New to Blu: Movies > November 13-19

The 50th anniversary of President Kennedy’s assassination is barely being commemorated on Blu-ray, with the only notable releases being last week’s JFK and this week’s Parkland.

Parkland is presented in the 1.78:1 aspect ratio, and looks pretty good on Blu-ray.

“The movie was shot digitally using Arri Alexa cameras, providing for a nice, crisp image with no evident signs of aliasing or artifacting.

“The movie is shot with a lot of blues and grays, and just ever so slightly drained of colour, which gives Parkland a historical feel to it, as well as the proper tone for the proceedings.”

“This is a solid video presentation that offers excellent refinement during close ups and discernibly crisp definition within objects during mid level camera pans. The colour range perfectly sets the film’s sombre tone and has a reserved aesthetic that rarely offers bright, eye catching hues.”

“The Blu-ray doesn’t offer much in the way of extras, with about six-and-a-half minutes of deleted scenes and a [director’s] commentary that offers a few insights but is mostly an exercise of the director reciting what’s happening on the screen.”

In NZ, however, the Blu-ray offers even fewer extras: zilch!

Also going direct-to-disc are As I Lay Dying, The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts Of Georgia and Killing Season, which has been cropped to 1.78:1 from its limited 2.35:1 theatrical run in the US.

“Grain is rarely evident in the print, even in darker and dimly-lit sequences.

“Sharpness and details are rather good, although some scenes have a rather ‘flat’ look to them. Black levels are just average.”

“Though it’s a little flat and not particularly bright or varied by its nature, the film looks quite good on Blu-ray.”

As for Haunting 2, “whatever the dramatic failing of the film (which are legion), from a purely visual standpoint it’s quite a winning enterprise which looks very good in this high definition presentation.”

“The extras, however, are where this disc shines …. combining an equal look at both the film’s production as well as the haunting that inspired it.”

Belatedly bowing on Blu-ray are Dirty Dancing and Reservoir Dogs.

Dirty Dancing makes its high-def debut in a newly remastered 1.85:1 widescreen 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 transfer, and there’s both good news and bad news here.

“The good news is that this is easily the best this movie has ever looked.

“At the same time, however, some issues inherent to the source material seem to prevent this title from benefiting all that much from the jump to high-definition.”

“The 1080p, 1.78:1-framed image disappoints on almost every level, with problems so egregious and detrimental to the viewing experience that even those without a care in the world as to how relatively ‘good’ or ‘bad’ a transfer looks will be alarmed at the obvious missteps throughout.”

While Dogs isn’t reference-quality, “the entire viewing experience is transformed by the increased definition and resolution, greatly enhancing the thespian merits of the film.”

“This high definition MPEG-2/1080p transfer is quite striking and the level of detail was better than I had expected.

“The film has always suffered from an overabundance of the colour green and I found the new Blu-ray transfer was not nearly as heavy in its usage of green as the older releases.”

Also new are The Dark Knight Trilogy: Ultimate Collector’s Edition Box Set, WWE Straight to the Top: Money in the Bank and Cats.

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2 Responses to “New to Blu: Movies > November 13-19”

  1. Res Dogs is a re-release. That first came out on BD back in 2008.

  2. This new one is the same as the earlier release, as evidenced by the MPEG2 encode.

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