New to Blu: February 8 – 14

  

The 4K-UHD transfer of The Mountain Between Us scales great heights.

Home Theater Forum rated it 5/5 and Blu-ray.com 4.5/5. “Sharpness is outstanding, and every flake of snow in hair or [Idris Elba’s] beard is remarkably detailed,” HTF said.

Colour is beautifully modulated from near gray conditions during the frequent blizzards to vibrant colours of sky blue and forest green during sunny days, and skin tones are always realistic and appealing. HDR has been used quite effectively to give the snow a bright (but nicely controlled) shine during sunny scenes while lending darker scenes a solid degree of black level.

“The results of this 4K upgrade are largely extremely commendable,” Blu-ray.com said, “with noticeable upticks in detail and fine detail levels across the board, to the point that it’s almost possible to differentiate individual bits of snow in the 4K version, where in the 1080p Blu-ray version some scenes can tend to offer the snowy hillsides as kind of a unified mass, so to speak.”

High-Def Digest praised the “fantastic” clothing and facial details.

Colours are also well balanced with natural hues coming through beautifully. Primaries, especially the bright blue sky look terrific. Considering all of the snow, contrast is also very well balanced without any hot white blooms. Black levels are also in good shape, giving the image a striking sense of depth and dimension.

DVD Movie Guide said Bad Moms 2 offers “a terrific visual presentation” while Blu-ray.com called the 1080p image “crisp and sure in its entirety, with no smudgy edges or lacking details. Textural wonders abound, as the image finds the intimacy in every skin texture.”

  

Horror fans can splurge on the first two Cloverfield movies and The Purge trilogy in 4K-UHD. The latter is being sold as three separate titles whereas in the US they can be bought as only a box set.

Blu-ray.com said all three movies have been upscaled to 4K from 2K digital intermediates, “and each has received a very positive sound upgrade by way of a trio of reference-worthy DTS:X soundtracks.”

It thought The Purge: Election Year was the best upscale while the earlier movies delivered “a nice enough 2160p/HDR presentation”.

High-Def Digest said the 4K-UHD transfer of found footage horror Cloverfield “may not be particularly impressive, but the overall presentation is nonetheless a nice step up” while HTF rated it 4/5:

Considering that the movie began with what can now be considered low-fi source material, is there any real advantage to this 4K UHD Blu-ray release from an image quality standpoint? The answer is, not a whole lot. Video noise is more evident here, thanks to the higher resolution, and fine detail gets a minimal increase. The only true benefit is in the addition of high dynamic range using Dolby Vision (which decoded as HDR10 on my system), allowing for slightly deeper blacks and more refined colours.

HTF rated the sequel, 10 Cloverfield Lane, 5/5:

The Blu-ray from 2016 looked very good, but the new UHD release is outstanding. There is a huge uptick in fine detail on display here, including more refined textures in the brick and mortar walls, fabrics, and John Goodman’s stubbly, scraggly beard. Colours, although subdued as they were in the theatrical release and Blu-ray, are a bit more natural.

“Paramount’s new 4K UltraHD presentation doesn’t have any new extras and repeats the Dolby ATMOS track from the standard Blu-ray,” DVD Talk said, “but the uptick in resolution and HDR impact on the image do give this one some added, crucial value and the inclusion of the old commentary track on the 4K disc earns it a few points as well.”

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