We have all made our own assessment weeks ago about the quality of the BD. I understand the reviewers may not have gotten a screeners copy till recently but I would have liked to get an assessment much sooner for a title I was anxiously waiting to purchase on release day.
I just got around to watching it. I'm more of an audio guy but I thought the video is quite good. The audio was also solid but not reference. I had no problem with the dialogue. It was clean and clear all the way thru. Was it because I spent all of last weekend EQ'ing my center with a BFD and Room EQ wizard? ha ha I'd like to think so but the credit goes to the sound mixers. The bass is also solid but it's not a disc I'll turn to for testing subs. When the 2nd last rocket was heading towards the ball game and comes from the right surround, you do get a small kick in the chest. The bass was most evident from a particular large-cal machine gun, but I didn't care for that. Sounded fake. The soundfield I thought was mostly front heavy. The rear soundfield is there, but it doesn't sparkle like it does on Pan's Labrinyth or Ratatouille. Some elements kinda sound dated but hey, it's what....a 15yr old movie now? The dynamics were pretty good also, and you can crank it without sounding brittle and harsh. 7/10.
The video impressed me more. I saw countless sharp scenes like facial hair. Saturation is right on for faces, unlike Ocean's 13 (HD-DVD) which was sh**. The dark tunnel scenes didn't look gray or washed out. Beyond that.....i can't dissect it.
I hope PCM would be better but I doubt it'll turn it into a reference disc to my ear. I guess I'm a little more stringent than most cats 'round here and I do think reviewers tend to give out 4.5stars too easily. But until HDMI shakes out in the prepro market, I'll have to be patient. I hope people don't think that optical or anything less than uncompressed is automatically a hinderance to awesome sound. The mix itself is still far more influencial than any codec and I'd put up a DD5.1 or DD+ of standouts like Pan's Lab, Transformers, and Ratatouille over an average mix in PCM.
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