New to Blu: December 22-28

How better to celebrate the season of peace and goodwill to all men than with the release of Sylvester Stallone’s The Expendables on Blu-ray?

It’s one of only two movies, a TV special and a handful of classical music titles coming out in HD on the eve of Christmas.

Critics may have clobbered Stallone’s marathon of macho mayhem but expended much praise for the Blu-ray’s technical specs.

Quipped Home Theater Forum about the movie’s appeal: “It depends on how well-done you like your beefcake with cheese.”

But it described the a/v quality as excellent and the extras extensive and entertaining.

Hi-Def Digest also recommended Stallone’s audio commentary and the movie-length making-of doco (“by far this is one of the best, most intensive making-of features out there”), while rating the video 4/5 and the audio 4.5/5. noted the disc’s “exceptional contrast and remarkable black levels” and warned viewers not to mistake the waxy complexions and lack of skin pores for digital noise reduction: “Those with any knowledge of contemporary cosmetic techniques will only see the prevalence of botox.”

Also new this week are: Piranha 3D, which is being released here three weeks ahead of the US; Family Guy: It’s a Trap, the final in the Star Wars spoof trilogy; Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen, Meistersunger von Nuremberg (Die) and The Ring (Highlights)Electra: Richard Strauss – Festspielhau Baden-Baden 2010; Braunfels: The Birds; Europa Konzert 2010 and Mozart /Dvorak: Herbert von Karajan.

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