UHD Titles Worth/Not Worth Upgrading

Discuss North American DVDs and Blu-rays or other DVD and Blu-ray-related topics.
Post Reply
Message
Author
User avatar
Finch
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2008 5:09 pm
Location: Edinburgh, UK

Re: UHD Titles Worth/Not Worth Upgrading

#101 Post by Finch » Wed Oct 13, 2021 10:22 am

Over at the other forum some people are saying some scenes in Frankenstein such as between the monster and the girl have lost a lot of detail. Can anyone here confirm? On the other hand, I keep hearing great things about The Wolfman and The Invisible Man.

User avatar
jegharfangetmigenmyg
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2011 7:52 am

Re: UHD Titles Worth/Not Worth Upgrading

#102 Post by jegharfangetmigenmyg » Wed Oct 13, 2021 11:09 am

It could be the good old "looking at screen captures, comparing and concluding that UHD is tõo dark and details are lost", and thus not understanding HDR, and not understanding that it cannot be judged from screen captures. It is clear on Caps-a-holic that it is darker, but it is not possible to tell anything about before viewing the disc itself on a proper setup: https://caps-a-holic.com/c.php?d1=16607&d2=16606&c=6263


User avatar
jegharfangetmigenmyg
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2011 7:52 am

Re: UHD Titles Worth/Not Worth Upgrading

#104 Post by jegharfangetmigenmyg » Wed Oct 13, 2021 4:45 pm

Looks like edge enhancement on the blu-ray. That's weird.

User avatar
EddieLarkin
Joined: Sat Sep 08, 2012 10:25 am

Re: UHD Titles Worth/Not Worth Upgrading

#105 Post by EddieLarkin » Wed Oct 13, 2021 5:36 pm

Yeah, The Wolf Man Blu-ray was badly sharpened and wasn't remotely up to the standard of the other Universal Monsters discs.

User avatar
DarkImbecile
Ask me about my visible cat breasts
Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2013 6:24 pm
Location: Albuquerque, NM

Re: UHD Titles Worth/Not Worth Upgrading

#106 Post by DarkImbecile » Fri Oct 15, 2021 11:02 am


User avatar
therewillbeblus
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2015 3:40 pm

Re: UHD Titles Worth/Not Worth Upgrading

#107 Post by therewillbeblus » Fri Oct 15, 2021 11:10 am

Quite a few of my Kino Lorber discs feature incorrect runtimes and credits on the back, but still retain decent quality image and sound!

User avatar
captveg
Joined: Wed Sep 02, 2009 7:28 pm

Re: UHD Titles Worth/Not Worth Upgrading

#108 Post by captveg » Fri Oct 15, 2021 2:52 pm

The people who author the discs and the people who do the packaging art never truly work with each other at the major studios. They are often in wholly different departments and communication between them is spec-based at best. Without proof-readers mistakes like this are bound to slip through on the packaging side. It rarely is a reflection of the quality of the disc authoring, if ever.

User avatar
MichaelB
Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 6:20 pm
Location: Worthing
Contact:

Re: UHD Titles Worth/Not Worth Upgrading

#109 Post by MichaelB » Fri Oct 15, 2021 3:29 pm

Maybe they do it differently in the US, but that’s not my experience at all - with every British label I’ve worked for, the project producer is ultimately responsible for signing off on all printed materials.

Not that I haven’t let through some howlers in my time - I think the worst was claiming that the 1946 The Killers was in colour (annoyingly, that was caught in an earlier proofing round, but was reverted at a late stage and missed) - but it was ultimately my responsibility.

User avatar
EddieLarkin
Joined: Sat Sep 08, 2012 10:25 am

Re: UHD Titles Worth/Not Worth Upgrading

#110 Post by EddieLarkin » Sat Oct 16, 2021 5:14 am

Geoff D on Frankenstein
This is the exact kind of title you'd expect to find comments from people wondering how on earth a format upgrade could be worthwhile. And yet... if a title nearly a century old (and one that presumably doesn't have a surviving OCN) can improve this much over an already very well regarded Blu-ray, why would anyone have doubts about ANY title? That's not to say a UHD is a guarantee of an upgrade, as not all titles are handled as well as Universal is handling stuff like Frankenstein, but it totally undermines the seemingly accepted notion that whilst just about any Blu-ray will be worthwhile buying over a DVD, one must be more cautious when considering their UHD purchases (see the A Hard Day's Night thread).

User avatar
cdnchris
Site Admin
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 2:45 pm
Location: Washington
Contact:

Re: UHD Titles Worth/Not Worth Upgrading

#111 Post by cdnchris » Sat Oct 16, 2021 1:14 pm

I'd add Carlito's Way to "worth it"

Misery is also probably a "worth it." Definitely worth upgrading over the MGM disc. I can't locate my Shout! disc at the moment, but I recall being disappointed with that one, remembering it being noisy. This presentation is really clean. I'm positive the colours are better here as well, recalling the Shout disc being "yellower," and the black levels and shadows being a bit flat. Shadows and gradients look really good here, even in the snow.

I could be misremembering the Shout disc's presentation, though, but I do recall being underwhelmed by it, whichbis why I took a shot with KL edition.

User avatar
swo17
Bloodthirsty Butcher
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 10:25 am
Location: SLC, UT

Re: UHD Titles Worth/Not Worth Upgrading

#112 Post by swo17 » Sat Oct 16, 2021 2:42 pm

EddieLarkin wrote:
Sat Oct 16, 2021 5:14 am
the seemingly accepted notion that whilst just about any Blu-ray will be worthwhile buying over a DVD, one must be more cautious when considering their UHD purchases (see the A Hard Day's Night thread).
I should mention that the comment I made in that thread was merely intended to suggest that A Hard Day's Night will likely fall under Finch's "Solid Upgrade" list as opposed to his "Spectacular Upgrade" one

User avatar
Finch
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2008 5:09 pm
Location: Edinburgh, UK

Re: UHD Titles Worth/Not Worth Upgrading

#113 Post by Finch » Sat Oct 16, 2021 5:07 pm

Moving Frankenstein back into the Solid Upgrade column.

Edit: Added Misery as per Chris's comments (born out elsewhere by others) to the Solid Upgrade column too. So far, Kino have been more consistent with their UHDs (as far as I know) than some of their Blu-Rays (I really want to buy their Blackmail BD but they botched the ratio!).
Last edited by Finch on Sat Oct 16, 2021 5:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Finch
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2008 5:09 pm
Location: Edinburgh, UK

Re: UHD Titles Worth/Not Worth Upgrading

#114 Post by Finch » Sat Oct 16, 2021 5:11 pm

They may have been careless about screenshots and specs on the back cover of Carlito's Way but I'd rather that than them fucking up the upgrade itself and luckily they have not: the colors really pop in some shots (check out Pacino against the brickwall on caps-a-holic).

User avatar
ajdamania2
Joined: Sat Oct 16, 2021 6:21 am

Re: UHD Titles Worth/Not Worth Upgrading

#115 Post by ajdamania2 » Sun Oct 17, 2021 2:18 pm

2001, V For Vendetta, The shining, Hocus Pocus are great. King Kong is not so good. Outdoor scenes are quite washed out. Basic instinct has great details but the film is way too dark, very teal ( Sharon stone’s iconic white dress is almost pale blue ) and very digital looking.

User avatar
Finch
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2008 5:09 pm
Location: Edinburgh, UK

Re: UHD Titles Worth/Not Worth Upgrading

#116 Post by Finch » Tue Oct 19, 2021 11:06 pm

Scream 4k vs remastered BD
Even with the caveats that caps a holic caps are in SDR, I think we can safely add Scream to the Solid upgrades list.

User avatar
Finch
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2008 5:09 pm
Location: Edinburgh, UK

Re: UHD Titles Worth/Not Worth Upgrading

#117 Post by Finch » Fri Oct 22, 2021 6:47 pm

Geoff D on Kino's Silence of the Lambs UHD:

Not (too) much technical shpiel to start with today as there's no contemporaneous article on the cinematography from the time it was made, DP Tak Fujimoto not being a member of the American Society of Cinematographers at that time whose periodical (unsurprisingly titled American Cinematographer) I constantly reference in my reviews. But we know it was shot 1.85 spherical on 35mm, and a quick bit of sleuthing turned up this image https://oscars.org/collection-highli...ambs?fid=68311 of a camera blimp with 5294 written on it, that number representing one of the more maligned high-speed Kodak motion picture stocks from the early 1980s. That a 1991 film should use such a stock might seem surprising, but as production commenced in late 1989 then the time frame just about works. They may well have mixed and matched the stocks though, perhaps using a slower emulsion like trusty 5247 for daylight exteriors and the 5294 for interiors (like in the linked photo) and night exteriors, Fujimoto used this combination on Married to the Mob (1988) according to IMDB.

In any case, I'll start at the beginning: YES this Kino UHD is in the wrong colour space for the first 20 minutes, or just under (same length as a reel or two). As with Shout's They Live and Prince of Darkness UHDs it drains vibrancy from the image and makes skin tones look a dull browny/yellow and turns reds into more of an orange hue. But as this movie simply was not shot to be an ultra-saturated romp then it's not hugely damaging, and it still doesn't look as ghastly as what those HDD "screencaps" made it look like. The only times it stood out as looking badly 'off' during this first 20 minutes are a few shots of Lecter in his cell which have a distinctly yellow tinge to his face, where even the correctly-mastered SDR transfer still looks a touch yellowy so the incorrect UHD exacerbates it even more (those scenes might've been lit with fluorescents, which means dialling out the intense green tint in the colour timing and can make skin tones look a bit off). The exterior shot of Clarice exiting the asylum in a hurry is when the colour snaps back into place and immediately looks very similar to the remastered BD, as does the remainder of the film.

So, not a deal breaker for me yet this is still a big problem that got past QC nonetheless. But is this a Kino cock-up or was it was supplied to them like that from MGM? That the Dolby Vision Full Enhancement Layer (FEL) on this disc does not apply the correct colour on top of the HDR10 stream would suggest that it was inherent to the DV master itself, anyone know what the UHD stream looks like in comparison? If it's the same as the UHD then we can rule out Kino stuffing it up, if the stream is as it should be then something happened between that master being sent to the streamers and Kino being sent their master. Hmmm. And it can't usually be fixed with a tweak of the colour space on a TV in HDR10 (Dolby locks out the gamut selection anyway on most TVs) because we want to expand the gamut but as the display should already be in its 'widest' colour mode when playing back HDR10 or DV content (PQ-based HDR is always mastered inside a BT.2020 container) then we can't add more. Though anyone watching in converted SDR 709 who's got a colour space option on their display could always try setting it to BT.2020, just turn it back to normal after 20 minutes!

One quick sort-of 'fix' I found for Sony TV owners is using the Live Colour option set to High, this is like a 'wide gamut remaster' which oversaturates greens and reds in particular and works even on Dolby Vision. Normally it's of no use, but when something is in a smaller gamut than it should be then Live Colour works to bring back some of that missing colour. It doesn't quite get it all back, even set to High, but it adds just enough red saturation to the skin tones to make it less distracting. As above, you can't however leave it on for the entire movie as it'll then oversaturate the rest of it after those first 20 minutes, so these aren't seamless solutions.

What about the colour then, once it returns to how it should be *after* that fubar first reel? I said it looks very similar to the remastered BD after that and it does, with solid primaries and nice pinky skin tones, but the HDR grade looks a fraction more fulsome. Faces have a touch more colour as red lips glow just that little bit more, cheeks are slightly rosier, it's not likely to make people go "wow! what a difference!" but it's still welcome. The scenes lit with saturated red lighting are FAR more coherent on the UHD than the BD though. The posterised noise and clipped colour that affect such scenes in 1080p 4:2:0 video are oft-lamented facts of home video life, but the difference in 2160p 4:2:0 (four times as much chroma resolution) is profound as the colour noise is eliminated and detail is no longer lost to the clipping. The scene early on where Dr. Chiltern and Starling first go down to visit Lecter is no longer a blazing red on the UHD owing to the colour space problem, it's more of a dull orange, though the above advantages are still present.

The HDR itself is something that couldn't be further from those insanely high MaxCLL/MaxFALL figures in the metadata. Signal analysis may well pick out a few pixels in that brightness range, but this simply doesn't feel like a Light Cannon™ type grade at all. Even with the SDR disc set to a peak white output of 140 nits the average scene brightness is significantly higher there than the UHD in most brighter scenes, not that the UHD is dark and dim because it's not, it just doesn't beam in comparison to the SDR. Some might not like this more subdued approach, I personally think it fits the film and its subject matter to a 'T'. And yet there's a STACK of highlight information in HDR that's being burned off in the SDR, ranging from those windows flanking Crawford and Starling when they're inside the little plane - they look overpowering in SDR, just these flat white panels of light blasting out, whereas the HDR calms them down and now grain is buzzing about inside them - to the tiny little reflections in people's eyes, and all manner of lighting fixtures inbetween. You see a lot of eyes in close-up owing to Demme's POV style and having extra range even in those little specular glints gives that illusion of depth. And when Lecter's in his courthouse cell and is being top lit when he's talking to Starling, wow, the UHD pulls down so much extra range on his white prison garb. Again, it's not blindingly bright but the range it's retrieving is huge compared to the exceedingly blown-out SDR BD in this package.

Contrast looks denser on the UHD despite it not having ultra-deep blacks. This in itself is similar to the remastered BD in terms of black level as that doesn't go for totally opaque darkness either, if anything the UHD is slightly brighter in the darker shots which reveals a hint of extra lowlight detail. But as the average brightness seems so much higher in the SDR's daytime shots it makes them look thinner and less contrasty, while the UHD's shadows are heavier and you get that perception of greater contrast. Thankfully the moment during the finale when Buffalo Bill douses the lights drops down to a total 'letterbox' black just like the BD does, if you're watching in a darkened room your TV should ideally plunge you into black nothingness for those few seconds.

Fine detail looks excellent, also not something to wow people with if they're looking for demo-candy "pop" (ugh) but it refines the highest frequency information to a greater degree than the 1080p BD. Lines on buildings, textures on clothing, small benefits perhaps but it just adds to the immersion that the movie already has thanks to those whacking great close ups of faces. You'll notice that several of those are out of focus but not even TROO FORKAY can do anything about that! The grain looks lovely too, with a constant patina that never seems smeary or gloopy or "managed" to any obvious degree. It certainly comes across as looking like finer grain on UHD than the equivalent 1080p Blu-ray but as the latter's compression is turning the grain into blocks of digital mush it makes it look coarser there. The various credits in the first few minutes plus the location text overlays later on may have something that looks like frozen grain and in a way it is, but it's from the original optical printing used to composite these titles, you're seeing the static grain from those pieces of film superimposed onto moving grain on the live action footage underneath. There are also several black specks of dirt that just sit there for the duration of each title, again this is stuff that was printed in. The rest of the film looks very clean and stable, albeit with a few stray specks of minus density that tend to congregate in the white highlights where the initial dirt removal pass didn't account for the higher dynamic range.

Compression I thought was fine in Dolby Vision with the recombined FEL, no swarms of blockiness hiding in skies or other swathes of brighter areas, no distractions of any kind as chroma containment is also very good. Speaking of, those scenes with intense red lighting look like absolute crap on the BD(s). Not only are there the 4:2:0 subsampling artefacts to contend with as mentioned above but there's just outright blocking too on the BD (which is also true of the Criterion BD). UHD looks so much better in those scenes but others benefit also, like when Lecter breaks out and the plods first enter the courtroom to find their brutalised colleagues. It seems like the set was smoked up to add atmosphere and the Kino BD just kinda gives up here, turning the grain into chunky digital crap whereas the UHD is loads betterer.

If some/all of these comments sound like damning with faint praise for those who were expecting razor sharp demo-candy then read into them what you will, but this is a cultured refinement of an already very good transfer. We're always likely to hit these bottlenecks with 35mm (and lower) film resolution on UHD vs a BD taken from the same remastered source, though there is absolutely a boost to the finest details here - you just might need a bigger screen and/or closer viewing distance to be able to discern it. It's other areas then where the UHD earns its corn, starting with the superior compression and higher chroma resolution of this medium, plus a wonderfully organic use of HDR. This grade was not pushed into ridiculous extremes for the sake of it, it's somewhat moodier than the BD equivalent yet it still does so much that the SDR does not.

The elephant in the room - or rather the pickled head in the jar - is the wonky colour of that first 20-ish minutes of the HDR transfer although it remains to be seen how/where/why it entered the mastering chain. It should NOT be like that, I want to make that clear, but it didn't derail my initial enjoyment (even without my 'fix') and the rest of the UHD is as it should be. But when the apparent usage of a downmix for the 2.0 audio track on this UHD is also factored in it results in one too many niggles for this be any kind of 'definitive' A/V presentation, leaving the door open for another label elsewhere in the world to release this 4K HDR transfer with the first reel correctly coloured and the genuine OG 2.0 audio reinstated.

One other little whinge: why are Kino's Blus and UHDs mastered so differently? Virtually every other indie uses the same menus, same chapter set, same underlying master on BDs and UHDs of the same film issued at the same time. So it's just weird that the menus on Kino's BDs and UHDs are totally different and the main movie has a Kino Lorber logo appended to the start of it on BD whereas the UHD does not. This throws off the timing when trying to compare scenes, which wouldn't be so bad if the chapter stops weren't also COMPLETELY different between the two discs.

User avatar
Finch
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2008 5:09 pm
Location: Edinburgh, UK

Re: UHD Titles Worth/Not Worth Upgrading

#118 Post by Finch » Sat Oct 23, 2021 4:52 pm

Moved SoTL to the Disappointing disc column and also included both the Studio Canal and Shout Factory UHDs of They Live. I get the impression the Shout Factory UHD of Prince of Darkness is fine, however.

User avatar
EddieLarkin
Joined: Sat Sep 08, 2012 10:25 am

Re: UHD Titles Worth/Not Worth Upgrading

#119 Post by EddieLarkin » Sat Oct 23, 2021 6:05 pm

No, the Shout Factory Prince of Darkness is affected in exactly the same way as They Live. Both have the Rec.2020 primaries native to their masters knee capped into the smaller DCI-P3 gamut, causing colours to become artificially drab. Only the Studio Canal releases have the films in their proper Rec.2020 gamut.

The Studio Canal versions of both look excellent if you ask me, as do Escape from New York and The Fog (assuming playback is in DV though, to fix the horrific HDR10 compression), though this is far from a unanimous opinion.

User avatar
Finch
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2008 5:09 pm
Location: Edinburgh, UK

Re: UHD Titles Worth/Not Worth Upgrading

#120 Post by Finch » Sat Oct 23, 2021 8:14 pm

Thank you for clarifying, Eddie, as I was still planning on buying the Shout Factory one of Prince. So the Carpenter SCs have the same issue as the Melville: looking great only in Dolby Vision? I was going to get a DV player anyway so I'm glad I can at least resort to the SCs for They Live and Prince of Darkness. So the colors are correct when the disc uses the Dolby Vision layer? (I'll move the Carpenter SCs to the "Only buy if you have Dolby Vision" section".

User avatar
dwk
Joined: Sat Jun 12, 2010 6:10 pm

Re: UHD Titles Worth/Not Worth Upgrading

#121 Post by dwk » Sat Oct 23, 2021 8:54 pm

I can never remember which StudioCanal Carpenter title(s) have the audio in the wrong pitch, but I think at least one of them is.

User avatar
EddieLarkin
Joined: Sat Sep 08, 2012 10:25 am

Re: UHD Titles Worth/Not Worth Upgrading

#122 Post by EddieLarkin » Sun Oct 24, 2021 3:53 am

The colours are correct on the SC Carpenters regardless of HDR10 and DV. The colours are wrong on the SF Carpenters regardless of HDR10 and DV.

DV fixes the bad compression of the SC Carpenters (the new Halloweens from SF are affected by this too). In fact, all SC UHDs that were not encoded by David M have terrible HDR10 compression and need the DV layer to help.
dwk wrote:
Sat Oct 23, 2021 8:54 pm
I can never remember which StudioCanal Carpenter title(s) have the audio in the wrong pitch, but I think at least one of them is.
It's The Fog. The pitch is wrong on both 5.1 and 2.0 tracks, as the latter is actually just a downmix of the former. Good opportunity for SF to improve on the SC, but only if they don't FUBAR the colours.

User avatar
ianthemovie
Joined: Sat Apr 18, 2009 10:51 am
Location: Boston, MA
Contact:

Re: UHD Titles Worth/Not Worth Upgrading

#123 Post by ianthemovie » Sun Oct 24, 2021 10:40 am

Can anyone comment on the recent UHD release of The Ten Commandments?

FlickeringWindow
Joined: Fri Nov 15, 2013 12:27 pm

Re: UHD Titles Worth/Not Worth Upgrading

#124 Post by FlickeringWindow » Sun Oct 24, 2021 12:54 pm

ianthemovie wrote:
Sun Oct 24, 2021 10:40 am
Can anyone comment on the recent UHD release of The Ten Commandments?
Subtle upgrade to an already fantastic Blu-ray, as the same 4K restoration is utilized. As with many other 4K upgrades of already excellent Blus from 4K restorations, don't expect night and day difference, just the color having a little more depth and the image is a little sharper. The optical effects apparently got a little more work, so while they're not going to look modern, they don't stick out too badly either.

The recent steelbook reissue is a good choice if you don't have it on Blu already or only have one of the movie-only editions. You get all the extras from the 2011 deluxe gift set/2019 digibook, including the 1923 silent film. For that matter, every single one of the extras is in HD: the making-of documentary, the silent film, the trailers, and even alternate footage from the silent film (Technicolor and stencil color excerpts).

User avatar
david hare
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 8:01 pm
Location: WellyYeller

Re: UHD Titles Worth/Not Worth Upgrading

#125 Post by david hare » Sun Oct 24, 2021 3:32 pm

I don’t really agree with that. The BluRay was and remains a very good transition from a 4K master downrezzed in Rec.709 Color spacing and with suitably elevated lighting/reduced gamma to deliver an exceptional and well lit image. The UHD disc has been mastered with some (not much) HDR/DV but in the process they don’t gain any more details in the darker end and shadow detail keeps crushing into black, in fact the blacks start to look milky on the UHD. In addition because of the HDR and the comcomitant shift to Rec 2020 it’s far too dark, and ends up looking like it was taken from a negative source that was incorrectly color timed for white level. The UHD looks a little heavier (a dreaded Beaver expression) and the grain is more deep but I frankly prefer the image and experience on the BluRay. This is one of the few UHD upgrade discs that I do feel this way about. I think in the end they needed to revisit nthe older 4K master and re vamp their application of HDR to it.

Post Reply