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I was watching a copy of Gladiator (from the 2-disc set, not sure if the 1-disc is any different) yesterday and was startled by how good the picture quality was. The focus was incredibly sharp at times, especially those weird scenes where Maximus is being carried and you see the ground moving beneath him (reminiscent of that shot in The Road Warrior when the wounded Max is on the gyrocopter).


After seeing Fifth Element Superbit, SW:AotC, and the Lord of the Rings Extended movies, I thought it would be hard to startle me with PQ, but Gladiator really struck me as having excellent PQ. Does anyone know if this is the directing style (ensuring a crisp focus), a good DVD transfer, high bitrate on the disc, or what? I am not even that big a fan of the movie - it seems to be one of those grim, revenge-your-family movies like Braveheart and The Patriot - but I must say the PQ was so good I am tempted to buy a copy. Minority Report by contrast should have had a great PQ, but it didn't, due to the directing style I think - all that bleach bypassing, overcontrasting etc. I don't know why directors think making a movie look worse is a good thing, but it is a trend (see Three Kings) of which I definitely don't approve.


Parts of Finding Nemo looked very good as well - especially when they were in the coral garden - it's too bad they couldn't make an entire movie in a setting like that. I think the book Pagoo (takes place in a big tide pool) might make an excellent Pixar movie with stunning visuals. Alas Nemo had a lot of time in the open ocean and the fish tank, which did not compare in stunningness to the coral garden with its sun-dappled sands, which we see all too briefly and usually at high speed.
 
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