The New PQ Tier thread for Blu-Ray - Discussion - Page 786 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #23551 of 26429 Old 12-21-2016, 11:44 AM
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Oh, I didn't realise that. I came very late into this thread and thought that was normal practice, I literally copied the format of other users. Thanks for clarifying.

As for Ex Machina, it won the Oscar for best visual effects, that's why I got it (I had to look it up and remind myself why I decided to get it lol)
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post #23552 of 26429 Old 12-22-2016, 12:16 PM
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Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders

recommendation: Tier 1.25*

This animated return of the Adam West Batman television series looks picture-perfect in colorful 1080P video. The 78-minute main feature offers slick animation for direct-to-video productions. The amount of polish to it indicates a higher budget than normal for WB's animated DC fare.

The AVC video encode smoothly handles the pristine animation. Natively animated at 1080P, this is a flawless digital transfer. It could have easily landed in Tier 1.0 or even higher.

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post #23553 of 26429 Old 12-23-2016, 11:17 AM
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Ip Man 2

recommendation: Tier 1.5*

Sharp photography and plenty of depth. Colors are bright and primaries stand out. Black levels and contrast are also well presented.

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I find your lack of schadenfreude disturbing.
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post #23554 of 26429 Old 12-23-2016, 05:22 PM
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I'm about to slide my new copy of The Magnificent Seven into my Blu-ray player. I'm a little surprised no one has weighed in on this yet...I'l be reviewing it within the next 2-3 hours....

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post #23555 of 26429 Old 12-23-2016, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by djoberg View Post
I'm about to slide my new copy of The Magnificent Seven into my Blu-ray player. I'm a little surprised no one has weighed in on this yet...I'l be reviewing it within the next 2-3 hours....
I thought it was superbly done. It has a bit of grain applied so there is the "vintage" look. A few dark scenes were disappointing, but over all, I really liked it.

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post #23556 of 26429 Old 12-23-2016, 06:07 PM
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Originally Posted by djoberg View Post
I'm about to slide my new copy of The Magnificent Seven into my Blu-ray player. I'm a little surprised no one has weighed in on this yet...I'l be reviewing it within the next 2-3 hours....
Early reports indicate it's a very strong Tier 0 candidate. I'm a big fan of the original film, I may have even reviewed it for the PQ Tiers long ago. I'm not keen on seeing a remake but I should get to it down the road.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone! May your stockings be filled with the best Blu-rays and UHDs possible.

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post #23557 of 26429 Old 12-23-2016, 08:49 PM
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The Magnificent Seven

Okay, I hope you don't mind but I will be comparing the 4K UHD and 1080p versions in this review. I actually watched the 4K UHD/HDR version first and then watched about 45 minutes of the 1080p version. In some ways, there was no comparison, for there was an obvious spike in details, contrast, colors and black levels and thus if you have a UHD display and Blu-ray player this copy is an absolute must for your collection. It would be in my Top Five, for sure. The only "gripe" I would have with the 4k copy is that during those dark scenes that disappointed CCsoftball7 (and me too!) the blacks were even worse (this is one of the downsides of HDR, for it will accentuate both the positives and the negatives). I turned to those same scenes in the 1080p copy and the blacks held up much better.

CCsoftball7 alluded to the grain structure; I enjoyed the "filmic-look" (I believe he said "vintage look") very much. Details throughout were fantastic, especially facial texture (but certainly not limited to them). On the 4K version it took them (facial details) to another level altogether and I would label them "High Tier Blu Reference Quality" as opposed to "Low Tier Blu Reference Quality" on the 1080p version.

Another outstanding virtue was depth of field; it was simply amazing in almost every daytime, outdoor scene (and they were plentiful). The cinematography was gorgeous, with many panoramic shots sprinkled throughout its 120 minute running time. Flesh tones were accurate...contrast was superb...and clarity was razor-sharp in these same scenes.

Tier Recommendation: Tier 0* (.85)

PS The UHD/HDR would be near the very top if not for the poor blacks in several scenes. It would easily land in the middle of Tier Blu.

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post #23558 of 26429 Old 12-24-2016, 06:30 AM
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Originally Posted by djoberg View Post
The Magnificent Seven

Okay, I hope you don't mind but I will be comparing the 4K UHD and 1080p versions in this review. I actually watched the 4K UHD/HDR version first and then watched about 45 minutes of the 1080p version. In some ways, there was no comparison, for there was an obvious spike in details, contrast, colors and black levels and thus if you have a UHD display and Blu-ray player this copy is an absolute must for your collection. It would be in my Top Five, for sure. The only "gripe" I would have with the 4k copy is that during those dark scenes that disappointed CCsoftball7 (and me too!) the blacks were even worse (this is one of the downsides of HDR, for it will accentuate both the positives and the negatives). I turned to those same scenes in the 1080p copy and the blacks held up much better.

CCsoftball7 alluded to the grain structure; I enjoyed the "filmic-look" (I believe he said "vintage look") very much. Details throughout were fantastic, especially facial texture (but certainly not limited to them). On the 4K version it took them (facial details) to another level altogether and I would label them "High Tier Blu Reference Quality" as opposed to "Low Tier Blu Reference Quality" on the 1080p version.

Another outstanding virtue was depth of field; it was simply amazing in almost every daytime, outdoor scene (and they were plentiful). The cinematography was gorgeous, with many panoramic shots sprinkled throughout its 120 minute running time. Flesh tones were accurate...contrast was superb...and clarity was razor-sharp in these same scenes.

Tier Recommendation: Tier 0* (.85)

PS The UHD/HDR would be near the very top if not for the poor blacks in several scenes. It would easily land in the middle of Tier Blu.
Wonder how 4k D.I. UHD discs compare with 2k 1080p discs of the same movie, on 4k displays, as far as measured visible details? IMDB.com calls this movie a 2k DI--unless they used a 4k DI master for the 4k UHD disc. Not sure if it's practical to measure the delivered effective resolutions. UHD displays would be upscaling 1080p Blu-ray formats to 4k. Comparing some of the finest vertically oriented details to multiburst patterns should make it possible to measure the actual resolutions between the two formats (true 4k UHD discs versus 2k DI upscaled discs). Perhaps anyone would need a magnifying lens to measure the finest-detail (and multiburst-line) widths. Also, guess you'd need a different conversion number than the one a co-developer of a 1080p test disc provided a few years back for 1080p-only discs/displays.

Last edited by John Mason; 07-25-2017 at 08:04 AM. Reason: update
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post #23559 of 26429 Old 12-24-2016, 01:30 PM
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Ip Man 3

recommendation: Tier 2.75*

Hard to believe this is the worst of the Ip Man trilogy (both PQ and story) considering it was in theaters just last Christmas. Inconsistent color grading whether intentional or not really pulls the quality down. Many scenes have a yellow push that seems unnecessary and is jarring when it shows up. Like the original Ip Man, contrast is weak causing washed out colors and less than stellar black levels. Details are pleasant though with facial features and fabrics nicely rendered.

I'm not sure of the bit-rate but the encode is suspect as there is obvious color banding in at least two scenes, most notably when Ip Man is in the hospital with his wife; unacceptable for a 2016 release.
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I find your lack of schadenfreude disturbing.
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post #23560 of 26429 Old 12-25-2016, 11:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mason View Post
Wonder how 4k D.I. UHD discs compare with 2k 1080p discs of the same movie, on 4k displays, as far as measured visible details? IMDB.com calls this movie a 2k DI--unless they used a 4k DI master for the 4k UHD disc. Not sure if it's practical to measure the delivered effective resolutions. UHD displays would be upscaling 1080p Blu-ray formats to 4k. Comparing some of the finest vertically oriented details to multiburst patterns should make it possible to measure the actual resolutions between the two formats (true 4k UHD discs versus 2k DI upscaled discs). Perhaps anyone would need a magnifying lens to measure the finest-detail (and multiburst-line) widths. Also, guess you'd need a different conversion number than the one a co-developer of a 1080p test disc provided a few years back for 1080p-only discs/displays; (one of my earlier posts here has a sublink to the 2014 thread).
John,

This was indeed a 2K DI master upgraded to 4K UHD. As far as "measured visible details," all I know is having watched the 2 versions back to back, the spike in details was remarkable on the 4K UHD version. Details were more finely rendered and tight in almost every scene, and in every object, perhaps most notable though in facial texture (where it was one the VERY BEST I've ever seen, bar none).

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post #23561 of 26429 Old 12-25-2016, 11:51 AM
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Happy New Year to everyone! I echo Phantom's sentiments by hoping you all received "the best Blu-rays and UHDs possible!"
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post #23562 of 26429 Old 12-26-2016, 12:13 PM
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Jason Bourne

recommendation: Tier 2.0*

This film is all over the place with scenes shot on everything from 16mm to Arri ALEXA XT cameras. Most of the film has average details and color, the first two thirds is rather forgettable with weak contrast as the most glaring culprit. The final third takes place in Las Vegas and this is where the picture gets much better. Color and details raise far above the earlier scenes that took place in Europe. Contrast and black levels are much stronger in this final part of the movie as well.

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I find your lack of schadenfreude disturbing.
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post #23563 of 26429 Old 12-27-2016, 11:08 AM
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GoldenEye

recommendation: Tier 2.5*

Beautifully shot like all James Bond films. Colors are vibrant with lots of greens, reds and blues. Black levels are deep and contrast is nice and even. Some of the 90s effects shots are obviously dated but are spectacular when accounting for the time period. Unfortunately the transfer has been almost wiped clean of any film grain. I didn't notice any other signs of enhancement such as undo sharpening or ringing so it's puzzling why it's been wiped of grain. If not for the issue with lack of grain, this would be a tier 1 film.

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I find your lack of schadenfreude disturbing.
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post #23564 of 26429 Old 12-29-2016, 07:19 PM
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Keanu

recommendation: Tier 1.5*

This 2016 comedy release from Warner Bros. offers nice definition in fairly sharp clarity. For a comedy, there is extensive usage of bokeh in its cinematography. Sunny exteriors demonstrate superior depth and impressive detail.

The transfer has been left unfiltered without the typical grading palette for Hollywood comedies. It's almost strange to see a Hollywood production without a searing hot contrast and pumped-up colors.

Keanu is a steady visual experience lacking the eye-popping moments of Tier Zero. This is a fine example of a Tier One disc.

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post #23565 of 26429 Old 12-29-2016, 07:55 PM
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Consumer Reports picks the best displays of 2016:

http://www.consumerreports.org/tvs/c...p-tvs-of-2016/

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post #23566 of 26429 Old 12-30-2016, 02:50 PM
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Jason Bourne

recommendation: Tier 2.0*

This film is all over the place with scenes shot on everything from 16mm to Arri ALEXA XT cameras. Most of the film has average details and color, the first two thirds is rather forgettable with weak contrast as the most glaring culprit. The final third takes place in Las Vegas and this is where the picture gets much better. Color and details raise far above the earlier scenes that took place in Europe. Contrast and black levels are much stronger in this final part of the movie as well.


I agree.. PQ all over the place and generally underwhelming for such a block buster.
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post #23567 of 26429 Old 12-30-2016, 02:54 PM
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The Good Dinosaur

Top of the PQ list so what choice did I have but to see it? ABSOLUTELY PHENOMENAL!!! Mind blowing picture quality, razor sharp and probably the best animation I've ever seen. Photorealism is an understatement. Wonder how powerful their supercomputers had to be to render all of that CGI. picture was high res, detailed and contrast displayed perfectly.

I still think Life of Pi, Avatar, and the 15/70mm IMAX scenes of Nolan movies reign on top, but this is definitely a top blu tier 0 reference disk


Tier Recommendation 0
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post #23568 of 26429 Old 12-30-2016, 10:30 PM
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Session 9

recommendation: Tier 2.0*

I am floored how impressive this 2001 production has turned out on Blu-ray. This is easily one of the best catalog transfers released on the format from a movie of the early 2000s. Scream Factory has licensed Session 9 from Universal for this BD. It's a fantastic job that shows a dramatic improvement over the original DVD edition. The pristine video and sharp definition indicate this is a recently made HD transfer.

Aside from some slight filtering, this is an impeccable presentation. The elements are in superb condition. The former DVD was a murky mess that emphasized Session 9's moody atmosphere. The 1080P video reveals far more detail and clarity, especially in sunny exteriors. Many scenes likely qualify for Tier One. This is a disc knocking on the door of the next tier.

Darker scenes fare less well, though shadow delineation and contrast consistently hold up. A few hints of aliasing creep into the video, though I suspect they naturally crept into the low-budget production estimated at 1.5 million dollars.

I wasn't expecting much from this BD considering Session 9's pedigree. I am surprised that Universal licensed this transfer out without issuing the BD themselves. Scream Factory reaps the benefits with this excellent catalog presentation.

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post #23569 of 26429 Old 01-02-2017, 03:56 PM
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This kind of has me thinking. What are your top upcoming BD movies that you think will dethrone what ever your PQ-king is?

For me my top3 is Avatar/Life of Pi/Interstellar. but I genuinely believe Dunkirk will be the ultimate reference disk when it releases. especially if Nolan continues his trend of constantly increasing IMAX 15/70mm film footage (TDK: 28 minutes, TDKR: 60 minutes, Interstellar: 70 minutes? think I read 1 hour+) With large open WWII scenes in that glorious film resolution equal to possibly hundreds of MPs ?

I just hope due to all the large battlefield scenes we might get 90 minutes or so of true IMAX film footage.

If not I'll just have to wait for Avatar 2 haha


What do you guys think will be the new PQ king?
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post #23570 of 26429 Old 01-02-2017, 06:26 PM
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Dunkirk should be a serious contender in the PQ Tiers, though a projected home release likely doesn't happen until October/November. Large-format filmmaking is always such a tricky process in today's budget-conscious Hollywood. Frankly, I don't think there are enough experienced professionals working in the business with 70mm backgrounds like it was in the film format's golden age. Read about the problems Nolan had first filming with large formats in The Dark Knight.

I always keep an eye on Pixar's projects, though I wonder if they are as committed to pushing the cgi technology as much as they once did. Cars 3 hits theaters in June and a new project called Coco doesn't hit until November. Coco is from the same director behind Toy Story 3, which remains one of the finest video experiences on Blu-ray.

Another source to look out for is any production from Sony with a true 4K digital intermediate. The technicians at Sony have a better grasp of working in 4K resolution than just about all the other studios combined. That produces significant benefits for the down-rezzed 1080P video found on Blu-rays.

In terms of new Hollywood releases, Sony and Universal are a step ahead of everyone else at the moment. They are consistently getting more actual resolution and transparency out of 1080P Blu-ray video than other studios. Then comes Fox and Paramount after them, with Warner and Lionsgate lagging behind. This is strictly referring to the production chain and picture quality for new theatrical releases as seen on Blu-ray. I'd actually recommend Lionsgate outsource their Blu-ray authoring to another studio, it's that poor at times.

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post #23571 of 26429 Old 01-03-2017, 08:03 PM
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What do you guys think will be the new PQ king?
Considering that The Good Dinosaur is tops at the moment, I think there may be a chance for Disney's Moana to be king when it drops. (For it has vibrant colors like Monster's University and some of the photo realism like the Good Dinosaur).
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post #23572 of 26429 Old 01-03-2017, 08:44 PM
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A Boy Named Charlie Brown

recommendation: Tier 2.75*

The 1969 theatrical feature receives a satisfying Hi-Def presentation limited by the admittedly crude cel animation. The animation is certainly of higher quality than the Peanuts' television specials, though obviously antiquated by today's standards. CBS Home Entertainment distributes the 86-minute film through Paramount. Encoded in AVC at bitrates averaging over 30 Mbps, the 1080P video accurately captures the cel animation in fairly high detail.

The one issue some have had with this film transfer is that it includes the full open-matte experience at 1.33:1. The movie was theatrically framed at 1.85:1. Having seen A Boy Named Charlie Brown both ways, it's hard picking one or the other. Personally, I favor open-matte transfers for animated films in general and this one in particular. There is extra head room in certain open-matte scenes, but just as often the wider frame severely cramps its musical segments. There is also the matter that most children growing up on the Peanuts' animated television specials watched them in their native 1.33:1 aspect ratio. That particular composition just feels correct for Charlie Brown and his friends.

The film elements seem to have received a fairly recent scan in this transfer, though likely only at 2K resolution. It doesn't suffer from severe degradation, though it doesn't appear to have been extensively restored. That leaves it largely unprocessed with the cel animation looking nice. A couple of random, running gate scratches briefly appear. Its color range is better than expected, far better than the companion television specials.

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post #23573 of 26429 Old 01-04-2017, 02:24 AM
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Considering that The Good Dinosaur is tops at the moment, I think there may be a chance for Disney's Moana to be king when it drops. (For it has vibrant colors like Monster's University and some of the photo realism like the Good Dinosaur).
The Secret Life of Pets might also be at the top (at least in UHD/HDR).

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post #23574 of 26429 Old 01-04-2017, 11:20 AM
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Ralph Potts, AVS Forum's own reviewer, lists the top Blu-rays of 2016.

https://www.avsforum.com/avs-forums-t...um.com20170103

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post #23575 of 26429 Old 01-04-2017, 12:56 PM
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Dog Day Afternoon

recommendation: Tier 3.0

This is the 40th anniversary edition but the exact same VC-1 encode as the previous edition.

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post #23576 of 26429 Old 01-05-2017, 04:35 PM
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Dunkirk should be a serious contender in the PQ Tiers, though a projected home release likely doesn't happen until October/November. Large-format filmmaking is always such a tricky process in today's budget-conscious Hollywood. Frankly, I don't think there are enough experienced professionals working in the business with 70mm backgrounds like it was in the film format's golden age. Read about the problems Nolan had first filming with large formats in The Dark Knight.

I always keep an eye on Pixar's projects, though I wonder if they are as committed to pushing the cgi technology as much as they once did. Cars 3 hits theaters in June and a new project called Coco doesn't hit until November. Coco is from the same director behind Toy Story 3, which remains one of the finest video experiences on Blu-ray.

Another source to look out for is any production from Sony with a true 4K digital intermediate. The technicians at Sony have a better grasp of working in 4K resolution than just about all the other studios combined. That produces significant benefits for the down-rezzed 1080P video found on Blu-rays.

In terms of new Hollywood releases, Sony and Universal are a step ahead of everyone else at the moment. They are consistently getting more actual resolution and transparency out of 1080P Blu-ray video than other studios. Then comes Fox and Paramount after them, with Warner and Lionsgate lagging behind. This is strictly referring to the production chain and picture quality for new theatrical releases as seen on Blu-ray. I'd actually recommend Lionsgate outsource their Blu-ray authoring to another studio, it's that poor at times.

Cars 3 will most definitely be a top contender! Pixar movies always are haha

First two Cars movies had AMAZING sound, so high hopes for them.

I'm a huge fan of Nolan and IMO his IMAX scenes are the best of any movie. the level of detail and sharpness is on another level compared to digital (even 4K). I heard IMAX film cameras have way more F-stops and are capable of capturing light better than digital.. that might be why
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post #23577 of 26429 Old 01-06-2017, 04:04 PM
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My 4K/1080p Blu-ray of Sully just arrived via UPS. I plan on watching it right after supper; I've been wanting to see this ever since it came out on the big screen. The movie AND the PQ are receiving glowing reviews!

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post #23578 of 26429 Old 01-06-2017, 07:34 PM
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Sully

This may not qualify for the Top Tier, but it should easily land towards the top of Tier Gold. It had striking clarity throughout the majority of its 90+ minute running time, along with reference quality facial details and amazing depth in many scenes. Contrast was strong, black levels (though limited) were deep, and flesh tones were spot-on accurate. On the minus side, its color palette was woefully lacking in primaries, and there was a fair amount of color-grading (i.e. steely blue) that added to the drab look.

Tier Recommendation: Tier 1.25*

PS The 4K version brought it up one notch (to 1.0) with even better facial texture and contrast was off the charts.

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post #23579 of 26429 Old 01-06-2017, 10:17 PM
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Close To The Enemy

recommendation: Tier 2.0*

This BBC co-production has been issued by Acorn Media in a satisfying presentation that should remind viewers of other wartime period dramas. Its seven, hour-long episodes are spread over three discs in competent AVC. Clarity is fairly high but lacks the extra definition usually found in Tier One. Nothing pops off screen with much depth outside of a few exteriors.

Shadow delineation could be improved in some of the darkest interiors. This is very solid picture quality that just misses out on Tier One.

Rail Wars: Complete Collection

recommendation: Tier 1.5*

From anime distributor Sentai Filmworks comes this visually pleasing anime series. The animation itself is more polished than most anime made for television, from smoother motion to its wide range of character designs. The entire series is placed on a single BD-50. There are no substantial compression problems.

Blu-ray Picture Quality Tiers (updated through July 13, 2017)
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post #23580 of 26429 Old 01-07-2017, 06:53 PM
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Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

WOW! I just watched a rental copy of the 1080p version and the PQ was so mesmerizing at times that I will definitely be buying the 4k/UHD version (which brings it up a notch or two in details, colors, and contrast...according to every review I've read). Let me say from the outset...this is REFERENCE QUALITY, so make room on your Top Shelf for this one!

This is a tale of three settings. It starts out in 2016 in sunny Florida with striking clarity and depth, with tons of finely rendered details. The second scene takes us to Cairnholm Island Wales where we meet with a characteristic "Tim Burton" color-grading; namely, TEAL! Colors are muted throughout on the Island, but details hold up well so even here there is some candy for the eyes! Then we are transported to Miss Peregrine's Victorian home (in 1943) where the visual feast really begins (and thankfully the majority of the film takes place there). Bold, saturated colors abound in all daytime scenes (indoors and outdoors)...details are amazing (in facial close-ups, clothing, furniture, foliage, the sandy seashore, rocky topography, etc., etc., and black levels/shadow details are stunning.

I was very pleased the director chose to shoot this in the 1.85:1 aspect ratio so I could see all of this delicious EYE CANDY on my 75" screen from 8' away! And just to whet your appetite further, he used the highly acclaimed Arri Alexa XT Plus camera!

I would be remiss if I didn't bring out a couple of "negatives." There were occasions of softness during some of the CGI shots and depth was lacking in those same scenes. And again, the scenes on Cairnholm Island were quite drab. But honestly, I feel like I'm nitpicking when I consider the overwhelming "positives" that permeated the screen for the majority of its 2 hour running time.

Tier Recommendation: Tier 0* (.75)

PS From what I've read, the 4K version is going to bump this up to at least the middle of the Top Tier.

PPS You may not love (or even like) the film, but if you're into Picture Quality as much as I am, you'll still want to rent this just to give your eyes the sugar rush they deserve!
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