The region-free BD player I originally used for this advisory(Not calling it a review...as I'm not one for absolute technical merit of video. Audio, yes, video...no) died. I sent the BD player back to where it came from and they are sending a replacement. There is a thread of this BD player stating such. I did manage to coax a decent picture out of it on a Panasonic 1080p plasma before it died. Once its issues started it was unusable on the Hitachi. Last straw was when I tried to watch Mud. The opening scene of Mud was a disaster. The advisory of Pillow Book is accurate cause that was during the first day or two out of the box...when the BD player worked.
Like I did for Pillow Book, letting those know if this is worth bringing over.
Best the film has ever looked.
60% of the movie is worth it over the R2 DVD. 40% is absolutely atrocious. Depends if the 40%(which is what I'll describe) is enough to make you not get it.
For 60% of this movie the picture is near as flawless as you can expect this ilk of film to be. Zulawski is probably happy.
The 40% is a disaster. There is enough DNR in some scenes(beginning "board room" being one) that it appears the movie was shot across a green screen. I'm not kidding.
Anyway, it is better for the majority of the movie than the R2 DVD. Just depends if you can handle the constant highs and lows of the image.
It has come to my attention that I need to check this film on one of my 1080P displays in my home. After researching the "known banding" that BluRay.com(link later in this thread) mentions at the very beginning of the movie, it appears that my Hitachi P50X901 exaggerates banding. This is the first movie I've ever seen this phenomena with.
So if it is a Hitachi*(not all Hitachi, the interlacing plasma models only) problem, so be it. After reading the manual again, it appears the set doesn't do 720P either...so, the Orei is getting moved tomorrow. (doesn't mean I will be getting rid of the Hitachi anytime soon, probably means a 2nd region free BD player is coming to the house for the main theater. Just certain movies, my girlfriend and I like to watch in the "cozy theater" where this Hitachi is)
*I have two of these X901. I also have 4 1080P 42"-60" LG/Panasonics as well as a JVC D-ILA. Everything is ISF calibrated.
Apologies for having "electronics issues" and not catching them till after I start recommending a disc for first timers wanting to see what is worth it to bring over from other markets, when unavailable here.
The Orei(right when I started watching this and the R2 DVD) started having "brick upon shutdown" issues. I watched bits and pieces of this disc numerous times when leaving the house and doing other stuff. Out of the 10-ish times I turned it off, it bricked 8 times..necessitating unplugging it from the wall, which reset the Orei to Full RGB, instead of YCrBr. My complaints over the banding, which mainly was exaggerated because of the excess blue, causes ALIS(Fujitsu and Hitachi) to go bonkers.
Anyway when I set the Orei correctly for an ALIS plasma(which is 720P or 1080I...when there are banding issues) most of the issues I alluded to cleared up.
When I connected the Orei to a Panny 1080P plasma(again after setting it YCrBr etc) it shows exactly as BluRay.com shows in their screen shots.
Egg on my face for a "wonky BD player" and forgetting the challenges presented by ALIS.