New to Blu: September 3-9

Orphan Black continues to be treated like a poor relation on Blu-ray in this market.

Season one was released without any of the US extras and season two has only a 13-minute Look Inside short whereas the Region A version has more than 90 minutes of behind-the-scenes content plus three deleted scenes — although quantity doesn’t necessarily mean quality.

“What is here seems decent when you first see it, but ultimately was not enough to hold my attention …

“Technically, the discs are excellent, though could use a commentary or two to be worth keeping.”

“Like the Blu-ray release of Season OneOrphan Black: Season Two offers a near-perfect 1080p/AVC-encoded video presentation free from any glaring issues.

“The series’ palette is often stylised, with stark but striking splashes of color, beautifully saturated skintones, deep black levels and consistently satisfying contrast.”

“The biggest issue overall is that the image is so sharp, that some of the special effects shots (which I think are actually weaker in Season Two than they were in Season One) are more obvious.”

Season two is also being issued in a box set with season one.

Belatedly releasing here four months after the US is The Monuments Men.

It’s being distributed here by 20th Century Fox rather than Sony, so is being marketed without the “Mastered in 4K” tag but boasts the same transfer of the film’s original theatrical aspect of 2.4:1 widescreen.

“Detail is staggeringly good, with the utmost clarity in every single shot, promoting fine skin textures and clothing weaves as impressively as the background flourishes, which help bolster the film’s resounding period authenticity.”

“The ‘Mastered in 4K’ Blu-ray presentation is a sparkler, one of the crispest, cleanest, most well-defined, and enjoyable high definition movie watching experiences around.”

The Monuments Men has a number of issues that prevent a perfect score. It’s still a very good looking transfer, but it does have some faults

“The daylight scenes that are shot on film look great … details are sharp, skin tones are properly balanced, and contrast looks good throughout. It’s when the movie moves indoors that everything gets thrown off a bit.”

The Grand Budapest Hotel is presented on Blu-ray courtesy of 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment with an AVC encoded 1080p transfer in a rather bewildering array of aspect ratios (the bulk of the main reminiscence is in 1.33:1) …

“Despite some of these gambits, the presentation here is stellar all around, with exceptional fine detail.”

“Image clarity and detail is pretty astounding, as is the film’s colour palette, which robust doesn’t even begin to describe.

“Blacks are very deep and both contrast and brightness are perfect.”

“Although the shifting ratios do become marginally more distracting in the home forum, that does not take away from … what is basically a stunning video presentation, easily demo quality and almost nudging into reference perfection territory too.”

Also new are Chef and Sabotage.

“Whatever my feelings may be about the film itself, the Blu-ray transfer of Sabotage features a nearly perfect visual presentation.

“Being shot digitally, the image is crystal clear and full of fine detail. Colours and skin tones are well-saturated and great looking, blacks are extremely deep, and both contrast and brightness are at acceptable levels.”

Sabotage was shot digitally on Arri Alexa cameras, and boy does it look fantastic on Blu-ray.

“Even though director David Ayer and cinematographer Bruce McCleery make use of a hand-held camera look (i.e., the ol’ ‘shaky cam’) throughout the majority of the movie, every shot is filled with sharp detail and some real depth. ‘

“Skin tones are consistent throughout, and viewers will also be able to see every crease, line, and crinkle in the actors’ faces.”

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3 Responses to “New to Blu: September 3-9”

  1. Will definitely be purchasing Sabotage but will wait a little while for the price to drop before I buy it.

  2. I have now changed my mind and won’t be buying Sabotage locally. According to a number of Australians on the Blu-ray.com forum, the local release of this movie comes with 1080i/50hz. I will import 1080p version from the US, which is region free.

  3. Is it too much for local distributors to provide solid info on their new and catalogue releases? Too often we don’t get any idea of supplemental content or technical aspects like sound formats.

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