New to Blu: February 25-March 3

Fresh from their Oscar wins come Boyhood and Whiplash while taking a belated Blu-ray bow is What We Do in the Shadows.

Boyhood grows up on Blu-ray with a solid, but sometimes unspectacular 1080p, 1.78:1-framed transfer.

“The film-sourced image retains a fairly consistent, though occasionally sharp, grain structure.

“Detail is handsome and steady but lacks the sort of lifelike clarity and pinpoint attention to detail seen on the very best film and digital presentations.”

“Despite its unconventional 12-year production, the film maintains a consistent and impressive image.

“The 35mm source print is in great shape with a natural layer of light grain visible throughout, and only some very negligible specks here and there (particularly early on).”

“Though it is provided an English DTS-HD Master Audio track, Boyhood shines in the centre channel and fronts, with crisp dialogue perfectly leveled and balanced.”

“One of, if not the best film of 2014, receives a good Blu-ray release that is hugely lacking in the extras department.

“The sole extra is a behind the scenes featurette which comes with a ridiculously short run time of just 2:35 and is presented in 1080p.

“It’s essentially a quick outline of the plot from director Richard Linklater followed by small soundbites from various cast members against a back drop of some film and b-roll footage.”

But if you buy the US release, you’ll get both a 52-minute cast-and-crew Q&A and a 20-minute making-of: “They’re both moderately satisfying.”

Whiplash was shot on HD and looks pristine on Blu-ray from Sony.

“It is dual-layered with a supportive bitrate but I’m sure it can’t look any better and is a very strong replication of its theatrical appearance. “Sharone Meir’s stylish cinematography looks impressive with a high level of detail and no noise in the many darker sequences.”

“Shot on a shoestring budget, Whiplash still manages to look fairly decent on Blu-ray.

“I realise that most ‘new to Blu-Ray’ films look amazing, but this one has a few issues here and there, though nothing to get worked up about.”

Complementing Shadows’ re-issue on Blu-ray is Penny Dreadful.

Penny Dreadful is the kind of show that lives and breathes in the minute details of its immaculate set dressing and presentation.

“It should come as no surprise, then, that image on the discs manage to live up to that expectation, delivering a very detailed, crisp, clean, and vibrant image that make the darkness look downright inviting most of the time.”

“There’s lush, Victorian decadence to be found in Penny Dreadful … just not a whole lot.

“The series’ palette doesn’t embrace colour and light as readily as it celebrates darkness and shadow, and Paramount’s 1080p/AVC-encoded video presentation stays true to the showmakers’ intentions.”

Also new are:

  • Decoding Annie Parker
  • Tammy
  • Miss Meadows
  • Ouija
  • Wish I Was Here
  • Gagarin: First in Space
  • Rampage 2
  • Deadly Virtues.
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