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post #1 of 30 Old 09-24-2016, 11:08 AM - Thread Starter
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Warcraft Ultra HD Blu-ray Review



In a distant world, humankind faces extinction at the hands of a brutal enemy in this live action adventure based upon the popular video game.



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

Film:

Extras:

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

80



Details:

Studio and Year: Universal - 2016
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 123 minutes
Genre: Fantasty/Adventure

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

Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD 7.1, Spanish/French Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
Starring: Travis Fimmel, Ben Foster, Paula Patton, Dominic Cooper, Toby Kebbell, Ben Schnetzer, Rob Kazinsky, Daniel Wu
Directed by: Duncan Jones
Music by: Ramin Djawadi
Written by: Duncan Jones & Charles Leavitt
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: September 27, 2016


"Two Worlds. One Home"


My Take:

The peaceful realm of Azeroth stands on the brink of war as its civilization faces a fearsome race of invaders: Orc warriors fleeing their dying home to colonize another. As a portal opens to connect the two worlds, one army faces destruction and the other faces extinction. From opposing sides, an unlikely group of heroes is set on a collision course that will decide the fate of their families, their people and their home.

I have never played in The World of Warcraft but am well aware of its popularity as a real-time strategy game with roots that stem back to the mid-1990s. I had little interest in seeing Warcraft in the theater, opting to wait for its home video release instead. The narrative isn’t especially deep, telling an elementary medieval tale of humans versus mythical creatures that spins elements of magic, familial sentiment and off kilter romance, with action/adventure. Truth be told the story really never gets off of the ground since there is very little substance behind the characters or their history.

There is an overabundance of dialog, mostly trivial, and the attempts at establishing seemingly overt levels of emotion is displaced at nearly every turn. The film has epic aspirations, which I suppose it gains, at least from a production standpoint. The overreliance on CGI/Digital effects is obvious although considering the source material that’s understandable. I didn’t find that it detracted from the film in any way and I found the product elements to be solid. I didn’t think that Warcraft was terrible, it just didn’t leave an impression. The film clearly leaves it wide open for another installment, but I’m not sure what the future holds. Based upon this installment I would say that they have some work to do if the plan is to make a series of Warcraft films.


Parental Guide:

The rating is for extended sequences of intense fantasy violence.


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.**


UHD Presentation: 72
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


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




Dolby Atmos Rating: 88
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Level of immersion:
  • Soundstage integration:
  • Audio object placement:
  • Effectiveness:
  • Entertainment factor:



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 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, high dynamic range, 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!


Warcraft comes to Ultra HD Blu-ray from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment featuring 2160pHEVC encoded video and lossless Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 compatible) sound that has an average bitrate of 4.8 Mbps.

For its presentation in Ultra HD Warcraft (derived from a 3.4 K source) was rendered from a 2K DI. With the limited exposure to Ultra HD either sourced from 2K or 4K Digital Intermediates we are left to judge based upon what we have seen thus far.

In looking at the film’s opening moments the first thing that struck me was that there wasn't an appreciable uptick in sharpness and detail rendering compared to the Blu-ray. Colors, especially primary and earth tones were toned down a bit and fleshtones offered only a hint of gradational warmth. Upon closer inspection I could make out finer details in facial features and clothing, especially when looking at the digitally crafted Orcs, but this predominantly came during close ups. On occasion discernible improvements in depth could be seen in wide angle shots but in most respects I saw little difference in apparent resolution when checking select scenes from the UHD and Blu-ray.

I also found the presentation to be very tame in terms of its use of dynamic highlights, both bright and dark. With the exception of the sequences involving the arcing light used by the Guardian or Khadgar, in the Guardian’s keep, the image didn't make any visually compelling use of interstitial black levels offset by vivid bright elements. In most respects the image appeared flat when compared to the better presentations I have seen from the format. I wouldn’t describe it as poor quality but, like the film itself, there is little about this Ultra HD presentation that left an impression.

In listening to the Dolby Atmos surround mix I found it to be of the moderately active variety that made steady use of the platform. Its use of audio objects placed above is a mix atmospherics and discrete effects. The music score is subtly mixed over the platform so as to add natural depth to its orchestrated elements while complimenting the story's thematic tone. When the action kicks in the level of immersion increases as the sound field comes alive with the visceral details of battle. This is especially evident during the forest encounter, canyon engagement, and large scale attack in the finale, which correlate with the onscreen events quite nicely, with even the most minute audio cues being fully realized. I enjoyed the presentation's balance of atmosphere and integration of discrete object placement. I think that it complimented the source material and made for an entertaining listening experience.



Blu-ray Video:


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


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


Audio: 94
(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): [img] [/img]


Warcraft comes to Blu-ray Disc from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 28 Mbps.

This film intentionally uses muted colors and uneven lighting to depict is fantasy world. Deep defining blacks and revealing details in low lit backgrounds and shadows provide excellent depth and gradational highlights to the film’s darkened sequences. Detail is characterized by intricate and transparent imagery that has three-dimensional depth and excellent resolution. This was the case in all but a few instances where definition softened slightly. I suspect that this was innate to the photography rather than related to the encoding. The sequence that takes place in the forests is abundantly rich with earth toned greens and browns that look great in high definition. I thought that the creative choices made regarding the visual style of this film were right on target.

This is a decent Dolby TrueHD 7.1 mix that utilizes the entire system to create an entertaining listening experience. Sound staging is excellent as both the front and rear channels are seamlessly integrated so that sound effects seem to traverse the room. Surround activity is frequent but not ostentatious as both directional and spatial information mixed to the surround plane weaves an enveloping pattern of sound. Dynamics are energy filled which lends weight to the plethora of impact felt moments during the movie. This is a fairly active LFE mix that makes regular use of the subwoofer, although things really kick in more so in the film’s second half. The result is solid bass response that has appreciable depth and palpably rich impact that can be room filling. Dialog is rendered with excellent prioritization. The music score is a supporting component to this soundtrack as it helps embolden the story with a prominent but non dominating aural presence. This is a rewarding audio presentation that mates perfectly with the source material.


Bonus Features:
  • Disc 1: Warcraft Ultra HD Blu-ray
    Disc 2: Warcraft Blu-ray (plus bonus features)
  • *Exclusive*(HD) The World of Warcraft on Film (5 Segments totaling 28 minutes):
    1. The World of Talent
    2. The World of VFX
    3. Outfitting a World
    4. The World of MOCAP
    5. The World of Stunts
  • *Exclusive*(HD) Warcraft: Bonds of Brotherhood Motion Comic
  • *Exclusive*(HD) Madame Tussaud’s Featurette on making of the Warcraft wax figures – 7 minutes
  • *Exclusive*(HD) Warcraft Teaser
  • (HD) 11 Deleted scenes
  • (HD) Gag Reel – 3 minutes
  • (HD) Origin Story – 5 minutes
  • (HD) The Fandom of Warcraft – 6 minute featurette
  • (HD) ILM: Behind the Magic of Warcraft – 3 minute featurette
  • Digital HD Copy



Final Thoughts:

Based on one of the most popular game universes of all time Warcraft suffers from a script that is bereft of meaningful characters or storytelling. It comes to Blu-ray in this Ultra HD Combo Pack from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment featuring unremarkable Ultra HD video, excellent lossless surround sound, including a Dolby Atmos immersive mix and a fan friendly supplemental package. Fans of the video game franchise will probably want to check out Warcraft on Blu-ray. My advice would be to rent first and keep expectations in check.












Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews



Reference Review System:

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post #2 of 30 Old 09-24-2016, 12:07 PM
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I wasted I think 6 years of my life on that game and don't regret a second of it. It was so much fun. It's too bad this movie didn't seem to live up to it's video game counterpart, but I'll pick it up nonetheless. As a fan of the game, I'll post my thoughts on it from the perspective of one who has played the game a lot as it may be helpful. Cheers.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blastermaster View Post
I wasted I think 6 years of my life on that game and don't regret a second of it. It was so much fun. It's too bad this movie didn't seem to live up to it's video game counterpart, but I'll pick it up nonetheless. As a fan of the game, I'll post my thoughts on it from the perspective of one who has played the game a lot as it may be helpful. Cheers.

Love the game too and the movie for what they had to do. Duncan put 2 books worth of material in this small of time frame and flowed well. Watch for the Murlocks when in the beginning, I laughed.

Spoiler!


But like I said, with movie time constraints, there is way too much in depth to go into that the books COULD do.

Overall, it was a fun movie for me as a fan seeing it come to life on the screen. I am mad over the bad 4K transfer as a movie like this would really shine in 4K, and as such was really looking forward to it.

And thanks to Ralph! I will get the blu-ray as opposed to the 4K.

Oh and BlasterMaster, it wasn't wasted time if you enjoyed to doing it!
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post #4 of 30 Old 09-24-2016, 01:21 PM
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Perfect example of buy the HD edition and upscale! Thanks for the review Ralph!
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I guess it'll be the 3D BD for me then
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DRaven72 View Post
Love the game too and the movie for what they had to do. Duncan put 2 books worth of material in this small of time frame and flowed well. Watch for the Murlocks when in the beginning, I laughed.

Spoiler!


But like I said, with movie time constraints, there is way too much in depth to go into that the books COULD do.

Overall, it was a fun movie for me as a fan seeing it come to life on the screen. I am mad over the bad 4K transfer as a movie like this would really shine in 4K, and as such was really looking forward to it.

And thanks to Ralph! I will get the blu-ray as opposed to the 4K.

Oh and BlasterMaster, it wasn't wasted time if you enjoyed to doing it!
Trust me, if I could get a full frontal lobotomy and my hands on a Delorean suited with a flux capacitor, I would happily do it all over again. Vanilla WoW and BC FTW!
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I will still buy-it for an action movie and sky-fi
The audio and video is not bad.




The bad parts the story might be confusing for someone who never played the game.
No worst than the last Avenger movie, where I got confuse about all the super heroes since, I am a casual viewer and not a comic book fan


Still can be enjoy, just as much as a fan who understand, everything going on.


Ray
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Big StarCraft fan. When SCII came out I upgraded the gaming computer to 3D. Lots of fun. Kinda hope they do a StarCraft movie next.

I did play some WarCraft and will be getting the 3D Blu-ray. Zug zug.
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I didn't mind it Ralph, I've never played the game. Watched the other night on BD and thought it was good.


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post #10 of 30 Old 09-25-2016, 06:55 PM
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I didn't mind it Ralph, I've never played the game. Watched the other night on BD and thought it was good.


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Good to hear
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Good to hear
Always respected your opinion about movies.


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Thank Ray likewise


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Thanks for the review Ralph!

It re-enforces another reviewer's take that the HDR was unimpressive.

I have the UHD version pre-ordered, and will lower my expectations now.
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Having played wow non stop since vanilla, I thought it was a good movie.

I disagree with the authors comment about lack of story telling. There was plenty of story, which if you played wow any length of time would help you follow things in the movie. Yes perhaps they could have done a better job at it and been a bit more accurate. However, there is so much lore in wow it must have been very tough compressing it to movie length. I think if it went into lore more the movie would be longer than Lord of the Rings.

I am amazed at the number of people who never played wow and yet liked the movie. I thought it was directed more at people who play wow, but I guess it has a wider appeal than that.
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Ill definitely pick this up, wanted to see it in theaters. The HD Digest review says almost the complete opposite as far as detail and colors ,so Im not sure what it'll be tomorrow picture wise...as long as its not expendables 3 pic quality, Ill be happy...I wonder how much of it is affected by a projector vs a tv(he used a x940c I believe)? ....now, do I pick up The Shallows too??
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post #15 of 30 Old 09-26-2016, 12:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Ill definitely pick this up, wanted to see it in theaters. The HD Digest review says almost the complete opposite as far as detail and colors ,so Im not sure what it'll be tomorrow picture wise...as long as its not expendables 3 pic quality, Ill be happy...I wonder how much of it is affected by a projector vs a tv(he used a x940c I believe)? ....now, do I pick up The Shallows too??
Greetings,

I can't comment regarding another reviewer's opinion as I know nothing about his/her particular set up. I think it's fair to say that my projector set up wouldn't be a night and day difference regardless so I guess you'll have to roll the dice.

As for The Shallows, I say, jump in!


Regards,
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I take back part of what I said. I bought my mother an OLED LG 65" E6, dialed it in with the WoW disk in advanced mode. I ordered this movie through VUDU UHD, MOTHER OF GOD! It came up ATMOS, DOLBY VISION enabled right out of the gate. (Only Dolby Vision applies here though) The clarity felt like I could walk right into the screen. Scenes just stood out specially during daylight with the mountains accented clearly in the background but not taking anything away from the Orcs in the foreground.

Incredible for those on True 4K TV's.

I am not knocking you be no means Mr. Potts and definitely mean no offense in any way. What you do is great and I have bought based on past reviews. Your job becomes harder because of the many different options now specially with OLED, in picture quality review.

But with Projectors doing pseudo/faux 4K, and more people getting True 4K OLED type TV's there is going to be a rather large disparity in quality. Until these true 4K laser/led projectors come down from the $15k-35k price tag, I think more people are going to sacrifice size for quality. Specially watching this OLED with Dolby Vision. I know I am, OLED is making me a believer.

This just makes it harder for people like me in the process of designing and building theater for the new house harder. I can't get over the Quality in the OLED picture. Dolby Vision plus the image quality really made me excited.
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post #17 of 30 Old 09-27-2016, 12:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DRaven72 View Post
I take back part of what I said. I bought my mother an OLED LG 65" E6, dialed it in with the WoW disk in advanced mode. I ordered this movie through VUDU UHD, MOTHER OF GOD! It came up ATMOS, DOLBY VISION enabled right out of the gate. (Only Dolby Vision applies here though) The clarity felt like I could walk right into the screen. Scenes just stood out specially during daylight with the mountains accented clearly in the background but not taking anything away from the Orcs in the foreground.

Incredible for those on True 4K TV's.

I am not knocking you be no means Mr. Potts and definitely mean no offense in any way. What you do is great and I have bought based on past reviews. Your job becomes harder because of the many different options now specially with OLED, in picture quality review.

But with Projectors doing pseudo/faux 4K, and more people getting True 4K OLED type TV's there is going to be a rather large disparity in quality. Until these true 4K laser/led projectors come down from the $15k-35k price tag, I think more people are going to sacrifice size for quality. Specially watching this OLED with Dolby Vision. I know I am, OLED is making me a believer.

This just makes it harder for people like me in the process of designing and building theater for the new house harder. I can't get over the Quality in the OLED picture. Dolby Vision plus the image quality really made me excited.
Greetings,

Thanks for sharing DRaven72. Dolby Vision is another animal when compared to HDR-10. I would love to see them played side by side. I agree that the 4K OLED's are amazing.


Regards,
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post #18 of 30 Old 09-27-2016, 04:47 PM
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Got mine today... my first 4k movie... went and traded my xbox one to get the new xbox just to play this since I've been playing WoW for 12 years now...I had to have the movie in 4k... I watched the first 35mins and yeah it's pretty damn gorgeous. WTB real 4k projector under $4k.... while it's gorgeous on curved 65" 4k samsung, I still want it in 4k on my 134" screen.
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post #19 of 30 Old 09-28-2016, 10:24 AM
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Ill definitely pick this up, wanted to see it in theaters. The HD Digest review says almost the complete opposite as far as detail and colors ,so Im not sure what it'll be tomorrow picture wise...as long as its not expendables 3 pic quality, Ill be happy...I wonder how much of it is affected by a projector vs a tv(he used a x940c I believe)? ....now, do I pick up The Shallows too??
I demo'd this last night on my P75. It looked fantastic to me. I wonder if HDR is handled differently on various displays. The blu-ray.com review matched Ralph's take on subdued colors and highlights on the UHD disk compared to the BD.

New technology is great, but it's not making reviewers jobs any easier.
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post #20 of 30 Old 09-28-2016, 04:54 PM
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New technology is great, but it's not making reviewers jobs any easier.
Exactly what I was trying to say. Can't expect reviewers like Ralph to do projection review, by a $5000 TV and do that review too. Or two other TV's. One OLED and one LCD? How many pj's are going to have Dolby Vision to get the full effect?

Oh boy. How do you do it? Mark does TV Movie reviews and Ralph has the projection route??

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post #21 of 30 Old 09-29-2016, 11:56 AM
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I just watched it last night and I have to say it really wasnt that bad, it was a decent little time kill, not a fantastic movie but a decent enough story and pretty good visuals... I think maybe if it went under a different name it would have done better but yeah I kinda liked it.
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post #22 of 30 Old 09-29-2016, 12:48 PM - Thread Starter
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I just watched it last night and I have to say it really wasnt that bad, it was a decent little time kill, not a fantastic movie but a decent enough story and pretty good visuals... I think maybe if it went under a different name it would have done better but yeah I kinda liked it.
Greetings,

Thanks for posting your thoughts Daniel. I am glad that you enjoyed Warcraft and I agree that it isn't that bad..


Regards,
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post #23 of 30 Old 09-29-2016, 07:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Daniel Chaves View Post
I just watched it last night and I have to say it really wasnt that bad, it was a decent little time kill, not a fantastic movie but a decent enough story and pretty good visuals... I think maybe if it went under a different name it would have done better but yeah I kinda liked it.
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Greetings,

Thanks for posting your thoughts Daniel. I am glad that you enjoyed Warcraft and I agree that it isn't that bad..



Regards,

Thank you both


I am still looking forward to watch-it next week-end (not this one).
I do not play the game, just like movies, that are strong on the visual, with good sound, also lots of action.
I think, this one will fall right in my alley


Ray
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post #24 of 30 Old 09-30-2016, 04:42 PM
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I've heard from WOW players they liked it better than non-players.

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post #25 of 30 Old 10-01-2016, 12:02 PM
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I've heard from WOW players they liked it better than non-players.
The benefit WoW gamers get from it is that we know exactly where the locations exist and, for some of us, the lore behind the main characters. For example, when the soldiers went from Stormwind to Elwynn Forest and Goldshire, I knew exactly where it was (the map is etched in my brain), which made it a bit more interesting for me.

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post #26 of 30 Old 10-02-2016, 07:43 PM
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We just watched it last night (UHD) on a friend's Samsung KS8000. All the guys gave it a thumbs up at the end and even the ladies really enjoyed the movie.

We all thought the visuals looked great. Odd that there is so much variance in opinion on this one (my 940c is in storage while we move...can't wait to try this one next month and see how it looks).

I wasn't expecting much so I was pleasantly surprised.
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post #27 of 30 Old 10-08-2016, 05:59 PM
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My wife and I, just finish watching-it.


She loved-it and also think it was excellent.
Since we both never play the game, for us it was going into a movie and expecting some action.
We found-it to be lots of fun, with action, some magical stuff and a story that was not only good, but easy to follow.


And the story, never turn out to be what you expected


I can see fan of the game, think it is less than perfect, but for movie goers that do not play the game.
It was a Great ride, and worth a second viewing


Ray
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post #28 of 30 Old 10-09-2016, 09:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by GunmetalR56 View Post
We just watched it last night (UHD) on a friend's Samsung KS8000. All the guys gave it a thumbs up at the end and even the ladies really enjoyed the movie.

We all thought the visuals looked great. Odd that there is so much variance in opinion on this one (my 940c is in storage while we move...can't wait to try this one next month and see how it looks).

I wasn't expecting much so I was pleasantly surprised.
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My wife and I, just finish watching-it.


She loved-it and also think it was excellent.
Since we both never play the game, for us it was going into a movie and expecting some action.
We found-it to be lots of fun, with action, some magical stuff and a story that was not only good, but easy to follow.


And the story, never turn out to be what you expected


I can see fan of the game, think it is less than perfect, but for movie goers that do not play the game.
It was a Great ride, and worth a second viewing


Ray
Greetings,

Great to hear, thanks for offering your thoughts guys.

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post #29 of 30 Old 10-13-2016, 07:43 PM
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Ralph -- I bought the BD quality file with Dolby TrueHD Atmos audio of Warcraft from the Kaleidescape Movie Store. As I have posted to other review threads of yours, the Kscape Strato is 4K UHD capable but does not yet support HDR. Thus the Kscape store doesn't carry 4K UHD HDR movie files. I bought the Warcraft file before I saw your review of the UHD HDR version because of good reports from others abut its Atmos soundtrack. I was pleased. In fact, I thought the BD quality file upconverted to 4K by my Strato looked sensational too.

Despite my fondness for the look and sound of the film, I was disappointed otherwise. I have been a huge Duncan Jones fan and have the BDs of both of his earlier films, Moon and Source Code. Now that I have read this thread, I suspect that my disappointment with this film was caused by my utter ignorance about the Warcraft game. I have never been a gamer so maybe it's my loss. Anyway, thanks for another informative review.
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post #30 of 30 Old 10-17-2016, 06:53 PM
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Because of my fondness for Duncan Jones' earlier work and my previous ignorance of the Warcraft canon, I decided to watch the film again tonight. I'm glad I did. Once I got my head around the Fel, the Orcs, and the Portal, I really enjoyed the film. As I posted earlier, the BD version's audio and video are both demonstration quality. I am now glad I bought it.
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