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post #1 of 1880 Old 01-27-2004, 05:46 PM - Thread Starter
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I think it is time that we as a group start to compile a list of reference DVDs in PQ category and Audio. The Same for HD( DTheater at this point).

I would like nominations and I would like argument that might dethrone as we go. I would hope that we could get the most likely suspects to go on a sticky at some point. It is an often asked question and one that although talked to death has never been settled to a list . ISF did do this but stopped. WSRs 1-5 scale is too narrow so a 5 in there magazine is always good some 5s aren't reference.


Please nominate any number and then we can work the list as we go.

I'm going to start with a few for PQ since I'm not well versed enough in audio to add much.

DVD:

1) Hollow Man Superbit
2) Shrek
3) Lion King
4) Star Wars AotC
5) Matrix Reloaded
6) Fargo
7) The Pledge

DTheater:


1) Snow Falling on Cedars
2) X Men
3) U571
4) Fight Club
5) Daredevil


If you disagree with my list or any other nominees please say why. I consider the ones on the list not 10 but 9 to 10 on a 1 to 10 scale.

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post #2 of 1880 Old 01-27-2004, 05:57 PM
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I'm watching The Bourne Identity and it looks pretty great. Ice Age is a shoe-in. And I think the reigning champ has been Spy Game for some time.

My Nominations (D-Theater):
The Bourne Identity
Ice Age
Spy Game

As for DVD, it's hard for me to say as I've only had my HTPC up for a little bit and I've spent most of my time with it working on clearing out the HDTV recordings.

I think it's a pretty well agreed that Training Day is a reference DVD, though.

My Nomination (DVD):
Training Day

Art,

I agree with Hollow Man, Lion King, Matrix and Fargo for DVD. The only reason I can't comment on the rest is that I've never seen them on my system.

As for D-Theater, I couldn't agree more with X Men, U-571, and Daredevil. Again, I haven't seen the remaining ones yet. I forgot about Daredevil because I had to stop halfway through (the first movie that's bothered the neighbors!). Fight Club should be here tomorrow.
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post #3 of 1880 Old 01-27-2004, 06:32 PM
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I can only comment on DVD... :p

How about Seabiscuit?? Also, I second Ice Age

I'd go for:


Ice Age
Sea-biscuit
U-571
AtoC
Training Day


and for some classics
Adventures Of Robin Hood
Singing in the Rain
Sunset Blvd

and maybe Casablanca SE (I haven't seen it).

I would probably put Hollow Man SB on the list based on reputation but I haven't seen it either.

Don't taze me, bro!!
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post #4 of 1880 Old 01-27-2004, 06:38 PM - Thread Starter
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What I'd like to get are titles you've seen and are real 9 or 10 out of 10 in PQ.

FredProGh,
I loved Robin Hood but despite it looking spectacular for a 1930's film on DVD I'd argue a little on grain as one flaw in that one but my heart is with it .:)

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post #5 of 1880 Old 01-27-2004, 07:22 PM
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For PQ on DVD my hit list would include:

Dinosaur: Collector's Edition - Disney . . . . . Audio as well on this one
Ice Age
Matrix Reloaded
North by Northwest . . . . . . . . . . . . it sounded so good I forgot I was watching a film made in 1959
Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? . . . . . Audio as well on this one too


I will ask that you qualify your Fargo nominations by adding that you are talking about the most recent release. It is somewhat obvious but you really should make it clear that you meant the Special Edition.
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post #6 of 1880 Old 01-27-2004, 07:36 PM
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out of all the discs i've seen, the two that for me are above reproach would be
Singin' In The Rain SE
The Bad & The Beautiful

the latter is a full frame B&W film, but the disc is silky smooth with an impressive greyscale range and deep inky blacks.

other than these two,
i still have no large problems with
Gladiator
although i would probably rate
Brotherhood Of The Wolf, Hulk, Undercover Brother all higher now.
all of these were 9+ a/v imo.

i haven't seen a perfect dvd (even Reloaded), so a 9 to me is highly satisfying.
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post #7 of 1880 Old 01-27-2004, 07:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Art Sonneborn
What I'd like to get are titles you've seen and are real 9 or 10 out of 10 in PQ.

FredProGh,
I loved Robin Hood but despite it looking spectacular for a 1930's film on DVD I'd argue a little on grain as one flaw in that one but my heart is with it .:)
Yeah, I was going to argue for it based on the idea that some people might want a reference for a different, more classic look of film- i.e., Technicolor- but I have to admit that Singing In The Rain is a better choice.

Don't taze me, bro!!
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post #8 of 1880 Old 01-27-2004, 07:53 PM
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Not a D-VHS owner, so just dvd here:

Terminator 3

About Schmidt

Once Upon A time In Mexico

Star Wars: AOTC

Matrix Reloaded

Starship Troopers SB

Desperado SB

TLOTR: TTT

TLOTR: FOTR

Russ (another one)
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post #9 of 1880 Old 01-27-2004, 07:56 PM
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BTW, what about T2: Extreme Edition??

I watched this the other day and I thought it was a 10/10 for both pq and sound, but no one ever seems to mention it... :confused:

Don't taze me, bro!!
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post #10 of 1880 Old 01-27-2004, 08:06 PM
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My only DVDs that are 9-10 in picture quality:
SW AoTC
Hulk
Terminator 3
Underworld

Audio is harder for me to judge.
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post #11 of 1880 Old 01-27-2004, 08:18 PM
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For PQ on DVD, I nominate/second

Jason X
Starship troopers, superbit.
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post #12 of 1880 Old 01-27-2004, 08:22 PM
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Ok, I will throw in a few of my picks.

DVD:
Desperado SB
ATOC
Matrix Reloaded
Pitch Black
Solaris
The One SB
Tomb Raider 2
Insomnia

DVHS:
X2
Ice Age
Moulin Rouge

Phil
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post #13 of 1880 Old 01-27-2004, 09:04 PM
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This is going to be an interesting thread...but do you really think we can all decide on 5 or so "reference" quality films that can be put on a sticky?
Hope so!

~ Jay

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post #14 of 1880 Old 01-27-2004, 10:21 PM
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DVD PQ:
Freddy vs Jason
Seabiscuit
Badboys 2
Finding Nemo (gotta love it!)
The Fifth Element
T2 Extreme Edition
Casablanca SE
LOTR 1
LOTR 2
& Chicago (if your player can handle it)

DVD Audio:
Identity
Saving Private Ryan
Badboys 2
Pearl Harbor (DTS)
Behind Enemy Lines (DTS)
Lion King Platinum Edition (5.1 Enhanced Mix)

my thoughts:
Shrek was good for it's day, but a little soft by today's standards. Nemo, Ice age, and Monsters' Inc are better quality animations. Once Upon a Time in Mexico? I had to refrain from overadjusting the contrast on my TV to make this one watchable. And Training Day? I'm gonna watch it again right now, last time I viewed it, I had a DVD player that wasn't much more than the cost of the DVD itself, I wanna see what the Denon makes of it now.
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post #15 of 1880 Old 01-27-2004, 11:20 PM
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DVD:

Video:

Fifth Element
Casper
AOTC
Die Another Day ( Region 4, I personally think this is an excellent transfer )
Finding Nemo ( Region 4, again a great transfer )
LOTR 1 & 2

Audio:

Casper
Fugitive ( a favourite of mine )
U571
AOTC
LOTR - Either version

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post #16 of 1880 Old 01-28-2004, 04:03 AM
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The new Stargate: Ultimate Edition looks great despite some problems with their transfer source. It also has a reference quality DTS-ES soundtrack.

I second LOTR: EEs. They didn't split it across two discs for nothing.
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post #17 of 1880 Old 01-28-2004, 06:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jw_Wood
This is going to be an interesting thread...but do you really think we can all decide on 5 or so "reference" quality films that can be put on a sticky?
Hope so!

~ Jay
Jay,
You're right, I'm not expecting 5. I think we should be able to get to say 15 to 20 easily though, that would satisfy most. I'm doing to also request that anyone who has objections to voice them since the goal is to eliminate as well as add to the list.:D

Art

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post #18 of 1880 Old 01-28-2004, 06:54 AM - Thread Starter
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I'd like to comment that although I love the DVDs and they look very good, both The Fifth Element and Oh Brother Where Art Thou ? have enough ringing to take them out of reference for me at least. Any comments ?

Art

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post #19 of 1880 Old 01-28-2004, 08:07 AM
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Seabiscuit is the best looking DVD to date.

I was lucky in the order, but I've always been lucky when it comes to killin' folk - Unforgiven cannot wait for the hd-dvd of this gem
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post #20 of 1880 Old 01-28-2004, 11:16 AM
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Without going back and looking at them again, off the top of my head:
(some were already mentioned). Also, I don't count animation - too easy
to master for DVD (digitally created colors map to digital domain).

Seabiscuit
Starship Troopers Superbit
AoTC
Final Destination 2
The Pledge ( audio?)
T3
Fifth Element Superbit (I don't notice any EE, but I only have a 50" screen).
Braveheart (old, maybe too many newer good transfers bump it out of top 10) audio?
Underworld
LOTR TTT

And, of the movies mentioned so far that I've seen, the only one I disagree with
is Bad Boys II : EE is quite prominent.

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post #21 of 1880 Old 01-28-2004, 11:26 AM
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Art,
Even if "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?" is eliminated from the PQ category I will still go with it for the Audio category. At least as far as DVD goes, it is certainly among the best.


Stricty speaking on Audio quality, I would add "Alison Krauss + Union Station: Live" because the instruments are about as clear as you'll ever hear on DVD.

Like Art, I love this DVD but I would eliminate Lion King enhanced version from the Audio category. Overuse of LFE does not equal reference in my opinion but it is a fun gimmick.
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post #22 of 1880 Old 01-28-2004, 12:07 PM
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On Dtheater

X2
X1
League of Extrodinary Gentlemen
Daredevil

DVD

5th Element Superbit
Underworld
LOTR EEs -both movies
Hulk
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post #23 of 1880 Old 01-28-2004, 12:37 PM
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On the audio side, Fast and the Furious dts (first one) has to be on the list. I second Training Day for video. One movie I think that is often overlooked is Die Another Day, great sound (dts-es). I think the current standard for audio and video together is Finding Nemo. Almost hi-def looking with great Dolby Ex sound. I was really surprised with the video transfer of Underworld. Its a dark movie, but not so dark that you can't make out details in the shadows. You want exaggerated bass from your sub? Can't go wrong with Lara Croft Cradle of Life.

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post #24 of 1880 Old 01-28-2004, 01:31 PM
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Hulk has excellent PQ and some astonishing LFE and SQ. Alot of people didn't like this movie, I didn't think it was that bad until the end.

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post #25 of 1880 Old 01-28-2004, 02:05 PM - Thread Starter
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I didn't intend this to be me criticizing choices but instead a dialog on why some are great and some are close etc , so we can get a reasonable AVS forum consensus on reference titles.So far I'm the only one adding anything about why this or that may not be reference. I'll keep doing it but I can't be the only one since there are several titles mentioned that I've not seen.

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post #26 of 1880 Old 01-28-2004, 02:29 PM
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Probably not a fair answer, but, Coral Reef Adventure in 1080p is the finest looking DVD I have. Hopefully, one day, all DVDs will look like this.

Bob
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post #27 of 1880 Old 01-28-2004, 02:40 PM
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Seabiscuit is one stellar looking dvd.
Starship Troopers Superbit
Star Wars: AOTC

Those are the 3 most memorable to me as of late in the terms of PQ.
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post #28 of 1880 Old 01-28-2004, 03:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Art Sonneborn
I didn't intend this to be me criticizing choices but instead a dialog on why some are great and some are close etc , so we can get a reasonable AVS forum consensus on reference titles.So far I'm the only one adding anything about why this or that may not be reference. I'll keep doing it but I can't be the only one since there are several titles mentioned that I've not seen.
the single disc that most impressed me in terms of PQ?
Anchor Bays edition of an Italian exploitation film from the 70's called Hitch-Hike.
crisp, detailed, with strong colors, an excellent tonal range, and a very fine (almost imperceptible) grain structure.
there was only one quick shot where i could detect anything close to a flaw in the picture, and it was a longshot of a service station in the desert where i thought i saw some ringing around an object and a softness of detail in a figure, otherwise the image on display looked pristine.
i've seen a few like the ones already listed that looked as good, but i haven't really seen anything that i would consider better.

but why bring it up, as i'm sure very few people, if any on this board, would actually have seen it.
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post #29 of 1880 Old 01-28-2004, 03:44 PM
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i also have to disagree with Chicago on this list...

the pq was alot less than reference...

I dream of a better tomorrow... where chickens can cross roads and not have their motives questioned.
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post #30 of 1880 Old 01-28-2004, 05:26 PM
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I haven't seen any D-Theater tapes so I will comment on dvd.

1) Matrix Reloaded: No EE and not much smearing. Very good detail on the closeups.

2) 2 fast 2 furious: Colors are vibrate and the details for each car really evident. Some smearing in the fast motion scenes.

3) Underworld: Not alot of colors in this film. Mostly black and gray but not mych ee and good detail in darker scenes. Sound quality on this disk is probably the most intense I have heard.

4) X-Men 2

5) Die Another Day: Fair amount of ee especially in the beginning.

6) Cradle 2 the Grave: Detailed scenes through out. Not hard to make out fine details.

7) Lotr RTK: Kind of soft film. Haven't finished watching all of it but some scenes are not as detailed as others.

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