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Blu Rays That Made You Go Wow!


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#1 of 61 OFFLINE   Cinescott

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Posted April 15 2011 - 09:49 AM

There are several standouts in my collection that sparkle when comparing standard def to Blu Ray. It's a great experience to see a beloved film for the first time with an outstanding transfer to 1080p. Bravo to the studios that took the time and effort to make their films shine on Blu! The most notable for me are:


The Ten Commandments

Saturday Night Fever

Doctor Zhivago

Close Encounters of the Third Kind

Braveheart

Star Trek, The Original Series


Wow moments for me, hopefully more to come.






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#2 of 61 OFFLINE   benbess

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Posted April 15 2011 - 10:10 AM

The John Ford Western The Searchers was one of my very first blu-rays. It's a VistaVision film, and although the colors seems just slightly off to me, the image is amazing. It has almost a 3D kind of pop...When I saw that film I was a convert to the magic of blu....Like your list too.







#3 of 61 OFFLINE   GMpasqua

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Posted April 15 2011 - 11:35 AM

I have quite a few wows:


(Viewed on my Pioneer 52" Plasma screen  - I most likely would not feel the same way if I viewed them on my 42" LCS screen which gives a very different  kind of image)


North By Northwest

Black Narissus

How the West Was Won

Charade

South Pacific

Casablanca

The Adventures of Robin Hood

Doctor Zhivago

Battle of the Bugle

Goldfinger

The Wild Bunch

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

The Sound of Music

Psycho

The Magnificent Seven




Then there are a few that made my say huh?


Spartacus

Patton

Bull Durham (more like it's just okay)

The Greatest Story Ever Told




#4 of 61 ONLINE   Charles Smith

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Posted April 15 2011 - 12:15 PM

My first motivation for buying a Blu-ray player in 2008:  Blade Runner.


And a bunch of those named above.  And a whole bunch of Criterions.




#5 of 61 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted April 15 2011 - 12:47 PM

When digitally restored correctly, it's amazing

that the classic films look better than those

released over the past few years.


The most notable classics that look tremendous

on Blu-ray include:


How The West Was Won

The Ten Commandments

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang


I mean....really....WOW


Something more recent that I felt just looked

phenomenal on Blu-ray was Sin City


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#6 of 61 ONLINE   Charles Smith

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Posted April 15 2011 - 12:55 PM

Hands down, it's the older films -- the ones done right -- that I have consistently found to be the most thrilling.



#7 of 61 OFFLINE   benbess

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Posted April 15 2011 - 02:08 PM



Originally Posted by Chas in CT 

Hands down, it's the older films -- the ones done right -- that I have consistently found to be the most thrilling.


Yes, I agree. I wonder why they seem to pop more than pretty much all of the newer films? I guess it's the high resolution formats, VistaVision and so on, and maybe better film stocks?




#8 of 61 OFFLINE   Douglas Monce

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Posted April 15 2011 - 06:35 PM



Originally Posted by benbess 




Yes, I agree. I wonder why they seem to pop more than pretty much all of the newer films? I guess it's the high resolution formats, VistaVision and so on, and maybe better film stocks?



To be honest I think it has a great deal to do with the fact that cinematographers back then just knew how to light. I'm afraid that the advent of fast film, and soft lighting has made modern DP's lazy. When you are shooting all your lights through soft boxes, you don't have to be so careful about your key to fill ratio.  It seems as though no one today knows how to use hard light. Of course its partly from the desire in the late 60's and early 70's to create a more natural look, but I say now its just pure laziness.


Interestingly I think the growing use of digital video with its somewhat limited latitude, will force the DP's today to be much more careful about how they light. You have to be accurate or you blow out your highlights, or crush your blacks.


Doug



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#9 of 61 OFFLINE   Robin9

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Posted April 15 2011 - 09:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ronald Epstein 

When digitally restored correctly, it's amazing

that the classic films look better than those

released over the past few years.




A Passage To India. Blu-ray done properly. Blu-ray at its best.




#10 of 61 OFFLINE   benbess

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Posted April 15 2011 - 10:56 PM



Originally Posted by Douglas Monce 




To be honest I think it has a great deal to do with the fact that cinematographers back then just knew how to light. I'm afraid that the advent of fast film, and soft lighting has made modern DP's lazy. When you are shooting all your lights through soft boxes, you don't have to be so careful about your key to fill ratio.  It seems as though no one today knows how to use hard light. Of course its partly from the desire in the late 60's and early 70's to create a more natural look, but I say now its just pure laziness.


Interestingly I think the growing use of digital video with its somewhat limited latitude, will force the DP's today to be much more careful about how they light. You have to be accurate or you blow out your highlights, or crush your blacks.


Doug





Yes. I think you've hit on probably the most important point when it comes to this...



#11 of 61 OFFLINE   Cinescott

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Posted April 16 2011 - 12:56 AM



Originally Posted by benbess 






Yes. I think you've hit on probably the most important point when it comes to this...


Completely agree and I believe it's blu-ray that allows us to have this debate. Films from pre 1970 or so seem to have a much richer depth to their lighting than more contemporary work. Look at David Lean films, for example. His work from the 60s (i.e. Doctor Zhivago) shows incredible lighting depth and complexity. There was so much work put into every shot and hi definition shows all of it in its beauty or ugliness. That's how masterpieces are made.


The "Age of Realism" that started in the 70s changed a lot of that, but I also believe that modern digital cameras are completely unforgiving to frugality or laziness. Maybe we'll see a shift back to an era where movies are shot with more TLC. That'd be pretty cool.



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#12 of 61 OFFLINE   Cinescott

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Posted April 17 2011 - 07:50 AM

Superman: The Movie also made me stand up and take notice. Richard Donner "tweaked" this one a bit digitally for re-release and it works. Wow!

I'm normally not a fan of directors who change their movies over time, especially if the original is taken out of circulation (initials GL: 'nuf said). However, there were a few shots in Superman where the old blue screen effects process interfered with the blue costume and those have all been cleaned digitally. Super job on a super, classic movie and an example of how movies can be changed for the better.


I doubt if I'll ever duplicate the excitement of seeing this one in the theater for the first time.


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#13 of 61 OFFLINE   benbess

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Posted April 17 2011 - 08:05 AM



Originally Posted by Cinescott 

Superman: The Movie also made me stand up and take notice. Richard Donner "tweaked" this one a bit digitally for re-release and it works. Wow!

I'm normally not a fan of directors who change their movies over time, especially if the original is taken out of circulation (initials GL: 'nuf said). However, there were a few shots in Superman where the old blue screen effects process interfered with the blue costume and those have all been cleaned digitally. Super job on a super, classic movie and an example of how movies can be changed for the better.


I doubt if I'll ever duplicate the excitement of seeing this one in the theater for the first time.

+1 Love the intro music on Superman. Turn that up loud as they whoosh past the comics and the moon and start the credits. WOW! That'll clear the dust out of your ears. What a musical and sonic rush. I've annoyed my kids by playing that several times--although they mostly like it.




#14 of 61 OFFLINE   Cinescott

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Posted April 17 2011 - 09:12 AM



Originally Posted by benbess 



+1 Love the intro music on Superman. Turn that up loud as they whoosh past the comics and the moon and start the credits. WOW! That'll clear the dust out of your ears. What a musical and sonic rush. I've annoyed my kids by playing that several times--although they mostly like it.



Yes, John Williams at his prolific best. This score ranks among his most memorable IMHO. Timeless, classic music. In lossless audio? Amazing.



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#15 of 61 OFFLINE   Paul_Scott

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Posted April 17 2011 - 09:19 AM



Originally Posted by Douglas Monce 


Interestingly I think the growing use of digital video with its somewhat limited latitude, will force the DP's today to be much more careful about how they light. You have to be accurate or you blow out your highlights, or crush your blacks.


Doug


Does it even matter since just about every movie I see out there today gets graded with a very unrealistic and artificial teal and orange look?


It's sad, but I can't recall a period in my life where movies as a whole have ever looked uglier. And even worse, it's infecting releases of catalog material on Bd.

Just look at the films of Ridley Scott- now teal and orange-ized for your pleasure Posted Image




#16 of 61 OFFLINE   Douglas Monce

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Posted April 17 2011 - 09:40 AM



Originally Posted by Paul_Scott 



Does it even matter since just about every movie I see out there today gets graded with a very unrealistic and artificial teal and orange look?


It's sad, but I can't recall a period in my life where movies as a whole have ever looked uglier. And even worse, it's infecting releases of catalog material on Bd.

Just look at the films of Ridley Scott- now teal and orange-ized for your pleasure Posted Image


I couldn't agree with you more. In fact my goal on some shorts that I've been doing is to reproduce the look of Technicolor prints from an Eastman negative ala the 1950's and 60's. I much prefer a full color pallet.


Of course there is a time and place for everything. Gordon Willis’ brassy color scheme for the 1900s sequences in The Godfather part 2 is the perfect counter point to the 1950’s sequences. Again the man knew what he was doing.  Today they just think lets slap a color on it. 10 years ago everything was tented green because of The Matrix, now its teal and orange! UGLY!


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#17 of 61 OFFLINE   benbess

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Posted April 17 2011 - 09:57 AM



Originally Posted by Cinescott 

There are several standouts in my collection that sparkle when comparing standard def to Blu Ray. It's a great experience to see a beloved film for the first time with an outstanding transfer to 1080p. Bravo to the studios that took the time and effort to make their films shine on Blu! The most notable for me are:


The Ten Commandments

Saturday Night Fever

Doctor Zhivago

Close Encounters of the Third Kind

Braveheart

Star Trek, The Original Series


Wow moments for me, hopefully more to come.








Nice titles!


About 6 months ago my parents, who are in their early 70s, came from Seattle to Louisville for a visit. I showed them some movies on my decent but only moderate or even modest set up (42" Sony Bravia, infiniti speakers, ps3), hoping to wow them over their vhs and 20" tube set. They liked it, but my dad said at one point, "I'm not sure I'm really seeing the blu-ray effect. What's the big deal." That puzzled me, because what we were watching looked quite good imho.


Then I realized they needed to see something they were familiar with--something I watched with them as a kid back in the mid 70s on our 19" b & w sylvania. And I pulled out Star Trek TOS, and put on Journey to Babel, one of the all-time classic episodes. Now they saw it as they saw the whites of Shatner's eyes as well as his eyeliner. "Oh yes! Now I see it! But I can see his make up!" Oh well, it's hard to win. They still liked it anyway.



#18 of 61 OFFLINE   Cinescott

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Posted April 17 2011 - 10:37 AM



Originally Posted by benbess 



They liked it, but my dad said at one point, "I'm not sure I'm really seeing the blu-ray effect. What's the big deal." That puzzled me, because what we were watching looked quite good imho.


Then I realized they needed to see something they were familiar with--something I watched with them as a kid back in the mid 70s on our 19" b & w sylvania. And I pulled out Star Trek TOS, and put on Journey to Babel, one of the all-time classic episodes. Now they saw it as they saw the whites of Shatner's eyes as well as his eyeliner. "Oh yes! Now I see it! But I can see his make up!" Oh well, it's hard to win. They still liked it anyway.



Ben, I've had many similar experiences. "But, I can see the lines, wrinkles, fingerprints on a glass, etc." It is frustrating when you consider that clarity is the whole point. I've often thought that a good analogy would be someone having bad eyesight for fifty years, getting their sight corrected, then deciding they liked the world better blurry. Are they wrong? Personally, I like seeing movies for what they are: imperfect creations.

I think often, too, about how difficult it was to convince my parents to get their first VCR. "Why should we do that? We're never going to watch anything more than once. Besides, most people will never buy a VCR. Too expensive." Funny to think about in hindsight.


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#19 of 61 OFFLINE   Dick

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Posted April 17 2011 - 11:25 AM



Originally Posted by Chas in CT 

Hands down, it's the older films -- the ones done right -- that I have consistently found to be the most thrilling.



Yeah, there were different film stocks used years ago, and the colors tended to be more saturated (especially the 3-strip Technicolor ones). When well-restored and transferred to Blu-ray they do tend to make an impression. I also agree that lighting techniques used by contemporary cinematographers have a lot to do with it.



#20 of 61 OFFLINE   benbess

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Posted April 17 2011 - 11:30 AM



Originally Posted by Cinescott 





Ben, I've had many similar experiences. "But, I can see the lines, wrinkles, fingerprints on a glass, etc." It is frustrating when you consider that clarity is the whole point. I've often thought that a good analogy would be someone having bad eyesight for fifty years, getting their sight corrected, then deciding they liked the world better blurry. Are they wrong? Personally, I like seeing movies for what they are: imperfect creations.

I think often, too, about how difficult it was to convince my parents to get their first VCR. "Why should we do that? We're never going to watch anything more than once. Besides, most people will never buy a VCR. Too expensive." Funny to think about in hindsight.




Funny story! And glad I'm not the only one whose parents act that way. My mother still laughs about how, back in 1981, I taught her how to use an ATM. It scared her the first time, and my gosh I now realize she was younger than I am now....Of course when my teenage son tries to explain tech things to me I'm often lost, so it goes on.


But a big plus one to your major point. It's like the fog has been lifted. Once in a while the limitations are slightly distracting even to me, I must admit. In one Star Trek episode with a "dead body" it is so clearly a not-very-good dummy that it a little bit breaks the flow of the episode... But other than that glaring example, most of the rest of TOS looks great to me. And my 9 year old daughter and 14 year old son have watched the whole show now, all three seasons, and loved it. In fact my daughter say, and I have to say I kind of agree, that the TV show is better than any of the movies. I'm not sure I'd go that far for Kahn or Undiscovered Country or Generations, but mostly she's right. I asked her why, and she said the whole thing was just better in the old show, but one thing specifically was Capt. Kirk's hair! It looked creepy to her in all the movies--like an alien growth of some kind. lol. I think she just gave me permission to let my hair go as it is starting to now....