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post #1 of 22 Old 03-11-2016, 06:23 AM - Thread Starter
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The Martian Ultra HD Blu-ray Review



From legendary director Ridley Scott comes a gripping tale of human strength and the will to survive, in this engaging thriller that is making its debut on Ultra HD Blu-ray from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.



The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )

Film:

Extras:

Audio/UHD Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )

95



Details:

Studio and Year: 20th Century Fox - 2015
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 141 minutes
Genre: Drama/Adventure

Disc Format: BD-66
Encoding: HEVC
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Resolution: 2160p/24

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio, English/French/Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
Starring: Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Jeff Daniels, Sean Bean, Kristen Wiig, Michael Pena, Kate Mara, Chiwetel Ejofor, Sebastian Stan, Aksel Hennie
Directed by: Ridley Scott
Music by: Harry Gregson-Williams
Written by:Drew Goddard
Region Code: A


Blu-ray Disc release Date: March 1, 2016


"Bring Him Home"


My Take:

During a manned mission to Mars, Astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) is presumed dead after a fierce storm and left behind by his crew. But Watney has survived and finds himself stranded and alone on the hostile planet. With only meager supplies, he must draw upon his ingenuity, wit and spirit to subsist and find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive. Millions of miles away, NASA and a team of international scientists work tirelessly to bring “the Martian” home, while his crewmates concurrently plot a daring, if not impossible rescue mission. As these stories of incredible bravery unfold, the world comes together to root for Watney’s safe return.

Based on a best-selling novel, helmed by master director Ridley Scott, and featuring a terrific ensemble cast, headed by star Matt Damon [i]The Martian[i] is all that I hoped it would be. Despite the fervor it caused during its theatrical run I didn't take it in at the theater. I have to say that I regret that as this film was made for the theatrical experience. I haven't read the novel but my wife did and she both liked the movie and felt it was a faithful adaptation.

As I watched I reveled in the superbly drawn character of Mark Watney as we are given a fly on the perspective into his struggle for survival. His ingenuity is quite intriguing while his humor serves as a coping device, enabling him to stave off hopelessness and keep his mind from fixating on the dire circumstances. As the storyline progresses his penchant to remain upbeat and optimistic is vital to the proceedings. The narrative shifts between Mark and the people at home on Earth, now trying to find a way to safely bring him home while coping with the various obstacles and red tape they encounter. The last piece to the puzzle are the members of his crew who after learning of his survival, are faced with a monumental decision.

At 141 minutes I had an initial concern about pacing but that wasn't a problem as I found myself engaged throughout the film. There's a layer peeling aspect to the narrative but the various elements never lose synch as the balance between drama, adventure, levity and suspense are thematically supported. Matt Damon gives a commanding performance but is capably supported by a star studded cast that includes Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Jeff Daniels, Michael Peña, Kate Mara, Sean Bean, Sebastian Stan, Aksel Hennie, Donald Glover, Mackenzie Davis, and Chiwetel Ejiofor.

I thoroughly enjoyed The Martian. While it's not the first film to feature a person marooned and facing seemingly insurmountable odds, there's a depth and freshness to it that strikes a marvelous and rewarding balance. Kudos to director Ridley Scott, the cast and crew for bringing Andy Weir's novel to the big screen with such exuberance.


Parental Guide:

The rating is for some strong language, thematic material/image, and brief nudity.


AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100/EXCELLENT = 83-91/GOOD = 74-82/AVERAGE = 65-73/BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**


Audio: 96
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Dynamics:
  • Low frequency effects:
  • Surround Sound presentation:
  • Clarity/Detail:
  • Dialog Reproduction:
  • Low frequency extension * (non-rated element):
  • DSU Rating * (non-rated element):



UHD Presentation: 94
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • HDR: Dark Highlights:
  • HDR: Bright Highlights:
  • HDR: Expanded Color:
  • Resolution:
  • Visual Impact:


Ultra HD Blu-ray has finally been released and eager enthusiasts are ready and willing to see what it has to offer. For those not familiar with the details regarding Ultra HD Blu-ray you can refer to my article that includes some pertinent data on the subject. Here is the link:

Ultra HD Blu-ray Has Come to AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

For those not willing to refer to the article linked above, I have included some comments here. The implementation of High Dynamic Range or HDR (HDR10 is the system currently being utilized for Ultra HD home video releases, and in conjunction with that, display manufacturers) as it stands currently, doesn't appear to have exacting standards and no calibration tools to allow for a foundational threshold for setting up a visual system. This leaves us to do the best we can to determine what appears to be accurate, at least for the time being. With that in mind, my approach to reviewing Ultra HD Blu-ray will be to assess the elements observed which I find to generate the most significant visual impact when compared to standard high definition Blu-ray.

For me, HDR, with its broader spectrum of colors and emboldened highlights in the areas of contrast and brightness, is where the potential lies in the format. The increase in resolution, while an important component, isn't going to be definitive in every case, especially given that currently many of the Ultra HD Blu-ray releases are derived from 2K Digital Intermediates that are up-converted to 4K. This shouldn't be strictly construed to mean that such up-converted images won't look noticeably better than their 1080p counterparts. Conversely, a release finished on a 4K Digital Intermediate isn't a guarantee that it will be heads and shoulders above the rest. So, what can you expect to hear from me when discussing what I observed from Ultra HD Blu-ray? I will hit upon the things that struck me, the impact, or lack of impact, of HDR and the improvement, if any, in resolution when compared to 1080p Blu-ray. The outcome will be a rating as seen above.

Front projection for home theater is just stepping through the door with respect to the reproduction of HDR. My goal is to present readers with a reasonable expectation of what they can expect when viewing the same content that I have. There may be variables that differ slightly however I believe that in general the outcome will be close. As we are exposed to more and more content and calibration tools come onboard we will have better perspectives from which to gauge. Thanks for reading!

The Martian comes to Ultra HD Blu-ray from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment featuring 2160p HEVC encoded video and lossless DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 4.6 Mbps.

I was notably impressed with how The Martian looked in 1080p. Originally shot in 5K using the RED Epic Dragon, finished in a 2K Digital Intermediate and then up-converted to 4K, The Martian improves upon the primary elements that made the 1080p release so good. First and foremost, the thing that immediately stands out is the lifelike reproduction of the textures captured by the camera's lens. Whether it be the finest minutia in physical features/clothing, the residual particles seen on surfaces or the visible gradations in the makeup of metal objects. This isn't just applicable to details closest to the camera as wide angle shots of the terrain on Mars, a grassy knoll, or panels in a control room, have an added level of clarity.

The benefits of high dynamic range are nearly as stark as colors have an added dimension that enlivens shots where they would normally have blended in, seen as a less provocative background element that would generally go unnoticed. Whites are snappy, detailed and downright dazzling, especially during low level transitions viewed in a darkened environment. Contrast abounds, lending an authenticity that underscores the subject matter, bringing it to a visually compelling level that one ups the 1080p presentation. If I had a nit to pick, and it's a minor one, it's that with the enhanced resolution low level noise becomes noticeable on occasion. I suspect that most would probably not even detect it (it's less noticeable in 1080p) but I wanted to mention it. As I stated in my review of The Martian on Blu-ray, this is superlative video presentation that truly evokes the emotion of the film.

I had high expectations for this soundtrack at home and 7.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio presentation didn’t disappoint. I was treated to an impeccably detailed, dynamic, and rewarding surround sound experience. Multi-layered sound effects are appropriately placed within the soundfield so that their purpose is definable yet never overstated. The mix makes effective and where appropriate active use of the surround channels to elongate the front soundstage and reproduce the spatial and discrete sounds of this demanding soundtrack. The front and rear sound fields are integrated with precision which enables a seamless transference during panning sequences. Dynamics are energy filled and impact felt with discerning articulation and punch. This is an entertaining mix that utilizes the subwoofer to accentuate its dynamic range. The quality of the bass is first rate as it is fills the room with clean, resonating low frequency detail. Dialog has excellent presence with clear, defining vocal character and noteworthy room penetration. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute with terrific soundtrack. The Martian on Blu-ray is a demonstrative worthy home theater experience that complimented the source material.


Blu-ray Video:


Video: 100
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity:
  • Black Level/Shadow Detail:
  • Color Reproduction:
  • Fleshtones:
  • Compression:



The Martian comes to Blu-ray Disc from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 23 Mbps.

This is a reference quality video presentation that looks superb. Images are visually arresting and have a rich dynamic quality that highlights its near flawless rendering of detail. The video has a three dimensional and razor sharp clarity that never left me wanting. The visual design is pure Ridley Scott as it features a limited color scheme that is aesthetically perfect for the subject matter. The majority of the film boasts deep shades of gray, blue, sepia, white and black. These colors are not vivid in tonality but their depiction is stark and fully appreciable onscreen. Contrast is strong and blacks are deep without compromise to delineation. Shadowy areas exhibit excellent depth of field and visible gradational stages. The various wide angle shots of the habitat and the open exterior expanse on Mars look stunning. Flesh tones are not overtly complex in tone but appear diverse in subtle structure and complexional makeup. This is a sophisticated visual design that uses more CGI than real imagery. The end result is a superlative video presentation that truly evokes the emotion of the film.

Bonus Features:
  • The Martian Ultra HD Blu-ray
  • The Martian Blu-ray (plus bonus features)
  • (HD) Signal Acquired: Writing and Direction – 9 minute featurette
  • (HD) Occupy Mars: Casting and Costumes – 14 minute featurette
  • (HD) Gag Reel – 7 minutes
  • (HD) Production Gallery
  • (HD) Ares III: Refocused – 17 minute faux documentary that takes a deeper look at the true story behind Mark Watney's rescue
  • (HD) 5 Faux Promotional shorts surrounding the Mars mission (s) and people involved:
    1. Ares III: Farewell – 4 minutes
    2. The Right Stuff – 3 minutes
    3. Ares: Our Greatest Adventure – 3 minutes
    4. Leave Your Mark – 1 minute
    5. Bring Him Home – 1 minute
  • (HD) Theatrical Trailer
  • Digital HD Copy




Final Thoughts:

Based on the bestselling novel by Andy Weir and helmed by director Ridley Scott, The Martian is a compelling, engrossing and thoroughly entertaining film that is complimented by an excellent cast and apt direction. It comes to Blu-ray in this Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment featuring excellent Ultra High Definition video, engaging lossless surround sound, and a worthwhile supplement set that looks behind the scenes at the making of the film. As a fan I am very pleased to own this Ultra HD Blu-ray offering from 20th Century Fox and highly recommend it for fans that are set up for Ultra HD Blu-ray.







Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews



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Last edited by Ralph Potts; 03-12-2016 at 03:56 AM.
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post #2 of 22 Old 03-11-2016, 08:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph Potts View Post

I was notably impressed with how The Martian looked in 1080p. Originally shot in 5K using the RED Epic Dragon, finished in a 2K Digital Intermediate and then up-converted to 4K, The Martian improves upon the primary elements that made the 1080p release so good. First and foremost, the thing that immediately stands out is the lifelike reproduction of the textures captured by the camera's lens. Whether it be the finest minutia in physical features/clothing, the residual particles seen on surfaces or the visible gradations in the makeup of metal objects. This isn't just applicable to details closest to the camera as wide angle shots of the terrain on Mars, a grassy knoll, or panels in a control room, have an added level of clarity.
Ralph Thank you for the review. I realize that this is a review of an Ultra HD blu-ray, not a technical discussion of the movie production, but something about this new format has been circling in my head.

Now that movies can be seen at home in true 4K resolution (provided you have the required equipment) the quality of the images will partially be influenced by their original source. While it can be easy to discover what camera equipment was used to film the live action, and the resolution of those cameras, I wonder about the native resolution of the CGI that movies like this are full of. I have never seen any discussion about the advancements in CGI rendering so it makes me wonder if all these outer space and superhero movies that rely so heavily upon CGI effects if those effects are being created at 4K resolution.

Sorry to sidetrack this post.

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post #3 of 22 Old 03-11-2016, 11:37 AM
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I liked this film a lot. Matt and the entire cast were really good. I was just wondering if their was going to be a directors cut at some point. I have read conflicting things online. The directors cut of Kingdom of Heaven and Robin Hood (the one with Russel Crowe) were both really good and added a lot to the story of both movies. I saw the interview where Ridley Scott talked about some of what was cut, how Matt made his garden grow , but I still like director cuts anyway. Ralph, what are you thoughts on a possible directors cut for this at a later date.
And with an audio of 96 for the DTS-MA and a video of 100 for the BR, I am sure it would be fantastic for the home.

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post #4 of 22 Old 03-11-2016, 03:05 PM
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Ralph, what are you thoughts on a possible directors cut for this at a later date.
And with an audio of 96 for the DTS-MA and a video of 100 for the BR, I am sure it would be fantastic for the home.
Ralph may have more info, but a DC of THE MARTIAN is supposedly in the works, but not UHD. It's currently targeted for BD. Hopefully in 3D as well, but no word on that yet.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by They_call_me_Roto View Post
...I wonder about the native resolution of the CGI that movies like this are full of. I have never seen any discussion about the advancements in CGI rendering so it makes me wonder if all these outer space and superhero movies that rely so heavily upon CGI effects if those effects are being created at 4K resolution.
As far as I know, virtually all CGI is still created at 2K resolution and then upconverted to 4K for the final master. This is one of the dirty little secrets of all 4K movies.
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Ralph may have more info, but a DC of THE MARTIAN is supposedly in the works, but not UHD. It's currently targeted for BD. Hopefully in 3D as well, but no word on that yet.
Thanks. I may get the 4k version so at least I can start building my library,

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The Martian was shot in 5K 3D with Red cameras

Quote:
Originally Posted by They_call_me_Roto View Post
Ralph Thank you for the review. I realize that this is a review of an Ultra HD blu-ray, not a technical discussion of the movie production, but something about this new format has been circling in my head.

Now that movies can be seen at home in true 4K resolution (provided you have the required equipment) the quality of the images will partially be influenced by their original source. While it can be easy to discover what camera equipment was used to film the live action, and the resolution of those cameras, I wonder about the native resolution of the CGI that movies like this are full of. I have never seen any discussion about the advancements in CGI rendering so it makes me wonder if all these outer space and superhero movies that rely so heavily upon CGI effects if those effects are being created at 4K resolution.

Sorry to sidetrack this post.

It was shot in 3D 5K with Red Dragon cameras and the final DI was rendered in 2K. So the whole film was upconverted for UHD Blu-ray, not just the CGI work.

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Hey Ralph,


I have a question. In your review, you state that this movie was a 2k upscale. But im curious if you seen the statement by James Finn, the FOX rep, who stated that the UHD movie was made with a combination of 2k upscale and raw 5k assets? So this movie wouldnt be 100% upscale. He also claims that all fox 4k movies will be made using the same methods.



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Basically, the 5k raw footage was used to guide the 4k upscale - notably for the high dynamic range color grading.

There is very little raw 5k used - mostly indoor shots. All the outdoor scenes had CGI applied - the spacesuit helmets were entirely all CGI, as were most of the weather and dust and other effects.

So far, the only benefit of the UHD stuff is the high dynamic range - most movies are still done in 2k, though a few are done in 4k, but most theatres are 2k. While 2k video frame is just a little more than 1080p (2k is 2048x1080), the movie is "full frame" as it's supposed to be stretched sideways using an anamorphic lens. So a Blu-Ray actually is down scaled slightly in order to be letter boxed for home viewing.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jocedeg View Post
It was shot in 3D 5K with Red Dragon cameras and the final DI was rendered in 2K. So the whole film was unconverted, not just the CGI work.

No, that is not correct.


First, you can read about it on the website of Prime Focus: http://www.primefocusworld.com/the-martian


Second, you can clearly see that in the panoramic shots of the Martian landscapes, the stereoscopic field of view extends 200 yards, you can only achieve this kind of fake 3D by artificially converting 2D into 3D.


Either Scott still doesn't understand realistic 2D>3D conversion and/or the folks at Prime Focus.


Ironically, the UHD BD will therefore reveal the Martian landscapes in real 3D, i.e. 2D.

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Oups !

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank714 View Post
No, that is not correct.


First, you can read about it on the website of Prime Focus: http://www.primefocusworld.com/the-martian


Second, you can clearly see that in the panoramic shots of the Martian landscapes, the stereoscopic field of view extends 200 yards, you can only achieve this kind of fake 3D by artificially converting 2D into 3D.


Either Scott still doesn't understand realistic 2D>3D conversion and/or the folks at Prime Focus.


Ironically, the UHD BD will therefore reveal the Martian landscapes in real 3D, i.e. 2D.
Sorry about the typo: it's supposed to read "the whole film was UPCONVERTED", as in "shot in 5K, converted to 2K for the CGI work and then UPCONVERTED to 4K for the UHD Blu-ray".
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The Martian: Extended Edition UHD to have an Atmos track.
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The Martian: Extended Edition UHD to have an Atmos track.
The question is whether the Blu-ray will. The Digital Bits say that their contacts are saying it will have Atmos... but the cover art on Blu-ray.com has DTS-HD MA 7.1 for the Extended Edition. So unless they made a last-minute change, I'm scared to pre-order the extended edition. I would double-dip for the Atmos version, but I'm not going 4K any time soon.

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The question is whether the Blu-ray will.
Fox doesn't do immersive audio on BD, only UHD. For example, their upcoming 20th anniversary edition of 'Independence Day' will have a DTS:X mix, but only on the UHD, not on the BD.
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And yet, Fox told TDB that the blu-ray would have Atmos. So confusing.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremy Anderson View Post
The question is whether the Blu-ray will. The Digital Bits say that their contacts are saying it will have Atmos... but the cover art on Blu-ray.com has DTS-HD MA 7.1 for the Extended Edition. So unless they made a last-minute change, I'm scared to pre-order the extended edition. I would double-dip for the Atmos version, but I'm not going 4K any time soon.
Quote:
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Fox doesn't do immersive audio on BD, only UHD. For example, their upcoming 20th anniversary edition of 'Independence Day' will have a DTS:X mix, but only on the UHD, not on the BD.
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And yet, Fox told TDB that the blu-ray would have Atmos. So confusing.
Greetings,

I am slated to review it so I will confirm as soon as I have it in hand Jeremy.


Regards,
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Quote:
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And yet, Fox told TDB that the blu-ray would have Atmos. So confusing.
Oh I'd be happy to be proven wrong and start seeing Atmos tracks on Fox BD releases.

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Quote:
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Oh I'd be happy to be proven wrong and start seeing Atmos tracks on Fox BD releases.
Im almost positive that Atmos is on both versions of the new extended cut.
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post #19 of 22 Old 06-06-2016, 02:37 PM
 
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I revisited 'The Martian' last night...the BR disc version...the one in 3D.
I checked the other review, it's for the 2D version, 100 for picture quality, the same disc included in this package. ...I saw it in 2D too.
The one that I never saw (yet) is the UHD disc version. So I have no clue how "3D" effect it is in its higher definition.

But what I do know (my eyes) is this: some shots of the spaceships and planet in the background, or dark space in the background, look pretty very good awesome in 3D.
The sound I found it mute sometimes, the center channel is fine but this one needs the volume turned up...which is fine as the dynamics are better that way, and you can hear 'The Martian' and the other actor's speeches more clearly.

Anyway, if the UHD disc has that (((3D))) effect of the spcaceships, and of Mars' surface terrain with the rock formations and small mountains, then it's a winner.
And I mean that, because those awesome 3D shots they are indeed awesome. And that, if I can get that similar effect from an improved picture definition, I'm in.
If not, there is no rush...3D still has a lot of good vitamins in it. And the proof is with 'The Martian' 3D Blu-ray version.
If you are a 3D person of artistic/cinematic appreciation, this BR title is among the best...in my sincere 3D opinion.
I have no clue what kind of cameras were used...2D or else. But it sure looks pretty in 3D.
Well
This is all very subjective, without any solid science to back me off; but I share it anyway just like the way I saw it and heard it.
I think it was the fourth time...so I must be nuts or something else 3D.
Are there flaws in the audio? ...Not that I can honestly say...just turn the volume up by roughly 5-6 decibels more than what you are used to and enjoy the show for its dynamics.
Are there flaws in the picture? ...How can I criticize Ridley's intended vision? Well, I can, so here we go: you can tell the dedication he has, but the time and investment are not always on your side...and it reflects in the storm scene. Very CGI created and very obvious. The sound is cool though, shook couple bones.

I would have like to expand my thoughts in the 3D review, but unfortunately for this great 3D Blu-ray title it wasn't provided to our master reviewer.
Maybe FOX is into something here too.

Atmos on regular Blu-ray, and 3D Blu-ray from FOX studios? ...That'll be the day! FOX is always into deceiving their customers year in year out; it would be very exceptional for FOX to please everyone all across the line. For that they would need to win the master lottery jackpot....twelve trillions of US dollars! ...Not in billion years!
So, adapt with it or skip it. ...Go for the 3D Blu-ray version...in addition to the UHD one...it's wotrth double dipping it appears to, and even triple dipping real soon comin' up....
FOX is like Disney; great financial investment strategists...investing in profits now for even more profits later. You can't blame good profitable business companies with an eye for a financial income/invertment/retirement future.

Lionsgate studios? Better in those regards, and worst on rentals.

But yeah, 'The Martian' in 3D...I was again amazed by few scenes. And I just had to share it (not really).
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post #20 of 22 Old 06-09-2016, 10:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ray0414 View Post
Im almost positive that Atmos is on both versions of the new extended cut.
Posters over at blu-ray.com who have the disc in hand are saying that only the UHD version of the extended cut has Atmos, not the Blu-ray. GRRRRRRR!

"Never believe any quote you read on the internet." - Abraham Lincoln
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post #21 of 22 Old 06-09-2016, 10:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremy Anderson View Post
Posters over at blu-ray.com who have the disc in hand are saying that only the UHD version of the extended cut has Atmos, not the Blu-ray. GRRRRRRR!

This is correct, I posted it over there. I looked at the case at best buy, atmos on uhd only.
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post #22 of 22 Old 11-16-2017, 10:04 AM
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Hey Guys, I have a question about this particular disc....During the middle of the movie, I heard a brief 'pause' which threw off the lip-sync quite a bit. It happened a second time, towards the end, and it threw it off again, but at that point where I had to adjust lip-sync on my oppo 203. Anybody have any problems like this on this particular disc?
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