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Old 27-11-2012, 23:25   #1
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The Amazing Spider-Man [2D Blu-ray]

Has anyone else noticed just how dark this transfer is? A lot of reviewers have commented on how "dark" the film looks, but while I realise a lot of the film is set at night, I'm certain it wasn't this dark in cinemas. It was my favourite film of the summer and I saw it 3x in 3D (one of those at the London BFI IMAX) and once in 2D, and every screening was dramatically brighter than the 2D Blu-ray. It honestly looks as though someone has turned the contrast right down on my display, dulling even the brightest highlights and making nighttime scenes downright murky. If I turn up the contrast on my calibrated Pioneer KURO to maximum it looks much better, but it's troubling that I should have to do this.

Here are some screencaps from the Blu-ray.com review:

1 | 2 | 3 | 4

And here are some screencaps of the same scenes from the trailer:

1 | 2 | 3 | 4

As you can see the difference is not subtle. Now I suppose one might argue the trailer does not represent the finished film, but speaking objectively, the trailer is pretty much a 100% match to what I saw several times in cinemas - even the 3D version which was surprisingly bright and colourful. And subjectively speaking I much prefer the look of the trailer, in which the cinematography looked gorgeous. On 2D Blu-ray, not so much.

For further evidence look no further than the BD menu, in which the clips used are much brighter and look great. Sure, they might have been tampered with - but what does that tell you? If the people at Sony who made the menu thought the transfer could do with brightening why release it that way? I think someone at Sony cocked up - I'm just surprised there's nothing online about this besides pretty much every reviewer saying the film looks "dark". To me, that darkness is not intentional. Anyone else agree?

Last edited by SithLordSi; 27-11-2012 at 23:34.
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Old 28-11-2012, 00:16   #2
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I never saw it theatrically but recently watched the blu-ray and yes, it looks dark - as in 'dimmed' as if, as you say, someone had fiddled with the contrast.
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Old 28-11-2012, 00:49   #3
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Those screenshots look fine to me, the trailer ones do not.
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Old 28-11-2012, 13:12   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shingster View Post
Those screenshots look fine to me, the trailer ones do not.
it sounds like you need to correct your monitor then.

Looking at the screenshots these look very dark compared to the trailer shots.

I'm not sure when the film was officially released on blu ray - but I had it on pre-order and only received it yesterday from the supplier. Perhaps not many people have watched it yet (which may explain the lack of complaints).

wait and see for online reactions in the next few days perhaps..
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Old 28-11-2012, 14:41   #5
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Seemed fine when I watched it last night. Those screenies do seem a little off though...
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Old 28-11-2012, 15:09   #6
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If anything, I thought the first trailer shot looked washed out. The rest, yeah a tad too dark with the blu.
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Old 28-11-2012, 16:40   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pauls2 View Post
it sounds like you need to correct your monitor then.
Jesus christ, they're not THAT bad!

I saw this in 2D at my local and it didn't strike me as a particularly bright film to begin with, so nothing in those grabs is setting off any warning signals to me. They may be too dark, but I suspect if they are it's not by a MASSIVE amount. I've not seen the disc in motion though, so take my comments with a grain of salt. The trailer grabs however are utterly horrendous: way too bright, no black level to speak of (unless you think green = black).

Last edited by Shingster; 28-11-2012 at 16:47.
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Old 28-11-2012, 16:53   #8
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Yes, the trailer caps are a little on the bright side. That might be to do with the way they were capped, I'm not sure. But even so, I'm sure they are closer to what I saw in theatres. And anyway, I'm not suggesting that the trailer caps are 100% accurate to the theatrical look. I'm suggesting that the 2D BD is on the dim side - distractingly so. There's not a hint of anything approaching peak white in this transfer. Even the credits are dim, a bit like The Fellowship of the Ring extended edition but without the green tint. As I've said, it's like someone turned the contrast right down. The film was really attractive in all the screenings I saw - colourful, even - and I think something has gone badly wrong in the transfer to Blu-ray.

Just look at this shot of Gwen. I know she's supposed to be hiding in a dark cupboard, but you can barely see her. Or this shot of Spidey on the bridge. Those lamps on the right hand side of the image are supposed to be the main light source in that shot (besides the moon) and they are nowhere near what I would call "bright". And this scene is supposed to be taking place in bright morning sunshine. Why do their clothes and faces all look so underexposed? Finally, I'm not sure why Spider-Man looks so surprised in this shot. It's supposed to be blinding but just doesn't look that way to me.

What do others think?
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Old 28-11-2012, 16:55   #9
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I'd say the caps look slightly muted, but I probably wouldn't have really noticed it if someone hadn't pointed it out to me.

Like I said before, I thought it looked just fine when I watched it last night.
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Old 28-11-2012, 20:16   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SithLordSi View Post
Yes, the trailer caps are a little on the bright side. That might be to do with the way they were capped, I'm not sure. But even so, I'm sure they are closer to what I saw in theatres. And anyway, I'm not suggesting that the trailer caps are 100% accurate to the theatrical look. I'm suggesting that the 2D BD is on the dim side - distractingly so. There's not a hint of anything approaching peak white in this transfer. Even the credits are dim, a bit like The Fellowship of the Ring extended edition but without the green tint. As I've said, it's like someone turned the contrast right down. The film was really attractive in all the screenings I saw - colourful, even - and I think something has gone badly wrong in the transfer to Blu-ray.

Just look at this shot of Gwen. I know she's supposed to be hiding in a dark cupboard, but you can barely see her. Or this shot of Spidey on the bridge. Those lamps on the right hand side of the image are supposed to be the main light source in that shot (besides the moon) and they are nowhere near what I would call "bright". And this scene is supposed to be taking place in bright morning sunshine. Why do their clothes and faces all look so underexposed? Finally, I'm not sure why Spider-Man looks so surprised in this shot. It's supposed to be blinding but just doesn't look that way to me.

What do others think?
I haven't seen the film, but it looks like there's nowt wrong with those caps. I can see as much of Gwen in the cupboard as I would expect, given that, well, she's in a cupboard. The lights on the bridge appear to be quite a ways behind Spidey so they look perfectly exposed to me, and he's certainly been lit with them in mind (look at how the light plays across his back). The daytime shot looks like daytime, et cetera, et cetera.

My 3D Blu-ray hath arrived, so I'll be giving it a spin soon enough.
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Old 28-11-2012, 20:26   #11
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There's no black crush going on, so not sure what the problem is. Look fine to me. Then again, I still remember the horror of the Hostel II transfer *shudder*
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Old 29-11-2012, 00:37   #12
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Oh I'm not saying it looks awful or anything. It looks wonderfully detailed. I did just watch parts of it on a Sony LCD TV (not mine) which has the contrast much higher than my calibrated plasma, and it was very watchable indeed. Still quite weak contrast but it came across a lot better on the LCD. I wonder if those who are saying the transfer looks great are watching on LCD or plasma?

I still maintain that the transfer could have had more dynamic range. Using the eyedropper tool in Photoshop on those screengrabs, highlights max out at about 210. Mind you that's using RGB values which go up to 255, so we're talking 82% of the potential dynamic range available to the film colourists. Peak luminance on correctly authored Blu-ray is 235, so this equates to about 193 as the actual maximum luminance value on this Blu-ray. All a lot of technical mumbo jumbo, I know, but it points directly to the contrast being reduced. Whether intentional or not I have no idea, but I have a hard time believing that they would shoot it on RED Epic and then nobble the dynamic range across the board. Even credits are a dull off-white, rather than the standard white.

Anyway perhaps it's all intentional and this is how the film is supposed to look, and all the trailers and TV spots and extended Superbowl preview were altered to look "bolder". I can easily live with the transfer on Blu-ray - it's very nice in all other respects. I just can't shake the feeling that it should look better. This film has some incredible lighting and colours, and it's all quite muted and dim.
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Old 23-03-2013, 20:22   #13
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Just watched this again as my boy watches all the time... I have the 2d/3d version as hopefully be getting a 3d tv end of the month. Dont know if the 3d version is brighter but the 2d version is definitely dull... like a dvd compared to blu ray difference... the menu footage looks stunning but the 2d film is dull... once the film ends or you switch to the menu during the film it smacks you in the face
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