The New PQ Tier thread for Blu-Ray - Discussion - Page 780 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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Blu-ray Software > The New PQ Tier thread for Blu-Ray - Discussion
Phantom Stranger's Avatar Phantom Stranger 11:15 PM 09-16-2016
Quote:
Originally Posted by djoberg View Post
Money Monster

Sony keeps rolling out the "lookers," with Money Monster featuring exquisite details and depth with exceptional clarity. Flesh tones and contrast are also spot-on, along with velvety blacks and finely-rendered shadow details. If I had any nitpicks, it would be with a few fleeting soft shots and a less-than-stellar color palette. Facial texture was excellent "at times," but not up there with the reference quality titles. This is easily demo material though, and IMHO it should be near the top of Tier Gold...

Tier Recommendation: 1.25*
What did you think of Money Monster as a movie, is it worth a look?

We haven't gotten one of these in a while...

Atroz

recommendaton: Tier 5*

Atroz is an extreme Mexican horror film that got American distribution. The PQ Tiers doesn't see too many scores this low. I guess people are too busy watching high-caliber discs that rank higher. Atroz is a low-budget, independent film from Mexico.

More importantly for its picture quality, most of its 79-minute running time is shown as rough, found-footage video of two killers filming themselves on a camcorder. That translates into wildly erratic, inconsistent results. A few sharp scenes can't make up for blurry shots with limited resolution and clarity.

tcramer's Avatar tcramer 06:04 AM 09-17-2016
Quote:
Originally Posted by djoberg View Post
Money Monster

Sony keeps rolling out the "lookers," with Money Monster featuring exquisite details and depth with exceptional clarity. Flesh tones and contrast are also spot-on, along with velvety blacks and finely-rendered shadow details. If I had any nitpicks, it would be with a few fleeting soft shots and a less-than-stellar color palette. Facial texture was excellent "at times," but not up there with the reference quality titles. This is easily demo material though, and IMHO it should be near the top of Tier Gold...

Tier Recommendation: 1.25*
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantom Stranger View Post
What did you think of Money Monster as a movie, is it worth a look?

I actually just saw Money Monster last night as well. I'd have to agree with djoberg on the ranking, some very good scenes but overall enough softness to keep it in the gold tier.

It was an interesting movie, I'd say definitely worth a look. For what it's worth, I gave it 4 stars on Netflix.
djoberg's Avatar djoberg 07:38 AM 09-17-2016
Phantom,

I agree with tcramer; it is an interesting movie. It's definitely worth renting. I will say that I could have done without the pervasive language.
djoberg's Avatar djoberg 07:43 PM 09-17-2016
Miracles from Heaven

I hope this isn't a problem, but I'm starting to EXPECT reference or demo material (for my last 15-20 viewings have been worthy of the top two tiers)!

My last outing lacked in the COLOR category....not this one! Colors were vibrant and punchy....they were "natural-looking" most of the time, but there were shots where they appeared to be over-saturated. Whatever the case...they looked mighty fine! DETAILS were exemplary, especially facial texture. There was a shot of Jennifer Garner from the side and you could see every fine hair on her chin (I call it "peach fuzz"), and there were plenty of close-ups of her to show off her beautiful (albeit aging) skin. DEPTH was limitless at times. BLACKS were very impressive when they were on display...I recall at least two nighttime scenes "on the farm" where the sky was jet-black and it only made everything else around the farmyard stand out and yell...EYE CANDY! This one was quite SHARP as well, though there were a couple of soft shots that crept in out of nowhere; thankfully they were short-lived. FLESH TONES were, for the most part, spot-on accurate, though when the color palette looked saturated they had somewhat of a red push.

During most of the film I kept saying to myself, "I'm voting for Tier 0 (.75) on this release," but as I sat down to write my "conservative side" nudged me and said, "Be safe, and vote for the top of Tier 1." So, that's what I'm doing....

Tier Recommendation: 1.0*
Phantom Stranger's Avatar Phantom Stranger 02:13 PM 09-18-2016
I hear you, Denny. I almost expect Tier One these days for any new production from Hollywood. I remember the days when the majority of my viewing would have not graded out higher than Tier 3. We've come a long way on the format's potential.

Selector Infected WIXOSS: The Complete First Season

recommendation: Tier 2.0*

This anime series was put out by Funimation in a two-disc set. Like many American releases of licensed anime content, some minor compression issues arise. The AVC video encode is fully transparent most of the time but occasionally introduces faint posterization.

On the positive side of the ledger, black levels are perfect and colors pop with deep saturation. The actual animation offers nicely polished character designs and detailed backgrounds.
Phantom Stranger's Avatar Phantom Stranger 04:53 PM 09-20-2016
The Horrible Dr. Hichcock

recommendation: Tier 4.5*

Olive Films puts out this 1962 Italian production starring Barbara Steele on a BD-25. Alas, they dig up a fairly antiquated telecine transfer from Paramount's vaults. The Technicolor film as seen here has limited color saturation and murky shadow delineation. Merely adequate levels of definition and detail smear the film's native grain structure.

Some edge enhancement with halos are noticeable. The picture is soft and muddy, though the film elements are largely undamaged. I've seen worse vintage catalog transfers but a new HD transfer would have turned out much better.
Phantom Stranger's Avatar Phantom Stranger 11:30 AM 09-23-2016
Mankillers

recommendation: Tier 5*

Mankillers has possibly the worst picture quality seen on the Blu-ray format. Olive Films is upfront about their source for this "HD" transfer on the packaging. Licensed from Slasher Video, the only available working materials for Mankillers is a PAL Beta SP videotape. Yes, you read that right. They took a rough, analog videotape with resolution far below 1080P and put it out on Blu-ray.

The 1987 low-budget movie was made for the VHS rental market of its day. Originally filmed in 35mm, those negatives are apparently long gone. What is left is a PAL videotape misframed at 1.33:1.

Is this unwatchable? No, there is a fuzzy sense of nostalgia seeing a film in this quality. It's the type of movie one would have seen on the UHF broadcast channels back in the day. There is enough clarity for a serviceable, if very limited, presentation.
djoberg's Avatar djoberg 09:37 PM 09-24-2016
Now You See Me 2

It's time to "balance the scales" after Phantom's last two viewings that landed in the bottom of the barrel!

This release is yet another Blu that will easily land on your demo shelf. It has incredible details throughout, whether we're talking closeups of actors' faces (I've said it before, and I'll say it again...Morgan Freeman's face was made for HD!!), clothing, city streets, or the many aerial views of Manhattan, Macau, or London (night time views were especially a visual feast). Depth was also a highlight in numerous scenes. Colors were a mixed bag, with some "muted" and others "bold and vibrant" (most notably those in Macau). Black levels were, in the majority of its many night time scenes, deep and inky. Shadow details were also pure EYE CANDY. Contrast was strong...flesh tones were very good...clarity was topnotch.

Okay, I would be remiss if I didn't mention what I didn't like. In the first few scenes I was underwhelmed with some low-lit interior scenes that became rather "murky" and "soft." There was also a couple of short night time shots where the blacks faltered, resulting in a lack of detail and depth. But thankfully these were limited to those first scenes, for after those I was completely satisfied until the "credits starting to roll." Again, this is demo-material, for sure...and my vote goes for the top of the demo tier....

Tier Recommendation: 1.0*
Phantom Stranger's Avatar Phantom Stranger 10:41 AM 09-27-2016
Johnny Guitar: Olive Signature Edition

recommendation: Tier 1.75*

Olive Films releases their finest transfer yet in Johnny Guitar’s new Signature edition and it’s a beauty. A new 4K film scan from the original negatives has produced gorgeous results in this wonderful restoration. This is some of the most colorful, stunning picture quality seen from a Western made before the 1960s.

The 110-minute main feature is presented at 1.66:1. The extremely high AVC video encode is perfectly transparent without artifacts, included on a BD-50. Olive Films and Paramount deserve kudos for giving us this transfer on Blu-ray. It makes the original Blu-ray of Johnny Guitar look obsolete by comparison.

The film elements have been carefully restored to immaculate condition. Crisp texture, strong detail, and sharp definition give Johnny Guitar an extremely faithful presentation. This new transfer also boasts some of the finest color timing work I’ve seen on vintage film. Johnny Guitar was filmed in Trucolor. Trucolor was a color motion picture process used and owned by Consolidated Film Industries mostly for its Westerns, a division of Republic Pictures. Its vivid color saturation and accurate flesh-tones come to life in this 1080P video.

The cinematography offers masterful composition. Ray had a background in architecture and his work has a strong sense of geometry and space. Lit in that clean Hollywood style of the classic studio era, the Western was consciously made brighter than normal with a deeper palette. The consistent contrast and superb black levels are pitch-perfect for this material. Colors are crisply rendered.

This signature edition boasts one of the stronger 4K transfers on the market. A small touch of processing doesn’t affect the video’s inherent detail, leaving a beautifully film-like presentation loaded with high-frequency content. Some scenes project outstanding depth and dimension for any era, much less a 1954 production. This is must-see quality for vintage film lovers and a new reference standard for older Westerns.

Long-time readers of this thread should know where to find screenshots that help show how Johnny Guitar has turned out in this new 4K restoration.
CCsoftball7's Avatar CCsoftball7 11:08 AM 09-27-2016
I have a feeling The Shallows is going to be a winner. The UHD version is absolutely stunning.
Phantom Stranger's Avatar Phantom Stranger 11:14 AM 09-27-2016
Quote:
Originally Posted by CCsoftball7 View Post
I have a feeling The Shallows is going to be a winner. The UHD version is absolutely stunning.
The Shallows is on my radar now, thanks.
CCsoftball7's Avatar CCsoftball7 11:19 AM 09-27-2016
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantom Stranger View Post
The Shallows is on my radar now, thanks.
It evidently uses a lot of natural light. I think it will rival The Revenant in many respects. I only watched the first 15 minutes or so, but there blues in the water, the bright colors on her wetsuit (under water), the rainbow colors in the waves were all able to be seen in the UHD. I could not see the same the the 1080p version.
Phantom Stranger's Avatar Phantom Stranger 11:34 AM 09-27-2016
Quote:
Originally Posted by CCsoftball7 View Post
It evidently uses a lot of natural light. I think it will rival The Revenant in many respects. I only watched the first 15 minutes or so, but there blues in the water, the bright colors on her wetsuit (under water), the rainbow colors in the waves were all able to be seen in the UHD. I could not see the same the the 1080p version.
Sony has been working with 4K masters longer than the other studios. It wouldn't surprise me if their UHDs turn out better in these initial waves.
djoberg's Avatar djoberg 08:40 PM 09-27-2016
Quote:
Originally Posted by CCsoftball7 View Post
I have a feeling The Shallows is going to be a winner. The UHD version is absolutely stunning.
You have surely "whetted my appetite" for this UHD release. FYI, AVS's "resident reviewer" (Ralph Potts) has given the UHD version a perfect score of 100 for Picture Quality. Here is his review:

The Shallows Ultra HD Blu-ray Review
Phantom Stranger's Avatar Phantom Stranger 04:44 PM Yesterday
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantom Stranger View Post
Transformers: The Movie (1986) (region-free UK edition)

recommendation: Tier 1.75*

Aside from unusual blurring in a couple of short scenes, this long out-of-print BD from the UK looks quite impressive. I had intended to purchase this one a few years ago but only recently acquired it, as its rarity on the used market has driven up prices for it. Decades before Michael Bay would mess with Decepticons waging war on the Autobots, the cartoon series had its own animated theatrical release in 1986. The classic cel animation holds up quite well, an argument could be made this is easily one of the stronger animated film transfers from the Eighties. There is very little room left for visual improvement, this BD preserves the original integrity of the animation to a very high degree. A couple of small errors could be fixed but we are seeing vintage animation brimming with vitality. It's a shame no one has bothered releasing this film in the United States on Blu-ray.

Released by British distributor Metrodome as a region-free BD in the UK, the 85-minute main feature is showcased in a 1080p presentation that really pops with nice colors and fantastic clarity. There are clear remnants of a few debris particles, reminding us this is cel animation made before the advent of digital scanning. The transfer is completely unprocessed, we are getting a high-quality image harvest without filtering or halos. First released in 2007, I suppose the transfer had been recently struck at the time from the camera negative.

The video encode is in the older MPEG-2 technology at moderate bitrates in the twenties. Transformers' bold animation must compress very well since there aren't a trace of artifacts. The video encode perfectly replicates the fine grain structure and nuances of the animation.

I was a little leery of this older Blu-ray's quality before seeing it, especially considering how quickly it went out of print. After enjoying the video quality immensely, this is one BD that definitely qualifies for Tier One. I wish I could rank it higher but there are some limitations inherent to the animation.
Unfortunately I am one of those restless sorts always looking for better video quality, so I have purchased this movie once again.

The Transformers: The Movie (animated)

recommendation: Tier 1.5*

Shout Factory recently put out this 30th anniversary edition of the animated film. They struck a new transfer and have given it an excellent presentation. Originally released in 1986, the cel animation holds up remarkably well in this improved transfer done at 4K resolution. Shout Factory took a quality interpositive and scanned it at 6K resolution, ultimately mastering this new transfer at 4K with more realistic color correction.

Shout Factory applied their own manual fixes to animation errors and cleaned up the final print from minor debris. This is excellent work, revealing a tighter visual experience with more refinement than we've ever seen this movie.

There are slight differences in the color timing between this transfer and the one seen on the older UK Blu-ray. Shout's transfer has a less punchy contrast and favors darker colors. Primary colors are less saturated. I make no claims as to which grading is better. Supposedly research has gone into the Shout grading taken from outside reference materials, such as original animation cels.

One more critical difference is that Shout Factory actually offers the movie in two different aspect ratios. There is the theatrical widescreen 1.85:1 transfer on one BD-50 and a 1.33:1 transfer on another BD. It's a nice touch that makes this set the definitive Transformers edition on Blu-ray. Though there are rumors we might see this 4K transfer on UHD...
djoberg's Avatar djoberg 02:05 PM Today
The Shallows arrives tomorrow on both UHD and 1080P Blu-ray. Needless to say, I'm excited to watch this after the glowing review by Ralph Potts (and the encouraging words by CCsoftball7 too). I will chime in with a review "as the credits roll!"
tcramer's Avatar tcramer 08:25 PM Today
Quote:
Originally Posted by djoberg View Post
The Shallows arrives tomorrow on both UHD and 1080P Blu-ray. Needless to say, I'm excited to watch this after the glowing review by Ralph Potts (and the encouraging words by CCsoftball7 too). I will chime in with a review "as the credits roll!"
I ordered the same and I don't even have an UHD player at the moment. I've heard this is a prime example of what the format can do, utilizing both HDR and especially the WCG with the deep blues and greens you normally wouldn't see.
djoberg's Avatar djoberg 09:16 PM Today
Quote:
Originally Posted by tcramer View Post
I ordered the same and I don't even have an UHD player at the moment. I've heard this is a prime example of what the format can do, utilizing both HDR and especially the WCG with the deep blues and greens you normally wouldn't see.
Oh man, you just have to go out and get yourself a UHD Blu-ray player! After watching several back in the beginning of August (I started with Star Trek: Into the Darkness) I began building my UHD/HDR Blu-ray library. So far I have a couple dozen now; I'm being somewhat choosy though; they have to be 1) highly-rated for PQ; and 2) good enough for repeated viewings. I will caution you though by saying there are some 4K UHD titles that offer little improvement over their 1080P counterpart, so do your homework before you shell out that extra $10-20.
Phantom Stranger's Avatar Phantom Stranger 10:14 PM Today
Speaking of UHD players, here is a review of Oppo's upcoming UHD player.

http://www.trustedreviews.com/oppo-udp-203-review
Tags: High Definition , Blu Ray Movies
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