There is a bit of controversy with one of today's releases, so I'm just going to get this out of the way as quickly as possible to avoid any further distraction. While not a horrible presentation, the Blu-ray release of ‘Gladiator' does not live up to the promise of Paramount's Sapphire Series to “present each cinematic gem in the highest quality.” The studio used a clearly outdated master for this release, a mistake that readers may recall from a few early Blu-ray releases (specifically, the initial release of ‘The Fifth Element'). One can only hope that the studio will recognize that mistake, and offer replacement discs to those who are purchasing the film today (again, similar to how Sony handled their TFE issue).
However flawed, the disc does represent an upgrade from the previous DVD release. The audio quality benefits greatly from the lossless encoding, and viewers will definitely notice increase fidelity and clarity. Even the video represents an upgrade, though not on the scale usually seen on Blu-ray releases. So while you may hesitate to pick up a copy today, you can make a purchase with the knowledge that the Blu-ray release represents the best home video presentation of ‘Gladiator'. Hopefully, Paramount will soon come out with an official statement announcing a trade-in program for owners, but that may take some time as they first have to figure out what went wrong.
Beyond that, we do have some great Blu-ray titles being released today, including a title that does represent what Paramount's new Sapphire Series is all about: ‘Braveheart'. Staff Reviewer Martin Liebman concludes in his review of the title, "With pitch-perfect pacing, fabulous acting, well-written characters, exciting action sequences, and an unwavering emotional core, Braveheart may be found on a rather short list amongst the best of the best films in cinema history. Parmaount's Blu-ray and flagship "Sapphire Series" release is, in a word, superb. Boasting a high quality film-like 1080p transfer, a wondrous lossless soundtrack, and plenty of extras, Braveheart is one of the year's must-own titles and earns my highest recommendation."
Fox releases the film ‘M*A*S*H' today on Blu-ray, which served as inspiration for the long-running television series of the same name. Starring Donald Sutherland, Tom Skerritt and Elliott Gould, the film tells the story of three Army surgeons who keep their sanity by living leisurely and staging practical jokes on their uptight commanders. Beyond that, Fox is also releasing the catalog titles ‘The Girl Next Door' and ‘High Crimes'.
Anyone who has seen the animated version of ‘The Lord of the Rings' will immediately recognize and connect with the look and feel of the Blue Underground Blu-ray release of ‘Fire and Ice'. While not as universally known, the film represents a time in animation where fantasy themes could thrive without the burdens of reality. As staff reviewer Martin Liebman summarizes, “Blue Underground's Blu-ray release of Fire and Ice impresses. Featuring a solid 1080p image, an incredibly robust lossless soundtrack, and a decent array of extras, Fire and Ice comes recommended as a rental for casual viewers and as a purchase for genre aficionados and longtime fans of the film.”
After the success of the BBC series ‘Planet Earth', Disney decided to use some of the award-winning footage, combine it with some additional footage, to tell the story of three animal families in 'Earth'. While ‘Planet Earth' isn't necessarily inappropriate for younger viewers, there are some scenes that may be questionable. Disney does what they do best, and delivers a family-centric film with a heart-felt story that younger viewers are sure to enjoy.
Just picked up Gladiator and Braveheart and the snow white steelbook pre-order from best buy. While the PQ of Gladiator is questionable, i do not own the dvd so it's a no brainer for me. I do hope in the future they offer an exchange program. I'll pick up Heroes later on from amazon
"Hopefully, Paramount will soon come out with an official statement announcing a trade-in program for owners, but that may take some time as they first have to figure out what went wrong."
Will they or won't they? That is the question..... First, they have to acknowledge that something went wrong in the first place. Once they've admitted that, there should no question with them doing a new transfer and offering a trade-in program. Let's keep our fingers crossed.....
I'll be picking up Braveheart at somepoint this week (probabaly friday), I've decided not to get gladiator, we shouldn't have to put up with this from a major studio especially one that is launching a new line of Blurays meant to represent important films at their best
oh well, Braveheart is a better film then gladiator anyways, at least it didn't get screwed up
Did the previous trade-in for The Fifth Element require the proof of purchase tab? I was hoping to take advantage of the $10 rebate for owners of the DVD of Gladiator which requires submitting the tab for the rebate form.
Wow! glad I decided to wait on Gladiator. Just curious how something like that could happen when this is supposed to be a new line with really high standards?? Not a good way to start out any way you look at it. I would imagine that someone, somewhere would have noticed something wrong before it got to the stores.
Well I'm guessing as Gladiator is distributed by Universal here in the UK we may get a decent transfer (as with most if not all Universal titles). We need comparison reviews to see if there's a difference. Certainly won't be buying it until I know I can get a copy with a decent transfer, otherwise I'll stick with my £5 3 disc DVD
Waiting on Gladiator until they fix the problem. I'm so backlogged on BD watching that I'm waiting a little while on Braveheart because I've seen that movie umpteen times. Got Heroes season 3 and Fire & Ice.
I just watched Gladiator and it looks great! Can it look better? I dont know. If I didnt read this article, I never would have known that this version released today isnt as great as it can be, because it looks fine
Well that just sucks, I ran out to best buy this morning at 10:30am to buy Braveheart and Gladiator, I haven't opened it as I'm at work, but I may just open it anyways and watch it since it is the best version out, just not up to par where it should be. Then I will trade it in when the good version comes out. Sad to see it doesn't live up to the new series, they better not mess up Forrest Gump when it comes out. To be honest how can they make that big of a mistake during a restoration, sounds to me they didn't even do a new master they just grabbed an old one, cutting that entire process out.
gonna grab both gladiator and braveheart today even though the questionable quality....with the $10 rebates and my rz coupon i have theyll both come to around $5.40 after tax(total for both movies) so its kinda dumb to pass it up
for all those not buying gladiator ,a big+10.even though paramount didn't do the transfer.they could have done a qc check before signing off on it.thats two important titles now.the startrek 6 movie set now gladiator.idoits!
Picked up my copy of both Gladiator and Braveheart today from BB, haven't had a chance to watch either and probably won't until next week, however I wanted to let you guys know if you order from best buy online and you buy both @22.99 each you get $10 off, working out at around $18.50 including tax each. Not a bad deal.
Also in response to the guy asking what will be needed to get the exchange if one is offered because they wanted to use the proof of purchase for the $10 if you own the DVD, you have until 6/2010 to claim the $10 and I would hope any re-release is out by then.
I wasn't planning on getting Gladiator too quickly anyways before its price reaches some sane levels but now with such bad PQ I'll have to pass it. I'll only get Brave Heart. I owned its Laser Disc in the past and loved this movie.
I brought both- for $36.00. I cant notice the difference on a 50 in plasma maybe on a 100 inch screen. Just check out the screen caps on dvdbeaver before condeming to all hell and when they do offer the upgrade I will just upgrade. This will do just fine until then. I will say that if it were not for the Best Buy deal I most certainly would have passed.
Couldn't resist taking advantage of the BB offer so picked them both up today. Will watch Braveheart tonight and Gladiator later this week. Funny, when I went into BB the shelves were empty of all Braveheart and Gladiator BDs, but then an employee came out with a cart full.
Went ahead and pre-ordered Snow White to get the free Steel Book cover too.
Mob mentality in the UK as well as the States about this not so Gladiator, Braveheart and Hott Fuzz were bought by me this week and I doubt I'll hear or see a Blu-ray as powerful as Hot Fuzz. I'm not expecting that from BraveGlad; but then I like Novocain!
Not purchasing or returning the Gladiator BD will help send a message to Paramount that we require the best picture quality for Blu-ray releases, especially landmark films. Even moreso when they're part of a line that is supposed to exemplify some of the best films in the studio's library in a first-rate presentation.
Yes, boycotting the title will help. But, what will help more is writing the studio directly about the issue:
Paramount Home Entertainment
5555 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles CA 90038
I was expecting the worst from all of the negative buzz, but I was pleasantly surprised. The PQ wasn't bad at all. In fact I thought it was great! Perhaps we got a superior version up here in Canada. Or perhaps my eyes aren't as discerning as they used to be. Regardless, I am fussy when it comes t PQ and I heartily recommend this BD.
"Morriford » Sep 01, 2009 02:07 PM
Gladiator got a great review on DVDBeaver so I'm still gonna pick up the Region B Steelbook!"
Haven't you seen the update in their review? After a lot of BD-geeks saw the screenshots they started to complain and in result of the complains - DVDBeaver changed their review and said it looked awful.
There was a * huge* pre-order market for Gladiator and Paramount withheld review copies so people wouldn't have time to cancel their pre-orders. It only got out at the last minute thru Digital Bits that it was below what people were expecting in picture quality.
"Haven't you seen the update in their review? After a lot of BD-geeks saw the screenshots they started to complain and in result of the complains - DVDBeaver changed their review and said it looked awful.
That's how trustworthy DVDBeaver is. "
I can't see an update on the site & the PQ review is as follows:
"The image appears to surpass even the 1080i HD TV (1.78.1 open matted) - which skin tones look quite a bit redder. Paramount's MPEG4 AVC transfer seems to have improved in every single facet of the visuals although it's not without it's digital manipulations with some minor edge-enhancement and some DNR. The image is certainly brighter - perhaps more than it may have been intended to be. It's tighter all around and is pretty impressive looking and I hope the captures below support this because this is one of the most anticipated Blu-rays I've seen this year - although some will snub the manipulation. Strangely the 'extended scenes' seem to have had no digital tinkering. People who project to a very large screen will find the filtering more visible. The image is frequently dimensional. There is also a marginal amount more information shown in the side edges (compared to the DVD versions). "
Seems to me that they liked it...
All I was trying to say was that maybe before everyone attacks & completely ignores the movie they might want to check more than one source. I always check both Blu-Ray.com & DVDBeaver's reviews before making any purchase & if I'm still unsure I'll check the quality from the BD itself, but unfortunately it's not released in Ireland until Friday, & the store I work in hasn't received its allocation yet, but I myself will wait till I can see the Film in motion before making a purchase or joining the mob to completely dismiss it...
I have not ordered Gladiator here in England yet. But from the sounds of it I will not be ordering Gladiator if its by Paramount. This is an insult to the consumer to pass this through quality control. Blu ray is meant to have a high standard quality check programme in place. If I were you, Id send it back, it will teach Paramount a lesson. It will cost them more money, as now it seems they are going to have to remaster on their so called 'sapphire edition'. The press will have a field day.
I just watched Gladiator and it is not as bad as the reviews would seem to indicate.
It is not the picture quality of Braveheart, but it could be worse. Some scenes actually look great while others only appear to be DVD quality. I saved $10 by purchasing the movie with Braveheart at Best Buy so I am not complaining.
I just watched Gladiator as well.
I put the DVD in my Tosiba HD-XA2 and the Blu-Ray in my Oppo BDP-83 and did an AB comparison on a 106" screen.
The Blu-Ray is a definite improvement over the DVD.
A little more detail and the colors are more vibrant.
DVD is soft in comparison.
The question is, does it rate the "Sapphire Series" label.
In my opinion, Definitely Not.
According to Paramount's news release trumpeting its arrival, "the Sapphire Series will capitalize on the pristine picture and sound of the Blu-ray format to present each cinematic gem in the highest quality for the first time in two-disc, high definition sets."
They really need to do a better job than this.
If you take a look at the Braveheart Blu-Ray you will see what the Sappire Series is probably suppose to look like.
The video is stunning and the audio is top notch. Easily Demo Material.
Paramount, your Sapphire launch is one hit and one miss so far.