A perfect example is Jane Campion’s The Piano, a 1993 film, shot on 35/4, and showing every bit of it’s grain structure like a war-time medal.
It’s a beautifully shot, high quality film, with no more than moderate resolution, that looks fine in its latest Criterion incineration, in both Blu-ray as well as 4k UHD versions.
I mention that precipitous juncture, as we seem to have come to a time when everything can eventually be released in 4k, whether it benefits the film or not, except when sitting with one’s nose to the screen.
I’m unable to speak to Dolby Vision, as I sampled my viewing via projection, which is seemingly the best means of eeking everything out of a 4k release.
Comparing the Blu-ray to the 4k, what I’m seeing is a bit more highly resolved edge to grain. That’s it.
There is simply nothing else to resolve.
So now we’ll ask the big question.
Am I happier with 4k than Blu-ray, even if a noticeable different cannot be seen at a nominal seating distance?
For the simply knowledge that I’m getting everything out of the original negative that can be harvested, especially in projection.
Can I see a different seated ten or twelve feet away?
Not a chance.
But the bragging rights are in place.
I’ll bring up that precipitous juncture once again, as Criterion is also releasing A Hard Day’s Night in 4k – a film for which the entire original negative does not survive.
Am I happy to have it in 4k?
Is it necessary?
All a matter of dollars.
Would I pay an additional $7 to have a film in 4k, even if it doesn’t need it?
What have we learned?
I believe that at this juncture we can bring out everything in 4k, unless the format makes it a worse experience. Have at it.
Image – 5 (Dolby Vision)
Audio – 5 (DTS-HD MA 5.1)
Pass / Fail – Pass
Plays nicely with projectors – Yes
Makes use of and works well in 4k – 3.25
Upgrade from earlier Blu-ray – Absolutely!
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