secondary Audio Track
-----                                                            ------  ------- --------------  --------------  ------- -------  ------------------                        ---------------------
00100.MPLS                                                       AVC     1:15:42 14,371,313,664  28,281,481,392  25.31   17.92   DTS-HD  Master 5.1 3761Kbps (48kHz/24-bit)

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Last edited by Phantom Stranger; 07-26-2015 at 09:30 PM.
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post #22713 of 22725 Old 07-28-2015, 11:01 AM
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It's important to specify the Blu-ray edition on the main thread's list. For example, I was quite shocked to see All Is Lost on the Gold section as what I saw, the US BD, looked absolutely awful, no grain whatsoever and huge amounts of banding, both things that greatly distracted me from enjoying the film; later, though, I found out the CEE Blu-ray looks MUCH better, grain appeared out of nowhere and not even the underwater shots seem to have banding, at least on the screenshots I saw. No idea in which side falls the Western European Blu-ray as I couldn't find a comparison.

Note: this post originally had links to screenshots but I don't have enough posts for that yet! I'd rather just rephrase my post and add links later than span some other thread for post count.

Last edited by complicity; 07-28-2015 at 11:35 AM.
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post #22714 of 22725 Old 07-28-2015, 11:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by complicity View Post
It's important to specify the Blu-ray edition on the main thread's list. For example, I was quite shocked to see All Is Lost on the Gold section as what I saw looked absolutely awful, no grain whatsoever and huge amounts o banding, both things that greatly distracted me from enjoying the film; later, though, I found out the CEE Blu-ray looks MUCH better, grain appeared out of nowhere and not even the underwater shots seem to have banding, at least on the screenshots I saw. No idea in which side falls the Western European Blu-ray as I couldn't find a comparison.

Note: this post originally had links to screenshots but I don't have enough posts for that yet! I'd rather just rephrase my post and add links later than span some other thread for post count.
can't edit my post but what I originally saw was the US BD.
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post #22715 of 22725 Old 07-28-2015, 11:31 AM
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If there are no other notations marking something as a special edition or import, one should assume the listed BD is the standard American version. I do my very best to keep each listing differentiated by studio and other vital characteristics.

It was easier to keep track of this when the format was relatively new, since most movies hadn't been issued again and again in different configurations. Some movies have a rash of different versions, some with different transfers and some with identical transfers. Stargate is one such animal.

When checking out a specific movie's placement, I recommend searching on the movie in the thread itself for further clarification.

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post #22716 of 22725 Old 07-28-2015, 11:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantom Stranger View Post
If there are no other notations marking something as a special edition or import, one should assume the listed BD is the standard American version. I do my very best to keep each listing differentiated by studio and other vital characteristics.

It was easier to keep track of this when the format was relatively new, since most movies hadn't been issued again and again in different configurations. Some movies have a rash of different versions, some with different transfers and some with identical transfers. Stargate is one such animal.

When checking out a specific movie's placement, I recommend searching on the movie in the thread itself for further clarification.
Well, that's what I assumed but as I said the US BD looks absolutely awful. I can post links now, so here are comparisons:

US vs CEE
US vs CEE
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post #22717 of 22725 Old 07-28-2015, 11:41 AM
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What is this CEE edition? I don't know what those initials mean. Where is it from? When I checked, Lionsgate has only issued All Is Lost one time in America.

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post #22718 of 22725 Old 07-28-2015, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Phantom Stranger View Post
What is this CEE edition? I don't know what those initials mean. Where is it from? When I checked, Lionsgate has only issued All Is Lost one time in America.
Central and Eastern Europe. No idea which specific country it actually is from, sadly.
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post #22719 of 22725 Old 07-28-2015, 12:04 PM
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Thanks. Checking here, I believe that could be the disc issued by Universal in several different European countries. Lionsgate's Blu-rays are routinely beaten in A/V quality by competing versions from other studios.

http://www.dvdcompare.net/comparison....php?fid=26595

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post #22720 of 22725 Old 07-28-2015, 05:41 PM
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Catacombs

recommendation: Tier 2.25*

This is part of a recent double-feature from Scream Factory, sharing a single BD-50 with Cellar Dweller. The 1988 horror movie has received a new film transfer from impressive looking elements. Some minor compression issues in the AVC video encode actually hold it back from a higher placement. The video quality is quite nice for this forgotten feature. I was very impressed with its contrast and gamma, striking a nice tonality for the strong color palette.

The film transfer is unprocessed and includes rather pleasing clarity for a low-budget film of this period. The film-like presentation is ever so slightly windowboxed in its proper 1.78:1 aspect ratio.

BDInfo:

Code:
                                                                                                                 Total   Video                                             
Title                                                            Codec   Length  Movie Size      Disc Size       Bitrate Bitrate Main  Audio Track                          Secondary Audio Track
-----                                                            ------  ------- --------------  --------------  ------- -------  ------------------                        ---------------------
00004.MPLS                                                       AVC     1:28:29 20,757,166,080  36,370,960,487  31.28   25.79   DTS-HD  Master 2.0 1643Kbps (48kHz/24-bit) DTS-HD Master 2.0 1977Kbps  (48kHz/24-bit)

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post #22721 of 22725 Old 07-30-2015, 06:41 PM
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Blast From the Past

recommendation: Tier 2.5*

The 1999 romantic comedy starring Brendan Fraser and Alicia Silverstone receives a solid new transfer from well-kept film elements. WB provides a technically capable AVC video encode that transparently renders the light, slightly filtered grain structure without incident. A hint of video processing is evident late in the movie as halos make an appearance. Overall clarity and definition are quite good for catalog fare. The 2.40:1 widescreen presentation is fairly crisp in 1080P resolution. A few scenes fall curiously flat in color rendition. The contrast does become darker with denser black levels as the setting shifts to modern-day L.A.

Fine detail remains average in scope and its flesh-tones aren't overly waxy. Likely earning a 2K film scan from the negative, Blast From the Past arrives on Blu-ray in a fine debut that should please fans.

BDInfo scan:

Code:
                                                                                                                 Total   Video                                             
Title                                                            Codec   Length  Movie Size      Disc Size       Bitrate Bitrate Main  Audio Track                          Secondary Audio Track
-----                                                            ------  ------- --------------  --------------  ------- -------  ------------------                        ---------------------
00100.MPLS                                                       AVC     1:52:06 27,786,608,640  28,461,368,640  33.05   27.92   DTS-HD  Master 5.1 2304Kbps (48kHz/24-bit)

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post #22722 of 22725 Old Yesterday, 07:47 PM
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^^^^^^

Thanks for the review Phantom AND for whetting my appetite for Blast From the Past. This has been one of my favorite comedies of all time and yet I never did purchase the DVD. With your positive remarks about the PQ I'm definitely going to get it!

My wife and I are leaving on vacation early Sunday and won't be back until the following Sunday night. Then two weeks later we leave for another week. This has been one of our busiest summers (the beautiful weather we've been having is a BIG contributing factor to our being busy!) and my Blu-ray viewing has suffered as a result. We also have an International trip planned for either October or December and a trip out east in November. I feel bad that I'm not participating on a regular basis these days but I'm glad that "Old Faithful" (that's YOU Phantom! ) has been so diligent.

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post #22723 of 22725 Old Yesterday, 08:45 PM
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Enjoy the summer weather while you can, djoberg. The PQ Tiers are always less active in the summer. Don't feel guilty about vacationing, I know the weather where you live can get rough in the winter.

I did discover something that might explain certain scenes falling flat in Blast From the Past. Apparently the 112-minute version found on the Blu-ray is a longer cut which includes several deleted scenes that weren't on international releases of the film. When New Line released this movie initially on DVD, it was the same 112-minute version. WB did a nice job in the A/V department for this BD.

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post #22724 of 22725 Old Yesterday, 11:40 PM
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John Wick

recommendation: Tier 1.25

I promise I didn't check John Wick's current placement before coming to this conclusion on my own. Already ranked by others in Tier 1.25, the action movie has razor-sharp video but a couple of things holding it back from Tier 0 in my estimation. Ultimate resolution is a little disappointing since the camera scrupulously avoids tighter close-ups.

There are some strange issues in the cinematography, particularly what look like shots done by the second unit. Focal issues and other issues come into play. I discovered this article interviewing the film's cinematographer, explaining how he combined anamorphic with spherical lenses using the ALEXA XT camera. I am not sure it was a success if maximum video quality was his aim.

http://www.arri.com/news/news/alexa-xt-on-john-wick/

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post #22725 of 22725 Old Today, 01:09 PM
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Really don't think The Tree of Life should be on the zero tier, the space-and-nature sequence has some very nasty banding.
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