Unstoppable - Blu-ray Review - Page 2 - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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post #11 of 18 Old 02-23-11, 11:56 AM
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Re: Unstoppable - Blu-ray Review

Cory - Could you share what looked oversaturated?

Just curious - because I didn't notice that... but I have to say, I wasn't looking for it.

I don't have the eye for graphics that you do, I'm sure!

Avatar being over saturated - I totally get.. that was obvious.
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post #12 of 18 Old 02-23-11, 04:11 PM
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Re: Unstoppable - Blu-ray Review

I think the moral of the story is: DON'T BE A DEWEY!
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post #13 of 18 Old 02-24-11, 10:00 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Unstoppable - Blu-ray Review

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Cory - Could you share what looked oversaturated?
Well, first off, let me start by saying maybe I was a little too harsh by using the word: oversaturated. Oversaturated insinuates that maybe I didn't like the saturation level. That it was too much for my tastes. This isn't true at all. I really loved the stylistic approach. Unnaturally saturated is probably more what I was going for.

And, easier than pointing out certain specific examples would be to say that this approach is used extensively throughout the entire film. Simply stated, the selective color saturation of certain areas of the film shouldn't naturally exist based on the lighting. I realize this is highly subjective. So without getting too detailed, one fact most can agree on is perceived color is directly related to the amount of light that our eyes are able to take in. This movie is shot almost entirely on a dreary, overcast rainy day. Some aspects of this natural lighting show through like dull, distant countryside or the neutral grey gravel in the train yard. Coincidentally, this works in the director's favor because when selective saturation is added in the editing room, colors can really pop off of dreary looking environments. I think sometimes we can become too accustomed to how quality film looks after being massaged in the editing room. But, compare the final product to some of the special features you sometimes find on a disk that may have the timestamp rolling in the black bars, and happen to be, yet untouched by the art department. Colors may appear drab, contrast is often washed out, and lighting is usually less than ideal, especially when you're able to directly compare it to a finished scene you remember from the movie.

Anyways, going back and quickly watching the trailer on Apple's Quicktime movie trailer site, I came up with a few quick examples. (I realize the trailer isn't a 100% accurate representation of the blu-ray, but it should be acceptable for these purposes). The scene where the little girl appears to be waiting for the bus when the train flies by is one example. It's dreary, and she looks fairly natural in a rainy day setting. There is a decent neutral grey. But, the green behind her is WAY green. Like, fake golf course pamphlet green. Bringing a still of this scene into photoshop showed that there is 100% saturation of yellow, and near 100% saturation of "blue" in CMYK, RGB and LAB color spaces. This, according to everything I've ever been taught, shouldn't naturally exist. IMO, there definitely has been some selective massaging. Other examples are the faces of the trains as Frank and Will walk through the trainyard, and the closeup of the blue train as it passes by in a dark scene.

I also say it's selectively massaged, because, for example, Will's vest is extremely bright, but there's not an exaggerated reflection of yellow on his face (that I noticed.) Skin tones stay fairly neutral, for the most part. I know that modern-day makeup artists can also have an effect on this phenomena, but that's getting into a whole other kettle of fish.

Next time you watch, see if you notice your eyes being almost forcefully drawn to color in otherwise dreary environments. That's what I'm talking about. It could be a little distracting, but personally I really enjoyed the experience and this stylistic approach to color. In the past, I've bumped the video grade up a half star for stylized approaches that I found successful. However, in this case, to bump Unstoppable's grade to a perfect score would almost seem like I'm ignoring the fact that color is in many areas unnaturally saturated, and doesn't do justice to movies I believe deserve a reference quality 5-star rating like the PotC trilogy, Transformers, Black Hawk Down, and numerous animated films for examples.

I hope this helps to explain my stand a little bit. Clear as mud, huh?

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post #14 of 18 Old 02-26-11, 03:11 PM
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Re: Unstoppable - Blu-ray Review

Cory - Thanks for your very articulate and lengthy explanation!

I look forward to when I get a copy of it.... and get to look at what you're talking about.

Just from the theater - I already can recall a couple scenes where they appeared the way that you're talking about. Not crazy - but a touch surreal.
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post #15 of 18 Old 03-11-11, 09:17 AM
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Re: Unstoppable - Blu-ray Review

One of the best Denzel/Scott Films made!! This truly was a thrill ride. My wife and I were at the theater, and you know the effects a large soda can have on your bladder... There was not an opportunity this entire movie to leave for even a minute!!

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post #16 of 18 Old 03-16-11, 04:41 PM
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Re: Unstoppable - Blu-ray Review

I watched this on DVD last night - holy cow that bass is great! This will be one of the movies I take out to audition my system. The story was good too with pretty much non-stop action.
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post #17 of 18 Old 04-08-11, 03:09 AM
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Re: Unstoppable - Blu-ray Review

Funny how this is one of those "Love it or hate it" movies. I hated it. One of the worst movies of the year for me, and I love Denzel action flicks. I was put off by the numerous technical errors in both the story and the video. Look through the binoculars and it's raining heavily, put the binoculars down and it's dry... The train is supposed to be hauling a%$ and the slightest turn will derail it, but devices made to derail it have no affect. The high speed of the train makes it near invulnerable, instead of more vulnerable. Again, The train is supposed to be hauling a%$ and the slightest turn will derail it, so cut to a scene where the runaway train is sedately traveling through a fairly sharply curved section of track. The type of cars in the runaway train varying from one shot to the next. etc, etc.

I think the story could have been a good one if the writers and/or the director had put a bit more thought into it. Perhaps hiring--and listening too--a good technical adviser would have helped. Sometimes artistic license is required to tell a story. But I hate it when screenwriters fail to put enough thought into a story, leaving technical errors in that could have easily been written correctly with no adverse affect on the story.

I'm not putting anyone down that liked the movie, different strokes for different folks. I've loved movies that lots of people thought were stupid. it's all a matter of suspension of disbelief. If the story allows you to do that you can get into it and have a good time. If it can't, well it can't.
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post #18 of 18 Old 06-21-11, 07:26 PM
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Re: Unstoppable - Blu-ray Review

My name is Jack, and I am new to this forum. I was surprised at how good a movie, as well as how well rounded the Blu Ray was for Unstoppable, but then all Tony Scott movies get the royal treatment.
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