New to Blu: February 6-12

Fans of the Roman Polanski shocker, Rosemary’s Baby, will be horrified to learn it’s suffering the same Blu-ray fate as another Paramount Pictures classic, Chinatown: it’s being released here without extras.

While NZ is one of the first markets in which the Blu-ray of the 1968 supernatural sensation is going on sale, Kiwis who want to add it to their collection should consider the superior Criterion version out in the US.

It was widely praised for its transfer and comes with three HD extras: a 47-minute retrospective featuring Polanksi, star Mia Farrow and producer Robert Towne; a 20-minute interview with Ira Levin, who wrote the novel; and a 71-minute documentary about the film’s composer, Polish musician Krzysztof Komeda.

The downside is it’s Region A-locked, so you’ll need a modified Blu-ray player on which to view it.

But at $US25 through Amazon, it’s far better value than the $20 budget version out here this week.

Another horror that should be even more hair-raising in HD is The Possession.

The Possession arrives on Blu-ray with a damn near perfect 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 encode presented in a 2.40:1 aspect ratio (the film’s original aspect ration was 2.35:1).

“The amount of detail is so high that I can see most other Blu-ray releases in 2013 having video quality envy.”

“Audio-wise, horror films live and die by their audio tracks as a majority of the films effects are created in post production. Luck for us the provided DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix is excellent.”

Meanwhile, “the widespread use of digital cameras (in this case, an Arri Alexa, with Cooke Panchro lenses) has really upped the visual quality of indie films.

Ruby Sparks looks as good as films with five times the budget, and the AVC/MPEG-4 transfer to a 50-gig Blu-ray disc is near flawless.”

10 Years’ low budget also “does not show in the Blu-ray’s sharp, clean, and entirely satisfactory 1.78:1 transfer”.

“This is a fairly decent, if never overwhelmingly beautiful, high definition presentation that has the look of a slightly better than average made for television movie a lot of the time.”

Also new are The Sapphires,  Red Dawn (“the video is so-so, and the audio is passable”), Rammstein – Videos 1995-2012 and three terrific ‘toons: Monsters Inc in 3D, a second volume of Pixar Shorts (although volume one remains DVD-only in this market) and season seven of Futurama.

Futurama is one of the best looking cartoons in high-def. This is due to the simple, yet colourful animation and the smoothly rendered 3D animation being blended together seamlessly.

“The colours in this show are absolutely wonderful. They pop off the screen with a vibrant enthusiasm.”

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One Response to “New to Blu: February 6-12”

  1. As I missed Ruby Sparks in the movie theatre looking forward to seeing it on Blu-ray, going by most reviews it sounds wonderful 🙂

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