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Elite Shackster
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I just got done watching this movie tonight and dare I say... this may be the best home theater entertainment created to date. The movie is good IMO, with just enough plot to justify the practically non-stop action that is just begging for tons of surround effects and bass. I think the sound engineers had all of us in mind creating this.. and they are my new heros. Great detail in all of the effects, awesome pans, huge dynamics. The score has subsonic bass material as does just about every pistol shot. Lets not even talk about the natural gas explosion or the F-35 scene :scared: WOW!!! This is definitely one for the collection.
 

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Funny.....I did not find the same results with the Blu ray version; see my review below. It sure had a ton of sound -- yes...but, probably because of the way my system is set up so that the new high resolution surround codecs are passing to the receiver via PCM instead of bitstream, something is getting lost....the "DTS Master Audio" track on the Blu ray version seemed to be lacking bass and some directional information.
 

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Same here...SD on my A2 and it was a fun movie. One of the best looking actin film SD dvd's to date - imo. I haven't seen the Blu-Ray version yet as netflix takes months to get me any new HD movies of either format.
 

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Eagles,

If I read your post correctly, you watched the standard def version of this title on your Toshiba HD DVD player? If so, why? Was it because of your nextflix issue you mentioned after that?

At any rate, the Blu ray's audio and video presentations didn't impress me, as detailed in my review; there was a great deal of grain in the 2.40:1 transfer and the LFE was lacking on the downmixed DTS Master Audio track -- again, this could be because my system takes the PCM stream and sends it to my receiver as is, with a "core" DTS mix extracted...so something must be going on with the sound with all these conversions. I cant wait until the next generation players shake all these bitstream bugs out.

As far as I know, running these PCM tracks to the receiver in a multichannel fashion decreases the bass output by at least 10 dBs; if this is the case, that is why the bass was seriously lacking on the Blu ray disc on MY setup....:(
 

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Elite Shackster
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Are you sure that the PCM signals are being sent to your receiver as multichannel high bitrate and not a downconverted 2 channel version? If it were the latter it would cause your receiver to playback in pro logic and will throw out the LFE track. Are you connected HDMI?
 

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Are you sure that the PCM signals are being sent to your receiver as multichannel high bitrate and not a downconverted 2 channel version? If it were the latter it would cause your receiver to playback in pro logic and will throw out the LFE track. Are you connected HDMI?
Hey Goon,

Yes I am indeed connected via HDMI -- the Blu ray player is running HDMI out to my Onkyo receiver, where the HDMI out from the receiver runs to my Sony SXRD display; how would I tell if the PCM signals are being sent with a high bitrate and not a downconverted 2 channel version? My receiver indeed lights up "MULTICH" with "HDMI/PCM/MULTICHANNEL" lit above it when I play PCM tracks....
 

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Eagles,

If I read your post correctly, you watched the standard def version of this title on your Toshiba HD DVD player? If so, why? Was it because of your nextflix issue you mentioned after that?

(

Yup....I have both a Blockbuster and a Netflix account and still have serious issues getting HDM discs.
Enough so that I've complained to Netflix.
 

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Yup....I have both a Blockbuster and a Netflix account and still have serious issues getting HDM discs.
Enough so that I've complained to Netflix.
Not to change this topic of this thread, but I had Blockbuster and they sucked. I now have Netflix and they suck also. Not as bad as Blockbuster, but both of them stink when it comes to HDM. :(
 

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Senior Shackster
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I saw the film last weekend. It was preposterous but entertaining. Not as good as the first
entry which had some credibility. The second and third were okay but not great so this
one is superior to those. I guess you must really suspend your disbelief when
watching an action movie now since there is no attempt at reality. People survive things that
no human being possiby could and there are even some cliches becoming attached to the genre.
One major cliche is having the villains fire automatic weapons at the protagonists but never
hit them. It becomes comical after a while. The other problem is there really isn't a climax in many films. There are so many explosions and stunts throughout the film that by the end of the movie, there's nothing left to do. This film is no exception and the final confrontation isn't particularly spectacular or dramatic. It's almost as if they start with the climax and then just fizzle out by the end. Remember the Connery Bond movies which would end with spectacular explosions as a
catharsis to everything that proceeded it? I guess those days are gone.

I don't want to suggest it isn't worth watching. Very noisey 5.1 stereo which is
fun to listen to. Mediocre visuals but vibrant color and rich depth of field isn't that common
any more with contemporary cinematographers. Willis is completely bald in this picture and
less sympathetic than before. It didn't help that the establishing scenes portray him as a
lunatic in terms of his relationship with his daughter who is actually the same actress grown
up from the 1988 original.


Since most producers rely on CGE for stunts and action scenes now, I assumed everything
I was watching was created digitally. I listened to the commentary and apparently they did
film some real stunts in the movie. Since those are intercut with CGE effects, it still tends to
look very artificial.


For unknown reasons, Fox wanted a family friendly PG-13 version released to theaters. I'm
glad I skipped it and watched the unrated version (really just an R rated cut) of the film
in my home theater. Evern Willis' famous tag line was censored with a gunshot sound in
the theatrical version. Just skip it and see the film they should've released in theaters.
The commentary is amusing when they discuss the 'Ratings Game' and what is allowed
in a PG-13 film. I didn't know that even non-squibbed gunshots had to be cut.
In other words when automatic weapons are being fired, the classification
board insisted that some of the hits on walls and windows were eliminated even though
no person was hit. 30 bullets hits on walls as opposed to 50 makes it okay for children?


My final comment is unlike the first film, there didn't seem to be any style to this
one. Completely predictable from beginning to end. No suspense but enough
campy action to keep your interest. I didn't know a Jet attack plane could hover
like a flying saucer enabling Willis to jump on the wings and ride it. It made me
laugh out loud because it was so rediculous. I don't know how Willis kept a straight
face with some of these gravity defying stunts. That's the major difference
between the first and latest "Die Hard" movie. The first one was the beginning
of the genre and believable and suspenseful. You really didn't know how the
picture would end and the stunts and actions scenes could happen in real life. No surprises here and the action is absurd to the point where you laugh at it. That's a form
of entertainment (laughing at the movie) but not as interesting as when the
director has you in his grip and manipulates the images for edge of your seat
thrills as McTierman did in 88'.
 

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Very noisey 5.1 stereo which is
fun to listen to.


Richard,

Can you be a little more specific as to what it is you're referring to here? The DVD's DOLBY DIGITAL 5.1 track? It cannot be stereo, and what exactly is "NOISEY"....do you mean "noisy," meaning aggressive in nature in terms of the soundtrack?
 

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I didn't know a Jet attack plane could hover
like a flying saucer enabling Willis to jump on the wings and ride it. It made me
laugh out loud because it was so rediculous. I don't know how Willis kept a straight
face with some of these gravity defying stunts.
Harrier Jets can hover. True Lies has a scene with them in it also.

I do agree however that the jumps John McClane kept doing in the movie is sufficient to break bones.

e.g. jump from plane to concrete ; jump from an accelerating car ; etc.

I know this is fiction but, I kinda believe superman more than this :) but I think it's the 3rd great movie of the series ... I rank them in the order of part 1,2,4,3
 

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I can see from your viewpoint as a producer Richard... and I agree with everything you said. None the less, this is what I think most people want. I put all that aside and just absolutely enjoyed the movie. It didn't hinder my enjoyment of it. The bass and surround was awesome! This is a definite must own Blu-ray Disc for me. I can hardly wait to see it again.
 

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Senior Shackster
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Yes, by noisy I meant very aggressive in your face sound coming from all channels. Not a subtle mix but it suits this type of campy action film.


I didn't know that type of Jet could hover. Regardless, I agree that all of the jumps that Willis makes throughout the film he couldn't have survived or at least would've broken or sprained an ankle and some bones. He does come off like a super hero rather than an action hero. I start to laugh out loud when the stunts becomes this preposterous. Like a live action cartoon. That's a form of entertainment but thrilling and suspenseful is quite different. For a film to contain those attributes it has to be plausible on some levels and this movie isn't. I have a DVD of the original "Die Hard"
in my collection but have no desire to purchase the other three nor will I sit through
them again. I guess that's my personal subjective view of a great movie. One worth
repeat viewings. A merely entertaining movie is worth seeing once but not over and over again. Some of the elements that make repeat viewings worthy are style, credibility, a director's perspective on the subject and interesting cinematography.
"Live Free or Die Hard" contains none of them. I guess some viewers (and directors) place a greater importance on sound design over other aspects of a movie. Good stereo sound is important to enhance the visuals and narrative but is not the key ingredient in my judgment. Lots of explosions, sound effects and folleys cannot
disguise a weak script and characterization.


Spielberg is using real stuntmen and not relying on CGE for the latest "Indiana Jones"
film currently in production. That should be very interesting.
 

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I also agree that the stunts in this film are a bit over the top and the "realism" of the action sometimes gets carried away (Speed was a perfect example of this).
The Harrier is capable of hovering and landing/taking off in very tight spots, So that part was fairly accurate although would not happen in real life.
I work in the HVAC industry as a building operator and have worked in almost every type of building that you can think of so when ever they do a movie that involves elevators or mechanical systems I turn of my expectations of "this is real and could happen" mode as they always mess it up or go totally beyond anything realistic. And I then still enjoy the movie.
 

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I agree with you guys........good movie, great sound, great addition to the action movies.
BUT, the stunts are way over done and it would be nice to have just a smeg of realism in there somewhere.
The fall from the jet .......come on........at least get a huge gash and bleed some for me.
The thing that has always got me is the guy hiding behind a couch or a wall and the bullets never seem to go through........if my 5 year old can put a pencil through my couch I think a 45 slug should have no problem.:hissyfit:Some road rash, hang nail.........???? Anything...!!
I at least ounce I want to see some idiot hiding behind a couch fall over dead with 20 bullet holes in him.......But I guess that's just asking to much hu .......LOL

All in all still good action flick though..........
 

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I guess it depends on how old you are and what you're used to. We're into a new generation of
viewers now who know only CGE and that's their reference. They're used to the artificial look
of films that rely extensively on computerized images which not only refers to stunts but to
the actual 'look' of the projected image (color, resolution etc.) which was altered via a digital intermediate before being out-putted back to film. In other words, many movies today do not utilize the standard photo-chemical color interpositive/internegative and then to release print. They digitally
scan in the entire negative and output the internegative. This alters the look of the release
print and of course there are major differences in resolution if you scan it at the new 4K standard
versus the older 2K standard. There's really no reason to go into the digital realm for pre-print if you're just making intermediate materials for release printing and not altering the overall look of the cinematography. I'm referring to new films, not to classics which required extensive repair work
in the digital realm just to get an acceptable release print from worn and damaged old camera negatives.


In any event, I simply cannot get excited in terms of suspense and thrills with digital stunts
and special effects. They look very artificial to me. For example, in the first "Indiana Jones"
movie there was that great gag where the stuntman jumps on the car and then ends up
underneath the vehicle while it's speeding. Now that's thrilling because there was a great
deal of danger involved even in the most carefully planned gag and you had to admire the
stuntman for attempting that level of risk. Today this would be done digitally by most producers
and directors which is not thrilling to me because I know it's basically an animated figure doing the
stunt, not a real person. So Spielberg's choice of shooting the latest Jones film 'the old fashioned
way' should have an impact, especially when they hype the movie. Perhaps a new generation
will be impressed with real stunts rather than computer generated stunts. Of course Spielberg had to
convince his partner, Lucas, that this was the way to go. Lucas won't even shoot in 35mm
film anymore. He uses digital tape for his productions. Fortunately Spielberg is a film advocate and
states that he'll continue to use the format until it is eliminated some day (which might happen
unfortunately).


As always, I'm concerned with the archival problem of shooting anything digitally. Digital is by
no means archival or permanent and formats keep changing rendering the earlier ones obsolete
or not accessible as the equipment is junked. 35mm film has been the standard for motion
pictures for over a hundred years and it represents the best potential resolution for any future
video format as well as being a far more reliable 'hard copy' of the image compared to any
electronic image.
 
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