New to Blu: July 9-15

The visually spectacular natural history series, Wild Planet: North America, soars on Blu-ray with top picture specs and an extra that allows you to silence Tom Selleck’s “American Darwinism” commentary for just music and the sounds of nature.

“This is an incredibly sharp, well defined and colourful high definition presentation that benefits from the usual assortment of techniques, including everything from slow motion to time lapse.

“Fine detail is awesome, revealing everything from the nubs on the backs of manatees (which smaller fish feed off of) to the scraggly hair of coyotes.”

“As expected, the 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 transfer on North America supplies the series with the kind of image that essentially sells high-definition television sets.

“Every frame of every episode is teeming with detail, rich in colour and boasts outstanding contrast to provide an image with superb depth and clarity.”

“Audio is a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track that didn’t quite impress me as much as I was expecting …

“Nature sounds natural, for sure, and there are certainly moments when the track really brings the surround experience to life, but on the whole, the disc is more impressive picture-wise than sound-wise.”

Two other TV titles bow this week: the third and final series of An Idiot Abroad and the animated French movie, Minuscule: The Valley Of The Lost Ants 3D, which was spun off the small screen.

Kiss of the Damned comes with a decent 1080p HD transfer presented in 2.40:1 aspect ratio.

“First off, the colour in the film seems to be muted the whole way through, as if to create some dark and brooding mood.

“That being said, the colours still come off as vibrant as they can.”

“The film turns its back on the washed-out, saturated look that many films go for these days and instead goes for bold, rich colours, making what happens on screen seem more real and less fantasy and the Blu-ray handles these perfectly.

“Blacks are solid and the image is crisp and precise, without appearing artificial.”

“The DTS-HD 5.1 track is similarly up to par. Dialogue is always clean and clear from the front, with the surrounds getting extensive use to establish atmosphere.

“Given that this is a more dramatic film, the subwoofer gets a surprising workout, with lots of rumbling during some scenes.”

Blood Ties is a ’70s mean streets thriller that visually mirrors its era of filmmaking.

“Overall, this is a good image that maybe sacrifices too much for the sake of looking 40 years older than it actually is, but it’s hard to fault the filmmakers for making a play toward complete authenticity.”

“The dialogue is consistent and well-balanced and in the inevitable chase sequences, gunfire is natural and placed nicely in the rear channels, and though the soundstage lacks a bit of ‘oomph’ in the low-end, comes across and fairly robust.”

And from 1988 comes a re-issue of Two Moon Junction: “The high-definition transfer has been struck from a pre-existing master, but the film has a fairly pleasing look.”

“Colours look nicely saturated, flesh tones look healthy and details look crisp throughout.

“Black and contrast levels look very good, grain looks natural and there are no issues with compression.”

Also new are:

  • Around the Block
  • Boys of Abu Ghraib
  • The Monkey King 3D
  • Skinwalker Ranch
  • WWE Wrestling’s Greatest Factions
  • WCW Best Pay-Per-View Matches Vol 1
  • Thai Fighter
  • Dragon Ball Z – Season 3
  • Fairy Tail – Collection 9
  • Jormungand: Perfect Order – Season 2
  • Robotics; Notes – Collection 1
  • CSNY 1974.
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One Response to “New to Blu: July 9-15”

  1. Minuscule: Valley of the Lost Ants looks really interesting. JB Hi-Fi is selling the 3D Blu-ray for $19.

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