The New PQ Tier thread for Blu-Ray - Discussion - Page 801 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #24001 of 24030 Old 09-23-2017, 03:11 AM
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I think we can pretty much just keep melting UHD and HD discs into one list... otherwise the separate UHD list would be small, and for me who has HDR/4K compatible TV but not yet upgraded to the entirety of the HDR/4K realm I find it interesting how they compare to 1080p SDR.

I guess this is living proof that 1080p/SDR --> 4K/HDR doesn't have as big of an impact as 480p --> 1080p had. I adopted to blu-ray standard the very first moment it came out back in 2006 and I never looked back. DVDs have been unwatchable for me since 2007.

In comparison today where I am still visually pleased with regular blu-ray. Pacific Rim and GOTG:V2 i.e. look f*cking incredible and I can't imagine how they're supposed to look any better
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post #24002 of 24030 Old 09-23-2017, 03:19 AM
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Moana

Okay this should not be a surprise for anyone. A Reference disk from start to finish. The blues of the ocean, the greens of the grass and the reds of the fire, every primary colour on point. Dark scenes reveal perfect black of OLED, contrast is infinite and not in anyway limited. Textures are clean and the image has that "3-D" depth that we've all come to love. I've said it before and I'll say it again; another animated movie that I swear has 3840x2140p pixels to its image as labelling it "2K" doesn't do justice to how sharp and crisp the image looks. Best animated movie I have seen so far, slightly edging out the already incredible reference; Kung Fu Panda 3.


Tier recommendation: 0 (top 5!)
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post #24003 of 24030 Old 09-23-2017, 08:39 PM
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Renoir

recommendation: Tier 2.5*

This intimate French period drama is occasionally sumptuous with its photogenic locales. The cinematography is meant to evoke the renowned painter's art. Niche distributor Cinedigm put out this Blu-ray a few years back.

The 111-minute main feature receives an excellent, high-bitrate AVC encode on a BD-50. In most respects this has fine video quality with decent definition. Some unnatural yellow does creep into the flesh-tones. The transfer offers a pristine representation in sharp detail. There is no serious processing worth mentioning in the transfer.
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post #24004 of 24030 Old 09-24-2017, 10:10 AM
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Transformers 5: The Last Knight

BEST.PICTURE.QUALITY.EVER!!!! Wow I don't even know where to start... It took me 5 years to find another top reference movie, finally a successor to the Life of Pi as ultimate "PQ King". PQ looked so good it was mind blowing. Infinite contrast from start to finish, with image clarity like no other movie.
The CGI in this movie is so good it literally puts Avatar to shame. The facial details are second to none, particularly the scene in Hopkins' mansion where the light from the window hits his face, or in the military bases where you saw close ups of officers' faces under powerful overhead lights in the foreground of a PITCH black background.
Superb depth and colour rendering throughout the entire movie, with virtuous vistas and gorgeous landscapes that left my jaw on the floor.

I heard this movie was filmed entirely by IMAX cameras - you definitely can tell after watching this movie.
Ultimately, even though Life of Pi, Pacific Rim, Avatar etc have been my overall top dogs, I always thought the IMAX 15/70 filmed scenes of Nolan movies were better, they appeared much sharper and life-like, as if they were super-resolution images (at 18,000 lines or ~ 200MP of celluloid 'resolution' they kind of are).

Scenes like the opening robbery and the bat-mobile chase in TDK or the opening plane-jack, Wall Street 'robbery', Bane fight or stadium explosion of TDK:R, or any of the 15/70mm scenes from Interstellar (the Water planet, the icey planet, the space visuals or when Cooper drives around the farm) are in my opinion better reference material than any other single scene of any other movie. The problem with Nolan movies is that while the IMAX 15/70 aka 1.78:1 shots looked like 10/10 top 3 material, the rest of the movies' are subpar. TDK had 30 minutes of glory, TDK:R had 60 minutes are Interstellar had around 70. the non-IMAX scenes which made up the rest of those movies were in my opinion Tier 1.75, 1.5 and 1.25 respectively.



Transformers: Last Knight on the other hand has that IMAX quality image for three hours straight. Its flawless. Not a grain or pixel insight. Shadow detail on point. The CGI didn't soften the razor sharp image in any way. The visual effects are exactly what you expect from a Transformers movie and more so.

Now I did notice the movie used several cameras and several formats. in my 100% lightproof pitch black room its almost impossible to see the black bars or the frame of my LG OLED, but I'm fairly certain there's three formats used: 1.85:1, 1.90:1 and 2.35:1 I'd say ±80% of the movie was filmed in the taller formats (as I have expressed previously I prefer 16:9 over 21:9) and the rest in the wider standard cinema format. I preferred the taller shots but unlike Nolan movies, the wide shots weren't heavily compromised. I feel the 1.90:1 shots were superior to the 2.35:1 shots but that could just be my bias and not actual fact. Even though I'm certain the 1.90:1 shots objectively looked better. (more crispy and detailed)

Anyway that's enough babling from me. I found this movie to have perfect picture quality and it presented what I've dreamt of since 2008, a full three hour feature filmed entirely by IMAX. Even though they supposedly used digital IMAX cameras at 'only' 6.5k (vs 18K equivalent of 15/70mm), its still the best overall I have ever seen. The only movie I can imagine will surpass this is Dunkirk (filmed 90% of its 100 min runtime with proper IMAX MSM9802 15/70mm camera), but these two I believe will remain at top for years.


Tier recommendation: 0 (#1!)*
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post #24005 of 24030 Old 09-24-2017, 12:19 PM
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Great review, Snell. I hadn't been meaning to watch Transformers 5 but your recommendation has definitely put it on my radar.

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post #24006 of 24030 Old 09-24-2017, 06:38 PM
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Yeah, I've always thought that the Transformers set the bar as far as CGI goes whenever they come out and I get excited to see them. Haven't seen it on BR yet, but in the theater, yep, came to deliver exactly what I've come to expect. Fantastic.


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post #24007 of 24030 Old 09-25-2017, 07:30 AM
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I can't wait to see Transformers: The Last Knight after reading SnellTHX's review!!! I know the movie itself may be a stinker, but I may still invest in the 4K version, especially if that's the only version with a Dolby Atmos or DTS:X mix.

I was curious to see how I had rated the last installment and I see I gave it a Tier 0 (.5). Perhaps they have "upped their game" and if so, this may indeed reach the top of the Tier Blu! Here's my review on the Transformers 4: Age of Extinction:

The New PQ Tier thread for Blu-Ray - Discussion
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post #24008 of 24030 Old 09-26-2017, 11:27 AM
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^^^^^^^^^^^

Wally World has a very good price on the UHD version of Transformers: The Last Knight

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post #24009 of 24030 Old 09-27-2017, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Phantom Stranger View Post
Great review, Snell. I hadn't been meaning to watch Transformers 5 but your recommendation has definitely put it on my radar.
Highly recommended as you read
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post #24010 of 24030 Old 09-27-2017, 02:56 PM
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Originally Posted by sickkent View Post
Yeah, I've always thought that the Transformers set the bar as far as CGI goes whenever they come out and I get excited to see them. Haven't seen it on BR yet, but in the theater, yep, came to deliver exactly what I've come to expect. Fantastic.


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Indeed Transformers movie have always pushed the limit when it comes to CGI and special effects.

I did notice that the first movie from 2007 looks quite dated by now and even Transformers 3 which is still relatively new (2011) didn't age that well in my opinion.

Haven't seen Transformers 2 since it came out so I don't know how it looks today. Every Transformers movie has been reference at launch though.

Transformers: Age of Extinction came out three years ago and its still lower end tier 0 material in my opinion but it has A LOT of film grain and some shots look really bad.


That's why I expected Transformers: Last Knight to be very good, most likely reference, but NO WHERE NEAR this good. I expected top 10 at best, not number 1 spot and "much better than Avatar" good. This is next generation stuff!!
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post #24011 of 24030 Old 09-27-2017, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by djoberg View Post
I can't wait to see Transformers: The Last Knight after reading SnellTHX's review!!! I know the movie itself may be a stinker, but I may still invest in the 4K version, especially if that's the only version with a Dolby Atmos or DTS:X mix.

I was curious to see how I had rated the last installment and I see I gave it a Tier 0 (.5). Perhaps they have "upped their game" and if so, this may indeed reach the top of the Tier Blu! Here's my review on the Transformers 4: Age of Extinction:

The New PQ Tier thread for Blu-Ray - Discussion
Just read your review of Transformers 4 and for the time it seems like a correct assessment of movie's picture. Back in 2014 it was somewhere in my top 10-15. But I rewatched it just a few months ago and its no longer a top 20 movie (or even top 50), not necessarily because it aged but more because I've watched more and more reference titles (hint: animation movies).


Every scene with Lockdown, the one in the swamps, the one in the field, the ones in the spaceship or the icey planet all look fantastic refernce material, but if you go back and watch certain indoor scenes like when the awkward guy is talking to the president, it doesn't look good. A reference title with some inconsistencies.

So if you enjoyed Transformers: AOE, then you can most certainly look forward to Transformers: Last Knight!

I'm curious to how you guys will reflect on the aspect ratio swapping... I didn't mind at all but I've read some people thought it was annoying. This is the most frequent aspect changing I've ever come across. My Dad hates TDK because it changed from 16:9 to 21:9 too often, when in reality it was 30 mins of 16:9 and 2 hours of 21:9, where most of the IMAX scenes came in huge chunks...

In T5:LK, the aspect ratio changes sometimes several times back and forth within one minute!

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post #24012 of 24030 Old 09-27-2017, 04:56 PM
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^^^^^^^^^^

Yikes! If the Aspect Ratio is changing that quickly and that often, I may be distracted. I absolutely loved (as you did) the 1.85:1 Aspect Ratio during the IMAX scenes in The Dark Knight and wished MANY TIMES that the whole film would have been filmed in that ratio.

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post #24013 of 24030 Old 09-27-2017, 04:57 PM
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We leave early tomorrow on an 8 day vacation up the North Shore of Lake Superior so I won't be watching Transformers: The Last Knight until I get back. I will be checking in to see what you guys are watching though.
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post #24014 of 24030 Old 09-27-2017, 10:22 PM
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We leave early tomorrow on an 8 day vacation up the North Shore of Lake Superior so I won't be watching Transformers: The Last Knight until I get back. I will be checking in to see what you guys are watching though.
Enjoy the trip, Denny.

The Ghoul

recommendation: Tier 2.75*

This is the 2016 British thriller from Arrow Video, not the 1933 film. The indie production has some minor issues with crushing in the early going but turns out all right. The gloomy cinematography doesn't scream Hi-Def glory. There are no significant issues with the transfer. I have to believe this 1080P presentation fairly represents The Ghoul.
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post #24015 of 24030 Old 09-29-2017, 05:19 PM
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Megan Leavey

recommendation: Tier 1.5*

Solid presentation but nothing special. Colors, details, and skin tones are well rendered but black levels and contrast fall short in several scenes leaning towards gray. No issues with the transfer, didn't notice any banding as was mentioned in a review I saw.
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post #24016 of 24030 Old 09-30-2017, 07:34 PM
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Is It Wrong To Try To Pick Up Girls In A Dungeon?: Complete Collection

recommendation: Tier 2.0*

Sentai Filmworks put this goofy anime out a few months back. The two-disc set has decent but unspectacular video quality, reflecting the mildly inconsistent animation of the series. The traditional animation sporadically incorporates a few 3-D CGI elements.

I was actually expecting somewhat better picture quality. Its color saturation is mildly washed out by recent anime standards and the line-work is sloppy. Minor banding appears in the AVC encode.
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post #24017 of 24030 Old 10-02-2017, 01:36 AM
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^^^^^^^^^^

Yikes! If the Aspect Ratio is changing that quickly and that often, I may be distracted. I absolutely loved (as you did) the 1.85:1 Aspect Ratio during the IMAX scenes in The Dark Knight and wished MANY TIMES that the whole film would have been filmed in that ratio.
Yeah I absolutely wish that ALL of Nolan's films were entirely filmed in 1.85:1 (Dunkirk basically is tho!! . But that's not just because of format preference, but because the IMAX MSM9802 is vastly superior to the regular 35mm camera doing the rest of the filming.

With Transformers, all 3 formats appeared to have equally reference picture quality, but as I mentioned they swapped around so frequently it felt like they went back and forth maybe 100 times or so...
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post #24018 of 24030 Old 10-04-2017, 06:12 PM
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Young Frankenstein

recommendation: Tier 2.0*

Mel Brooks really captured the aesthetics of the old Universal monster flicks in this black and white movie. Contrast and black levels are excellent and there is nice fine layer of grain but it's just a bit soft.

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post #24019 of 24030 Old 10-05-2017, 09:25 AM
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Queen of the Desert

recommendation: Tier 0* (lower quarter)

Werner Herzog's biopic of Gertrude Bell was shot on location in Morocco and Jordan in stunning clarity. It's a production that clearly pays homage to Lean's Lawrence of Arabia. The digital intermediate was processed at 4K resolution, shot with a variety of high-quality RED digital cameras. The picturesque cinematography is captured in pristine definition with razor-sharp detail.

A higher placement is certainly possible. Some de-focusing has been applied to Nicole Kidman as she plays a much younger character early in the film.

Released by Shout Factory a couple of years after making its theatrical debut, one wonders after seeing this BD where is the UHD.
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post #24020 of 24030 Old 10-06-2017, 07:31 PM
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The Mummy (2017)

I decided to purchase the 1080p version due to a general consensus dictating "Poor Replay Value." I went into this with very low expectations and thus I wasn't disappointed with the weak story-line and having to suspend disbelief for its 100 minute running time.

PQ-wise, it was "okay," though not one for the "Reference Shelf" (Tier 0) and just barely fit for the "Demo Shelf" (Tier 1). Its main virtues consisted of incredible DETAILS and, at times, outstanding DEPTH. It had a rather weak color palette and, of course, the typical teal/orange color-grading. Thankfully the color-grading didn't wreak havoc on flesh tones. When primaries emerged they were quite nice!

Black levels and shadow details were also pleasing to the eye, though at times they did falter, especially during heavy CGI shots. Softness also reared its ugly head during those same scenes, accompanied by either "heavy grain" or "noise."

Tier Recommendation: 1.75*

PS This featured a Dolby Atmos mix but I was somewhat underwhelmed by the lack of discrete effects. Most of the action took place in the Fronts and sometimes in the rears. Bass was also limited, though there were a couple of scenes which "rocked the walls."

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post #24021 of 24030 Old 10-09-2017, 01:09 PM
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Power Rangers (UHD)

Make room on your "Reference Shelf," for there's a new "Demo Disc" to grab to WOW your friends!!

This is easily one of the best UHD/HDR Blu-rays that I've seen, with a Reference Quality "Dolby Atmos" mix complementing the Reference Quality PQ! I'm going to avoid "gushing" with dozens of superlatives; let me just say that this has it all....amazing CLARITY, SHARPNESS, DETAILS, COLORS, FLESH TONES, BLACK LEVELS, SHADOW DETAILS, and DEPTH. From start to finish you'll find yourself saying "WOW," even when you're alone.

For those with Height Speakers and the proper AVR set up for Dolby Atmos, you will be awed by the plethora of discrete and panning effects. I've listened to about 15 Dolby Atmos mixes so far and this is the best. (I've yet to watch Transformers: The Last Knight, so that opinion may change in the next few days.) My wife was out of town so I kept turning it up...I actually watched the last 30 minutes at reference level!! I was floored by the excellent precision in ALL the speakers, and my sub was given a real workout with some scenes reaching down to below 20 Hz. (without any distortion).

Tier Recommendation: Tier 0* (.25)

PS The movie itself was much better than I had anticipated. There was fairly good acting, a good balance of drama and humor (though it was on the "cheesy" side), and topnotch CGI.
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post #24022 of 24030 Old 10-09-2017, 07:58 PM
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Loch Ness: Series 1

recommendation: Tier 1.5*

Acorn TV puts out this UK crime thriller (also known as The Loch in some foreign markets) in a fine presentation that adroitly captures its pristine cinematography. Shot on location in Scotland, the vivid landscapes and scenic shores are practically characters in the murder mystery. Like most new UK productions, the digital video has razor-sharp clarity. The slightly muted palette favors cooler color temperatures.

Technically there isn't much wrong with either the transfer or the AVC encode. This two-disc set is largely a perfect representation of the source material and makes for dynamic visuals.

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post #24023 of 24030 Old 10-11-2017, 02:11 PM
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Queen of the Desert

recommendation: Tier 0* (lower quarter)

Werner Herzog's biopic of Gertrude Bell was shot on location in Morocco and Jordan in stunning clarity. It's a production that clearly pays homage to Lean's Lawrence of Arabia. The digital intermediate was processed at 4K resolution, shot with a variety of high-quality RED digital cameras. The picturesque cinematography is captured in pristine definition with razor-sharp detail.

A higher placement is certainly possible. Some de-focusing has been applied to Nicole Kidman as she plays a much younger character early in the film.

Released by Shout Factory a couple of years after making its theatrical debut, one wonders after seeing this BD where is the UHD.
Well that's most definitely a movie that would go right under my radar... but the videophile in me might want to watch it if you think its tier 0 material
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post #24024 of 24030 Old 10-11-2017, 04:21 PM
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Well that's most definitely a movie that would go right under my radar... but the videophile in me might want to watch it if you think its tier 0 material
It's one of those flicks made for award season that didn't really hit for whatever reason. You can tell a lot of attention was paid to its cinematography for stunning results. A romanticized period drama that plays fast and loose with history. I imagine all recent productions featuring Nicole Kidman have digitally smoothed her face, she looks older these days in untouched photographs. Here are more thoughts on the disc.

http://doblu.com/2017/10/02/queen-of...lu-ray-review/

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post #24025 of 24030 Old 10-13-2017, 03:47 AM
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Blade Runner (1982) on blu-ray... Abysmal picture quality lol. Granted this movie is 35 years old but I give a fair rating to movies regardless of their age to make it a legit comparison to newer movies. Lawrence of Arabia is around 20 years older (1962-ish) and that had tier 1 picture quality, so there's no reason why this should look THIS bad.

unimpressive contrast, muddy picture, no detail, and in some cases it was blurry, not movie gain blurry, but crappy picture blurry. SO MUCH NOISE.

I thought Band of Brothers was Tier 3 material, as it looked horrible at its worst, but at its best BoB did actually look really good. Blade Runner (in 1080p) has nothing good going for it at all.

1080p on an OLED is supposed to look good no matter what and this really didn't satisfy me... My first tier 4 recommendation

Tier recommendation: 4 (copper)
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post #24026 of 24030 Old 10-13-2017, 07:35 AM
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^^^^^^^^^^^

SnellTHX,

Which version of Blade Runner are you referring to? I have the 5-Disc Complete Collector's Edition which includes the "Final Cut" (that has also been released on 4K) and I thought the PQ is excellent! I haven't seen it in awhile but your review has served to "whet my appetite" to watch it again (besides I want to refresh my memory in view of the upcoming release of Blade Runner 2049). I will report back later but if memory serves me the fully Remastered Final Cut was stunning, all things considered. Was it perfect? No, for there are still factors like "film grain" that will immediately turn some people off, but if it's done right the grain shouldn't hinder details and clarity. Again, I'll reserve "final judgment" after watching the "Final Cut" later today or tomorrow.

I also have Transformers: The Last Knight on tap; in fact, I think I'll watch that first.

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post #24027 of 24030 Old 10-13-2017, 03:24 PM
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Blade Runner (Final Cut)

I know I purchased this when it was released in 2007, but I can't recall the last time I viewed it. I had mentioned to SnellTHX that I remembered it being "stunning" and I stand by that opinion. But when I say "stunning," I'm comparing it with previous releases (which are many, including VHS, DVD and its first 1080p version), so I'm not really comparing it with some of today's "stunning releases." Having said that, it still looks "mighty fine" and one that I wouldn't be ashamed of showing off to friends and family.

I still don't know what version SnellTHX saw, but I'm thinking he couldn't have seen what I just saw, or he never would have given it a Tier 4 placement. Yet he may very well not place the "Final Cut" as high as I will, for I know he detests heavy grain, and there is a fair amount of that in this film (though it's not "pervasive"). Besides grain, there are many SOFT FOCUS shots that definitely deserve some penalization. In those same shots DETAILS and DEPTH suffer. There were also shots that one could call GRITTY; no doubt a "director's choice," but something that will necessarily be docked on a thread like this. I will also add that BLACK LEVELS faltered at times (thankfully this was quite rare), and when they did it either looked "murky" or it was too dark resulting in "black crush."

Now for the good! DETAILS are AMAZING in many scenes! I absolutely loved some of the aerial shots of the city at night, for you could make out minute details in walls of buildings, rain running down windows, crevices in city streets, etc., etc. FACIAL DETAILS were to-die-for in close-ups of every actors, with the Gold Medal going to a character by the name of J. F. Sebastian. He had an aging problem and his face's texture was pure EYE CANDY for those of us who love to see every wrinkle, pock, mole and stubble. BLACKS were, in most instances, beautifully rendered, with corresponding SHADOW DETAILS. These were especially good in outdoor, nighttime scenes (indoor scenes are where they faltered at times). As most of your know, this is a DARK film, so had the blacks not fared well one could hardly give it anything but Tier 4 (or lower). FLESH TONES were spot-on accurate, COLORS (though muted throughout) were pleasingly vibrant when primaries were on display, and CLARITY was SHARP when the "soft focus shots" (alluded to above) were absent.

Before I wrap this up, I have to give a shout out for the wonderful audio mix by famed Vangelis. They worked marvels on this restoration and it was a treat for my ears. This was a Dolby TrueHD mix but with my Denon set up for Dolby Atmos it automatically upmixes it to a Dolby Surround that sends sound to the Height Speakers. This really enhanced the enjoyment of this spectacular film. Now I suppose I should "Double Dip" and buy the 4K version so I can get the actual Dolby Atmos mix.

Tier Recommendation: 1.75*

PS I could see some giving this a 2.0 or 2.25 and I wouldn't fault them for it. Again, it is a "dark film" with numerous "soft focus" shots and some "heavy grain" in those same shots, so some will no doubt dock it more than I was willing to. But Tier 4 would be a travesty, IMHO.
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post #24028 of 24030 Old 10-13-2017, 03:42 PM
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Just in case I wasn't clear in my review, this was indeed the 1982 version of Blade Runner was Remastered on Blu-ray in 2007. There were several different "cuts," with the "Final Cut" being the best.

I should have also clarified that as good as the musical score was by Vangelis, it wasn't equal to today's exemplary audio mixes.

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post #24029 of 24030 Old 10-13-2017, 07:27 PM
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Transformers: The Last Knight

Okay, let's cut to the chase! This is THE ONE!!!! I agree 110% with everything SnellTHX said about this amazing release. I should mention too that I'm speaking of the 1080p version. My 4K version wouldn't play in my Philip's UHD player so I stuck the 1080p version in and it played fine. I ended up doing a Firmware Update afterwards and the 4K works now, so perhaps I'll weigh in again with my impressions of the version. If there is an uptick in PQ in the UHD/HDR version I will be truly amazed, for I kept thinking, "It can't get any better than this!" I will skip my usual lengthy, in-depth review (that I usually give to one I'm recommending for the "King of the Blu-ray Hill" spot). Just rent it...or buy it...and watch it...you will join the #1 Club along with SnellTHX and me!

Tier Recommendation: Tier 0* (#1 )

PS The audio (Dolby Atmos) was INSANE!!!!!!!
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post #24030 of 24030 Old 10-16-2017, 12:30 PM
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Red Christmas

recommendation: Tier 2.75*

This new Aussie slasher receives a decent presentation. Red Christmas does feature several red and green filters as the slasher action heats up in its last act. Artsploitation Films capably handles the transfer, which includes appreciable detail and definition.

Constraints in the source material lead to occasionally flat, though sharp, video. The scope presentation looks roughly similar to many new indie productions made these days.

Blu-ray Picture Quality Tiers (updated through July 13, 2017)
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