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#302947 - 04/23/10 02:19 AM Re: So what are you watching tonight? [Re: Glitchy]
grunt Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/04/06
Posts: 3569
Loc: Nirvana
Just watched the ďTwo TowersĒ blu-ray theatrical version of course. No movie review here since you should have already seen the movies if you havenít sell your HT on ebay. ;\)

First I watched the movie on my Oppo BD then I popped in the standard version and also watched some of it on my Oppo BD. Then I synced up the blu-ray version on my Oppo BD and the standard version on my Oppo 981HD.

In all cases the PQ for the blu-ray version was significant improvement over the original. There were some scenes, to often IMO, that didnít seem to be re-mastered looking not really grainy but almost like there was a smoky haze blocking them. It was almost if not always in a well lit scene. OTOH, when this wasnít happening the picture looked fantastic. Very sharp and lifelike with a great depth of colour even in the dark scenes. Despite the poorly re-mastered scenes the PQ is worth the upgrade. I just hope that when they release the extended version they take care of this. If I were a suspicious person I might even thing that was their intention from the start.

I wasnít as impressed with the audio quality improvement. Really Iím not so sure there was a great deal. I did notice what seemed to be an improvement in directional surround effects but for the scenes I A/B compared the musical track seemed pulled more to the front on the blu-ray whereas on the standard version it was enveloping me in sound. I didnít notice much if any difference in the LFE. The overall detail of the sound might also have been better on the blu-ray but it didnít jump out enough to be sure. Overall, based on a limited comparison I preferred the more enveloping sound track of the standard version.

I saw nothing here to make me want to buy the theatrical editions. I will likely, depending on the price, get the extended editions when they come out later as the PQ improvement alone IMO makes it worth the upgrade.

Note my comparison is based on a 134Ē diagonal screen from about 12 feet. Iím to lazy right now to do a comparison on my 42Ē LED/LCD TV but itís possible on a smaller screen the PQ improvement wonít be as noticeable. Someone else can do that comparison if they are so inclined.
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#303077 - 04/24/10 01:50 AM Re: So what are you watching tonight? [Re: grunt]
grunt Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/04/06
Posts: 3569
Loc: Nirvana
Wow!

I just watched the blu-ray of Avatar I am totally blown away. I went into this as a skeptic so Iím no fanboy of the movie but all I can say it WOW!

From an HT standpoint this is the best movie Iíve ever seen. First off thank you for 1.78:1 transfers, 2.35:1 or . . . should be forever banished from being produced. The PQ was consistently one of the best I have ever seen. The CGI and live action was as seamless as I have ever seen. The colour depth was exceptional and the overall quality of the presentation was fabulous.

The sound quality was fantastic. The best thing I can say about the sound was that nothing at all stood out. The only issue I had was having to up the bass a little to reach my liking other than that it was one of the best mixed sound tracks I have ever heard in my HT. the combination of directional and ambient sounds was the one of the best Iíve ever heard.

As for the story . . . It was very clichť but given the visuals I didnít give a crap. Canít say how this will stand the test of time but Iím pretty sure I can watch the movie several times and just plain be amazed enough not to care it had a story or not.

I must admit that at the very begining I was worried by the strip mining scene that it was going to be an eco-diatribe but I donít care because the visuals were so cool that it wouldnít matter if it was beating itís message over my head I still would have enjoyed it.

I canít compare the BD to the standard def but I canít now imagine not having bought this BD, simply fantastic.

If I have one gripe about this movie itís so small but just bugged me because it got so much right. When they arrived at Pandora and were getting their in-brief, which seemed very real BTW, the Marine didnít have his shirt properly bloused which would never ever happen. Ok Iím being very picky but come on if youíre wearing a duty belt youíve got it properly bloused damm it. ;\)

Best thing is that BB matched Wally-Worlds price even though they didnĎt have it. \:\)

Sean, if you havenít seen this guess what weíre going to watch the next time you come over.
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#303083 - 04/24/10 02:24 AM Re: So what are you watching tonight? [Re: grunt]
CV Offline
Founder, Axiom Upgrade Club
shareholder in the making

Registered: 07/20/06
Posts: 11145
Loc: Richland, WA, USA
I'm half-way through Avatar and agree. It looks and sounds great. I was prepared to dislike the movie, but I'm enjoying it enough. I imagine it would be that much better on a projector.
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#303132 - 04/24/10 02:06 PM Re: So what are you watching tonight? [Re: CV]
grunt Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/04/06
Posts: 3569
Loc: Nirvana
I just finished watching the Babylon 5 series last night, still have the movies and other releases and spin-off series to go but this was a milestone since Iíd never seen the complete 4th season or the 5th season at all.

I really like the fact that they shot this from the beginning with the intention of re-mastering it for 16:9 format which IMO gives a much more natural perspective. The live action scenes look quite good but some of the CGI effects are a bit off. Well I just read up on why that happened. Apparently the original intent was to redo the CGI effects for 16:9 but they had also hedged their bets and shot the original to be able to scale up from the 4:3 aspect ratio of the original TV broadcast. The CGI models were lost so the originals did have to be scaled up but since they were made in NTSC format they werenít the same quality of the live action shots which were filmed for HDTV format and cropped down for the 4:3 TV broadcast. For most this might not be a huge deal but on a very big screen the CGI effects do look pretty rough.

I liked the first 4 seasons a lot with only a few episodes that were not interesting like the news broadcast episode. OTOH most of the 5th season was the opposite with only a few good episodes and most of the rest being throw-away. They also either start of ramp up several story arcs which are either rushed, not explained well or just flat out left hanging, which makes no sense considering they knew the series was ending. There also seem to be a lot of character building episodes which makes no sense to me at the end of a series. IMO you could skip the entire 5th season and miss nothing worthwhile of the series.

Babylon 5 is IMO TV scifi done right, mostly. It has complete characters, complex and interesting stories dealing with real-world issues over arcs long enough for complete stories to be told. Some of the acting leaves a bit to be desired though a few of the characters are actually done quite well, itís a real mixed bag here. To bad more series like this arenít being done. To get more of this type of epic scifi/fantasy storytelling Anime is the only real alternative.
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#303147 - 04/24/10 04:48 PM Re: So what are you watching tonight? [Re: grunt]
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17741
Loc: NoVA
Oh good, I skipped the entire 5th season.

I've got all the movies and seasons, (other than the newest one), but I've never finished 5 or the movies.
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#303154 - 04/24/10 05:05 PM Re: So what are you watching tonight? [Re: Ken.C]
grunt Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/04/06
Posts: 3569
Loc: Nirvana
I think Iíve seen two of the movies but itís been so long Iím pretty sure I wonít remember anything. AFAIK Iíve got all the movies and the series ďCrusadeĒ but Iíll have to check on what order to watch them in as I remember reading that one of the movies sets up the spin-off or something like that.

Unless you just want to be able to say youíve seen the entire Babylon 5 series I wouldnít even waste the time renting season 5.
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#303155 - 04/24/10 05:05 PM Re: So what are you watching tonight? [Re: grunt]
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17741
Loc: NoVA
Yeah, I've also heard that Crusade is pretty bad, but that's just the Amazon reviews.
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#303158 - 04/24/10 05:15 PM Re: So what are you watching tonight? [Re: Ken.C]
grunt Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/04/06
Posts: 3569
Loc: Nirvana
I havenít read up on it yet because I didnít want to ruin anything. I only just found out today that it was a spin-off of Babylon 5 when I was reading up on that series. I wasnít sure of Crusade and still havenít even burned it to disk so Iíll just watch it from my HTPC. I only ordered it because I was just went through and ordered every scifi series I could find w/o even knowing what it was.

I actually just cut my Netflix account down from 8 at a time unlimited to 4 at a time since Iím having to dig deeper and deeper to keep my queue full. Also I could probably start watching what I already have right now and still not finish before I die of old age, and thatís assuming I donít get any new shows that come out. ;\)
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#303163 - 04/24/10 07:59 PM Re: So what are you watching tonight? [Re: grunt]
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17741
Loc: NoVA
I'll be interested to find out what your opinion is. I suspect it's a spin off of the 5th season, maybe one of the later movies.
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#303164 - 04/24/10 08:17 PM Re: So what are you watching tonight? [Re: Ken.C]
grunt Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/04/06
Posts: 3569
Loc: Nirvana
According to a reviewer at Netflix ďBabylon 5: A Call to ArmsĒ sets the stage for ďCrusadeĒ so Iíll make sure to watch that one first.
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