New to Blu: September 30 – October 6

Strangers in strange lands sums up the nature of this week’s new Blu-ray releases.

We get our hands on San Andreas (2D and 3D) and Tomorrowland ahead of the US and UK — but the earthquake blockbuster has only 5.1 audio rather than the US version’s 7.1.

Happily, Tomorrowland offers both encodes as well as a picture quality that’s out of this world (albeit 2.35:1 rather than the theatrical 2.20:1).

NZ-UK co-production Slow West lands here after three months after its glowing US reception but without that edition’s two substantial deleted scenes.

It’s also framed slightly differently: 1.78: 1 versus the US release’s 1.66:1, which is the aspect ratio in which it was filmed.

Slow West is shot with gorgeous precision. To our advantage, the picturesque imagery shows with great detail and rich clarity.

“Landscapes appear with the pleasant visual quality of postcards. The production’s high-quality costumes feature fine textures and expected wear-and-tear.

“Smudged pores and stubble, individual hairs and buzzing gnats – it’s all completely visible.”

“The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 sound mix offers robust fidelity and makes for an immersive listening experience.

“Though there is some directionalised dialogue, most of the well-recorded speech has been placed in the centre channel.”

Strangerland’s 1080p transfer is quite impressive, even considering its fairly flat, glossy, and smooth digital veneer.

“Details are usually impeccably sharp, revealing both rugged Australian terrain — even in rather long-distance overhead vistas which appear quite frequently throughout the film — and intimate human details with ease.”

“Sound-wise, the music and effects in Strangerland are often unique and unexpected, with the film diving from the howl of the windstorm to eerie, suspicious silence at other times.

“The music is often haunting and strange, and all of this is captured with a nice precision on the film’s high-def soundtrack.”

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