HTF Reference Quality DVD List

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Ben_Caoile, Nov 10, 2005.

  1. Ben_Caoile

    Ben_Caoile Agent

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    I was searching around HTF for a listing of reference quality DVDs and couldn't come up with any good information. I want to make a comrehensive listing of popular reference quality DVDs. This will be the thread to post them in.

    If the DVD is outstanding in visual quality and subpar with audio, or vice-versa, please mention it. I will make an alphabetical order, putting visual/audio notes where applicable. I will try to update this post each time DVD's are added to the thread.

    Ok, I've made some chenges. I'm not gonna number them, it would be ridiculous for me to try and change the numbers on every single one for over a couple hundred titles. [​IMG]

    I'm gonna make a change to the criteria too. I mentioned popular, yes, to those over 50 (no offense) but please try to keep titles that are familiar to post 80's. I say try because there are always exceptions, such as Bullitt. When I posted DVD's, I should have narrowed that down to DVD Movies. Animated films, Independent films, Foriegn films are acceptable. Documentaries and TV shows are not. You can always start a thread for that. [​IMG] I'd like this to be strictly films.

    I'm not done sorting what has been posted because I wanted to make these changes before this thread became an unbearble load. Here's what we have so far.

    8 1/2: Criterion Collection
    20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
    The Amityville Horror
    Adventures of Robin Hood
    Alice in Wonderland (SE)
    American Graffiti
    Bambi
    Batman Returns [SE]
    Ben-Hur (1959, SE)
    Blade
    Blade II
    Bullitt (SE)
    Casablanca (SE)
    Cinderella (for classic animation, tops Bambi in detail and no EE)
    The Day the Earth Stood Still
    Dr. Strangelove (40th Anniversary)
    Duck Soup (Silver Screen)
    F for Fake: Criterion Collection
    Foreign Correspondent
    Gone with the Wind (SE)
    Goodfellas (SE)
    Hamlet (1990)
    Hell's Angels
    Hulk
    It Happened One Night
    The Iron Giant (SE)
    The Incredibles (Widescreen)
    Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
    Lion King
    Monsters Inc.
    Master and Commander
    Matrix Reloaded and Revolutions
     
  2. Yumbo

    Yumbo Cinematographer

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    Robots
    CSI:NY
    Madagascar
     
  3. Vincent_P

    Vincent_P Screenwriter

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    A recent DVD that I feel has reference-quality video that one might now expect to is the remake of THE AMITYVILLE HORROR. The image quality on this really blew me away when viewed on my projection system, even if the film itself was more than a little underwhelming.

    Vincent
     
  4. Mark Lucas

    Mark Lucas Second Unit

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    There's a big giant list on the software section of AVSForum but it's not updated as much as I would like. Here's my list of reference quality dvds I've seen:

    Batman Returns [SE]
    Blade
    Blade II
    Ghost Ship
    Hulk
    Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
    Panic Room [Superbit]
    Raiders of the Lost Ark
    Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow
     
  5. Vincent_P

    Vincent_P Screenwriter

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    HULK? I guess I have to watch it again, because I recall it having some rather heavy edge-enhancement in a lot of scenes, although I certainly like the film itself a heck of a lot more than most others seem to...

    Vincent
     
  6. Joe Wong

    Joe Wong Second Unit

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    Resident Evil: Superbit (both audio and video)

    (I know you said popular...but I suppose that's a relative term [​IMG])
     
  7. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    First off, my idea of reference is that the DVD is as close as possible to presenting a film as best as humanly possible. Fro video, this means I don't look at built-in artifacts (like problems with opticals) or age-related items (like different grain). This is mainly because you'd only get 2001-2005 movies in "true" reference quality. Instead of looking at unavoidable problems, I look at stuff that can be avoided (dirt, scratches, tears, other scars) as well as digital issues (macroblocking, bad compression, edge enhancement, etc.)

    As for audio, it's only fair to judge by the type of audio it is. For a 1990-2005 film to have an excellent 5.1 track, that's obvious. But a mono or plain stereo soundtrack that's well done are worth being reference, too. For example, the 5.0 tracks on the new Oklahoma! set have some hiss. This is part of the audio and is fine. It would be right to not consider it reference quality if it was noise reduced to oblivion.

    Anyways, here's my picks...

    American Graffiti
    20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
    Gone with the Wind (SE)
    The Wizard of Oz (SE)
    The Adventures of Robin Hood
    Casablanca (SE)
    Terminator 2: Judgement Day (Extreme Edition)
    A Hard Day's Night (CE)*
    8 1/2: Criterion Collection
    F for Fake: Criterion Collection
    Rear Window (Masterpiece Collection)
    Psycho (Masterpiece Collection)
    Toy Story (10th Anniversary)
    Ben-Hur (1959, SE)
    Dr. Strangelove (40th Anniversary)
    Bullitt (SE)
    Hell's Angels
    M: Criterion Collection (SE)
    The Iron Giant (SE)
    The Incredibles (Widescreen)
    Duck Soup (Silver Screen)
    Hamlet (1990)
    Treasure of the Sierra Madre
    Yankee Doodle Dandy
    It Happened One Night
    Foreign Correspondent
    Strangers on a Train (SE, Final)
    Goodfellas (SE)
    The Day the Earth Stood Still
    Sunrise**
    Alice in Wonderland (SE)
    Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (SE)
    Bambi
    THX 1138
    The Empire Strikes Back (Widescreen)
    Moulin Rouge!
    The Pink Panther (SE)
    Mutiny on the Bounty (1935)

    *A lot of people criticized the audio for Miramax's A Hard Day's Night, noting mixing errors and bad editing. I found out that the entire track was taken from a 35mm optical track on an original British print, then digitally cleaned up and expanded to 5.1. Everything is identical to the original mono, save for the wider sound field.

    **Sunrise exists in prints with a lot of photographed-in damage, but this is unavoidable. However, Fox perfectly compressed this film. With the amount of built-in problems present, there isn't one moment of digital artifacting.
     
  8. david*mt

    david*mt Second Unit

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    Sleepy Hollow
    Mask of Zorro SB
    Spiderman SB
    Lion King
    Monsters Inc.
    Master and Commander
    Matrix Reloaded and Revolutions
     
  9. Mark Lucas

    Mark Lucas Second Unit

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    Terminator 2 [Extreme Edition] is too soft to be considered reference. The WMV-HD version on disc two obviously blows it out of the water but the dvd version is just too compressed and softened in comparison.
     
  10. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    Well, it's a given that anything HD would beat SD...

    But check out this shot for the fine detail:

    [​IMG]

    The bottom is the EE and you can see how sharp all the ice crystals are.
     
  11. Mark Lucas

    Mark Lucas Second Unit

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    Wait, what are we looking at here? What's the above shot taken from?

    The sd dvd of T2 isn't horrible but in a lot of scenes it is filtered. Check out the scene outside the biker bar. The zipper teeth on Arnold's jacket are very clear on the HD version but are really soft and filtered on the dvd. Of course there should be a difference but not because of filtering.
     
  12. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    Robots, IMO, is too soft to be reference. As is the R1 disc for Incredibles. I also found 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea to be a tad filtered looking (along with Swiss Family Robinson...the bonus features look more detailed in 4x3 lbx!!!!)

    Some "couldn't be any better on DVD if they tried" DVDs:

    Toy Story 10th anniversary.
    The Matrix Collection (some minor EE but otherwise incredible).
    Fifth Element Superbit
    Star Wars Trilogy (ep 4-6, especially Empire)
    Return of the King EE (but not R1 version of Fellowship EE)
    Cinerella (for classic animation, tops Bambi in detail and no EE)
    LOST season 1 (hey...why can't a TV show count? It was shot on film, and look 95% as good as the HD broadcast)
     
  13. Yumbo

    Yumbo Cinematographer

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    I thought Fifth Element SB had distracting EE.
    Robots is simply better looking...not soft at all in my book.

    agree on LOST and add DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES.

    ps. is there a list of WM9 titles somewhere?
     
  14. Mike Williams

    Mike Williams Screenwriter

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    I would have to go with:

    Blade II
    Toy Story: 10th Anniversary Edition
    Batman Begins
    Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith
    Lord of the Rings: Return of the King EE
    Lost (I would definitely agree with that)
     
  15. Cory S.

    Cory S. Supporting Actor

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    Star Wars Episode II Attack of the Clones
    Star Wars Episode III Revenge of the Sith
    Star Wars Episode V The Empire Strikes Back
    The Lord of the Rings The Fellowship of the Ring Extended
    The Matrix Revolutions
    THX 1138
    Batman Begins
     
  16. Ben_Caoile

    Ben_Caoile Agent

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    Updated. Please see the updates.
     
  17. Tom Brennan

    Tom Brennan Screenwriter

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    That disc is many things. Reference quality is not one of them. The colors change between shots, sometimes it's black and white while at other times the colors are very oversaturated. There are many better looking discs out there.

    And the numerous audio problems on this disc, including the bad music mix that runs the entire length of the film, make this disc more of an embarassment than a reference.
     
  18. Mark Lucas

    Mark Lucas Second Unit

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    Ditto. The only thing that's reference about Star Wars is that the detail is really exemplary. But all the bizare lightsaber inconsistencies and boosted colors are just amatuerish.
     
  19. TheBat

    TheBat Producer

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    I heard that underworld and T3 were reference dvds.

    JACOB
     
  20. Yumbo

    Yumbo Cinematographer

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    agreed Jacob...but only 1st edition of Underworld.
     

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