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#1 Will von Tagen

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 01:30 AM

So I saw my first Blu-ray movie (aside from the in store previews) and I have to say that I cannot stand it. It just looks terrible. The movie was Jurassic Park, one of my favorites. My question for blu-ray fans is this; why do you enjoy watching high grade movies that now look like they were shot with practically consumer grade video cameras? The motion looks weird, almost choppy, the cuts are so noticeable that i get distracted by it, and due to the fact that the image is so crisp that it looks like "behind the scenes-esc" footage, the acting even looks less believable. If I had mad a big hollywood production (and especially if I had shot on film), seeing my work on blu-ray would be a serious slap in the face.

Who cares if you can see every wrinkle on someone's face, or the threads on their jacket. Why do you want it to look "true to life"? The whole point of movies is to escape reality. Any CGI Render looks like a cheap video game graphic.

Basically, the image generated by blu-ray makes film look like a lousy PBS or Discovery Channel production.

All in all, I would like to get other people's opinions. Why do you like blu-ray (if you do), and am I the only one who feels this way? I feel digital has a lot to offer, but the way we are starting to run-a-muck with it is destroying the art of film making.

What are your thoughts?
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 01:42 AM

Why is seeing a movie much closer in quality to the 35mm theatrical print a negative thing -- a fuzzier standard def image of a 35mm movie on DVD is somehow "more true" to the art of filmmaking???

I love watching movies in Blu-Ray, it's much closer to the detail in the original photography than was possible before in home video. It looks nothing like consumer video.

As for odd video-like motion, that's not a Blu-Ray issue, it the weird motion that 120 Hz HDTV monitors create when using "motionflow" technology. I hate it too -- it does make everything look like it was shot on a bad camcorder... but it's not related to Blu-Ray.

Plus, there is no Blu-Ray released for "Jurassic Park" so I don't even know what you were looking at.
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#3 Michael K Bergstrom

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 01:44 AM

I too watched Jurassic Park and agree it was a terrible terrible movie, and yes the CGI in it looked incredibly fake...oh wait, or was that number three?
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#4 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 02:19 AM

I sort of know what Will means . . .

I just got some 16mm footage back from the telecine lab, shot on Fuji Eterna 400 ASA (rated 250 ASA) and transferred on a Spirit. I had been looking at the 12+ megapixel stills I had taken on set with my Nikon D90 for reference. So when I first looked at what the footage off the Spirt I was shocked: too much grain and blur.

But then the more I looked at the Spirit footage the more alien the digital still pictures looked, too much sharp detail and info galore on the images. So I am torn, going back and forth. I like some of the film grain, but I like the resolution of the high megapixel image. But how much is too much information on screen, how much is too much grain? I find I like certain aspects of each. But neither is close to seeing the footage on a film print.

My point is that the comparison is unfair. Apples and oranges . . . No medium is perfect, each has its limitations and we have to live with them or move on to the medium that looks best to each of us. Like the guys who can't stand music on digital format, for them is analog or bust, but it doesn't mean one is superior to the other necesarilly.

When I look at 35mm originated movies on Blu Ray discs, I generally like the crispness of it because it still retains most of the soft grain that I love about film and the fact that it is a very high quality proxy image of the original negative - probably as close as it gets for mass reproduction, at least for the time being. But I don't get too close to the screen, then it falls apart for me. I would love to see a Blu Ray version of Blade Runner or Alien on a good plasma monitor . . .

Generally speaking, CG movies don't move me, but watching parts of Speed Racer on Blu Disc was pretty thrilling. And on some of those CG movies the Blue Ray masters were struck from IP sources, so there will be some film goodness lurking as well, offering the best of both worlds. For example, I remember seeing Wall-e in the theater and thinking, this movie looks very good because it is a very good looking CG movie on actual 35mm film. If I had seen it on a digital format I might have not liked it as much.

I guess this is one of those personal taste areas. I personally can't stand the look of Che, say, shot on RED, while others like it a lot. If I can't have a 35mm projector at my house, and a Blu Disc player gets me glose to the real deal, I may put up with it. Just my opinion.

Edited by Saul Rodgar, 27 January 2009 - 02:20 AM.

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#5 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 03:16 AM

My friend told me he saw Transformers in BluRay on a big plasma in Best Buy not long ago, and the animated sequences looked like video game graphics.

Whatever magical realism the film print did, made it more believable to his eyes. He also added that the softness of standard def DVD had the same effect in regards to hiding perhaps "unwanted sharpness" in the image.
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#6 Johnny Roc

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 05:50 AM

the problem is with your settings.
I bought a 46'' sony LCD and blue ray and immediately noticed that everything looked like it was shot on dv.

a few tweaks in the settings and the problem was gone.
check your manual.
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#7 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 06:05 AM

the problem is with your settings.
I bought a 46'' sony LCD and blue ray and immediately noticed that everything looked like it was shot on dv.

a few tweaks in the settings and the problem was gone.
check your manual.


I recently watched a Blu Ray of the latest Indiana Jones epic on a 40" 1080p Sony LCD. The TV settings looked like the sharpness could've been taken back - I did this with with a 32" 720p Sony LCD I bought. This is currently only being used for SD material and it's much nicer.
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#8 Johnny Roc

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 06:17 AM

the answer is in the advanced settings. disabling the motion enhancement feature or something like that. don't remember but tweak everything advanced until the dv look goes away.
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#9 Chance Shirley

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 11:11 AM

If you're watching a well-mastered film on Blu-ray on a good LCD TV, and it looks "terrible," I'd guess you have something set up incorrectly.

For starters, make sure the "120Hz" option is turned off.
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#10 Tim Sibley

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 12:11 PM

I couldn't agree more about the 120hz option - this may be one of the stupidest "innovations" I've seen in recent memory - it basically adds more interpolated frames so images play at a higher frame-rate than 24 (which is how most films were made to be seen). It may add more perceptual clarity to something like a sports broadcast, but for watching a film, it makes me cringe.
I also couldn't disagree more about the blu-ray format - I think it looks absolutely stunning when viewed on a properly set-up system - you can see detail (even down to film grain) that are missing in other formats. I recently worked on a (admittedly rather brainless) high budget action film; It was finished at 2k, and in the end I think the blu-ray version I've seen compared quite favorably to the 35mm release print I'd previously viewed.
The first Blu-Ray film I saw was 'Wall-E', which made me a believer in the format - which is a film that is of course fully CG, and doesn't look at all like a "video game" to me at all - it's a beautiful, warm, dynamic image. I also recently purchased the Blu-Ray release of 2001 - and I've found the transfer from 70mm to be very well done (no contest between it and previous DVDs of the film).
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#11 Will von Tagen

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 12:26 PM

I must just be seeing everything on really poorly set up systems then. I saw a preview for WALL-E at circuit city and I honestly thought it was a preview for a computer game at first. And the Blu-ray sample of Iron Man I saw looked nothing like the film print I saw in theaters. I guess I'll have to find someone that has a properly calibrated system to get a more accurate opinion. I'm surprised though, that Best Buy and Circuit City wouldn't have properly set things up, since they are trying to sell the things.
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#12 John Sprung

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 02:08 PM

If I can't have a 35mm projector at my house, .....


But you can. I know a guy who put a projection booth onto the side of his garage, and has a pair of AA-2 Norelco's out there. He's a studio projectionist, so he can borrow prints. There's nothing quite like 70 mm showing in a two car garage with just a few funky old couches and a popcorn machine. ;-)



-- J.S.
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#13 Johnny Roc

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 06:24 PM

try cinemotion - off
motion enhancer - standard

you have to scroll down first and select the proper input first, HDMI 1 in my case.
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#14 Tim Sibley

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 11:22 AM

So I saw my first Blu-ray movie (aside from the in store previews) and I have to say that I cannot stand it. It just looks terrible. The movie was Jurassic Park, one of my favorites.


I'm curious about the backlash against the blu-ray format - In 90% of cases, it'll look exactly the same as the DVD version, with the exception of added resolution and better compression, which should make the image more accurately reflect the source material (and in those other 10%, It'll usually look better, because of an updated scan). Any specific complaints about contrast likely aren't inherent to the format, but to the viewing device (many TVs ship with "black enhancement" features enabled and high-contrast modes in place).
Will, I'm curious about your point of reference, the Jurrasic Park Blu-Ray ... where did you happen to see this? As far as I'm aware, that title has not been released on any high-definition format, including Blu-Ray, so you were likely looking at a DVD. If I'm wrong on this, my apologies - (and I'd love to know where I could pick it up, as I've actually been looking forward to the release of this one one for a while, as it's also one of my favorites).
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#15 Ralph Keyser

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 02:35 PM

.... I'm surprised though, that Best Buy and Circuit City wouldn't have properly set things up, since they are trying to sell the things.


Yeah, oddly enough, the big box stores are not a good choice for seeing what monitors are really capable of doing. Mostly what you are seeing there is out-of-the-box settings. If they mess with them at all, they are trying to get the picture to "pop", so the brightness tends to be too high, colors too saturated, and sharpness settings too high. You might have better luck at a home theater place. They tend to have better viewing environments.

And here's another vote against the 120Hz processing in the current crop of monitors. Yikes :o
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#16 Michael LaVoie

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 02:49 PM

Project Blu-ray next to SD DVD's on a 5x7 foot screen and you'll see a noticeable difference when it comes to wider establishing shots where there's lots of small objects in the frame. On the other hand, with closeups, you won't see that much of a difference. It does depend on the player though. The PS3 upscales DVD's beautifully. Projection really is the way to go with Blu-ray.

Edited by Michael LaVoie, 28 January 2009 - 02:50 PM.

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