Blu-Rays worth buying

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Blu-Rays worth buying

Postposted on Fri Jan 22, 2010 12:47 am

I thought I'd start a thread where we could post up which Blu-Rays had a good picture quality versus which ones were cheap, lazy cash ins (Predator, I'm looking at you!).

Good:
Monster's Inc
Up
Independance Day


Not worth it:
Predator
Underworld

feel free to add :)
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Re: Blu-Rays worth buying

Postposted on Fri Jan 22, 2010 12:51 am

I have not watched a lot so far, but I will add...

Planet Earth
Casino Royale
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Re: Blu-Rays worth buying

Postposted on Fri Jan 22, 2010 1:30 am

Good:
Dark Knight
Terminator 2 (Be prepared for obnoxious wait times to get BD-Live stuff, though)

Bad:
Batman Begins
Edit: The Usual Suspects also not worth it. Great movie but it's just encoded in MPEG-2 at 15mbps or something; no real point in upgrading from the DVD.
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Re: Blu-Rays worth buying

Postposted on Fri Jan 22, 2010 1:46 am

Memoirs of a Geisha. Really, really nice.

And Serenity is worthwhile. I'd say the quality of that one is standard at least. I haven't fiddled with all of the special features yet.
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Re: Blu-Rays worth buying

Postposted on Fri Jan 22, 2010 1:51 am

Star Trek (2009) looks amazing on Blu-ray. It really is a must buy!
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Re: Blu-Rays worth buying

Postposted on Fri Jan 22, 2010 9:31 am

Quantum of Solace is also good on BR. be ready for long wait times though.
Both Narnia movies were good
Ice Age was pretty good on BR
Star Trek: The Undiscovered Country was worth it (mostly due to the bonuses--several documentaries on Star Trek!)


Nothing IMAX has been worth buying so far :( You'd think IMAX of all people could do a good Blu-Ray....I got 4 IMAX movies as a present and none of them benefited.
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Re: Blu-Rays worth buying

Postposted on Fri Jan 22, 2010 9:44 am

I'll second the suggestion for Planet Earth. It really is stunning.

It's not something that you'll watch over and over again, but it's great for showing off your system!

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Re: Blu-Rays worth buying

Postposted on Fri Jan 22, 2010 10:30 am

I was pleasantly surprised for the original Stargate movie on BR. I bought the first version they put out, not the newest "ultimate" one (I would presume the Ultimate version is as good or better, but in my experience, the newest re-release of a movie is not always the best). Of course it doesn't look as good as recent movies, but for a 1994 movie, I thought it was pretty good. That's on a 40" LCD though...
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Re: Blu-Rays worth buying

Postposted on Fri Jan 22, 2010 10:58 am

District 9 looks fantastic on blu ray
Wall-E
Futurama Into the Wild Green Yonder looks incredible too. Its a cartoon, but theres quite a bit of CG in it thats looks great
The Proposition
Coraline (just watch the regular version tho, the 3d with those crappy glasses gave me a headache)
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Re: Blu-Rays worth buying

Postposted on Fri Jan 22, 2010 8:40 pm

Good, now I have a thread to put these AVS Forum links in so I don't have to keep them open in a tab (hate bookmarks). :P

PQ tier thread: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1168342
AQ tier thread: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1190265

Those are voted in by the nutjobs at AVS, so I suppose they do carry some weight around?
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Re: Blu-Rays worth buying

Postposted on Fri Jan 22, 2010 8:46 pm

Taxi Driver (beautifully restored)
Goodfellas (best movie known to man imo)
Letters from Iwo Jima
Reservoir Dogs
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Re: Blu-Rays worth buying

Postposted on Fri Jan 22, 2010 9:26 pm

I thought there was a thread like this already, anyway

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Re: Blu-Rays worth buying

Postposted on Fri Jan 22, 2010 9:27 pm

Flying Fox wrote:Good, now I have a thread to put these AVS Forum links in so I don't have to keep them open in a tab (hate bookmarks). :P

PQ tier thread: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1168342
AQ tier thread: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1190265

Those are voted in by the nutjobs at AVS, so I suppose they do carry some weight around?


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Re: Blu-Rays worth buying

Postposted on Thu Feb 04, 2010 8:24 am

paulWTAMU wrote:I thought I'd start a thread where we could post up which Blu-Rays had a good picture quality versus which ones were cheap, lazy cash ins (Predator, I'm looking at you!).
I don't get all the hate for Predator on Blu-ray. It looks as it should: a 1980s, spherical lens film at 1.85:1 that was filmed in the jungle. It's way better than the DVD. Not everything is supposed to look like HD video.
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Re: Blu-Rays worth buying

Postposted on Thu Feb 04, 2010 8:25 am

SNM wrote:Bad:
Batman Begins
What's wrong with Batman Begins?
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Re: Blu-Rays worth buying

Postposted on Thu Feb 04, 2010 8:30 am

Flying Fox wrote:Good, now I have a thread to put these AVS Forum links in so I don't have to keep them open in a tab (hate bookmarks). :P

PQ tier thread: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1168342
AQ tier thread: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1190265

Those are voted in by the nutjobs at AVS, so I suppose they do carry some weight around?
The Tier threads and rating system is worthless, because it sets an incorrect standard (i.e., everything on Blu-ray is supposed to look like Discovery HD).

The purpose of any home video medium is to faithfully reproduce the source, not to make things look 'pretty'.
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Re: Blu-Rays worth buying

Postposted on Thu Feb 04, 2010 8:50 am

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Re: Blu-Rays worth buying

Postposted on Thu Feb 04, 2010 9:11 am

Vrock wrote:
Flying Fox wrote:Good, now I have a thread to put these AVS Forum links in so I don't have to keep them open in a tab (hate bookmarks). :P

PQ tier thread: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1168342
AQ tier thread: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1190265

Those are voted in by the nutjobs at AVS, so I suppose they do carry some weight around?
The Tier threads and rating system is worthless, because it sets an incorrect standard (i.e., everything on Blu-ray is supposed to look like Discovery HD).

The purpose of any home video medium is to faithfully reproduce the source, not to make things look 'pretty'.

Well, true, but everyone with a decent setup should have a few "samplers" just to show off the system. And for that I will pick a few from that list. Also, my definition of "quality" also includes some degree of realism (although that may not always jive with the cinematography intended by the director). If I just want to watch a story and/or acting, then even SD VHS quality would be fine (namely reruns on TV).
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Re: Blu-Rays worth buying

Postposted on Thu Feb 04, 2010 9:42 am

Flying Fox wrote:Well, true, but everyone with a decent setup should have a few "samplers" just to show off the system.
Why? I didn't spend thousands of dollars on my stuff to impress my friends and neighbors with pretty pictures. I bought that stuff because I enjoy movies, and I want to recreate the film experience in my home.

Flying Fox wrote:Also, my definition of "quality" also includes some degree of realism (although that may not always jive with the cinematography intended by the director). If I just want to watch a story and/or acting, then even SD VHS quality would be fine (namely reruns on TV).
I'm not sure what you mean by "realism". If the Blu-ray faithfully represents the source audio/video, then it's a good quality Blu-ray. Granted, some sources just suck, and need restoration, but you can't fault the disc for that. You can fault the studio for not wanting to spend the money to get the source up to snuff, sure...but it's also kind of silly to get mad when your favorite low budget, cult indie film doesn't get a full blown restoration and/or digital 4K transfer.
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Re: Blu-Rays worth buying

Postposted on Thu Feb 04, 2010 12:30 pm

Vrock wrote:
SNM wrote:Bad:
Batman Begins
What's wrong with Batman Begins?

We've talked about this before. But for whatever reason, it's encoded at a ridiculously low bitrate compared to most Blu-Ray discs and it manifests itself as a fairly blocky image (for a Blu-Ray). You may not notice it at 6 feet but I do at 16 inches, and that's how I watch my content. ;)
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Re: Blu-Rays worth buying

Postposted on Thu Feb 04, 2010 1:36 pm

To show off what a good blu-ray home theater (surround sound, tv, whole nine yards) system can do:

The Hurt Locker (brilliant use of sound, damn good movie)
Black Hawk Down (Best audio and video hands down)
Gladiator (classic, good sound, video's definitely not to bad given it's age)
The Dark Knight (classic, lots of dark levels too)
Iron Man (great sound, lots of fast motion, great way to show off a 240hz LCD or a plasma)
Terminator Salvation (good black levels, very loud, sure to piss off neighbors)
Star Trek (2009) (lots of bright colors, great for showing of an HD set, good sound too)
Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children (the pinnacle for CG on blu-ray till Avatar hits)
Flags of Our Fathers and/or Letters from Iwo Jima (amazing sound, phenominal movies)
Zombieland (may catch flak for it, but hey it's the only comedy that actually makes use of blu-ray. and it's a good movie)
Anything made by Pixar
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs (excellent color palette, not bad for the kids either)

I've personally owned a blu-ray player for a couple weeks now, but I've experienced (yes, proper wordage there) those movies in their blu-ray goodness for quite some times (gotta love friends with ridiculous credit scores). To this day, I've not come across a BD as impressive as "Black Hawk Down" which, despite it's age, made the jump from DVD to BD flawlessly IMO. Impressive palette of colors and amazing audio work make it one of the best BDs out there.

Movies to avoid:

Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (though, may not be too bad when 3D goes full swing)
Almost any comedy (sure, they'll look pretty, but most of them have nothing on the above titles in terms of overall visual/audio quality, and despite what Amazon.com thinks, Jennifer's Body was bad but not a comedy) srsly http://www.amazon.com/s/qid=1265308268/ref=sr_pg_3?ie=UTF8&rs=163357&bbn=163357&rh=n%3A130%2Cn%3A!404276%2Cn%3A163357%2Cp_n_binding_browse-bin%3A387547011&page=3
Transformers, either of them (unless you just want to show off visuals and audio and absolutely don't care about things like substance)
any Disney re-release (sadly, none of them so far look or sound much better than standard DVD. really had high hopes for Sleeping Beauty, too)
Wizard of Oz (same boat as Sleeping Beauty. sorry, Toto, no Hi-def Kansas for you)
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Re: Blu-Rays worth buying

Postposted on Thu Feb 04, 2010 1:44 pm

tikrjee wrote:Wizard of Oz (same boat as Sleeping Beauty. sorry, Toto, no Hi-def Kansas for you)
Film aficionados regard the Blu-ray transfer of Wizard of Oz to be near flawless.

Gladiator has problems. An old HD master was used, and digital noise reduction was added to cover its sins. This obliterated detail. To make matters worse, artificial sharpening was used to try to bring that detail back, which introduces artifacts of its own. It's not a horrible disc, but it sure doesn't live up to Paramount's "Sapphire Series" hype.
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Re: Blu-Rays worth buying

Postposted on Thu Feb 04, 2010 1:45 pm

SNM wrote:
Vrock wrote:
SNM wrote:Bad:
Batman Begins
What's wrong with Batman Begins?

We've talked about this before. But for whatever reason, it's encoded at a ridiculously low bitrate compared to most Blu-Ray discs and it manifests itself as a fairly blocky image (for a Blu-Ray). You may not notice it at 6 feet but I do at 16 inches, and that's how I watch my content. ;)
Eh, I forget things. How large of a screen are you using?
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Re: Blu-Rays worth buying

Postposted on Thu Feb 04, 2010 2:26 pm

Transformers:Revenge is great on Blu-Ray.
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Re: Blu-Rays worth buying

Postposted on Thu Feb 04, 2010 2:35 pm

tikrjee wrote:Jennifer's Body was bad but not a comedy

My fiance and I both loved Jennifer's Body, I think it's a great comedy. Most of the bad reviews it got go something like "the dialogue was really excellent, and I laughed a lot, but Megan Fox wasn't naked enough" or "it was a really excellent depiction of the friendship between two teenage girls living in a small town, but I was never frightened."
tikrjee wrote:Transformers, either of them (unless you just want to show off visuals and audio and absolutely don't care about things like substance)

I completely agree. Transformers 1 wasn't so bad that I couldn't sit through it but Revenge of the Fallen was so terrible it gave me insomnia and night sweats.
I'll copy and paste my review that I emailed some friends:
Part 1
In other news, I saw Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. It was awful. There were times when I thought I would throw up. I saw New Moon in theaters, and it was a lot better than T: RotF. [My fiance] only saw part of RotF and she hated it so much that now she likes Jennifer's Body less than she used to (we both loved it) because it also stars Megan Fox.

Michael Bay tries to develop characters by having them ask rhetorical questions with obvious answers really slowly and he brackets those questions with pauses for emphasis. The film features a gigantic Decepticon (Devastator) made from construction vehicles. Devastator is canon, but in the movie he has testicles made from wrecking balls. Every black character (there are three, two are robots) has the same personality. One of the black robots has buck teeth made from gold and silver. Each character is like an offensive charactarue of a person you already don't like, and the dialogue is like a hastily-writen overview of what conversation the characters are supposed to be having.

New Moon has a scene where Bella and Edward run through a forest in slow motion, sparkling. There is a sound effect that goes with the sparkling. I came *this* close to throwing up in my bucket of popcorn. But if I were tied down and given a choice of watching New Moon again twice or RotF once, I would go with New Moon.

Part 2
Speaking of the movie review, I went to a Picasso museum yesterday. I think Michael Bay's works may have an element of Picaso in them. [My fiance] is reading over my shoulder and suggested, "enormous boobs and childlike prose?" She's certainly not wrong...

... anyway, in the scene in RoTF where an aircraft carrier is blown up and sinks, shots from three different real-life aircraft carriers are used interchangeably, similar to Picasso picking and choosing small parts of individuals and mixing them up. In a similar fashion, during a fight on top of a pyramid, the pyramid that is being fought on top of changes a few times, between two different real-life pyramids hundreds of miles apart. Michael bay also rearranged the globe, moving Israel so that Egypt and Jordan have a border.

Also, given the simple dialogue, the fact that groups of people always move abreast in dramatic lines like toy soldiers, and that travel never takes time makes me think that Bay was going for the same "how a child would paint" style that Picasso was going for. I think that Michael Bay filmed three separate action movies for different audiences. One has robots that fart fire and crap parachutes, stilted dialogue between annoying characters, like an even worse Phantom Menace. One is a stirring tale of two soldiers trying to survive in a world where robots step on people. One is just Megan Fox and Isabel Lucas fighting over a nerd. Independently, they could be two good films and a **** film that makes children laugh. Bay took the most quintessential pieces from all of these and made his collage. They are only connected loosely by the story, as Picasso's lines often drift together and objects merge. Characters are not clearly defined as they don't talk, they explain what would have been said in a conversation. This allows the viewer to imagine many different real conversations.

But in the end, any artistic genius is obscured by the fact that the final product is painful to look at - the artist may have made a bold and dramatic statement, but it's so unpleasant to find that no one cares.

PS

It would be kind of cool if three different directors took what wound up on the cutting room floor and made three awesome and totally unrelated movies. Or two awesome movies and a George Lucas flick.
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Re: Blu-Rays worth buying

Postposted on Thu Feb 04, 2010 2:39 pm

You lost me after you said you saw New Moon, :D :) :lol:
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Re: Blu-Rays worth buying

Postposted on Thu Feb 04, 2010 2:55 pm

Vrock wrote:Eh, I forget things. How large of a screen are you using?

23.6" computer monitor from my computer chair. It's got 75%-100% of a movie theater's apparent size (depending on where in the theater).

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Re: Blu-Rays worth buying

Postposted on Thu Feb 04, 2010 3:23 pm

Sorry, but I don't agree with some of the above. Avoid Gladiator. It's definitely the biggest pile of dung I've seen from all the Blu-Ray movies. I actually prefer the DVD upscaled to the BR version.

Also found that some movies really do not do justice to the setup and those are usually the VC1 encoded discs. Not sure why, but production companies seem to think it's a good idead but it clearly is not. From all the movies I have the trend is definitely there. VC1 encoding = Not stellar picture quality.
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Re: Blu-Rays worth buying

Postposted on Thu Feb 04, 2010 3:29 pm

SNM wrote:
Vrock wrote:Eh, I forget things. How large of a screen are you using?

23.6" computer monitor from my computer chair. It's got 75%-100% of a movie theater's apparent size (depending on where in the theater).
THX and SMPTE standards say you should be sitting about 3 to 3.5 feet away from the screen. Were you exaggerating when you said 16 inches or did you mean it?

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Re: Blu-Rays worth buying

Postposted on Thu Feb 04, 2010 3:35 pm

TravelMug wrote:Also found that some movies really do not do justice to the setup and those are usually the VC1 encoded discs. Not sure why, but production companies seem to think it's a good idead but it clearly is not. From all the movies I have the trend is definitely there. VC1 encoding = Not stellar picture quality.
There's nothing wrong with VC1, provided its at high enough bitrates. There's been VC1 to AVC codec comparisons (Flags of our Fathers HD-DVD to Blu-ray IIRC) and there's no apparent difference. VC1 is a common codec, so that means there's a large number of Blu-rays that use this. That probably explains why so many of those movies that you think look bad are VC1.
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