The New PQ Tier thread for Blu-Ray - Discussion - Page 427 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #12781 of 26092 Old 06-18-2009, 06:07 AM
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The Rocker 16:9 (1:85:1) AR 2008 AC-3

Ok I realise that this might not be an obvious choice to nominate to Tier 0, but I was so impressed by it even after scrutinizing this film from a 4 foot viewing distance on an 92" screen from my 1080p projector. All I can say is that at its best, it surpasses Transporter 3, I, Robot and Man on Fire for its vividness and that 'looking through a window' type achievement. It isn't all perfect, however, and thus it probably shouldn't be placed above these mentioned titles, but a bit below. I could live with Tier 1.0 but why not go out on a limb.

A very very fine film grain can be discerned in certain underlit scenes, but for the most part it is difficult to make-out any grain. I don't attribute this to NR but more likely that it was captured using digital camera equipment. It looked similar to "Youth Without Youth" in this regard so for those who prefer a film-like 35mm presentation it isn't found here.

The more impressive scenes had some bokeh with closeups of the actor and a more blurred background, making the actor pop-off the screen. There were many wide and medium shots that had an incredible depth of field where all objects were in perfect focus as well. The best of the best facial closeups here cannot compete, however, with something like 'Transporter 3' but they are not lacking either. Fine details can be seen such as pores and individual hairs. Skin tones look natural, blacks are pretty good and the darker indoor concert scenes while not invoking the 'wow' factor that the more well-lit or outdoor scenes have, are noise-free and still sharp and detailed. Indoor scenes, for instance the dinner table scene near the beginning, show-off how incredible looking this movie is with great detail in small objects and all actors popping right off the screen.

I personally think that part of what makes animated movies have an easier time being nominated for Tier 0 is their artifact-free digital to digital conversion that translates to a 'perfect' transfer from original source to the bluray medium. The fact that I think this movie is shot with digital cameras makes this film similar in this regard. I could literally stand right up to my screen on some of the scenes and see extreme fine detail without the usual haze of film stock grain. This just gave it a clean, wow-factor pop that I have to say deserves a Tier 0 spot probably somewhere in the middle right below 'Youth Without Youth'. I doubt there will be the requisite 5 or 6 Tier 0 nominations to achieve this but that is where I think this film belongs.

Anyone on netflix or zip will probably have no problem whatsoever renting this as its far from a popular release, for whatever reason. If you do decide to give it a rent, don't be too concerned in the first 10 - 15 minutes of ridiculous 'comedy' that feels a bit out of place. The movie does improve later on. It's not a great film by any stretch of the imagination, however.

I nominate to the middle of Tier 0. I have no problem demoing this one to show what is possible with bluray.

PS3 to HC5500 1080p PJ
92" screen 4-7' distance (I sat up really really close for this one for some parts)

Sidenote: I am more partial to the look of HD digital camera vs film
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post #12782 of 26092 Old 06-18-2009, 07:45 AM
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Nice review, Sleater. I'll plunk that title into my zip list!
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post #12783 of 26092 Old 06-18-2009, 11:52 AM
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The Berlin Concert: Live from the Waldbuhne

Switched gears here a bit and thought I might as well put up a review. Like most concerts, the audience portion is usually in unflattering light. Such was the case here. Whenever the camera pans over to the audience, clarity, color, and details go south.

Back to the performers - facial details were uncharacteristically soft. I don't know if I saw a single instance where they were detailed. It was very disappointing in this regard. Without a doubt, the best PQ attribute were medium shots. They were 3D-like, detailed, and contrast was often spot on, helping give those shots great depth dimension.

Blacks were pretty decent - tuxedo's, for example, retained details. Skin tones, when not in direct light, were spot on.

Overall, a very viable video presentation...

Tier Recommendation: 2.75

If a little opera is your cup of tea, this had really good audio to complement the video. Because of the format, however, the performances did not really flow well. Still, very enjoyable performances from Netrebko, Domingo, and Villazon.

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post #12784 of 26092 Old 06-18-2009, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Phantom Stranger View Post

Ghostbusters is my second favorite comedy of all-time (coincidentally my favorite comedy of all-time also happened to be released yesterday)

Oh I know, I know...Spaceballs!!! Now what do I win?

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post #12785 of 26092 Old 06-18-2009, 01:49 PM
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LOST: Season One is looking to be about a 2.0 Tier to me. Maybe 1.75.

Some shots look like they were shot on 16mm, and some shots up close show great detail in facial shots. It's very inconsistent.
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post #12786 of 26092 Old 06-18-2009, 03:40 PM
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Originally Posted by chumpy View Post

Oh I know, I know...Spaceballs!!! Now what do I win?

While the power of the Schwartz is very funny, I was referring to another comedy that was released this week on Blu-ray. Do you realize that fluoridation is the most monstrously conceived and dangerous communist plot we have ever had to face?
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Originally Posted by b_scott View Post

LOST: Season One is looking to be about a 2.0 Tier to me. Maybe 1.75.

Some shots look like they were shot on 16mm, and some shots up close show great detail in facial shots. It's very inconsistent.

I have not watched it yet but that jives with what I have been hearing about it. On another matter, I was planning to write up an Oldboy recommendation until I checked and found it was already placed exactly where I think it should be in tier 3.5. So for future reference if more discussion of it comes up...

Oldboy

recommendation: Tier 3.5


A surprisingly decent transfer for a disc that came out back in 2007. It looked better than I expected given the nature and origin of the production.

Blu-ray Picture Quality Tiers (updated through July 13, 2017)
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post #12787 of 26092 Old 06-18-2009, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Phantom Stranger View Post

Do you realize that fluoridation is the most monstrously conceived and dangerous communist plot we have ever had to face?

I got my copy of Strangelove yesterday. I'm so looking forward to seeing it in Blu!
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post #12788 of 26092 Old 06-18-2009, 06:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Phantom Stranger View Post

Do you realize that fluoridation is the most monstrously conceived and dangerous communist plot we have ever had to face?

Damn that's a great movie. Will definitely eventually have to add that to my collection.
Phantom Stranger likes this.
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post #12789 of 26092 Old 06-18-2009, 10:30 PM
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Originally Posted by b_scott View Post

LOST: Season One is looking to be about a 2.0 Tier to me. Maybe 1.75.

Some shots look like they were shot on 16mm, and some shots up close show great detail in facial shots. It's very inconsistent.

after further viewing (I'm in Episode 14 now) I find that it gets a lot sharper about midway through. I'd give the season a running average of 1.5 as of now. More later
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post #12790 of 26092 Old 06-18-2009, 10:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantom Stranger View Post

Ghostbusters

recommendation: Tier 2.75

I watched this tonight, and while I agree with your assessment and loved that it was very true to the original print - the original print is very grainy and old looking. I would lean more towards 3.0 tops for the purposes of this thread. That being said, it was very enjoyable
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post #12791 of 26092 Old 06-18-2009, 10:52 PM
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He's Just Not That Into You

Fine grain present throughout, but not distracting. At least 3/4's of the scenes suffered from intentional softness. I say intentional because of the romantic aspects of this chick flick. I was surprised to see a handful of scenes which were sharper, but still not the best sharpness and detail inherent of high-tiered titles. Speaking of sharpness, I did notice some ringing on a few scenes, but nothing to really ruin them.

Blacks were mostly decent, but were crushed in a number of scenes (horrible on Connor's sweater while showing a house to Scarlett). Low-light scenes were just on or slightly above average. Contrast was a bit on the weak side, skin tones ever so slightly on the reddish side.

Overall, still a decent looking title at ...

Tier Recommendation: 2.50

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post #12792 of 26092 Old 06-19-2009, 12:42 AM
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so i just had to sit through Twilight

i absolutely HATED the movie, but the video presentation makes this a bit less difficult to endure. The transfer is only a few hairs away from what I'd consider reference quality. Detail is consistently excellent, though not quite best in class, I'd put it about on par with Tropic Thunder. Like every movie I've seen, there's screwy shots here and there, but they are few and far between. In some movies, the dark scenes sometimes bring down otherwise excellent looking PQ, but here they look very good. Grain is present and not distracting, the picture retains its film-like qualities. Contrast is very well delineated, blacks are inky without distracting instances of crushing. Despite the dizzying bonanza of film-making incompetence that is Twilight, it's shot quite well, and there's some attractive scenery to distract one from the dull, threadbare plot and hammy acting. My only reservation about the PQ is the overpowering blue tint through almost the entire movie, while it fits what the filmmakers were trying to accomplish, it makes the movie look quite drab and thus not my first choice of demo material.

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post #12793 of 26092 Old 06-19-2009, 06:34 AM
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Damn that's a great movie. Will definitely eventually have to add that to my collection.

Eventually?! You're slipping, Rob!

I don't feel special...
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post #12794 of 26092 Old 06-19-2009, 09:04 AM
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Eventually?! You're slipping, Rob!

Just being honest. I have another hobby that is sucking up all my expendable income right now.
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post #12795 of 26092 Old 06-19-2009, 09:45 AM
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Just being honest. I have another hobby that is sucking up all my expendable income right now.

Let's hear about this off-topic hobby already!

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post #12796 of 26092 Old 06-19-2009, 09:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 42041 View Post

so i just had to sit through Twilight

i absolutely HATED the movie, but the video presentation makes this a bit less difficult to endure. The transfer is only a few hairs away from what I'd consider reference quality. Detail is consistently excellent, though not quite best in class, I'd put it about on par with Tropic Thunder. Like every movie I've seen, there's screwy shots here and there, but they are few and far between. In some movies, the dark scenes sometimes bring down otherwise excellent looking PQ, but here they look very good. Grain is present and not distracting, the picture retains its film-like qualities. Contrast is very well delineated, blacks are inky without distracting instances of crushing. Despite the dizzying bonanza of film-making incompetence that is Twilight, it's shot quite well, and there's some attractive scenery to distract one from the dull, threadbare plot and hammy acting. My only reservation about the PQ is the overpowering blue tint through almost the entire movie, while it fits what the filmmakers were trying to accomplish, it makes the movie look quite drab and thus not my first choice of demo material.

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hated it too - i think I agree with your placement though.
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post #12797 of 26092 Old 06-19-2009, 11:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 42041 View Post

so i just had to sit through Twilight

i absolutely HATED the movie, but the video presentation makes this a bit less difficult to endure. ...

Tier 1.25

(Pioneer 50" Kuro Elite/1sw. distance)


Aww. I'm so sorry you had to sit through Twilight. I'm pondering downloading the Twilight Rifftrax for the next time I watch this. I synched up the one for The Dark Knight the other day and OMG was it hilarious. At the very least, it gave you a decent PQ; your review is not far off of my own review where I placed it at 1.50.



Has anyone here watched The Tudors Season 2 on Blu? I have it borrowed from a friend, and we watched the first 3 episodes last night. When I did a forum search I only came up with Phantom Stranger's review for the 1st season. I know this show was filmed using the HD cameras (or whatever it's called, forgive my lack of technical knowledge here!), but something seems... off. It's hazy and drab and soft in a lot of places. It's as though it could be a decent mid-to-low Tier 1 set, which is pretty good for a TV show on Blu IMO, except for this issue. I haven't changed any settings on my set, and I've been bingeing on Blu Ray/High Def channels since I got back and nothing has looked this... wonky.

I mean I suppose it could be a stylistic choice but if that's the case, I'd love to SMACK the person who made that choice; some scenes that should be lush and gorgeous feel like they've put vaseline --- no, GAUZE -- over the lens or something. Because I'm in Canada we don't have Showtime (I think that's where it airs) so I have no basis for comparison to what it may have looked like when it aired on TV. Just curious if anyone else has these issues with it.
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post #12798 of 26092 Old 06-19-2009, 06:58 PM
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Funny how "The Incredible Hulk" is Tier 1.25 and "Iron Man" is Tier 1.75. I think they should switch places because I saw both BDs and Iron Man looks much better. Incredible Hulk looks good, but I spot some DNR in the picture, so that kills some of the detail.
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post #12799 of 26092 Old 06-19-2009, 07:08 PM
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Incredible Hulk looks good, but I spot some DNR in the picture, so that kills some of the detail.

Unless, of course, it doesn't, but let's leap to conclusions!

I don't feel special...
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post #12800 of 26092 Old 06-19-2009, 07:09 PM
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Funny how "The Incredible Hulk" is Tier 1.25 and "Iron Man" is Tier 1.75. I think they should switch places because I saw both BDs and Iron Man looks much better. Incredible Hulk looks good, but I spot some DNR in the picture, so that kills some of the detail.

To me, Iron Man is much softer.

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post #12801 of 26092 Old 06-19-2009, 07:19 PM
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sharp/soft can be very subjective since you could be comparing on an uncalibrated set.
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post #12802 of 26092 Old 06-19-2009, 08:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by b_scott View Post

I watched this tonight, and while I agree with your assessment and loved that it was very true to the original print - the original print is very grainy and old looking. I would lean more towards 3.0 tops for the purposes of this thread. That being said, it was very enjoyable

I would have no problem if Ghostbusters ends up in tier 3.0. In my mind I was comparing it directly to Amadeus in tier 3.0, a movie of similar vintage. Ghostbusters looks slightly better to my eyes and is definitely the better of the two transfers. Looking at some of the titles in tier 3.0, it looks like some of those need to be moved down a little.
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Has anyone here watched The Tudors Season 2 on Blu? I have it borrowed from a friend, and we watched the first 3 episodes last night. When I did a forum search I only came up with Phantom Stranger's review for the 1st season. I know this show was filmed using the HD cameras (or whatever it's called, forgive my lack of technical knowledge here!), but something seems... off. It's hazy and drab and soft in a lot of places. It's as though it could be a decent mid-to-low Tier 1 set, which is pretty good for a TV show on Blu IMO, except for this issue. I haven't changed any settings on my set, and I've been bingeing on Blu Ray/High Def channels since I got back and nothing has looked this... wonky.

Be aware that the Canadian version of The Tudors is a completely separate release from the UK one I reviewed for this thread. I do own the UK import of season two but have not gotten around to watching it yet. Give me some time and I will see if your impressions are true for the UK set.

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post #12803 of 26092 Old 06-19-2009, 09:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by b_scott View Post

sharp/soft can be very subjective since you could be comparing on an uncalibrated set.

True, you could be. I'll say it again - Iron Man is much softer.

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post #12804 of 26092 Old 06-19-2009, 09:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spectator View Post

Unless, of course, it doesn't, but let's leap to conclusions!


Quote:
Originally Posted by deltasun View Post

To me, Iron Man is much softer.

Me too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by b_scott View Post

sharp/soft can be very subjective since you could be comparing on an uncalibrated set.

Doesn't matter. As long as they are viewed on the same set, softness should be relative to each title.
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post #12805 of 26092 Old 06-19-2009, 10:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deltasun View Post

To me, Iron Man is much softer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Tomlin View Post

Me too.

Really? I was truly wowed by "Iron Man." I can see every grain of sand in the beginning of the movie and I can see the pores on the actors' faces. I didn't get that much detail when watching "The Incredible Hulk." The DNR seemed to have blurred those extra details away.
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post #12806 of 26092 Old 06-20-2009, 02:38 AM
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Enemy at the Gates

Medium to fine grain present, but not overly distracting. Facial close-up's ranged from mid Tier 1, with excellent details on Ed Harris' face to almost U-571-like, smooth-looking shots of Jude Law and Joseph Fiennes. I don't know if there was foul play, but some of those scenes definitely reminded me of the aforementioned submarine movie. Minute details were still abundant on other scenes - paint texture on train doors, stitching on uniforms, creases on leather boots, and texture of rocks/steel in the factory. As usual, lighting played a significant role in how much detail was portrayed.

For the most part, scenes looked flat, thanks to a weak contrast and drab palette. Blacks, when present, were okay but looked dark gray. Skin tones were representative of a cold, bleak Stalingrad in 1943. Still, a few scenes generated 3D pop despite the muted color scheme.

As evidenced above, PQ was all over the place. Facial details from time to time were definitely the best features of the film. I would liken them to Kingdom of Heaven. An occasional halo here and there (see tank scene) brought it back down. It's really hard to find an average here - somewhere between 1.75 and 2.25...

Tier Recommendation: 2.0

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post #12807 of 26092 Old 06-20-2009, 10:58 AM
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Batman (Burton)

I didn't see this one in the current rankings, so wanted to share my experience. This was one of the most pleasant surprises I've had with an older movie coming to Blu. Being a dark film that's 20 years old, I wasn't expecting miracles, but was blown away by the transfer. This is one of my favorites, so I've watched it countless times on SD. The city scenes have a new depth and clarity that just wasn't there before. The Joker's green hair is an example of considerable improvement to color and detail. Hopefully Batman returns will be just as good (I only have the WB Batman book, as I couldn't bring myself to add that awful Clooney version to my bookshelf).

Tier Recommendation = 2.0 (Silver)

Screen size, resolution, and viewing distance:

142" FP, 1080P, 13' viewing distance (Pany AE2000 w/Carada Criterion BW)
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post #12808 of 26092 Old 06-20-2009, 06:29 PM
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Spider-Man 3

Saw this title in Holdings and thought I'd pop my copy in and give it a review. Fine grain present throughout, with a few light scenes getting a bit more. The opening scene of Parker looked really odd - it was soft and his skin tone was super pale. It was an aberration and quickly switched to better PQ.

Details were abundant in this title, from Sandman's face, texture on costumes, lines on a hand, etc. I did spot a few soft shots towards the end such as Harry's face as he lay dying. The detailed close-up's definitely far outnumbered the soft ones. Skin tones were faithful to the characters.

Black levels were decent, with minimal instances of crushed blacks. Contrast seemed pushed a bit and definitely washed out the scene on the bridge between Parker and MJ. Colors were a bit saturated as well, but complemented the comic book look of the film.

The CGI was a bit bothersome in how they portrayed fast motion. It also introduced even more softness in some scenes. Panoramic cityscapes offered decent depth and demanded attention even with the fast moving webslinger flailing about. Medium shots were also 3D-like and showed good details even in semi-bokeh.

Overall, this was on par with The Incredible Hulk. I believe current Tier 1.0 titles are still more consistent in most positive attributes than this title. I did not detect any smudging or ringing.

Tier Recommendation: 1.25

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post #12809 of 26092 Old 06-20-2009, 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Phantom Stranger View Post


Be aware that the Canadian version of The Tudors is a completely separate release from the UK one I reviewed for this thread. I do own the UK import of season two but have not gotten around to watching it yet. Give me some time and I will see if your impressions are true for the UK set.

Thanks, Phantom Stranger!
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post #12810 of 26092 Old 06-20-2009, 07:33 PM
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Took me three tries to finish this movie. Medium to fine grain present. For the most part, they were not bothersome, save for a few inconsistencies during low light. The film starts out with very detailed facial close-up's from most of its characters. These were easily Tier 0 quality. The oddity came when you would have great detail for Wolverine's face in one scene and soft on Ms. Kidman during the same scene. This would continue throughout the film. In fact, most of Ms. Kidman's facial close-up's were not detailed, almost glossed over. Medium shots were the most inconsistent.

Black levels were very good for the most part, but did exhibit some crush (see The Ball scenes). Low-light scenes were mostly decent and offered good depth. Skin tones varied as well, depending on the character. My biggest problem was contrast. For a film that should have boasted beautiful panoramas and sweeping vistas, I found those to be its weakest attributes. Most of the outdoor desert scenes were washed out, devoid of expected details. I even recall during the landscape collage of the love scene, a shot of a canyon that looked like it was spliced in from a Discovery show. This appeared like upscaled DVD quality, very soft and blurry. Don't get me wrong, there were quite a few landscape shots that were breath taking - these were more prominent when the scene took place under the softer light of sunrise or sunset.

I can't say for sure if EE was used, but some scenes had that exaggerated 3D effect against a panoramic background. Speaking of which, I also didn't care for the fake backgrounds in several scenes. The CGI Zeros were poorly done. The wide shot of the burning city at night looked good.

Without the washed out scenes, I could easily see this title in the Gold Tier. However, these scenes were very troubling for me. Despite the excellent examples of facial details, I have to retire this title in mid-Tier 2 territory.

Tier Recommendation: 2.50

ln46a650 - 1080p/24 - 8'

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