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UHD Review A few words about...™ It's a Wonderful Life -- in 4k UHD Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Nov 1, 2019.

  1. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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    Yes, thanks Mr.Harris. Another wrinkle - from what I understand the digital copy included with the new Blu-ray will redeem in 4K UHD on iTunes, so anyone with the new disc can have both if they so desire.
     
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  2. Worth

    Worth Producer

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    I have it on iTunes, but am not 4K/HDR capable. It looks pretty good to me, definitely an improvement over the previous blu-ray, though it does look like there's been some "grain management."
     
  3. Dave Moritz

    Dave Moritz Lead Actor
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    My 4K UHD Blu-ray just arrived today and I will see if I have time to view it today!

    20191113_153617a.
     
  4. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    Yes, it’s one of the few positives of Paramount not joining Movies Anywhere. They give you an HD code which can be redeemed directly in iTunes. iTunes as a matter of policy provides all purchases and direct redemptions in the highest available resolution format, which for this movie is 4K.

    So yeah, buy the Blu-ray, and get the movie in 4K on iTunes too. That’s what I did.
     
  5. DavidJ

    DavidJ Producer

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    That’s probably what I’m going to do. Buy the new Blu-ray and redeem the digital but I’m tempted to just bypass it for now. It’s frustrating to me that I can’t assume I’ll get a proper and better representation of the film on UHD disc.
     
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  6. ghostwind

    ghostwind Stunt Coordinator
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    Or you one can be a dope like me and buy the 4K and the Blu-ray, throw out both color versions, and put the 4K and Blu-ray in the same case. 2x the money gets you no color version! ;)

    On a more serious note, I love having all the movies online in iTunes as well, as it makes it less likely for my wife or son to open my precious discs in my absence, and they can still watch the films. Collectors will appreciate the importance of this. :)
     
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  7. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    I think you'll enjoy it despite the video presentation naysayers.
     
  8. willyTass

    willyTass Supporting Actor

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    In Australia we get the remastered blu Ray included rather than the colorised version
    BCE61683-9028-4DA0-A57F-B731F1912435. C64C491F-2A3E-4BE5-B09F-FF65BA142D25.
     
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  9. OliverK

    OliverK Producer

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    Something's got to give with an average bitrate of less than 20 Mbps - you can only show so much grain on a limited bit budget.
    In two cases where I had the chance to compare film grain was treated harshly on iTunes.

    Not my cup of tea so especially for older movies shot on film I will always go for the disc version if available.
     
  10. Message #250 of 333 Nov 14, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2019
    Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Here’s another thought.

    If the final result does not mimic a 35mm film print, as the best standard issue Blu-rays releases of the era do, why even consider a 4k release?

    Especially when wrangling HDR or DV variants,

    Compare Wonderful Life in 4k, in projection, to something like The Letter.

    To my eye, Letter appears akin to a film print, while WL takes on the look of entirely something else, possibly too close to a reverse polarity negative. Technically ultra-sharp, and with a beautifully harvested image, but in some ways too unforgiving of the stocks and optics, that need a generation of air.

    Some films will work in 4k, albeit with a bit of digital massaging. Others can be problematic. Oz works beautifully. Robin Hood and GWTW would work less so.

    I see it as an interesting experiment, and am pleased that Paramount gave it a shot.
     
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  11. willyTass

    willyTass Supporting Actor

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    Now that I’ve seen the 4k I’m a bit sad

    parts look great, parts look devoid of film grain



    better than the old Blu ray for sure , but still I’m left wondering
     
  12. Message #252 of 333 Nov 14, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2019
    Trancas

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    Have you tried pausing the movie during parts that look devoid of grain. Maybe it's there but your eyes aren't refreshing fast enough to see it? Old movies always look grainier when paused. The wider dynamic range may leave some tones that look grainless in motion.??
     
  13. RMajidi

    RMajidi Screenwriter

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    Thanks for confirming this, Willy. The JB Hi-Fi online spiel doesn’t specify the details of the second disc, so I was going to import from the UK. I’ll buy it locally now instead. Cheers mate.
     
  14. Message #254 of 333 Nov 14, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2019
    willyTass

    willyTass Supporting Actor

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    thank you for your visit


    Jokes aside yes I’ve paused it at various points in the film and I’m using a Panasonic 9000

    certain scenes are outstanding others appear soft , and not just the dissolves / opticals

    im not a fan of the UHD format , as properly done 1920 x 1080 in the hands of a good compressionist is more than enough to resolve 35 mm film imho

    I’ve seen many many Blu rays of black and white films with breathtaking quality . But watching It’s a wonderful life in 4k was a head scratcher
     
  15. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Lead Actor

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    You're playing the movie on a turntable??? ;)
     
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  16. Message #256 of 333 Nov 14, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2019
    Dave H

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    I'm glad to see Paramount actually the time to do the new Blu-ray right.

    What we are seeing in some cases with other remastered BDs that accompany the UHD BD almost seems like a quick and easy effort. I wonder if it's some sort of HDR to SDR automated software process or something? Sometimes things just look odd (colors look off, shadow detail crushed, etc.) and we rarely used to see this with remastered titles when BD was the premiere format. It's as if more time and effort went into getting rec 709. Now, some BDs that are being done with no UHD BD are still looking excellent. Arrow titles come to mind but there are others.

    For example, The Matrix remastered BD has some serious clipping and some parts look blown out. I don't see this on the UHD BD which looks more balanced even on my (nicely) tone mapped JVC front projector. I do see this with some other Warner more recently remastered BD titles, but others as well.
     
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  17. YanMan

    YanMan Stunt Coordinator

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    Mr. Harris,

    Your thoughts on this controversy have been interesting and appreciated, and your above post in particular brings the following question to mind:

    Is the true goal (in your opinion) of any film restoration that starts with the original negative to make the final master look like a film print?

    If I understand you correctly in the case of IAWL you are arguing yes, and your thoughts above indicate that maybe the 4k is TOO close to the original elements.

    Yet it seems we have had many releases sourced from restorations starting with the original negatives (even before 4k UHD) where the majority of reviewers were extremely happy with end results that were acknowledged to probably looking better and revealing more detail than any release print of the film ever would have.

    So is this really something that needs to be decided on a film-by-film basis, and if so, what are the criteria that should be used to determine whether to add "a generation of air", as you put it, to the final result?
     
  18. Will Krupp

    Will Krupp Cinematographer

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    I have an older Samsung 4k TV that uses a workaround (that doesn't really work at all) for HDR and I don't like the way it looks so I've given up on buying 4k discs for the present. Mr. Harris made me salivate over the upgraded blu-ray so I bought it and I think it looks phenomenal!

    Thank you!
     
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  19. Mark VH

    Mark VH Second Unit

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    Mr. Harris, thanks for your continued thoughts. Considering that I've been watching the film every year on the old 60th anniversary edition DVD from 2006 (on my 50-inch Panasonic plasma), it sounds like the 1080p Blu-ray will be a welcome upgrade, so that's the one I'll be buying.
     
  20. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Very much film by film.
     
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