New to Blu: February 4-10

Local Blu-ray buyers again are shortchanged with this week’s release of three TV series on disc.

Downton Abbey: A Moorland Holiday is the Christmas special that’s just aired on Prime.

In the US, it’s been bundled with season five but here it has to be bought separately.

And only the 2D versions of the David Attenborough specials, Micro Monsters and Natural History Museum Alive, are going on sale here — not the 3D releases that Britons can buy (Sky UK broadcast both in 3D).

Also new are Doctor Who: Last ChristmasDracula UntoldThe Skeleton Twins and Before I Go to Sleep.

Dracula Untold mesmerises with a remarkable 1080p/AVC-encoded video presentation.

“Despite the darkness that falls over much of the film, colours are striking and nicely saturated, from the lush, fire-lit interiors of Vlad’s castle to the stormy, oppressive hues that accompany Dracula onto the battlefield.”

The Skeleton Twins boasts a 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 encoded transfer that generates a solid image that is dulled somewhat by what appears to be a little tinkering with the colour to make it artificially warmer or colder.

“For the most part, the image looks natural – especially during the exterior sequences – but certain moments look exaggeratedly golden.”

“This digitally shot feature only truly pops in a couple of later outdoor scenes, but the drabness of the overall appearance and much of the palette in particular is no doubt an intentional choice.”

Before I Go to Sleep comes to Blu-ray featuring gratifying high definition video, fair lossless sound quality and a bland assortment of supplement shorts.”

“Despite some pretty routine colour grading, some of which sucks minimal amounts of fine detail out of the proceedings, this is a really lustrous looking transfer a lot of the time, with rich, burnished flesh tones and an appealing depth to the imagery that helps overcome a somewhat subdued palette.”

The rest of the week’s releases include:

  • Wolves
  • The November Man
  • Playing It Cool
  • Kung Fu Jungle
  • Dark Tourist
  • Rise
  • Son of a Gun
  • The Black Swan.
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