Posted Fri Dec 15, 2017 at 09:15 PM PST by
Killer storms, magic crystals, and more are all heading to Blu-ray.Continue Reading
Posted Fri Dec 8, 2017 at 10:00 AM PST by
"Life finds a way."Continue Reading
Posted Fri Dec 8, 2017 at 06:59 AM PST by
The third season of the critically-acclaimed AMC series arrives on Blu-ray in January.Continue Reading
Posted Thu Dec 7, 2017 at 05:37 PM PST by
The first season of the Netflix series arrives on home video next week.Continue Reading
Posted Thu Dec 7, 2017 at 07:00 AM PST by
Time travelers, porn stars, and more are all heading to Blu-ray.Continue Reading
Posted Wed Dec 6, 2017 at 06:00 AM PST by
A slippery lawyer, a lovable canine, a few gangsters, and more are all making their way toward Blu-ray.Continue Reading
Posted Mon Dec 4, 2017 at 06:55 PM PST by
The citizens of Springfield are heading back to DVD.Continue Reading
Posted Mon Dec 4, 2017 at 04:45 PM PST by
Films starring Chadwick Boseman, Josh Gad, Margot Robbie, Domhnall Gleeson, and more are all heading to Blu-ray.Continue Reading
Posted Fri Dec 1, 2017 at 09:00 AM PST by
Criterion is now accepting fan questions for the director.Continue Reading
Posted Thu Nov 30, 2017 at 08:40 AM PST by
The crime thriller starring Vince Vaughn arrives on both formats just after Christmas.Continue Reading
Posted Wed Nov 29, 2017 at 05:30 AM PST by
The Avengers will assemble again in May.Continue Reading
Posted Mon Nov 20, 2017 at 12:45 PM PST by
Michael S. Palmer
December 19th is going to be an exciting day for 4K enthusiasts who also happen to be Christopher Nolan fans. Not only will you be able to pick up Dunkirk and The Dark Knight Trilogy on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, but there'll be a Christopher Nolan Collection seven-film 4K box set option that also includes Interstellar, The Prestige, and Inception.
(UPDATE: directly from Warners, please be aware the seven-movie Nolan Collection does NOT include Digital Copies, but the individual releases & Dark Knight Trilogy WILL all have Digital Copies.)
Last Friday, HDD joined Warner Bros. Home Entertainment at the historic Chateau Marmont Hotel to celebrate Mr. Nolan's work. Sunset Boulevard sure has evolved since I moved to Los Angeles, but walking through the dimly lit Marmont is like stepping into a time machine that rockets you back across a century of Hollywood glamour and tragedy. Adding to the atmosphere, Christopher Nolan attended the event in person along with friends and colleagues and I couldn't help but geek out over seeing Kenneth Branagh, whose Henry V adaptation is one of the key reasons I adore both Shakespeare and cinema.
Celebrities included, the best part of the evening was the twin 65" Sony OLED displays playing clips from Dunkirk and the rest of the 4K Collection. Unfortunately, we didn't get to take home any sample discs to do a more thorough analysis (nor did we get to compare the 4K transfers to the previous Blu-rays), but I wanted to share my first impressions because I'm very impressed.
SONY A1E OLED
Before we jump into the clips, let's talk about the new 65" Sony A1E OLED 4K TV, which you can buy HERE on Amazon for $3,500 and fuses an LG OLED panel with Sony processing and design. In short, this TV is a revelation. Wow! The display itself stands on flat surfaces like an easel, giving the whole thing a high-end gallery appearance. Yet, while perfect for a party where everyone's standing, this setup might make viewing angles odd for any sitting position that's lower than the TV's midpoint. Wall mounting (the rear half of the stand folds flat) is probably a better option.
In terms of performance, the A1E impressed everyone. I can't comment on settings, mode, or calibration specifics, but I overheard Emma Thomas (Christopher Nolan's producing partner/wife) telling colleagues that "Chris made sure they were calibrated" and both displays met his high standards. I was most surprised by their overall brightness; in terms of specs, they max out around 700 nits, but these two 65" ($3500) panels literally lit up the room while producing stunning black levels with no sense of banding in the shadows, tons of specular highlight details, and very accurate colors. To be fair, Nolan's movies, and Dunkirk especially, are far less colorful than something like Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, so I didn't get to see these Sony OLEDs push their full capabilities. Still, even in a room with a lot of ambient lighting, the results were striking, especially for IMAX footage.
Nolan's latest blockbuster was shot mostly on IMAX 15/70 film -- with the remaining, mostly-dialog scenes photographed in widescreen 70mm (65mm negative) -- and boy does this quality make difference. It was easily the best-looking demo of the evening. Sampling extended sequences from all three of the land, sea, and air timelines, I can confirm this 4K Blu-ray features alternating aspect ratios, with full frame IMAX 70/15 cutting to letterboxed 70mm footage.
Simply put, the Dunkirk IMAX clips are magnificent. Demo material all day and night. As close to IMAX 15/70 or IMAX Laser as you can get in the home. Probably the sharpest, clearest 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray ever released (or very close to Planet Earth II, which has the added benefit of being far more colorful). Like I said above, everyone was impressed. You can smush your face right up to the screen and see the smallest details in the sky and waves and uniforms and metal vessels. I'm sorry if this sounds like hyperbole, but, honestly, it's shockingly clear.
The widescreen 70mm footage is also quite clean and looks noticeably sharper than Nolan's 35mm productions (more on this in a minute), but lacks the finer details and overall screen brightness of the IMAX footage. It's not bad, by any means -- in fact, it gives me hope of how terrific Lawrence of Arabia or The Hateful Eight could look in 4K -- but this footage is just not as jaw-dropping when intercut with a higher resolution source material. The good news is that the difference is far less noticeable than IMAX v 35mm, and there are no signs of any weird digital enhancements or over-sharpening.
In other words, if you have a 4K display, you have a new demo disc. If you haven't upgraded, here's a very fun reason to do so.
About twenty feet away from the Dunkirk OLED, a second Sony A1E played a revolving series of clips from Nolan's other Collection movies, though I missed seeing anything from The Prestige or The Dark Knight. (Please don't read anything into this; it was a very crowded room and I bumped into a few friends along the way, so there's no political or technical reason behind this.)
However, I did see the Tumbler Chase from Batman Begins, as well as Bane and Selina Kyle's (individual) introductions from The Dark Knight Rises. The Tumbler Chase is drenched in deeper shadows than I recall seeing on both my Blu-ray and various theatrical formats circa 2005, but you can still see things like the metallic black paint and the church roof tiles as the Tumbler crunches across them. Bane's plane-heist is one of the most thrilling action sequences ever put to film and, much like Dunkirk, the full frame IMAX-filmed footage drips with detail and texture. It looks terrific. The Selena Kyle scene takes place in Bruce Wayne's shadowy mansion and was probably the least eye-popping footage of the evening. Skin tones and black levels are good, but there is a visible drop in sharpness compared to the IMAX footage (noticeably more so than Dunkirk's widescreen 70mm footage). This is understandable, expected even, and will likely be less visible to those who aren't an arm's length away from a screen. Still, the good news here is that there doesn't appear to be any over-sharpening; it's just hard to compete with IMAX 15/70.
I also pixel-peeped the Matthew McConaughey vs Matt Damon ice planet fight sequence from Interstellar. Another IMAX-heavy scene, this one oozed detail, not only in terms of actor's faces and costume textures, but also in all the fine, specular highlight details. It's basically an all-white screen that (when watching on a Blu-ray) tends to bleed white on less capable displays, resulting in an image that's more light grey than pure white. Here, we see more lifelike white levels along with every icicle and glacial snowdrift. In terms of colors, these clips also include earth-set moments where the dying cornfields are a vivid, lifelike green. I can't wait to see more of this one.
Lastly, we demoed Cobb/Ariadne's Paris training sequences from Inception -- the café slow-motion explosions, the mirror sequence, and folding Paris over itself -- which might be my personal favorite Nolan movie. Lacking IMAX footage, this one didn't have the look-at-me pop of Dunkirk, Interstellar, or The Dark Knight Rises, but overall it looks quite good. Without the Blu-ray handy, I don't know if I can fairly judge this one as a few of the effects elements lacked a bit of weight and the image wasn't always super-sharp. Much of this seems inherent to the source and, again, implies there's no unwanted digital sharpening. While I wasn't blown away, I'm looking forward to seeing more of this one in person and comparing it to the original Blu-ray.
While I used my best critical eye to drink in what was, presumably, a well-calibrated Sony OLED TV, these are just quick preview thoughts I hope will interest fans. I wasn't in a controlled environment. I didn't get to compare these transfers to the Blu-rays. And I didn't hear any audio (which, for anyone who hasn't been following, is going to remain 5.1 DTS-HD MA for all of Nolan's movies -- no Dolby Atmos or DTS:X).
Important caveats aside, I'm very impressed and look forward to seeing the whole movies in 4K and/or reading what my team here at HDD has to say. I think Dunkirk is about to become a go-to demo disc while the other movies are going to look good to excellent depending on the original source materials. On a 65" or larger HDR10 capable display or projector, we're all in for a treat come December 19th.
Pre-order listings for the Christopher Nolan Collection and The Prestige are not live yet, but we'll update this page when they are available. You can find the latest specs for all of the movies listed above linked from our 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Release Schedule, where they are indexed under December 19.
Stay tuned for more. Thanks for reading and have an awesome week!
Posted Sun Nov 19, 2017 at 06:00 AM PST by
Films starring Emma Stone, Steve Carell, Ellen Page, Jackie Chan, and more are all heading to Blu-ray.Continue Reading
Posted Thu Nov 16, 2017 at 05:03 PM PST by
The 12-Disc boxed set includes Metropolis, Die Nibelungen, and more.Continue Reading
Posted Thu Nov 16, 2017 at 07:50 AM PST by
The distributor has revealed its upcoming slate of February releases, including George A. Romero's Night of the Living Dead and Jonathan Demme's The Silence of the Lambs.Continue Reading
Posted Wed Nov 15, 2017 at 06:50 AM PST by
The "Merc with a Mouth" will return to theaters in June.Continue Reading
Posted Wed Nov 15, 2017 at 06:07 AM PST by
It seems we can't go more than a day or two without some tantalizing - and somewhat frustrating - news about a possible 4K UHD Blu-ray double dip on the horizon.
The latest in this neverending saga of physical media has to do with Kino Lorber Studio Classics and their proposed plans about possibly, maybe, doing a 4K UHD Blu-ray release of The Good, the bad, and the Ugly. Yeah, this news drops just a month or two after their already impressive 50th Anniversary Blu-ray release. But here's the kicker, on the Studio Classics' Facebook page, they're giving us the fans the deciding vote! All you have to do is select Happy for "Yes" or Hate for "No." They're not letting folks add to the comments thread so don't try - just let your emotional symbol flag fly.
Before you get too excited - or too angry - this 4K UHD release would only be available for the 179-minute extended cut from the MGM 4K master - not the recent cooler color grading that Kino did. Why this is, I have no idea. But thems the rules.
If this is a sticking thorn for you, bare in mind, participation in this may dictate future releases in 4K. Kino is on deck to release A Fistful of Dollars and For a Few Dollars More on Blu-ray from fresh new 4K restorations. How cool would it be to get those on a good and proper 4K UHD Blu-ray? Kino Lorber Studio Classics is pumping out some top tier titles these days and I for one am favorable to this release - especially if it means there's a chance at future 4K UHD titles. We know studios aren't too keen on their back catalog titles these days so if Studio Classics can step in to fill the 4K UHD void on that front, I think they should get all the encouragement they can get. But that's just my piece of the pie. If you want your voice heard - head over to Kino Lorber Studio Classics Facebook page and leave your Like or Angry.
We'll keep you posted as this develops.Continue Reading
Posted Mon Nov 13, 2017 at 02:21 PM PST by
Holy upside down double dip, Stranger Things fans!
Remember my review for that super cool VHS-shaped Blu-ray release of Stranger Things? Yeah, it wasn't that long ago. We even did an awesome unboxing video thinking that this release was going to be the final word on Netflix's ode to 80s science fiction/horror on physical media. Turns out that's not the case. As some lucky customers discovered at their local Target stores over the weekend, there is a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release on the way!
Yup, you read that right. Now, this isn't available in stores yet - or at least it shouldn't be. Apparently, some stores got their stock early, didn't know what they had, and put it out on shelves where some eagle-eyed shoppers knew something was a bit off and snapped them up before they were put away. I gave a call to all of my local Chicago-area stores and none of them had it in stock, but they confirmed to me that it is real.
If you're hunting and pecking around, here is the UPC number to ask for: 191764410522. The formal street date is also a bit of a mystery. One store told me their stock gets in on 11/27 and it's due out 11/28. Another store told me it doesn't street until 12/5. So this is yet another stealth Stranger Things release that is leaving a lot of important details hanging out around Barb in the upside down.
If you're on the hunt at your local stores, the box art is slightly different with a new picture of Eleven front and center and instead of a uniform black color, there's white trim along the bottom with the box given the fake distressed look. On the back, the tech specs detail 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray - but no mention of HDR or Dolby Vision. UPDATE: Sources on other forums who purchased the set stated the tech specs match Netflix's streaming options for Season 1 -- 4K but NO HDR with a 5.1 Dolby Digital audio mix. However, since this will be a 4K release, Steve's hair will probably look better than ever!
When confirmed artwork and tech specs are made available, we'll update our listings and crank out a review and probably another unboxing video while we're at it. Until then, we'll keep you posted as this craziness develops.
Posted Fri Nov 10, 2017 at 11:41 AM PST by
To help you sort through all the great titles, we're pleased to bring you High-Def Digest's Holiday Gift Guide 2017 Edition!Continue Reading
Posted Thu Nov 9, 2017 at 03:15 PM PST by
The writer/director of The Last Jedi is returning to a galaxy far, far away.Continue Reading
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