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The incredible Hulk on BluRay review

Ok, Saw this movie last night. This being the 4th version including the television series, I was not sure what they were going to do with the story. To my surprise it was actually quite fresh and lots of new angles to it.

This version of the Hulk however is different as it really does not spend any time on how Bruce became who he was. There are some "flashback" scenes during the opening credits showing some brief images but thats really all and the movie just dives in so to speak.
I did like this version better than the 2003 version as its animation and visual effects were allot better and the moments where Bruce changed into the Hulk was more realistic and detailed. I found it interesting to see how even the Hulk interacted with its surrounding far better than in previous films. There is even a little surprise during the movie when Bruce walks up to the security guard at the University I will not spoil it for you but keep a look out for it.



Video quality; :4stars:
Given that the movie I bought was on Blu Ray I now have an expectation that the quality will be better than regular DVD and this movie was no exception everything was sharp and clear with lots of well lit scenes and the colors were deep and rich.
This movie has a darker side to it and about 45% of it is filmed in either dark indoor rooms or at night so this makes the lighting even more crucial and was done well keeping the shadows at bay while still visually clear. Outdoor daytime scenes were very nice with HD and showed what Blu can offer.

Audio; :4.5stars:
DTS MA 5.1 is the uncompressed format available and did not disappoint. There are several scenes that not only gave my PB13 Ultra a real workout but at one point I even had it hit its maximum excursion :hsd: and I was not even running more then reference level.
The surrounds are used well but not as much as I thought they could have however they did at times and made the entire movie experience very enjoyable.

Over all enjoyment; :4.5stars:
This movie has some holes in the plot that were even obvious to our 15 year old daughter and some of the animation seemed rushed and thus was not as realistic as it could have been but the transformation into and out of the Hulk was very good. The story based on a comic is fun and of course theirs the cheesy love story embedded into it that was a bit silly.
Overall a fun movie and worth even the ridiculous price they still make us pay for Blu Ray DVDs.
Give it a look as it wont disappoint given the lousy movies that have graced the big screen this past spring/summer.





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Discussion Starter #2
Review updated above.
 

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Good review tonyvdb,

I guess one of the reasons I don't review new films is that I just cannot
get into these CGE. They look really cartoonish and artificial to me to the
point where there is no suspense or thrills. That's my bias. Otherwise, I
agree with you that it certainly exceeded expectations and was better than
anticipated. I took it out of our local library for free and watched it in standard
DVD. Technical specs were fine in that format and I'm sure it looks better in
blu ray but on a movie like this I'd rather screen it for free before spending money
to rent it much less buy it on blu ray considering the inflated prices of the high
definition format.
I've been reading some web sites/posts claiming blu ray is dying or at least
isn't being established as a mainstream consumer product and is more along the
lines of the old laserdisc system which was a specialty item for film buffs. The
bottom line is the discs are too expensive for mass appeal especially since they
are now making one HD master and bumping it down to standard DVD. Standard
DVDs look really good in those cases and unless you have a projection set up or
huge monitor, most people won't notice too much of a difference.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The
bottom line is the discs are too expensive for mass appeal especially since they
are now making one HD master and bumping it down to standard DVD. Standard
DVDs look really good in those cases and unless you have a projection set up or
huge monitor, most people won't notice too much of a difference.
I agree with you there Richard,

We bought the new animated Disney movie "Tinkerbell" for our 4 year old daughter on just standard DVD and I must say that the quality was exceptional for a standard DVD. (I can review this movie if someone wants me to) but bottom line is that your right if the original master is done well there will be a difference between the BluRay and SD DVD but unless you have a large screen and a decent projector I doubt that it would be noticeable.
 

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tonyvdb,

There have been major improvements in the mastering process since the
introduction of the DVD format in the late nineties. The first DVD releases
were actually worse than their laserdisc versions which is why I held off
purchasing a player. I remember watching a friend's copy of the original
"Wizard of Oz" DVD and I could see jerky motion artifacts in the moving
clouds in the credits. A lot of the releases weren't even in the anamorphically
enhanced 16:9, just letterboxed so when you watched them on a widescreen
monitor or projector, you'd see a little square image surrounded by an enormous
portion of black.
Then came the 'digital restoration' technology which made a big difference.
It all started with a re-issue of "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs". One of the
problems that plagued early animated films by Walt who photographed some of
the shots on a multi-plane set up (three or four sets of cells in layers for a
dimensional appearance) was that dust accumulated on them which would be
seen as tiny colored specs on the
release print. Kodak developed a program to clone them out on a frame by
frame basis and it worked. Re-issue prints of the classic were dust free. The
next logical step after the successful elimination of "Disney dust" was to take aging
and worn negatives of other classics and clone out the accumulated dust, scratches
and wear on a frame by frame basis to make them look brand new. Since laserdiscs
and VHS tapes were in the analog format, they didn't have the option of digitally
cleaning off the materials they were using for the transfer.
Simultaneously, they discovered you could generate much better quality if
you mastered the film directly off the camera negative rather than a print or
fine grain interpositive. Prints were third generation and IPs were second generation.
When you mastered off the negative it was 'the generation'...exactly what was
exposed through the camera lens. It contained all of the visual information. The
transfer machines would reverse the color so it became a positive image rather
than negative and by taping via some new 'dust busting' programs to remove general
wear and then additional frame by frame fixes you'd end up with a video master that
was actually sharper, finer grain and visually perfect. It looked better than the release
prints shown in theaters since they were third generation (negative to interpositive
to internegative to print).
While all these techniques were being developed, they improved the actual
pixel count. Early transfers were at 2K resolution. But they developed a 4K
machine which made a major difference. There is a 6K machine that is available now.
Today, the vast majority of new releases are mastered, digitally cleaned up and
color corrected directly from the camera negative onto a HD 1080p tape master.
From that element the standard DVD anamorphically enhanced is bumped down. Both HD and standard def versions look identical except for the greater pixel count in the blu ray format. In comparison, if you put an old late nineties DVD into your player you
would probably find it unwatchable in comparison. So that brings us back to the original
comment that unless you have a very large monitor or are projecting the DVD on a big
screen, the quality difference is only in the pixel count, not the image itself. So if the
studios want blu ray to become a mainstream consumer product, the prices have to
reflect that. If the image is indentical between high def and standard def, the extra
cost of the added pixels shouldn't be a whopping $10-$15. I would say no more than
$5 between the two formats would be the high end figure if they want blu ray to eventually replace regular DVDs.

I would actually prefer and advocate what Universal did in some of their HD DVD
releases like "Animal House". One side was high def and the opposite side was standard
DVD. Thus one disc could be used for both formats. While the initial cost of manufacturing a double sided disc in two formats would be higher, the bulk sales
of one disc in both formats would reduce the overall cost per unit in volume. That
might help establish the format. The brand name 'blu ray' was a bad choice too
which is why have to explain that it means high definition in their promos.
HD DVD was a much better brand name since it had the description in the title.
But the industry totally screwed up the introduction of both formats. Some of
the worst marketing desicions in the history of home entertainment. Machines
that were sold before the kinks were worked out, consumers forced to install upgrades
to play certain discs and rediculous prices. Not consumer friendly to say the least.
Since I'm in the industry and market my movies in these formats, I have concluded
that the public is certainly interested in improving the quality of the discs...providing
it doesn't cost any more or the increase in cost is minor (a few dollars). But they
are not going to pay hundreds of dollars more to get a player and do not want to
pay a third more to buy the blu ray discs. Considering the improvement in standard
DVDs and economic recession (soon to get much worse), it isn't worth the expense. Let's see if the manufacturers learned anything from their mistakes...
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Richard, Thanks so much for the great info I learn so much from your posts:T
Your note about movies looking good on DVD is so bang on. I have Lethal weapon on DVD and just bought the first one on HD DVD and the other two on Blu. and must say the quality was substantially better compared to the DVD.
I'm looking forward to the entire Star wars series to be released on BluRay I bet that will be just amazing to see.
 

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tonyvb,

Thank you Tony. I think I'm looking forward to the blu ray of the original
"Star Wars" trilogy. The question is...which version will it be? I lost track
since it appears to have been a 'work in progress' since 1977. The best case
scenario (which is unlikely) would be to release all of the versions as they
did with the blu ray of "Close Encounters" in the format. I just got it discount
at Walmart for $30. Also just bought the original "Planet of the Apes" in blu
ray for list price at Bestbuy. Screening them should be interesting since the
Apes film was in the classic studio style of cinematography and Close Encounters
was definately the 'New Hollywood' look visually although not in content which
was family oriented, not counter-culture.

As a historian I find the timeline of technology fascinating. Very often major
new developments start with something as simple as a question like, "How can
we get rid of the Disney dust?" From that came the incredible era of digital
restorations making worn out old movies look brand new. It also set the bar
as to what the consumer expects out of a DVD. No more scratchy, grainy
or faded images is acceptable which was very common in the days of laserdisc
and VHS. You should see the garbage released by "Magnetic Video"
which was the first company to sell movies on videotape (Beta & VHS). The
image was so bad you could barely look at it and only had the novelty of watching
the film on your TV set without commercial interuptions. How far we've come.
 

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The incredible Hulk on BluRay review

There are several scenes that not only gave my PB13 Ultra a real workout but at one point I even had it hit its maximum excursion :hsd: and I was not even running more then reference level.
This movie had redlights flashing all over my BFD and sub amp, I had to turn it down to 8db below my normal listening level to stop it from clipping.

I ran it through spectrum labs to plot a waterfall and the scene witht the Hulk and the other monster running toward each other was showing high amplitude content at 3hz.

This disc will do some serious damage to a lot of subwoofers.

I had to reformat my PC and I lost the graph but when I get a chance I will do it again and upload the graph.

Now i'm off to grab an ep2500 so i dont have that problem again. ;)

Hakka.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I ran it through spectrum labs to plot a waterfall and the scene with the Hulk and the other monster running toward each other was showing high amplitude content at 3hz.
3Hz, wow thats low. No wonder it bottomed out my sub.
Makes you wonder if the audio mastering process should have some restrictions to it.
 
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