New to Blu: April 20 – 26

Truth‘s 1080p transfer won’t redefine the way people view Blu-ray, but it’s a solid, source-based image that carries the movie well. The digital photography translates easily to 1080p, reproducing, often, fine and exacting details in the broader spectrum of clothes, faces, and general backgrounds in homes, offices, and studios.”

“Slick, vibrant, and razor sharp best describe the 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 transfer, which beautifully captures the claustrophobic and largely sterile interiors that permeate the film.

“The colour palette intentionally fades as the story progresses to reflect the mounting strife, but hues always look vivid, and flesh tones remain natural and stable throughout.”

“An optional commentary track with James Vanderbilt (screenwriter as well as director) and producers Brad Fisher and William Sherak offers a talkative and worthy discussion on the origins and production of the movie.

“They mostly avoid making opinions on the real story and enthusiastically dig deep into ‘making of’ detail sure to make a film school student smile, such as how the movie’s color was gradually desaturated to subtly highlight Miss Mapes’ downward spiral.”

Suffragette‘s 1080p transfer features a deliberately dull and downtrodden appearance. The film, shot primarily on Super 16 film, presents a period look accentuated by a steady and obvious, but never intrusive, layer of grain. Colours are deliberately muted, too.”

Suffragette’s extras are enlightening and led by an optional commentary track from director Sarah Gavon Gavron and screenwriter Abi Morgan. The pair’s fluid discussion moves between production details and the actual historical events surrounding the characters. The best of a trio of featurettes includes a way-too-brief — only 7 minutes long — look at the suffragette movement

“Part of this purposeful presentation is a result of colour filtering as well as the usage of 16mm film stock to create a dark-toned, pale looking film. Through this process, the film looks like a hazy period film that takes place in the worst parts of London.”

“The surround mix utilises the entire platform to recreate the many acoustic sounds associated with the environments portrayed onscreen. The rear channels contain a mixture of spatial ambience/musical extension as well as directional panning cues that effectively support the front soundstage.

“This is an enriching audio presentation that mates well with the source material.”

Youth is quite often a visual stunner courtesy of the incredible scenery in the Swiss Alps locale of the resort. Director Paolo Sorrentino and DP Luca Bigazzi offer a sumptuous palette and lighting effects that often hint at effulgent glows surrounding the characters.”

“This is a breathtaking looking image with impressive detail levels that captures all of the beauty of the scenic mountain locations while also allowing you to appreciate the impressive set design work, the intricate costuming, as well as fine facial features.”

“The 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio mix is wonderfully immersive, with subtle sound pans and plenty of directional dialogue. The ambient sounds of the resort, like quiet chatter and environmental effects, surround the viewer, and several fantastic sequences awaken the subwoofer and jolt the viewer.”

Heroes Reborn features a 1080p transfer that holds up well enough but that’s not without a number of drawbacks. Noise prevails throughout, modestly hovering for much of the runtime but spiking severely on occasion.

“Banding, macroblocking, and aliasing — the latter mostly present in the digital video game sequences — are also intrusions. The digital source leaves the programme looking rather flat and shiny. Details rarely soar.”

“The 5.1 DTS-HD MA track is actually a little bit of an underachiever. There’s some good vocal separation and the front heavy mix tends to be pleasant enough, but there just isn’t a whole lot there stretching the experience.”

“As a BD set, this edition is fine – A/V quality is strong, and while the bonuses included aren’t excellent, they at least flush out the background for the show nicely. But it’ll take a serious fan to make it through this whole thing.”

Silicon Valley: The Complete Second Season appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on this Blu-ray disc. Across the board, the shows looked attractive.

“Sharpness was usually solid. A few wider shots showed a little softness, but those instances remained minor. Instead, the majority of the movie seemed accurate and concise. I saw no signs of jagged edges or shimmering, and edge haloes remained absent. Source flaws were a non-factor, as I witnessed no specks, marks or other debris.”

“Colour and contrast are terrific, here. There is a wide spectrum on display in almost any shot, and while the colors are very intense, they never overwhelm the screen, or look as if the image is over saturated. Contrast produces rich, full-bodied blacks and a complete gray scale that is never hindered by crush or hints of banding at all.”

Also new are The LobsterStandoffThe 5th Wave and:

  • The Dressmaker (“looks good enough to eat“)
  • The Editor (“a beautiful 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 encode that’s faithful to the filmmakers’ intentions”)
  • Freaks of Nature (“minor noise and banding appear at times, but the image is otherwise technically proficient“)
  • Our Brand is Crisis (“looks and sounds fine“)
  • Criminal Activities (“a detailed image with a frequently saturated palette”).
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4 Responses to “New to Blu: April 20 – 26”

  1. Does anyone know why The X Files Blu-ray collection has not been released in New Zealand? I decided to order it from Amazon UK so I should have it in a few days YAY :)

  2. We may be too small a market for such a release, Trevor. Then again, it may have just slipped through the cracks. After all, there’s still no sign of the Twin Peaks re-issue on BD. The latest X Files series goes on sale in the US in June so perhaps Fox will release it and the original series collection here at the same time.

  3. Universal Pictures NZ, which distributes 20th Century Fox titles in this market, has confirmed a probable June 15 release for X Files: Event Series 2016 on June 15 and is checking to see if there’s an ETA for the original series collection.

  4. Thanks, Philip, I notice in Australia it’s on sale for $350 YIKES but it also includes the 2 X Files movies but I’m happy just having the TV shows :)

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