New to Blu: August 12-18

The latest in the Divergent Series leads a surge of new Blu-ray releases.

The Divergent Series: Insurgent 3D comes to Blu-ray Disc featuring 1080p MVC encoded video and lossless Dolby Atmos/TrueHD 7.1 sound that has an average bitrate of 5.3 Mbps.

“This film wasn’t shot natively in 3D but was converted in post-production.

“The film was largely shot against green screens and the reproduction of the digital effects and wide angle background elements translates positively here.

Depth is appreciable as evidenced by separation of objects and/or people layered in the foreground/background which creates a visual sense of virtual space.”

As for the 2D release: “The dystopian sequel incites a rebellion with an excellent, near-reference 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 encode that’s sure to please. Immediately apparent is the sumptuous parade of colours throughout.

“Thanks to the remarkable photography of Florian Ballhaus, the palette is vivid and energetic with richly-saturated primaries and a colourful array of secondary hues that make each scene very pleasing to the eyes.”

“With plenty of action on display, the soundscape earned many chances to shine. It filled out the various channels in an active, involving manner that placed the viewer within the spectrum.

“Different components showed up in appropriate spots and moved/meshed well to form a solid sense of place.”

Unfinished Business has “a bright, sharp, and clear transfer with outstanding detail in close-ups and medium shots and colour which is solid and most appealing including accurate skin tones.

“This is the rare contemporary comedy that was shot on honest to goodness 35mm film, and the results have agreeable depth and texture, adding measurably to the film’s scenic use of Berlin for what amounts to the bulk of the running time.

“Aside from a few graded sequences, the palette here is natural looking and nicely saturated.”

“As in many comedies, the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 sound mix features a strong front soundstage but only a marginally effective rear one.

“Dialogue has been well recorded and has been placed in the centre channel while neither Alex Wurman’s music nor the appropriate sound effects get more than a cursory spillover into the rear channels.”

“Aside from ever so slight banding and an infinitesimally small bit of video noise during a dark scene, The Admiral: Roaring Currents has an absolutely spectacular 2.40:1 1080p transfe.

“Shot digitally, clarity and fine detail is exquisite.”

“Contemporary audiences are too sophisticated to be completely fooled by computer-generated shots of giant fleets of antique ships, but that’s no fault of the Blu-ray image, which is clean, sharp, detailed, colourful and presents the extensive CG work as well as one can possibly hope.”

“If Monsters: Dark Continent has one thing going for it it’s found in this rather vivid 2.39:1 1080p HD presentation. Detail levels are absolutely fantastic. From the opening shot through the rest of the film, everything can be seen with crystal clarity and without any kind of unsightly compression artifacts.”

“This is a gritty film with periods of gorgeous light and colour. Skin tones are accurate, colors beautifully saturated and blacks inky.

“Sharpness is impressive, as are texture and fine-object detail.”

The Lazarus Effect was shot digitally with a Sony CineAlta F65, with a 4K source format (downscaled to a 2K DI), and the results are very nice looking, especially considering the fact that this was a rather low budget affair and one bathed in a lot of shadows quite a bit of the time (perhaps to help mask that miniscule budget).

“The image is typically sharp and clear, and close-ups offer some excellent fine detail.”

“It’s a terrific transfer: razor sharp, very colourful early-on before things turn dark and more monochromatic with believable skin tones, and with superb black levels which offer sterling shadow detail.”

Also going direct to disc are:

  • Lucky Them (“realistic in look but never vibrant or visually exciting”)
  • The Duff (“very bright and colourful“)
  • Black Sea (“claustrophobic underwater setting shines“)
  • In the Name of the King 3: The Last Mission (“detail is crisp and sharp“)
  • Battle for Skylark 
  • Dead Rising: Watchtower

The only new TV-on-BD releases are series one and two of Hemlock Grove (“detailed images, solid black levels, and consistent skin tones and contrast throughout”).

Also out this week are Rolling Stones From the Vault – The Marquee Club Live in 1971, Slash – Live at the Roxy, Nobunagen Series Collection and WWE – Monday Night War: Vol 1.

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