New to Blu: August 3-9

Awe inspiring” and “fantastic” were two of the descriptions for The Way Back’s 1080p/AVC-encoded transfer.

The Russian Gulag-escapees drama heads a distinguished slate of new Blu-ray releases that includes several back-catalogue must-haves.

There was similar acclaim for the direct-to-disc Michael Connelly adaptation, The Lincoln Lawyer, which “will wow you with its visuals” and is “near-perfect – and certainly demo-quality”.

Also bypassing cinemas but worth considering for its content and HD specs is Conviction, which boasts a transfer “as clean as they come”, although apparently “overall sharpness is degraded by a few soft sequences”.

Never Let Me Go looks “simply gorgeous on Blu-ray, with a 1080p/AVC-encoded transfer that’s rich, detailed, and naturally filmic” while the 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is “thoughtful and restrained”.

Kiwis appear to be getting the hop on Hop ahead of the rest of the world but Apocalypse Now has taken months to land here – and if you want the three-disc edition with the Hearts of Darkness doco, you’ll have to buy it from JB Hi-Fi, as all other dealers have only the two-disc version.

Also being rounded up are four westerns, from the classic (Once Upon a Time in the West) to the conventional (Rio Lobo), Brotherhood of the Wolf, and three iconic the kids-are-all-right hits: American GraffitiAnimal House and Dazed and Confused.

The pick of the trio, American Graffiti, divided US reviewers with its Blu-ray quality, leaving some “hopping mad”, others arguing it’s “never looked better, with an ultra-sharp transfer that’s clean and crisp” and those in the middle who point to director George Lucas acknowledging source shortcomings on his commentary.

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