New to Blu: June 20-26

NOT new to Blu: The Borgias.

In what could be the biggest distribution gaffe of the year, season one of The Borgias is being released here only on Blu-ray DVD.

What a travesty – and an extraordinarily shortsighted decision given how sensational the period drama looked in HD when TV3 screened it in 1080i.

As The Dominion Post’s Jane Clifton observed at the time: “The gorgeousness of renaissance Rome is rendered with a painterly eye here — sumptuous reds, fathomless blues, jewels you could knock people’s teeth out with, gold around almost everything and everyone, a burnished bronze glaze over every scene, and, oh, the embroidery.”

Happily, you can land the Blu-ray of season one from Amazon UK for about the same price the DVD will cost you here (similarly the US Blu-ray, although it may be region-locked).

Being able to buy The Borgias in Blu-ray this week also would have pumped some life into a dull slate.

Season six of Dexter is out but given it was the show’s worst season yet, not even being able to see the gorgeous Miami locations in 1080p is enough to warrant the $50 price tag.

The only new movie is the Katherine Heigl private eye bomb, One for the Money.

There was some carping about the Blu-ray transfer — “looks film-like, but the quality tends to waver” — although others thought it “generally a very sharp and appealing high definition presentation that offers some great location shots”.

Kids can choose from Alpha and Omega and TMNT while new on the back catalogue front are: Le Mans (“despite the occasional soft sequence, the image overall is sharp with some eye-catching textural detail on faces and clothing”); Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (“alternates between decently detailed and attractive to completely ugly and hardly the level we’ve come to expect from the format”); Starman (“shines in its enhanced depth of field”); and Black Robe.

Concert fans are being treated to The Raconteurs: Live at Montreux, Velvet Revolver: Live in Houston and Sade: Bring Me Home – Live.

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5 Responses to “New to Blu: June 20-26”

  1. Any idea when season two of The Borgias is going to be shown here? Season two just finished in the US this week.

  2. I don’t believe it has been scheduled at this stage. While TV3 said it would commit to a second season, given the disappointing ratings for the first it probably will wind up late-night.

  3. Hi Philip. The first sentence in this article should read: “In what could be the biggest distribution gaffe of the year, season one of The Borgias is being released here only on DVD.” Not “Blu-ray” as stated? Keep up the good work! Cheers.

  4. Thanks for your support, John — and for spotting my gaffe!

  5. Thanx, Philip. That’s what a TiVo is for.

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