New to Blu: February 20-26

The week’s top Blu-ray newcomer, Lawless, sounds virtually flawless. 

“It’s a reference quality presentation through and through.”

The bootlegging thriller was was shot digitally on the Arri Alexa camera and “looks great in its presentation on Blu-ray with a perfectly solid black level, accurate fleshtones and a somewhat vibrant colour palette; despite being slightly subdued at times to fit the visual style of the time period and location.”

The audio’s even more exemplary while the extras are top shelf.

“The audio and video on this Blu-ray are fantastic, and the special features are for the most part interesting and informative.”

David Cronenberg’s Cosmopolis earned better reviews for its HD specs than content — “one of the very best looking contemporary films to be released on Blu-ray this year” — but the NZ release continues a recent run of high-profile discs to miss out on key international extras.

“There are no extras included whatsoever!

“Unlike the Region B Australian release, the Region B United Kingdom Blu-ray features an 111-minute documentary on the film featuring interviews with most of the principal cast and crew, and the adaptation from the source novel on the production of the film.

“Apparently, this documentary is outstanding and is not to be missed if you are a fan of David Cronenberg’s work.”

There’s also half-an-hour of interviews with the cast and crew while the region-free Region A disc boasts a commentary by Cronenberg as well.

Paranormal Activity 4, like its predecessors, arrives with a 1:85:1 framed, AVC MPEG-4 encoded transfer. Also like its previous Blu-ray releases, the film mixes in ‘found footage’, and utilises different camera qualities.

“Luckily though, the camera styles result in a mostly solid effort.”

While other reviewers thought the video “only as good as its source, which isn’t much”, the DTS-HD Master Audio “really shines

“Exceptional channel separation in the fronts creates a spacious and appreciably varied soundstage while the center delivers well-prioritised and intelligible vocals, making for an awesome lossless mix to an otherwise mediocre supernatural horror flick.”

Also “new” are Shameless: The Complete Second Season and Nikita: The Complete Second Season.

The latter was released four months ago in the US and the former in December.

“Like its first season counterpart, The Complete Second Season [of Shameless] is backed by a raw but refined 1080p/AVC-encoded presentation that outclasses its HDTV counterpart, stands shoulder to shoulder with Showtime’s other Blu-ray stunners (Dexter and Homeland), and rarely deviates from its high-quality course.”

“Like the series first season Blu-ray release, The Complete Second Season [of Nikita] impresses with a striking, never-say-die 1080p/AVC-encoded video presentation that steals the four-disc set’s spotlight.”

Rounding off the week are Art of Flight 3D (“a treat for any high definition display”), Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale (“this is a huge, expansive film that glories in the jungles of Taiwan and it retains a suitably lush, even spectacular, look”), The Liability, Another American CrimePainted Skin: The Beginning, Telling Lies in America, Werner Herzog Documentary Collection, Rammstein: Videos 1995-2012, The Raven That Refused to Sing (and Other Stories) and Happy Birthday! A Celebration Of 25 Years of the Johann Strauss Orchestra.

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5 Responses to “New to Blu: February 20-26”

  1. I should have Nikita today … LOVE IT 🙂

  2. I will buy the second season of Nikita, but not straight away. Just started watching season one on Blu-ray so will wait until I have finished this season before I buy season two. Hopefully, the price on season two may have dropped a little by then!

  3. Lawless is pretty good despite the length and some wierd editing decisions eg Gary Oldman’s role is reduced to a cameo and he suddenly disappears from the film without explanation. Cosmopolis was rubbish, the worse Cronenberg film. The UK doco was much better than the main feature!

  4. Watching Nikita … SO hate Percy and Amanda 🙂

  5. You guys actually paid $60+ for the Nikita s2 BD???

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