New to Blu: April 24-30

Blu-ray buyers of the Southern Hemisphere will be wild about the latest local release being an inferior beast to the Region A species.

The Oscar-winning Beasts of the Southern Wild goes on sale here with none of the extras of the US edition.

Modest though they are, why a distributor would do this with one of the year’s best films is beyond comprehension.

But … “There is no disputing the quality of the Blu-ray despite the 16mm origins; it is at times glorious to watch and the sound is also impressive.”

“Overall, we have a really nice, natural art house movie here. It doesn’t look as slick and well-groomed as other brand-new films out there. It doesn’t really need to.

“This Blu-ray release conveys the look and feel the director intended and mirrors the experience I had watching it on the big screen at Sundance.”

“The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 sound mix is very effective for an über-low budget film.

“There’s undeniably impressive bass in the music and some of the sound effects, and both are used optimally to give a believable surround presence to the events of the movie.”

Wreck-It Ralph “doesn’t have a pixel out of place. This is dual-layered with a supportive bitrate.

“Colours in the film seems intentionally duller than you might find on a similar animated feature but they remain tight and everything is perfectly clean.

“Contrast is exceptional establishing some good detail and a sense of depth creeps into many scenes.”

“Having already thoroughly outclassed the competition in the video department, Wreck-It Ralph sets its second high-score-to-beat with its energetic, explosive, altogether electrifying DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 surround track.”

Celeste and Jesse Forever “has a great image transfer, a passable audio mix, and a good set of supplements that cover the gamut from informational to hilarious.”

“Right up there with the best of them, delivering a clean and accurate image that does everything almost perfectly and nothing terribly.”

Alex Cross “bristles with an intense visual flair that pops really beautifully on this Blu-ray.”

“Shot primarily on film, the source is in pristine condition with a light layer of natural grain. Fine details and textures are sharp, revealing all of the ominous intensity in the characters’ frequently brooding grimaces.”

Parental Guidance was shot mainly on Super 35 with some scenes shot in HD.

“As far as the image quality goes, you can’t ask for spectacular high definition visuals here given the genre restraints, but this AVC/MPEG-4 1080p encodement from Fox is a solid transfer nevertheless.”

To Rome With Love’s transfer is “a flawless encoding of this soothingly filmed romantic travelogue.

“Whether seen in cutaways or with the actors present, the various Roman landmarks and neighbourhoods are gentle on the eyes.”

Also new is Quartet, which, because it’s coming out here a week ahead of Australia and two weeks ahead of the UK, has yet to be reviewed on Blu-ray.

Going direct-to-disc are Man With the Iron Fists (“offers a knockout 1080p/2.40:1 transfer”); The Dinosaur Project (“for a low budget film supposedly using home video equipment the quality and detail is surprisingly good”); and the animated Iron Man: Rise of Technovore.

New on the back-catalogue front are Whale Rider and Scanners (“has a solid organic look”) while the week’s music releases are even more nostalgic: Peter Frampton – Live in Detroit and Miles Davis – Live at Montreux 1991.

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2 Responses to “New to Blu: April 24-30”

  1. Beasts of the Southern Wild was one of the worst films I’ve seen in a long time. It typifies all that is wrong with Sundance.

  2. Wreck-It Ralph Blu-ray release in Australasia only comes with a 5.1 soundtrack. Yet another example of us getting another inferior release. US version. which I have, has an absolutely stunning 7.1 soundtrack.

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