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The New PQ Tier thread for Blu-Ray - Discussion - Page 695

post #20821 of 21406
Quote:
Originally Posted by djoberg View Post

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.

I agree with everything you said and if you have followed some of my posts in that thread, I also take quantity of LFE into consideration as it is an important aspect to the overall LFE experience in my book and I certainly took that into consideration with MoS as well. I personally loved Pacific Rim for example for bass and it also drops off below ~30hz, but for me it did everything else so right that the missing extension was relatively minor in relation to the LFE and track as a whole. I always take it on a track by track basis and never write it off just by looking at the graphs. I feel it is very important to listen to the track in relation with the on screen action even with the filtered tracks before making judgment.

There are also tons of variables to consider between users/setups which contribute greatly to the difference of opinion with audio in general including bass.

The bass thread is a mess as far as grading criteria goes which I know we have talked about since it is so loosely organized and VERY open to interpretation as far as how to judge. Some judge strictly by the objective, some strictly subjective and some like me a combination of both........far from perfect and no doubt the core issue with a lot of the arguments and conflicts there over the years. I still enjoy it, but I am getting more turned off with that thread as time goes on due to all this.
post #20822 of 21406
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toe View Post

I agree with everything you said and if you have followed some of my posts in that thread, I also take quantity of LFE into consideration as it is an important aspect to the overall LFE experience in my book and I certainly took that into consideration with MoS as well. I personally loved Pacific Rim for example for bass and it also drops off below ~30hz, but for me it did everything else so right that the missing extension was relatively minor in relation to the LFE and track as a whole. I always take it on a track by track basis and never write it off just by looking at the graphs. I feel it is very important to listen to the track in relation with the on screen action even with the filtered tracks before making judgment.

There are also tons of variables to consider between users/setups which contribute greatly to the difference of opinion with audio in general including bass.

The bass thread is a mess as far as grading criteria goes which I know we have talked about since it is so loosely organized and VERY open to interpretation as far as how to judge. Some judge strictly by the objective, some strictly subjective and some like me a combination of both........far from perfect and no doubt the core issue with a lot of the arguments and conflicts there over the years. I still enjoy it, but I am getting more turned off with that thread as time goes on due to all this.

I don't always visit the Bass Thread but when I do, I am always impressed with your posts. I respect the fact that you take all variables into consideration before giving out a rating for a movie. I tend to skip over the posts by members who only judge "objectively" or "subjectively," for their final analysis is always going to be skewed.

BTW, how is your dad enjoying his Panny plasma? This year's Panasonic VT and ZT series took high honors at the Flat Display Shootout. If my Kuro dies before OLED is marketable, I'm going with one of them!
post #20823 of 21406
Quote:
Originally Posted by djoberg View Post

I don't always visit the Bass Thread but when I do, I am always impressed with your posts. I respect the fact that you take all variables into consideration before giving out a rating for a movie. I tend to skip over the posts by members who only judge "objectively" or "subjectively," for their final analysis is always going to be skewed.

BTW, how is your dad enjoying his Panny plasma? This year's Panasonic VT and ZT series took high honors at the Flat Display Shootout. If my Kuro dies before OLED is marketable, I'm going with one of them!


Thanks djoberg. You know I have the utmost respect for your PQ reviews as well. smile.gif The attention to detail as far as the things you guys catch is very impressive and has helped me become a more critical viewer.


He is LOVING his VT65 still. cool.gif I am not over there much, but the few times I have been there since setting all that up for him, I am always amazed at the PQ that set is putting out! It does everything well from my perspective and does not seem to have any significant weaknesses unlike my projectors. I have to run 2 projectors to get everything I want for both 2d and 3d and that Panny does both well IMO. His biggest use is sports followed by blu ray and both look inredible. Motion is absolutely fantastic on that set as well as contrast, color, etc.........
post #20824 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.

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!

I agree on the occasional noisiness of the grain. It reminds me of Moneyball in some respects.

I think the evaluation of color grading with respect to "eye candy" is always going to be subjective. I view it in the same way as black and white. Will I knock a movie down as eye candy because it is B&W? Not me, personally. Aviator has very distinctive color grading, too. But it fits Scorsese's purpose (to mimic the film color processes of each era depicted). But that's just me. Some people don't like "orange and teal" or "muted" or whatever, they want everything to look like reality. And then others want it to look like Speed Racer or something, super oversaturated. To each their own. I think your 2 is perfectly reasonable. We just arrived at our similar ratings for different reasons. I can't stand shakycam, even though it is also an artistic intention. I just can't see as much detail when the frame is shaking all over the place, so it is less "eye candy" for me.

Either way, I also have no buyer's remorse. I'm happy I got it and it's definitely a worthy movie and blu-ray, regardless of its real deficits.
post #20825 of 21406
^^^^^

Good and valid points mweflen!

I want you to know I appreciate your reviews. You're honest and consistent in the way you analyze Blu- rays and more often than not your placement recommendations are pretty accurate (IMHO). Keep them coming!
post #20826 of 21406
The Company You Keep

An enjoyable character/dialogue driven political thriller headed up by director/actor Robert Redford. The PQ wasn't bad either! smile.gif

After watching Man of Steel, with its highly stylized color-grading and orange/teal hues, it was refreshing to see such a natural-looking film. EVERYTHING looked natural, from the warm and rich colors, to the breathtaking panoramic views of California, Michigan, New York, and other American locations. There was a fine layer of grain which gave it the coveted *filmic* look. Details were in abundance, from lush forests and mountains to city streets, buildings, neighborhoods, etc. Facial close-ups revealed much in the way of details (you have to love the fine textures in aging actors such as Robert Redford, Julie Christie, Sam Elliot, and Nick Nolte). Depth was appreciable in many scenes, with accompanying sharpness and clarity. Flesh tones were spot on, contrast was strong, and black levels were good.

If I were to offer any words of censure, it would be fleeting shots of softness that would creep in unawares. Also, *some* nighttime scenes offered less favorable black levels, with a hint of crush here and there.

This one would work on my demo shelf, so I'm opting for....

Tier Recommendation: 1.5*

Viewed from 7.5' using the equipment listed below....
post #20827 of 21406
Quote:
Originally Posted by MSchu18 View Post

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.
The transfer was disappointing to say the least. I hear the Italian Blu-ray has a better transfer from a much stronger film source.

Quote:
Originally Posted by djoberg View Post

^^^^^

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.
Your Man of Steel review was excellent.cool.gif I wish I could give a window on when I'll get to see it but my pre-order hasn't been delivered yet and I am swamped with a number of other BDs to review.
post #20828 of 21406
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantom Stranger View Post

The transfer was disappointing to say the least. I hear the Italian Blu-ray has a better transfer from a much stronger film source.

extremely disappointing.

It's a fun little movie and deserves respect despite it's flaws. Terrence Hill has always been a great character in his cowboy movies and to ignore the Morricone soundtrack is a huge mistake.
post #20829 of 21406
Man of Steel

Tier Recommendation: 2.0

While I was hoping for the kind of lovely quality that Star Trek: Into Darkness had on it's blu (Superman and Star Trek are two favorites of mine since childhood), Man of Steel was, unfortunately, not that pristine. In fact, I don't know if it was the obvious color timing manipulations or something else, but Man of Steel displayed an obvious "we shot this on film" feeling through most of the film--that is to say that noise was present in nearly every scene. This isn't to say that the blu-ray was not spectacular in it's domain (the DVD would obviously be worse), but that compared to some more recent better looking transfers *cough* Monster's University *cough*, Man of Steel just fell short. There were a few scenes as it neared the end of the film that I thought looked downright Tier 0 quality (especially close-ups on Laurence Fishburne, Henry Cavill, and Michael Shannon, plus the wonderful texture on Supes' suit), but overall, the whole presentation was backdropped with film noise.

The reason that I went with Tier 2, was the fact that but for the noise, the majority of the film was clearly of good blu-ray quality and is par for the course on what I'd expect from a blu-ray. It did not demonstrate demo quality picture, but was what I expect a blu-ray to look like (as opposed to the loss of resolution in DVD). The ending scenes with beautiful close-ups and well-done special effects shots put it into the top of that tier for me.

I will agree that the soundtrack is wonderfully mixed and I found myself noticing subtle changes in music and mood setting that I think really exposed the care and time that the filmmakers put into it.
post #20830 of 21406
Quote:
Originally Posted by fredxr2d2 View Post

Man of Steel

Tier Recommendation: 2.0

While I was hoping for the kind of lovely quality that Star Trek: Into Darkness had on it's blu (Superman and Star Trek are two favorites of mine since childhood), Man of Steel was, unfortunately, not that pristine. In fact, I don't know if it was the obvious color timing manipulations or something else, but Man of Steel displayed an obvious "we shot this on film" feeling through most of the film--that is to say that noise was present in nearly every scene. This isn't to say that the blu-ray was not spectacular in it's domain (the DVD would obviously be worse), but that compared to some more recent better looking transfers *cough* Monster's University *cough*, Man of Steel just fell short. There were a few scenes as it neared the end of the film that I thought looked downright Tier 0 quality (especially close-ups on Laurence Fishburne, Henry Cavill, and Michael Shannon, plus the wonderful texture on Supes' suit), but overall, the whole presentation was backdropped with film noise.

The reason that I went with Tier 2, was the fact that but for the noise, the majority of the film was clearly of good blu-ray quality and is par for the course on what I'd expect from a blu-ray. It did not demonstrate demo quality picture, but was what I expect a blu-ray to look like (as opposed to the loss of resolution in DVD). The ending scenes with beautiful close-ups and well-done special effects shots put it into the top of that tier for me.

I will agree that the soundtrack is wonderfully mixed and I found myself noticing subtle changes in music and mood setting that I think really exposed the care and time that the filmmakers put into it.

Good review fredxr2d2!

I obviously concur with you, in measure, regarding the *noise*, though I didn't think it was as pervasive as you describe. Much of the film's "grain" was acceptable, though at times it became a bit too "gritty," and at other times it evolved into definite "noise." As I stated in my review, two of my biggest gripes were the drab color palette and the color-grading. Frankly, I'm getting sick of TEAL (and ORANGE), for it robs you of realism, whether you're talking about realistic flesh tones, or whatever. GRG has always "called a spade a spade" when it comes to color-grading and its adverse effects on what we should expect to see (I miss his honest reviews, especially in this context). I know the directors have made this stylistic choice, for their own reasons, but IMHO it takes away from what we should expect to see in real life and needs to penalized for it (if it does indeed affect flesh tones, details, etc.).

Just to be fair, there are occasions where it may be entirely appropriate to display teal hues. For example, we can't say what would be realistic on Planet Krypton, so if the director wants to create a planet that is robbed of our color-scheme on Planet Earth, so be it. The same holds true for other fictional movies, such as Lord of the Rings with its Middle Earth. Who am I to say that Middle Earth shouldn't come across as having "orange hues?" But when it comes to our planet Earth, with conditions comparable to what we experience today, we should expect to see what we would normally see, period!

There, I got that off my chest (again). I'll get off my soap box now and we can resume regular broadcasting. tongue.gif
Edited by djoberg - 11/14/13 at 11:23am
post #20831 of 21406
I just returned home from the video store with three rentals. I'm wondering if anyone has seen any of these titles yet (as far as I know, they were not highly advertised movies). They are The Frozen Ground (with Nicolas Cage and John Cusack), The Place Beyond the Pines (with Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper and Ray Liotta), and Parkland (with Billy Bob Thornton, Paul Giamatti, Zac Efron and Marcia Gray Harden). They may not have been hailed as great by the masses, but in reading the short piece on the back of each Blu my interest was peaked.
Edited by djoberg - 11/14/13 at 11:31am
post #20832 of 21406
I know I have mentioned this about a month ago, but I am surprised nobody has reviewed Kon Tiki here. You guys really should track this down as I would love to see it go through the paces here as I was personally very impressed with this title from a PQ perspective (audio as well actually), but I am not the most critical viewer and would love to hear your guys take on it at some point as there could very well be some issues I missed. smile.gif
post #20833 of 21406
Quote:
Originally Posted by djoberg View Post


Just to be fair, there are occasions where it may be entirely appropriate to display teal hues. For example, we can't say what would be realistic on Planet Krypton, so if the director wants to create a planet that is robbed of our color-scheme on Planet Earth, so be it. The same holds true for other fictional movies, such as Lord of the Rings with its Middle Earth. Who am I to say that Middle Earth shouldn't come across as having "orange hues?" But when it comes to our planet Earth, with conditions comparable to what we experience today, we should expect to see what we would normally see, period!

I agree with you here on those teal and orange tones. I don't think they bother me as much as they bother some others on this thread. However, I will say that the drab color palette doesn't bother me as much as just focus issues or the film grain. I think I noticed some of it more because I was trying to focus on the overall picture instead of faces (which were usually clear), and got distracted by the "noise" in the background.

That said, I think there is a certain amount of "grain" that can be actually pleasing to the eye and wouldn't necessarily take off points for it. Man of Steel was not pleasant in that sense (though some scenes were better than others) and maybe my problem is that I was so looking forward to awesomeness that I got lost in the fact that it was just pretty OK.
post #20834 of 21406
All of this also doesn't mean that I won't watch it another time (or three). Just wanted to chime in.
post #20835 of 21406
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toe View Post

I know I have mentioned this about a month ago, but I am surprised nobody has reviewed Kon Tiki here. You guys really should track this down as I would love to see it go through the paces here as I was personally very impressed with this title from a PQ perspective (audio as well actually), but I am not the most critical viewer and would love to hear your guys take on it at some point as there could very well be some issues I missed. smile.gif

I did make a note of that Toe when you referred to that title, but my local video store doesn't have a Blu-ray copy and I'm not sure I would want to purchase it. You did whet my appetite to see it though, so I will check out other video stores in nearby cities when I get the chance to.
post #20836 of 21406
Quote:
Originally Posted by fredxr2d2 View Post

I agree with you here on those teal and orange tones. I don't think they bother me as much as they bother some others on this thread. However, I will say that the drab color palette doesn't bother me as much as just focus issues or the film grain. I think I noticed some of it more because I was trying to focus on the overall picture instead of faces (which were usually clear), and got distracted by the "noise" in the background.

That said, I think there is a certain amount of "grain" that can be actually pleasing to the eye and wouldn't necessarily take off points for it. Man of Steel was not pleasant in that sense (though some scenes were better than others) and maybe my problem is that I was so looking forward to awesomeness that I got lost in the fact that it was just pretty OK.

I think I can echo your sentiments when you say, "the drab color palette doesn't bother me as much as focus issues or the film grain." Focus issues are VERY distracting, resulting in a loss of clarity. Grain, if too heavy, is just as distracting and also robs the PQ of clarity (and, in some cases, of details). There have been some Blu-rays with drab color palettes that I have rated quite high, simply because there was so much detail, depth, and clarity. This was NOT the case though with Man of Steel, for with the grain issues and periods of softness, there wasn't always a lot of details and clarity.

Regarding my highlighted words above, I agree with you 100%! I have often noted in reviews that there was a nice layer of fine grain that gave it a "filmic" look (some call it a "cinematic" look) and that actually served to enhance details. It's when it robs the PQ of details/clarity that one must "take off points."
post #20837 of 21406
The Frozen Ground

Not so good movie...so-so PQ!

Even though this was filmed using the Arri Alexa camera and had an average bitrate of 35 (I don't usually check the bitrate during the movie but with a recent poster mentioning people being "bitrate watchers" I thought I would give it a try smile.gif), I was underwhelmed by the PQ. Much of the 90 minute running time features either outdoor nighttime scenes or indoor low-lit lighting and in quite a few instance black levels suffered (with murkiness or crushed blacks) and details were all but lost. In fairness though there were some stellar black levels at times with finely-rendered shadow details. Go figure!

Someone who wrote a review for Man of Steel penalized the PQ rating due to the infamous "shaky cam." Well, this director couldn't keep his hands still either and I found myself distracted by it.

Flesh tones were okay one minute, pale the next. Depth was satisfactory during daytime scenes; not so much at night. Contrast was inconsistent too, with stronger contrast during daytime shots and low in many nighttime scenes. You get the picture...this was one inconsistent flick!

What about color-grading? Oh yeah, it was there big-time, with oodles of TEAL. No doubt the director chose this for multiple reasons...it was a period piece (early 80s I believe)....it was in Alaska (where it's cold!)...and it was a very sober and solemn movie about one of Alaska's most notorious serial killers (so steely blue sets the mood). Be that as it may, I still didn't like it and I thought it affected both flesh tones and details at times.

This did have some redeeming qualities though; namely, plenty of details at times, especially in facial close-ups. Ironically some of the best facial close-ups with superb texture took place at night...in cars, bars, and ah....other places (sorry I didn't have a third word that rhymed with cars and bars smile.gif). Also, there was some AMAZING CINEMATOGRAPHY, with generous amounts of panoramic views of Alaska's mountains and wildernesses. They were accompanied by decent details and depth.

Time to wrap this up with a placement recommendation. It's not the easiest call (as is often the case when there is such inconsistency), but I surely wouldn't call this "reference" or "demo" material. Yet I do believe it deserves a place in Tier Silver and close to the top too. How about....

Tier Recommendation: 2.25*

Viewed from 7.5' using the equipment listed below....
post #20838 of 21406
Only God Forgives

recommendation: Tier 3.0*


I think Ryan Gosling's many female admirers are going to see his face on the cover and rent this movie without reading too much about it. That would be a mistake by them.tongue.gif

Getting to more relevant analysis for this thread, Only God Forgives has some of most heavily-stylized digital cinematography seen yet on Blu-ray. Entire scenes are creatively lit in different colored lighting, which poses difficulty for overall clarity and shadow depth. Anchor Bay did what they could with the transfer but the movie was shot on the cheap in Bangkok, producing some visual limitations in the gritty cinematography. This is from the same director that made Drive with Ryan Gosling, but that film's visual style had more polish and Hollywood pedigree.
post #20839 of 21406
The Place Beyond the Pines

How about that...two reviews back-to-back with Ryan Gosling as the one of the male leads! I must say he has veered into "bad boy" territory as of late and being the accomplished actor that he is, he can pretty much fill any role.

I'm happy to report that this was another "natural-looking" Blu! There were tons of scenes featuring beautiful, lush cinematography and the details were quite good (not excellent, but very good). Colors were warm. Flesh tones were accurate. Facial details up close were Tier 1 quality. Blacks levels in early scenes didn't fare too well at night, with heavy grain/noise rearing their ugly head. Thankfully they became better as the movie progressed. There was a fine layer of grain that looked pleasing to the eyes, with the exception of the early nighttime scenes just mentioned. There was *some* color-grading....shots with orange hues in earlier scenes...shots with teal hues after that. But they weren't dominating and had no effect on details.

During the first 30 minutes I was thinking "this won't make it into either of the two top tiers," but when the PQ picked up on all levels I changed my mind and at the end I figured it may be worthy of a Tier 1 ranking, albeit at the bottom....

Tier Recommendation: 1.75*

Viewed from 7.5' using the equipment listed below....
post #20840 of 21406
EDIT: Wow. Ignore that post from me. (I deleted it.) Sorry guys, especially djoberg.
Edited by fredxr2d2 - 11/15/13 at 9:52am
post #20841 of 21406
The Three Faces of Eve

recommendation: Tier 3.25*

Joanne Woodward's classic portrayal of a woman suffering from Multiple Personality Disorder has never looked better on home video. The excellent Cinemascope transfer has been handled with the utmost care by Fox and brought to life in vivid 1080P resolution. Inky black levels and superior shadow delineation provide the necessary support for the black-and-white cinematography.

Some mild softness occasionally creeps into the picture but on the whole it has strong definition and pleasing levels of clarity. The technical specs for the AVC video encode are exemplary, nearing an average of 40 Mbps! This is a film-like transfer that pays great respect to the 1957 classic.
post #20842 of 21406
Batman Returns

Well, the contrast is more pleasing than the previous Tim Burton Batman, if it is perhaps a tad crushed close to black. Mid-range detail is fine, but film grain and fine detail are not particularly good. I think some DNR was applied here. Some optical shots reduce mid-range detail. Overall it is pleasing in the way that, say, good cable TV HD is. The best scenes really pop with color and contrast. It just doesn't look much like a film.

Tier Recommendation: 3.0
post #20843 of 21406
Rear Window

There is definitely something digital going on with the grain here. But that said, at least there is grain, so at normal viewing distances this does look like film. Color is excellent, especially for a film of this vintage. Mid level detail is quite nice, but fine detail is soft. Contrast is very good with no real crushing of blacks. All in all, a respectful transfer of a classic film, which ought to please Hitchcock fans who have been suffering with DVDs for a decade.

Tier Recommendation: 2.5
Edited by mweflen - 11/15/13 at 3:12pm
post #20844 of 21406
Parkland

With the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy's assassination a week from today, I thought it would be appropriate to see this movie which presents it from a different vantage point than that of other films. Parkland was the hospital where Mr. Kennedy was taken to and where he died. It is also the hospital where Lee Harvey Oswald was taken to and died. What a stark contrast between the two, in almost every way!

This was obviously a "period piece" and very "solemn," so the director chose to feature TEAL hues throughout the movie, but I'm thankful to say they weren't so dominating as to affect details or flesh-tones. In fact, even though colors were somewhat subdued, primaries still appeared here and there with a warmth and vibrancy that was pleasing to the eyes.

For the majority of the 90 minute running time we are treated to a clean and sharp transfer, teeming with details. The director chose to zoom in on faces many, many times and in each case there was rich texture, revealing every mole, wrinkle, stubble, etc. A good example of this starts at the 47 minute mark where Lee Harvey Oswald's mother is in a room conversing with her son and a Secret Service Agent. Her features (face and hair) and her clothes are exemplary, showcasing the merits of this wonderful technology we call High Definition. I paused it a couple of times to allow my eyes to to absorb what was before me: EYE CANDY to the nth degree! There were also many shots with appreciable depth.

Black levels weren't reference, but they were acceptable, I noticed no instances of crush and they never faltered to the point of murkiness. Contrast during bright, daytime scenes was excellent.

This is easily "demo" material, but NOT "reference." I would put it somewhere in the middle of Tier 1. I'm thinking it may end up here....

Tier Recommendation: 1.5*

Viewed from 7.5' using the equipment listed below....
post #20845 of 21406
Man of Steel

recommendation: Tier 2.25*


Man of Steel's distinct aesthetic has to be acknowledged before delving into the finer points of its video quality. Earlier film versions of Superman were rendered in bright comic book colors. Snyder and Christopher Nolan have grounded the world's first superhero in a much grittier tone, more in line with the big Sci-Fi blockbusters of today. The color timing eschews bright bursts of the primary colors, preferring a darker tonality in a desaturated color palette.

Man of Steel's world is built on the back of digital composites and heavy usage of VFX to give us a new imagining of the familiar character. While the CGI and green screen work look fairly great, there is a price to be paid in terms of blending that much artifice with live action. The resulting picture quality is a mesh of film texture and some filtering to seamlessly blend the action together. While it has some interesting design elements to the visuals, Man of Steel rarely struck me as demo material.

I think some of the concerns with the AVC video encode were correct. This film has a heavy texture and weight to it. Sometimes it produces less refined shadow delineation or poorly focused cinematography. Occasionally, Warner's encoding has small problems dealing with the gritty texture and fast-paced action. Most of the prior comments in this thread were dead on the target.

Most of the movie still provides a sharp experience with fine detail. I simply don't think it belongs in Tier 1.
post #20846 of 21406
Monsters University

recommendation: Tier 0* (The Tippy Top)


The sheer variety of beautifully saturated color, inky blacks and near microscopic level of detail, all framed by stunningly photo realistic environments, makes for the finest visual experience available. I have watched Madagascar 3 and Toy Story 3 and their current placement is well deserved but Monsters University has easily surpassed both.

The accompany Pixar short, The Blu Umbrella, has the most photo-realistic visuals I have ever seen.

Samsung PN60E7000, CinemaQuest Ideal-Lume Standard Bias Light employed, 8.5 ft viewing distance
post #20847 of 21406
Lion of the Desert

recommendation: Tier 4.5*


The 1981 historical epic arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of Starz/Anchor Bay. The interlaced film transfer is a cropped mess. Anchor Bay obviously secured a HD master originally intended for broadcast, presenting it on Blu-ray at a poor 1080i resolution. The movie should have been in its correct 2.35:1 aspect ratio but instead we get a heavily cropped 1.78:1 widescreen transfer. The opening reel is in very rough shape with significant telecine wobble and jitter.

The picture quality itself lies in that twilight realm above upscaled standard definition but clearly not up to the standards of a modern Hi-Def film scan.eek.gif This transfer appears to be a very old telecine transfer made before the advent of Blu-ray, possibly from third-rate film elements. It is definitely not from the original camera negative, possessing poor color fidelity and overall detail. A disappointment in almost every respect.
post #20848 of 21406
Just a question , everyone remembers the debouchery that was Gladiator before cries from fans sent Paramount into doing a remaster, I am sure you all remember that day . Will or is there a thread that mentions how bad of a transfer Meet the Fockers is. DNR, EE, Aliasing, Noisy, Shimmering and so on. It is terrible, I am just curious if there has been a hallabaloo about this bluray disk which in my opinion is begging for a better transfer I know it's a much older movie, but it's a shame studio's are putting out this type of quality. While I am at it, lol, we should so the studios lobby never use teal and blue , just getting tired of that color combo in movies, come on. Really, that's the best a colorist can do. Oh well, what do I know. Back to your regular sheduled bluray reviews smile.gif
Edited by hungro - 11/20/13 at 2:00pm
post #20849 of 21406
Quote:
Originally Posted by hungro View Post

Just a question , everyone remembers the debouchery that was Gladiator before cries from fans sent Paramount into doing a remaster, I am sure you all remember that day . Will or is there a thread that mentions how bad of a transfer Meet the Fockers is. DNR, EE, Aliasing, Noisy, Shimmering and so on. It is terrible, I am just curious if there has been a hallabaloo about this bluray disk which in my opinion is begging for a better transfer I know it's a much older movie, but it's a shame studio's are putting out this type of quality. While I am at it, lol, we should so the studios lobby never use teal and blue , just getting tired of that color combo in movies, come on. Really, that's the best a colorist can do. Oh well, what do I know. Back to your regular sheduled bluray reviews smile.gif
I don't remember a specific thread for Meet the Fockers. People's expectations for a catalog studio comedy from Universal aren't very high to begin with, so I don't think a mediocre transfer would be much of a shock. Picture quality seems to be of minimal concern when prepping these Hollywood comedies for home video.

Given that it was a 2004 film, my hunch is that Universal went to their vault and re-used their HD transfer originally prepped for the initial DVD release. That is why it's filled with the problems you cited. Outside of Spielberg's films, Universal is not to be trusted with catalog releases.

Tank Girl

recommendation: Tier 2.75*


This is a very solid film transfer and Hi-Def presentation for the 1995 flop. Shout Factory licensed the film from MGM. It's a film-like transfer from high-quality elements, showcasing excellent color rendition and decent resolution.

I don't think a case could be made for a Tier One placement but it definitely deserves placement somewhere in Tier 2. Tank Girl is not demo material but ranks highly amongst other catalog releases from its era on Blu-ray.
post #20850 of 21406
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantom Stranger View Post

Only God Forgives

recommendation: Tier 3.0*


I think Ryan Gosling's many female admirers are going to see his face on the cover and rent this movie without reading too much about it. That would be a mistake by them.tongue.gif

Getting to more relevant analysis for this thread, Only God Forgives has some of most heavily-stylized digital cinematography seen yet on Blu-ray. Entire scenes are creatively lit in different colored lighting, which poses difficulty for overall clarity and shadow depth. Anchor Bay did what they could with the transfer but the movie was shot on the cheap in Bangkok, producing some visual limitations in the gritty cinematography. This is from the same director that made Drive with Ryan Gosling, but that film's visual style had more polish and Hollywood pedigree.

That's surprising. When I saw the film at the cinema it had hands down the best picture quality I had ever seen. It looked utterly stunning.
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