Hot Fuzz - Shaun Of The Dead - Darkman - Sea Of Love Are Here!! - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 123 Old 07-27-2007, 08:04 PM - Thread Starter
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My contact at Universal just got me the following movies. Look here for some mini-reviews.

Hot Fuzz
Picture Quality - 4.5/5
Audio Quality - 3.5/5
Overall - 4/5

Comments: For this release Universal went with a VC-1 encode on to an HD30 disc. For the most part this transfer looks good. The film grain is kept in check and the image is sharp. In my opinion the PQ of this release is the best we have seen from Universal in quite some time. In many of the brighter/outdoors scenes the image "pops" and is very vibrant. As far as AQ goes, I listened using the Dolby Digital Plus (DD+) option and it sounded good. The Center Channel presented the dialog in a clear and powerful manner, the Surrounds received consistent action and the LFE was used in a precise and effective manner. In conclusion this is a nice presentation, so if you are a fan of this film I can recommend this purchase.



Darkman
Picture Quality - 2/5
Audio Quality - 3.5/5
Overall - 3/5

Comments: For this release Universal went with a VC-1 Transfer on to an HD30. Unfortunately this transfer is a mess in-terms of PQ. I do not beleive I have ever seen this much film debris on any release from either format. There is debris in nearly every scene of the movie. Sometimes you can even see fibers/hairs in the print. I also noticed this transfer seems to bounce ever so slightly up and down, much like "Field Of Dreams" did. The image was also inconsistent. Some scenes were as sharp as a razor and some as soft as a tissue. Colors also seemed somewhat washed-out and less vibrant as compared to other HD releases of movies from this timeframe. Grain also comes and goes. It becomes very evident in dark scenes where as noise becomes evident in bright/white scenes. I am VERY let down by the PQ of this release. As far as AQ goes, I lsitened using the Dolby TrueHD option and it sounded good. The Center Channel presented the dialog in a clear and powerful manner, the Surrounds received consistent action and the LFE was used in a precise and effective manner. I can not however recommend this purchase as there was little to no effort put in to this release from Universal.
****Also, there are no Special Features on this release****





~Josh

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post #2 of 123 Old 07-27-2007, 08:07 PM
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Nice. Please view Darkman next, I really want to hear what this came out to be PQ and AQ wise espically with a TrueHD track.
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post #3 of 123 Old 07-27-2007, 08:16 PM
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"Darkman" better kick ass in the PQ/AQ department (within reason) since its the only title of the four featured that didn't receive one stinkin' bonus feature/extra. If Universal ever goes neutral "Darkman" will fit right in with Blu-ray's many barebone catalogue titles out now ("Flatliners" anyone?).
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post #4 of 123 Old 07-27-2007, 08:17 PM
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I'm curious as to what you didn't like about Hot Fuzz's audio. If you don't mind, could you elaborate?
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post #5 of 123 Old 07-27-2007, 08:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MSmith83 View Post

I'm curious as to what you didn't like about Hot Fuzz's audio. If you don't mind, could you elaborate?

I thought the audio was fine. I just felt it is average for the current state of releases.

~Josh

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post #6 of 123 Old 07-27-2007, 08:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beatboy77 View Post

I thought the audio was fine. I just felt it is average for the current state of releases.

~Josh

Fair enough.

Personally, I found it to be one of the liveliest sound tracks in recent memory. I thought that it perfectly conveyed the aural experience one would expect from an over the top action movie. Aside from its persistent aggressiveness, there were some good subtle sound effects as well. For instance, in the scene where they are preparing to watch a DVD, you can distinctly hear the player's tray open and the disc hitting the tray from directly behind you. That's one example of how even the small things became part of the audio mix.
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post #7 of 123 Old 07-27-2007, 08:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MSmith83 View Post

Fair enough.

Personally, I found it to be one of the liveliest sound tracks in recent memory. I thought that it perfectly conveyed the aural experience one would expect from an over the top action movie. Aside from its persistent aggressiveness, there were some good subtle sound effects as well. For instance, in the scene where they are preparing to watch a DVD, you can distinctly hear the player's tray open and the disc hitting the tray from directly behind you. That's one example of how even the small things became part of the audio mix.

I agree with what you have said, however it did not encompass or have that same "fullness" to me as a PCM or TrueHD track does.

~Josh

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post #8 of 123 Old 07-27-2007, 09:09 PM
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I agree completely with Josh on the Hot Fuzz PQ:

Presented in a 1080p, VC-1 Encoded, 1:85:1 Widescreen Aspect Ratio, Hot Fuzz contains a fantastic transfer that has no real problems.

The biggest positive about this one is the film's sheer usage of bright colors. Whites, sky blues and yellows fill the screen for a majority of the picture with a solid, clear image. In fact, a lot of this film takes place during the day with the exception of the graveyard sequence. Anyhow, grain was pretty much nowhere to be found (or at least nothing that was noticeable), while EE is present (just a tad bit) during the church sequence before the 3rd death. The film's print, benefiting from being just recently released into theaters, is near immaculate condition with no evidence of print damage, scratches, washed out colors or video noise. All in all, this is a fantastic transfer that rates up there with some of the best HD titles to date. 4.5/5
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post #9 of 123 Old 07-27-2007, 09:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beatboy77 View Post

I agree with what you have said, however it did not encompass or have that same "fullness" to me as a PCM or TrueHD track does.

~Josh


So, since it's not a TrueHD track, it gets a point reduction?
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post #10 of 123 Old 07-27-2007, 09:13 PM
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Completely disagree with you about Darkman.
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post #11 of 123 Old 07-27-2007, 09:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scitek View Post

So, since it's not a TrueHD track, it gets a point reduction?

A 3.5 is in the average range, so there is no deduction. It gets it score based on its performance, not what it is.

~Josh

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post #12 of 123 Old 07-27-2007, 09:35 PM
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A lot of raving about Darkman in this thread . "Stunning" and "Reference material" are terms used to describe it. Yet only a 2/5 from the OP claiming it a "mess." Somebody sure is WAY off. I would like to know who is right so I know who to trust for information.
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post #13 of 123 Old 07-27-2007, 09:41 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ricwhite View Post

A lot of raving about Darkman in this thread . "Stunning" and "Reference material" are terms used to describe it. Yet only a 2/5 from the OP claiming one of the worst PQ in recent memory. Somebody sure is WAY off. I would like to know who is right so I know who to trust for information.

Considering his track record and obvious (admitted) bias, I don't know how anyone could take his opinions seriously. I'm looking forward to Darkman and I'm picking it up regardless of what Josh claims.
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post #14 of 123 Old 07-27-2007, 09:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ricwhite View Post

A lot of raving about Darkman in this thread . "Stunning" and "Reference material" are terms used to describe it. Yet only a 2/5 from the OP claiming it a "mess." Somebody sure is WAY off. I would like to know who is right so I know who to trust for information.

Not really a lot of raving - the OP seems to be the only person who's seen the disc!
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post #15 of 123 Old 07-27-2007, 09:51 PM
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Darkman's PQ does waver, but it seems completely obvious it's the source, not the transfer. Shots can be soft, though some shots are matte shots, so of course they'll look softer. An extensive restoration could have helped, but then again, who really knows by just how much and whether if would be worth the effort. Also maybe it was just me, but I didn't notice that much film debris and I'd much rather have that than edge enhancement or DNR.

One thing is sure, you can burn the DVD after seeing the HD DVD. It's a pleasant surprise.

Elfman's score is massively helped by the TrueHD track. The music sounds so good it's distracting.
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post #16 of 123 Old 07-27-2007, 10:00 PM - Thread Starter
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If you look at this picture you can clearly see film debris on the right side of the screen and a verticle film line running down the left/center of the screen.




In this shot only a few seconds later you can see film debris throughout.




And again if you look in the upper-righthand corner it is full of film debris.

Believe me, this transfer is full of film debris throughout. It is by far the worst I have seen on either format in terms of film debris. Calling this release "reference" material is just a flatout lie.

~Josh

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post #17 of 123 Old 07-27-2007, 10:03 PM
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Hmmmm, no.

Darkman easily beats the completely mangled Traffic and The 40 Year Old Virgin.
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post #18 of 123 Old 07-27-2007, 10:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Damnationdoormat View Post

Hmmmm, no.

Darkman easily beats the completely mangled Traffic and The 40 Year Old Virgin.

That's not saying much. I have DVD's that beat those.

~Josh

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post #19 of 123 Old 07-27-2007, 10:10 PM
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Wasn't that interested in Darkman anyway unless it was a stunning reference disc. After seeing those screen shots, I think I'll pass on it.

Hot Fuzz, however, seems consistently good from the reports I've read thus far. I guess I'll pick that up.
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post #20 of 123 Old 07-27-2007, 10:13 PM
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Isn't beatboy the guy who's batting .000 when it comes to reviews?
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post #21 of 123 Old 07-27-2007, 10:17 PM
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Isn't beatboy the guy who's batting .000 when it comes to reviews?

So, you're saying that "Hot Fuzz" is actually really bad? You think he's wrong?
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post #22 of 123 Old 07-27-2007, 10:18 PM
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Quote:
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So, you're saying that "Hot Fuzz" is actually really bad? You think he's wrong?



You know what I mean. The last 10 post have been about Darkman not Hot Fuzz.
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post #23 of 123 Old 07-27-2007, 10:19 PM - Thread Starter
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You guys crack me up You "completely agree" with me when I give an HD-DVD a solid score for PQ, yet I am "biased" or "batting .000" when I give an HD-DVD a poor score for PQ.

~Josh

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post #24 of 123 Old 07-27-2007, 10:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beatboy77 View Post

You guys crack me up You "completely agree" with me when I give an HD-DVD a solid score for PQ, yet I am "biased" or "batting .000" when I give an HD-DVD a poor score for PQ.

~Josh

I think they're just upset because you're a known BD supporter. With few exceptions, I think your assessments are right on target -- at least what I have read. But I'm still confused how somebody thought Darkman was "stunning" and "reference material". I think, from what I can see, that was wrong and it obviously has some PQ issues. I would expect the professional reviews to say the same. We'll see.
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post #25 of 123 Old 07-27-2007, 10:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ricwhite View Post

I think they're just upset because you're a known BD supporter. With few exceptions, I think your assessments are right on target -- at least what I have read. But I'm still confused how somebody thought Darkman was "stunning" and "reference material". I think, from what I can see, that was wrong and it obviously has some PQ issues. I would expect the professional reviews to say the same. We'll see.

I will say what I have said before, the Transfer of Darkman is a mess. I am a stickler for film debris. I feel it absolutely should not be in either of the two format's releases as it is a product of the encode process not the source they had to work with. This film is absolutely covered in film debris.

To call this release "reference" is completely laughable.

~Josh

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post #26 of 123 Old 07-27-2007, 10:37 PM
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Hi guys, I'm new to the forum. After waiting patiently for the format war to end, I ended up jumping over to the HD-DVD camp because of the Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead releases. They are two of my favorite films and I just couldn't resist so here I am with the 360's HD-DVD add-on.

Anyway, thank you Josh for your little review on Hot Fuzz and I await your review for SoTD. If it's not too much trouble, I'd really appreciate some screen shots from those two movies.
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post #27 of 123 Old 07-27-2007, 10:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beatboy77 View Post

I agree with what you have said, however it did not encompass or have that same "fullness" to me as a PCM or TrueHD track does.

~Josh

Interesting. I found the Hot Fuzz track to be much more encompassing and fuller than many of the recent TrueHD and PCM tracks that I've listened to. The sound imaging here is very impressive; there is a great sense of directionality.

It doesn't quite hit tight lows like the POTC BDs do, nor does it hit crisp highs like the Casino Royale BD, but its mid-range qualities impress. I can't see how anyone could call this audio track average, but difference of opinion is indeed what makes life interesting.

By the way, if you don't mind me asking, what is your audio setup?
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post #28 of 123 Old 07-27-2007, 10:53 PM
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As much as some people disagree with his reviews it is still one thing.....His opinion.... Reviews are subjective. If you don't like his review wait for another person to review the movie. We don't have to Bash Josh in every review he puts up. At least have some dignity to not insult him in his own review thread.
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post #29 of 123 Old 07-27-2007, 10:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MSmith83 View Post

Interesting. I found the Hot Fuzz track to be much more encompassing and fuller than many of the recent TrueHD and PCM tracks that I've listened to. The sound imaging here is very impressive; there is a great sense of directionality.

It doesn't quite hit tight lows like the POTC BDs do, nor does it hit crisp highs like the Casino Royale BD, but its mid-range qualities impress. I can't see how anyone could call this audio track average, but difference of opinion is indeed what makes life interesting.

By the way, if you don't mind me asking, what is your audio setup?

I use the new Onkyo 605 running in to an Infinity Beta 7.2 speaker system. I use an HD-A1 for HD-DVD and a PS3 for Blu-ray hooked up via HDMI.

~Josh

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post #30 of 123 Old 07-27-2007, 10:56 PM
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mmmm Darkman and Hot fuzz are definitely going to be mine .
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