The New PQ Tier thread for Blu-Ray - Discussion - Page 789 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #23641 of 23656 Old 02-14-2017, 06:11 PM
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Speaking of UHD, I am seriously keeping an eye on Sony's UBP-X800 player coming out in March. It also plays Super Audio CDs, which dovetails nicely with my music collection.

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post #23642 of 23656 Old 02-14-2017, 09:08 PM
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Arrival

This was an "unusual" movie, visually and in its plot. First, let's consider the VISUAL (for this IS a PQ-thread).

We often talk about "director's intent" and how it affects the Picture Quality and, ultimately, our Recommended Placement. In the thread's "criteria" it is stated emphatically that the "director's intent" should NOT influence our assessment of the film's PQ. So, let me say from the outset that this film will never find its way into either of the two Top Tiers (i.e. Reference and Demo tiers). That's not to say there isn't any redeeming qualities PQ-wise, for there were plenty of scenes with striking clarity, finely-rendered details, and appreciable depth. But there are also plenty of scenes where the director purposely chose to soften the image, lower the contrast, and strip all dark scenes of true black, resulting in murky grays and poorly-rendered shadow details. So, it is truly a "mixed bag" with some shots fitting squarely into either Tier Blu or Tier Gold, and other shots plummeting into the lower tiers.

Before I give a placement (which is rather difficult in light of my analysis above), I want to give a shout out to the creator of this "thinking man's Sci Fi movie." It literally held my attention during every minute of its nearly two-hour running time and in the end I found myself "thinking" I had everything figured out, only to realize that there are still some "holes" that need filling. In the main I believe I did "arrive" at some conclusions that seem to fit the purpose of the film's creator. I won't go into any details, for I learned my lesson a long time ago when it comes to SPOILERS!!

After some consideration (and weighing all the "pros" and "cons" of its PQ), my vote goes for....

Tier Recommendation: 2.5*

PS I "could" be convinced to raise my score to as high as 2.0, for the redeeming qualities alluded to above were QUITE GOOD!
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post #23643 of 23656 Old 02-14-2017, 09:22 PM
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^^^^^^^

I neglected to add that even though the black levels were "purposely" compromised by the director, the "black bars" remained absolutely PITCH BLACK throughout the whole film. If they had been "gray" I would have been taken out of the movie and my final score would have easily been in Tier 3 (towards the bottom) or even at the top of Tier 4.

One can't emphasize enough how wonderful it is to have totally black letter-boxed bars. When you're watching a movie with a Wide Aspect Ratio it really makes you think you're watching it on a screen with that exact aspect ratio. If you are watching it in a light-controlled room with all lights off the bars, the bezel and the darkness of the room become one and all you see is the screen. This is what you see in a good Cinema and it's an even more satisfying experience in the comfort of your own home.

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post #23644 of 23656 Old 02-15-2017, 07:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djoberg View Post
^^^^^^^

I neglected to add that even though the black levels were "purposely" compromised by the director, the "black bars" remained absolutely PITCH BLACK throughout the whole film. If they had been "gray" I would have been taken out of the movie and my final score would have easily been in Tier 3 (towards the bottom) or even at the top of Tier 4.

One can't emphasize enough how wonderful it is to have totally black letter-boxed bars. When you're watching a movie with a Wide Aspect Ratio it really makes you think you're watching it on a screen with that exact aspect ratio. If you are watching it in a light-controlled room with all lights off the bars, the bezel and the darkness of the room become one and all you see is the screen. This is what you see in a good Cinema and it's an even more satisfying experience in the comfort of your own home.
This is why I bought a screen with a masking system for my projector. https://www.monoprice.com/Product?c_...seq=1&format=2

It works wonders. Not as fancy as a $3000 carada system, but I'm really happy with it for the price. In my previous home, I had DIY some masking and this professionally made system is way better.
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post #23645 of 23656 Old 02-16-2017, 08:43 AM
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Arrival

As Djoberg has quite correctly stated, the director and cinematographer have made a lot of stark choices here, and they reduce the "eye candy" potential of the image on display here. Contrast is generally weak, and though the detail is there in many scenes, it is so obscured by the contrast and color palette that it is hard to see. Using the Arri Alexa to shoot your movie and then doing this to the image is kind of like buying a Ferrari and putting temporary "50 miles only" spare tires on it.

With that said, it is a pleasing, consistent watch without significant problems of banding, aliasing, or moire.

As such, I deem it right in the mediocre part of the bell curve.

Tier Recommendation 3.0



I also heartily agree with all of the movie-specific comments DJ has made. This will make you think and make you feel. It's easily up there with, and perhaps superior to most of, the best sci-fi movies of the century thus far (Interstellar, Her, Ex Machina, Inception, The Prestige, The Martian, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind)

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post #23646 of 23656 Old 02-16-2017, 11:38 AM
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I'm new to this thread and am hoping you guys can point me to some thinking on the best live-action UHD-BR PQ. I saw the posts about Kubo and Secret Life of Pets, and am not surprised to hear they look stunning. But what about live action? What are the new reference discs? (I checked the List/Tier post, but there doesn't seem to be any indication of whether the title is BR or UHD-BR unless I'm missing something).

TIA

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post #23647 of 23656 Old 02-16-2017, 12:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anthonymoody View Post
I'm new to this thread and am hoping you guys can point me to some thinking on the best live-action UHD-BR PQ. I saw the posts about Kubo and Secret Life of Pets, and am not surprised to hear they look stunning. But what about live action? What are the new reference discs? (I checked the List/Tier post, but there doesn't seem to be any indication of whether the title is BR or UHD-BR unless I'm missing something).

TIA
At the current moment only BDs are ranked in the PQ Tiers. So everything you see listed is the Blu-ray. The UHD discussion in this thread is largely meant for comparative reasons at this stage.

I think it's wise to let the UHD platform mature a little more before we start ranking them in order by picture quality. Once the studios get a complete handle on the 4K production pipeline for filmmaking I have a hunch future UHDs will look even better than they do now.

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post #23648 of 23656 Old 02-16-2017, 12:13 PM
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Suicide Squad

recommendation: Tier 1.5*

WB's latest superhero blockbuster looks fairly impressive, if limited in some scenes by its dour palette. The good news is that the studio hasn't cut any corners, putting the extended cut on a second BD.

It's a stronger technical presentation than usual from WB for one of their blockbusters. Like most action spectacles, the movie is chock full of CGI. That introduces mild softness on occasion. The video resonates with texture and depth, offering fairly strong dimensionality.

Suicide Squad offers crisp picture quality that dials down the visual sizzle often found in recent superhero movies. Darker in tone than others of its ilk, Suicide Squad makes up for it with consistently excellent black levels and superb shadow delineation.

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post #23649 of 23656 Old 02-16-2017, 12:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anthonymoody View Post
I'm new to this thread and am hoping you guys can point me to some thinking on the best live-action UHD-BR PQ. I saw the posts about Kubo and Secret Life of Pets, and am not surprised to hear they look stunning. But what about live action? What are the new reference discs? (I checked the List/Tier post, but there doesn't seem to be any indication of whether the title is BR or UHD-BR unless I'm missing something).

TIA
As Phantom said, this is a "Blu-ray (1080p) Thread," so any mention of UHD titles are only for comparison. Having said that, there are many excellent UHD titles out there (in addition to the two you cited). Here is a list of good Sci-Fi UHD Blu-rays:

Official 2016 Sony XBR75 X940D Owners thread: no price talk

Two of my favorite "non-Sci Fi" UHD movies for pure EYE CANDY are The Revenant and The Great Gatsby.

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post #23650 of 23656 Old Yesterday, 03:50 AM
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Just saw KUNG FU PANDA 3. Absolutely amazing picture quality that is indeed some of the finest I have ever seen. Possibly top 5 material for me.

Reference disc.


Tier recommendation: 0
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post #23651 of 23656 Old Yesterday, 03:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anthonymoody View Post
I'm new to this thread and am hoping you guys can point me to some thinking on the best live-action UHD-BR PQ. I saw the posts about Kubo and Secret Life of Pets, and am not surprised to hear they look stunning. But what about live action? What are the new reference discs? (I checked the List/Tier post, but there doesn't seem to be any indication of whether the title is BR or UHD-BR unless I'm missing something).

TIA
My favourites are: Avatar, Life of Pi, Interstellar, Oblivion, TDK and TDK:R, First Avengers (not the second!!) and Chappie.
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post #23652 of 23656 Old Yesterday, 02:10 PM
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Just saw KUNG FU PANDA 3. Absolutely amazing picture quality that is indeed some of the finest I have ever seen. Possibly top 5 material for me.

Reference disc.


Tier recommendation: 0
I've always liked the CGI animation seen in the Kung Fu Panda series. It's shinier and sharper than what we've been getting from Pixar of late. Pixar tends to go for softer edges and more texture.

Beauty and the Beast (2014)

recommendation: Tier 1.25*

This recent French adaptation of the fairytale romance from director Christophe Gans (The Brotherhood of the Wolf) is put out just in time by Shout Factory to compete with Disney's own live-action version hitting theaters. The distinctive visuals and lavish production design mark it as a Gans' film right away. It's a film made for eye candy with extravagant CGI and breathtaking scenery. This Hi-Def presentation from Shout Factory doesn't disappoint.

I'd love to place this disc higher in the Tiers, there is an artistry to the movie's aesthetic not often found in Hollywood blockbusters. Make no mistake, the French production is indistinguishable from Hollywood product in terms of craft.

The finely tuned cinematography changes color palette dependent on time and place in the plot. Belle pops off the screen inside the Beast’s dimly lit castle, dressed in brilliantly colored dresses provided by the brusque monster. It offers a warm, inviting contrast with outstanding depth and dimensionality. Gans carefully selects which moments need the most focus, providing several eye-catching displays of pristine video quality.

Darker in spirit than the more familiar animated Disney film, Gans has constructed an intricate fairytale world in splendid realization. This is great-looking video, mildly limited by excessive CGI.

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post #23653 of 23656 Old Yesterday, 07:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djoberg View Post
As Phantom said, this is a "Blu-ray (1080p) Thread," so any mention of UHD titles are only for comparison. Having said that, there are many excellent UHD titles out there (in addition to the two you cited). Here is a list of good Sci-Fi UHD Blu-rays:

Official 2016 Sony XBR75 X940D Owners thread: no price talk

Two of my favorite "non-Sci Fi" UHD movies for pure EYE CANDY are The Revenant and The Great Gatsby.
Guess I'm becoming more jaded, but I can't be bothered with most of that sci-fi, already have Great Gatsby in 3D, and am also worn out on animation, so it seems like Revenant would be the best bet...maybe X-Men Apocalypse (but I'm seeking out the 3D for that) based on what I've heard. Basically, I have no UHD disc yet, so aside from The Secret Life of Pets, what's the next best in people's estimation? I've also heard about Lucy, but I'm boycotting Scarlet (though most of outspoken Hollywood has turned me right off), so feel free to keep the recommendations coming.
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post #23654 of 23656 Old Yesterday, 07:55 PM
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This goes for everyone participating in the PQ Tiers, feel free to offer UHD placements in this discussion thread. Djoberg has offered his comments on various UHDs and others at times have chimed in on them.

I am not exactly sure how we'll incorporate the UHD scores into this thread and the PQ Tiers, but we'll cross that Rubicon when we come to it. Don't hold back if you see something exciting on UHD.

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post #23655 of 23656 Old Today, 03:05 AM
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As tired as I am of superheroes, I went ahead and grabbed the latest Xmen, my first UHD HDR disc, and found it pretty phenomenal predominately thanks to the newfound color vibrancy. I still think I prefer 3D (which means I have to double dip on this film, which, from the looks of it, will seriously benefit from added dimensionality).
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post #23656 of 23656 Old Today, 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by video_analysis View Post
Guess I'm becoming more jaded, but I can't be bothered with most of that sci-fi, already have Great Gatsby in 3D, and am also worn out on animation, so it seems like Revenant would be the best bet...maybe X-Men Apocalypse (but I'm seeking out the 3D for that) based on what I've heard. Basically, I have no UHD disc yet, so aside from The Secret Life of Pets, what's the next best in people's estimation? I've also heard about Lucy, but I'm boycotting Scarlet (though most of outspoken Hollywood has turned me right off), so feel free to keep the recommendations coming.
Quote:
Originally Posted by video_analysis View Post
As tired as I am of superheroes, I went ahead and grabbed the latest Xmen, my first UHD HDR disc, and found it pretty phenomenal predominately thanks to the newfound color vibrancy. I still think I prefer 3D (which means I have to double dip on this film, which, from the looks of it, will seriously benefit from added dimensionality).
I hear you when it comes to Superhero movies! Regarding "recommendations," here are some of my favorites (for PQ) in UHD (besides the ones I already mentioned):

Concussion
Exodus: Gods and Kings
The Huntsman: Winter's War
Life of Pi
The Magnificent Seven
Risen
The Shallows
Sully
The Legend of Tarzan
The Last Witch Hunter
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

For animated marvels (besides The Secret Life of Pets), you can't beat:

The Smurfs 2
Storks
The Angry Birds Movie

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