02/10 Update: (Rumor) Remastered Gladiator Blu-ray Coming?
& Slightly Confirmed in Germany
07/10 Update: Check it out! The new Gladiator Blu-ray re-release has been remastered, with stunning results. Major props to Paramount for fixing their mistakes. Details for release and exchange in the US here and as follows:
To order a disc replacement, send your Disc 1 of the old version of Gladiator in an envelope with your Name, Address, and Phone # to:
PHE Mkt c/o Deluxe Media Management
P.O. Box 801464
Valencia, CA 91380-1464
or call (888) 889-9456.
Amazon now carries the Remastered version.
Take a look at the new detail in his armor, belt and left arm in the first shot. Gone are the smudginess and “halos” caused by excessive DNR, EE, and contrast boosting (see original post below).
(Click To Zoom In)
Here are some more comparison shots.
The following is the original post as written on August 26th, 2009. Everything above this point have been updates since the post was written.
Just a bit of a nerdy awareness post.
It’s a shame that studios are doing this really. Even if you don’t get the technical aspects of it, just basically know that they are messing with a pure picture and releasing substandard, processed product, hoping most people won’t notice and others to embrace the fake and unecessary “touch ups.”
Just to give you an idea of why this is bad, check out the “disappearing” arrows in the image above, a byproduct of this excessive filtering and sharpening. Don’t stand for edge enhancement and digital noise reduction.
And to not be entirely negative, and maybe end with a bitter sweet note. Paramount themselves co-released this movie along with Braveheart, an even older movie, which just so happens to have a stunning transfer.
Update: It’s worse than initially thought:
You know how Warner Bros. used HD-DVD encodes for much later Blu-ray releases because it was cheaper? Well, imagine if a studio had a brand new, pristine, sensational transfer especially created for HD-DVD, but it never made it all the way through the encode process to release. In other words, a fully finished 1080p transfer that was not yet encoded for a home format like HD-DVD or Blu-ray. A transfer without DNR!
(for you joe-six-packers out there, first you have the film on 35mm… then you do a 1080p transfer… THEN you do an encode for Blu-ray)
Now it is time to release said film on Blu-ray, but instead of using that newer transfer and doing the encode for Blu-ray, you take an older, vastly inferior transfer, which received an encode long before… and release that because it is cheaper!
It seems that is exactly what Universal and Paramount did with GLADIATOR. I spoke to someone who has looked at the new un-used transfer with his own eyes and he says it is absolutely superior in every way.
The Extended Sequences on the Blu-ray were created at the same time. So the geniuses responsible for the Blu-ray just grabbed those shots and used seemless branching for the Blu-ray. Talk about adding insult to injury.
What needs to happen is obvious. Call and write Paramount AND Universal and demand they recall this release for a later replacement with the new transfer.