New to Blu: August 13-19

Captain America’s here to save the world — and us from another week of lacklustre Blu-ray releases.

So far this month there have been only three undistinguished newcomers on disc — Dune, The Motel Life, Body Double — but the superhero’s first sequel, The Winter Soldier, spearheads the strongest slate in weeks.

It lands here a month ahead of the US release and is out in 2D and 3D editions, complete with making-of shorts, audio commentary, deleted scenes and bloopers.

The Marvel blockbuster marks a big week for studio/distributor Walt Disney/Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, with Muppets Most Wanted and Sleeping Beauty also being released.

The Muppets movie includes an extended cut of the theatrical release and has 7.1 audio but is light on extras, with the most notable being a music video of Bret McKenzie performing “I’ll Get You What You Want”.

Sharpness is outstanding throughout, and colour is generally solid and well managed though naturally a couple of the bright, garish colors might tend to bleed just a little.

“Black levels are good with above average shadow detail, and contrast is consistently maintained.”

Sleeping Beauty’s Blu-ray re-issue is the tenth film released as part of Disney’s prestigious Blu-ray Diamond Collection.

It comes with 7.1 audio, new extras, deleted scenes and “classic” DVD bonuses.

Also new is The Great Beauty. “The film looks spectacular in high-definition.

“Viewers with large screens and in particular those who project their films are guaranteed to be impressed with the tremendous range of lush colors and outstanding image depth …

“The lossless 5.1 track is simply outstanding. Indeed, the audio has terrific depth and dynamic intensity is as good as I believe it can possibly be.”

“Our Region B release of is identical to the Region B UK version. However, the Region A US version is a Criterion release which includes interviews with [director] Paulo Sorrentino (37:59), [star] Toni Servillo (12:35) and co-screenwriter Umberto Contarello (11:44) plus deleted scenes (2:46) and the theatrical trailer.

“Our extra is quite good, but some information about the film from those involved would be well worthwhile.”

The Raid 2 carries an absolutely flawless 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 encode … Shot digitally in well-lit settings, it’s texturally gorgeous.”

There’s also a terrific collection of exciting extras, including director’s commentary.

The only TV-on-disc title is the controversial Top Gear Burma special, which lands in an extended 135-minute cut with 20 minutes of behind-the-scenes content.

“Note that the infamous ‘slope’ comment has been removed from this video release, and some of the music has apparently been changed.”

Going direct-to-disc are In the Blood (“a good, balanced level of detail and vibrant colouring“), Space Warriors (“first-rate presentation of digitally-acquired material”) and Nicolas Cage’s latest.

Tokarev is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, cropped from the 2.35:1 original ratio

“This is not as tragic as some films with extensive widescreen exterior sequences, but it is still noticeable that there are often faces half out of frame, or conversations between characters in which one participant is unseen, or partially seen.”

New for Magna fans are Berserk: The Golden Age Arc III – The AdventDragon Ball Z – Season 4Fairy Tail – Collection 10Haganai Next – Season 2 Collection and Robotics; Notes – Collection 2 while wrestling buffs can choose from WWE United We Slam: The Best of Great American BashWWE Ladies and Gentlemen: My Name is Paul Heyman and Batista: The Animal Unleashed.

Also out are Elton John: The Million Dollar PianoPeter Gabriel: Back to Front and ZZ Top: Live at Montreaux 2013.

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4 Responses to “New to Blu: August 13-19”

  1. Captain America: Winter Soldier is on my wish list. All the Marvels are exciting and worth multiple viewings. As is Disney’s Sleeping Beauty. Ahhh! The joys of Blu-ray and HD.

  2. I should have my Captain America soon, such a great movie 🙂

  3. I will be getting the 3D version of Captain America: Winter Soldier shortly.

  4. After seeing Guardians of the Galaxy at the movies yesterday I can see why everyone wants to wear their underwear on the outside of their trousers.

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