New to Blu: March 12-18

TV’s Ripper Street heads a ripper week of Blu-ray releases.

Ripper Street was shot (by several cinematographers) with the Arri Alexa.

“The image throughout is clean, detailed and noiseless, with a colour palette that has been desaturated in post-production to de-emphasize primary colours and leave numerous shades of brown, rust and ochre, with an occasional scene tinted blue.”

“There is no grain, but the series doesn’t look overly digital, which benefits the period production design.”

“An expanded 5.1 track would have been greatly appreciated for such a series to help thrust us right into the streets of the Victorian era East End of London, but the stereo mix is well done, nevertheless.

“Dialogue is clear, the atmospherics are natural.”

The Butler isn’t the most attractive movie to land on Blu-ray in 2014, but it holds its own nicely enough.”

“Although far from horrible, the video quality of The Butler does have a number of notable issues. The movie’s colour scheme is quite over-saturated and ‘warm’, which creates a lot of soft imagery, especially in scenes that are shot indoors and/or at night.”

“The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack is subtly effective.

“This is a dialogue heavy film, and said dialogue is presented in perfectly clarity, whether delivered from the centre channel or directionally through the surround speakers.”

The Counselor is presented on Blu-ray courtesy of 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment with an AVC encoded 1080p transfer in 2.40:1.

“This often luscious looking film was shot with the Red Epic, and the image here is almost flawlessly pristine and sharp looking.”

“The crime thriller also makes its case with an excellent and very subtle DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack which generates a consistently attractive wall of sound.”

“Fox’s Blu-ray release is top notch in the AV department, and the Truth of the Situation special feature delivers a lot of good bonus content for Ridley Scott fans.”

Machete Kills looks excellent – often outright pristine – just about as far as you could get away from its faux-mexploitation trailer origins, or from Desperado for that matter.”

“Multiple environments and flesh tones are presented accurately, which is ironic, given that the movie starts with the distressed-film look of Grindhouse (to set the tone) and then segues into state of the art HD images.”

“The audio is presented in 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and the lossless sound is immersive and abundantly over-the-top with every detail and sound in the track roaring to life with precision from all around you — all with lossless clarity and whizz-bang showmanship.”

Going direct to disc are:

  • Fruitvale Station (“the grit and grain of the 16mm format provides a handsome texture that beautifully accentuates the film’s tone and themes”)
  • I Declare War (“super sharp with crisp, deep-set details and realistic textures that aren’t muddied with unwanted edge haloes”)
  • Freezer (“considering it takes place in a walk-in freezer, the images and colours are crisp and clear”)
  • A.C.O.D. Adult Children of Divorce (“nicely detailed and relatively pleasing, this is a solid image through and through”)

Also new are Madison County, Rise and Fall of the Clash, WWE Royal Rumble 2014, Shawn Michael’s – Mr Wrestlemania and anime newcomers Blue Exorcist 06, Fairy Tail – Collection 7, Fate/Zero – Collection 01, The Garden of Words, One Piece Movie: Strong World, Sword Art Online Vol. 3: Fairy Dance Part 1, We Without Wings Collection and Cowboy Bebop – Remastered Sessions Collection 2.

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