New to Blu: March 19-25

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The Hunger Games no doubt is eating up the sales charts here with the same appetite it did in the US, where it spent two weeks at #1.

“Presented in 1080p, Lionsgate has provided a fine looking transfer here. Clarity is top-notch.

“The special effects are presented with crisp detail. The eye candy that you were expecting from Catching Fire in high definition is certainly there.”

“As with the first film, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire features an incredibly well detailed, bombastic and immersive lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 mix.

“All channels are regularly employed with a wealth of well done foley effects and score.”

The Fifth Estate features a fit and faithful 1080p/AVC-encoded video presentation that rarely stumbles.

“Colour and contrast are generally natural and lifelike, albeit with the occasional palette hack (teals and icy blues are popular) or stylistic tweak.”

“The reference image quality is splendid throughout with expert sharpness that reveals much detail and very smooth and consistent colour with accurate flesh tones.”

The Fifth Estate is presented in 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio sound.

“Considering the lack of action and supernatural elements, the aggressive qualities of this track are a little surprising, yet the sound is rarely overblown or swimming in unnecessary elements.”

“This transfer of Blancanieves, preserving the film’s original aspect ratio of 1.33:1 (which is also the correct silent-era-approximation AR), looks absolutely lovely; the rich contrasts of Kiko de la Rica’s black-and-white cinematography are rendered with supreme fidelity, very solid and vivid, with no aliasing or edge enhancement/haloing whatsoever, and a very healthy retention of celluloid-like texture and grain.”

“Those who hear that a film’s format is 16mm and immediately assume that that has to mean fuzzy, grainy imagery may well be shocked by Blancanieves’ clear, nicely defined image (the actual source format is Super 16).”

Also new are:

  • Paradise (“bright, colourful, and highly detailed, this is a very impressive video presentation”)
  • Ain’t Them Bodies Saints (“a gorgeous film with a natural, strong, but not quite perfect high definition presentation”)
  • Empire State (“strikingly natural and appealing with excellent sharpness and consistent contrast throughout”)
  • Daddy’s Little Girl (“all grown up on Blu-ray, dressed in a fine 1080p/AVC-encoded transfer”)
  • Big Ass Spider (“a clean digital look that services the original low-budget cinematography”)
  • The Broken Shore
  • Patrick.

Also don’t overlook four classics: the 1978 re-make of Invasion of the Body Snatchers (“the picture quality is fantastic, although you’ll surely disagree if you don’t like grain”); Don’t Look Now (“looks lovely with rich, highly saturated colours and unexpected layers of detail which bring new life to the film”); Breathless (“clean, sharp, detailed, with beautiful, stable blacks, great white levels and a pleasingly natural grain structure intact”); and The 400 Blows.

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3 Responses to “New to Blu: March 19-25”

  1. The local release of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is inferior to the US release in one main area. The US release has a 1.78 ratio for the IMAX scenes in the arena which mirrored what we saw at the movies. The local release just has the 2:35:1 ratio for the entire movie so is in the incorrect aspect ratio for a large proportion of the movie.

  2. Thanks for pointing that out, Mark. At least the 7.1 encode was retained. Note there are two editions, one exclusive to JB Hi Fi with an extra disc of extras.

  3. Yes Philip. I will hopefully watch this movie on the weekend. I just found out that the US 7.1 soundtrack is 24 bit whereas the local release has been compressed down to 16 bit. Both soundtracks should still sound great though.

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