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Robert Harris

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Don't get what I'm about to say wrong.

I love 4k UHD.

Arrow Films has been going full-speed ahead bringing out 4k UHD Blu-rays of older films, and they're to be congratulated for that. Arrow, which is apparently now owned by The Hut Group, which owns Zavvi seems to be pushing 4k, and that's a good thing.

But sampling three new releases, what I'm not seeing is any rationale for 4k. In fact, I'm seeing a reason not to go that route, especially with Children of the Corn, produced by Hal Roach Studios, which has an extremely coarse grain structure verging on pointillism, as well as a lack of high frequency imagery aside from that grain.

My presumption was that it was shot in 16mm, but that seems not to be the case.

Bird with the Crystal Plummage has soft main titles, and little imagery that may hit that 4k (or 3k, or 2k) barrier.

Same situation with Django, which doesn't have the requisite imagery to warrant the expense of a 4k release. If one is scanning the OCN, yes, by all means, do that at 4k for preservation, but a Blu-ray would have yielded equally lovely results outside of fan favorite HDR.

I'm not calling these releases out to denigrate Arrow, which is a superb publishing entity, with a great technical team. I'm simply noting that bringing out a film in 4k isn't a cookie cutter situation, and that films need to be properly vetted for resolution, as well as an myriad of other attributes before going that route.

In an odd way, it may come down to bragging rights, a bit akin to purchasing a Tesla S Plaid or BMW X5M Competition, and using it to pick up groceries - and never going near a track.

Point also being, that sometimes the use of 4k makes things worse, and not better. With Children of the Corn, you just don't want to be anywhere near the projection screen or monitor, as the imagery gets unpleasant.

All of that noted, here's where I see the potential root of the problem.

The final consumer, possibly especially horror and sci-fi fans, who have no concept of what 4k is, or why it should be used in very special circumstances. When a title is announced, the first question to hit the forums is "Will it be in 4k?" "I won't buy it unless it's 4k." When it comes to sound, "Why is it only 7.1? Why isn't it Dolby Atmos?"

So what happens?

The owners of IP (Universal monsters) and boutique publishers are put in a position where they're almost forced to publish in 4k, even though there may be zero rationale to do so.


Just food for thought. I'll now stand off my soap-box.


Image – 3 - 4.5

Audio – 5

Pass / Fail – Pass

Upgrade from Blu-ray - No

RAH
 
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JoshZ

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This can also apply to (slightly) higher budget Hollywood productions as well. I had much the same thought watching Spaceballs last night. The 4K and HDR really only served to exaggerate every speck of grain. There's no way anyone who made the movie wanted it to look so grainy. The accompanying Blu-ray, from the same master, seems to manage the grain better without much difference in actual picture detail.
 

Robert Harris

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This can also apply to (slightly) higher budget Hollywood productions as well. I had much the same thought watching Spaceballs last night. The 4K and HDR really only served to exaggerate every speck of grain. There's no way anyone who made the movie wanted it to look so grainy. The accompanying Blu-ray, from the same master, seems to manage the grain better without much difference in actual picture detail.
It applies to productions of all budgets. Keep in mind, that when it’s the OCN that’s scanned, that’s what is appearing on-screen, as never intended.

That can be very good, or alternatively.
 

Blu Eye

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I know this is a complex subject but I have a few questions.

So far, I have purchased and watched maybe less than 10 4k UHD releases.

To name a few Blade Runner, Field Of Dreams and Alien.

All have looked superb (to my eye) on my 4k 65 inch OLED.

What justifies a 4k release?

35mm? 65mm film only?

Does the manufacturer of the film play a major part? Some superior in quality such as resolution etc?

Going by reviews of UHD releases there seems to be a plethora of different types of productions of movies from different decades that have yielded excellent results.

I'm thinking The Wizard Of Oz, It's A Wonderful Life, 2001: A Space Odyssey, CEOTK and Casino etc.

I don't want to be throwing money away on releases that should have been released on Blu Ray only.

I think so far my purchases of UHD have been the right choice in relation to seeing the film how it should be viewed but this market could potentially become a cash cow for some publishers and just see it as a means to fleece the unknowing public.

I always go by reviews before I make any purchases but it would still be helpful if I am more knowledgeable on the subject.
 
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Robert Harris

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I know this is a complex subject but I have a few questions.

So far, I have purchased and watched maybe less than 10 4k UHD releases.

To name a few Blade Runner, Field Of Dreams and Alien.

All have looked superb to me on my 4k 65 inch OLED.

What justifies a 4k release?

35mm? 65mm film only?

Does the manufacturer of the film play a major part? Some superior in quality such as resolution etc?

Going by reviews of UHD releases there seems to be a plethora of different types of productions of movies from different decades that have yielded excellent results.

I'm thinking The Wizard Of Oz, It's A Wonderful Life, 2001: A Space Odyssey, CEOTK and Casino etc.

I don't want to be throwing money away on releases that should have been released on Blu Ray only.

I think so far my purchases of UHD have been the right choice in relation to seeing the film how it should be viewed but this market could potentially become a cash cow for some publishers and just see it as a means to fleece the unknowing public.

I always go by reviews before I make any purchases but it would still be helpful if I am more knowledgeable on the subject.
To be a bit simplistic, it all comes down to film stocks, capturing systems, optics, filters and extant film elements.

Will a 4k of Navarone, for example, shine vs a Blu? Possibly not. A new 4k scan to Blu may achieve a similar result, ex the HDR.

Casablanca, Dracula - probably not, as there’s nothing there that highly resolved.

All Vista, Technirama, 70mm? Yes. IF they’re handled properly.

Many modern films on modern stock? Yes.

Digitally shot productions at 4k and above- think Midsommar - Absolutely. In the Heights? Yes. Same Panavision camera.

Filtered productions like The Godfather? Very iffy. At a normal seating distance via home theater, little to be gained. On a huge theater screen? Yes.

Bottom line. If you’re sitting 10 feet away from a screen, you’re not going to see a difference in resolution.

Where 4k can shine, with the correct data stream, is via projection. MFL, Aurens, Midsommar et al.

As noted, some films will look worse in 4k, as the only resolution to be seen is grain.
 

Blu Eye

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To be a bit simplistic, it all comes down to film stocks, capturing systems, optics, filters and extant film elements.

Will a 4k of Navarone, for example, shine vs a Blu? Possibly not. A new 4k scan to Blu may achieve a similar result, ex the HDR.

Casablanca, Dracula - probably not, as there’s nothing there that highly resolved.

All Vista, Technirama, 70mm? Yes. IF they’re handled properly.

Many modern films on modern stock? Yes.

Digitally shot productions at 4k and above- think Midsommar - Absolutely. In the Heights? Yes. Same Panavision camera.

Filtered productions like The Godfather? Very iffy. At a normal seating distance via home theater, little to be gained. On a huge theater screen? Yes.

Bottom line. If you’re sitting 10 feet away from a screen, you’re not going to see a difference in resolution.

Where 4k can shine, with the correct data stream, is via projection. MFL, Aurens, Midsommar et al.

As noted, some films will look worse in 4k, as the only resolution to be seen is grain.

Thanks.

I presume modern film stocks are superior to older ones in many ways?

Did the filter used on The Godfather lower the resolution of the film used?

Sorry for my ignorance of photography.

I had a few 1 hour lessons in night class back in the day but employment made an end to that venture.
 

bgart13

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Does this mean you have your doubts about the upcoming Universal monsters UHDs being worthwhile, Robert?
 

Robert Harris

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Thanks.

I presume modern film stocks are superior to older ones in many ways?

Did the filter used on The Godfather lower the resolution of the film used?

Sorry for my ignorance of photography.

I had a few 1 hour lessons in night class back in the day but employment made an end to that venture.
Filters don’t affect the resolution of the film. They affect the resolution of the captured image.

I’m sure the Uni monsters will be beautiful, and everything they can be. But they can’t be 4k.

I’d buy them, if only to support the studio preservation programs.

Just don’t expect the first generation of panchromatic stocks to be anything other than what they are.

As to the overall look of The Godfather, it’s the sets of filter and Super Baltar optics that gave it the extraordinary look, as well as Gordon Willis, the genius behind the camera.

 
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David Norman

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Bingo bango - sugar in the gas tank:

Amazon product

This appears to be one of the weirdest releases of all time

Isn't this the 3rd or 4th release of this same or similar disc? Late 2018 I got the original Django+Texas Adios Steelbook
that may have been pulled before its official release due to a very late legal disagreement with ?Blue Underground over which company owned US rights. I know at least some preorders were shipped up and a couple places like FYE actually put them on the shelves which is how I ended up lucking into a copy of the Steel.

It seemed to show up again in June 2020, but again got a very short window of release before more legal stuff turned up, then again earlier this year is the same LE and SB packaging from 2018. Again Diablolik and a few other places sold/shipped preorders and maybe took orders briefly after the given release date. As I understand the discs are what was released almost 3 years ago and I think most of the Limited Edition was actually stock produced and warehoused for years though it is now listed as a Single Official release date May 2021.

Now it maybe appears to be a Special Edition release of just the single movie.
 

Derrick King

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This appears to be one of the weirdest releases of all time

Isn't this the 3rd or 4th release of this same or similar disc? Late 2018 I got the original Django+Texas Adios Steelbook
that may have been pulled before its official release due to a very late legal disagreement with ?Blue Underground over which company owned US rights. I know at least some preorders were shipped up and a couple places like FYE actually put them on the shelves which is how I ended up lucking into a copy of the Steel.

It seemed to show up again in June 2020, but again got a very short window of release before more legal stuff turned up, then again earlier this year is the same LE and SB packaging from 2018. Again Diablolik and a few other places sold/shipped preorders and maybe took orders briefly after the given release date. As I understand the discs are what was released almost 3 years ago and I think most of the Limited Edition was actually stock produced and warehoused for years though it is now listed as a Single Official release date May 2021.

Now it maybe appears to be a Special Edition release of just the single movie.
Arrow's limited editions are usually followed by a standard edition that drops booklets, posters, other printed material, and bonus discs (if said limited edition included a 2nd or 3rd disc.)
 

Colin Jacobson

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Arrow's limited editions are usually followed by a standard edition that drops booklets, posters, other printed material, and bonus discs (if said limited edition included a 2nd or 3rd disc.)

Correct, but "Django" did get delayed. I got a review copy last year but it ended up not coming out due to some legal issue.

Anyway, it appears that the Blu-ray is available now finally.
 

Worth

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This can also apply to (slightly) higher budget Hollywood productions as well. I had much the same thought watching Spaceballs last night. The 4K and HDR really only served to exaggerate every speck of grain. There's no way anyone who made the movie wanted it to look so grainy. The accompanying Blu-ray, from the same master, seems to manage the grain better without much difference in actual picture detail.
There have been several titles where the grain looks more like noise to me. I'm not sure whether that's the result of increased resolution, the addition of HDR, or the way the two interact, but I'm finding 4K/HDR pretty hit or miss so far, and often prefer the SDR blu-ray.
 

David Norman

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Arrow's limited editions are usually followed by a standard edition that drops booklets, posters, other printed material, and bonus discs (if said limited edition included a 2nd or 3rd disc.)

That part I'm aware of and used to, but most titles don't have 2-3 aborted attempts to release actually produced and sales ready product like this one. A few weeks delay sure, but 2.5 years and multiple release dates later -- not just delays sending product to the retailers, but product on the shelf/in the hopper/and ready to be fulfilled. Obviously many copies were actually delivered as the recall or STOP orders came out much too late.
 

Derrick King

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That part I'm aware of and used to, but most titles don't have 2-3 aborted attempts to release actually produced and sales ready product like this one. A few weeks delay sure, but 2.5 years and multiple release dates later -- not just delays sending product to the retailers, but product on the shelf/in the hopper/and ready to be fulfilled. Obviously many copies were actually delivered as the recall or STOP orders came out much too late.
Sorry I misread what you were talking about.

Yeah, Blue Underground has the US rights and Arrow, instead of continuing to play dumb, finally did what they should've done at the beginning, and reached a deal with Bill Lustig so they could finally release the title.

This has been an issue with Italian licensors before, most notably the old DVD releases of Zombie. Lustig had the US rights but Media Blasters licensed it from the Italians, in that case Lustig and Media Blasters worked out a deal and MB was able to release their DVD. (Related to this, when Arrow issued their 2K scan of Zombie in the UK, the film's Italian owners told James White that BU release was a bootleg and he repeated this in an interview. This, along with the Italian owners licensing footage for a US commercial, led Lustig to sue.)
 

Stephen_J_H

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Don't get what I'm about to say wrong.

I love 4k UHD.

Arrow Films has been going full-speed ahead bringing out 4k UHD Blu-rays of older films, and they're to be congratulated for that. Arrow, which is apparently now owned by The Hut Group, which owns Zavvi seems to be pushing 4k, and that's a good thing.

But sampling three new releases, what I'm not seeing is any rationale for 4k. In fact, I'm seeing a reason not to go that route, especially with Children of the Corn, produced by Hal Roach Studios, which has an extremely coarse grain structure verging on pointillism, as well as a lack of high frequency imagery aside from that grain.

My presumption was that it was shot in 16mm, but that seems not to be the case.

Bird with the Crystal Plummage has soft main titles, and little imagery that may hit that 4k (or 3k, or 2k) barrier.

Same situation with Django, which doesn't have the requisite imagery to warrant the expense of a 4k release. If one is scanning the OCN, yes, by all means, do that at 4k for preservation, but a Blu-ray would have yielded equally lovely results outside of fan favorite HDR.

I'm not calling these releases out to denigrate Arrow, which is a superb publishing entity, with a great technical team. I'm simply noting that bringing out a film in 4k isn't a cookie cutter situation, and that films need to be properly vetted for resolution, as well as an myriad of other attributes before going that route.

In an odd way, it may come down to bragging rights, a bit akin to purchasing a Tesla S Plaid or BMW X5M Competition, and using it to pick up groceries - and never going near a track.

Point also being, that sometimes the use of 4k makes things worse, and not better. With Children of the Corn, you just don't want to be anywhere near the projection screen or monitor, as the imagery gets unpleasant.

All of that noted, here's where I see the potential root of the problem.

The final consumer, possibly especially horror and sci-fi fans, who have no concept of what 4k is, or why it should be used in very special circumstances. When a title is announced, the first question to hit the forums is "Will it be in 4k?" "I won't buy it unless it's 4k." When it comes to sound, "Why is it only HDR? Why isn't it Dolby Vision?"

So what happens?

The owners of IP (Universal monsters) and boutique publishers are put in a position where they're almost forced to publish in 4k, even though there may be zero rationale to do so.


Just food for thought. I'll now stand off my soap-box.


Image – 3 - 4.5

Audio – 5

Pass / Fail – Pass

Upgrade from Blu-ray - No

RAH
I concur on all counts. I too, question the wisdom of "4K everything." Children of the Corn is a low budget-mid 80s horror flick shot flat, hardly the sort of thing that screams for 4K HDR treatment. Similarly, The Bird with the Crystal Plumage is a Techniscope title from Italy in the early 70s, and I suspect the resolution maxes out at 2K, given the available film stocks at the time. Django? Again, shot flat, though using more frame real estate than Children of the Corn, but again, film stock question. Reminds me when I questioned the wisdom of releasing DV-originated independent films on Blu-ray, given that the resolution maxed out at DVD levels.
 

Blu Eye

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I concur on all counts. I too, question the wisdom of "4K everything." Children of the Corn is a low budget-mid 80s horror flick shot flat, hardly the sort of thing that screams for 4K HDR treatment. Similarly, The Bird with the Crystal Plumage is a Techniscope title from Italy in the early 70s, and I suspect the resolution maxes out at 2K, given the available film stocks at the time. Django? Again, shot flat, though using more frame real estate than Children of the Corn, but again, film stock question. Reminds me when I questioned the wisdom of releasing DV-originated independent films on Blu-ray, given that the resolution maxed out at DVD levels.

Unfortunately, like any other type of business marketing is driving the demand for something in many cases that is not required or necessary.

The disc sellers are going to do whatever they can to drive sales even if that means putting it into a package that does not show the product in its original state.

It seems to be a situation more extreme with technological/electronic products as the marketing always has to sell a "bigger, better, faster" product etc.

How many people who own the newest Apple Smartphone actually need/use the upgraded features form any other smartphone made over 4 or 5 years ago?

You can obviously give many examples of many different markets to show examples of consumers buying things they don't actually need or want.

I don't blame the disc sellers for doing whatever they need to do to drive sales. They have to make money.

However, this could be a problem for those of us that want to view the movie as intended/produced.

If the company profits/sales start to be significantly received from 4k as opposed to Blu Ray will they continue to release Blu Ray discs?

If so, what will be the prices if demand tapers?

I also wonder about how physical media sellers will innovate to get sales into the future and if future technological advances will be necessary.

I am not sure 8k is going to take off. Maybe it will for TVs. How many people will buy 8k movies on disc? How many will be streaming at that point?

Or maybe I am underestimating the potential market there. Not sure.

Fortunately, in my opinion a significant amount of cinema history has already been released on physical media so what does not get released going forward is not too much of a major concern.

Some might disagree with me and many have different tastes but I personally find it amazing how much has already been released in HD.
 

lark144

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Fortunately, in my opinion a significant amount of cinema history has already been released on physical media so what does not get released going forward is not too much of a major concern.

Some might disagree with me and many have different tastes but I personally find it amazing how much has already been released in HD.
A very different subject, and I don't want to divert this thread, but compared to both the classic and contemporary art and foreign films that were available non-theatrically in 16mm in 1970, almost none of that has been released so far on Blu-Ray.
 

madfloyd

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I'm grateful for this thread. I love 4k UHD but I have titles where I don't see much, if any, difference from the Blu-ray.

It's good to know that some titles just don't benefit past 2k or the additional contrast of HDR.

Thank you.
 

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