New to Blu: September 11-17

Dwayne Johnson’s latest action thriller, Snitch, will rock you with its HD specs and, despite tough competition, could snatch top tech honours for the week.

“This is one of the sharpest, most detailed transfers I have ever seen on Blu-ray, and it’s certainly up there with other reference-quality titles.

“The image is crystal-clear throughout, with exceptional detail and texture.”

“This digitally shot features has a suitably crisp and well defined image that offers some really nice, glistening cityscapes interspersed with extreme close-ups that really bristle with fine detail.”

Robert Redford’s latest, The Company You Keep, also keeps company with the best.

“One of the most impressive things about this Blu-ray release is the quality of the video.

“Shot in 35mm, the movie maintains a light amount of grain and a film-like look, but it has the kind of sharpness and detail that one would get in a transfer from a digitally-shot movie.”

“This widescreen transfer of the film, preserving the original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.40:1, is very fine indeed.”

Spring Breakers also earned shining reviews.

“The film was shot on 35mm by Gasper NoE’s distinguished cinematographer Benoît Debie and it looks ridiculously beautiful here on this Blu-ray.

“Grain structure, colours, everything, just completely boffo.”

“The Blu-ray image is very sharp and crisp, with colours that pop and really no room for criticism.”

Even two low-budget direct-to-disc releases stand out for their mastering.

Sinister brings the scares with a fabulous DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack which generates an effectively ominous environment.

“All manner of noises, bumps in the night and creaks of attic floorboards fill the room and echo throughout.”

“The high definition presentation occasionally falters in terms of shadow detail in the darkest elements, but that in fact only helps to achieve a scary mood.”

Phantom surfaces on Blu-ray with a strong 1080p/AVC-encoded presentation.

“The movie was shot digitally with Red Epic cameras, so while you won’t see any film grain, you will see a fairly equivalent layer of inherent digital noise, particularly in the darker scenes.”

Sharpness is outstanding throughout, and colour is well under control with realistic if subdued flesh tones.

“Contrast might be slightly light and black levels are just okay and not especially striking.”

Heading a strong TV slate are the TV series Mr Selfridge (season one), Homeland (season two), Chasing Ice and Spartacus: War of the Damned.

Mr Selfridge and Homeland originally aired here in HD but Sky squandered the others in SD.

“Shot on HD video, Chasing Ice is here presented in 1080p, encoded with the AVC codec, and in its intended aspect ratio of 1.78:1.

“It’s a crisp, vibrant image, with strong detail and contrast.”

As for the final season of Spartacus, it boasts  “an often absolutely scintillating image that has the potential to offer jaw-dropping detail and vivid colour, alongside a visual breadth that fully appreciates the greater levels of scope that the CG backdrops and larger sets demand.”

The rest of the week’s newcomers range from back-catalogue collectibles Vertigo, Oliver! and The Little Mermaid (including a 3D version) to the direct-to-disc Drift, Hammer of the Gods and Michael Jordan to the Max to the anime titles Appleseed XIII – Series Collection, K-On! The Movie, One Piece: Uncut – Collection 21 (eps 253-263) and Persona 4 – The Animation Volume 3 (eps 18-26).

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One Response to “New to Blu: September 11-17”

  1. Snitch was a big surprise – it’s not your usual muscle-bound actioner. 🙂

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