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Quote:
Originally Posted by geekyglassesgirl /forum/post/19374220


we also watched Iron Man 2 and the scenes with Scarlett Johansen in that white hallway had some crazy high contrast edging on her -- so much so my daughter commented, "she looks like a cartoon, she is glowing all around her!" I joked that she has discovered her first taste of edge enhancement though figure it is more likely high contrast edging.

I noticed some PQ processing weirdness in that scene when watching it in the theater. I'm not surprised that you are seeing in on the bluray.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by geekyglassesgirl /forum/post/19374220


Hey guys! Long time, no see! Miss me?



Ok bringing me back to topic... Does the blu ray player itself affect the actual PQ for the purposes of this thread? We actually do have a back up Blu player, but it is this noname el cheapo machine we got for my daughter's room for $88 at Walmart... Seiki? Something like that, never heard of it but the price was right.

Don't become a stranger, it's nice to hear from you again in the PQ thread. If the other player is connected right and properly set, there should be little to no difference when evaluating 1080p/24 content between various players. The display or projector is where 99% of the differences are introduced, not the player.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by geekyglassesgirl /forum/post/19374220


Hey guys! Long time, no see! Miss me?

Hey G3....I actually referred to you a few days ago when I reviewed The Thin Red Line, in fact, I called you a "Lady"!



Speaking of The Thin Red Line, if you want to see some real EYE CANDY, give it a rent. It will look great on your Panny plasma.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by deltasun /forum/post/19372359


LOL, I was going to write Boob and Sand. But yes, there are definite hot whites from the boosted contrast. Do you agree with the improvement in script as we neared the end?

Yes beyond a doubt it improved, but I think it was on the first disc around episode 4 that it got better. Watching it again as the characters develop is interesting.
 

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The Year Without a Santa Claus


recommendation: Tier 2.75



A stop-motion classic from Rankin/Bass gets remastered for Blu-ray, and shows it in an impressive upgrade. Prepare for a revelatory experience, as no prior television or DVD viewing looks remotely close in picture quality for this special. As someone that grew up on these television specials around Christmas every year, I was frankly stunned at the substantial leap in video quality on BD for a television production from 1974. It was just released to Blu-ray in the past month, in a package that also includes the DVD for some reason.


Running slightly over 50-minutes, the video is encoded in Warner's typical codec of choice, VC-1. Correctly framed in in the original broadcast ratio of 4:3, only a BD-25 is used which apparently precluded the use of a lossless soundtrack. In a major disappointment that goes completely unmentioned anywhere on the packaging, even though the ad copy indicates all three have been remastered, the two other Rankin/Bass features included are in standard-definition. They are respectively: Nestor, The Long-Eared Christmas Donkey and Rudolph's Shiny New Year. It would have been wonderful to have seen them at greater resolution if they truly were remastered like The Year Without A Santa Claus.


While no BDInfo scan is currently available, video bitrates follow the usual course for a Warner-produced BD. Peak rates barely shoot over 26 Mbps, and the majority of the main feature stays under 20 Mbps. An estimated average would dwell slightly below that figure. Due to the nature of the production's stop-motion techniques for filming, and general lack of quick movement or shifting colors, compression artifacts are no problem at all. In this instance I did not find the compression encoding to have reduced possible fidelity and fine detail in any significant way, as the case usually is with a majority of Warner Bros. Blu-rays. Outside of two scenes purposely in soft-focus, there is a general crispness to the picture that helps showcase the puppets and background sets.


Colors show a nice and pleasing improvement over the faded prints of yesteryear. Various shades of Christmas reds paint the screen, offset by the lush green jackets of Santa's elves. The original elements look in fantastic shape, with little visible damage. Sure, a few minor and faint scratches pop up on occasion. But I have seen major films from the same period look much worse in comparison. The high-definition scan must be relatively new and fresh to produce such a fine image. I believe the claims of “remastering” in this instance, when that term has been thrown around so loosely by studios.


There are no indicators of edge enhancement or digital manipulation anywhere to be spotted. The very light grain pattern has not been scrubbed away or tampered with to any degree. If anything, the enhanced clarity and resolution reveal a few things from the original production that have all but been invisible on lesser formats. Sharp-eyed viewers will likely notice the thin, black wires holding up Santa's sleigh as Mrs. Claus uses it to fly through the air. But that is a small concern when you can marvel at the fine detail work of the animated puppets. Details like shoe buckles are visible for the first time, that show a level of craftsmanship I was frankly unaware of before viewing.


Having condemned many of Warner's Blu-rays in the past for less than impressive images, this BD shines in a manner thought impossible by myself. A cherished Rankin-Bass special gets the top-quality picture it deserves. The transfer is top-notch and an absolute gem, but limitations in the production confine the BD to a maximum ranking in Tier 2.75.


Watching on a 60” Pioneer KURO plasma at 1080p/24, fed by a 60GB PS3 (firmware 3.41) from a viewing distance of approximately six feet.
 

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GGG, hope you are well. I haven't been posting a lot either, but glad to see you say hello. It seems the benefit of today's BD players is that digital is digital and if we are just passing the BD unaltered then PQ should be a wash. Many were surprised Criterion and others were using a PS3 as their reference player, but the science is there.
 

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Treasure of Sierra Madre


A step above Maltese Falcon, the grain levels lighter, but the detail higher. Same great contrast, same awesome gray scale. Pans of the landscape are impressive. A few shots lose their sharpness, but it's minor stuff.

Tier 3.5
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gamereviewgod /forum/post/19377972

Treasure of Sierra Madre


A step above Maltese Falcon, the grain levels lighter, but the detail higher. Same great contrast, same awesome gray scale. Pans of the landscape are impressive. A few shots lose their sharpness, but it's minor stuff.

Tier 3.5

Amazon has suspended sales of this title: QUOTE:

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Item Under Review


While this item is available from other marketplace sellers on this page, it is not currently offered by Amazon.com because customers have told us there may be something wrong with our inventory of the item, the way we are shipping it, or the way it's described here. (Thanks for the tip!)


We're working to fix the problem as quickly as possible.


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It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

recommendation: Tier 3.5



An indelible part of the Halloween experience since its first airing in 1966, Warner Bros. has done a credible job in bringing the Peanuts special to Blu-ray. A new transfer, or at least a fresh high-definition scan, appears to have been created for this edition of It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. In comparison, A Charlie Brown Christmas on BD looks sourced from a faded and dull print. That, or the original elements are in significantly worse shape. The Christmas special is currently ranked in Tier Four, though that evaluation could easily be lowered a notch.


Taking the main feature on its own consideration, the picture quality leans close to the top of tier three. The Blu-ray reproduces the simple line-art and crude animation to a fault. What drags the overall score down to Tier 3.5 is the inclusion of the secondary feature: It's Magic, Charlie Brown. For a newer feature produced in 1981, the image actually looks worse. While the main feature displays clean and bold colors with a negligible amount of print anomalies, the secondary feature looks rougher in scope of dirt and debris. No remastering or care appears to have gone into it. At least it is presented in true 1080p resolution.


Both are a clear step above in picture quality against the BD of A Charlie Brown Christmas. That disc's video was hard to distinguish from DVD for stretches. It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown fares much better with a high-quality, fresh transfer that the DVD format simply could not hope to match. The VC-1 encode contains standard parameters for a Warner BD, though there is not a ounce of macroblocking due to the simple animation used in production.
 

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Thanks, Phantom for another insightful review. I have the Peanuts Holiday Collection in my Wishlist and am getting antsy with pulling the trigger. So, the Halloween one isn't bad; Christmas is bad. Have you had a chance to see the Thanksgiving one?


Obviously, in the end, the nostalgia will be the determining factor here.
I'm also looking into the Original Christmas Classics set.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by audiomagnate /forum/post/19378344


Amazon has suspended sales of this title: QUOTE:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------


Item Under Review


While this item is available from other marketplace sellers on this page, it is not currently offered by Amazon.com because customers have told us there may be something wrong with our inventory of the item, the way we are shipping it, or the way it's described here. (Thanks for the tip!)


We're working to fix the problem as quickly as possible.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Wonder what that's about. Anyone know?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by deltasun /forum/post/19379313


So, the Halloween one isn't bad; Christmas is bad. Have you had a chance to see the Thanksgiving one?


Obviously, in the end, the nostalgia will be the determining factor here.
I'm also looking into the Original Christmas Classics set.

Comments are likely forthcoming when I have the time over the next few days to thoroughly analyze the Thanksgiving episode.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by djoberg /forum/post/19343238

The Exorcist (1973 Extended Director's Cut)

This one was REALLY a mixed bag. One minute you would have a sharp and extremely detailed shot, the next minute heavy grain would intrude (usually during nighttime shots) obscuring almost all detail or murky blacks would rear their ugly head (there was a shot of Damien laying on his bed at night that rivaled scenes from 28 Days Later; the blacks in that shot were as bad as I've ever seen and his face looked unnatural and flat).

Tier Recommendation: 3.25

I'm with you in the unimpressed club. The work done on the other Warner classics lately is far more impressive, and they are way older. The encode is completely inefficient at handling the grain structure, to the point where the grain becomes nothing but noise. There is no grain here, only noise... and Zuul. The start was great, but then it quickly dropped a notch, and then another... and another. Totally disappointed.

Tier 3.75
 

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Australia


This one looked pretty except for some smoke filled shots and few dark scenes with weak blacks.


The movie could have been lot better had the production crew trimmed the running time which is dragged by a chaotic screenplay and a lengthy story.

Tier Recommendation: Tier 1.25
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gamereviewgod /forum/post/19381537


I'm with you in the unimpressed club. The work done on the other Warner classics lately is far more impressive, and they are way older. The encode is completely inefficient at handling the grain structure, to the point where the grain becomes nothing but noise. There is no grain here, only noise... and Zuul. The start was great, but then it quickly dropped a notch, and then another... and another. Totally disappointed.

Tier 3.75

Agreed! I can hardly believe the praise this transfer is getting when I was so underwhelmed by it. Granted, there were some remarkable scenes (especially in the beginning, as we both mentioned), but the inconsistency is blatant and thus the accolades it's receiving is unconscionable.


Your mention of "other Warner classics lately" being "far more impressive" brought to mind How the West Was Won, which dates back to 1962. That transfer is drop dead gorgeous compared to The Exorcist.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by djoberg /forum/post/19382648


Agreed! I can hardly believe the praise this transfer is getting when I was so underwhelmed by it. Granted, there were some remarkable scenes (especially in the beginning, as we both mentioned), but the inconsistency is blatant and thus the accolades it's receiving is unconscionable.


Your mention of "other Warner classics lately" being "far more impressive" brought to mind How the West Was Won, which dates back to 1962. That transfer is drop dead gorgeous compared to The Exorcist.

I haven't seen the Exorcist on Blu yet, but comparing that title to How the West Was Won is wrong on so many levels it isn't even funny.


Just sayin'.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Tomlin /forum/post/19382696


I haven't seen the Exorcist on Blu yet, but comparing that title to How the West Was Won is wrong on so many levels it isn't even funny.


Just sayin'.

So, why is it wrong to compare those two transfers? They're both "classics" and "Warner" titles.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by djoberg /forum/post/19382900


So, why is it wrong to compare those two transfers? They're both "classics" and "Warner" titles.

Haven't seen HTWWW, but I was talking about Maltese Falcon and Sierra Madre, both of which had far better compression and natural grain.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by djoberg /forum/post/19382900


So, why is it wrong to compare those two transfers? They're both "classics" and "Warner" titles.

HTWWW was shot in cinerama, which is 3 strips of vertical 6-perforation 35mm negative for every frame. The Exorcist was shot in flat 35mm, so the image is about 3 vertical perforations high. By a rough estimate, HTWWW has about 6 times the resolution per frame, and is more comparable to IMAX than 35mm.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by djoberg /forum/post/19382900


So, why is it wrong to compare those two transfers? They're both "classics" and "Warner" titles.

They were filmed in a much different style. Even a reference transfer of The Exorcist would not look that great in comparison to HTWWW. The Exorcist is in my possession and waiting to viewed, but the comments have prepared me for another sub-par WB effort. My hunch is that the video encodes were not prepared recently, but the result of an older transfer done a couple of years ago. One gets the feeling that this title would have been released as early as two years ago if the Blu-ray market had grown faster. I know Friedkin and his DP "approved" this transfer, but that could mean as little as they spot-checked it on a 20" monitor. Not that I trust anything Friedkin does to a transfer after the French Connection fiasco.
 
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