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The HD/Blu-ray Thread

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More disc-testing on my BDX1200. Please, anyone, try to duplicate my results and hopefully fail?

District 9 - fail (brief loading screen before stop)

The Godfather - fail

Letters from Iwo Jima - works!

Toy Story - works!

Inglorious Basterds - fail

2001 A Space Odyssey - fail

Tekkonkinkreet - fail

It seems I can play discs from Disney (pirates and toy story) and Warner Bros (letters). But nothing by Universal, Lionsgate, Sony or Paramount among others.

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I tried whatever of your fails I have

District 9 (UK) - Works in both region settings

Inglorious Basterds (UK) - Works in both region settings

2001 (US) - Works in both region settings

Tekkonkinkreet (UK) - Works in both region settings

Weird that you've had the problem with 4 players and I not at all. I've played plenty of releases from the studios you are having problems with since I got it too. Are you certain it's the 1200 firmware you put on and not the 3200? I'm not sure it's even possible to put on the wrong one though.

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Also, my Annie Hall/Manhattan BDs shipped from LA today. I have a feeling the quality won't be 'all that', but I'll post my verdict when I've watched them, if anyone's interested but hasn't pulled the trigger yet. As long as they're not upscales or excessively tampered with I'll be happy enough.

They arrived today, at spectacular speed. I haven't actually watched them through yet - just checked them to see if they work - but since there's nothing yet out there by way of review I thought I'd provide what little info I can in case anyone's sitting on the fence about buying them whilst mixing a metaphor and simultaneously chomping at the bit. (I've no idea when they'll be released over here.)

Neither film has any extras or features (bar theatrical trailers, which the DVDs have, and as you'd expect from Allen's films). It's a shame - or maybe a blessing, given the quality of many I've seen - that despite the director's reticence there aren't any essays, or reflections, or, well, anything. But there you go, and no surprise. DVD 0 - BD 0. The English soundtracks to both are DTS-HD and in mono. I did a back to back between the Manhattan DVD or BD, and the BD does seem clearer, but there's not much in it and what there is could be down to my amp's setup and my speakers' characteristics. Both are decent enough for mono tracks. 1 all probably, as you can't score half a goal in this sort of contest.

Which only leaves PQ. Annie Hall seems (from memory) marginally clearer and more natural-looking than the DVDs I've seen, but I haven't got the DVD to do a back-to-back. What the BD does have is some noticeable flicker, which may well be present on the DVD too, but such is the gentle caress of wistful memory that I can't remember it. I can't ever remember things like that unless they're horribly intrusive, and they're not horribly intrusive here on the BD, and I don't recall ever scrutinising Annie Hall for PQ defects before so they might have been there all along. It'd be like scouring your beloved's face for signs of acne. But here I did, and I spotted it, pun intended. So there you have it: it probably just bears the same imperfections as the DVD release(s), but the harsh light of geekdom has weighed heavily on it in this era of extreme technical scrutiny, and found it flawed. Still probably one apiece to the old and new tech.

With Manhattan, I did do a DVD/BD back-to-back for the opening few scenes. A bit like comparing badly-taken photos of your wife's arse at different ages and trying to decide for the benefit of posterity (pun again intended) which arse age was better ("). Here the facelifted arse wins out by a whisker. B/W films always seem to benefit most from simple res enhancements - I guess it's the stock, the lighting, the focus on clear detail - and Manhattan just looks better as a set of moving images than Annie Hall, so it shows up better on BD. The difference in detail resolution and in colour (monochrome) depth was noticeable, though not striking. It just felt a bit deeper, a bit clearer, and a bit more alive. Tangible, but not overwhelming. There didn't appear to be any edge enhancement, or haloing, or anything else untoward in what I watched of either film.

I've appended a couple of zoomed-in pics of a deliberately unlovely scene, one from the (PS3-upscaled) DVD, one from the BD, for comparison. Both were shot terribly badly, with an SLR pointed at a plasma in a dim room, as I've no capture card. Both look awful, and nothing like what the scenes actually resemble; both are serrated with horrible artefacts caused by the camera interacting with the TV's refresh, and then by the jpegginess. But they might be useful in that if you realise the DVD actually does look lovely, when you see the enhanced level of detail (look at the sign on the bridge) of the BD, and its better depth (look at the grille bars on the foreground building), you can imagine that the BD looks indisputably lovelier still. So despite the crap photos and the crap review, what you have in the BD of Manhattan is an already gorgeously beautiful B/W love poem made even more beautiful, and which this review will always fail to do justice.

So ultimately the score is Manhattan DVD 10, Manhattan BD 10 + impossible beauty - whatever technical quibbles you'd like to throw at it if you're brain dead, or simply marginally misguided like me. Buy the BDs, watch the films, and smash the camera you stupidly pointed at the TV in order to attempt to capture some imagined technical difference between joy and ecstasy. Leave that to the film maker.

I'm sure there'll be a more exacting review along in due course. Here are the shit photos.

DVD

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BD

post-663-077803100 1326928924_thumb.jpg

EDIT: All that waffle, and I forgot to add the thing I wanted to say first, as it's probably the only bit of useful info I have: the US discs are both region-free. And they're cheap. Enjoy.

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So I finally got my player working. For the offchance that anybody else runs into this, you need to disable 'CEC' in the system settings for it to work on a Pioneer telly. Apparently it's something related to HDMI control (ie tv-remote-controlling-player stuff). Two questions I have remain unanswered: 1. Why does this only seem to effect certain discs, particularly UK ones? 2. Why is it default off when you buy the player but default on when you upgrade the firmware?

Anyway, by gosh that was annoying. But I have it working and the happiness that has caused is making me care a lot less about the questions.

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Horrid, isn't it?

Masters of Cinema's releases for April through to June, in addition to Ruggles of Red Gap:

032-island-of-lost-souls-df-2d-packshot-72dpi-s.jpg030-lifeboat-df-2d-packshot-72dpi-site.jpg

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Coming in 2013: Dreyer's Passion de Jeanne d'Arc.

Whilst we're on Mizoguchi, inter alia, it would appear that that Artificial Eye BR set of his work actually does exist. From nought to eight HD releases in a single week - not bad for Kenji, not bad at all.

81ETeWqxt%2BL._AA600_.jpg

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Picked up Two-lane Blacktop and stuck the disc in to try it out. But I had the player set to the wrong region, so got their interesting region lock screen

BlacktopBurnout.jpg

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Just watched Melancholia. I give it my top movie rating of 2 Kirsten Dunst nipples in HD out of 2.

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Hopko designs have made a new 30th Anniversary poster for E.T. and it seems like it might be used for the Blu-Ray release (the wording on some of the blogs isn't exactly clear on this though).

post-383-0-63666500-1328717850_thumb.jpg

A lot of sites seem to really like it, surely I can't be the only person who think it looks ugly as sin.

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Properly bad work with the colours that shan't be mentioned and they way they're trying to light people with them.

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Didn't Spielberg say he was releasing the original ET and not the CGI fuck-up version? That would be a treat.

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Yes he did. He also promised not to mess with any of his other films either.

Faith in humanity restored a little.

I don't mind a little tinkering to smooth out rough edges, or to genuinely try to restore the directors original vision. Sorry George Lucas, I'm not buying that as your excuse, especially when the ADYWAN version puts Lucas to shame. Works well in Aliens, and the final Blade Runner version is a masterclass in polishing an original to perfection.

Wasn't there a version of ET before the CGI version that added a few scenes, most notably interior shots of ET's spaceship?

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That was Close Encounters of the Third Kind; apparently Columbia would only let Spielerg release a director's cut if he added shots of Richard Dreyfuss inside the mothership, but he never wanted them there in the first place, so whilst the Special Edition from the 80s has those shots he got rid of them again when he did the Collector's Edition in the late 90s.

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What's wrong with the iconic poster image though?

Absolutely nothing. Originals are nearly always best.

E_t_the_extra_terrestrial_ver3.jpg

They got a lot wrong in the 80s, but damn they were good at poster/VHS box designs.

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http://geek-news.mtv.com/2012/02/10/walking-dead-dvd-case-mcfarlane/

Toy Fair 2012: Exclusive Look at AMC's "The Walking Dead" DVD Case From McFarlane Toys

Posted 2/10/12 11:30 am ET by Lemonjuice McGee in First Look, McFarlane Toys, TV, Toy Fair

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You know what we can never have enough of? The rotting heads of freshly decapitated zombies, that's what! They are not only versatile when decorating your home, but can really add a touch of class to any joint! That's why we're excited to bring you this exclusive first look at AMC's "The Walking Dead" Season 2 DVD case from our friends at

McFarlane Toys! This version of the case, featuring a screwdriver-skewered head atop the show's logo, will be available with the Special Edition Blu-Ray. While comparing it to the Blu-Ray packaging hidden in the neck means that this sucker isn't quite life-size, the sheer grossness of the thing totally makes up for it! Just look at those teeth! The prototype for the case will be featured at the McFarlane toys booth during Toy Fair, along with a number of other zombie-related goodies. And it's all just in time for the eagerly awaited second half of season 2!

Read on for more photos and info on this screwdriver-afflicted case:

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THE WALKING DEAD: SEASON 2 - SPECIAL EDITION BLU-RAY featuring an exclusive zombie statue case created by McFarlane Toys. Based on an actual television zombie bust designed by Emmy™ Award-winning Special Effects Make-up Supervisor and Co-Executive Producer, Greg Nicotero and KNB EFX Group. Distributed by Anchor Bay Entertainment. "The Walking Dead" airs Sundays at 9pm on AMC. For more information visit

p_pt_wdtv2_dvd_case_031.jpg

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Stay tuned to MTV Geek! for all your

McFarlane Toys and "The Walking Dead" coverage from Toy Fair 2012!

bttn_play-big.png

Well that's hardly likely to be on the sideboard in view of my 10 yr old daughter, certainly a unique looking case though......

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May:

613_box_348x490.jpg?1329430326614_box_348x490.jpg?1329430415381_box_348x490.jpg?1328128332611_box_348x490.jpg?1329430244612_DVD_box.jpg?1329430483

On DVD only: an Eclipse set of the work of Robert Downey Sr., featuring Babo 73, Chafed Elbows, No More Excuses (co-dir. by Robert Soukis), Putney Swope and Two Tons of Turquoise to Taos Tonight.

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May isn't the best month for Criterion covers, that's for sure. The Being John Malkovich one is rubbish by anyone's standards.

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The next pair of Ghiblis have finally been dated for the UK. 25th June for Howl's Moving Castle and Tales from Earthsea(don't all rush at once).

No word yet from Japan on what catalogue titles they're releasing there next, which would also presumably what comes here next too.

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Well that is crap; one of those is disappointing and one is flat out bad. Damn my completist addiction as it means I'll end up buying them without really wanting either.

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The next pair of Ghiblis have finally been dated for the UK. 25th June for Howl's Moving Castle and Tales from Earthsea(don't all rush at once).

No word yet from Japan on what catalogue titles they're releasing there next, which would also presumably what comes here next too.

I still haven't watched the ones that have been released (which are all on my shelf). I'm terrible :(

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You can always give them to me if you don't like them...

But then I'll have a gap on my shelf.

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