New to Blu: January 22-28

Oscar-winning Ockers Cate Blanchett and Geoffrey Rush shine as much as their Blu-ray transfers in the week’s best new releases.

The former is a front-runner for another Academy Award for Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine and the latter turns in his best performance since Shine in Giuseppe (Cinema Paradiso) Tornatore’s first English-language film, The Best Offer.

“Some might classify Jasmine French as a lush, and ‘lush’ perfectly describes Sony’s 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 rendering of the film that bears her name.

“Thankfully, though, we don’t see the world through her alcohol-glazed eyes; instead, we’re treated to a transfer that’s as crisp as a vodka stinger and goes down as smoothly as Bailey’s Irish Cream.”

(In NZ, Blue Jasmine is being distributed as a Hopscotch release without the extras of the Region A version, although these largely amount to half-an-hour of red carpet and press conference fluff.)

“The lossless 5.1 DTS-HD MA soundtrack is excellent, considering the fact that Woody Allen never does much with the surround channels.

“He prefers to use music rather than sound effects for emphasis and mood, and such is the case with Blue Jasmine.

“The evocative musical soundtrack is beautifully rendered and the dialogue is clear, understandable and confined to the centre channel.”

The Best Offer also is sumptuously showcased on Blu-ray, with exceptional detail and a 5.1 sound mix so clean you hear every word of the dialogue-driven drama.

Going direct to disc is the dramatisation of Deep Throat star Linda Lovelace’s rise and fall.

Lovelace arrives on Blu-ray with a transfer that’s quite gritty but pleasant in a throwback sort of way.

“It’s fairly well defined, though it’s a bit naturally soft and not revealing of the sort of pinpoint details other modern transfers provide.”

Lovelace was shot in Super 16, allowing the movie – which is set primarily in the 1970s – to pretty much look like it was filmed during that time period.

“As a result, there’s both a heavy grain and an overall softness to the look of the movie.”

Also premiering on disc is car chase thriller Getaway.

Getaway has received a fine 1080p/2.40:1 transfer that highlights the film’s drab, overcast cinematography. The level of detail and depth is strong throughout.”

“Here is the single bright spot Getaway provides. Its sound is great.

“The DTS-High Definition Master Audio English 5.1 audio track is superb, with all the things being fully audible as they should be: engines revving, metal crushing against metal, sirens blaring and more.”

Also new are Hatchet III: The Return of Victor Crowley (“translates very well to Blu-ray”), Metallica: Through The Never (with 3D option), Roxette – Live Travelling the World and two TV titles: Doctor Who: The Time of the Doctor – 2013 Christmas Special and An Idiot Abroad – 2.

The long-delayed series two of Idiot has languished for a release because TV3 never picked it up and Sky didn’t air it in SD until three years after its UK transmission.

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3 Responses to “New to Blu: January 22-28”

  1. Hope Sandra Bullock wins an Oscar for Gravity … she SO deserves it 🙂

  2. No way! Anyone could have played Bullock’s role. Blue Jasmine on the other hand was a tour-de-force from Cate Blanchett.
    Also this is the first wider-than-widescreen film from Woody Allen since the little seen anything else of 2003.

  3. HA … love to see Cate Blanchett lost in space 🙂

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