New to Blu: December 9 – 15

Savage, a movie about Kiwi gang culture, heads this week’s Blu-ray releases, which include a monster 4K-UHD box set and a 4K-UHD remastering of an Arnold Schwarzenegger sci-fi favourite.

“While Sam Kelly’s drama will likely be endlessly compared to Once Were Warriors, it feels more like The Dark Horse,” Stuff said of the internationally acclaimed Savage.

“The details of gang life are fascinating,” the Sydney Morning Herald, said. “The casting is superb: hundreds of rough-heads assembled from across New Zealand.

“These mean-looking buggers provide a terrifying backdrop for the power struggle.”

All of which makes the absence of extras a missed opportunity, especially for a movie that grossed more than $1.5 million locally and cracked the top 20 NZ films of all time.

High-Def Digest said Bill & Ted Face the Music “lands on Blu-ray with a most excellent and totally bodacious 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 encode, immediately brightening the screen with a vivid and energetic pop in the opening moments”.

Home Theatre Forum said the “excellent DTS-HD MA 5.1 track makes the best of its more standard speaker layout. Surrounds are used rather aggressively to immerse the viewer in the surroundings of the characters but also the music featured in the film.

“LFE is used effectively to add some low-end to both the music and many of the sound effects in Hell. Dialogue is clear and understandable throughout.”

AVForums hailed Total Recall as another outstanding example of StudioCanal’s 4K-UHD mastering:

Here we have HDR, WCG and Dolby Vision used to Flash Gordon levels of perfection, with Total Recall promoting the kind of excessively red-dominated palette that would just be begging to crush into all kinds of hell, but is instead handled with care and rendered with a depth and richness that this film has simply never before known. It’s not perfect, the reds are desperate to bleed out, but it’s easily the best the feature has ever looked, leaving you wowed on several occasions – if not throughout – and with only a few scant moments across the entire runtime which remind you that they’re still playing with 30 year old material that has some limitations. Amazing work.

Pixar Collection is a massive 4K-UHD/Blu-ray box set of 22 Pixar movies, from Toy Story to Onward, plus four shorts compilations while the 4K-UHD debut of Weathering With You heads this month’s anime slate:

  • Makoto Shinkai Collection
  • Ride Your Wave
  • Radiant: Season 2 Part 1
  • Ensemble Stars!: Part 1
  • Fire Force: Season 1 – Part 2
  • Children Of The Sea
  • My Hero Academia: The Movie – Heroes Rising
  • My Hero Academia: Season 4 – Part 1
  • Dr Stone: Season 1 – Part 1.

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