Must watch 4K Blu-ray movies?

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#1 Edited by NTM (11852 posts) -

I am not sure how many people even watch 4K Blu-rays let alone Blu-rays considering how prevalent streaming is, but I'm sure there are those out there that still prefer the best image possible when viewing their movies, so I'm here to ask you all what are some of the best looking (and just good) movies to show off what 4K Blu-rays do? Now, here's a potential caveat, I use the Xbox One X and I've heard it might be the worst UHD player there is? I've also seen that Microsoft had updated the console to fix some issues pertaining to the feature, but I am unaware of how it stacks up to other ones. My first movie of choice was going to be 2001: A Space Odyssey, but unfortunately, the film was unavailable right when I had asked for it as a Christmas present. So, my first one to watch was Blade Runner: 2049 and to be honest, the enhancement over the normal Blu-ray felt very minimal. HDR allowed for the colors to be slightly more pronounced, and the detail was... well, a little more detailed, like the screen door Sapper Morton walks through in his house. I can't say I was that impressed by it, and I'm just curious if that's par for the course, or there are better examples, and whether I even have the hardware to show UHD off.

Edit - I will say, I am disappointed that Microsoft hasn't produced an update that allows for all Dolby Vision TV's to support their Dolby Vision.

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#2 Posted by apax (4 posts) -

Never seen one but I guess I'd love to see Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse in 4k if the occasion arises.

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#3 Posted by NTM (11852 posts) -

@apax: That could be cool. I don't know much about the movie (I've only seen images and read snippets of info on it), but visually it could look really good. It seems like a made for HDR movie.

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#4 Edited by nutter (2207 posts) -

I’ve yet to watch a film in both streaming UHD and UHD Blu-ray, so it’s hard to say.

I can tell you that Bladerunner 2049 and The Revenant both look fantastic. Serenity is super uneven (even within a single scene), but where they succeded in cleaning the film up, it looks very nice.

I kinda want to watch Bladerunner 2049 in 1080p SDR after reading your post, just to see...

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#5 Posted by apax (4 posts) -


@ntm said:

@apax: That could be cool. I don't know much about the movie (I've only seen images and read snippets of info on it), but visually it could look really good. It seems like a made for HDR movie.

I managed to see it at the cinema and oh boy, was it an extravaganza. The movie has literally millions of small, tasteful visual "quirks" all over it. Sound words tracing the source of the sound. Tiny dots and dashes punctuating a movement. "Dirt" on the paper when the frame would be otherwise just a tad too boring. It might really be next level stuff when edited for HDR / 4k. I cannot recommend this one enough.

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#6 Posted by xanadu (2046 posts) -

The best UHDs I have seen are the originals blade runner, 2049 looks good to but the original movie looking so good is crazy. And plaent earth 2.

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#7 Posted by JadeGL (1413 posts) -

The first 4K movie I watched at home was The Great Wall and while that movie isn't great story-wise (haha) it looked freakin' phenomenal in 4K. Lush colors, lots of action, just really amazing visually.

Obviously, stuff like Blade Runner and Blade Runner 2049 look great as well.

Incredibles 2 looked fantastic as well. I normally don't spend extra on animated films between blu ray or 4k, but we got the steelbook and the movie just was stunning, imo.

For TV, Westworld looks gorgeous in 4K.

For films where I wasn't impressed, or couldn't really sense a big difference like the other films I've mentioned, I would say that The Fate of the Furious and Hurricane Heist were both unimpressive. Maybe it was just the content of the movie, or the director's and cinematographer's style, but nothing in those screamed "so much better in 4K to me" when I was watching them.

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#8 Edited by reap3r160 (266 posts) -

Mad Max: Fury Road is the main one that comes to mind for me.

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#9 Posted by Rorie (5819 posts) -

I'm not sure if TVs have kept up with this stuff, but parts of Speed Racer are pixelated even on Blu-Rays, especially during the big celebration scenes at the end of races. The same kind of effect you see when confetti comes out in football games. Would be curious to see if the 4k version fixed that issue.

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#10 Edited by hmoney001 (1251 posts) -

Blade Runner 2049, Mad Max Fury Road, and surprisingly Ready Player One is great reference material.

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#11 Edited by NTM (11852 posts) -

@nutter: Blade Runner 2049 might look a lot better, but I watched a bit of the normal Blu-ray two months ago, so going based off my memory of it, I wasn't super impressed. It's definitely still good looking, just not blowing my mind good looking. One thing I did notice, however, was that it definitely (as in, 4K Blu-ray content) looks a whole lot better than HD streaming. I knew it would, but I didn't know how much until I went back. My internet is pretty good so the streaming quality is often the best it can be when I watch films, and when I just saw Annihilation the other night on Amazon Prime, it definitely looked worse than what a 4K Blu-ray can offer. It's an obvious thing, but it was still a slight surprise to see.

I've been curious, do you (or anyone else for that matter) know if you can buy UHD movies on Xbox One and watch them? I would do that, but I have a few concerns. I don't want to stream it (I prefer downloading and having it full quality), and from the little I read, you don't actually own the film? I remember reading that you can download it only so many times or something, which would be really stupid. If I can buy them on Xbox One digitally and get the Blu-ray quality without the disc, that'd be nice.

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#12 Posted by nutter (2207 posts) -

@ntm: I own some digital and some physical UHD content.

I own some Xbox stuff, and I tend to just stream it because 1) it looks great (sub-physical, but still great) and 2) free time is at a premium.

I have bought digital films from Microsoft in the past and downloaded them to a home server. This was earlier in the Xbox One cycle. I could watch it as a local file without issue.

I’m curious, with the file browser on Xbox One, if I could download a film from the movies app to the Xbox hard disk...I’m skeptical. What’s more likely, I think, is that you could download the file to a Windows computer or file server and then transfer from there to the Xbox One (either directly or via an external drive).

I’m super curious to try that out now...

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#13 Posted by Cameron (1055 posts) -

I've only watched a few movies on UHD blu-ray, but the scenes from The Dark Knight Returns that were originally filmed in Imax look incredible. I'd recommend looking up movies that come from a 4K digital source. Lots of movies get mastered for 2K theatres and then that version gets put on the UHD blu-ray. Those might look a bit better than a regular blu-ray, but probably not as much as you'd think.

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#14 Posted by Damenco (62 posts) -

I'm a fan of blu-rays, without them I can't watch movies