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The New PQ Tier thread for Blu-Ray - Discussion - Page 690

post #20671 of 21407
Quote:
Originally Posted by djoberg View Post

Why am I not surprised? smile.gifwink.gif

I am so predictable tongue.gif
post #20672 of 21407
Quote:
Originally Posted by patrick99 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by djoberg View Post

Why am I not surprised? smile.gifwink.gif

I am so predictable tongue.gif
Many years ago, I think you offered your opinion on the PQ after watching 20 minutes into a film. That is still currently the record in this thread.
post #20673 of 21407
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantom Stranger View Post

Many years ago, I think you offered your opinion on the PQ after watching 20 minutes into a film. That is still currently the record in this thread.

Might have been less than that. I have been trying to be more restrained lately. But basically I still think you can tell pretty soon.
post #20674 of 21407
Quote:
Originally Posted by patrick99 View Post

Might have been less than that. I have been trying to be more restrained lately. But basically I still think you can tell pretty soon.

In my experience I've seen many titles that start out inconsistent with some flaws and anomalies and then the PQ gets much better. It's usually about halfway through where I'm able to pass judgment for placement, but even then there may be surprises ahead that will alter one 's recommendation.
post #20675 of 21407
Scenic Route

recommendation: Tier 2.5*


This is an independent film released by a distributor new to Blu-ray, Vertical Entertainment. It looks better than the typical low-budget production, having been shot using a combination of new cameras like the Arri Alexa and RED Epic. Scenic Route's biggest visual problems are almost entirely confined to an extended scene shot inside a truck at night. It's a pivotal moment in the story but is awash in digital noise not due to compression. The rest of the film, set in a sun-drenched desert, has much higher levels of clarity and sharpness.
post #20676 of 21407
Time Bandits (Region B 2013 Remaster)

recommendation: Tier 3.5*

Arrow Video's newly remastered release of Time Bandits is now the definitive version of the British fantasy adventure. In unfortunate news, Arrow Video's restoration and new transfer is locked to Region B. It looks about as good as a 2k scan of Time Bandits' camera negative can possibly look on the format, having received top-notch treatment. The new color correction and careful avoidance of significant processing looks great on the 1981 movie, leaving an authentic film-like appearance.

This is easily one of the best-handled catalog titles I've seen from the era in recent years. Hopefully someone in the U.S. decides to license this transfer for release in the states.
post #20677 of 21407
The Last Unicorn

recommendation: Tier 2.5*

This 1982 Rankin-Bass production recently hit the bargain bin. Surprisingly enough, Lionsgate's 25th anniversary edition in 2011 received a new transfer and excellent treatment on Blu-ray. Aside from some minor cel dust and a few other remnants from its classic cel animation process, The Last Unicorn is crisp with top-notch color rendition. The AVC video encode has been spread out over a BD-50, allowing it reproduce the movie's original grain without error. Lionsgate looks to have avoided the use of filtering the transfer, giving it a more natural film-like appearance than Disney's more aggressive changes to their cel animation.

Fans should be very happy with this transfer, Lionsgate has really brought out the detail and artwork to the fore without altering its original intent on film. This is about as good as the movie will ever look in 1080P.
post #20678 of 21407
I'm way behind. Let's play catch up:

Iron Man 3


Not impressed, and I wasn't impressed in theaters. Iron Man 3 looks intentionally grimed up to mimic film, and that means petering out in medium shots and losing fidelity. It looks sharpened. While low light images are as pure as they can be, post production has done a number to this one, and leaves it unimpressive despite some great detail.

Tier 2.5*


Disconnect

Fantastic drama I recommend fully, if not for the orange and teal rush. Black levels are dim, and sharpness isn't always on point, but there's plenty of close-ups worthy of consideration.

Tier 2.5*


Java Heat

Cruddy looking indie flick with signs of sharpening, far too much noise, and impossibly poor contrast.

Tier 3.5*


Blood

Obsessed with blues, this moody thriller is decent, but shot on film with almost no evidence to that fact visually. Black levels are atrocious at times, and the savior are some decent close-ups.

Tier 3.0*
post #20679 of 21407
Redemption

Moody Jason Statham flick shows off some fidelity, but is ultimately handicapped by awful black levels and ugly color schemes. Some nice contrast can counteract the negatives.

Tier 3.25*
post #20680 of 21407
Homeland: The Complete Second Season

recommendation: Tier 1.25*

This is definitely one of the strongest television releases in Blu-ray history. Homeland is rendered with crystalline clarity and gorgeous detail, most of the time. Sure, some slight ISO noise might creep into the picture during the darkest scenes but the video is nearly perfect the rest of the time.

I could see a valid argument for a higher placement, even in Tier 0, but the somewhat drab color palette only comes alive during the covert mission in Beirut.
post #20681 of 21407
How is it compared to say, Game of Thrones, Dexter, or Spartacus, if you've seen any of those?
post #20682 of 21407
Quote:
Originally Posted by edlittle View Post

How is it compared to say, Game of Thrones, Dexter, or Spartacus, if you've seen any of those?

I can say that it's up there with Dexter, PQ wise, but I might still give the nod to Dexter.
post #20683 of 21407
Quote:
Originally Posted by edlittle View Post

How is it compared to say, Game of Thrones, Dexter, or Spartacus, if you've seen any of those?
On a direct comparison, Spartacus probably outranks it due to the flashier contrast and pumped-up visuals. I would say Homeland is a little more consistent than Game of Thrones since the latter series has many more FX shots.
Edited by Phantom Stranger - 9/28/13 at 12:16pm
post #20684 of 21407
I'm very gratified to see such good PQ in some of the TV broadcasts. One more that comes to mind that is simply stellar is AMC's Hell On Wheels. The details, depth and black levels are equal to those of Spartacus and better than those of Game of Thrones.
Edited by djoberg - 10/2/13 at 7:51pm
post #20685 of 21407
Awesome. From what I've seen on lower quality um not so legal venues from before the seasons come out on Bluray, I would also give the nod to Spartacus just because of how consistent every shot was, along with amazing lighting. I also don't have the black levels that you guys have, nor the screen size to viewing distance ratio (40" at 9 feet), so I can't compare the detail, but I know that I'm consistal impressed with all of those shows.
post #20686 of 21407
House of Wax 3D

Warner's encode is great on this uniquely shot piece of early 3D cinema. 3D effects are monstrously aggressive, but in terms of 2D, images are quite soft. Always have been. Fidelity does seep in impressively, and colors are heavily saturated. Blacks are deep if missing their depth peak.

Tier 3.5*
post #20687 of 21407
The East

recommendation: Tier 2.25*

Fox's The East was digitally shot and looks quite good aside from some scattered problems to its black levels. It lacks the vibrant amount of detail possible with modern cinematography but for the most part presents a sharp, highly-realistic picture.

The movie itself is very, very good for an unheralded film featuring such a strong cast.
post #20688 of 21407
I edited my last post above because after watching Revolution this week I was reminded of how bad the black levels can be, especially during night scenes. They were horrible in this last episode. By contrast, Hell On Wheels has consistent deep and inky blacks, with amazing details and depth. If you've never tuned in to this show, give it a look; you WILL be impressed!
post #20689 of 21407
Halloween (35th Anniversary Edition)

recommendation: Tier 2.5*


Anchor Bay's new edition for John Carpenter's Halloween looks incredible, much better than the now-obsolete 2007 BD. Utilizing a completely new transfer supervised by Dean Cundey, this is one gorgeous, film-like image. The color grading has been altered once again after the inauthentic changes made to the 2007 transfer.

The 1978 low-budget film has never looked better, left unmolested by such detrimental digital processes as DNR or sharpening. The 2007 disc is currently ranked in Tier 2.25 but that is simply too high for it. This 35th Anniversary release is a huge visual improvement, given a state-of-the-art scan from the original camera negative and then a reference video encode topping 36 Mbps on average. It is a must-buy for the film's fans.
post #20690 of 21407
It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World

1.75? Seriously? This might be in the top 5 film based discs I've ever seen. Watching this one casually tonight, I was blown away by the brilliant color saturation, intense contrast, insane amounts of fidelity in every shot, and flawless encoding. I can't even fathom how perfect a 70mm presentation of this must have been. This is my live action catalog reference disc from here on out.

Tier 0, above The Master
post #20691 of 21407
The Croods

WOW!!

DreamWorks has done it again! The animation is simply INSANE, with indescribable DETAILS and DEPTH (I have never seen depth like this before in an animated movie). One has called this the "animated Avatar" and you will know why when you view the incredible world that DreamWorks and Fox have made. The COLORS couldn't be more vibrant and dazzling. There are quite a few scenes inside caves or at night, but in these the mesmerizing BLACK LEVELS and SHADOW DETAILS come into play. SHARPNESS and CLARITY abound in every scene. Let me just add that the PHOTOREALISM is off the charts in several scenes, especially those with huge explosions creating unbelievable clouds of smoke that look ever-so-real. Those who admire realistic-looking oceans will also appreciate some rare but beautiful shots.

Well, you get the picture, I'm sold on this one and I can't wait to show this one off to family and friends. I'm not sure if it's the best one out there, but it's most definitely the best I've seen in a very long time. Having said that, because I don't remember ever seeing such amazing colors, details, depth and photorealism combined in an animated feature, I'm prepared to place this at the top of the Blu-ray hill....

Tier Recommendation: Top of Tier 0*

Viewed from 7.5' using the equipment listed below....
Edited by djoberg - 10/6/13 at 3:36pm
post #20692 of 21407
You should watch Madagascar 3 to compare and let us know!
post #20693 of 21407
Quote:
Originally Posted by edlittle View Post

You should watch Madagascar 3 to compare and let us know!

I have watched Madagascar 3 and it was phenomenal! Check out my review:

http://www.avsforum.com/t/858316/the-new-pq-tier-thread-for-blu-ray-discussion/19680#post_22503293

Without actually comparing the two side by side, I would have to say they may be a match. Or, it may just be that The Croods has a slight edge because of its *photorealism." I see I never mentioned this attribute in Madagascar 3.

I am learning that it's starting to become virtually impossible to rate some of the newer animated titles. They seem to be flawless, so it usually comes down to how much color is on display, or how much depth, or, as in the case of The Croods, the *photorealism* (on top of the other virtues of excellent colors, amazing depth, superb black levels, and phenomenal sharpness and clarity).
post #20694 of 21407
I bet that's why it's on top! Really though, at this point, with such great black levels, big displays, and great color, I think that we have so many reference level discs that the challenge is now better displays. It's hard to put one down and one up when they both are perfect at everything they attempt.
post #20695 of 21407
The Croods

Nope. But it's good. Croods has a lot of dark scenes, and begins with a reserved palette, more earth tones and such, before becoming a colorful, saturated visual utopia. Madagascar 3 was ludicrously gorgeous from scene one. Same with Toy Story 3. However, the amount of textural detail - especially skin - is staggering.

Tier 0, above Avatar
post #20696 of 21407
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gamereviewgod View Post

The Croods

Nope. But it's good. Croods has a lot of dark scenes, and begins with a reserved palette, more earth tones and such, before becoming a colorful, saturated visual utopia. Madagascar 3 was ludicrously gorgeous from scene one. Same with Toy Story 3. However, the amount of textural detail - especially skin - is staggering.

Tier 0, above Avatar

You are right about the more subdued color palette in early scenes, but the black levels and details made up for the lack of color. Are you implying that an animated feature MUST have brilliant colors from beginning to end to qualify for the top of Tier 0?

What did you think of the scenes where the earth was crumbling and producing photorealistic clouds of smoke? Madagascar 3 lacked such scenes, if memory serves me.

Edit: I just checked and I see that your placement would still put it at #3.....that's close enough for me to quit debating the issue.
Edited by djoberg - 10/7/13 at 8:28am
post #20697 of 21407
Quote:
Originally Posted by djoberg View Post

You are right about the more subdued color palette in early scenes, but the black levels and details made up for the lack of color. Are you implying that an animated feature MUST have brilliant colors from beginning to end to qualify for the top of Tier 0?

What did you think of the scenes where the earth was crumbling and producing photorealistic clouds of smoke? Madagascar 3 lacked such scenes, if memory serves me.

Edit: I just checked and I see that your placement would still put it at #3.....that's close enough for me to quit debating the issue.

I didn't know realism was one of the criteria.
post #20698 of 21407
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gamereviewgod View Post

I didn't know realism was one of the criteria.

The criteria that was adopted was not written specifically for animation, thus *photorealism* is not mentioned. But I personally think it should be added to the criteria since we review so many animated Blu-rays and if something looks close to being what we would literally see in "real life," that's quite an achievement by the animators and it should be rewarded as such.
post #20699 of 21407
Generally I rate animation with more realistic textures and detailed models higher in the PQ Tiers. That is why something like Toy Story, an older CGI feature, isn't near the top. It's also the reason why I've been hesitant to place cel animation much higher than the middle of Tier 0. While not explicitly listed, verisimilitude is an important criterion to think about unless there are other considerations.

CGI animation really has its own language when describing its picture quality, such as polygon count.
post #20700 of 21407
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantom Stranger View Post

Generally I rate animation with more realistic textures and detailed models higher in the PQ Tiers. That is why something like Toy Story, an older CGI feature, isn't near the top. It's also the reason why I've been hesitant to place cel animation much higher than the middle of Tier 0. While not explicitly listed, verisimilitude is an important criterion to think about unless there are other considerations.

CGI animation really has its own language when describing its picture quality, such as polygon count.

I heartily concur!

In case any of you are reaching for your dictionary, Phantom was simply avoiding redundancy by employing the word *verisimilitude*. It means "realism; literalism." smile.gif
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