The New PQ Tier thread for Blu-Ray - Discussion - Page 829 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #24841 of 26433 Old 05-13-2018, 02:16 PM
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Thanks for the tip on searching for older posts in the thread, I know you have mentioned it before but couldn't remember the trick.

I went back and watched about 30 minutes of the movie in all the chapters and the black levels are strong in scenes without fog, rain, smoke, and dust kicked up by marching soldiers and horses (which there are many). I also didn't see any issues with "noise" as mentioned by deltasun. I'll chalk the wide difference in scores up to LCD vs. OLED display technology.

Like deltasun mentioned, the action really kicks up at the end; the last 45 minutes fly by.

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I find your lack of schadenfreude disturbing.
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post #24842 of 26433 Old 05-18-2018, 12:28 PM
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Bent

recommendation: Tier 1.0*

This direct-to-video thriller from Lionsgate looks superb in 1080P resolution. Filmed with the Alexa XT camera, the razor-sharp picture quality offers both depth and dimension. This is unfiltered digital filmmaking with neutral tones.

The digital transfer is nigh perfect. There just isn't much room for complaint in Bent's consistently excellent cinematography. The smooth contrast, deep black levels, the fine detail, everything is dialed-in for great video.

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post #24843 of 26433 Old 05-18-2018, 12:45 PM
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I just picked up Black Panther at Redbox and will be watching it tonight. I'm excited, for I've read some stellar reviews on both the movie and the PQ.

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post #24844 of 26433 Old 05-18-2018, 08:55 PM
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Black Panther (1080p)

STUNNING!!

I'm very tired, so I will keep this short. Aside from some less-than-stellar black levels in the opening scene, this was pure EYE CANDY all the way through. After the first scene the blacks were as deep and inky as they come, with some of the most gorgeous night time scenes ever. The shadow details were simply mesmerizing! Perhaps the colors were its greatest virtue, for they were bold and vibrant, even in night time shots. I'll also give a shout out for the breathtaking clarity as well, which featured intricate details in clothing, landscapes, aircraft, weapons, and, of course, facial close-ups. If the UHD version has an uptick in PQ, this could be a major contender for a spot in the "Top Ten!"

Tier Recommendation: Tier 0* (.33)

PS The audio was a letdown, with disappointing bass and panning effects in the height channels.

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post #24845 of 26433 Old 05-19-2018, 06:49 AM
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^^^^^^^^^^

After "sleeping on it," I realized I forgot to mention that there were some SOFT SHOTS during CGI scenes. But guess what? It's still deserving of a Tier 0: .33 ranking. I also forgot to include DEPTH as one of the outstanding virtues, especially in daytime outdoor scenes (and they were plentiful).

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post #24846 of 26433 Old 05-19-2018, 01:52 PM
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CGI effect shots are always going to have some flatness to them. Given the time and financial restraints of movies, even Hollywood blockbusters, the main priority is ensuring the complex CGI shots smoothly integrate into the scene itself. The only franchise I can think of where this doesn't apply are in the Transformers movies.

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post #24847 of 26433 Old 05-19-2018, 02:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CJackson View Post
Has anyone seen the Funimation Shin Godzilla blu ray?
Nine months later...

Shin Godzilla

recommendation: Tier 0* (bottom quarter)


Funimation delivers this stunning Godzilla experience in crystal-clear clarity. The two-hour film receives a flawlessly transparent AVC encode in the thirty Mbps range. Interiors have impeccable black levels in vividly sharp definition. The color palette has just a hint of teal to it. This 1080P video is a perfect translation of the movie's Digital Intermediate.

This is the first Gozilla movie I would deem picturesque. The widescreen compositions are constructed around Japan's landscapes near the shore. Godzilla itself is finely detailed and moves with real presence. The CGI is perfectly integrated into the background. Unlike the glossy, over-driven Hi-Def video common to Japanese filmmaking, Shin Godzilla takes a far more balanced approach to its visuals. The superior shadow delineation reveals delicate details usually left out.
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post #24848 of 26433 Old 05-19-2018, 02:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantom Stranger View Post
CGI effect shots are always going to have some flatness to them. Given the time and financial restraints of movies, even Hollywood blockbusters, the main priority is ensuring the complex CGI shots smoothly integrate into the scene itself. The only franchise I can think of where this doesn't apply are in the Transformers movies.
A valid point to which I concur; integration is the priority. I also agree with your observation in the Transformers Franchise; the CGI shots are not only seamless, but they are sharp as a tack. Perhaps the owner of Jurassic Park had something to do with that and thus, "They spared no expense!"

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post #24849 of 26433 Old 05-20-2018, 04:52 AM
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The Commuter


I'll just admit I did enjoy this as much as Djoberg did, but we often disagree on a lot of movies!

I didn't find anything exceptional about this picture quality. The image was pretty sharp, but didn't look like 4K to me. Looked like 1080p from a 2k DI, which isn't bad, but nothing outstanding. I'll agree there was PLENTY of facial details, particularly in the ending scene which had sunlight on their faces that lit up and highlighted every single detail of their faces. Every flaw and every imperfection became visible.


I'm a fan of CGI, but the CGI I saw in this movie looked softer than most Hollywood block busters.

While picture did look great it looked more like a modern "straight-to-DVD" rental that didn't impress me.

I only watched it because Liam Neeson happens to be one of my favourite actors!


Tier Recommendation: 1.75
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post #24850 of 26433 Old 05-21-2018, 06:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djoberg View Post
Black Panther (1080p)

PS The audio was a letdown, with disappointing bass and panning effects in the height channels.
I watched the 4K blu with the Atmos soundtrack and had to turn it up to -3.5dB to get it to sound right (normally I listen at -10). After that, it was a really good mix with plenty of surround action and bass.

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post #24851 of 26433 Old 05-21-2018, 08:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fredxr2d2 View Post
I watched the 4K blu with the Atmos soundtrack and had to turn it up to -3.5dB to get it to sound right (normally I listen at -10). After that, it was a really good mix with plenty of surround action and bass.
Of course, since I watched the 1080p version I listened to an "upmix" and though it was "good" at times, I was disappointed in scenes where you were expecting a lot of LFE but it never happened. Perhaps, if my wife had not been in our family room right above my Man Cave, I would have turned it higher. I only listened at no more than -8 dB.
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post #24852 of 26433 Old 05-22-2018, 03:27 AM
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Tier 0 rating for Black Panther! Well I ordered it myself now. I watched it in the cinema but I really enjoyed the movie itself (8/10) and the PQ/AQ in the cinema was really good. Great Atmos track. Should be worthy a purchase for me


How would you say this title compares to other Marvel movies ?

For me it goes:


1. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 (top 10)
2. Avengers (Tier 0 (.33))
3. Ant-Man (Tier 0(.5))
4. Thor: Ragnarok (Tier 0(.9) or tier 1)
5. Cap: Civil War (tier 1)

The remainder of the Marvel movies go somewhere in tier 1 to 1.5; Age of Ultron (disappointing PQ wise considering the reference image of the first), GOTG1, Doctor Strange the other Thor's, Cap's, Iron Man 3 etc.


I hope Avengers: Infinity War surpasses that of the first and even exceeds GOTG2. it looked really, really good in IMAX 3D.

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post #24853 of 26433 Old 05-22-2018, 03:56 AM
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Life of PI (4K HDR)


I don't remember if I ever reviewed this movie here, but I watched the blu-ray of this years ago and for a while this movie was my ultimate #1 reference disk, the first to fully surpass AVATAR as the king of picture quality. Since then however I discovered Pacific Rim, Interstellar (IMAX 15/70mm scenes), GOTG2, half a dozen of Pixar movies and Transformers 5: Last Knight (my current picture king), there's a couple more movies I've yet to see and could easily make the top of the list but I'm still curious to see how this title holds up...


and WOW. The picture quality is mesmerising. The colours pop out more than any other Live Action movie, the image is so razor sharp I don't understand how it comes from a 2K DI, filmed on a 2.8K. With amount of details and clarity present I would guess its derived from a 4K DI and shot in 8K. its pretty much flawless.

Facial details, contrast, shadow detail, vibrant, 3D-like depth its all there. The most impressive feat has to be the CGI and in particular the tiger, every individual shade of its fur is rendered perfectly.


All-in-all its still a top reference disc. I didn't enjoy the movie that much but the eye-candy is totally worth it. Its hard to place it precisely as there are so many good reference movies out there right now, but this 2012 re-release is definitely up there with the current top 10, maybe even top 5.


Tier recommendation: 0
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post #24854 of 26433 Old 05-22-2018, 10:28 AM
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Alien: Covenant (UHD)

The credits are rolling and all I can say is I saw little or no difference between this and its 1080p counterpart. In fairness, I haven't seen the 1080p version since last September but in reading my review on it (a minute ago) I believe it reflects what I just saw. Instead of writing a formal review I'll just post my link for you to read.

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/150-bl...l#post54770308

Tier Recommendation: 1.0*

PS The Dolby Atmos track was very good, but not excellent. I was expecting more in the height channels and more LFE in scenes with big explosions.
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post #24855 of 26433 Old 05-22-2018, 01:02 PM
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I wouldn't necessarily expect every UHD to better its Blu-ray counterpart. Many of these films are locked in at 2K resolution due to limiting factors.

Busou Shinki: Complete Collection


recommendation: Tier 2.25*

This 2012 anime arrives in a perfectly respectable presentation by Sentai Filmworks. The entire series is spread over two discs. Busou Shinki doesn't possess the most cutting-edge animation but includes hints of CGI elements during the hectic battle scenes. The traditional animation has solid character designs, animated in a fairly straightforward palette common to anime productions.

There are no visible problems with the transfer and few, if any, artifacts.

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post #24856 of 26433 Old 05-23-2018, 11:52 AM
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Sup, guys? The following is off-topic, that's why I'm using the "SPOILER" tag. If you're not interested, don't click it.

Spoiler!


I've been busy, so I have a good backlog of movies to watch (and review). I'll try to get back to business as soon as possible.

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post #24857 of 26433 Old 05-23-2018, 12:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djoberg View Post
Alien: Covenant (UHD)

The credits are rolling and all I can say is I saw little or no difference between this and its 1080p counterpart.

Tier Recommendation: 1.0*

PS The Dolby Atmos track was very good, but not excellent. I was expecting more...
Crossed out of my list. Thanks. If I find a good deal on the regular blu I'll take it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantom Stranger View Post
I wouldn't necessarily expect every UHD to better its Blu-ray counterpart. Many of these films are locked in at 2K resolution due to limiting factors.
That's what I'm gathering from many reviews of UHD discs. Not every disc fulfills the promise of a significant upgrade, including audio. I'll still get the ones I don't currently have that may be a significant upgrade, like the Matrix UHD everyone is raving about, at some point.
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post #24858 of 26433 Old 05-23-2018, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by AmerCa View Post
Crossed out of my list. Thanks. If I find a good deal on the regular blu I'll take it.
Good choice! If I had it to do over again, I wouldn't buy the UHD version. Then again, I did get it on a "2 UHD Blu-rays for $30" special, so I'm not really out anything (I wasn't "double-dipping").

Congrats on your upgrade! I'm happy for you!!
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post #24859 of 26433 Old 05-23-2018, 10:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AmerCa View Post
Sup, guys? The following is off-topic, that's why I'm using the "SPOILER" tag. If you're not interested, don't click it.

Spoiler!


I've been busy, so I have a good backlog of movies to watch (and review). I'll try to get back to business as soon as possible.
Congrats on the new receiver! AVS is very good at enticing readers to buy things they didn't know they needed. Trust me, setting up a sound system these days is infinitely easier than it was before HDMI was invented. I remember the days when you had to have a separate DTS processor with all 5.1 channels needing analog cables between the processor and the receiver.
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post #24860 of 26433 Old 05-24-2018, 01:08 PM
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Fury (UHD)

recommendation: Tier 0* (0.9)

First off: the black crush seen on the US Blu-ray release is fixed. Black levels aren't spectacular but that's due to the original photography and intended look, not a faulty scan or encode. There are many scenes with lots of smoke so blacks can sometimes appear grayish but they are never milky. Interior shots of Fury (the tank) show strong contrast and depth. The black bars above and below the picture are jet black throughout and black transitions between some scenes are jet black as well. It's definitely not a looker on the color scale as it's mostly drab greens and browns but they are well delineated. One shot of a line of captured Nazis shows their coats to be all different shades of drab green, HDR is really showing what it can do with close but different shades of the same color. The brightest colors in the film are the many tracers from the myriad of guns on the tanks including the main gun. Details are nice with fabrics, facial features, and grime will presented.


The sound is phenomenal, especially during the duel with the Tiger tank and the final stand at the end; the LFE really rumbled.


It's not quite the stunner that Saving Private Ryan on UHD is, mostly due to the inconsistent black levels, but it's still top-tier.
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post #24861 of 26433 Old 05-25-2018, 02:19 PM
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Molly's Game

I found myself exploring titles on the Redbox online site and this one grabbed my attention when I saw that Jessica Chastain was in the lead role. Once again she did NOT let me down; her performance was superb!

The PQ was, for most part, as superb as Miss Chastain's acting! In daytime, outdoor scenes or in well-lit interiors shots (especially in courtroom scenes and in her lawyer's office) the clarity was striking and primaries were rich and vibrant. Details (in everything, most notably facial texture but also in clothing, furniture, etc.) in those same scenes were excellent, along with accurate skin tones, strong contrast, and appreciable depth. Black levels were a mixed bag, but mostly very good.

Where the PQ faltered was in "some" of the many "poker scenes," especially in Molly's first gig. In those scenes color-grading was quite egregious (orange hues) which affected flesh tones and softened the picture. Once she moved the "Game" to a swank hotel razor-sharp clarity returned with mesmerizing details and colors.

This one had plenty of Tier 0 shots but the faltering PQ (mentioned above) will necessarily bring this down to Tier 1.

Tier Recommendation: 1.25*
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post #24862 of 26433 Old 05-25-2018, 10:29 PM
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I Kill Giants

recommendation: Tier 1.0*

Questionable CGI monsters are the only thing preventing this disc from Tier 0. Otherwise the beautifully sharp digital cinematography, filmed on location in places like Brussels and Ireland, offers refined visuals in amazingly crisp clarity. The new release by RLJ Entertainment concerns a young girl that fantasizes her town is infested by giants. The well-crafted film should have been given an HDR pass and released on UHD as well.

Filmed on an Arri Alexa camera and finished at 2K resolution, there is immense depth and dimension to I Kill Giants' 2.40:1 presentation. The video has a smooth, consistent contrast with lush black levels. Minor hints of noise manifest in the darkest scenes. Shadow delineation is strong, lovingly rendering the inky depths of its darker moments.

It's refreshing to see such unfiltered, pristine video. The 1080P resolution highlights the fantastic levels of texture in nearly every scene. I was stunned to discover that the beach scenes were shot on a studio set, inside a warehouse. Everything looked so real that it fooled even me.
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post #24863 of 26433 Old 05-26-2018, 08:32 PM
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Here's the first review I've seen for the next generation Panasonic UHD player, the DP-UB820. Apparently it won't hit retail stores until August.

https://hdguru.com/review-panasonic-...m-performance/
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post #24864 of 26433 Old 05-27-2018, 04:15 AM
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Black Panther (4k)

WOW. Mind blowing picture quality and yet another Marvel great. The picture quality was ridiculously sharp, high-resolution 4K, no artefacts, lots of facial detail, plenty of pop, particularly the vibrant colours of each tribe, the colours really stuck out and looked amazing. (for instance the fight scene between M'Baku and T'Challa)

Contrast was on point and punchy as it gets, plenty of dark scenes to show off those perfect black levels!

Better than Thor:Ragnarok which was already amazing.

Not quite sure if I like it as much as Ant-man or the First Avengers but this is reference image quality in every way.


Tier recommendation: 0(.5)
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post #24865 of 26433 Old 05-27-2018, 07:37 PM
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And Now The Screaming Starts!

recommendation: Tier 3.5*

This is the rare entry into Gothic horror for Amicus Productions, one of the few British horror rivals to Hammer during their heyday. The 1973 chiller with Peter Cushing and Herbert Lom was released earlier this year in Severin Films' The Amicus Collection box set. Severin claims it has been remastered in 4K and fully restored. By reputation, this is supposed to be the most impressive transfer found in the box set. I'll let you know when I get to those films.

Keep your expectations in check. Severin Films hasn't been known as a label that caters to videophiles and this presentation, while serviceable, is nothing to get excited about. The 90-minute main feature does receive an impressive AVC encode on a BD-50. The film elements are in modestly presentable condition. Detail is less than expected for a new 4K film scan. The strong clarity is probably the video's best trait. Filmed in that straightforward British style with excellent lighting and rich color, this isn't a film that tests the boundaries of its cinematography.

I guess you could label this presentation as film-like and fairly authentic. It's not even as strong as the better 2K restorations by Arrow Video of similar fare, so one wonders how much PQ improvements may have been left on the table by Severin Films.

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post #24866 of 26433 Old 05-28-2018, 06:54 PM
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Watched A Cure for Wellness this evening. Holy moly. Easily the best picture quality blu ray I've seen. I'd venture to say better than some 4k movies.
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post #24867 of 26433 Old 05-29-2018, 03:41 AM
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Originally Posted by subacabra View Post
Watched A Cure for Wellness this evening. Holy moly. Easily the best picture quality blu ray I've seen. I'd venture to say better than some 4k movies.
Wow, that's an interesting statement. Added this to my Watchlist... Definitely a movie that would fly over my radar
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post #24868 of 26433 Old 05-31-2018, 10:59 AM
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Satellite Girl and Milk Cow

recommendation: Tier 1.75*

Gkids and Shout Factory next week put out this Korean anime movie from a few years ago. The off-beat love story has some minor 3-D CGI elements but this is largely the usual traditional animation commonly found in anime. Animated by studio Now or Never and mastered at 2K resolution for its Digital Intermediate, this is a fine presentation of bright, mostly colorful video.

Given the unusually high video bitrates for the AVC encode, it appears the leftover banding and hints of posterization are possibly baked into the digital animation files. Otherwise this is a pristine presentation. The cleanly animated character designs aren't particularly detailed, favoring more simplistic drawings. Black levels are inky with real depth. The palette has nice saturation and a wide array of different colors.

Satellite Girl and Milk Cow's picture quality is a step behind more expensive theatrical animation from the likes of Studio Ghibli.

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post #24869 of 26433 Old 06-01-2018, 08:50 PM
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Braveheart (UHD)

I tried to find my review of the 1080p version using both Google and Bing, but to no avail. If memory serves me I either gave it a low Tier 0 or a 1.0 in Tier 1. The UHD version takes it up a notch or two, no doubt about it. The colors are brighter; the details are more defined; and the black levels are most definitely deeper. There were some soft shots, but they were "few and far between" and in a film lasting nearly 3 hours one would be straining at a gnat if they were to penalize the placement to any large degree.

This may be the 6th time I've viewed this and I never tire of it! It is a true classic that deserves to be on every film lover's video shelf!

Tier Recommendation: Tier 0* (.66)
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post #24870 of 26433 Old 06-01-2018, 09:29 PM
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Originally Posted by deltasun View Post
Braveheart

Fine grain present throughout. As expected, this was a pristine presentation technically. Facial details were very detailed and textured, some comparable to solid Tier 0 titles. On the flip side, there were numerous scenes where softness crept in. The introduction of young William Wallace's uncle was a perfect example. Upon closer inspection, one can see that the focus was incorrectly on the sliver of horse's head, barely visible on the bottom left corner of the screen; thereby rendering the rider's face (who was speaking) defocused. There were several more examples of softness, mostly occurring indoors.

Blacks were mostly solid and bold, but we do get some crushing in a number of scenes. Low-light details were decent, but I felt some were shallower than they should be, specially when compared to some newer titles (I would call on The Unborn again for reference). I noted contrast was weak in my pre-review, but having seen the entire film, I would retract that statement. It seemed weak in relation to Gladiator's, which had a different look and feel altogether. Braveheart's was not pushed and went for a more natural, maybe even dated look.

Braveheart showcased some beautiful panoramic scenes. Depth and dimension were very good, but nothing that really stood out. The spectrum of colors also appeared natural - greens were abundant, regal blues were valiant. Another thing I must mention was the unnatural amount of white specks throughout the film, eventually getting a tad distracting.

Overall, a definite winner in terms of its blu-ray presentation. However, I cannot agree with its reference placement; at least not based on our PQ thread rules. Don't get me wrong, there were sequences so good that they've made me forget/overlook some of the negatives. But, we must uphold the quality of what we induct into Tier Blu. I feel Braveheart does not belong. In fact, I don't even believe it belongs high on Tier 1...

Tier Recommendation: 1.75

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Originally Posted by djoberg View Post
Braveheart

I decided to forget the coin toss and watch Braveheart, especially after reading two previous reviews which were a whole tier apart. After reading so many glowing reviews from "professional" reviewers (along with that of 42041) and then a somewhat dissenting opinion by our esteemed colleague deltasun, I was compelled to see what it looked like on my KURO.

In short, it was an absolutely gorgeous transfer with unbelievable CLARITY and DETAIL and thus I echo all the sentiments of 42041. Believe me when I say you are in for a treat, for this clearly blows away the last DVD edition of this remarkable film. Scotland never looked so good with lush greens and impeccable details of the picturesque highlands.

Blacks were incredible, as was the shadow detail. I had thought it might suffer in this department because of the age of the movie, but they did an amazing job in remastering this film. The only gripe I have with the blacks is that this is where the white speckles showed up the most (though in honesty it is relatively rare when you consider the running time is almost 3 hours).

Skin tones were spot on and the facial close-ups were, for the most part, Tier 0 quality. There were some that came up short, but again, this was definitely the exception and not the rule.

The color palette was quite limited (aside from the lush greens mentioned above), but when there were bright colors they were amazingly vivid and natural-looking.

One of the greatest virtues that set this worlds apart from its DVD counterpart was the depth and dimensionality. Be prepared to be WOWED by this in many scenes!

Now for the placement recommendation. It must be penalized for the white speckles, to be sure, and there were some sporadic soft shots here and there that also enter into the mix. But these were not enough to drop this wonderful transfer from reference quality, IMHO. In my mind I kept comparing it to another transfer in Tier 0, namely, Prince Caspian, and to me it should be only a notch or two below that title. If it does find its way into Tier 1, I am of the mind that it will deserve a top ranking of 1.0. But I'm hoping enough members weigh in to give it a place among the best, so my vote is for.....

Tier Recommendation: Bottom third of Tier 0

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I dug these up from early September of 2009 using sorcery. Actually, I cheated a bit and used Braveheart's known Blu-ray release date to narrow the search. Djoberg, you apparently agreed back then with frequent PQ Tiers' reviewer 42041 (remember him?) on Braveheart. I tossed in Deltasun's review because it was so much different than your assessment. I was a little sad to discover in the course of finding your review that forum member 42041 hasn't visited the site in over four years. I pray he's out there somewhere still enjoying movies.

Djoberg, you'd recognize many familiar names from the initial Braveheart discussion in the PQ Tiers. Members such as Rob Tomlin, Patrick99, GeekyGlassesGirl and others all appear. It's hard to believe it's been nearly a decade.
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Blu-ray Picture Quality Tiers (updated through July 13, 2017)
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