New to Blu: March 4-10

Action junkies with high-falutin’ home theatre systems and a short fuse should opt for the US release of John Wick on Blu-ray.

Missing from the NZ disc is the Dolby Atmos 7.1 audio option that had US critics raving. While everything else about the US release is intact, from the director’s commentary to making-of extras, there’s only a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track.

“As to the detail and texture offered by the transfer, it’s pretty strong across the board though keep in mind that this film is very dark in style and that there are times where post production colour tweaking to keep that dark style moving can sap out some detail.”

“In normal lighting and without any overt colour grading, colours look accurate and are very nicely saturated. Sharpness and clarity are both excellent.”

As for the rest of the week’s newcomers, “more often than not, Pride looks terrific on Blu-ray. Problems are relatively few, but can be bothersome.

“The image can go a bit soft and brightness seems artificially increased. In other places, black levels waver between appearing lightly washed out and purple-tinted to somewhat heavy-handed and crushed.”

“The Pride Blu-ray can safely be purchased on the strength of the film alone, but unfortunately the release doesn’t come with a plethora of special features.

“The Pride: The True Story featurette gives an insightful look at the real life events that inspired the film. Also included are six deleted and extended scenes that were wisely cut but interesting nonetheless.

“Technically, the Blu-ray looks and sounds great.”

The Best of Me utilises a fantastic DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 sound mix where no signs of any kind of dropouts or distortions were apparent.

“The scoring is done well where the mix amplifies at the opportune moments, but never drowns out what’s taking place on screen, along the same lines as the tender, quieter moments of the film as well.”

“Shot digitally with the Arri Alexa, the film looks ravishingly beautiful quite a bit of the time, making even things like a rusty oil rig in the middle of the sea surprisingly picturesque.”

Black levels aren’t the transfer’s strongest element (quite a bit of time is spent looking up at the stars with the night sky not quite black enough to blend with the letterbox bars), but contrast certainly has been consistently maintained.”

Critics were divided over the merits of This Is Where I Leave You’s transfer.

On the one hand, “there’s a noticeable issue with clarity between scenes that are well-lit as opposed to those that aren’t”; on the other, “Warner’s 1080p/AVC-encoded video presentation is the highlight of the disc, with a lifelike palette that favours tamed hues over vibrant colours yet still allows primaries to pop as needed”.

Also new are Olive Kitteridge (“a sharp, consistent picture”), Miss Meadows and Lego Batman: Justice League vs Bizarro League.

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One Response to “New to Blu: March 4-10”

  1. John Wick looks and sounds superb in DTS-HD MA. I even like the unusual subtitles. Easily Keanu’s best feature film since Constantine.

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