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The New PQ Tier thread for Blu-Ray - Discussion - Page 694

post #20791 of 21406
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Extended Edition (2D)

Predictably for a movie shot on Red Epic, detail is outstanding. Happily, black levels are more stout than some Red movies I've seen. Colors are vibrant, maybe even a bit oversaturated in spots, but this seems appropriate to the fantasy aspects of the story. I did not see the movie in the theater (newborn kid and all), so I cannot compare the faithfulness of this disc to it.

My sole problem is a very slight bit of aliasing that I can see on the Erebor interiors - the high contrast diagonal lines show a tiny bit of stair stepping. Granted, it was only obvious at viewing distances under 5 feet (for a 52 inch screen).

Anyhow, I do think this is excellent, just not at the absolute top of the class on the format. Comparing this to the existing tiers and discs I own, I say:

Tier Recommendation: 1.0
post #20792 of 21406
Quote:
Originally Posted by mweflen View Post

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Extended Edition (2D)

Predictably for a movie shot on Red Epic, detail is outstanding. Happily, black levels are more stout than some Red movies I've seen. Colors are vibrant, maybe even a bit oversaturated in spots, but this seems appropriate to the fantasy aspects of the story. I did not see the movie in the theater (newborn kid and all), so I cannot compare the faithfulness of this disc to it.

My sole problem is a very slight bit of aliasing that I can see on the Erebor interiors - the high contrast diagonal lines show a tiny bit of stair stepping. Granted, it was only obvious at viewing distances under 5 feet (for a 52 inch screen).

Anyhow, I do think this is excellent, just not at the absolute top of the class on the format. Comparing this to the existing tiers and discs I own, I say:

Tier Recommendation: 1.0

Thanks for the good review mweflen!

This title did indeed have outstanding details and a host of other virtues which results in a demo-worthy disc, if not "reference quality" (which some of us recommended). The sequel will be coming out soon and I trust they will have given it the same treatment if not better, so we'll be able to sing its praises too!
post #20793 of 21406
White House Down

Yet another solid Blu-ray release from Sony! This one is sharp as a tack with the exception of a few interior shots where softness crept in. Black levels were more than satisfactory...details were plentiful...depth was outstanding...flesh tones were spot on (in 95% of the running time) ...contrast was superb...and colors were bold (in spite of a nagging teal color-grading in many scenes). You know I love facial details and I'm happy to say close-ups were exemplary, though mid-range shots were lacking. Aerial shots (and there were many) of the Capitol and surrounding area were magnificent! This one is most definitely a looker!

I'm tempted to nominate this for Tier Blu, but with some lackluster interior shots (when softness intruded) in underground tunnels and elsewhere, and a few shots where the teal hues affected flesh tones, I'm forced to drop it into Tier Gold. I do believe this should be at or near the top of that tier (either 1.0 or 1.25). I'm feeling generous tonight so I'm going for....

Tier Recommendation: 1.0*

Viewed from 7.5' using the equipment listed below....
post #20794 of 21406
Pee-Wee's Big Adventure

I was really pleasantly surprised by this, given its vintage and its director. What we have here is a very pleasing disc, with bright, stable primary colors, solid black levels, no egregious EE, aliasing or moire (especially on the tight pattern of Pee-Wee's suit), and good but not great detail. Facial close-ups show some pores, and outdoor shots of foliage can be very good. Certain shots on wipes and dissolves suffer a tad in detail. Grain is visible but not as tight as I might like. The best scenes compare well to the best BDs of 80s material (e.g. Superman II, Aliens). The worst are still a good bit better than the (quite early in the format) DVD, which was dim and blurry by comparison. I can't imagine many people being disappointed.

Tier Recommendation: 2.25


Sony KDL-52EX700, 8 foot viewing distance
post #20795 of 21406
Pacific Rim (2D)

A little late on this, but having seen it a third time, this is a winner.

Great outdoors and night battle shots, as was mentioned, the indoors were not as overwhelming, but since most of the focus was on the battle, it is a great example of how to do an action flick.

Black levels are good - no crush that I could see, good definition and no anomalies on neon lighting. Colors were vibrant where expected and properly muted where not.

Loved the story line, the sound, etc. A real pleasure to watch.

Tier Recommendation: 0.5
post #20796 of 21406
R. I. P. D.

I had never heard of this title (R. I. P. D. stands for Rest In Peace Department) prior to my visit to a local video store yesterday. It's basically a "Men in Black wannabe" starring Jeff Bridges, Ryan Reynolds, and Kevin Bacon. Saturday is good day for a mindless, action flick and I actually enjoyed it.

PQ-wise, it started out a bit gritty with sporadic soft shots but at approximately the 15 minute mark it sharpened up with decent depth and details. There was still some softness at times (especially during heavy CGI scenes), but all in all clarity was excellent. My last viewing featured tons of teal; this one was plagued with orange/yellow hues. For the most part they didn't hinder details, but flesh-tones suffered occasionally. Blacks levels were quite good in most instances. Check out the nighttime scene (at the 60 minute mark) of the Boston harbor with Roy and Nick sitting and contemplating their next move. Shadow details were superb and the lights reflecting off the water served up some juicy EYE CANDY.

I mentioned softness in CGI scenes. This was not always the case, but it held true in enough scenes for me to dock this at least a half a tier. Had it not been for this, it could have made it to the top of Tier Gold. My vote goes for....

Tier Recommendation: 1.75*

Viewed from 7.5' using the equipment listed below....
post #20797 of 21406
Batman: The Brave and the Bold - The Complete First Season

recommendation: Tier 1.5*


Warner released this 2008 animated series (originally broadcast on Cartoon Network) through its Archive program this week. Almost 600 minutes of 1080P video are spread out over dual BD-50s. There are no real differences in quality between it and a normal retail BD release.

The digital animation probably deserves a slightly higher ranking in the Tiers, its vivid color palette boasts impressive color saturation and sharp definition. However, the AVC video encode has some problems with color banding. The banding occurs a couple of times per episode in solid backgrounds, as video bitrates strangely dip into the single digits at times. This much HD content should have been spread out over three BDs to allow the compression some more space.

This is an excellent-looking series with throwback character designs and crisp animation. If one can overlook the banding problems, it has stellar picture quality typical of modern animation.
post #20798 of 21406
Beetlejuice

Color is a real strong point here, with very solid black levels as well. Detail is mediocre throughout. Perhaps it is the frequency of optical effects, maybe it is grain reduction, it's hard to say. Things easily look better than a DVD, but not as good as other movies on the format. There isn't anything in the way of EE, aliasing, or moire, though, so that's good, if grain reduction or DNR was used.

Tier Recommendation: 3.0
post #20799 of 21406
Batman (1989)

This movie starts out looking like crap, but thankfully settles into a nice groove by the time we're done with Batman's first onscreen appearance. Detail is moderately good, with no EE or moire in evidence. Grain seems to have been reduced, but whatever algorithm was used seems to have done a pretty good job of preserving detail. The problem really is the contrast - whites never get that bright, and black levels are inconsistent. So it is all very muted and flat looking. The best scenes (especially the Axis Chemical scene where the Joker is created) are really excellent. But there are long stretches of relative mediocrity.

Tier Recommendation: 3.25
post #20800 of 21406
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Extended Edition (2D)

What else can I say? PERFECTION. The only thing that preserve it from being completely razor sharp is sometimes soft, stylize lighting, but all the details are still there. For me this is the best looking movie shot with Red Epic; thanks to spot on contrast and color timing, there's nice, filmic dimensionality, without flatness typical for most movies shot digitally.

Tier 0 (above Avatar)
post #20801 of 21406
Quote:
Originally Posted by mweflen View Post

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Extended Edition (2D)


My sole problem is a very slight bit of aliasing that I can see on the Erebor interiors - the high contrast diagonal lines show a tiny bit of stair stepping. Granted, it was only obvious at viewing distances under 5 feet (for a 52 inch screen).

I recall seeing that in the theater as well. I think it's inherent to the source, not the encode.
post #20802 of 21406
Quote:
Originally Posted by djoberg View Post

Thanks for the good review mweflen!

This title did indeed have outstanding details and a host of other virtues which results in a demo-worthy disc, if not "reference quality" (which some of us recommended). The sequel will be coming out soon and I trust they will have given it the same treatment if not better, so we'll be able to sing its praises too!

I realized after I sent this post that you could have responded by saying, "This is a different version than the one that was reviewed by you and others." Of course you would have been right, for we reviewed the theatrical release and you reviewed the Extended Edition. BUT, from what I have read, it is the SAME ENCODE as the theatrical release so the PQ remains unchanged (as well as the audio). I just thought I should bring that clarification to my post.
post #20803 of 21406
My Name Is Nobody

recommendation: Tier 4.0*


Image Entertainment released this charming Spaghetti Western from 1973 in the past week. The HD transfer has definitely been struck from film elements but they are far removed from the original camera negative. There is some incidental wear and debris evident in the film print.

The film transfer has not been unduly filtered or heavily altered, but it's clear no amount of restoration was performed. It has a dull, soft appearance with scattered clarity and resolution. Purely going by the specs, this AVC video encode should be significantly better than the low-bitrate encodes found on the Italian and German BDs of this film.

Image's disc shows modest improvements in all aspects of picture quality from the DVD. A new film scan from better elements would surely improve on these results.
post #20804 of 21406
Quote:
Originally Posted by djoberg View Post

I realized after I sent this post that you could have responded by saying, "This is a different version than the one that was reviewed by you and others." Of course you would have been right, for we reviewed the theatrical release and you reviewed the Extended Edition. BUT, from what I have read, it is the SAME ENCODE as the theatrical release so the PQ remains unchanged (as well as the audio). I just thought I should bring that clarification to my post.

I have not seen the theatrical cut, either in the theater (had a kid) or on BD (waited for EE).

I've looked at it more closely and my opinion remains the same. I think it's really good but not perfect. The black levels fluctuate from scene to scene. Not egregiously, but enough to knock it off the lofty heights of, say, Hugo or Tree of Life. Also, the lame 3D effects (the plate throwing scene for instance) just take me out of enjoying the movie.
post #20805 of 21406
Quote:
Originally Posted by mweflen View Post

I have not seen the theatrical cut, either in the theater (had a kid) or on BD (waited for EE).

I've looked at it more closely and my opinion remains the same. I think it's really good but not perfect. The black levels fluctuate from scene to scene. Not egregiously, but enough to knock it off the lofty heights of, say, Hugo or Tree of Life. Also, the lame 3D effects (the plate throwing scene for instance) just take me out of enjoying the movie.

FTR, I wasn't really trying to change your mind regarding your rating. Tier 1.0 is still a vert respectable ranking.

You mentioned the "lame 3D effects." I have not even boarded the 3D train (I'm not about to replace my KURO just so I can watch 3D), so I can't comment on that.
post #20806 of 21406
So how many votes is it now for Monsters University to be ontop of Tier 0?
post #20807 of 21406
Quote:
Originally Posted by hungro View Post

So how many votes is it now for Monsters University to be ontop of Tier 0?

There are 4 votes so far, with 3 of them being for the Top of Tier 0 and the 4th review didn't specify where he would put it in Tier 0. That was fredxr2d2, but his comments *implied* that he would vote for the Top of Tier Blu. He should weigh in though to make it official.
post #20808 of 21406
Well, as far as the tippy-top of tier 0, I'm not sure yet. I recently bought two other tier 0 titles: Live Free or Die Hard, and Avatar and plan to watch them at some point. I also don't own Monster's University, so I can't make a direct comparison. Should it go in Tier 0? YES. Should it go at the very top? Not sure. Should it be in the top half of Tier 0? Most likely.

There is my noncommittal answer. wink.gif

But I was consistently amazed at how good it looked when I watched it, so it is definitely Tier 0.
post #20809 of 21406
Quote:
Originally Posted by fredxr2d2 View Post

Well, as far as the tippy-top of tier 0, I'm not sure yet. I recently bought two other tier 0 titles: Live Free or Die Hard, and Avatar and plan to watch them at some point. I also don't own Monster's University, so I can't make a direct comparison. Should it go in Tier 0? YES. Should it go at the very top? Not sure. Should it be in the top half of Tier 0? Most likely.

There is my noncommittal answer. wink.gif

But I was consistently amazed at how good it looked when I watched it, so it is definitely Tier 0.

Perhaps I went too far in saying that you *implied* it was worthy being at the top of Tier Blu, but you did have some glowing remarks such as it being "one of the best Blu-rays I've ever seen" and "this is what Blu-ray is all about." If you don't write down a definite spot in Tier Blu Phantom *may* just consider the other three reviews which did give a specific placement recommendation. It's up to you, but if you do feel it's not worthy of being at the top, you should chime in with a "committed answer." smile.gif
post #20810 of 21406
I know everyone has been waiting with bated breath for my evaluation...tongue.gif

Monsters University

recommendation: Tier 0* (Crème de la Crème)


It was fairly evident during my viewing that Pixar has now hit a unprecedented level of photorealistic detail in Monsters University. This is the new pinnacle of CGI animation, setting a standard that will be hard to beat by other studios. Most astounding are the variety of unique locales that get visited during the story, including the brief excursion into the human world. The amount of sheer texture surpasses anything I've seen on the format and approaches an uncanny degree of realism in select scenes.

There are no wrong answers when choosing the best of the best for picture quality but I am inclined to favor Monsters University as the latest and greatest. The animation was constructed from the ground up for maximum eye candy and has been perfectly rendered in 1080P resolution on this flawless Blu-ray presentation. Pixar went above and beyond the call of duty in polishing the background scenery. Lesser CGI animation will cut corners at times to save some money but this movie creates a living world that feels palpable and realistic. The new reference standard and a must-have demo disc.


Procrastinators have gotten a bit lucky with Monsters University. It will be for sale on Black Friday (which now for some reason begins on Thanksgiving night) at Walmart, for $9.96.
post #20811 of 21406
Quote:
Originally Posted by djoberg View Post

FTR, I wasn't really trying to change your mind regarding your rating. Tier 1.0 is still a vert respectable ranking.

You mentioned the "lame 3D effects." I have not even boarded the 3D train (I'm not about to replace my KURO just so I can watch 3D), so I can't comment on that.

I don't have or plan to buy a 3D set, either. When I say lame 3D effects, I mean clear use of CGI (like the plates being thrown around the screen) that is clearly intended for 3D effects, even when you're watching in 2D.
post #20812 of 21406
Man of Steel

I now sit at my computer (to review Man of Steel) with mixed emotions. For one thing, I am usually extremely focused on the PQ of any given Blu-ray for the first viewing, but I must confess the audio mix was so overwhelming that my senses became confused (my ears were so engaged that my eyes forgot to focus). In other words, the soundtrack on this title was very aggressive, serving to "draw you into the aural experience" and causing you to "withdraw from the visual." This is not necessarily a bad thing (for I thoroughly enjoyed the audio track), but it is distracting to one whose mission is to evaluate PQ for a "Blu-ray PQ Thread!"

If one were to visit Cinema Squid's site and read each review from the *experts*, you would realize instantly that this title has a wide diversity of opinion. Some were inclined to give it a perfect score of 100 for PQ, while others were on the other end of the spectrum and gave it as low of a score as 40! Those who were on the high end had this in common; they stated that this was "a highly stylistic movie that was true to its theatrical version." Those on the low end were more discriminating, naming various criteria that led them to penalize the PQ for a number of reasons. I, personally, fall somewhere in the middle.

This was indeed a very stylistic movie, reminiscent of titles such as Terminator Salvation or Death Race, with an extremely drab color palette and strong teal/blue hues. From my vantage point this was quite distracting. I kept waiting for some primary colors to jump out at me, even if for a few seconds (to be fair there were a couple of shots where colors did appear...in Superman's suit and foliage on the Kent farm, but even there they weren't bold and eye-popping.) So that alone was disappointing to me, though it apparently didn't bother the reviewers alluded to above as long as the PQ was "true to its theatrical version."

One of the chief complaints of one on the lower end of the spectrum was the contrast, for he complained of how bright the movie was as if everything was sun-drenched. I will agree with him that *some* scenes definitely had overblown contrast, resulting in a washed-out look. Another complaint was intruding softness, and again I must concede that this negative reared its ugly head all too often.

Now let's focus on the redeeming qualities. The number one virtue, by far, was unbelievable DETAILS, facial details in particular (Kevin Costner's face looked like Sitting Bull after years of extreme wind and sun smile.gif). Perhaps one could even be critical and say there were details that would never be seen in real life!! Details in general were amazing, whether one was viewing scenes on Krypton or Earth. Another positive was BLACK LEVELS, though even here I'm not prepared to say they were perfect. But they were very good and served up some good EYE CANDY at times.

Man, this is a hard one to call. Again, I must admit that I did NOT favor the steely-blue hues that dominated the movie and they took me out of the enjoyment of the PQ at times. When facial details were on display I could forgive the subdued color palette but this was still an extremely drab Blu-ray. If not for the EXCELLENT audio mix, I'm not sure that I would put this Blu on my demo shelf, thus I'm going to go against the general consensus (regarding PQ) and nominate this for...

Tier Recommendation: 2.0*

Viewed from 7.5' using the equipment listed below....
post #20813 of 21406
Man of Steel (2D)

If the camera were just held still for more than two seconds in a row, this would be an easy call in Tier 0 for me. The detail is just so overwhelmingly lush and gorgeous, with very tight grain and no obvious artifacts. Unfortunately, the camera does not stay still. Even "static" shots of faces during conversation are subject to shakycam. It is distracting, and detracts from drinking in the beautiful images on display. Black levels were strong throughout. I am not as sensitive to criticisms of color palette as others. I view it as an artistic choice. Yes, things are on a decidedly cool side. It simply doesn't bug me. Nothing looked cartoonish or stupidly oversaturated.

As I think about other Blu-Rays this reminds me of, Zero Dark Thirty springs to mind. That disc had a stylized color palette, exquisite detail, and an extended scene at the end with a lot of PQ challenges (though MOS was shot on film and ZDT on the Arri Alexa). I view it as occupying a similar spot.

Tier Recommendation: 1.5


Sony KDL52EX700, 8 foot viewing distance
post #20814 of 21406
More observations on Man of Steel....

After "sleeping on it," I can say I'm quite satisfied with the 2.0 rating I gave to this title last night. When I woke up a few minutes ago I realized I had forgotten to mention something that others had observed and with which I concur. I'm speaking of the heavy grain structure at times which became somewhat noisy. I could detect this in people's faces. At first I thought it was related to the overblown contrast (with a resulting washed-out look) that I referred to in my review, but now I believe it was grain/noise.

I so wanted to love the PQ on this Blu-ray, for I really like the movie itself and the audio is rock-solid, but it has to be one of the most drab-looking titles in recent history. I know there are some of you, like the last reviewer, who aren't bothered by color-grading and subdued color palettes, but I'm easily put off by these. I fear that this infatuation (by directors) with this type of highly stylized productions will continue, especially in action movies like Man of Steel.

Let me give another huge shout-out for the audio. I was simply mesmerized by it! Hans Zimmer's score is perfect. The LFE is amazing, even if it didn't reach into ULF (i.e. Ultra Low Frequency) territory (check out the Master List for Bass in Movies Thread if you want to hear the fanatical bass-heads who look down upon movies that don't produce bass in the low teens or single digits). And the action in the surrounds is fantastic. Clarity and precision are two words that come to mind that characterize the audio from beginning to end.

So, even though the PQ was less-than-stellar, i will be giving this repeated viewings for the movie itself and the audio, which means NO BUYER'S REMORSE for this dude!
post #20815 of 21406
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantom Stranger View Post

My Name Is Nobody

recommendation: Tier 4.0*


Image Entertainment released this charming Spaghetti Western from 1973 in the past week. The HD transfer has definitely been struck from film elements but they are far removed from the original camera negative. There is some incidental wear and debris evident in the film print.

The film transfer has not been unduly filtered or heavily altered, but it's clear no amount of restoration was performed. It has a dull, soft appearance with scattered clarity and resolution. Purely going by the specs, this AVC video encode should be significantly better than the low-bitrate encodes found on the Italian and German BDs of this film.

Image's disc shows modest improvements in all aspects of picture quality from the DVD. A new film scan from better elements would surely improve on these results.

i just returned my copy after having it sent out the first day this movie was available... I was completely disappointed by this copy of the movie. I have a DVD version(being upscaled by my OPPO) that looked better than this.
thankfully the eruo version BD I have is many times better and I will be watching that copy.
post #20816 of 21406
^^^^^

Thanks Phantom for your good review on Monsters University. I believe this is destined to become the new CHAMP!

I'll be looking forward to your review on Man of Steel. As I mentioned previously, there is a diversity of opinion on this title and I'm curious to see where you stand on it.
post #20817 of 21406
Quote:
Originally Posted by djoberg View Post

More observations on Man of Steel....

After "sleeping on it," I can say I'm quite satisfied with the 2.0 rating I gave to this title last night. When I woke up a few minutes ago I realized I had forgotten to mention something that others had observed and with which I concur. I'm speaking of the heavy grain structure at times which became somewhat noisy. I could detect this in people's faces. At first I thought it was related to the overblown contrast (with a resulting washed-out look) that I referred to in my review, but now I believe it was grain/noise.

I so wanted to love the PQ on this Blu-ray, for I really like the movie itself and the audio is rock-solid, but it has to be one of the most drab-looking titles in recent history. I know there are some of you, like the last reviewer, who aren't bothered by color-grading and subdued color palettes, but I'm easily put off by these. I fear that this infatuation (by directors) with this type of highly stylized productions will continue, especially in action movies like Man of Steel.

Let me give another huge shout-out for the audio. I was simply mesmerized by it! Hans Zimmer's score is perfect. The LFE is amazing, even if it didn't reach into ULF (i.e. Ultra Low Frequency) territory (check out the Master List for Bass in Movies Thread if you want to hear the fanatical bass-heads who look down upon movies that don't produce bass in the low teens or single digits). And the action in the surrounds is fantastic. Clarity and precision are two words that come to mind that characterize the audio from beginning to end.

So, even though the PQ was less-than-stellar, i will be giving this repeated viewings for the movie itself and the audio, which means NO BUYER'S REMORSE for this dude!

My PQ impressions were somewhat similar to yours and I was honestly not a big fan of the gritty, grainy, noisy and drab style, but the detail was fantastic at times as well. Mixed bag.

I could have got by on a rental with this, but oh well.
post #20818 of 21406
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toe View Post

My PQ impressions were somewhat similar to yours and I was honestly not a big fan of the gritty, grainy, noisy and drab style, but the detail was fantastic at times as well. Mixed bag.

I could have got by on a rental with this, but oh well.

We are certainly in agreement on the PQ Toe. But did I see you giving this only a 3 or 3.5 stars in the Bass Thread with remarks about how let down you were with the audio mix? If so, we aren't in agreement there, for I thought the whole audio mix (musical score, LFE, action in surrounds, and dialog) was stellar and is one of the main reasons I'll be giving this repeated viewings. My wife wasn't home last night so I had the opportunity to listen to this at near reference levels and I was smiling through the majority of the 2+ hours running time.
post #20819 of 21406
Quote:
Originally Posted by djoberg View Post

We are certainly in agreement on the PQ Toe. But did I see you giving this only a 3 or 3.5 stars in the Bass Thread with remarks about how let down you were with the audio mix? If so, we aren't in agreement there, for I thought the whole audio mix (musical score, LFE, action in surrounds, and dialog) was stellar and is one of the main reasons I'll be giving this repeated viewings. My wife wasn't home last night so I had the opportunity to listen to this at near reference levels and I was smiling through the majority of the 2+ hours running time.

My 3.5/5 was strictly for the low end portion of the mix which I feel is a fair score. This track drops like a rock below 30hz which is all too apparent in relation to many of the on screen events which were screaming for that extra extension to be fully convincing. Throw in some missed/lacking low end spots to one degree or another, a lot of which happened in the opening scenes and the low end was nothing special on this one relative to the better and best on blu IMO.

Having said that, I would agree with you about the rest of the track being excellent.


While I am here biggrin.gif , I will throw out a vote for MU since I just recently watched it and Croods. Going off memory, I cant think of a better looking title overall than MU and agree with what you guys have said here. Croods looked excellent as well and of course belongs in tier 0, but MU deserves to be at the top. Then again, trying to decide between some of the animated titles for top spot is splitting hairs to some degree as all the top tier 0 titles look incredible, but if I was forced to choose, it would be MU.

Monsters University

Tier Recommendation Tier 0 Top

Edited by Toe - 11/13/13 at 8:56am
post #20820 of 21406
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toe View Post

My 3.5/5 was strictly for the low end portion of the mix which I feel is a fair score. This track drops like a rock below 30hz which is all too apparent in relation to many of the on screen events which were screaming for that extra extension to be fully convincing. Throw in some missed/lacking low end spots to one degree or another, a lot of which happened in the opening scenes and the low end was nothing special on this one relative to the better and best on blu IMO.

Having said that, I would agree with you about the rest of the track being excellent.


While I am here biggrin.gif , I will throw out a vote for MU since I just recently watched it and Croods. Going off memory, I cant think of a better looking title overall than MU and agree with what you guys have said here. Croods looked excellent as well and of course belongs in tier 0, but MU deserves to be at the top. Then again, trying to decide between some of the animated titles for top spot is splitting hairs to some degree as all the top tier 0 titles look incredible, but if I was forced to choose, it would be MU.

Monsters University

Tier Recommendation Tier 0 Top

First of all, thanks Toe for the review on Monsters University! Of course I agree wholeheartedly with everything you said and your placement recommendation.

Regarding the audio in Man of Steel, I am truly surprised that the LFE dropped off below 30 Hz throughout the movie. All I know is that I watched this at -8 and my walls were shaking in MANY scenes and I felt waves of energy rolling over me in a couple of instances. I thought for sure that there was some substantial bass going down to close to 20 Hz. BUT, you are the expert when it comes to the audio end, and no doubt you've seen Frequency Charts that verify what you're saying, so I'll take your word for it. I also agree with you that there were moments, especially during explosions, where I was hoping for more impact. Having said that, when I judge bass I also take into consideration the QUANTITY of LFE, and not just the QUALITY, and Man of Steel had more bass in it than some of the titles in the 4-5 star lists of movies on the Bass Thread. Take, for example, War of the Worlds. I absolutely love some of the "bass moments" (like the emergence of the pod out of the street) in that Blu, but quantity-wise it leaves something to be desired. So, I've never been quite sure how to rate movies on that thread, especially without some defined standards (i.e. criteria) to go by.
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