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UHD (4k) Blu-ray Discussion Thread

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Mondo Macabro indicated that they have plans for Ultra HD Blu-ray.


We don't know what they are, but we know what they aren't: Brigade of Death, which Mondo Macabro is collaborating on with Le chat qui fume.  Their European partner is giving it a UHD release overseas, but it won't be English-friendly.  Mondo Macabro didn't think it was the right title to experiment with on these shores, since they have a different business model.

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Hyuck, I mah gone have git me some help pickin’ me up one them thar Annihilation four kay casettes and sendin’ it across the waters!     ....better?

I picked up the Groundhog Day UHD at Best Buy. It’s a wonderful disc. Outside of the opening scene which is a bit grain heavy, the HDR pass really brings the transfer alive. Daylight scenes in particu


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Sony really seem to have it got it together when it comes to audio options on their discs lately. The press details for Snatch note that it will include two Atmos tracks, one being the US mix and the other being the UK mix. Both mixes will also be available in their original 5.1 presentations as well.



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Artwork for The Sting:




UK rear cover:




I forgot Universal's titles will be handled by Warner in the UK going forward (you can see Warner credited in the very small print as distributor there).



Ltd Edition from Zavvi UK (not sure if this is getting a US release):





Really hope this is one is up there with Universal's better restorations. 

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An unexpected Blu-ray upgrade coming from Arrow in June. Argento's 'The Bird with the Crystal Plumage':



I never did get around to getting their Blu-ray. 


In other Arrow news, they announced earlier this week that Arrow Academy is to cease in May and future releases will come under the Arrow Video umbrella. I'm rather sad about that. I liked there being two distinct lines with one for genre releases, and another for more foreign and classic films. It doesn't seem that the charge will be too harmful for Academy staff and future titles though.




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UK back cover for Speed confirms my suspicion that the DVD extras mentioned in the press release are streaming only (unless the UK is being lumbered with the old Blu-ray while the US gets a shiny new pressing in the case alongside the UHD):




Atmos logo is also printed in error there. I suppose there's a slim chance we get a new Blu-ray despite what the back cover indicates, but I'd be surprised (that said, it wouldn't be the first time Disney UK have made such errors). I'll be curious to see the US back cover.


UK release is 17th May.

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Universal are releasing Smokey and the Bandit on June 1st in the US.


I must admit that's a very random and unexpected catalogue title for them to want to roll out. I may have to take back my expectation that the Scott Pilgrim disc would end up with DTS-X over its new Atmos mix as I hadn't noticed that Universal have been putting Atmos on more discs recently. I mention it here because Smokey and the Bandit is seemingly getting it, and their recent disc of News of the World has one too. In Smokey's case it will be interesting to see what they do as the existing multi-channel mix is notoriously hated with added and incorrect sound effects (it's even mentioned on the film's wiki page) and Universal don't appear to be including the original mix.



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I received Sony's UK disc of The Evil Dead at the weekend as there's a good sale on Sony titles here right now (3 for £30). Compared to the US Lionsgate disc, if you're happy to forgo Dolby Vision for HDR10 with the Sony release you are instead rewarded with the correct audio pitch. 

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Arrow are doing an alternate edition of their Bird with the Crystal Plumage release that features some gorgeous Italian artwork:




I much prefer that to the art they've done with the English cover. This will be an edition of 1000 copies according to the specs.


Worth noting both editions appear to feature the cover below as the reverse sleeve, so there is at least an alternate option with the English slipcase edition (which may carry over to an eventual non ltd edition):







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I've been meaning to raise this issue for a while but it's remarkable how bad Studio Canal screw up when they do not defer their compression duties to Fidelity in Motion. I hadn't bought Total Recall due to the bad reviews about the compression, and here's an example:




What you're looking at there is the HDR10 layer compared to the Dolby Vision layer (actually it's using some trickery to convert the DV to HDR-10 for the purposes of capture). True of most badly compressed Studio Canal discs, a lot of problems are reduced if you're fortunate enough to be able to watch in Dolby Vision (this is true of their John Carpenter discs for example), but it's amazing how consistently Studio Canal screw up if Fidelity in Motion are not doing their discs. Total Recall's disc apparently drops as low as 3mpbs too. 3! The US Lionsgate disc is no better as it uses the exact same encode.


Curiously, the Italian release of Total Recall uses Studio Canal's new master but the distributor (Eagle) did their own encode and it's a lot better and it has a superior 5.1 track compared to the UK/US Atmos. It's a tragedy Lionsgate did not act similarly with the US disc, as while they did just do a 1:1 clone of the Studio Canal disc in the past on titles like T2, they actually did their own encode on Apocalypse Now. Basic Instinct will likely be the next film both studios share, but who's going to be doing the compression work on that for Studio Canal nobody knows.


The iTunes release of Total Recall even has a better and more consistently high average bitrate compared to the UK and US discs. 


For reference, the discs Fidelity in Motion have done for Studio Canal to date are:


Angel Heart 
Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure 
Don't Look Now
The Elephant Man
The Fifth Element 
Flash Gordon
The Ladykillers (1955)


You can purchase/import those without hesitation. 


I'd like to get Breathless and Le Cercle Rouge but I'm wary given FiM didn't handle them. I haven't heard anything too bad about those two though outside of comments that, again, the DV layer presentation is superior. The screenshot comparisons below from the HDR10 look decent though:





I'll probably get Total Recall on iTunes whenever it is next super cheap and think about whether to import the Italian disc.


Can you imagine if they did an anniversary T2 re-issue this year and it had grain, both cuts... but a botched encode? I wouldn't know whether to laugh or cry.



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