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The VC-1 encoded HD DVD disc wouldn’t rank up there with the top discs in the new HD DVD format, but it still looks pretty darn good. Fine detail is very good, especially on close ups. The detail in the faces is amazing at times, especially the shots of peoples eyes, it is so lifelike it looks like they are staring right through the screen directly into your eyes. The lush green landscapes of the countryside really pop as well as the bright red blood gushing from the soldiers during the battle. There are a few instances in the film where the picture is a tad soft, and there is some video noise present in the presentation that may actually be on the original print, which would be a compliment to the encoding because it is captured in a very lifelike way. Black levels were slightly elevated as well, and I had to turn the brightness down on my display by 3 clicks in order to restore the shadow detail that I am accustomed to on HD DVD’s.
Simply outstanding! While I have been somewhat liberal in my praise of HD DVD soundtracks, this one definitely moves to the top of the list of Reference audio mixes...."