New to Blu: March 9-15

Warner Bros’ Blu-ray release of Ben Affleck’s second movie as director, The Town, was criticised for separately encoding the theatrical and extended cuts on a single disc.

“That’s a whole lot of movie on one disc, and to be honest, the overall quality of the transfers does dip a bit,” High-Def Digest acknowledged.

But it called the criticism an over-reaction to an otherwise “gangbusters” transfer.

“The problems with this transfer have been overblown, as far as I’m concerned, a reactionary response to just knowing that both versions of the movie have their own encode more than actual problems with the transfer itself.”

Likewise, Blu-ray.com opened its review: “Before I address the controversial, potentially problematic aspects of Warner’s Blu-ray release, let me make one thing abundantly clear: The Town’s comparable 1080p/AVC-encoded video transfers look great.”

Also new from WB are The Killer Inside Me and Buried.

The Digital Bits called the former a “disturbing film noir” and said the transfer “reflects the film’s subdued look and muted colours quite well. There’s a nice sheen of grain and image detail is very good”.

The transfer of subterranean thriller, Buried, was rated 4.5/5 by Blu-rayDefinition (“has a lot of detail to offer up in its purposely gritty presentation”) and DVD Talk (“much of the picture takes place in varying degrees of darkness and shadows, but there’s never a strain for clarity – the black levels are thick and inky, the shadows rich and textured”).

Also out this week are Mad Max, which critics thought fared relatively well in HD for a low-budget, 1979 release, an “Inferno Edition” of The Expendables, and the straight-to-Blu-ray Dead Space: Aftermath, Blood Night: The Legend of Mary Hatchett, Survival of the Dead, Paintball and 14 Blades.

TV newcomers range from seasons one of Human Target, three of Chuck and nine of Smallville to American Chopper: Senior vs Junior, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood Collection, Dragon Ball Z – Kai Collection 3 and Xam’d: Lost Memories Collection 1.

For a blast from the past, there’s the 1969 doco, The Rolling Stones: The Stones in the Park.

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One Response to “New to Blu: March 9-15”

  1. I think those reviews you’re quoting about Buried are from the US version. Every report I’ve read says that region B releases – both Aust/NZ and UK – are all cropped to 1.78:1 from the original 2.35:1. Which is always wrong, but especially with a film like Buried, which makes great use of the fact that the screen is the same shape as the coffin the main character is trapped in.

    Which is a shame, because I loved the film, and would have bought it in an instant, but I will never buy a cropped version. The region A is correct OAR, but also region-locked, so that’s no good.

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