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UHD Review A Few Words About A few words about...™ Belle -- in 4k UHD Blu-ray (1 Viewer)

Robert Harris

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Robert Harris
While I'm a fan of some Japanese animation, most notably the works of Studio Ghibli and Hayao Miyazaki, I don't follow it in general.

I had heard so many positive things about Belle, directed by Mamoru Hosada, that I had to take a look, and came away very pleased.

Beautifully animated, and with a story that resounds about childhood, happiness and the cruelty of others, I'll link to a site that I believe will give you more information than I'm able in these few words that seems to sum it up fairly.


Shout Factory has created a beautiful package in which to wrap this 4k presentation - a story box with velvety textures and glossy white lettering, a 54 page soft-bound book, a post, and some cards that I found superfluous.

There are three discs in a folding heavy paper holder. The film in Blu-ray, in 4k and a separate disc for bonus features inclusive of a making of, a conversation with the filmmaker and other assorted extras.

The quality of the imagery is fine, with a few very minor problems. The film was completed in 2k, and the up-rez to 4k, has made occasional banding that will be noted by some viewers, especially in projection.

Did the film need to be released in 4k?

A beautifully rendered Blu would probably have served it very well, but I'm not complaining, as there is undoubtedly a bit more resolution that may have gone unseen.

Image – 4.25

Audio – 5 (Dolby Atmos)

Pass / Fail – Pass

Plays nicely with projectors - Yes

Makes use of and works well in 4k - 3.5

Highly Recommended
 

titch

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Kevin Oppegaard
The banding on the blu-ray made it unwatchable. The banding wasn't noticeable during theatrical projection and can only be due to compression.
 

sbjork

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Stephen
The banding on the blu-ray made it unwatchable. The banding wasn't noticeable during theatrical projection and can only be due to compression.
What Titch said. There's actually a significant difference between the Blu-ray and the UHD, even more so than I was expecting. It all comes down to compression ratios. Belle is a visually dense film, with a lot going on from corner to corner in every frame, and the compression on the Blu-ray just can't keep up with it. It wasn't a particularly well-authored disc, so it's possible that it could have been improved upon somewhat, but nowhere near as much as the UHD does. It isn't that there's more detail on the UHD; it's that the detail is better resolved. That applies to both the fine detail, and the color detail as well. Nearly everything looks crisper, cleaner, and better defined. The only thing that I noticed that really betrays the 2K origination is the smallest of the text bubbles that pop up in the U. When the text gets that tiny, it gets blurry and undefined. But otherwise, it's an improvement across the board. Banding is minimized, and that's a big difference. It was terrible on the Blu-ray.
 

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