New to Blu: March 14 – 20

Superhero ensemble Justice League leads an otherwise puny week for new releases on Blu-ray and 4K-UHD.

Justice League was shot largely on 35mm photochemical film (in Super 35 format, using Arriflex cameras) to give it an organic look,” The Digital Bits reports.

It was finished as a 2K digital intermediate, upsampled, given both HDR10 and Dolby Vision colour grades, and the result is presented here on 4K Ultra HD at the 1.85:1 theatrical aspect ratio. This image is dense and earthy looking, a bit brighter than the previous films. There’s a nice light-to-moderate grain texture visible, but also impressive fine detail, especially in the characters’ costumes and suits of armor. Depth of field is good, with deep and detailed blacks, as well as bright highlights. Colors are rich and nuanced, with a great deal more pop and warmth than in the previous films (save for Wonder Woman). This isn’t quite a reference-quality image, but it’s certainly strong.

“The 1080p transfer looks solid, and this Ultra HD rendering takes it to the next level with a discernible increase in detail, emboldened highlights, both light and dark, and a noticeably vibrant image,” AVSForum said.

This is an excellent presentation to show off the benefits of high dynamic range. The film has a multitude of fiery explosions, streaming/cascading light, and mixed light/dark elements. They simply look stunning. This is a somewhat dark film, and its low-level sequences look terrific. The sequences that incorporate elements of brilliant light, like pretty much any of the battles with Steppenwolf, look amazing.

“There’s a lot of bang, bang, shoot’em up a moments and explosions to be found here,” WhySoBlu said of the Dolby Atmos track.

That’s great for the action and superhero fans …  However, across the other spectrum there are some dialogue heavy moments found within too and I’m pleased to report not one dramatic speech or funny one-liner (yes there are those in here too) get lost amongst all the chaos.  Everything is in check, very directional and  well prioritised throughout giving this Dolby Atmos surround track a wide spectrum of breathing room here.

Speaking of breathing room, argues the 1080p transfer suffers from a sub-par avergare bit rate:

Warner has encoded JL on Blu-ray with an average bitrate of 22.034 Mbps, which is on the low side for a film of such visual complexity, but the encoding appears to be capable. Some of the CG elements, particularly Steppenwolf’s manifestations, look a little rough, but it’s hard to tell whether that is a result of disc mastering or the original effects work. Especially for a film of this nature, Warner would be well-advised to follow the example set for them by Christopher Nolan and place the extras on a separate disc so that the feature has maximum room to breathe.

The hour of Blu-ray extras includes two deleted scenes and a deconstruction of key scenes.

Also new on Blu-ray are Brotherhood and Inconceivable.

Inconceivable isn’t going to compete for any technical Oscars,” DVDizzy observed. “That said, for a presumably modest-budgeted, essentially direct-to-video flick from a first-time director, it looks pretty sharp. The 2.40:1 presentation boasts nice colors, sharpness, and detail, while the 5.1 DTS-HD master audio mix gets the job done.”

“A tendency to shoot into light or other regimens that cast effulgent glows on characters can lead to a slightly gauzy look at times, and there are a couple of nighttime or dimly lit sequences that suffer from a relative lack of shadow detail,” said, “but otherwise this is a precise and appealing looking transfer that has no compression issues to confront.”

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One Response to “New to Blu: March 14 – 20”

  1. The Last Jedi is on iTunes today including all of the extras, I so love having Apple TV 🙂

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