New to Blu: November 9-15 > Movies

Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon lights up Blu-ray sales this week but the 3D edition has been delayed until late January.

“If 2D is good enough for you, this is a winner of a Blu-ray, and will no doubt be cheaper.”

Indeed, it’s been dubbed “the pinnacle of Blu-ray video” and an “audio and video paradise”.

But be aware that, like Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, the 3D edition also has exclusive extras whereas the 2D release, despite containing the movie on Blu-ray, DVD and as a digital copy, has nothing beyond its namesake.

“There are no extras at all, leaving you with the movie and all the accompanying A/V porn you would expect with a high-def Transformers adventure. The good news: you’ll definitely get your money’s worth out of the technical merits.”

There’s a choice of models for Cars 2 as well — although both the 2D and 3D versions are due this week.

“It looks and sounds spectacular” and is “just about as visually perfect as perfect gets. The image is bright, colourful and utterly magnificent.”

If you hunger for other than popcorn crowdpleasers, Warner Bros offers an extraordinarily eclectic slate, ranging from arthouse (My Afternoons With Margueritte) to martial arts (Mulan) to comedy (Tucker and Dale vs Evil) to the 50th anniversary edition of Ben-Hur.

Margueritte’s picture quality is “excellent” and while Mulan’s image is “all but grain free”, it does suffer from noise reduction and minor edge enhancement in some scenes – although “these aren’t overpowering even if they are easy to spot at times”.

The two-disc Ben-Hur, with a commentary by star Charlton Heston and film historian T Gene Hatcher, is a bargain for only $25 (as is the week’s other classic buy, Charge of the Light Brigade).

But diehard fans may wish to import from the US the Ultimate Collector’s Edition as, in addition to the movie spread over two discs, it has an extras-only disc that includes the 1925 silent version of Ben-Hur.

“Is there any other studio that has so lovingly gone back to its iconic catalogue (albeit one that officially ‘belongs’ to MGM) as Warner has?

“Once again the studio has returned to the original negative to source new high-res scans, along with a frame by frame restoration, to present this film in high definition, and to say the results are spectacular is something of an understatement.”

“All the artistry involved in the meticulous costuming and prop work comes through clearly in the image’s extraordinary delivery of detail.

“The image is also exceptionally clean with nary a speckle, scratch, or bit of debris to be seen, nor is there any evidence of untoward digital manipulation.”

WB also is issuing a slew of ‘90s action titles on Blu-ray for $15 each: Executive Decision, Maverick and a Sylvester Stallone bonanza (Cobra, Demolition Man, Assassins, The Specialist).

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2 Responses to “New to Blu: November 9-15 > Movies”

  1. The UK release of Ben-Hur apparently is also the three-disc with extras and the silent film. And with Amazon UK selling it for £13.97, if you can take advantage of free shipping, it’s pretty much the same price as the NZ release.

  2. I’m in for Ben-Hur. I have the DVD set, with the 1925 version, so just the movie will be fine.

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