New to Blu: August 8-14

It’s a rum week for new multiplex must-sees on Blu-ray but there’s a bonanza of bargain-priced back-catalogue collectibles.

Months after releasing them in the US, Warner Bros at last offers a raft of library titles as double- and triple-features.

Most were among the first movies WB released on Blu-ray but a couple include classics that are new to the format here, including the original Dirty Harry and the sci-fi sensation Contact.

Priced from $20-$25, they range from exceptionally good buying (The Searchers/The Wild Bunch/How the West Was Won) to bargain-basement (Funny Farm/Spies Like Us).

If only WB would release in NZ its biggest back-catalogue omissions, namely Network, All the President’s Men, Outlaw Josey Wales, Citizen Kane, Singin’ in the Rain and its Looney Tunes classics (the second volume has just been announced in the US but still no sign of the first here).

The rest of this week’s double/triple-bills include:

  • Above the Law/Under Siege/Under Siege 2
  • Alexander Revisited/Troy/300
  • Sphere/2010/Contact
  • Outbreak/Poseidon/The Perfect Storm
  • Triple Packs (Oliver Stone, Leonardo DiCaprio, Martin Scorsese)
  • Arthur/Arthur 2: On the Rocks
  • A Cinderella Story/Another Cinderella Story
  • Grumpy Old Men/Grumpier Old Men
  • Any Which Way You Can/Every Which Way But Loose
  • Scooby Doo: The Movie/ Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed
  • Last Boy Scout/Cop Out
  • Dirty Harry/Magnum Force
  • The Enforcer/Sudden Impact
  • Eraser/Collateral Damage
  • Firefox/Heartbreak Ridge
  • Kelly’s Heroes/Where Eagles Dare
  • Presumed Innocent/Frantic
  • Wyatt Earp/The Assassination of Jesse James
  • Clash of the Titans/Wrath of the Titans

Because it includes a new release, the Wrath of the Titans double-bill costs $60 but the sequel also can be bought separately, in 2D and 3D.

“Like its predecessor, this sequel was originally shot in 2D and later converted to 3D during post-production.

“But unlike the first movie, the presentation is much improved with a greater sense of depth and dimensionality throughout.”

Also new, although scarcely of note, are American Pie: Reunion (which can be bought with its predecessors in the American Pie: Quadrilogy box set) and Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (2D and 3D).

“Shot digitally with Red One cameras, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance burns up the screen with an impressive 1080p presentation the leaves little room for complaint.”

Joyful Noise “is crisp and cool with a nice balance of natural flesh tones and vibrant colour accents.

“The DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio mix delivers a softness of dialogue and a punch with the songs.”

Going direct-to-disc is The Rum Diary (“steady details and a beautiful film-like texture”) while graduating from its TV One SD broadcast to 1080i is Mrs Brown’s Boys: Season 1.

The History Channel’s Lost Films: Vietnam in HD has an “understandably mixed” presentation that was criticised for “stretching 4×3 elements to fit a 16×9 frame”.

Rounding off the week’s TV-on-Blu releases are the documentary Prophets of Science Fiction and the animated Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes – The Complete 1st Season.

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5 Responses to “New to Blu: August 8-14”

  1. $20-25 seems a bit pricey for these old catalogue titles …

  2. If they were being sold separately, I would agree. But packaged as double- and triple-bills they’re unbeatable buying. Who would have thought even this time last year you would be able to buy three movies of the calibre of The Searchers, The Wild Bunch and How the West Was Won as a Blu-ray bundle for barely $8 each? This particular set isn’t even this cheap on Amazon.com, where it will set you back $US33!

  3. Definitely some great bargains to be had here.

  4. JB Hi-Fi have these on special this week: 2-disc $14.98ea; 3-disc $18.98ea. That’s better!

  5. Oh yes, a word of caution, these may be mediocre transfers, too. Seen the Arnie and Seagal sets, both have mediocre video and sound. The Seagal films are only Dolby Digital 🙁

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