New to Blu: November 11 – 17

One of the year’s best films, Ex_Machina, compounds its afterthought of a theatrical run in this territory with a subpar Blu-ray release.

“The UK release is identical to ours, but here’s what the American Region A release contains that we miss out on:

  • English DTS:X audio track
  • English DTS-HD MA 7.1 audio track
  • Through the Looking Glass: Making Ex Machina (39:59)
  • SXSW Q&A with Cast and Crew (60:57)
  • Behind the Scenes Vignettes (28:40)

“Wow! That’s a far more agreeable release. Looking at the listing of the vignettes, it appears that a few of our EPK featurettes are not carried over to the Region A release, but that hardly matters since none of our supplements are worth keeping anyway.

“The Region A release wins, hands down, no competition. Just be aware that the Region A release is region locked, so you will need a multi-regional player to import.”

“The film looks marvellous on BD. The wide 2.40:1 aspect ratio is reproduced with clarity and efficiency. Colours and detail impress. Blacks achieve a nice level of inky darkness as necessary. The result is a clean, delicate viewing experience.”

“While parts of the film, especially some of the exteriors, have a slightly gauzy feel, the bulk of this film is nicely sharp and precise looking, with excellent fine detail.”

“A DTS-X track may have been pretty impressive actually, but instead we’re left with a DTS-HD MA 5.1 track (which may not even be as impressive as the core DTS track offered on the US disc) that does a strong job but can’t help but stand in the shadow of that imminent, expectedly superior, release.

“Dialogue comes across clearly and coherently throughout; effects are sparsely but discretely separated across the array, whilst the aforementioned score often provides the highlight, both in terms of rear activity and LFE input.”

“With all its richness in cinematography it’s a good thing that Far from the Madding Crowd’s 1080p presentation is just about flawless.

“As most movies nowadays are shot digitally, the first thing you’ll notice about this one is the filmic texture. That’s because it was shot on film, giving it that patented cinematic grain that is sorely missing in today’s movies.”

“The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix offers a beautifully rich and full audio encode. Dialogue has been superbly recorded and has been placed in the center channel.

“Craig Armstrong’s background score gets a full sweep into the front and rear soundstage.”

The Road Within hits a few speedbumps along its scenic ride, exhibiting both immense high points and experiencing some fairly distracting issues.

“Certain sequences are breathtaking, embracing the majesty of forests and coastlines and the warmth of sunlight through impeccable depth, natural contrast balance, and robust natural shades and skin tones.

“Others are less convincing, sporting somewhat washed-out and invasive contrast boosting and weak palette strength.”

“While this is a solid and often quite scenic presentation, contrast and brightness seem boosted in several scenes (notably interiors), adding a kind of milky haze to the proceedings that tends to defeat fine detail.”

Blasts from the past include Star Wars – The Complete SagaJesus of Nazareth, Lady From ShanghaiGildaVincent Price CollectionTeenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – The Original Motion PictureTeenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II – The Secret of the Ooze and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III – Turtles in Time.

Going direct to disc are:

  • Dark House (“consistently clean, crisp, and detailed”)
  • 6 Ways to Sundown (“video and audio are acceptable
  • 7 Minutes (“a slight amount of edge enhancement but otherwise artefacts were not present”)
  • Wrong Cops (“a low budget film shot using a Canon 5D camera and the results are variable“)
  • Return to Sender (“a great image“)
  • Partisan
  • The First Time
  • Chloe & Theo

New TV releases include Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell (“image clarity is excellent, with good detailing and textures”), Orphan Black – Seasons 1-3Adventure Time – Season 5 – Part 2Adventure Time Seasons 1 – 5 and Transformers: Prime – Season 2.

Also out are Fairy Tail – Collection 16 (episodes 176-187), WWE – Sting: Into The LightAndre Rieu – Wonderful World – Live In Maastricht and Lynyrd Skynyrd – Pronounced ‘Leh-‘nerd ‘Skin-‘nerd & Second Helping — Live From Jacksonville at the Florida Theatre.

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One Response to “New to Blu: November 11 – 17”

  1. Why do we always seem to miss out on the good extras? It’s really unfair and not on 🙁

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