Discussion in 'Prequel Trilogy' started by Strilo
, Jan 15, 2018.
I will buy all nine
I kinda wish I could get the first six plus Solo individually but also acquire the bonus discs for I-VI from the large set, depending if the behind the scenes discs contains some must-have or never-before-released material.
I will most likely buy episodes 1-6 individually and put the discs inside my UK Trilogy Steelbooks. (assuming they don't come out with new steelbooks anytime soon and nothing has been announced yet)
I don't know why anyone would think that. Just watching TPM 3D in 2012 and the various marathons that went on for each release would dispel that. I went to the 2017 one and the prequels look fantastic with now standard digital projection which wasn't the case at the time of the actual releases (as in not at all for TPM and limited theaters for AOTC and ROTS).
You won't have to.
Now then, I mentioned that we have more info on the Star Wars 4K discs (both the individual film SKUs and the Skywalker Saga box set—the actual discs are the same).
As for the 27-disc Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga box set (a Best Buy exclusive in the US and an Amazon exclusive in the UK), it will include the exact same discs listed above and available separately. There should be no difference in bonus content. All the box will add is the custom Death Star packaging, an elaborate collectible book with pre-production artwork to hold the discs, and an exclusive letter from Mark Hamill. THERE SHOULD BE NO ADDITIONAL BONUS CONTENT IN THIS SET.
The format is each release is 3 discs: 4K, BD and bonus disc. All come out March 31 as well as R1 and Solo (apparently in new packaging to match the others).
Except that applies to anything. There is always going to be some ceiling or limitation in comparison to what can be done today. Then technology comes along and changes things.
Does Lawrence of Arabia look WAY better today in 4K digital then when seen in theaters than in the 60's on film? Of course it does. What they can do now from the O-Negs and other original elements in terms of restoration, color and projection (not even getting into sound) is far beyond anything possible at the time of release.
By the same standards the prequels will look way better than they've ever been on 4K as opposed to watching them on DVD then BD. The IMAX AOTC looked good for it's day but obviously they had all sorts of limitations.
ROTS in particular always looks stunning. As the Blu Ray review at the time of the Saga release said:
Episode III is on a whole different picture quality plane of existence. This is the outright stunner of the prequels, with a degree of clarity and color that approaches Avatar and other high-profile eye-candy releases. You can see instantly how much crisper and more detailed everything is here, CGI and live-action material alike. The filtering has been abandoned in favor of an exceptionally resolved picture. See the fabric of General Grievous' cape. The clean lines of the nascent Darth Vader's shiny new helmet. The wrinkles on Yoda's weathered face. Count Dooku's eyebrow hairs, individually visible. This is impressive stuff. Just as striking is the brilliance of the film's color. The first two prequels are far from washed out, but Episode III takes the vibrancy up a notch, with tighter contrast, darker blacks—though not too dark—and some gorgeously vivid hues, like hot magenta spacecraft exhaust ports and, of course, searing neon lightsabers. All of the film's environments—from Kashyyyk to the climactic lava world—look fantastic. I'm not big on scores—they're too arbitrary—but if The Phantom Menace is a 3/5 and The Clone Wars is a 3.5/5, Revenge of the Sith gets full marks.
Just checked the German releases and you're absolutely right. 3 discs for each release.
The only major question I have- what happened to Dolby Vision? Aren't the streams certified in that format, yet the 4K releases are just regular HDR10?
I was hoping (or logically assuming) the 4K disc releases would improve on the Disney+ stream, both in dynamic range and compression. Will the films be cropped like with the Disney+ ratio or retain their original aspect ratio we've been used to seeing with *every* previous widescreen release?
I haven't been able to view the Star Wars streams myself yet, but from the screenshots I've seen (transcoded, not just the flat profile you get when HDR is turned off) they do look a little desaturated and flat. Sure, the 2004 / 2011 BD masters were overly saturated and I've been longing for them to look more natural again ever since, but from what I've seen it looks like they might have pushed it too far in the opposite direction. Then again, this is just based on a few HDR screenshots.
The specs says all 6 movies are 2:39:1 just as Rogue One and Solo are so that seems to be the standard ratio compared to the previous 2:35:1 releases.
I guess Disney+ just uses 2:39:1 so they just use those as the masters.
Yes. 4k disc with movie, BD disc with movie then BD bonus disc with extras.
So does this mean Star Wars Ep. 1-6 are now slightly cropped at the sides?
This is so true. 4K doesn't mean better than 2K. Theaters use so many different types of projectors. We may not even always be seeing 4K projections when we buy a movie ticket. And when it comes to 4K at home.... The HDR makes a much bigger difference than resolution. Home screens are just too small to really see the difference in resolution at a comfortable viewing distance. But extra color detail and dynamic range does show through. And color and contrast range are something that 1K, 2K, and 4K all can see improvements from. 4K isn't some magic number. That's why so many films have their effects rendered in 2K. The difference isn't so big.
Well I saw a drop in picture quality between the 4k TPM and the 4k AOTC on Disney+ when I rewatched. So whatever current technology they're using with HDR, etc, it didn't make AOTC look as good as TPM did on my setup.
That's another good point. Just because HDR can be a great leveler when it come to screen resolution, a great scan and excellent mastering to disc or digital is gong to look better than one that isnt' done very well.
That said - for Attack of the Clones on Disney+, try switching your TV to alternate brighter settings with more contrast. You shouldn't need to do that but it looks substantially better.
I think it's something like this:
2:35:1 2011 1080 BD
2:39:1 2019 4K Disney+
To fit the 2:35:1 into the 2:39:1 it's basically a zoom over the edges around the frame.
Notice the cut-off all around the entire framing. It's worth noting but effectively means nothing because you simply don't look there.
The actual noticeable difference are the colors. To me it's almost like the BD saturation is a bit too high but the 4K is a bit too low. I'd like the in-between the two.
AOTC is simply not going to look as good as TPM or ROTS because of the learning curve of using digital technology. The techniques and adjustments they made between AOTC and ROTS made all the difference. Which makes the point that while both are both HD ROTS' 1080p is far above AOTC's 1080p.
TPM was majority 35mm film for the live action with some 1080p shooting in the reshoots and 35mm film for the practical work. I don't know if they mixed in digital shooting for any of that work. Then finished in 2K with all the elements (live-action, practical, CGI).
I heard a million Directors of Photography cry out in terror over the "means nothing" sentiment, since the framing is key to the picture, irregardless of percentage number of crop. I was hoping this was only happening with the Disney+ stream aspect format, but it's completely unwarranted why ever Star Wars film is now cropped because Disney are sticklers to their technical guidelines. I'm surprised no one is outraged over Disney overstepping their boundaries here. It's one thing for the creator to make this decision, entirely another for a studio doing it for the heck of it. We just finally got the entire image for TPM for the first time in 2011 with the release of the Blu-Ray, and now this step backwards for no reason whatsoever.
Agreed, it's too desaturated now, which means you'll have to tinker with your home theater / TV settings to get a more accurate representation of what the films are intended to look like- the Blu-Rays all over again.
That said, the Naboo shot's color space does remind me of a faded 35mm print, which is kind of charming.
I actually don't agree AOTC looks the worst. I personally feel the D+ 4K upscale looks much better than the bluray to the point, that I was impressed by how good it looks. It's miles ahead of the 4K upscale of TPM imo, which is still based on the master used for the 3D conversion, and suffers from quite heavy DNR in many scenes.
I wonder, are there any uhd players out there that feature the opposite of a noise reduction filter in its picture settings, allowing you to add (digital) grain? This would be a very niché feature, but after all the DNR that's been going on in the early days of HD DVD and Blu-Ray this could go alongside well with the newly introduced uhd alliance filmmaker mode's quality control.
I would say that in terms of native raw elements that should be the case but as ever depending on what sources they used for the 4K's it can of course be variable as the colors always are from release to release unless they just reuse the same master.
What you are saying is TPM is from the 4K master prepared for the released in theaters 3D conversion but AOTC and ROTS (which were finished but not released in theaters) are not?
In your opinion what would have to be done then? Go all the way back to the "raw" version, the pre-BD version before they added the heavy DNR?
From the Blu Ray.com review:
(The Phantom Menace has) the worst picture quality of the set, but it's still disappointing. The main culprit here is digital noise reduction. Unlike the other two prequels, Episode I was shot on 35mm, but here it's been fairly strongly filtered so that grain is scrubbed out, giving a more video-ish appearance. I'm assuming this was probably done to give a sense of visual continuity to the prequels, but it frequently results in softened textures and smeared over detail. The application of DNR isn't nearly as egregious as it was in the notorious Predator re-release, but the image does look a bit off at times, with faces taking on that distinctly smooth, waxy quality that always accompanies excessive filtering. It's not all bad however; the predominately CGI scenes—like the battle on Naboo—look excellent, if a bit outdated and cartoonish, and there are no issues with color or contrast. Edge enhancement isn't a concern either—which is kind of surprising given that DNR is usually accompanied by oversharpening to compensate for the inherent softening—and there are no blatant compression problems.
Of course this reviews didn't realize the "predominantly CGI scenes—like the battle on Naboo—" are actually predominantly practical effects scenes but whatever...
The DNR was actually a necessary preprocessing step for a successful 3D conversion, which would look bad otherwise, because the conversion would significantly enhance the film grain of the original presentation. Sadly, the same master was used for the bluray, and for the D+ versions, with the only difference being a new HDR color grading. It is unfortunate, that they didn't follow the same process used for the OT a few years later.
IMO, they should take ROTS's new film grain and give it back to TPM.
(No, not literally, I'm joking.)
I mean, that's true for a lot of people (myself included). I'm not terribly engaged in the technical fineries of our current home video releases, so a lot of the talk about 4K is lost on me and I don't really see what the fuss is. I probably won't until 4K-related content becomes as cheap as Blu-Ray content is, and by then they'll probably moving on to their next thing.
They're not what I would call gun-ho about it, but I wouldn't call how Disney is handling the Prequel universe anything akin to holding a poison chalice glued to their hand. Their interests definitely lie with the Original Trilogy, however, that much from their output is clear.
I also can't really recall Abrams being proactively negative towards the Prequels (not like I remember the fanbase being, anyway, which was vitriolic), but I've seen a lot of people inferring that on his behalf when the subject comes up.
Do we know if the Disney+ 4K versions are basically what are being released on physical media soon?
We don't know for sure. Signs point to yes. Hopefully the 4K and BluRays are the new updated versions with even better sound and picture quality.
In 2020 it's not so surprising nothing offical has been announced. I'm sort of amazed that three weeks out samples haven't leaked out for any of the movies. Seems like any minute someone should be getting their hands on these.
It annoys me to no end Disney *isn't* including Dolby Vision on the premium uhd 4K format, yet they do with the lower-quality Disney+ streams. When they released TLJ on 4K uhd it had Dolby Vision, but that was before Disney+ and now they want everyone to sign up to that. Greed at its worst.
On the German releases the German dubbing took a big downgrade as well. It used to be DTS-HD 5.1 MA on the Blu-Rays since 2011, now it's only Dolby Digital 7.1.
It's inexcusable to give you less on *the* premium format of the time. It's not even that the uhd format is really taking away from the streaming service. Apples and oranges. Some people just prefer using a physical medium.
EDIT: This seems to be a systemic Hollywood studio issue, so it's not limited to some bean counting rats at Disney, though apparently they were the last to get in on the uhd 4k format.
The Blu Ray reviews of the Video Quality are up:
The Phantom Menace:
TPM 4K 2.5/5, BD 2.5/5
Cut-down from the article:
The UHD appears to have been sourced from the existing master used for the Blu-ray disc with an HDR application slapped onto it. The image suffers from a number of problems, including some smeary textures, flat details, and little evidence of the original film source. Grain has been removed from the image, resulting in an inorganic façade that robs many of the movie's locations of their textural grace, whether worn-down dwellings on Tatooine or the rich and resplendent surfaces around Naboo, both within the palace and out in the open country. Faces are often far waxier than they should be, with close-ups showing only cursory detail within the smoothed-over imagery.
The HDR color spectrum is left as the primary point of improvement, and it does help to solidify the presentation, more or less. The picture is pleasantly bright, notably on Tatoonie and Naboo where sunlight helps bring life to beige deserts and healthy greens on each planet, respectively. HDR brings improvements to bright light sources, including lightsabers, laser blasts, and electrical fields that power pod racers. Colors overall fare a good bit better here over the Blu-ray, offering improved saturation and depth, though they appear a bit stymied by the textural dumbing-down, never quite able to really leap off the screen with commanding detail in support.
The image is not a total loss. It's watchable, but watching it only leaves the viewer wishing Disney had taken some time to bring the movie to the format with the care and source faithfulness it deserves.
Attack of the Clones:
AOTC 4K 4/5, BD 4.5/5
Cut-down from the article:
Attack of the Clones was shot on digital, one of the first major motion pictures to be crafted in the digital realm. This is neither the best looking movie nor the best looking UHD in existence, but it's certainly worlds better than The Phantom Menace if only because it's at least faithful to its source. The picture is smooth and clean, free of noise even in challenging low light scenes. Detailing is strong enough within the movie's natural glossy sheen. It picks up healthy textures across a wide variety of practical and digital components, from intimate skin tones to hairs and even beads of sweat when Anakin awakens from a restless nightmare in chapter 25. The image finds well-versed details in its practical locations, like grassy fields on Naboo, and its digital constructs, such as Coruscant vistas.
The picture is relatively sharp in total, with only some of the digital effects and distant artificial backgrounds truly looking a bit murkier than might be ideal or if the production had been made in the last few years. Essentially, it's more a product of its source, so faithfulness is, at least, very high even if there's not much of a "wow" factor in play.
The red Geonosian surface seen from space at the 70-minute mark is one of the HDR highlights, and of course the sunny arena and subsequent battle towards film's end is a playground for light intensity and color saturation, particularly all of those diversely colored lightsabers in play. Black levels are a highlight, and with the movie's first act in particular home to so many dark scenes, locations, and backgrounds, they are ever vital to presenting the movie correctly.
There are a few other examples of macroblocking as well, such as along a dark wall when Obi-Wan seeks Master Yoda's assistance in finding a missing planet in chapter 14. Overall, however, the UHD is very nice and makes for a solid refinement over the excellent existing Blu-ray.
Revenge of the Sith:
ROTS 4K 5/5, BD 5/5
The digitally photographed Revenge of the Sith dazzles on UHD. The digital construction shows maturity over Attack of the Clones and the film shines with the added resolution and HDR color output. Look at a lightsaber duel in chapter five, Obi-Wan and Anakin versus Count Dooku. The lightsabers glow with perhaps the most impressive HDR intensity seen anywhere not just in the Star Wars galaxy but across the entire UHD universe-at-large. Likewise, the green readouts and accent lights seen aboard Grievous' ship's bridge in the following minutes are spectacular. The sun over Coruscant seen in a couple of shots from space and on the planet's surface brightly illuminates the screen with searing intensity. The white, bright interior of the Blockade Runner is a standout in chapter 33 for intensity and clarity while the hellish reds on Mustafar offer bold, terrifying intensity. Black levels are excellent, particularly in some of the key low light and shadowy scenes where Anakin is most deeply challenged at his core, his soul torn between the Jedi and the Dark Side. Add in laser blasts, explosions, and all sorts of other practical and digital elements, like Yoda and Clone Troopers, and there's no shortage of HDR excellence to be found.
The 2160p resolution ensures a firm, highly detailed image as well. Facial close-ups are excellent, easily the most complex and accurate in any of the three prequel films, besting even Attack of the Clones which looks good be never can quite kick into 4K hyperdrive. Here, there's intimacy and clarity aplenty, well beyond the Blu-ray's abilities. Droid close-ups are rewarding for grand texture and even digital Clone Troopers and other characters -- like Grievous and his lizard-like eyes seen in one close-up -- show fantastic attention to detail. There remains a certain air of artificiality to some of the visual effects shots, but this is a much more visually polished and fruitful experience than Attack of the Clones. Overall it's the best looking Star Wars UHD amongst the prequel trilogy and the original trilogy.
I have to agree with these reviews wholeheartedly. I got all 3 prequels on 4k discs the other day, and I was very dissapointed with Phantom Menace, because it looks basically the same as the Blu Ray. Not worth the upgrade if you already had the BR. I was happy with AotC, the color accuracy/vibrancy and details added make it a worthwhile upgrade to the Blu Ray. This one actually seemed like a true re-scan. I was absolutely gob-smacked by RotS. The film has always looked excellent, but this is just breathtaking. I can't say anything that wasn't already said so eloquently in the review. It is breathtaking.
It seems that TPM is the odd one out, but if you are going to get all of them on 4k it doesn't make sense to skip out on it. It might look marginally better than the Blu Ray, but it really isn't noticable. In true Disney fasion, they might do a better re-scan at a later date, just to charge us $ again.
Watching the 2020 BluRay of The Phantom Menace - the picture is slightly improved over the 2011 BluRay. The 2020 audio on the other hand is a huge improvement over the soundtrack from 2011. Not sure how people are listening to these at home, it's most impressive.
This makes me think that Disney will eventually do a new transfer of TPM at some point...