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The New PQ Tier thread for Blu-Ray - Discussion - Page 714

post #21391 of 21406
Quote:
Originally Posted by deltasun View Post

Hey Fellas, thought of you guys while watching the special features for The Counselor and Ridley talking about using the Red One and his new-found "love" for no-grain filming. Anyway, pretty interesting set of comments. Great film too, imho, with pretty decent PQ. Some problem areas exist in some of the low-light facial close-up's, but the cinematography's great otherwise.
It looks like film is nearing its end in Hollywood. Cameras like the RED One and Arri Alexa constitute the bulk of new movies I see these days. I think they can produce fantastic PQ results if the color grading doesn't go wrong.
Quote:
Originally Posted by djoberg View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by deltasun View Post

Hey Fellas, thought of you guys while watching the special features for The Counselor and Ridley talking about using the Red One and his new-found "love" for no-grain filming. Anyway, pretty interesting set of comments. Great film too, imho, with pretty decent PQ. Some problem areas exist in some of the low-light facial close-up's, but the cinematography's great otherwise.

We had the privilege of having Hugh "drop in" the other day and now you grace our thread with your encouraging post! cool.gif

I'm leaving at the crack of dawn tomorrow on a 18-day trip so I am making a mental note to rent The Counselor after I return. I had asked Hugh if he could fill in for me while I'm gone and there was no response.....so, maybe you'd be willing to receive the baton and run with it for 2-3 weeks. Better yet, we'd love to see you resume your excellent reviews on a full-time basis!
Good luck on your trip, Djoberg. I do know that many of the older regulars from this thread still like to lurk here, though posting is another matter.wink.gif
post #21392 of 21406
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantom Stranger View Post

can produce fantastic PQ results if the color grading doesn't go wrong.

It's that damn teal and orange killig fleshtones and whatnot. Just imagine the rec 2020 color gamut how much more teal and orange they can display, colors true to real life. LOL
post #21393 of 21406
K: The Complete Series

recommendation: Tier 1.0*


A relatively new anime series, having been produced in 2012 and released over here in the States just over a month ago by Viz Media. This is a splashy affair loaded with great detail in the highly polished backgrounds. The animation is a cut above most of the television fare coming out of Japan these days, it was definitely intended to shine in HD. There are a number of CGI elements included to spruce up the hand-drawn art.

Warner actually ended up distributing this one, the quality of the AVC video encode is definitely better than the typical ones I see from Funimation or Sentai Filmworks.
post #21394 of 21406
I don't know if this is going to be totally out of bounds since we're talking about BD picture quality, but I thought I would mention the fact that I saw Captain America: The Winter Soldier in a commercial theater last night and the weirdest thing was noticeable: NO film grain. Shot with the Arri Alexa and Red Epic, and displayed on a Sony SRX-R320 4K Digital Projector, there was no grain at all and, to be honest, it actually made the film look more "fake" than I expected. I'm wondering if the BD (when it comes out) will hold onto the pristine look of the cinema experience. Just thought I'd mention it.
post #21395 of 21406
Quote:
Originally Posted by fredxr2d2 View Post

I don't know if this is going to be totally out of bounds since we're talking about BD picture quality, but I thought I would mention the fact that I saw Captain America: The Winter Soldier in a commercial theater last night and the weirdest thing was noticeable: NO film grain. Shot with the Arri Alexa and Red Epic, and displayed on a Sony SRX-R320 4K Digital Projector, there was no grain at all and, to be honest, it actually made the film look more "fake" than I expected. I'm wondering if the BD (when it comes out) will hold onto the pristine look of the cinema experience. Just thought I'd mention it.
I think we'll be seeing more of that grainless trend as the next generation of filmmakers take over. The economics of film don't make sense these days and the entire production chain for Hollywood movies is shifting towards digital cameras. I do believe that digital film has different strengths and weaknesses than 35mm film. It's a different visual medium in some regards.

I wish 70mm productions were more in vogue but it's such an unwieldy format to produce.
post #21396 of 21406
Quote:
Originally Posted by fredxr2d2 View Post

I don't know if this is going to be totally out of bounds since we're talking about BD picture quality, but I thought I would mention the fact that I saw Captain America: The Winter Soldier in a commercial theater last night and the weirdest thing was noticeable: NO film grain. Shot with the Arri Alexa and Red Epic, and displayed on a Sony SRX-R320 4K Digital Projector, there was no grain at all and, to be honest, it actually made the film look more "fake" than I expected. I'm wondering if the BD (when it comes out) will hold onto the pristine look of the cinema experience. Just thought I'd mention it.

It was shot on digital camera solely to record stereographic images and since thankfully the stereovision format is dying, this unnatural and sterile look will go on the way out as well although TV shows which go for the lowest common denominator will probably continue to use digital cameras.
post #21397 of 21406
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantom Stranger View Post

The Grandmaster

recommendation: Tier 3.75*

The Weinstein Company gives us the 108-minute cut of Wong Kar Wai's ode to Chinese martial arts. The cinematography is unquestionably fantastic, nominated for an Oscar it probably should have won. The movie does a lot of tricky editing with visual FX and unusual camera techniques, leading to the occasional stuttering frame in super-slow-mo. It's dense photography with dark lighting, leading to very heavy black levels and visible noise in the darkest shots. There is also the insertion of what appears to be content sourced from inferior cameras in a couple of scenes, leading to a visibly degraded image with reduced resolution and softer detail.

I'm unsure if some of the noted problems were a part of this cut or Starz/Anchor Bay were handed an inferior master to begin with, there is a Hong Kong BD with a different cut. Given Wong Kar Wai's masterful direction, this BD is a bit disappointing in the picture quality department. Some of it looks quite beautiful as pure eye candy, as when Gong Er practices in the courtyard with the snow falling. The problems are too noticeable to overlook in assigning a placement.

Just watched. I love Wong Kar Wai. I agree with much of what you said but to be honest, for the most part, the PQ didn't distract me other than one thing...Did you find that the shadow details were often crushed in the darker scenes? Much of the details in the dark areas were lost or nonexistent. No matter what adjustments I made to my display it was the case.
post #21398 of 21406
Quote:
Originally Posted by wattheF View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantom Stranger View Post

The Grandmaster

recommendation: Tier 3.75*

The Weinstein Company gives us the 108-minute cut of Wong Kar Wai's ode to Chinese martial arts. The cinematography is unquestionably fantastic, nominated for an Oscar it probably should have won. The movie does a lot of tricky editing with visual FX and unusual camera techniques, leading to the occasional stuttering frame in super-slow-mo. It's dense photography with dark lighting, leading to very heavy black levels and visible noise in the darkest shots. There is also the insertion of what appears to be content sourced from inferior cameras in a couple of scenes, leading to a visibly degraded image with reduced resolution and softer detail.

I'm unsure if some of the noted problems were a part of this cut or Starz/Anchor Bay were handed an inferior master to begin with, there is a Hong Kong BD with a different cut. Given Wong Kar Wai's masterful direction, this BD is a bit disappointing in the picture quality department. Some of it looks quite beautiful as pure eye candy, as when Gong Er practices in the courtyard with the snow falling. The problems are too noticeable to overlook in assigning a placement.

Just watched. I love Wong Kar Wai. I agree with much of what you said but to be honest, for the most part, the PQ didn't distract me other than one thing...Did you find that the shadow details were often crushed in the darker scenes? Much of the details in the dark areas were lost or nonexistent. No matter what adjustments I made to my display it was the case.
Yes, that unfortunately appears endemic to the original cinematography in select shots. Mostly I remember it being a problem in the first act with some of the darkest interiors. There are definite instances of crushing for those interior scenes. It's one of the reasons why I gave it a ranking close to Tier 4. The Grandmaster is certainly a moody-looking film, especially before it switches to Gong Er's story in more depth.
post #21399 of 21406
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantom Stranger View Post

Yes, that unfortunately appears endemic to the original cinematography in select shots. Mostly I remember it being a problem in the first act with some of the darkest interiors. There are definite instances of crushing for those interior scenes. It's one of the reasons why I gave it a ranking close to Tier 4. The Grandmaster is certainly a moody-looking film, especially before it switches to Gong Er's story in more depth.
That's what it looked like in the theater.
post #21400 of 21406
Quote:
Originally Posted by fredxr2d2 View Post

I don't know if this is going to be totally out of bounds since we're talking about BD picture quality, but I thought I would mention the fact that I saw Captain America: The Winter Soldier in a commercial theater last night and the weirdest thing was noticeable: NO film grain. Shot with the Arri Alexa and Red Epic, and displayed on a Sony SRX-R320 4K Digital Projector, there was no grain at all and, to be honest, it actually made the film look more "fake" than I expected. I'm wondering if the BD (when it comes out) will hold onto the pristine look of the cinema experience. Just thought I'd mention it.
Some of that is the 4k projector scaling on the 2K source, I saw this on a 2k projector and it doesn't look as fake. Sony 4k machines have a consistent lack of oompf when fed 2K and I put the blame on the scaling (upscaling) if you will. As been mentioned elsewhere, modern film stock can be used to have almost no grain also.
post #21401 of 21406
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantom Stranger View Post

Yes, that unfortunately appears endemic to the original cinematography in select shots. Mostly I remember it being a problem in the first act with some of the darkest interiors. There are definite instances of crushing for those interior scenes. It's one of the reasons why I gave it a ranking close to Tier 4. The Grandmaster is certainly a moody-looking film, especially before it switches to Gong Er's story in more depth.
Too bad because otherwise this film honestly has some of the most beautiful cinematography I have ever seen. I can definitely still appreciate it, but it's just that if the technical aspects were on par with the artistic, it could have been a true gem.
post #21402 of 21406
Quote:
Originally Posted by wattheF View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantom Stranger View Post

Yes, that unfortunately appears endemic to the original cinematography in select shots. Mostly I remember it being a problem in the first act with some of the darkest interiors. There are definite instances of crushing for those interior scenes. It's one of the reasons why I gave it a ranking close to Tier 4. The Grandmaster is certainly a moody-looking film, especially before it switches to Gong Er's story in more depth.
Too bad because otherwise this film honestly has some of the most beautiful cinematography I have ever seen. I can definitely still appreciate it, but it's just that if the technical aspects were on par with the artistic, it could have been a true gem.
Truly, the fight sequences are some of the most poetic ever committed to film. Its Oscar nomination for cinematography was not a fluke.

The Devil's Rock (Canadian)

recommendation: Tier 1.0*


I didn't expect much from the video going in, all I knew about this movie beforehand were its storyline of demonic Nazi sorcery and that it came from New Zealand.eek.gif Well, the extremely sharp RED cinematography blew me away for a horror movie. This is possibly the best results I've consistently seen from a RED production. I'm fairly sure this movie was finished at 2K by the same company in New Zealand handling Peter Jackson's films.

Released by Entertainment One in Canada, the 86-minute main feature is encoded in AVC on a BD-25. It is the video encode that keeps it knocking on the door of Tier Zero, posterization and banding are the video's only serious flaws. In every other way, The Devil's Rock is a real beauty. This is reference quality definition with incredible detail, highlighted by close-ups etched with brilliant clarity. The opening scene on the beaches of Normandy has that drained, tonally flat appearance so favored these days. Then the color palette and contrast open up nicely with jaw-dropping sharpness, as the main story gets under way inside the Nazi bunker.

If one were intent on looking for weaknesses outside of the suspect compression in certain shots, one might zero-in on the shadow depth. Black levels are nearly perfect but they lack that true, inky blackness common in Tier Zero. Everything about the transfer is flawless, we are seeing everything replicated to an uncanny degree from the presumed digital Intermediate.
post #21403 of 21406
^^^^^

Thanks for that review Phantom! I'll definitely be checking that out when I get home.

My wife and I are CRUISIN down I-75 South and we're a few miles from the FLORIDA-GEORGIA LINE (all country music fans should appreciate that)! biggrin.gif
post #21404 of 21406
The Wolverine (Extended Cut)

recommendation: Tier 0 (lower half)


This one ended up in Tier 1.0 by the votes but I think it deserves a placement in the lower half of Tier 0. Wolverine is the best there is at what he does and apparently that extends to Blu-ray.biggrin.gif Inky black levels and consistently amazing depth produce a real stunner, one that almost never wavers in video quality.

Aside from a couple of momentary color grading decisions that go wrong in the fleshtones, spectacular color rendition and perfect contrast combine to create a movie with extraordinary, unfiltered detail. The only filtering in the movie? Famke Janssen's face in her brief cameo appearances. Those moments only stick out because everything else is dripping with raw resolution and clarity.

This is the type of picture quality I expect from the big superhero blockbusters, though they rarely seem to reach these heights.
post #21405 of 21406
Anchorman 2

I went into watching this BD with low expectations as far as PQ goes. I was pleasantly surprised by how good in looks.
Most shots exhibited razor sharp clarity. Some close ups were particularly impressive with facial details and texture as good as I can remember seeing. There was a bit of inconsistency though. A few shots looked a bit soft. I think it was a camera focal issue more than anything else. Contrast was very strong and gave great depth to the image. Black levels were not challenged very often but looked good with plenty of shadow detail. Color was rich and saturated although the pallet was a bit limited. Skin tones sometimes seemed a bit unnatural and ruddy. Overall the transfer seemed good. I didn't see any obvious artifacts although I'm not sure what it is but there seemed to be some sort of added processing going on (sharpening?).

Overall pretty impressive particularly for a movie of this nature. I'm going out on a limb a bit here with my ranking, but I don't feel the negatives of the PQ out weigh it's positives enough to rank it any lower than....

TIER 1.0
*UPDATE* Just popped it in again for another quick viewing. I am going to alter my ranking slightly to...

TIER 1.25
Edited by wattheF - 4/13/14 at 8:30am
post #21406 of 21406
Just FYI: Ender's Game and Frozen both went on sale on Amazon today. Some recent eye candy for cheap(er)!
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