This is a difficult film for me to review as a 4k disc, as I know little about the production and post,
except that it has more than a few effects.

As far as I can tell, it was shot on two speeds of Eastman negative stock, which would account for
the heavy grain structure seen generally throughout. Whether this might be combined with a bit of
sharpening to help bring out details, I know not.

Some shots, especially with effects do not exhibit this appearance.

But regardless, at least to my eyes, a film which never looked particularly good in earlier
incarnations for home video, now appears decidedly better, particularly from a normal
seating distance, which grain disappears, and the image becomes integrated and detailed,
with a nice pop of either contrast, or HDR (for those with flat panels, Dolby Vision is
included).

Colors and densities come to the fore, with reds popping even more than they had in
the past, as 4k allows proper reproduction.

Main titles look a bit odd (processing), but nothing here to be concerned about.

Audio, now in Dolby Atmos, sounds fine.

A fun, cult sci-fi film from 1990, that’s always been a crowd-pleaser.

Image – 5

Audio – 5 (Dolby Atmos)

Pass / Fail – Pass

Upgrade from Blu-ray – Yes

Highly Recommended

RAH

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Robert Harris

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View thread (27 replies)

Michel_Hafner

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Unfortunately compression completely breaks down a couple of times on the HDR10 layer (with DV on top it's less severe). Why can't SC get their HDR10 layer compression right? There is no DV on projectors! It's an ongoing problem when they do the compression themselves.
 

titch

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Unfortunately compression completely breaks down a couple of times on the HDR10 layer (with DV on top it's less severe). Why can't SC get their HDR10 layer compression right? There is no DV on projectors! It's an ongoing problem when they do the compression themselves.
It doesn't appear to be a problem on every StudioCanal 4K UHD release. The Ladykillers, Elephant Man and Breathless are flawless. It's very unpredictable.
 

sbjork

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Does anyone else think that the audio sounds much thinner and less robust than previous versions? For one thing, it is mastered at a low level like Disney UHDs, but even with the volume raised it lacks dynamics and bass. When the shuttle lands on Mars, Jerry Goldsmith's score has always risen to a powerful crescendo with a deep bass note on the final chord, but this version has no guts. None of the reviews that I have read have mentioned that, and I have only heard one other person make the same complaint.
 

Jeff Brooks

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Does anyone else think that the audio sounds much thinner and less robust than previous versions? For one thing, it is mastered at a low level like Disney UHDs, but even with the volume raised it lacks dynamics and bass. When the shuttle lands on Mars, Jerry Goldsmith's score has always risen to a powerful crescendo with a deep bass note on the final chord, but this version has no guts. None of the reviews that I have read have mentioned that, and I have only heard one other person make the same complaint.
We also noticed it was definitely lacking some bass.
 

Lord Dalek

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The old dvd and blu had a different mix. Not that great to compare to.
 

sbjork

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The old dvd and blu had a different mix. Not that great to compare to.

It is very appropriate to compare them when a newly created Atmos mix sounds inferior to the old ones. Reducing the bass and dynamics is not exactly standard mixing procedure for upgrades (even if Disney appears to disagree.)
 

titch

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When they outsource to
with David M at the steering wheel it's great. If not...
Ah - makes sense. All the 4K transfers listed are perfect. No wonder Arrow's are so consistently stellar.


I'm receiving Arrow's 4K Crash this week and will compare to the German Turbine Medien one. It will be interesting to see if Arrow have done their own thing, or just used the same master, without any alterations.
 

willyTass

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Unfortunately compression completely breaks down a couple of times on the HDR10 layer (with DV on top it's less severe). Why can't SC get their HDR10 layer compression right? There is no DV on projectors! It's an ongoing problem when they do the compression themselves.


Same with Serpico and 3 Days of the Condor

Lazy compressionists Studio Canal use unless it’s something farmed out to Fidelity In Motion
 

Robert Harris

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Ah - makes sense. All the 4K transfers listed are perfect. No wonder Arrow's are so consistently stellar.


I'm receiving Arrow's 4K Crash this week and will compare to the German Turbine Medien one. It will be interesting to see if Arrow have done their own thing, or just used the same master, without any alterations.
David is a superb practitioner of digital compression magic.
 

Nelson Au

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I watched this disc last week and I thought it looked great. I agree the audio sounded thin especially during the titles as the score played, but once the movie started, I didn’t notice it as much.

I looked at that Fidelity In Motion link, I didn’t know there was a new Studio Canal release of The Fifth Element. But I don’t see a region A US release.version, but I figure it’s not region locked?
 

Malcolm R

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I didn’t know there was a new Studio Canal release of The Fifth Element. But I don’t see a region A US release.version, but I figure it’s not region locked?
Not confirmed by me, but I believe Studio Canal blu-rays are usually region locked. There is no region coding on 4K discs, if that's an option for you.

There was a North American release just a couple years ago:

Amazon product
 

sbjork

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looked at that Fidelity In Motion link, I didn’t know there was a new Studio Canal release of The Fifth Element. But I don’t see a region A US release.version, but I figure it’s not region locked?

The UHD won't be region locked, though any included Blu-ray probably would be. I have read two reviews of that disc which say that the encode makes it a definite upgrade over the domestic Sony disc. Thanks for reminding me that I need to order it!
 

Nelson Au

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I’ll find a Fifth Element thread as I don’t want to derail this Total Recall thread. But yes, I’d like a blu ray disc too. Glad to hear the Studio Canal disc improves over the Sony disc.
 

david hare

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David is a superb practitioner of digital compression magic.
I would say he's the best in the business, his work is up there with the level of Warner Archive. I am just looking at his Ladykillers (from the three strip negs) now and it's flawless. Even the 1080 BD disc looks fabulous, even without the added kick of DV and 2160 rez. The grain management is perfect. As MIchael Hafner may know there's been a lot of talk about the new Canal Le Cercle Rouge. (David did NOT work on this), it was another posthouse, possibly HIventy. Once again the Bluray looks great, but the UHD Disc is presenting real problems with compression, color bias, and more from the HDR level.
 

JoshZ

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The UHD won't be region locked, though any included Blu-ray probably would be. I have read two reviews of that disc which say that the encode makes it a definite upgrade over the domestic Sony disc. Thanks for reminding me that I need to order it!

Do you happen to have links to those reviews? I read somewhere that Studio Canal just licensed Sony's 4K master, but I don't know how reliable the source of that comment was.

I was extremely disappointed in the Sony 4K UHD for The Fifth Element. On my screen, it looks worse than the Blu-ray. Specifically, it looks like they took the 1080p master then jacked up the contrast and added a bunch of edge enhancement to it. It's kind of an eye sore.