or Connect
AVS › AVS Forum › Blu-ray & HD DVD › Blu-ray Software › The New PQ Tier thread for Blu-Ray - Discussion
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

The New PQ Tier thread for Blu-Ray - Discussion - Page 498

post #14911 of 21406
Die Hard

A surprisingly solid disc for an early release on the format. The high quality AVC encode retains the granularity of the film without compression mush. The grain itself isn't subtle but not overbearing for my tastes. I didn't really look for EE but it didn't stand out to me. Detail is well-defined, though the anamorphic lenses the filmmakers employed can be soft at times. As with most older films consistency falters occasionally but overall the quality is high. Colors are subdued and the overall look of the film doesn't lend itself to "eye candy" purposes. Contrast is a notable strong point, black levels are consistently on the money.

Tier 2.25

(PS3/Pioneer Kuro 50" Elite/1 screen width distance)
post #14912 of 21406
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pure_McNasty View Post

Marge871, I don't think you are understanding the threads meaning of PQ. It has nothing to do with how good a movie is, it is completely based on how good it *looks*. Also, if you have truly been reading the reviews, while many have taken issue with some of the PQ in Hurt Locker, most of the reviewers have added that as a movie it is good, if not a great movie.

Looking at the rankings Tier Blu does not mean you are getting a movie that is necessarily good, it means you are getting a movie that is good looking. There are many sites that will give you reviews about how a movie is storywise and such. I personally use this thread to determine if the transition to Blu-ray makes the movie look so good it is worth the added cost of buying it over dvd. Because a good story, is a good story no matter how good it looks (I just want to know if Blu is going to make that story look better).

Anyways, I want to thank the guys who do these reviews for your time, I myself am a college student and don't have enough time to do the reviews justice. I've been reading these reviews for a while, and thought an outsider's opinion on your reviews would help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by djoberg View Post

Thanks for your thoughtful response to marge871; I believe you have done an excellent job articulating what the purpose of this thread is (as opposed to other threads and sites that discuss the merits of the movie itself).

Also, thanks for your encouraging remarks regarding the reviews that are posted on here. It's good to know people are being helped by them.

+1! Completely agree here, Denny. I really appreciate the kind words from you on this issue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantom Stranger View Post

In this thread or the greater web as a whole? If the latter, here are the links to reviews of the original Blu-ray from various sites:
http://hddb.net/reviews/300-blu-ray
and the newer 300 digibook edition:
http://hddb.net/reviews/300-complete...280371-blu-ray
Currently 300 is ranked Tier 1.5 in our list, a very good ranking. Of course, as an older BD that came out in 2007, most of the reviews will be a touch outdated. A search of the thread using "300" would probably turn up the discussion surrounding its ranking.



That is really an impossible standard for any reviewer, beyond the realm of common sense. The PQ thread judges the finished product, and nothing beyond that. It would be nice to have the input of the director and director of photography on every movie when formulating a review, not to mention the technical people who supervised the transfer, but that is simply not realistic.

You are welcome to post your opinions here of the picture quality seen on the Blu-ray. Be mindful we almost entirely discount artistic intent and follow a certain set of criteria, as laid out in the link a few posts above. Many beloved movies of mine dwell in the lower tiers. Not all great filmmaking necessarily looks very good to the eye.



It might be hard to find reviews for 300 using the whacky search function b/c it is only 3 characters long! Also +1 to the rest of your post, Phantom!
post #14913 of 21406
Ella Enchanted (Canadian Import)

This is another one of the Canadian Alliance titles. I have no idea if it is in OAR but if not, I didn't notice. I've seen this movie probably 100 times, so if something was wrong with it it really does not interfere with the enjoyment of it. There are no special features whatsoever on this title, and no subtitles.


For an Alliance title, this one is done very well. There is maybe a HINT of edge enhancement or high contrast edging, and I only noticed it on very rare occasions, so it passes my eagle-eyed EE inspection.


The colours were extremely vibrant and there is a wealth of texture details throughout. It is a tad bit soft, although I did notice some grain was present, so I'm unsure if the softness is a "director's intent" thing or if it is a "DNR thing". Despite the softness there still is some amazing facial detail to be seen. Even in the opening scenes where Ella is a baby, you can see the itty bitty baby acne that the cute little one has.


Overall I was extremely impressed with this title. Was it perfect? No. I didn't expect it to be, but it by far exceeded my expectations for a Canadian Alliance title; maybe they will be improving!


I have this title from Zip.ca right now, and I do own this on DVD but I will definitely be upgrading this title likely the next time I do an amazon.ca order, even without any extras.


Recommendation for Ella Enchanted (Canadian Import) - Tier 1.75
Equipment: ps3 80gig to Panasonic TH-58PZ800U, THX setting, approximately 7.5’ viewing distance.
post #14914 of 21406
Moon

In the few months I have been participating on this thread, I have yet to see such a dull and lifeless 2 hours of visuals as offered by the release of Moon. Literally, there was about 45% off white, 45% gray, and maybe 10% of actual color. The surfaces in the moon base and elsewhere were flat, contained no texture, and were not visually stimulating in the least. Gerty the robot was also flat and white, save for the small smiley face screen which produced a boring 2D image of the yellow smiley face we've seen for years and years (why they couldn't come up with something more sophisticated for a moon base robot is beyond me).

Contrast suffered quite a bit as a result. The lifeless setting produced very little pop whatsoever, and thus the picture just looked completely flat the entire time. There was not a hint of the 3d effect in this title at all. I didn't notice any EE or ringing, but when the character stood in a jumpsuit with a different color background (read: boring and grey), the difference was legible, but not very noteworthy.

Again, because of the flat texture of everything in the movie, detail was non-existent. The only instance of fine detail came when the character was out on the moon rover, and small particles of moon dust would come into focus. These were probably CGI shots on top of stock footage of some grey dust, and since the camera had nothing else to focus on, the dust looked pretty solid, but again, the boring color lent it no help. At other times, the camera, while close to an object or person, could not keep it sharply in focus. Facial details were at best a 2.0, and I don't really remember seeing anything that looked otherwise.

If it is not obvious, I was thoroughly unimpressed with this title, at least pertaining to the criteria of our reviews here. Soft focus and a total lack of detail, flat textures and lifeless color really made this movie just a total wash, and didn't take advantage of this medium at all. One of the most boring viewings I've had since the switch to Blu.

Tier Recommendation: 3.75

As a movie, not terrible, but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone unless you were a big fan of Castaway, or weird science-fiction. It was a mixture of both, and at times, had the boring Castaway feel of the solitary soul going about his daily life with little to no contact from the outside world (or in this case, Earth). I won't ruin the ending, but suffice it to say it wasn't that intriguing. Rent before buying.
post #14915 of 21406
Quote:
Originally Posted by geekyglassesgirl View Post

Ella Enchanted (Canadian Import)

This is another one of the Canadian Alliance titles. I have no idea if it is in OAR but if not, I didn't notice. I've seen this movie probably 100 times, so if something was wrong with it it really does not interfere with the enjoyment of it. There are no special features whatsoever on this title, and no subtitles.

Recommendation for Ella Enchanted (Canadian Import) - Tier 1.75
Equipment: ps3 80gig to Panasonic TH-58PZ800U, THX setting, approximately 7.5' viewing distance.

The original aspect ratio for Ella Enchanted is 1.85:1 if IMDB is to be believed. So if the Blu-ray's picture fills the screen, the Alliance BD is good on that mark. Your review might be the only one of the Ella Enchanted Blu-ray on the entire Internet, if my cursory search is correct. One question, is the disc's native resolution in 1080i or 1080p? That is occasionally a problem on Alliance's Blu-rays.
post #14916 of 21406
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantom Stranger View Post

The original aspect ratio for Ella Enchanted is 1.85:1 if IMDB is to be believed. So if the Blu-ray's picture fills the screen, the Alliance BD is good on that mark. Your review might be the only one of the Ella Enchanted Blu-ray on the entire Internet, if my cursory search is correct. One question, is the disc's native resolution in 1080i or 1080p? That is occasionally a problem on Alliance's Blu-rays.

It did fill the entire screen, so I guess it was OAR! As for the 1080i or p I'm unsure, but it looked damn good on my screen for what it was! I don't have the disc anymore as I shipped it off this morning, but I know one of the guys in the Canadian Import thread purchased it, so perhaps he can tell, I'll go post there and ask. If it's 1080i they did a really good job. It will probably be sometime in the summer before I do another amazon order as I'm still waiting on my boxing day sale order from there, but when I do one it's being added in.
post #14917 of 21406
Just to follow up on that, Phantom:
From poster Dex Robinson in the Canadian Blu Ray thread

Quote:


I don't have the gear to check for 1080i or 1080p myself...but a poster at the Blu-ray.com forum said it was 1080p (I'm not registered there so I can't ask him to elaborate). He's the only one to comment on the encoding and the list of Canadian exclusives over there still lists it as 1080p.

That's not necessarily definitive but it's the ONLY independent information I can find.
post #14918 of 21406
Gamer

This is REAL tough call. Shot on the Red One, determining the proper Tier depends on whether you value detail or eye-popping color. If you like a mix of both, this is eye candy heaven.

Detail in the "game" scenes is generally remarkable. The crisp clarity the Red can produce is really impressive stuff. It does replicate film, minus the grain. However, color here is completely gone with the exception of red blood and orange explosions. Faces are wonderfully textured, even when things get dark. Black levels are spectacular.

Then there is Society, another online game where facial detail is smoothed over for the sake of stunning color. Every shade is saturated as far as it will go without any noticeable bleed. Some fine detail does remain. There is a lot of fur being worn and such, and this one captures it pretty well.

There is some light noise, some light banding, but nothing to get worked up about. Personally, considering intent, I gave it a 5/5 on my site because nothing was severe enough to drop it to a 4. For this thread however, which is of course about eye candy, I'm going to cautiously go with:

Tier 1.5
post #14919 of 21406
So Game-review-god, how was Gamer as a movie?
post #14920 of 21406
Quote:
Originally Posted by deltasun View Post

So Game-review-god, how was Gamer as a movie?

Offensive to my very soul... seriously. Just awful movie with a few gutsy action scenes. Had potential in its concept, but the debate surrounding using death row inmates in a game is far more interesting than watching it play out.

Oh, and you get to see Gerard Butler projectile vomit into a gas tank. Really.
post #14921 of 21406
Resident Evil: Degeneration

recommendation: Tier 1.5

The Resident Evil franchise made the leap to a purely CGI-rendered movie in this Sony Pictures' Blu-ray. Released on December 27, 2008, the 96-minute main feature is encoded in AVC on a BD-50. The video encode averages 23.73 Mbps for the entire movie. As opposed to the more flashy and cartoonish CGI of say a Pixar movie, the animation here seeks a degree of realism to the picture. In terms of camera angles, character models and colors, it does not look far removed from a live-action film.

I felt compelled to place it in tier 1.5 mostly because of the close visual similarities with another digitally-animated BD, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, currently ranked there. Degeneration is probably a notch better looking, but any higher placement felt undeserving for it. Without that pressure, a placement in tier 1.75 would not have been objectionable to me. Final Fantasy might need to get downgraded in placement at some future date.

Sourced directly from the digital files of the animators, the picture is pristine in appearance with an excellent level of clarity. Above-black detail is of reference caliber and the finest of any animated movie on the Blu-ray format. Black levels are perfect, displaying some of the best shadow delineation and textured micro-detail in the dimly lit scenes as any disc. The color palette though lacks the vibrancy and tonality of the CGI movies in tier zero. Primary colors are decent but shown much closer to the standard fidelity of live-action film. The image does not exude great depth and perspective. The overall presentation is a little flatter than is commonly seen in CGI titles. While the picture could not not be characterized as soft, it is not quite razor-sharp.

Detail is solid and definitely a grade above many of the simpler animated films. Character models are appropriately styled and move fluidly enough to make one forget they are watching animation at times. The animators really nailed down the look of authentic hair, displaying individual strands of hair out of place. Faces look fine except in the case of one character, the Senator. He is supposed to look like an older, overweight male. But he comes off looking like a man in a fat suit. His wrinkles look entirely unconvincing and creepy, like melting flesh. Backgrounds are nicely realistic, though a few longer shots exhibit some slight softness and lack of detail in the animation. One problem in the animation is the infrequent but noticeable occurrence of aliasing at times. It is not pervasive, though on occasion it can be distracting.

The compression overall is very competent but not flawless. Infrequent and relatively minor banding does disturb the image on occasion. Upping the bitrate parameters might have helped out with the banding, because some of it did not look endemic to the original animation. Other than that Sony has done a top-notch job in transferring the digital files to Blu-ray. There are no signs of post-processing like edge enhancement or filtering to remove detail.

BDInfo Scan (courtesy of Lazarus Dark):
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...7#post15670917
post #14922 of 21406
Quote:
Originally Posted by deltasun View Post

So Game-review-god, how was Gamer as a movie?

Also, how do you get a copy a week in advance?
post #14923 of 21406
Quote:
Originally Posted by jedimasterchad View Post

Moon

In the few months I have been participating on this thread, I have yet to see such a dull and lifeless 2 hours of visuals as offered by the release of Moon. Literally, there was about 45% off white, 45% gray, and maybe 10% of actual color. The surfaces in the moon base and elsewhere were flat, contained no texture, and were not visually stimulating in the least. Gerty the robot was also flat and white, save for the small smiley face screen which produced a boring 2D image of the yellow smiley face we've seen for years and years (why they couldn't come up with something more sophisticated for a moon base robot is beyond me).

Contrast suffered quite a bit as a result. The lifeless setting produced very little pop whatsoever, and thus the picture just looked completely flat the entire time. There was not a hint of the 3d effect in this title at all. I didn't notice any EE or ringing, but when the character stood in a jumpsuit with a different color background (read: boring and grey), the difference was legible, but not very noteworthy.

Again, because of the flat texture of everything in the movie, detail was non-existent. The only instance of fine detail came when the character was out on the moon rover, and small particles of moon dust would come into focus. These were probably CGI shots on top of stock footage of some grey dust, and since the camera had nothing else to focus on, the dust looked pretty solid, but again, the boring color lent it no help. At other times, the camera, while close to an object or person, could not keep it sharply in focus. Facial details were at best a 2.0, and I don't really remember seeing anything that looked otherwise.


Panasonic TC-54PS14 at eight feet.

If it is not obvious, I was thoroughly unimpressed with this title, at least pertaining to the criteria of our reviews here. Soft focus and a total lack of detail, flat textures and lifeless color really made this movie just a total wash, and didn't take advantage of this medium at all. One of the most boring viewings I've had since the switch to Blu.

Tier Recommendation: 3.75

As a movie, not terrible, but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone unless you were a big fan of Castaway, or weird science-fiction. It was a mixture of both, and at times, had the boring Castaway feel of the solitary soul going about his daily life with little to no contact from the outside world (or in this case, Earth). I won't ruin the ending, but suffice it to say it wasn't that intriguing. Rent before buying.


I think 3.75 is a little harsh. Sure it had a bland, boring look to it, but that was obviously intentional. The mining models and/or CGI were laughably bad IMO but overall the film didn't have any major visual flaws. I'd put it around 3.0
post #14924 of 21406
Quote:
Originally Posted by jedimasterchad View Post

Also, how do you get a copy a week in advance?

Review copy.
post #14925 of 21406
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gamereviewgod View Post

Offensive to my very soul... seriously. Just awful movie with a few gutsy action scenes. Had potential in its concept, but the debate surrounding using death row inmates in a game is far more interesting than watching it play out.

Oh, and you get to see Gerard Butler projectile vomit into a gas tank. Really.

GAH. Seriously? Ewwwwwwwww.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gamereviewgod View Post

Review copy.

TOTALLY jealous!
post #14926 of 21406
(500) Days of Summer

A technically impeccable disc of a new movie that's not really driven by visuals. The color palette is rather muted. Looks great, nothing to complain about, and nothing worth spending many words on.

Tier 1.5

(PS3/Pioneer 50" Kuro Elite/1 screen width distance)
post #14927 of 21406
Quote:
Originally Posted by audiomagnate View Post

I think 3.75 is a little harsh. Sure it had a bland, boring look to it, but that was obviously intentional. The mining models and/or CGI were laughably bad IMO but overall the film didn't have any major visual flaws. I'd put it around 3.0

While the movie didn't have any notable flaws, it also IMO had a complete and total lack of "wow factor" and "eye candy". It was hard to come up with a good placement as most of the movies in the 3-4 area I haven't seen in a while so I was going from memory. I wouldn't mind moving it up a little from my previous placement, but not too much. There are some titles in 3.0 and 3.25 that I still feel are quite a bit better.
post #14928 of 21406
The Faculty (Canadian import)

recommendation: Tier 2.75

Due to the economics of bringing older films to Blu-ray, many older and less popular titles are unlikely to see a retail release on the format by the major Hollywood studios in the foreseeable future. Large swaths of Disney's catalog of older movies are being ignored on Blu-ray. The Faculty is a Miramax property in the U.S., which has been folded under Disney's complete control on home video. Alliance is the Canadian distributor for this movie, and gave the 1998 horror film a proper release on October 6, 2009. Unfortunately it is locked to Region A, so Europeans will not be able to play it without the benefit of a modified player.

The main feature runs 104-minutes in length and is correctly presented at 1080p resolution, contrary to the packaging claims on the back listed at 1080i resolution. Video is encoded using AVC and the disc is a BD-25. Without a BDInfo scan available, the best estimate for the average video bitrate is approximately 20 Mbps, based off the bitrate meter. The movie's intended aspect ratio is 1.85:1, while Alliance has used a transfer that is slightly opened up to 1.78:1, a common practice by many studios when releasing on home video.

Compression and authoring are credited to a Montreal firm, La Boîte Numérique. They have handled some of the other Alliance titles in the past. Encoding parameters are lower than a typical U.S. release. Peak bitrates rarely exceed 27.8 Mbps, and most of the video encode ranges from 14.8 Mbps to 24.6 Mbps. The picture is mostly devoid of artifacts. The only moments where the lower bitrates show some macroblocking are the times with little available light for the camera. Darker scenes display an enhanced grain pattern that the encode does not replicate well. Luckily there are few scenes of this type in the movie.

The disc looks made from an older high-definition telecine transfer. Gamma looks a touch too high, with slightly washed-out contrast and colors. That being said, the master is totally unprocessed in appearance. Aside from sporadic and minor ringing in the final act that may or may not be the result of edge enhancement, halos are never a problem. Shorts bouts of softness are more the problem than anything. Clearly no digital noise reduction has been applied, as grain looks untouched and high-frequency information is left intact. While the term film-like is probably overused in reviews, the Blu-ray appears faithful to the original cinematic quality of the film negative.

Detail is about average and shows a moderate upgrade in clarity from the dvd. The flesh-colored tape over the actress' breasts in the nude scene is much easier to spot on the Blu-ray. A ranking anywhere from tier 2.75 to 3.25 makes the most sense. Is this the best The Faculty could look on Blu-ray? My hunch is Disney could surpass it in picture quality with a new transfer from the original film elements , but that is unlikely to happen. Fans will likely be pleased with the picture quality of this exclusive selection from Canada. Nothing happens that approaches demonstration quality at any moment. A few scenes of the football players outdoors look better than average. But most of the film is relatively flat in depth and dimensionality.
post #14929 of 21406
Street Fighter (1994)

Possibly an older master that was tweaked. Extensive edge enhancement/artificial sharpening leads to not only haloing, but grain that is anything but natural. Grain spikes are ugly, and the encode breaks down causing artifacting.

Color has been terribly saturated, leading to hilariously neon green plants around Bison's compound. Chun-Li's red dress bleeds. Some fine detail in close-ups, but not fully resolved.

Tier 2.75

Terrible movie to this day, but I had an odd appreciation for the sheer stupidity of it this time around. Picked up on some subtle gags I never noticed before, like Bison complaining about the food court in his new world-dominating compound, because that's what all power-mad dictators care about, right?
post #14930 of 21406
Bruce Almighty (UK import)

recommendation: 1.75

The 2003 comedy starring Jim Carrey has two competing versions on the Blu-ray format. Overseas the movie is distributed by Disney, as opposed to Universal domestically. This British BD was released on August 6, 2007 in a region-free disc with extras that will play on any Region A machine. The domestic issue is a much more recent release from June of 2009, but poor reviews of its picture quality and Universal's decision to squeeze the content on a BD-25 drove me to seek out the British import. With a few exceptions, Disney has proven more trustworthy in properly bringing better quality to their releases than Universal has in the past. But this particular disc is a mixed bag, showcasing a strong encoding of a master with one serious flaw. The Universal logo that precedes the film lends credence to the knowledge that Disney used Universal's existing master.

Disney has encoded the main feature of 101-minutes in AVC on a BD-50. Universal chose to use VC-1 to encode their release. It must be stated outright that I have yet to see the U.S. BD myself, but the information I have on it does not compel me to seek it out and make a direct comparison. The average video bitrate of the U.K. import is 24.10 Mbps. Most of the time the bitrate parameters firmly remain in the twenties, with some short peaks topping 41 Mbps. The picture is almost entirely free of compression artifacting, except a brief touch of banding when Bruce plays with the Moon for his girlfriend. For a relatively early title from the format's lifespan, Disney has given Bruce Almighty a fully transparent encoding to the master used for the transfer that could not be improved on.

There is one major problem with the master used on this BD. While the image is a crisp and clean presentation that may look very good to the uninitiated watcher, the entire master has been noticeably wiped free of grain and most high-frequency information. Many will be mistaken to think the movie was shot on high-definition video cameras, as the original film has been stripped of its inherent visual properties. Grain is completely absent from the image. At least no visible remnants of distorted grain fields show up, as on certain other Blu-rays with egregious levels of digital noise reduction. Some will find the grain-reduction pleasing but cinema purists will likely be very disturbed.

The real loss that results from the filtering is the missing texture and detail in almost all close-ups and midrange-shots. Morgan Freeman has literally not looked this young in decades. All the fine detail in his worn face looks smooth and yes, “waxy”, whenever he makes an appearance. It is this problem that forced me to lower my ranking to the bottom of tier one. Without the filtering's pervasive effects, Bruce Almighty might have been a contender for the top half of tier one. While many comedies are shot poorly with awkward color timing, it was nice to see a large-budget comedy aim for a sharper and more colorful look. A hint of very thin halos show up on occasion that will likely go unnoticed even on the largest displays and screens.

My final score accounts for the filtering already. The disc with it probably straddles the line between tier one and tier two because of its presence. But many viewers comfortable with the effects of post-processing to remove grain will no doubt be very pleased. The picture is sharp and has a high level of clarity. For a catalog selection, the master looks as fresh as a new release with zero damage. Colors and contrast showcase a presentation that pops most of the time. While it certainly will not be good enough for me to use as reference-caliber because of the missing detail, Bruce Almighty is good enough to barely qualify for tier one.

Watching on a 60” Pioneer KURO plasma at 1080p/24 fed by a PS3 (firmware 3.15) from a viewing distance of six feet.
post #14931 of 21406
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gamereviewgod View Post

Offensive to my very soul... seriously. Just awful movie with a few gutsy action scenes. Had potential in its concept, but the debate surrounding using death row inmates in a game is far more interesting than watching it play out.

Oh, and you get to see Gerard Butler projectile vomit into a gas tank. Really.

great.. sounds like a blind buy for me
post #14932 of 21406
Moon

While this is a technically competent release, the drab, antiseptic setting of this film pushes its rating down for the intent of this thread. Fine detail is fine, not exceptional. What bothered me most about this disc were the black levels which for a while made me think my TV was set to the wrong RGB range and give a washed out appearance to the picture. Even deep space is gray most of the time.

Tier 2.5

(PS3/Pioneer Kuro 50" Elite/1 screen width distance)
post #14933 of 21406
The Cell (Canadian import)

recommendation: Tier 2.5


Another exclusive Blu-ray courtesy of Alliance debuted on July 7, 2009 in Canada. The BD includes the 107-minute theatrical cut of the movie only. A director's cut that runs approximately two minutes longer has been available on dvd outside of North America and is not included. Like most other Blu-rays from Alliance, the main feature is encoded using AVC and on a BD-25. Resolution is also in the proper form of 1080p, an item one rarely has to worry about with other Blu-ray distributors but is an occasional problem for Alliance. The film is correctly formatted in its proper aspect ratio of 2:35:1, preserving the eye-pleasing framing and imaginative compositions of director Tarsem Singh.

Sadly the compression suffers at times. The extremely low-bitrate encode often remains stuck in the lower teens. Compression noise and banding, while not rampant, are visible on occasion and too numerous for me to point out each specific scene. Touches of macroblocking also manifest in dimly-lit scenes. Clearly a sub-par job which should not be happening this far into the Blu-ray era. The same firm that handled The Faculty Blu-ray authored The Cell, but video-bitrates looked substantially lower this time for whatever reason. No BDInfo scan exists yet for me to parse the numbers in more detail.

For a catalog title from 2000, the transfer elements look in solid, if not good, condition overall. Other than a hint of dust and the slight haze of the original photography, the picture is clean when the original photography allows. The overtly stylized fantasy-scenes do show marked differences in picture quality than what happens in the actual world. Contrast becomes much deeper and black levels get marginally crushed on purpose. The apparent grain of the opening scenes in the desert look slightly magnified by optical processes endemic to the film and the age of the master.

The Cell still looks good for the most part, though not the demonstration material I was hoping. Outside of the fantasy world the image is nicely sharp, though the color palette favors a blue-tinted shade to it that flattens the image. Inside the killer's mind is a dream-like visual experience that becomes softer with a wildly different coloring. Detail is apparent and shows no signs of having been removed by digital noise reduction. Outside of a few halos on high-contrast edges, edge enhancement is not visible.

An okay effort by Alliance, The Cell belongs somewhere in the middle of tier two. Parts of it are better than that no doubt, while certain stylized scenes would rank much lower in their own right. If the American rights were held by a studio I trust to do a great job on the transfer, I would tell you to hold off on picking up this import. But Warner Bros. simply can not be trusted in that regard and are unlikely to improve much upon the Alliance BD outside of extras.
post #14934 of 21406
The Tiers are updated once again with the following placements:

Bram Stoker's Dracula - 3.5 (42041)

Hurt Locker - 1.5/1.75 (Gamereviewgod), 2.5/2.75 (deltasun), 2.5 (jedimasterchad), 2.5/2.75 (djoberg)

The Unborn - 1.5 (Phantom Stranger)

Halloween 2 (2009) - 3.0 (Gamereviewgod)

Die Hard - 2.25 (42041)

Ella Enchanted (CA import) - 1.75 (geekyglassesgirl)

Moon - 3.75 (jedimasterchad), 3.0 (audiomagnate), 2.5 (42041)

Gamer - 1.5 (Gamereviewgod)

Resident Evil: Degeneration - 1.5 (Phantom Stranger)

(500) Days of Summer - 1.5 (42041)

The Faculty (CA import) - 2.75 (Phantom Stranger

Street Fighter - 2.75 (Gamereviewgod)

Bruce Almighty (UK import) - 1.75 (Phantom Stranger)

The Cell (Canadian) - 2.5 (Phantom Stranger)
post #14935 of 21406
Moon

The film had a bland, muted look which was dominated by grays, blacks, and steely blues. This minimal look complemented the clean, empty nature of the moon base. While the color scheme was not bothersome, it did not help contrast the elements within the scenes. Softness permeated the presentation in almost every scene. Lighting on the surface of the moon yielded a lot of haze in those cheapish lunar sequences.

Blacks were pretty weak throughout. They were relegated to charcoal grays for the most part. While most medium scenes showed adequate background details, they appeared out of focus for the most part and lacking the details found in higher-tier titles. Skin tones remained faithful throughout. There were a few choice moments for facial close-up's, but these were but a handful.

Overall, a very good technical presentation. I did not spy any anomalies, no ringing or DNR. Very plain and as such, I do agree this slips into the Bronze tier.

Tier Recommendation: 3.25

A very intriguing tale which kept my attention throughout. Would not be a good candidate for repeat viewings.

ln46a650 - 1080p/24 - 6'
post #14936 of 21406
Phantom, I own the DVD of Cell and probably wouldn't buy the BD anyway, but from your reviews it seems to be an ok BD, but probably not worth an upgrade unless one really is into it.

Reviews seem good...for those who have seen moon, how is the movie itself?
post #14937 of 21406
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hughmc View Post

Phantom, I own the DVD of Cell and probably wouldn't buy the BD anyway, but from your reviews it seems to be an ok BD, but probably not worth an upgrade unless one really is into it.

That would be an accurate characterization of my thoughts. A decent upgrade in picture quality from the ancient dvd, but nothing that would compel uninterested parties in seeking it out. It would make a good rental if Canadian Blu-rays were easily available by means of that outlet in the U.S. Devoted fans though will likely be satisfied enough to not regret a purchase.

I also have Boiler Room in my possession, another exclusive from Canada. At some point in the future I will share my thoughts on it here.
post #14938 of 21406
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantom Stranger View Post

That would be an accurate characterization of my thoughts. A decent upgrade in picture quality from the ancient dvd, but nothing that would compel uninterested parties in seeking it out. It would make a good rental if Canadian Blu-rays were easily available by means of that outlet in the U.S. Devoted fans though will likely be satisfied enough to not regret a purchase.

I also have Boiler Room in my possession, another exclusive from Canada. At some point in the future I will share my thoughts on it here.

Thanks Phantom. Boiler room... From memory, isn't that the one with Affleck and Ribisi? That was a good flic.
post #14939 of 21406
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hughmc View Post

Phantom, I own the DVD of Cell and probably wouldn't buy the BD anyway, but from your reviews it seems to be an ok BD, but probably not worth an upgrade unless one really is into it.

Reviews seem good...for those who have seen moon, how is the movie itself?

The Cell would be a perfect candidate for BD (if done right) with its visuals, so I'm a bit disheartened by Phantom's PQ review. Hope they do it right for an eventual US (or even UK) release.

Hugh: Moon was definitely watchable. In fact, I really wanted to know how it was going to end once I got about halfway through.
post #14940 of 21406
Quote:
Originally Posted by deltasun View Post

The Cell would be a perfect candidate for BD (if done right) with its visuals, so I'm a bit disheartened by Phantom's PQ review. Hope they do it right for an eventual US (or even UK) release.

Hugh: Moon was definitely watchable. In fact, I really wanted to know how it was going to end once I got about halfway through.

Yes Delta, I was thinking the same about The Cell looking incredible with the visuals. Oh well, it doesn't seem really bad.
Thanks for the feedback on Moon. The premise sounds interesting.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Blu-ray Software
AVS › AVS Forum › Blu-ray & HD DVD › Blu-ray Software › The New PQ Tier thread for Blu-Ray - Discussion