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#1 Anthony Schilling

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Posted 02 April 2011 - 01:14 PM

I just got my first BluRay player and watched a couple films on BR disc... "The Gladiator" and "The Fighter" and noticed that some scenes show an excessive amount of grain. Is that normal? Am I just able to see it better with the higher resolution? Regular DVD's look spectacular on the BR player, probably because of the supurior HDMI cable.
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 02 April 2011 - 01:58 PM

I just got my first BluRay player and watched a couple films on BR disc... "The Gladiator" and "The Fighter" and noticed that some scenes show an excessive amount of grain. Is that normal? Am I just able to see it better with the higher resolution? Regular DVD's look spectacular on the BR player, probably because of the supurior HDMI cable.


That's one of the best things about Blu-Ray, that the resolution at 1080P is high enough to see the grain.

Now some video transfers are also a bit noisy, which is a different issue. The other problem is that electronic sharpening, sometimes used to make the transfer look sharper, has the side-effect of enhancing the grain. On the other hand, your monitor may have its sharpening up too high. Also, you can try and use a bit of noise reduction in your monitor to see if you like that better.

But I think seeing real film grain on an HD monitor is something new to people and you have to get used to it, not see it as a mistake anymore than seeing brushstrokes in a painting is a mistake.
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#3 Anthony Schilling

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Posted 02 April 2011 - 02:16 PM

One thing I found odd or interesting is that some shots would be grainless and others very grainy within the same scene under the same conditions. i wonder if it is actually revealing differences in the exposure technique? Or like you suggested, variables in the transfer?
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#4 Markshaw

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Posted 13 April 2011 - 03:29 AM

Blu-ray will pick up any inconsistencies in film stock. As for grain, I would much rather they leave it in (300) than take it out (Patton) Grain is good, it adds texture to a film.
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#5 Chris D Walker

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Posted 13 April 2011 - 01:55 PM

I bought the Alien box set on Blu-ray a couple of months ago and took my time watching them. It's strange to see the decline in quality of both the films and their cinematography in order of entry. Alien, shot in anamorphic, looks absolutely incredible in terms of detail and contrast with great blacks but by the time you get to Alien: Resurrection, shot in Super35 2.35:1, the grain is very inconsistent and many scenes look milky in the shadows. The inconsistency of the film may be in part because of the partial bleach bypass Darius Khondji applied to the whole film (I think the ACE process). The transfer may also be to blame.

With Aliens, I always remember and have read the film stock used as being grainy and lower contrast despite much of the lighting in the film. I know that they did a big cleanup job on the transfer and tweaked some small continuity errors with CG which I feel belies the original vision, much like what fans say about the special editions of the Star Wars trilogy.

I suppose my point is that the Blu-ray should reflect the director's and DP's original intent. If it means grain and scratches so be it. Is that not the prime motivation for buying Blu-ray discs?
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#6 Michel Hafner

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Posted 15 April 2011 - 01:11 PM

I suppose my point is that the Blu-ray should reflect the director's and DP's original intent. If it means grain and scratches so be it. Is that not the prime motivation for buying Blu-ray discs?

Grain, yes, scratches, hardly. Cameron supervised the Aliens transfer. If he deviated from original intent he obviously formulated a new intent. It's his privilege to do so. Of course he can always say it's the original intent he could not implement back then... :-)
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#7 nicholas harris

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Posted 15 April 2011 - 04:37 PM

Grain, yes, scratches, hardly. Cameron supervised the Aliens transfer. If he deviated from original intent he obviously formulated a new intent. It's his privilege to do so. Of course he can always say it's the original intent he could not implement back then... :-)


Cameron has said of the new BD transfer of Aliens that he was forced to use a cheaper stock by the studios when they originally shot, one that was VERY grainy. People were complaining when he announced he'd be removing much of that grain in the BD release (and who could blame them, digital noise reduction usually ends with waxy faces and loss of detail; see Predator Ultimate Hunter Edition for the worst offender), HOWEVER the grain in Aliens was not the director's original intent so I have no problem with his implementation of DNR in this case. Here was a chance for a film maker to come in and make one of his marquee films even better.
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#8 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 16 April 2011 - 12:52 AM

btw, can I just say how AMAZING Blade Runner looks on BluRay? :)
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#9 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 16 April 2011 - 12:57 AM

Cameron has said of the new BD transfer of Aliens that he was forced to use a cheaper stock by the studios when they originally shot, one that was VERY grainy. People were complaining when he announced he'd be removing much of that grain in the BD release (and who could blame them, digital noise reduction usually ends with waxy faces and loss of detail; see Predator Ultimate Hunter Edition for the worst offender), HOWEVER the grain in Aliens was not the director's original intent so I have no problem with his implementation of DNR in this case. Here was a chance for a film maker to come in and make one of his marquee films even better.


It was shot on the only high-speed Kodak stock of the time, 5294 -- the only other choice was slow-speed Kodak 5247 -- so where this notion that he had to use a cheaper stock came from, I don't know. There were only two Kodak 35mm color negative stocks to choose from in 1985! See:
http://motion.kodak....ilm/chrono4.htm

The cheaper choice would have been Fuji or Agfa, and the movie wasn't shot on those. Unless he's claiming that the studio made him shoot a multi-million dollar movie on recans and short ends. Or maybe some two-years out-of-date 5293, but many people felt that 5294 was grainier.

"Aliens" was no grainier in the theaters than any other 35mm 1.85 movie shot on 5294.
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#10 Brian Hulnick

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Posted 18 April 2011 - 11:42 PM

A lot of people assume that once a movie is out on Blu-ray that it will instantly look like a Pixar as far as the image is concerned. How wrong they are. Blu-ray should merely reproduce EXACTLY what the director intended, no more, no less.
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#11 Roberto Hernandez

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Posted 19 April 2011 - 09:53 PM

btw, can I just say how AMAZING Blade Runner looks on BluRay? :)

I just watched this on blu-ray (Blade Runner: The Final Cut). First time seeing it ever and I thought it looked extraordinary! The attention to detail. Visually this movie is stunning to look at, I am glad the shots were held a bit longer so that I could enjoy and catch all the detail. It seems this movie has influenced many science fiction films since it's release. I think A.I. Artificial Intelligence and Minority Report (visually 2 of my favorite films) have adopted a similar taste for the future.
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#12 Brian Hulnick

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Posted 20 April 2011 - 09:23 AM

Blade Runner- The Final Cut does indeed look awesome on Blu-ray.
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#13 Brian Hulnick

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Posted 26 April 2011 - 07:48 AM

So far my favorite Philip K. Dick movies have been released (Bladerunner, Minority Report, Total Recal and A Scanner Darkly) in a few weeks I will pick up The Adjustment Bureau and maybe Paycheck. I hope that The Impostor starring Gary Sinise is released soon.
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#14 Markshaw

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Posted 28 April 2011 - 07:50 AM

Have to admit I have a lot of love for Minority Report, both as a movie and aesthetically. I'm a real lover of grain and it looks fooking amazing on Blu-ray. Sound isn't too shabby either.
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#15 Brian Hulnick

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Posted 03 May 2011 - 06:14 AM

Completely agree about Minority Report. It looks simply stunning in Hi Def. As far as Blu-ray is concerned I love my animation to look like Pixar, grain free and pure eye candy. But as far as live action movies, I like to see a bit of grain. It adds texture and substance to a movie. I hate it when studios digitally "scrub" movies and they end up looking like wax dummies.
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#16 Markshaw

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 04:03 AM

Being a huge WWII movie nut, I eagerly purchased the Patton Blu-ray only to be severely pissed at the amount of DNR FOX used to artificially sharpen up the image. It was hideous, everyone looked like they belonged in Madame Tussuad's. I have since had a number of BD's from Fox that have way too much DNR on them.
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#17 Brian Hulnick

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Posted 08 May 2011 - 03:41 AM

The problem is that most Joe 6 pack watch their movies on a 21-32" screen. The moment you begin watching your movies on a 50"+ screen you will start to see any problems in the films encoding. Artifacting, mosquito noise etc. Studios need to understand that many people today will be watching their movies on 46"+ screens and even projectors, and treat their releases accordingly.
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#18 Markshaw

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Posted 10 May 2011 - 01:11 AM

It was shot on the only high-speed Kodak stock of the time, 5294 -- the only other choice was slow-speed Kodak 5247 -- so where this notion that he had to use a cheaper stock came from, I don't know. There were only two Kodak 35mm color negative stocks to choose from in 1985! See:
http://motion.kodak....ilm/chrono4.htm

The cheaper choice would have been Fuji or Agfa, and the movie wasn't shot on those. Unless he's claiming that the studio made him shoot a multi-million dollar movie on recans and short ends. Or maybe some two-years out-of-date 5293, but many people felt that 5294 was grainier.

"Aliens" was no grainier in the theaters than any other 35mm 1.85 movie shot on 5294.


I watched ALIENS again last weekend and I have to say that it looks spectacular on Blu-ray. Cameron did a stellar job of cleaning it up. He should feel very proud.
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#19 Brian Hulnick

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 04:47 AM

I was so looking forward to the Alien Anthology to be released, I was also a little apprehensive because of the age of the movies (particularly Alien and Aliens) The moment I started to watch them any fears dissipated. The first two looked stellar, particularly Alien. For a 32 year old movie it looked spectacular. I actually use it to show case how a film should look and sound.
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#20 Markshaw

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 04:46 AM

Ridley Scott isn't the sort of guy that sings from the rooftops, however you can see just how pleased he is with this release in the introduction he gives just before the movie begins.
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