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 Post subject: Re: The Thing
PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2017 2:40 pm 
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Yup, the Arrow trounces the Shout in every aspect visually speaking. It's completely definitive unless/until Arrow release a UHD.


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 Post subject: Re: The Thing
PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2017 2:46 pm 
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I watch this film regularly, as it's one of my wife and her family's favorite movies (they are all big horror/sci-fi fans). I've seen DVDs, the old blu-ray, I saw a great 35mm print a few years ago, and watched this release the other week. Even compared to the incredible experience of seeing this on the big screen, this blu-ray was a revelation, and there were tons of details I've never noticed before (especially with the special effects). The caps don't tell the whole story, this release is excellent.


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 Post subject: Re: The Thing
PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2017 3:33 pm 
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McCrutchy wrote:
Review of the year incoming from High Def Digest:

Thanks for that; most amusing. Mr Zyber is of course the man who once bigged up an allegedly high-definition disc that turned out to be an upscale from 480i (as was subsequently confirmed by Universal, although the visual evidence was already incontrovertible), so he’s never exactly been top of my go-to list for authoritative commentary. And on this evidence he’s none too hot on investigative journalism either, as detailed answers/ripostes to much of his speculation were easily Googleable before his review was published.


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 Post subject: Re: The Thing
PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2017 4:43 am 
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As I wrote sadly multiple times in the recent past, this is the kind of reviews that simply hurt the credibility of technical reviews as a whole.
On one hand, we're fortunate to have the Digital Fix review, which puts to bed pretty much every single review ever written before, but on the other hand, when you read such stupid things like the HDD review, it's no wonder about this growing distrust, but it's also no wonder why the overuse of digital sharpening still is very well alive in the video market.

Quote:
Some possible explanations:

Shout has sharpened its source and you can't even see it.


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 Post subject: Re: The Thing
PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2017 6:52 am 

Joined: Sat Nov 08, 2014 6:49 am
MichaelB wrote:
McCrutchy wrote:
Review of the year incoming from High Def Digest:

Thanks for that; most amusing. Mr Zyber is of course the man who once bigged up an allegedly high-definition disc that turned out to be an upscale from 480i (as was subsequently confirmed by Universal, although the visual evidence was already incontrovertible), so he’s never exactly been top of my go-to list for authoritative commentary. And on this evidence he’s none too hot on investigative journalism either, as detailed answers/ripostes to much of his speculation were easily Googleable before his review was published.


Which universal disc was that?


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 Post subject: Re: The Thing
PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2017 7:53 am 
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The HD-DVD of Traffic. Here's more background - and Universal later admitted that it was a 480i upscale.


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 Post subject: Re: The Thing
PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2017 9:48 am 
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MichaelB wrote:
The HD-DVD of Traffic. Here's more background - and Universal later admitted that it was a 480i upscale.

I have to say, it's quite funny to see that Zyber has pretty much exactly done the same thing at the time than what he's doing now with The Thing.
This being written, Michael wasn't tender with him : "Zyber is currently ransacking what little dignity he has left by attempting to poo-poo the screenshots and tell us that what we’re seeing is untrue." :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: The Thing
PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2017 9:53 am 
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tenia wrote:
I have to say, it's quite funny to see that Zyber has pretty much exactly done the same thing at the time than what he's doing now with The Thing.
This being written, Michael wasn't tender with him : "Zyber is currently ransacking what little dignity he has left by attempting to poo-poo the screenshots and tell us that what we’re seeing is untrue." :lol:

It's well worth reading the thread that Michael links to at the bottom of his post, because Zyber just stonewalls every post containing rock-solid evidence that he's wrong (it's particularly funny when someone introduces a 720p TV rip that looks markedly better than the HD-DVD), in the process digging a hole so deep that it's a miracle that anyone takes him seriously any more. And his rhetorical tactics ten years on are fascinatingly familiar.

What's annoying about people like him is that I don't know whether he secretly knows that he's wrong and is being deliberately obtuse to try to cover it up, or that he really genuinely can't see what is completely obvious to everyone else. Although both are equally concerning in a Blu-ray reviewer.


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 Post subject: Re: The Thing
PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2017 10:36 am 
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MichaelB wrote:
It's well worth reading the thread that Michael links to at the bottom of his post

I did and it is indeed glorious.

MichaelB wrote:
What's annoying about people like him is that I don't know whether he secretly knows that he's wrong and is being deliberately obtuse to try to cover it up, or that he really genuinely can't see what is completely obvious to everyone else.


I strongly believe that they're mostly unknowingly incompetent. They think they are, but they aren't. And then, since they think they are, but often don't understand technicalities, they'll always find an exit door to rebutting the factual arguments made against their take. Throw a bit of "backfire effect", and there you go.


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 Post subject: Re: The Thing
PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2017 1:03 pm 
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Geez, I completely missed all of that about Traffic on HD-DVD. I haven't watched it in years but I remember thinking it looked "off" when I first threw it on. I didn't revisit it when I was going through the Criterion Blu-ray (didn't have the HD-DVD player hooked up at the time) but in my head I figured Universal just used a shitty high-def master made for a DVD. Yet they didn't even do that! I think it was a freebie with the player but I'm now annoyed I picked that one over any other one.


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 Post subject: Re: The Thing
PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2017 4:06 pm 
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dshooker wrote:


I think Tenia's right about the Shout transfer relying on edge enhancement. The first thing I noticed on the Caps-a-Holic comparison was pervasive ringing artifacts compared to the Arrow.


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 Post subject: Re: The Thing
PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 2:52 am 
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I think another way to tell when Josh Z. is losing an argument like this is that he keeps on posting, even when his relentlessness eventually causes some to belittle him. I didn't catch the AVS thread in time to see the screenshots of Traffic (before Photobucket blocked the free images), but in both that thread and the comments thread in his review of Arrow's Blu-ray of The Thing, he made multiple posts in defense of himself, towards the end essentially repeating the same arguments over and over, until in the case of the AVS thread, it was closed. Personally, this is what bothers me the most, because in the comments thread in particular it seems he must rebut every single attempt to present a differing opinion--in a thread of 112 comments, he has posted over a quarter (33) of them so far, both yesterday and today, and certainly, a handful are positive contributions, but most of them are either antagonistic or flippant, at best.

Anyhow, to me, the difference is virtually night and day, and I actually think the the detail of the Arrow is superior, because while individual frames may appear softer, the lack of sharpening and other digital tricks actually makes details look more like what they are and less like what they aren't. For example, the dog's fur looks like fur on the Arrow disc, and like indoor-outdoor carpeting on the Scream Factory disc. And when the Thing is mutating from a dog, the extended tongue looks like a tongue, instead of the plastic-looking tube seen on the Scream Factory. Separately, in addition to the now-infamous ping-pong ball, there are also multiple other encoder gaffes in the Scream Factory disc, like this one, this one and this one. The lights in this shot look like lights in the Arrow and blobs on the Scream Factory. And you could go on and on, using just the twenty frames Caps-a-holic provided for comparison. And of course, in motion, Arrow's richer, more dense imagery comes to life in a way that screenshots cannot show, to the point that even the person I watched the disc with, who normally never notices new improvements on video, remarked how great it looked.

I'm actually sad for Josh that he doesn't see what I (and many) are seeing when they watch the Arrow disc. To me, it is the very definition of what Blu-ray is about, giving us home video versions of films that try to get as close as possible to a "perfect" 35mm screening.


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 Post subject: Re: The Thing
PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 6:14 am 
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jsteffe wrote:
dshooker wrote:


I think Tenia's right about the Shout transfer relying on edge enhancement. The first thing I noticed on the Caps-a-Holic comparison was pervasive ringing artifacts compared to the Arrow.

Oh, the Digital Fix review has done a perfect job providing clear undeniable exemples of the EE applied on the Shout! disc. It's just stupid and incompetent for Zyber to fail to recognize the use of EE on one disc and the lack of DNR on the other, because both of these are just technical basis.
So even aside knowing the movie, having any specific knowledge about it or whatever, a technical reviewer should still be able to point out that the Shout disc is sharpened and the Arrow disc has its grain intact.
If Josh's claim about The Thing not supposed to be this soft, the Arrow disc would have visible DNR/degraining. It doesn't. So he's wrong.


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 Post subject: Re: The Thing
PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 8:20 am 

Joined: Sat Nov 08, 2014 6:49 am
Wait, people didnt just stop at "The 4k scanner used for this master may have been inferior to the 2k scanner used for Scream Factory’s master"?

I mean how do you even keep a straight face with the rest of it.


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 Post subject: Re: The Thing
PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 9:06 am 
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Yes, this is the point: Zyber is unambiguously and provably wrong in more than one area, and until he acknowledges that he's wrong, his review is worthless.

Did he ever admit that he was wrong over Traffic? You'd have thought Universal eventually admitting that it really was a 480i upscale would have clinched that beyond the tiniest possible doubt, although the evidence was already overwhelming well before then.

And this stuff matters, because I rate reviewers at least as much for their intellectual honesty as for their other qualities. I don't mind them getting stuff wrong (we all do; we're all human), but I do very much mind them continuing to insist that they're right against evidence that would be more than sufficient to secure a conviction in an actual court. Because it means that they're fundamentally untrustworthy, and the whole point of being an authoritative reviewer is that yours should be a voice that people can trust.


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 Post subject: Re: The Thing
PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 9:23 am 
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MichaelB wrote:
and the whole point of being an authoritative reviewer is that yours should be a voice that people can trust.

It's to wonder if these reviewers realise how their own credibility is the first thing hurt by such incorrect reviews.


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 Post subject: Re: The Thing
PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 9:29 am 
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tenia wrote:
It's to wonder if these reviewers realise how their own credibility is the first thing hurt by such incorrect reviews.

As any disgraced politician knows, the cover-up is often worse than the crime.

I doubt anyone would have cared two hoots about Zyber's Traffic mistake if he hadn't defended it so aggressively - which is why it's his name that's associated with the scandal and not that of, say, Peter M. Bracke, whose original crime was arguably worse in that he gave this travesty of a disc a 4/5 rating for picture quality and praised it for its nonexistent high-definition qualities. Zyber did at least recognise that it looked pretty bad; where he went wrong was aggressively asserting that it was supposed to look bad, which is clearly nonsense.


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 Post subject: Re: The Thing
PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 10:17 am 
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As I thought, here's the total culprit with the review : Zyber originally didn't see the EE on the Shout release, but also now said "That so-called “intact fine grain” looks mushy and filtered throughout most of the movie. While there may be some grain present, it’s typically just as poorly resolved as all the other detail in the film. Again, it looks like the entire movie is slightly out of focus."

So he can't see EE, he can't see a lack of DNR, and it also seems that the aspect of the grain might be directly linked to an out-of-focus aspect.
There's that.


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 Post subject: Re: The Thing
PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 11:27 am 
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I think many people also expect a hyper-sharp look for every film, but depending on how it was photographed and what kinds of lenses were used it just isn't going to look that way.


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 Post subject: Re: The Thing
PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 11:54 am 
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jsteffe wrote:
I think many people also expect a hyper-sharp look for every film, but depending on how it was photographed and what kinds of lenses were used it just isn't going to look that way.

In catalog reviews, there's a huge huge issue about having the right expectations, simply because most reviewers weren't even born when these movies were released in theaters (in some cases, their parents weren't even born either !). But there are today in the industry some giveaways of something being done competently and others not being done this way.

For instance, there is today to me a deep problem with L'immagine Ritrovata's color timings. What they're doing is akin to this cheese factory, La vache qui rit, whose buying unsellable cheese leftovers but still manages to output always the same thing. Bologna is doing the same : give them whichever movie you want, but if you let them do the color timing, all the movies they restore look the same. But since these are catalog movies, who can say for sure they're not supposed to look this way ? Nobody. But if some think it's plausible, they're going to defend it. That's how all these yellow movies are deemed fine.


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 Post subject: Re: The Thing
PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 12:29 pm 
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McCrutchy wrote:
Anyhow, to me, the difference is virtually night and day, and I actually think the the detail of the Arrow is superior, because while individual frames may appear softer, the lack of sharpening and other digital tricks actually makes details look more like what they are and less like what they aren't. For example, the dog's fur looks like fur on the Arrow disc, and like indoor-outdoor carpeting on the Scream Factory disc. And when the Thing is mutating from a dog, the extended tongue looks like a tongue, instead of the plastic-looking tube seen on the Scream Factory. Separately, in addition to the now-infamous ping-pong ball, there are also multiple other encoder gaffes in the Scream Factory disc, like this one, this one and this one. The lights in this shot look like lights in the Arrow and blobs on the Scream Factory. And you could go on and on, using just the twenty frames Caps-a-holic provided for comparison. And of course, in motion, Arrow's richer, more dense imagery comes to life in a way that screenshots cannot show, to the point that even the person I watched the disc with, who normally never notices new improvements on video, remarked how great it looked.

They DNR'd the ping-pong ball away?!


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 Post subject: Re: The Thing
PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 12:30 pm 
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Famously! Zyber doesn’t acknowledge that, of course - instead, hilariously, he thinks it’s Arrow that’s applied DNR to soften the image. Which they categorically haven’t.

His basic mistake was to assume that the Shout disc was naturally sharp (which it isn't; evidence of artificial sharpening is clear, most notoriously on a single hair that's developed a ghostly twin), and therefore that the Arrow disc is "too soft", and has come up with a whole raft of bullshit explanations, including the notion that the 4K scanner must have been faulty. Does he really think the film's director and DOP wouldn't have noticed and commented if that had been the case? Or that someone as experienced as James White wouldn't have carried out sample scanning tests beforehand to make sure that everything was working as intended?


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 Post subject: Re: The Thing
PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 1:20 pm 
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It sounds like he's flirting with a libel lawsuit if he's making false, baseless claims like that. I take it they don't have editors over there?


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 Post subject: Re: The Thing
PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 1:44 pm 
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hearthesilence wrote:
It sounds like he's flirting with a libel lawsuit if he's making false, baseless claims like that. I take it they don't have editors over there?

I doubt a libel action would gain much traction, as he's carefully couched his "explanations" in the form of speculation. Idiotic and baseless speculation, certainly, but speculation nonetheless.

In fact, I'd say that the person who has greater cause to be offended is John Carpenter, because in the comments Zyber is arrogant enough to rubbish his direct supervision of the Arrow restoration as being essentially meaningless, by quoting an interview out of context to suggest that he doesn't care what his films look like. This is not, to put it mildly, the impression that I get from James White, who worked with Carpenter and Dean Cundey on the restoration. (It's also well worth noting that Carpenter isn't exactly a stranger to giving tongue-in-cheek answers to interviewers.)

This is where I simply cannot fathom Zyber's mentality - he's so convinced that he's right (against hard, verifiable evidence) that he has to lash out at anyone who says different, including three people who made the damn film in the first place (the other being co-producer Stuart Cohen, who has also publicly praised Arrow's disc as being definitive). In what demented parallel universe does Zyber's opinion carry more weight than theirs?


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 Post subject: Re: The Thing
PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 1:51 pm 
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MichaelB wrote:
In what demented parallel universe does Zyber's opinion carry more weight than theirs?

Well he has generated a full page of discussion here. How much has Carpenter? :P


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