New to Blu: August 25 – September 8

In a depressing reminder of streaming’s impact on Blu-ray sales in this market, there’s only one release scheduled over the next two weeks while three other titles that should be for sale on the format are DVD-only.

Season seven of The Blacklist and the movies The Current War and Capone are all out on Blu-ray in Australia but aren’t deemed significant or popular enough to warrant the extra packaging here.

That leaves only the remastered 40th anniversary edition of Flash Gordon, which releases on both Blu-ray and 4K-UHD.

“A new 16-bit 4K scan and restoration of the original camera negative was done by StudioCanal and finished as a true 4K Digital Intermediate with colour grading in Dolby Vision and HDR10,” The Digital Bits reports.

Gone are the previous Blu-ray’s image issues, which included baked-in edge enhancement and excessive digital noise reduction. This is an incredibly organic presentation, ripe with fine detail in every frame. Opticals are understandably soft, translucency is still obvious, and a bit of digital wire removal has been performed. But grain is present, natural, and well controlled, allowing for high levels of detail—particularly in the shadows.

“From the getgo details are exquisite,” High-Def Digest concurred.

While I thought the 2012 Universal Blu-ray was alright, it was ankled by some ill-advised DNR that pulled out the natural film grain presence and deprived the image of essential details outside of facial closeups. I am very happy to report that no apparent DNR was employed here. Film grain retains a natural film-like quality allowing for a full range of details to survive in every frame.

AVForums called the 4K transfer “an absolute revelation on the format, with the wildly opulent costume and set design paving the way for an eye-searing colour scheme”.

“The 1080p version of this film may not reach the nuanced levels of interstitial tones that the 4K UHD release does,” said, “but it’s a massively different experience viewing this version in comparison to the Universal version …

“This new transfer was something of a revelation for me in terms of the film’s rather gorgeously saturated palette.”

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One Response to “New to Blu: August 25 – September 8”

  1. I wonder if season seven of The Blacklist will ever get finished or is that it killed off by Corona-virus.

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