New to Blu: August 29-September 3

The year’s highest-grossing movie, The Avengers, goes on sale this week — a month earlier than in the US.

UK fans of the superheroes franchise also have to wait longer, with the disc not being released there until mid-September, even though it’s for sale in European territories this week.

It’s surprising to see such a staggered rollout given the Marvel phenomenon opened in most markets four months ago (the biggest exception being Japan, where it wasn’t released theatrically until this month).

The Avengers comes in 2D and 3D versions, with 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, an audio commentary by director Joss Whedon, making-of shorts and nine deleted/extended scenes.

Given how The Avengers will dwarf shelf space, it’s not surprising the only other fresh-from-the-multiplex release is the romance, The Lucky One (“the PQ isn’t bad, but it’s little more than average at best”).

The biggest of this week’s TV titles is Falling Skies – but it may not look much better on Blu-ray than it does on TV2.

“This is a pretty average video presentation … Crushing is a frequent offender, stamping out detail and replacing it with flat blacks that never approach the coveted inkiness.”

“Macroblocking, minor as most instances may be, creeps into the image with alarming frequency.

‘Banding isn’t far behind, crush is an issue, delineation is occasionally anemic, and noise tends to spike, surge and grow unruly.

‘Though largely inherent in the series’ source, the noise proves to be an intermittent distraction; one that saps detail, hinders dark sequences, swarms CG elements, and opens the door to artifacting and other (admittedly negligible) compression and encoding anomalies.”

Season one of the Americanised Being Human “looks rather nicely sharp and well detailed almost all of the time, though the colour palette is oddly pallid, especially with regard to fleshtones”.

“The episodes are bathed in a lot of browns and reds, but images remain clear with no problems with softness or haze. 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio is clean and clear as well.”

The first and second seasons of The Big Bang Theory are being re-issued for the first time on Blu-ray but two other HD comedies, season three of The Middle and Entourage: The Complete Collection, are DVD-only.

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7 Responses to “New to Blu: August 29-September 3”

  1. Three different versions of Avengers out there: Blu-Ray 3D, with Blu-ray and digital copy; Blu-ray and DVD; or DVD. I believe we don’t get the digital copy or the director’s commentary (unlike the US, which does).

  2. Thanks, David. You appear to be right about the commentary, which seems ludicrous for a movie of this magnitude. Forum opinion seems split between distributor disregard for this part of the world and the disc being pressed too soon for its early release here to accommodate commentary and some other US extras.

  3. I mentioned on YouTube that’s it’s odd that we are getting The Avengers earlier than the US and someone replied that it’s because The Avengers was released in the movie theatres here before the US … don’t know if that’s true or not 🙂

  4. Yes, it did open later in the US — but only by a week.

  5. If you have got a 3D TV it’s well worth getting the 3D version of The Avengers as it’s SO darn amazing in 3D, it’s the best ever 🙂

  6. Quite right, Trevor. It looks utterly fantastic in 3D, doesn’t it? I don’t think there’s ever been a better authored disc. Absolutely stunning. Anyone who’s ever doubted the value of 3D on disc should check it out.

  7. I freeze framed the part when Black Widow was pointing the gun right at me and went up and put my finger right in the barrel … now THAT’S 3D 🙂

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