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Bad Blu-rays


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#1 Sandra Merkatz

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Posted 10 June 2017 - 12:40 PM

In this thread I want to show Blu-rays that are not good, especially when it comes to the picture quality!

 

The first one is "The Mummy" from 1999.

 

81%2BpCOfC6uL._SL350_.jpg

 

I wanted to buy that movie on BD, because it reminds me of Indiana Jones, but then I saw what they did: instead of leaving the already small amount of grain, they decided to use DNR (or another filter like that), which doesn´t only make the picture soft and like wax, but also robs some information!

 

There was a HD DVD, that is the reference here; they didn´t use that filter.

 

Let me show you this:

 

mumie gut 1.jpg   mumie schlecht 1 markiert.jpg

 

Here you can see that the DNR removes many of those sparks. To make it easier to compare the pictures I marked some of the worst removements of the filter, where sparks are almost or completeley missing.

 

mumie gut 2.jpg   mumie schlecht 2 markiert.jpg

 

And here the filter removes some of that tiny pearls (or whatever this is), and also most of the little freckles on her forehead and the nose, that makes the face beautiful. Now it looks too soft, too smooth.

 

mumie gut 3.jpg   mumie 3 schlecht neu.jpg

 

Of course one can say "That are tiny things missing, you can still have fun with the movie, who cares about some hairs or sparks missing?", but for me it´s important that you leave the picture as it is, and not try to make it look "modern" and softer. I´d really like to have that film, also because of the audio commentaries, but I won´t buy it that way :(

 

 

 

Greetings,

Sandra


Edited by Sandra Merkatz, 10 June 2017 - 12:44 PM.

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#2 Macks Fiiod

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Posted 10 June 2017 - 01:10 PM

Then just get the HD DVD


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#3 Sandra Merkatz

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Posted 10 June 2017 - 01:42 PM

I don´t have a HD-DVD Player, and the movie is not so important that I would buy one only for this. HD-DVDs lost against the Blu-ray about 10 years ago.

 

 

Greetings,

Sandra


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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 10 June 2017 - 02:00 PM

If that's your idea of a bad blu-ray, you haven't seen enough blu-rays... take a look at "1900" if you want to see a bad blu-ray!

In terms of Hollywood movies, the "Sleepy Hollow" blu-ray isn't great, and most of the Star Trek movies other than "Wrath of Khan" need to be retransferred.
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#5 Sandra Merkatz

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Posted 10 June 2017 - 02:06 PM

Well, this is just one example of a bad BD, of course there are many more who are worse. I will show some of them in the future. But even if they "only" use DNR it´s a bad BD for me, because grain contains picture-information too.

 

 

Greetings,

Sandra


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#6 Macks Fiiod

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Posted 10 June 2017 - 02:08 PM

I don´t have a HD-DVD Player, and the movie is not so important that I would buy one only for this. HD-DVDs lost against the Blu-ray about 10 years ago.

 

I suppose it depends on how crucial the viewing experience is to the consumer. I know guys who own LaserDisc players just to watch Robocop 2, My Neighbor Totoro, and the first Pokemon movie for "optimal experience".


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#7 Sandra Merkatz

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Posted 10 June 2017 - 02:21 PM

 

I suppose it depends on how crucial the viewing experience is to the consumer. I know guys who own LaserDisc players just to watch Robocop 2, My Neighbor Totoro, and the first Pokemon movie for "optimal experience".

 

You are right. I´m shocked how many people don´t care about the picture quality, as long as they see anything, for example in reviews. I think that the picture is as important as everything else, because the set designers cared for details in the set, the costume designers cared for the costumes, the make up artist did that on the masks etc., and if you don´t see that things because the compression makes the image blurry, or some filters destroy the picture, then it´s a shame for me.

I want to see the set, I want to see the details they put in it, and not a blurry, undefinable mess. I want to be able to see what kind of clothes a character wears, and the little stitcheries or patterns on it, not just the color of the clothes. In the documentary for Bram Stokers Dracula the costume designer said, that she thought about what patterns she would put on the differend dresses. One dress has snakes on it, another one leaves. But if you are not able to see that? A Blu-ray is able to show that, but then there are companies who decide to put filters on the picture that destroy those details again or make them look horrible.

 

An example of "Dracula":

 

dracula stoff alt.jpg   dracula stoff neu.jpg

 

On the DVD you just see color and form of the hat. On the 4K Blu-ray you see all the details, the texture of the cloth, even the fluff on it. So you can see what the character wears, and what the director wanted him to wear.

 

 

 

 

Greetings,

Sandra


Edited by Sandra Merkatz, 10 June 2017 - 02:30 PM.

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#8 Macks Fiiod

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Posted 10 June 2017 - 03:06 PM

Well I mean, it's a tad unfair to compare a DVD with a 4k Blu Ray.


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#9 Sandra Merkatz

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Posted 10 June 2017 - 03:17 PM

Well I mean, it's a tad unfair to compare a DVD with a 4k Blu Ray.

I didn´t compare it, I just wanted to demonstrate why companies shouldn´t destroy BDs with filters etc. :)

 

 

Greetings,

Sandra


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#10 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 10 June 2017 - 06:16 PM

I wouldn't put down all use of DNR -- sometimes with old movies, opticals were done on a different dupe stock and have aged faster over the decades than the surrounding OCN, so what used to originally be a minor mismatch has turned into a major one between cuts, so sometimes grain reduction is necessary on those opticals to restore their appearance closer to how they looked in the past.  CRI opticals were the worst for this, they aged so badly that all of them were replaced in the "Star Wars" photochemical restoration in the late 1990's.  But that was only possible because they still had the original negative for those opticals so could redo them (mostly the wipe transitions but also a few laser bolt / light saber shots.)


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#11 Sandra Merkatz

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Posted 10 June 2017 - 06:52 PM

Of course I don´t know about that movies you speaking of, I have not comparison before/after DNR, so I can´t say anything about this. But I think most companies who use it are doing it to make the movie look more "modern", more like one of those CGI-movies.

They think "People of today don´t want to see grain, they want to see a picture just like in a modern movie, so we use filters to get that look". Or they fear that the audience will complain about the dirty picture, because they think grain is dirt that has to be removed.

 

Using DNR on "The Mummy" was absolutely not necessary, because there was very little visible grain anyway.

 

There is another example where they messed it up. The German BD-version of "The Neverending Story". Look at this:

 

story gut.jpg   story schlecht.jpg

 

On the first picture you have the grain, and all the details, like the waves on the water. On the German version, they used so much DNR that the grain is removed, but also the details; the water now looks like some kind of jelly, the whole picture looks glossy. Maybe the film looks more "modern" this way, and not like an "old movie" from the 80s, but the filter destroys everything here.

 

But there are also good examples of very old movies like "The Birth of a Nation" from 1915, that looks fantastic on BD! (I don´t like that movie, it´s just an example!)

 

nation alt.jpg   nation neu.jpg

 

First you have the DVD version, then the Blu-ray. They left the grain in the picture, and you get sharp edges, details like the patterns on the clothes or the hair.

 

 

 

 

Greetings,

Sandra


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#12 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 10 June 2017 - 07:55 PM

Yes, overuse of DNR gives film a waxy digital video look, I don't like it either.
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#13 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 11 June 2017 - 07:07 PM

Some types of compression smear can have a similar effect, though not identical. And in any case, they should be using low enough compression to avoid that issue!


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#14 Sandra Merkatz

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Posted 11 June 2017 - 07:17 PM

Some types of compression smear can have a similar effect, though not identical. And in any case, they should be using low enough compression to avoid that issue!

Absolutely! That´s why I don´t like it when they put all the bonus material together with the movie on one disc. There are positive examples too, like the Indiana Jones-box on DVD. There are 4 DVDs: on every disc is one movie, and JUST the movie, nothing else. On the 4th disc is all the bonus material, documentaries, making ofs etc. That´s the way it should be in my opinion.

 

 

Greetings,

Sandra


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#15 Jay Young

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Posted 12 June 2017 - 05:39 AM

Wait, there is an EXTENDED version of Die unendliche Geschichte? 

 

I must research this! That film is one of my favorites - on my very short list of things I might like to remake as a Director. However, given the shortcomings of the time period, I understand the changes made in the film over what the book describes.  


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#16 Sandra Merkatz

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Posted 12 June 2017 - 09:19 AM

Wait, there is an EXTENDED version of Die unendliche Geschichte? 

 

I must research this! That film is one of my favorites - on my very short list of things I might like to remake as a Director. However, given the shortcomings of the time period, I understand the changes made in the film over what the book describes.  

 

 

There are two versions of „The Neverending Story“. The original German version and a shorter US-version.

The German version is 96:43 Minutes long, the US version 90:01 Minutes. (Source: schnittberichte.com. This is a page where they compare different movie versions frame by frame to see where they cut, and what they cut, also with many pictures to see the missing scenes)


This first German Blu-ray contained only the shorter US-version.

In 2013 there was a new BD-release, this time with the longer German version. (I guess “Extended” is not quite correct, it´s just the uncut movie.

 

51QVRKJA-zL.%20_SL300_.jpg

 

 

Here you can see the original version on the left side, the US version on the right. Just some examples.

 

03.jpg  d03.jpg

 

08.jpg  d08.jpg

 

41.jpg  d11.jpg

 

44.jpg  d13.jpg

 

That last translation is not very good. In the original it says "Don´t be mad, I´ll return it soon", in the English version it says "Don´t worry, I´ll return your book".

 

For example, when the Gmork is chasing Atreju in the swamp, and Falcor saves him in the last second, this shot of the Gmork is missing in the US version:

 

110.jpg

 

 

 

But it´s hard to decide: either you get a better picture, but a cut movie, or you get an uncut original version, but with a horrible picture.

They call this “Digitally remastered”, but it´s rather "Digitally destroyed".

 

 

Greetings,

Sandra


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#17 Sandra Merkatz

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Posted 15 June 2017 - 05:40 AM

Another bad Blu-ray: "The Indian Tomb" by Fritz Lang, from 1959.

 

The comparison is between the UK-DVD and the German Blu-ray from Universum Film.

 

tiger dvd.jpg   tiger bd.jpg

 

While the DVD was too dark, the BD is extremly bright, the white looks horrible, all the details are lost. I guess they also used DNR here to eliminate the worst picture problems (not the grain).

 

tiger 2 dvd.jpg   tiger 2 bd.jpg

 

Another example for a poor picture. Again too bright, again loss of details (for example on the clothes of the two persons), very soft looking picture, soft edges, the floor looks more like plastik than stone.

 

tiger 3 dvd.jpg   tiger 3 bd.jpg

 

Here is the famous "snake-dance" by Debra Paget. And again horrible quality. Look at the edges of the skin, what´s that?! The BD just looks like the DVD, only much brighter. No details, no nothing. Hands off!

 

 

 

Greetings,

Sandra


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#18 Lucas Fletcher

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 01:33 PM

One of the worst is The Longest Day. A lovely scan ruined by the worst DNR you will ever see - they look like waxworks

 

http://caps-a-holic....6&d2=2905&c=357

 

One of the best Blu Rays however is Criterion's recent One Eyed Jacks


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#19 Sandra Merkatz

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 02:00 PM

That really doesn´t look good at all, you´re right.

 

(btw I do the images by making a screenshot and then make it smaller and post it here :)

 

 

Greetings,

Sandra


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#20 Sandra Merkatz

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 02:40 PM

I like Werner Herzogs remake of "Nosferatu". Of course the original can´t be beaten, but it still has some good scenes and a creepy atmosphere. But unfortunately there are no good versions out there. At the moment there are three different Blu-rays:

 

 

UK German Version Blu-ray by British Film Institute

 

US German Version Blu-ray by Shout! Factory

 

GER Blu-ray by Studio Canal

 

This is the US version:

 

916lsay2sUL._SL350_.jpg

 

 

The US- and the DE-Blu-ray both have a horrible DNR picture. The UK version seems more natural, has grain and doesn´t look waxy, but it´s still not a very good picture, looks too soft to me, so I wouldn´t buy that one either.

 

Some comparisons between the UK and the US version:

 

kinski gut .jpg   kinski schlecht.jpg

 

You can see the grain is gone in the background in the second version, and the skin looks more "flat".

 

But look at this detail shot of the same picture:

 

kinski 2 gut.jpg   kinski 2 schlecht.jpg

 

While the pupil on the UK version looks like a circle, on the US-BD it looks like a hexagon! Also some details in the iris are missing, and little wrinkles on the face disappear.

 

kinski 3 gut.jpg   kinski 3 schlecht.jpg

 

Another example: of course a very grainy picture, but the face looks more natural. On the DNR-version, the face appear a little bit more waxy, but there are ugly artifacts all over the picture. Notice how the hair on her nose disappears in the DNR version.

 

By the way, the colors are also questionable.

 

kinski dvd.jpg   kinski bd.jpg

 

On the old DVD Nosferatu looks pale, and you can see his black coat. On the Blu-ray his face has a more natural skin-tone and the coat disappears (black crush?).

 

I´m hoping for a better relase of this movie, with the grain and the correct colors, from a good master.

 

 

 

Greetings,

Sandra


Edited by Sandra Merkatz, 16 June 2017 - 02:47 PM.

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