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The Blu-Ray Fair Warning Thread

post #1 of 54
Thread Starter 

Chewer Waaaaaaaalt at my request was pointing out in the Blu-Ray Thread some titles with lousy transfers and too much DNR.  Off the top of his head he could only remember a few, so here's another thread where we can all share bad experiences and keep track of the releases to avoid.  I've already dumped a few from my queue.

post #2 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fat Elvis View Post

Chewer Waaaaaaaalt at my request was pointing out in the Blu-Ray Thread some titles with lousy transfers and too much DNR.  Off the top of his head he could only remember a few, so here's another thread where we can all share bad experiences and keep track of the releases to avoid.  I've already dumped a few from my queue.
I can understand not purchasing a blu with a lousy transfer but what's the harm in just getting it from Netflix to watch one time and send back? You do that and you may be waiting a very long time to see a movie. Hell if I'm just watching it and not making a purchase I don't have a problem with even a cruddy old pan and scan VHS.

But...in the spirit of the thread I'll list everything I know on the subject...the good ones and the better ones...if there's titles that differ.

If anyone is interested in all that info anyway.

Though I'm sure Waaaaaalt's knowledge is more extensive than mine..
post #3 of 54
Thread Starter 

I have THE LOST BOYS Blu at the top of my queue. I seem to recall that one looking good., right?

post #4 of 54

One thing I recall: The first edition of the Criterion "Dressed to Kill" has a wonky transfer. Be sure to get the copy that says "second printing" on the back.

post #5 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fat Elvis View Post

I have THE LOST BOYS Blu at the top of my queue. I seem to recall that one looking good., right?
I own it. Funny you should mention that one because it's one of the ones that I distinctly remember thinking that it coulda looked better. It's a quantum leap over the DVD to be sure but it didn't strike me as a top of the line blu. It's an older one though so it's understandable..
post #6 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mangy View Post

One thing I recall: The first edition of the Criterion "Dressed to Kill" has a wonky transfer. Be sure to get the copy that says "second printing" on the back.
They recalled the wonky discs early on. I don't think many are left out there.
post #7 of 54
That's the first I've ever heard of Criterion even ever HAVING a wonky disc. But being a company with as stellar a reputation as they have, I'm sure they swooped in and fixed the problem swiftly and satisfactorily..
post #8 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Agentsands77 View Post


They recalled the wonky discs early on. I don't think many are left out there.

Yeah, pretty much a warning for those (like me) who look for deals on eBay.

post #9 of 54
Thread Starter 

Hey Waaaaaaaalt (or anyone in the know): Is this the PREDATOR blu to avoid?

 

61yeE1KkS3L.jpg

post #10 of 54
Get THIS one:

NOT this one..
post #11 of 54
Thread Starter 

Thanks!

post #12 of 54
Thread Starter 

In the main Blu thread someone mentioned Shout/Scream transfers being very hit or miss. I'd never heard that knock before. Anyone have an example?

post #13 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fat Elvis View Post
 

In the main Blu thread someone mentioned Shout/Scream transfers being very hit or miss. I'd never heard that knock before. Anyone have an example?

There are a few I can think of off the top of my head: Mad Max, Halloween 2/3, and Dog Soldiers. That isn't to say that the transfers are necessarily bad (they are often the best one out there for many of these films), but that they often could be much better. Criterion has this happen occasionally, too, but it seems to be a much more consistent issue with Scream/Shout.    

post #14 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fraid uh noman View Post

NOT this one..

This conversation reminded me that I owned this copy. Put it in and watched for the first time, and two thoughts:

1) Dear Lord this might be the worst transfer ever. It looked like a subpar DVD;

2) Hot damn "Predator" is a really good movie.

post #15 of 54

My wife bought me that Coen Brothers Blu-ray 4 pack from a while back(with the head on the cover) and the Fargo Blu-ray is awful.  I am not well versed in the technical jargon for Blu-ray/DVD but it was painful to watch.  I haven't been able to bring myself to watch the others for fear of the same.  Bless her heart, she was only trying to buy me something I liked.  Watching it with her, she was like "I love this movie!" while I am cringing thinking "My eyes! Turn it off! TURN IT OFF!!!".  It was so pixelated and grainy I couldn't take it.  I've seen it described as "snow"(not actual snow) or something like that.

 

Anyone else have that set?  Are the rest of the movies included alright?

post #16 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mangy View Post

This conversation reminded me that I owned this copy. Put it in and watched for the first time, and two thoughts:


1) Dear Lord this might be the worst transfer ever. It looked like a subpar DVD;
2) Hot damn "Predator" is a really good movie.
I have never viewed that release myself. Just knew that it was NOT the one to get when I finally got around to buying that movie. The one I got isn't the BEST looking blu I've ever seen but it looks distinctly better than DVD so I have no complaints. I'll be double dipping though of the rumors of a new 4k transfer are true because that's (obviously) one of my favorite movies..
post #17 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by RCA View Post

My wife bought me that Coen Brothers Blu-ray 4 pack from a while back(with the head on the cover) and the Fargo Blu-ray is awful.  I am not well versed in the technical jargon for Blu-ray/DVD but it was painful to watch.  I haven't been able to bring myself to watch the others for fear of the same.  Bless her heart, she was only trying to buy me something I liked.  Watching it with her, she was like "I love this movie!" while I am cringing thinking "My eyes! Turn it off! TURN IT OFF!!!".  It was so pixelated and grainy I couldn't take it.  I've seen it described as "snow"(not actual snow) or something like that.

Anyone else have that set?  Are the rest of the movies included alright?

They did a new 4k remaster of Fargo a couple years ago that looks much better than the one in the boxset.

Here is a link:

https://www.amazon.com/Fargo-Remastered-Blu-ray-Mcdormand/dp/B00HZN8S9U?ie=UTF8&SubscriptionId=AKIAIY4YSQJMFDJATNBA&camp=2025&creative=165953&creativeASIN=B00HZN8S9U&linkCode=xm2&m=&tag=bluray-027-20

The rest in the boxset are relatively decent; those transfers were done long after that original Fargo one. Blood Simple is getting a Criterion re-release next month, so presumably that will be better, but the one in the boxset should be fine.
post #18 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by COULD432 View Post
 

There are a few I can think of off the top of my head: Mad Max, Halloween 2/3, and Dog Soldiers. That isn't to say that the transfers are necessarily bad (they are often the best one out there for many of these films), but that they often could be much better. Criterion has this happen occasionally, too, but it seems to be a much more consistent issue with Scream/Shout.    

 

Dog Soldiers is acceptable, considering the source material. It's perfectly watchable. For the scan, they could only get an old print, no negatives or interpositives. Using a print as a source accounts for the subpar contrast and black levels. And it was shot on 16mm, too. The Shout blu is probably the best that it'll ever look.

 

I got it used for 8 bucks though, so I factor that into my value assessment.

post #19 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by RCA View Post
 

My wife bought me that Coen Brothers Blu-ray 4 pack from a while back(with the head on the cover) and the Fargo Blu-ray is awful.  I am not well versed in the technical jargon for Blu-ray/DVD but it was painful to watch.  I haven't been able to bring myself to watch the others for fear of the same.  Bless her heart, she was only trying to buy me something I liked.  Watching it with her, she was like "I love this movie!" while I am cringing thinking "My eyes! Turn it off! TURN IT OFF!!!".  It was so pixelated and grainy I couldn't take it.  I've seen it described as "snow"(not actual snow) or something like that.

 

Anyone else have that set?  Are the rest of the movies included alright?

I have this set as well, and found the transfers to be nothing special, passable only because the movies themselves are so good. As far as Coens Blus go, I liked the transfers for ILD (of course, it's a Criterion), and The Man Who Wasn't There looked super-crisp to my bad eyes.

post #20 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mangy View Post

I have this set as well, and found the transfers to be nothing special, passable only because the movies themselves are so good. As far as Coens Blus go, I liked the transfers for ILD (of course, it's a Criterion), and The Man Who Wasn't There looked super-crisp to my bad eyes.

Both blus of Llewyn Davis have great transfers; the Criterion basically reuses the same transfer as was used on the Sony disc.

The Coen bros. movie that probably has the worst transfer (since Fargo was fixed), all things considered, is The Big Lebowski. It is basically a shoddy port of a dated dvd transfer. I wouldn't be shocked if it got a new transfer for its 20th Anniversary in a couple years, but right now, it is pretty weak.
Edited by COULD432 - 8/4/16 at 8:58am
post #21 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by COULD432 View Post

The Coen bros. movie that probably has the worst transfer (since Fargo was fixed), all things considered, is The Big Lebowski. It is basically a shoddy port of a dated dvd transfer. I wouldn't be shocked if it got a new transfer for its 20th Anniversary in a coulle years, but right now, it is pretty weak.

Agree, bought the book version of the Blu and the transfer's just kind of flat. Hudsucker Proxy also looks crappy.

Their later stuff fares better. The discs from No Country on all look good.

post #22 of 54
It takes a seriously terrible transfer for me to really take notice. I mean, if I read that one is better than the other then obviously I'll try to get that one. But so far there's been a great many that people have looked bad and they looked just fine to me. The worst of the worst is anything released by Image or Echo Bridge. Avoid ALL those.

Which is why the Arrow release of The Hills Have Eyes is a godsend..
post #23 of 54
Speaking of "Predator," I'm going to see that on the big screen tonight.
post #24 of 54
#jealous
post #25 of 54
It's Fraid uh Noman's last stand!
post #26 of 54
*cuts chest*

*thousand yard stare*

*screams*
post #27 of 54
Jeez, you've got a big pussy.
post #28 of 54
*see my avatar*
post #29 of 54

*he did*

Joking aside, I am jealous and bitter about Bradito's good fortune as well. There are at least 3 scenes in that Blu (such as Arnie's plunge into the lake) which are embarrassingly rendered. It looks like they spliced in a cell phone bootleg of the scene.

post #30 of 54
Yeah you should definitely see about getting that other blu Mangy, if that 4k release turns out to just be a rumor. I found nothing like that in that release.

Although that scene where he drops into the river does look a little rougher than the rest of the movie in every format I've ever watched it in and I'm really not sure why that is..
post #31 of 54

I'm pretty amazed at how bad Criterion's Blu of "The Black Stallion" looks. Makes me wonder if the original print they used was the best they could get, or if it was just a botched transfer. So much beautiful photography should pop off the screen, and it just doesn't. A lot of murkiness.

post #32 of 54
You just described the vast majority of John Boorman films I've seen. A lot of straight up BEAUTIFUL cinematography that nevertheless just doesn't pop off the screen the way you'd think it would. What I've found is that a lot of movies can be murky, as in the color saturation isn't quite what you'd expect, but they do have a boost in sharpness and detail in all that murk. It's just the way some of them are going to look unless they fall victim to some unnatural digital scrubbing. And I'll take the murkiness over that any day..
post #33 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by levrock View Post
 

I'm pretty amazed at how bad Criterion's Blu of "The Black Stallion" looks. Makes me wonder if the original print they used was the best they could get, or if it was just a botched transfer. So much beautiful photography should pop off the screen, and it just doesn't. A lot of murkiness.

Wow, I thought it looked pretty good, although I'm not sure how the original looked.

One transfer I found odd: the recent reissue of Top Gun. Crisp and detailed, but some of the colors seemed really off. It might have been the look Tony Scott was going for, but there are a couple of scenes where it looked like they placed a pre-packaged Photoshop gradient filter over the image.

post #34 of 54
The biggest thing that can get my attention in a transfer....which isn't a deal breaker really....just something that alerts me to SOME kind of tinkering is skin tones looking off. Like too orangey or pink? Anyone ever notice that?
post #35 of 54
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fraid uh noman View Post

You just described the vast majority of John Boorman films I've seen. A lot of straight up BEAUTIFUL cinematography that nevertheless just doesn't pop off the screen the way you'd think it would. What I've found is that a lot of movies can be murky, as in the color saturation isn't quite what you'd expect, but they do have a boost in sharpness and detail in all that murk. It's just the way some of them are going to look unless they fall victim to some unnatural digital scrubbing. And I'll take the murkiness over that any day..

 

Is DELIVERANCE subpar?

 

Sometimes it's hard to tell with 70's films, because there were a lot of muted colors. I know sometimes directors go back and kind of boost the look - like Friedkin's first FRENCH CONNECTION most infamously.

 

I want a Blu of an older film to capture original vision as much as possible.


Edited by Fat Elvis - 8/4/16 at 7:52am
post #36 of 54
None of them are "subpar" save Exorcist II. It's just that they haven't been artificially touched up to get rid of their inherent murkiness. For example, Excalibur is pretty murky but I think it looks pretty gorgeous too. The best blu rays show the film as it looks not altered in some crazy way..
post #37 of 54

Not quite a warning, but the first half of the Shout Factory Midnight Run release looked weirdly flat and grainy to me. However, once the second half of the film moves into sunlight, it looks great. Very strange.

The disc also features an interview with a disheveled, disinterested De Niro which kinda bummed me out. Still a wonderful movie, though.

post #38 of 54
Thread Starter 

Not sure exactly where to ask this question, so I'll put it here: I think I'm finally going to have to buy a new Blu-ray player. So that I'm not completely at the mercy of Best Buy staff, I'm wondering if you fellow Chewers have a recommendation on which brand to go with or a warning on which to avoid?

post #39 of 54
You probably won't want to go this route but I'm of the opinion that PS3s are the best BD players on the market (other than probably a PS4....but I ain't got one of those). It's durable as fuck and it's the only BD player I've never had conk out on me. I've had a couple of Samsung players and they both crapped out after a couple years of, frankly, not very heavy use...but six years on and my PS3 hasn't missed a beat. I don't even own any games. It's just for movie use.

Unless I ever take the region free plunge, I'll always buy PSs for this purpose.

Everything in my (quaint) home theater set up is Sony, in fact. I've kinda become a die hard Sony customer simply because it's the only brand that I've NEVER had any trouble out of. Every other non Sony product I've had has started fucking up in some way WAY too soon. Maybe I just have bad luck in electronics..
Edited by Fraid uh noman - 10/3/16 at 2:44pm
post #40 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fat Elvis View Post
 

Not sure exactly where to ask this question, so I'll put it here: I think I'm finally going to have to buy a new Blu-ray player. So that I'm not completely at the mercy of Best Buy staff, I'm wondering if you fellow Chewers have a recommendation on which brand to go with or a warning on which to avoid?

Depends on finances. Oppo is great but it's the most expensive. 

post #41 of 54
I also have a PS3 and it hasn't let me down for the past three and a half years.
post #42 of 54

The advantage to PS3 is you'll never have trouble with firmware updates. Also, unlike PS4 or XBone, it can output RCA red/white and HDMI audio simultaneously, which is awesome if you still have an analog audio reciever like me.

 

The disadvantage is it's no good for non-R1 medias, and can only read a few types of digital video files. I'm pissed I can't play my old burned PAL DVDRs that my Phillips DVD player could play with the unlock code. That Phillips cost me like 80 bucks at Walmart in 2008.

post #43 of 54
I have to do a firmware update every two years around July/August just like clockwork. I suppose that's the norm.

But I got a friend who uses a PS3 for all his movie watching purposes as well and he said he's NEVER had to do one. And I can't figure out why. He plays games too though. Maybe certain games update it automatically? That's the only thing I can think of..
post #44 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fraid uh noman View Post

I have to do a firmware update every two years around July/August just like clockwork. I suppose that's the norm.

But I got a friend who uses a PS3 for all his movie watching purposes as well and he said he's NEVER had to do one. And I can't figure out why. He plays games too though. Maybe certain games update it automatically? That's the only thing I can think of..

 

The gaming systems have several system updates throughout the year, so it probably just updates the BluRay firmware at the same time (if needed).

post #45 of 54
It has to be hooked up to the internet for that though, doesn't it? His isn't..
post #46 of 54

Yes it does. Never mind then!

post #47 of 54
I guess it's the games. It's the one thing that he does with it that I don't..
post #48 of 54

When I bought Gods Of Egypt a few months ago, it needed a special update for the latest copy protection standard before it would play.

post #49 of 54
Someone bought "Gods of Egypt" on Blu. I'm not going to name names.
post #50 of 54

It's a damn good movie, you fucker!!

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