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Pan's Labyrinth (UHD Blu-ray) review

Pan's Labyrinth (UHD Blu-ray) review
« on: September 30, 2019, 05:10:10 PM »


Studio: Warner Brothers
Release Date: October 1, 2019
Rating: R
Film: 4.5/5

Plot
Following a bloody civil war, young Ofelia enters a world of unimaginable cruelty when she moves in with her new stepfather, a tyrannical military officer.  Armed with only her imagination, Ofelia discovers a mysterious labyrinth and meets a faun who sets her on a path to saving herself and her ailing mother.  But soon, the lines between fantasy and reality begin to blur, and before Ofelia can turn back, she finds herself at the center of a ferocious battle between good and evil.

My Thoughts
I reviewed this film back on HD DVD over 12 years ago and absolutely loved it. When I sold off my HD DVD collection, I didn’t repurchase the movie on Blu-ray since I was waiting for a rerelease that fixed some of the aggressive noise reduction employed in the early days of HD home video. Regardless, this is a marvelous film. Ivana Baquero is an amazing young actress and steals every scene that she’s in. Furthermore, Del Toro crafts such a believable world that sucks you right into the story. Yes, there’s some brutal violence and scary material, so make sure the younglings are in bed before giving this a spin.

The film was finished in 2K and upconverted to 4K for this release, most likely due to the plethora of visual effects that were finished at the lower resolution. Regardless, the film shines in 4K with crisp and clear visuals, inky blacks, and well resolved shadows.

For some reason, the audio track is only a DTS-HD 5.1 mix versus a 7.1 track on the Blu-ray, but I can’t say that there’s a huge difference between the two—my processor does a good job and utilizing all of the speakers with its upmixing capability.

Video 9/10

Audio 8/10 (DTS-HD 5.1)


Special Features (Housed on Blu-ray):
  • Director’s Prologue
  • Audio Commentary (on 4K disc as well)
  • Enhanced Visual Commentary
  • Four Featurettes
  • The Director’s Notebook
  • The Charlie Rose Show
  • Three Comics
  • Theatrical Teaser, Trailer, and TV Spots
  • Blu-ray+ Digital Copy




Conclusion
This may very well be my favorite movie from Del Toro followed by Pacific Rim mainly due to the world he creates for this young girl to escape to. It draws you both in until it takes a turn toward the dark side and you experience the journey along with the young protagonist. The 4K upgrade is a nice upgrade over the previously released HD DVD and Blu-ray, and fans will be happy with the presentation. Highly recommended.




Reference Review System:
 JVC DLA-RS2000 4K Ultra High Definition Front Projector
 (Calibrated with Portrait Displays CalMAN color calibration software & C6-HDR Meter from Portrait Displays)
 Stewart Filmscreen - Firehawk 88” 16x9 Fixed Screen
 Anthem AVM60 Audio/Video Processor
 ATI AT527NC Powering Bed ChannelsATI AT524NC Powering Atmos Speakers
 Panasonic DP-UB820 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
 System Controller: URC MX-980M&K S-150 THX Ultra (R-C-L Speakers)M&K SS-150 x4 (Surround Speakers)
 Atlantic Technology IC6-OBA x 4 Overhead Speakers
 SVS PC-Ultra Cylinder Subwoofer
 HSU VTF-15H MK2 Subwoofer
 SVS SB-3000 SubwooferJL Audio Dominion D110 Subwoofer x 2 (configured as tandem mid bass modules)Mini DSP controlling all subwoofers
 Audioquest and Monoprice - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
 PureAV PF60 Power Conditioner

Blu-ray Reviewer / Technical Writer
Sound & Vision Magazine

AVSCraig

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Re: Pan's Labyrinth (UHD Blu-ray) review
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2019, 05:16:48 PM »
This is one of my all time favorite films. Can't wait to pick this up in 4K ! 
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Re: Pan's Labyrinth (UHD Blu-ray) review
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2019, 08:18:01 PM »
This is a superb movie, which I thought was actually much better than The Shape of Water.  

I just don't understand the decision to upgrade the video while downgrading the audio.  A premium price really demands a premium product.  The soundtrack was already recorded as 7.1, why not just port that version over to the UHD?

Scott

Re: Pan's Labyrinth (UHD Blu-ray) review
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2019, 09:56:30 PM »
This is a superb movie, which I thought was actually much better than The Shape of Water. 

I just don't understand the decision to upgrade the video while downgrading the audio.  A premium price really demands a premium product.  The soundtrack was already recorded as 7.1, why not just port that version over to the UHD?

Scott
Scott, it makes no sense to me either. 
Blu-ray Reviewer / Technical Writer
Sound & Vision Magazine

Re: Pan's Labyrinth (UHD Blu-ray) review
« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2019, 07:29:43 AM »
I read they actually scanned a theatrical release 35mm print for this remaster. That's such a huge no-no. Some tonemapped screenshots are floating around the web and the results aren't great. Compared to the 1080p blu-ray the color grading on this new master looks bad and there is even less fine image detail and it seems like there is less dynamic range on the UHD Blu-ray compared to the 1080p Blu-ray.
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AVSCraig

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Re: Pan's Labyrinth (UHD Blu-ray) review
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2019, 08:01:23 AM »
I read they actually scanned a theatrical release 35mm print for this remaster. That's such a huge no-no. Some tonemapped screenshots are floating around the web and the results aren't great. Compared to the 1080p blu-ray the color grading on this new master looks bad and there is even less fine image detail and it seems like there is less dynamic range on the UHD Blu-ray compared to the 1080p Blu-ray.
Sounds like it is an improvement over either previous Blu-rays though - 


Previously on Pan's Labyrinth: Those who have bought this film on earlier formats (DVD, HD DVD, and/or Blu-ray) likely know that Warner Bros.' 2007 Blu-ray and Criterion's 2016 Blu-ray offered fundamentally different 1080p images. The former was a decent early-format presentation unfortunately slathered in digital noise reduction, while the latter contained a few director-approved color tweaks and more prominent black levels...but was also slightly hampered by a few mild compression-related issues. Pound for pound, Criterion's disc still easily came out on top.
The quickest summary of Warner Bros.' new 4K disc is that it looks like a more ideal version of their previous Blu-ray. The film was finished at a 2K digital intermediate (likely because of its often lower-res VFX, whose seams now show a bit more), so don't expect any kind of quantum leap forward in regards to fine detail and texture. Still, this new 2160p transfer clearly serves up a more crisp and satisfying presentation overall, thanks as much to its lack of DNR as the format's higher resolution. Outdoor daytime scenes obviously fare the best, with dense foliage and close-ups revealing subtle details not nearly as noticeable in 1080p. Other moments are absolutely bathed in black, but even these are afforded a boost by the slightly more refined shadow detail. Compression artifacts are also not an issue, especially due to the disc's generous bit rate which often peaks at or above 95Mbps. Overall, this 4K presentation marks a solid step up from both earlier Blu-rays, but for entirely separate reasons. And while those director-approved color tweaks from the Criterion disc have not been fully applied to this transfer, the format's HDR grading does predictably boost depth and saturation in key scenes; that's a good thing, as having both would have likely been overkill.
As mentioned earlier, the included Blu-ray is the same as Warner Bros.' 2007 release, for better or worse. While its 1080p transfer is serviceable at first glance, I am a lot more critical of certain flaws -- namely, the excessive noise reduction -- and thus the "Video" rating above reflects a lower score than what it originally got in 2007.

https://www.blu-ray.com/movies/Pans-Labyrinth-4K-Blu-ray/241970/#Review

Direct (585) 671-2972 8:00am - 4:30pm Pacific 
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Re: Pan's Labyrinth (UHD Blu-ray) review
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2019, 12:32:32 PM »
I've seen the screenshots. The Ultra HD Blu-ray is worse in color grading and image detail. It's unfortunate because this is such a great movie.
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Re: Pan's Labyrinth (UHD Blu-ray) review
« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2019, 12:52:59 PM »
will pick this up once price drops.  bluray was poor. never bought the criterion.  great explanation from craig. truer to the original film is fine by me. i.e., the matrix.

AVSCraig

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Re: Pan's Labyrinth (UHD Blu-ray) review
« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2019, 01:54:30 PM »
will pick this up once price drops.  bluray was poor. never bought the criterion.  great explanation from craig. truer to the original film is fine by me. i.e., the matrix.

The last time I watched the Blu-ray I thought it looked pretty good. But I'll be picking this up for sure soon.
Direct (585) 671-2972 8:00am - 4:30pm Pacific 
www.avscience.com  craig@avscience.com
We carry projectors, screens, speakers, receivers etc. !!
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