Predator Ultmate Hunter Edition on Blu-Ray 6/29!

Discussion in 'High Definition' started by Nailwraps, May 11, 2010.

  1. Katatonia

    Katatonia Hellbound Heart

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2003
    Messages:
    21,638
    Likes Received:
    3,040
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Missouri
    Screw Fox, I sent the "Ultimate Cunter Edition" back to Amazon for a refund, and ordered the old Blu-ray version while it's still available cheaply.

    I'm quite sure now that it'll be years before we see another (if ever better) version to see the film with. They aren't gonna correct this shit anytime soon.

    And Dobby... Blu-rays are only as good as the transfer that's used. In this case, Fox used a "Digitally Fucked" transfer. Many other Blu-rays look fantastic.
     
  2. marcx

    marcx Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2002
    Messages:
    1,023
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Location:
    NYC
    Just posted this at avs forumand thought 'd add it here as well...

    Senior Member


    Join Date: Nov 2004
    Posts: 391 I watched this last night---and it is the most frustrating transfer yet--because there are moments when it looks great--and then moments were it looks like a wax museum. I will say though that the early scene where Arnold and Carl Weathers first meet up is definitely the transfer at it's worst. I don't think anything looked as bad as that scene, so don't judge the whole transfer based on those screenshots... However this is still a very probelmatic transfer, but as someone who hasn't watched Predator in a while I was still able to get wrapped up in and enjot the film. A shame though , because when it looks good...it just shows what could have been......
     
  3. crikan

    crikan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2008
    Messages:
    2,026
    Likes Received:
    105
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Over the past couple years I've grown to appreciate film grain. I don't want Predator to look like Crank. So even when the characters don't look waxy, I'm guessing the lack of grain will be distracting.

    It also doesn't help that the scene with Carl and Arnold arm wrestling is one the best in the whole film. "Pushing too many pencils?"
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2010
  4. marcx

    marcx Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2002
    Messages:
    1,023
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Location:
    NYC
    oh make no mistake--grain is gone--not lightened or lessened but 100% gone--so in no way do I think this trasgfer is right--just not all as bad as those early screengrabs.
     
  5. bigdaddyhorse

    bigdaddyhorse Detroit Hi-on

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2001
    Messages:
    12,512
    Likes Received:
    69
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Under a rock
    So you're saying the screens are as bad as it gets and the rest is "watchable" at least?

    Errrr, I'm so torn. I have a morbid curiosty to see how this looks playing (reviews ripped Gladiator too, but it looked fine to me), but know to do that I have to buy it or obtain the disc somehow as the library won't bother with it (they have the first blu), and it's unlikely Blockbuster will carry it for rent (same reason).

    Hopefully it's on sale for $15 first week with a $10 movie ticket for Predators, I'll gamble $5 but don't think I want to higher than that (I was prepared to go $30 before reviews).
     
  6. marcx

    marcx Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2002
    Messages:
    1,023
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Location:
    NYC
    If you think Gladiator looked fine you should be ok with this--in my opinion Gladiator looked far from fine....
     
  7. crikan

    crikan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2008
    Messages:
    2,026
    Likes Received:
    105
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Best Buy
    $15 with $10 in A-Team cash. I want to buy it just because I'm curious, but I don't want to support it.
     
  8. Kolpitz

    Kolpitz Purely and Simply Evil

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2004
    Messages:
    1,503
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Boxborough, MA
    Bill Hunt over at the Digital Bits has posted a rant that perfectly sums up my feelings on film grain and DNR. So, rather than sit here and type up a long diatribe, I'll just post his rant. The sad fact is that the very people he calls out in this article ... well ... some of those people are on these very boards. I'm not going to name names but you know who you are. Do yourself a favor: read this and get educated!

     
  9. inkmachine

    inkmachine Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2004
    Messages:
    224
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    Flint, MI
    Excellent article and rant by Hunt. Perfect!
     
  10. Workshed

    Workshed A Barge Person

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2004
    Messages:
    10,003
    Likes Received:
    1,717
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    CA
    in that Digital Bits rant, what differences am I supposed to be seeing in the image of Arnold in the rant and then the one linked to in the "here"? They both look plastic to me.
     
  11. crikan

    crikan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2008
    Messages:
    2,026
    Likes Received:
    105
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Bill Hunt's rant is dead on. So how are we to be heard? Predator is so mainstream that passionate fans ranting on the Internet aren't going effect sales because Joe Sixpack doesn't read reviews before browsing the aisle at Best Buy or when adding things to his Amazon Wishlist. I doubt there is an email address that someone actually monitors. If they aren't listening to Scorsese and Crisp than they sure as hell aren't even putting themselves in a position to listen to us.

    Damn, I almost pick this up on sale just to see if it can really be that bad.
     
  12. Chomp

    Chomp Rudest Motherfucker on HD

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2009
    Messages:
    1,628
    Likes Received:
    16
    Trophy Points:
    38
    I watched the new Predator Blu the other night, and I have to say, I don’t think the transfer is as bad as everyone has made it out to be. The first act is definitely the biggest travesty the transfer faces (probably doesn’t help Arnie and Carl are each wearing 8 bottles of Vasoline), but I have to tell ya, the jungle shots look pretty good and far more detailed than anything I was expecting. It could have been the contrast boost or the sharpening, but the colors just leap off screen. Especially Predator’s neon blood, it just radiates off my television. The new transfer also benefits extremely with the higher bit rate.

    I am definitely not condoning scrubbing the grain completely away from movies like Predator or Aliens, but if Fox would have used it sparingly in shots that needed it instead of just keeping it consistent throughout the entire film, I think you wouldn’t hear such an uproar.

    I still don’t understand why anyone would purchase the old Blu over this one. The old Predator Blu is far from perfect even if all the grain is intact. It’s a poor recycled HD master (at a very low bit rate) and there are no special features. It’s a lazy disc…it’s a lose/lose situation any way you look at it.
     
  13. Kolpitz

    Kolpitz Purely and Simply Evil

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2004
    Messages:
    1,503
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Boxborough, MA
    It's the same image. They were just linking back to the original posted image to give it credit.
     
  14. bigdaddyhorse

    bigdaddyhorse Detroit Hi-on

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2001
    Messages:
    12,512
    Likes Received:
    69
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Under a rock

    Maybe fine is the wrong wording, it didn't bother me that much though.

    So I caved at Best Buy. Last copy, $14.99 with $10 for Predators (if that ticket was A-Team or Knight and Day I would've passed) so $5 bottom line is about the cost of a rent anyway. Here's hoping....:glasses:
     
  15. crikan

    crikan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2008
    Messages:
    2,026
    Likes Received:
    105
    Trophy Points:
    63
    I just watched the 2008 Predator Blu and thought it was serviceable (I actually enjoyed the hell out of it). Definitely an improvement over the DVDs. Admittedly, Carl and Arnie look waxy on the 2008 release even with the film grain. The Special Features are recycled from the 2004 DVD release that can be had for a few bucks and anyone that cares about them would have already bought the DVD.

    I did go to Best Buy because I'm curious and what's $15 when I've already got 4 versions already laying around. Unfortunately but fortunately they were sold out.

    At the end of the day I'm sure I'll prefer the 2008 release.
     
  16. Sinister Ash

    Sinister Ash New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2001
    Messages:
    231
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I've been so patiently waiting for this Hunters Edition since Predators was announced.

    I should have just bought the 2008 disc when it was released.
     
  17. Katatonia

    Katatonia Hellbound Heart

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2003
    Messages:
    21,638
    Likes Received:
    3,040
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Missouri
    I ended up and kept the new Blu-ray. I'm just not going to mess with paying return shipping, etc. It does have the free movie ticket included for Predators, so at least that's something.

    After watching the new disc, it doesn't look quite as terrible as expected in most scenes. It's those facial close-ups that look like they were scrubbed with DNR to look as smooth as ice cream. Those scenes truly do look artificial and about as un-filmlike as you can imagine.

    Man, I hope Fox leaves the Alien movies intact...
     
  18. crikan

    crikan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2008
    Messages:
    2,026
    Likes Received:
    105
    Trophy Points:
    63
    For $15 and a free Predators ticket I couldn't resist picking up The Ultimate Hunter Edition so I could see for myself if the controversy has any merit. I watched the 2008 Blu yesterday and I just finished watching The Ultimate Hunter Edition. IMO, the outrage is dead-on. Every few minutes you see a scene that looks amazing. But more often there are scenes that look like a heavy dose of Gaussian Blur was applied to an actor's face, helicopter or weapon. The "20th Century Fox" logo at the beginning looks insane. At times I felt like I was looking at a Photoshop artists representation of the film. The great shots don't make up for or outnumber the disgusting ones. This truly is an abomination. There are things about this transfer that prove that the 2008 Blu could have been much better but as I said before the first blu-ray is serviceable. Without a doubt The Ultimate Hunter Edition is the worst blu-ray currently on the market as the previous DVDs give a better experience overall. I don't understand how no one at Fox had the intelligence or power to send this back to the drawing board before it hit stores. I guess it shows what they think of Predator fans.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2010
  19. Kolpitz

    Kolpitz Purely and Simply Evil

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2004
    Messages:
    1,503
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Boxborough, MA
    I think the '08 BD would look much better if, like this release, they had just put it on a dual layer disc, with a really high bitrate. No need for all this DNR bullshit.
     
  20. Nailwraps

    Nailwraps Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2009
    Messages:
    3,613
    Likes Received:
    755
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Another rant from Bill Hunt of Digitalbits:

    http://www.digitalbits.com/#mytwocents

    "Now then... I promised that I'd have more to say on the whole subject of Predator and excessive digital noise reduction on Blu-ray transfers. For those of you who've heard enough of it, feel free to skip down to here. As for the rest of you purists, masochists and True Believers, read on dear friends...

    Predictably, we've gotten a lot of reader responses to my Wednesday rant about the Predator. I'm pleased to say that the overwhelming majority agreed with me and were just as upset as I was, both by the release itself... and by the recently trend of studios over-scrubbing old catalog digital masters for Blu-ray release. A couple of you, specifically those who thought the new Predator BD looked just awesome (to quote HEADGEEK "The print is f--king unbelievably sharp. I'm talking portal into another dimension sharp."), took exception. So be it, I guess. Everyone's got an opinion and this is probably unavoidable. There are also still lots of people who hate those damn black bars on their new HDTV sets, who don't seem to care or notice that AMC HD stretches the hell out of all their full frame films to fit the 1.78 HDTV aspect ratio, and who would prefer to watch the colorized version of It's a Wonderful Life rather than the original black and white. ("If Frank Capra made that film today, he would have used color, dammit!") It ain't my thing, and I continue to have a hard time understanding those attitudes, but to each their own. Nonetheless, I'm still going to do everything I can to try to hold the studios to a higher standard, and to TRY to educate consumers on these issues.

    Interestingly, I've heard from a number of industry sources in the last couple of weeks that a lot of people at the various mastering houses are painfully aware of this problem, and are doing whatever they can to alert the studios to the issue. (And guys, know that we're TOTALLY behind you and appreciate your efforts. If there's anything we can do to help, please let us know.) But there are still too many decision-makers at the studios - good, decent people to be sure - who just don't yet really understand the problem. I've also heard that, many times, studio decision-makers are giving the thumbs-up to these BD masters after checking them on a 40-inch plasma. And that's just not enough to really determine the quality - you need to throw them up on a 100-inch or larger projection screen to really see whether the image is breaking down or not. If you go to any good post production facility that does film remastering, you'll know that's exactly what they do - they digitally project the film in a real screening room space and carefully look for quality issues at that scale. It's the only way to properly do the job.

    Lest you all think I'm some kind of anti-DNR film Nazi, let me say this: DNR isn't evil. I don't hate DNR. Virtually EVER high-definition master uses some form of DNR. What I hate, is when DNR is used carelessly and excessively. There are too many people working at the studios who think of ANY grain as some kind of defect, and so they have no qualms just stripping it all out with DNR, which all too often damages the integrity of the image.

    Let me be clear: I have ABSOLUTELY no problem with grain reduction, especially if the grain in a film element is coarse and distracting -- unless that was the specific intent of the director and DP. I dislike a "grain storm" as much as the next guy. But when I'm watching a film, shot on film, on Blu-ray, I still expect to see a little very light grain texture in the background - even after DNR has been applied - because that's an inherent physical property of any film negative. When I start quality checking the transfer of a film on Blu-ray, I look for a bright scene, pause the image and start frame-stepping forward. If I can see a very slight/subtle pattern of print grain changing from frame to frame, I generally move on and don't think anything of it. But if can't see that grain anymore, even upon very close inspection, it's likely someone has gone too far. And so I start looking at other detail in the image - skin and fabric textures, etc - and 9 times out of 10, some of that has been removed too. Or in the case of the new Predator disc, a LOT has been removed. And that's when it's a problem for me.

    Robert [Harris], myself and others arguing the film purist side of this aren't just doing this to be obnoxious. But I don't care how many sales there are, Blu-ray is still a fairly niche format - a "20% of the market" format. A premium format, sold for a premium price. So I think it's reasonable to expect a little better. But if you don't demand better, you'll likely never get it.

    I'm not saying DNR should never be used again. I'm simply arguing that there needs to be some kind of standard. Film, shot on film, should still identifiably look like a film on Blu-ray. If we're talking about Avatar or Toy Story 3, then I expect them to be crisp and clean and grain-free. But if I'm watching Predator, or Night or the Living Dead, or Battleship Potemkin, you know... I expect to see a little grain. It's not rocket science. Criterion is getting it right. Sony is getting it right. All it takes is someone familiar enough with both film and video remastering to know that there's a balance that needs to be struck, and you need to employ a careful, light hand with digitally cleaning these masters.

    Look guys - for all those of you who felt the original Predator disc was terrible because it was too grainy, my belief is that the new one is just as terrible... only in a different way. There IS an easy, happy medium to be struck here. Hell, if Fox had even SPLIT THE DIFFERENCE between the two discs with regard to employing DNR, I doubt any of this would be an issue.

    And let me make one last argument for the importance of proper, careful digital remastering - the point I think is really the MOST important of all...

    How many films in the history of cinema - even just Hollywood cinema history - have been lost to time? The prints were cut, trashed, have deteoriated or been misplaced completely? A HUGE portion of the films made before 1930 simply no longer exist. This might surprise you, but Martin Scorsese's Film Foundation estimates a whopping 80% of the American films made prior to 1930 are gone forever. Let that sink in for a moment.

    Who knows how many of our favorite films today will simply be lost 100 years from now? There are many beloved classics with negatives in dire need of restoration and preservation, RIGHT NOW, even today. In a tough economy, film restoration is one of the first things that stops happening. It becomes much less of a priority for the studios. So what happens when those prints are lost or badly damaged - and I assure you if it's happened before it will happen again - and there's no one left alive who even remembers what they looked like?

    My point is, it is ENTIRELY possible that, as we move fully into an all-digital world, some of these digital masters will end up being the ONLY surviving versions of our favorite films. So isn't it important get them right? I sure think so.

    Anyway, it's important and well worth noting that MOST catalog BD titles these days are pretty well done, and some are downright spectacular. And a lot of good people in the industry are working very hard to deliver the very best quality possible. But sadly, the list of catalog titles with terrible transfers is truly depressing, in that it contains all too many much-loved titles that fans were really excited for: Gladiator, Patton, The Longest Day, Flash Gordon, many of the older Star Trek films... and now Predator. Let's just hope those continue to be the exception and not the rule... and that they'll all be revisited one day on Blu-ray with proper transfers."
     

Share This Page