The New PQ Tier thread for Blu-Ray - Discussion - Page 791 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #23701 of 23729 Old 03-13-2017, 09:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djoberg View Post
You need to make a post stating that and it can be as short as you want to make it. I have no problem with Moana being on the top, for all four that I mentioned are simply amazing. I think we "may" be reaching the point where animation can't get any better.
I was also blown away by the "Piper" short on Finding Dory. If you have that blu, take a look at the PQ on that short. WOW.

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post #23702 of 23729 Old 03-13-2017, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by fredxr2d2 View Post
I was also blown away by the "Piper" short on Finding Dory. If you have that blu, take a look at the PQ on that short. WOW.
I do have it; in fact my wife and I watched the 3D version of it and it was fantastic! But I never watched the "Piper" short. I'll check that out later today.
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post #23703 of 23729 Old 03-13-2017, 01:35 PM
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I step away for a couple of days to find not one, but two strong candidates for the top spot! Wow.
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post #23704 of 23729 Old 03-13-2017, 03:57 PM
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I watched the "Piper" short about an hour ago. It was indeed impressive, especially the photo-realism.

I've been wanting to slip in Avatar ever since I purchased my new Sony 75" LCD/LED, so after watching "Piper" I gave it a whirl. It sure is nice having the extra "screen real estate" for a movie like this! But in fairness I was NOT as impressed as I was 7 years ago when it first came out on Blu-ray. Back then I nominated it for the #1 spot in Tier Blu; today it would probably end up somewhere near the middle of that tier, if not the bottom. This speaks greatly of the advancements they've made in PQ (both in filming and then transferring it to the Blu-ray format).
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post #23705 of 23729 Old 03-13-2017, 05:02 PM
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^^^^^^^

I'm continuing to watch Avatar and make no mistake about it, there are still MANY "Reference Quality" shots in this Blu! Facial close-ups are right at the top, and so are many daytime, outdoor shots (like when they're climbing up the floating mountains). The shots that suffer at times are those at night with a lot of CGI...they can be soft and lacking detail (but they can also be sharp and teeming with details). Bottom line: This is still a Tier Blu Blu-ray!!

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post #23706 of 23729 Old 03-13-2017, 06:30 PM
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Avatar

Okay, I just watched it all the way through and I swear the PQ just kept getting better and better! When I first weighed in (2-3 hours ago), I had been seeing softness creep in and a lack of details, but they literally disappeared in the last 2/3 of the movie. This one is still easily....

Tier Recommendation: Tier 0 (.33)

PS I know we don't "revisit" titles very often (in fact, it's a rarity), but after seeing this again I may have to revisit some other titles that were placed in Tier 0 years ago.

PPS I just read today that Avatar 2, which was supposed to come out in theaters on Christmas of 2018, has had a set back. The trouble is they are making ALL the sequels (2-5) before they release #2. BTW, they're all being filmed in 4K UHD!!!

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post #23707 of 23729 Old 03-13-2017, 07:57 PM
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I think everyone here is anticipating Avatar 2. Cameron will have the budget and opportunity with it to redefine our conception of picture quality.

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post #23708 of 23729 Old 03-13-2017, 10:01 PM
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I had no idea that he was doing FOUR SEQUELS. That is quite the undertaking. They will have several of the same cast members and when they interviewed Sigourney Weaver she said the script for Avatar 2 was very compelling and that it will amaze those who liked the first installment.

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post #23709 of 23729 Old 03-14-2017, 09:56 AM
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^^^^^^

I said "four sequels" but an article on AVS says there's only THREE.

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post #23710 of 23729 Old 03-14-2017, 11:38 AM
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Ghost in the Shell (1995)

recommendation: Tier 3.75*

The disc I'm covering is the new Mondo Steelbook release but I can confirm it's identical to Starz/Anchor Bay's 25th Anniversary edition. That was put out back in 2014. This is the original theatrical version of the renowned anime classic. Someone else has already ranked the Japanese Blu-ray in Tier 4. I have not seen that disc so this is a blind comparison. With the upcoming Scarlett Johansson-led Ghost in the Shell blockbuster, Mondo saw fit to reissue the original anime film in a steelbook edition.

Ghost in the Shell receives an adequate film transfer, if lacking a bit of life. It resembles an older, softer telecine effort from decent elements. The animation is beginning to look dated even by traditional animation's standards.

The film itself received a "remixed" version back in 2008 with new CG effects, known as Ghost in the Shell 2.0. That has been ranked separately in the PQ Tiers and isn't included in this edition.

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post #23711 of 23729 Old 03-14-2017, 07:10 PM
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Passengers

This one "would" easily land on one's "Demo Shelf" for PQ, but the movie fails big time in the second half (I haven't suspended disbelief like this for a very long time, plus it was kinda SAPPY) so I doubt that most would buy it.

The PQ serves up razor-sharp clarity, vibrant colors, strong contrast and plenty of details. Facial details were especially a treat but the eye candy spreads to clothing, computer monitors, beards and head hair, a robot, gym equipment, a pool and just about every object throughout the monstrous space ship. Outdoors (in space) the details continue with beautiful star fields, the space ship, space suits, galaxies, suns, etc., etc. Black levels were very deep in most scenes, though there were a couple of instances where a star field turned a wee bit gray. Blacks and shadow details were excellent in the ship. Flesh tones were accurate except during periods of color-grading. Depth could also be very pleasing to the eyes.

Again, this is most definitely "demo worthy," it should land near the top of that tier. I'm feeling generous....

Tier Recommendation: 1.0*

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post #23712 of 23729 Old 03-17-2017, 01:20 PM
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Blood Father

I'm keeping this short...in short, this is yet another "demo-worthy" release with tons of details throughout. The director zoomed in often on Mel Gibson and his aging face, revealing unbelievable texture.

Colors were good, but there was a fair amount of color-grading (buttery yellow, anyone?). Flesh tones were accurate except when the "yellow hues" were exceptionally bad. Black levels were also good, though not reference by any means. Contrast was also very good.

Tier Recommendation: 1.25*

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On the debate of whether Avatar would land on the top third, half or bottom of reference tier...


I still think AVATAR is a picture quality king...
Its CGI is up there with the best of the best like Kung fu Panda 3, Monster's University, Moana, Good Dinosaur etc, even though it came out 8 years ago! Avatar to me is the Pioneer Kuro of movies.

Then the actual live action scenes are ridiculously good with razor-sharp highly detailed images that match exceed other reference live action movies like Chappie, Oblivion, Pacific Rim etc.

the only time I universally concurred that a movie surpassed Avatar was after watching The Life of Pi, and even then only by 1% at best.

Comparing it to the best animation movies like Moana is Apple vs Oranges, and in this case I might personally prefer apples over oranges.

then there's the IMAX 15/70mm scenes in Nolan's movies that in my opinion are the very best showcase of image quality ever produced... Led by Interstellar and followed closely by TDK:R and TDK.

But those IMAX scenes only made up roughly 1 hour of Interstellar and TDK:R and roughly half an hour of TDK, with the regular 2.35:1 35mm scenes being "average" in comparison.

Avatar and the Life of Pi look 98-99% as good as these IMAX scenes but they consistently keep that quality throughout the entirety of the movie.


I didn't watch the Life of Pi until 2016, so I had to wait 7 years until I found a movie that finally exceeded Avatar, however slight. Then I found this thread and to be honest I still haven't found anything better than those two.

My personal top 5:

1. Life of Pi
2. Avatar
3. Interstellar
4. Kung Fu Panda 3
5. Mad Max: Fury Road or maybe The Dark Knight Rises

*have not seen Secret Life of Pets or Moana, but I have seen The Good Dinosaur, Tomorrowland, etc.
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Monster's University


WOW!!! Amazing, state-of-the-art CGI. Breath taking animation that is crystal clear down to each and every individual strain of fur or fuzz or feather on all of the monsters. colours have so much punch and pop it almost hurts my face. Great contrast too.

Another one of those moments where I'm watching a 1080p blu-ray on a 2k TV (Kuro) and almost cannot fathom how 4K or 8K or HDR can make the image better.


Tier recommendation 0 (top 5-10 somewhere)



Moana will be my next animation film
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post #23715 of 23729 Old 03-17-2017, 05:26 PM
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Avatar is definitely more unique than the slew of animated titles that fill the top of the PQ Tiers. There are very thin differences between the absolute best animated discs and it often comes down to fairly subjective aesthetic preferences. Nothing else really resembles Avatar. Its stark combination of stunning live-action video and sophisticated cgi stands alone. I think that is the reason why it gets ranked so highly.
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post #23716 of 23729 Old 03-18-2017, 11:41 AM
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^^^^^^^

Which means the upcoming sequels are going to blow us away like nothing we've ever experienced before. Too bad we may have to wait up to two years for sequel #1.

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post #23717 of 23729 Old 03-18-2017, 01:09 PM
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Quote:
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Whoa! What a surprise to wake up this morning and to see your post! Hope this isn't just a casual "drop-in."

I don't know what to say about your experience with banding. You got me curious though so I read some "expert" reviews and there are a couple of reviewers who cite one or two instances of banding, and one who seemed to share your view (Matt from Do.Blu), but the majority either saw NONE or the one instance that I did on the 1080p version. It would be interesting to get your take after seeing the 4K version.

Our own "resident AVS reviewer" Ralph Potts saw no artifacts or anomalies on either disc. Here's his review (on both discs):

Hacksaw Ridge Ultra HD Blu-ray Review
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It's good to see you drop by, Deltasun! You are always welcome around here.

Anyone know what Hacksaw Ridge was shot on?
Sorry for the delay, guys...I was having password malfunction issues (or could just be user error ). I remember having this banding discussion a while back where half the folks saw it and the other half...didn't know what they were talking about. I jest, I jest. I really think the type of TV behaves differently when it comes to banding. I know most of us have calibrated sets, so it doesn't seem to be that. Then, it was the plasma vs. LCD/LED groups.

I've not been paying as much attention when watching, but Hacksaw Ridge was really perpetual for me. I might even take a pic (if I can make it look how it looks with the naked eyes). Anyway, I don't have a 4K set yet, so can't compare the 1080p to the 4K. I find that interesting though in terms of how if you take a high quality photograph and reduce it substantially (to turn it to a thumbnail, say), you get a lot of compression issues. I wonder if the same thing would happen if you start with 4K and reduce it down to 1080p. I'm not familiar with the mechanics, but just an interesting comment above the discussion.

Anyway, I'm looking into getting one of those LG OLEDs, just waiting for a price drop. Can't wait to start watching in 4K!

You see me reaching for my f****** wallet?!?
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post #23718 of 23729 Old 03-18-2017, 01:14 PM
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By the way, I watched The Yakuza (1974) from Warner Archives Collection (WAC) the other night and wow, was I impressed. Just from a gut feel, I'd say Tier 1 material. Facial close-ups were phenomenal, blacks superb and rich. About the only thing I would tick mark it on is depth. Could be the way it was filmed too. Anyway, really excited about this WAC line. So much so that I ordered 3 more titles and wishlisted about 8. Check them out, guys, if you haven't already!

You see me reaching for my f****** wallet?!?
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post #23719 of 23729 Old 03-18-2017, 04:27 PM
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Anyway, I'm looking into getting one of those LG OLEDs, just waiting for a price drop. Can't wait to start watching in 4K!
The prices have actually dropped considerably over the last year, unless you're interested in the G6 77", which is still well over 15K. I've said this over and over, I would be sitting with an LG OLED in my Man Cave right now if not for the fact that I was NOT going to upgrade by a mere 5". But hey, I don't always need the best and I'm quite satisfied with my Sony 940D.

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post #23720 of 23729 Old 03-18-2017, 09:23 PM
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Doctor Strange

Before viewing this Disney release, I read several reviews from respected reviewers (AVS Forum reviewer Ralph Potts, Hi-Def Digest and Blu-ray.com) and they all sang its praises. Well, don't add me to that list, for I was UNIMPRESSED, to say the least.

Except for several scenes where you are treated to some very good details and depth, the majority of this film has lackluster blacks (with very little depth and poor shadow details), consistent softness, and mediocre details. Much of what I've just stated is in every scene featuring excessive CGI, and a good percentage of the movie consists of CGI.

The scenes that were good (as alluded to above) were mostly in the first few scenes that took place in the hospital and on the streets of New York City. If this continued throughout the movie I would have definitely felt this was "demo-worthy" and would have opted for a 1.5 recommendation. Things being what they are, I'm forced to drop this into Tier Silver (and to think I had just commented on how most current titles are easily falling into the top two tiers). But I will be generous and vote for...

Tier Recommendation: Tier 2.0*

PS I didn't care that much for the movie either. Again, the reviewers I referred to liked both the movie AND the PQ. Just goes to prove the old adage, "Different strokes for different folks."
Doctor Strange

recommendation: Tier 2.0*

I completely agree with Denny's assessment of Doctor Strange's picture quality. It's a flat cinematic experience that has been heavily filtered. On top of that is the abundant CGI and digitally constructed production design, softening most of the movie. It is one of the weaker blockbusters we've gotten recently in terms of visual fidelity and demo material.

Select scenes land in Tier One but this is a dull, dismal video experience. They went overboard emulating Inception's reality-bending special effects.

The movie itself is a straightforward telling of Doctor Strange's origin story from the Marvel comics, with a few characters changed around for typical Hollywood reasons. If you are looking for that it's a decent superhero movie.
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post #23721 of 23729 Old 03-18-2017, 09:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deltasun View Post
By the way, I watched The Yakuza (1974) from Warner Archives Collection (WAC) the other night and wow, was I impressed. Just from a gut feel, I'd say Tier 1 material. Facial close-ups were phenomenal, blacks superb and rich. About the only thing I would tick mark it on is depth. Could be the way it was filmed too. Anyway, really excited about this WAC line. So much so that I ordered 3 more titles and wishlisted about 8. Check them out, guys, if you haven't already!
I have picked up a few discs from the Warner Archives label. They usually feature solid film transfers in very acceptable condition. I think the poorer transfers don't make it out on Blu-ray from them.

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post #23722 of 23729 Old 03-19-2017, 07:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantom Stranger View Post
Avatar is definitely more unique than the slew of animated titles that fill the top of the PQ Tiers. There are very thin differences between the absolute best animated discs and it often comes down to fairly subjective aesthetic preferences. Nothing else really resembles Avatar. Its stark combination of stunning live-action video and sophisticated cgi stands alone. I think that is the reason why it gets ranked so highly.
I sort of agree, except I firmly believe it is rated so highly because well, there's just nothing that can beat its picture quality (except arguably Life of Pi imo), not the mere merit of being "unique".


Every year that went by I thought we'd have an "Avatar-killer", Like Pirates of the Caribbean 4, Hobbit 1,2 & 3, Terminator Genysis, these were all movies I anticipated to visually surpass Avatar, but like every other film they failed to do so, despite incorporating new technologies (like HFR, 4K res (Avatar is 2K DI?), HDR, and Moore's Law of technology speed/power doubling every two years for more advanced CGI, more megapixels on the cameras, etc)


My most visually anticipated movies for 2017, which I expect could be potential "avatar-killers" are:

1. Dunkirk - filmed with the IMAX MSM9802 so we can expect gorgeous 16:9 15/70mm IMAX scenes, Interstellar and TDK:R have 60 minutes of them (compared to TDK's 28 minutes), hopefully Nolan will give us 90 minutes of this unparalleled film quality!


And that's about it. Maybe the Avengers: Infinity Wars if it is filmed/mastered in a similar way to the original Avengers in 2012, which was 16:9 and not 2.35:1 like Age of Ultron, which imo had inferior picture quality.
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post #23723 of 23729 Old 03-19-2017, 07:37 AM
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Originally Posted by djoberg View Post
^^^^^^^

Which means the upcoming sequels are going to blow us away like nothing we've ever experienced before. Too bad we may have to wait up to two years for sequel #1.


Indeed. if it is anything like its prequel, Avatar 2 will represent a QUANTUM leap in animation, CGI and visual fidelity that will surpass anything seen previously and still be top 5 PQ reference even a decade from now. That alone is worth the cinema ticket price AND 4K UHDR disk.
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post #23724 of 23729 Old 03-19-2017, 12:11 PM
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I never expect much from the Disney/Marvel superhero movies in terms of picture quality. They've never really pushed the envelope and the sets are largely digital creations.

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post #23725 of 23729 Old 03-19-2017, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Phantom Stranger View Post
I never expect much from the Disney/Marvel superhero movies in terms of picture quality. They've never really pushed the envelope and the sets are largely digital creations.
Fair point, but The Dark Knight was my previous #1 reference picture for a whole year 2008-2009 before Avatar came out and The Dark Knight Rises top 5 to this date (five years on), and Avengers I top 10 in my book. So the best superhero movies tend to be really good IMO. Plus they always have high budgets ($200+ million).

But then we have cases like Doctor Strange which are tier 2.
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post #23726 of 23729 Old 03-20-2017, 12:46 PM
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Hacksaw Ridge


First of all, WOW what a movie. I'm utterly fascinated by WWII and this is definitely one of the better stories told. 9/10 movie that I'd say is actually on par with Saving Private Ryan and Band of Brothers.

The picture quality is clear and sharp, with some of the best close up facial details I've seen in a movie. The contrast never disappoints and the colours are accurately muted. explosions and fires spewed by the flamethrowers are crispy and pack a punch. Did notice some banding as mentioned by Djoberg... but still a near perfect picture. The sound was even more impressive than the picture quality. The whistling of bullets, the deep impact and low-bass rumble of explosions really placed me right in the battlefield. Five star picture, seven star sound


And my god, speaking of good sound quality... the scene when they call in naval support shook not only my apartment but my left, bottom, top and right neighbours apartments too!

Literally had to flip a coin to decide if this was Tier 0 or Tier 1 material, but since the sound is definitely more blu than gold and the fact that I really like the movie I think it belongs somewhere near the bottom of the reference list.


Tier recommendation 0 (.9 )

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The Legend of Tarzan (2016)


Serious mixed bag. Daytime fully lit scenes there are several instances I would rank into mid of Tier 0. Really these are some great jungle/wilderness shots with details in trees, grass, and backgrounds easily seen. Overall contrast is also very good in the daytime scenes. CGI animals hold up as well.


Then nighttime hits and everything goes soft. There's significant loss in overall contrast and all colors become muted. Different shades of blue and grey.... really a let down.


The orange/teal color grading is going on, but wasn't terribly distracting to me on this one.


Since the movie is almost 50/50 day and night, really have to put up with a lot of not so good here....


Tier Recommendation: 1.5

Movie is only average so wouldn't recommend anyone to go out and buy as demo material. But if already have it, pop it in to take a look at some of the wilderness daytime scenes.
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post #23728 of 23729 Old Yesterday, 07:44 PM
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Green Room

recommendation: Tier 3.25*

This gritty thriller from Lionsgate offers fairly tepid picture quality. Its gloomy palette offers little saturation and poor shadow delineation. The technical parameters capably handle the darker aesthetic but Green Room was not shot with eye candy in mind.

Its filmmakers were looking for a softer experience and got it. Definition is middling for a 2016 video release.

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post #23729 of 23729 Old Today, 05:12 AM
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The Legend of Tarzan (2016)


Serious mixed bag. Daytime fully lit scenes there are several instances I would rank into mid of Tier 0. Really these are some great jungle/wilderness shots with details in trees, grass, and backgrounds easily seen. Overall contrast is also very good in the daytime scenes. CGI animals hold up as well.


Then nighttime hits and everything goes soft. There's significant loss in overall contrast and all colors become muted. Different shades of blue and grey.... really a let down.


The orange/teal color grading is going on, but wasn't terribly distracting to me on this one.


Since the movie is almost 50/50 day and night, really have to put up with a lot of not so good here....


Tier Recommendation: 1.5

Movie is only average so wouldn't recommend anyone to go out and buy as demo material. But if already have it, pop it in to take a look at some of the wilderness daytime scenes.

Tier 1.5 for Legend of Tarzan sounds about right to me! Watched a while ago but didn't review. It was excellent in some areas but not so great in others (the the colour grading you mentioned)
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